Disclaimer: Disney invited me to California on an all-expenses paid trip, in exchange for my coverage of events, which included D23 Expo, where Disney Parks & Resorts news and updates were announced and surprises revealed. As always, all opinions are my own. Photos provided by Disney or myself.
Are the rumors true?
That’s exactly what I wanted to know as I took my seat at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts panel at D23 Expo last weekend. From a Star Wars themed resort to a new type of transportation system, I’d been hearing rumors for months. It was time to hear it straight from the big cheese (Mickey himself), aka Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek.
I’ve organized this by subject and by park to make it easier for you to plan (and oh, I promise by the end of this post you’ll be planning one heck of a Disney trip in your future, if not more)!
Disney Cruise Line
Doubling Fleet – It had been previously announced that two new ships were going to be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany with scheduled completion dates of 2021 and 2023. Disney has decided this isn’t enough…AND I have to say having just cruised Disney in late 2016, I can see why. The demand is there. This additional ship will be built at the same shipyard and is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
All three ships will be powered by one of the cleanest-burning fuels available, liquefied natural gas. When all three ships are completed by 2023, Disney Cruise Line will have nearly doubled the size of the fleet.
New Beauty and the Beast Show – we were treated to a glimpse of the new “Beauty and the Beast” musical production coming to the Disney Dream November 2017. The setting will be inside of one Maurice’s music boxes, and all I can say is WOW! It will be a totally different take on the classic tale.
Walt Disney World
Disney Skyliner Transportation System
This new system will give guests a birds-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort and will connect Disney’s Art of Animation, Pop Century and Caribbean Beach resorts, as well as the proposed new Disney Riviera Resort, with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot.
I’d heard this rumor and it turned out to be true!
Disney Minnie Van Service
The crowd was smiling when an all-new Minnie Van service was announced. This service will provide a point-to-point transportation service in a way that only Disney can do, giving guests an even more seamless resort vacation from start to finish.
I just happened to be at Walt Disney World this week and was the first passenger to ride in the Minnie Van above! They are currently in training mode (and not available to all guests at all resorts). Stay tuned as I will post soon on this experience and give you all the details.
- Guardians of the Galaxy attraction – This new inspired attraction will be added to Future World.
- Ratatouille attraction will be added in an all-new space in the France pavilion at World Showcase
- Mission: SPACE – reopens with new green and orange missions. This will allow for new adventures and younger kids to ride.
- Out of this Word Dining Experience – this new restaurant, adjacent to Mission: Space will invite guests to travel high above the earth for an unforgettable dining experience. With views from space, this is one restaurant you’ll need to make advanced dining reservations for.
- New Tron Attraction – The highest-rated attraction at Shanghai Disneyland is now coming to Walt Disney World. The new Tron attraction in an entirely new area right next to Space Mountain.
- New Theater to Debut – You’ll find this theater on Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. The entertainment venue will be based on the iconic Willis Wood theater in 1920s Kansas City, where Walt lived after he left Marceline.
- Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Finally the name of the Star Wars-inspired lands that are currently under construction at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts was revealed! 2019 can’t get here fast enough.
SECRET: Many characters that guests will meet include BB-8, Chewbacca, Rex and Kylo Ren.
MORE DETAILS: Two main attractions in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. #1 – battle between the First Order and the Resistance where guest feel like they are inside a hangar bay on a Star Destroyer. #2 – fly the Millennium Falcon, where each guest is critical to the mission’s success.
- Toy Story Land to open Summer 2018
- First Mickey-themed ride-through attraction – this attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, will have you stepping through the movie screen and join Mickey and his friends. The attraction will put you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon Short where you’re the star and anything can happen.
SECRET: This Mickey attraction will have more Hidden Mickeys than you’ll find anywhere else and it’ll be the first ride in 2 1/2D, meaning no glassed required.
New Disney Vacation Club Property – The 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney Riviera Resort, is coming to Walt Disney World Resort near Epcot.
Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel – This resort will be at Disneyland Paris (re-imagined version) and will transport guests to the action-packed world of Super Heroes, including Iron Man, The Avengers, Spider-Man and more. Guests will be able to explore the Marvel Universe through its comic art, films, Super Hero costumes and more, displayed in the style of a contemporary art gallery. Tony Stark will be proud!
Star Wars-themed hotel – Having heard rumblings about a possible themed hotel, the crowd gasped at the realization that this was going to happen.
Located at Walt Disney World Resort, this hotel will be dedicated entirely to the galaxy of Star Wars, it will be a one-of-a-kind experience where a luxury resort meets a multi-day adventure in a galaxy far, far away.
— Finding Debra (@FindingDebra2) July 15, 2017
Mention was made that there would be no conventional windows in this resort, but the openings would look out at space. Hmmm…this has me fascinated (and a bit claustrophobic). Will it have a resort pool? So many questions!!
Disneyland/ California Adventure
Fantasmic is Back – As of July 15th, during D23 Expo, Disneyland reopened this favorite!
Immersive Super Hero Universe – Having just played at these theme parks this past weekend, I know just how fun the Summer of Heroes attractions, special food and characters has been. So the addition of Spider-Man and the Avengers to the Guardians of the Galaxy events will be welcomed – more news to follow.
Pixar Pier Announced – This will replace what was called Paradise Pier, making it a more obvious place for our favorite PIXAR characters.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – land is to open in 2019 at Disneyland first (before Walt Disney World).
Pixar Fest – Starting in 2018, this limited-time offering will include a new fireworks spectacular as well as special characters and entertainment moments.
Carsland Halloween Celebration – Find extra Halloween fun and even see your favorite characters get in the holiday spirit!
What are you most excited about?
Stay tuned for more as I bring you more from this incredible Disney bucket list event!
AND if you didn’t see how much of a Disney fanatic I am, be sure to check out my full costume in my I’m Going to D23 Expo post! Yes, I said costume! 🙂
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Tour PIXAR Headquarters with me
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Interview with Jason Bateman – Zootopia
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Interview with Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy
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