We are back today with even MORE news. This time focusing on what is one of the most sought after panels….The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Since so many flock to the numerous parks and resorts around the world, this panel touches even more hearts. Everyone gets excited about new lands, hotels, rides, and experiences. So let’s just dive right in!
It’s the return of Fantasmic! In Mickey’s dream, witness the forces of good and evil battling bigger and better than ever before—thanks to enhanced special effects and jaw-dropping entertainment during this musical, pyrotechnic spectacular!
“On the heels of the many new and incredibly popular experiences that just debuted this year, the best is yet to come. We have ambitious plans for our parks and resorts around the world,” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We’re investing in the guest experience like never before, and we’re doing it all in a way that is only possible at Disney! From new lodging and transportation options that make getting around more fun to original storytelling and immersive experiences based on guests’ favorites, Disney continues to provide unparalleled vacation destinations for guests across the globe in even more exciting ways than ever before.”
An Unprecedented First Look at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Fans were elated to hear their Star Wars stories will come to life in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the newly announced name for the Star Wars-themed lands. Chapek shared exciting new details and a glimpse inside the two anchor attractions, including one that puts guests right in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance where guests will feel like they are inside. As soon as the first images came up on the scream the fans were screaming! Then we saw this video. Fly-Through Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge:
We were able to see a mock up of this in person and the first thing I noticed was the scope. This Land is going to be HUGE! With so many people in character and multiple immersive experiences available, this will be truly like you are inhabiting that world. This is the land we all dreamed of. You will visit a trading port on the edge of wild space. Sign me up!
Guests will be right in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Each of the two attractions – and even the land itself – will offer guests the chance to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe like never before.
One attraction will make you feel like you’re on a Star Destroyer inside a hangar bay. It’s an attraction built on a scale we’ve never done before.
The second attraction will give guests the opportunity to fly the Millenium Falcon, piloting the ship, shooting blasters or preparing for hyperspace – all while completing a critical mission. But how you perform on the mission holds even bigger stakes: perform with skill and you may earn extra galactic credits, while bringing the ship back banged up could put you on the list of a bounty hunter. End up on Harkos’s list and you may face a problem if you show up at the local cantina!
I mean who would have ever thought that little ole me could hitch a ride in THE Millenium Falcon!! PLUS, meeting childhood favorites like BB-8, Chewbacca, members of the First Order and – among many others – Rex, the troublesome pilot you may remember from the previous version of a certain Disney attraction who takes on a new role in this land as the DJ at the cantina.
Speaking of the cantina, you will be able to try the infamous blue milk! There will also be cool stores all around so you can grab your souvenir from a galaxy far away! Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in 2019, first at the Disneyland Resort and later in the year at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Timeless Transformation of Epcot Revealed
Looking ahead to the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, there are grand plans to complete the transformation that started with the debut of New Fantasyland in 2014. Chapek announced exciting plans across Epcot to realize the original vision of the park while making it more timeless and relevant than ever before. Patterned after the number one family attraction at Disneyland Paris, Ratatouille will be added in an all-new space in the France pavilion at World Showcase. Epcot will also see the addition of a brand new E-ticket attraction based on the rockin’ and action-packed world of Guardians of the Galaxy, the next step in how guests can encounter these characters at Walt Disney World Resort. In Future World, a new Green Mission at Mission: SPACE will take guests on a stunning tour around the Earth, and an updated Orange Mission will make the trip to Mars even more spectacular. Adjacent to Mission: Space will be a new restaurant that will invite guests to travel high above the earth for an unforgettable dining experience.
EPCOT is my favorite park at Disney World, but if we are honest it’s needed an update for awhile now. I’m SO excited that the Guardians are coming to EPCOT as well! If it’s anything like Mission Breakout I’m in! PLus, Ratatouille is one of the most underrated Disney movies so I’m glad it’s going to get some love in France. The restaurant seems new and exciting. We’ve had dinner with sharks around us for years so now the SPACE theme has me intrigued. How about you?
More Thrills than Ever Planned for Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom
Disney remains at the cutting edge of deeply immersive, creative storytelling that draws guests into new worlds, and it is a legacy that lives on in every new Disney Parks experience. The first-ever Mickey-themed ride-through attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, will come to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With a new original story and lovable attraction theme song, this new state-of-the-art ride-through attraction will take guests on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts using new technologies that transform the flat cartoon world into an incredible dimensional experience.
Honestly, I’m sad to see The Great Movie Ride go, but I understand the need for progress. Plus, Mickey does need a ride. I can’t wait to see more so we know what this ride will be.
Chapek also announced that the highest rated attraction at Shanghai Disneyland is coming to Walt Disney World Resort. A thrilling, Tron-themed attraction will be added to a new area near Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom. Additionally, a new live entertainment theater coming to Main Street, U.S.A., based on the iconic Willis Theater in 1920s Kansas City, will bring world-class entertainment to the world’s most popular park.
TRON!!! Another underrated movie that I LOVE coming to an attraction! It’s going to be right beside Space Mountain so 2 thrill rides back to back. I’m down with that and when I told my kids they screamed with excitement!
Pixar Fun at the Happiest Place on Earth
In addition to announcing the summer 2018 opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Chapek was joined by Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter to unveil plans for Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure, where the pier will take on a brand new look as more favorite Pixar characters and stories come to life, from The Incredibles to Inside Out to even more Toy Story. Chapek also announced there is more Pixar in store during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort. Starting in 2018, this limited-time offering will include new fireworks spectacular as well as special characters and entertaining moments. As part of the celebration, the Pixar Play Parade will return to Disneyland Resort – this time at Disneyland Park – and the fan favorite Paint the Night Parade will move to Disney California Adventure, one of Disney’s longest parade routes.
I can always use more PIXAR in my life so PIXAR Pier sounds fun! Paradise Pier needed a bit of an update and I’m glad PIXAR is the winner for this particular area of Disneyland. It gives the Pier an even more whimsical feel while instilling, even more, Disney Magic.
Disney Cruise Line to Double the Size of its Fleet by 2023
I think next year will be THE year my family and I go on our first Disney Cruise. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them.
Immersive Hotel Concepts
Among the announcements were projects that infuse even more exciting experiences for resort hotel guests in ways that are only possible at Disney. To the delight of fans, Chapek confirmed ambitious plans to create the most experiential concept ever in an immersive Star Wars-themed hotel at Walt Disney World Resort. 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.
STAR WARS INSPIRED HOTEL PEOPLE!! The cheers and happiness in the room were unparalleled. I thought the room could not get more excited than when Star Wars Land was shown. Nope. I was wrong. People lost their minds…including me. EPIC announcement, but that’s not all!
Adding to the immersive resort hotel slate, Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel at Disneyland Paris 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.
Seamless Transportation Options
Completing the immersion so guests never have to leave the story while on a Disney vacation, Chapek announced plans that will make getting around Walt Disney World Resort even more fun. An all-new Minnie Van 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. Additionally, a whole new transportation system called Disney Skyliner will give guests a birds-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort. This brand new system 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.
With even MORE people planning trips to all of the Disney Parks, transportation is key. I think the Skyliner may take a bit longer, but at the same time, it offers views you would normally not see. It’s a ride in itself!
As you can see there was soo much information in this panel. I was tweeting like a mad woman! What are you most excited about? I enjoyed the presentation so much we are traveling to Disney World for a fun last minute trip before the kids go back to school. Go, Disney!
***Disclosure: I attended the #D23EXPO My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***