D23 Expo 2019 – The Highly Anticipated New Experiences Coming To Disney
The last day of the D23 Expo 2019 was the best with some of the most magical highly anticipated new experiences coming to Disney. Here’s our recap of what you can look forward to at Walt Disney World, the Disney Cruise Line, Hong Kong Disneyland , Disneyland Resort and more!
Walt Disney World
The 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort will be one of the biggest ever! We’re extending the celebration to all four Resort theme parks with amazing attraction openings, new entertainment, food and beverage, merchandise and more.
Today at D23 Expo 2019, Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products Chairman Bob Chapek unveiled new details on some exciting guest offerings coming to the Walt Disney World Resort for the 50th Anniversary and beyond.
Here’s a roundup of what’s to come:
A Star Wars vacation experience unlike anything Disney has ever created before will fully immerse guests in a galaxy far, far away when Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser debuts at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Exciting new details were shared Sunday live from D23 Expo 2019 by Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, and Ann Morrow Johnson, executive producer and creative director for Walt Disney Imagineering.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will offer a two-night itinerary where all guests arrive and depart together, similar to Disney Cruise Line. Unlike any typical cruise, though, you can become the heroes of your own Star Wars story in a new type of immersive experience that only Disney could create.
You will cruise the galaxy in style aboard the Halcyon, known for its impeccable service and exotic destinations. Onboard, you will stay in well-appointed cabins, experience onboard dining, make a planet-side excursion to Black Spire Outpost on Batuu, and much more. Throughout the journey, you will be invited to delve deeper into your personal adventure by participating in onboard activities, interacting with characters, crew, other passengers you meet, and becoming part of the action and the broader Star Wars saga:
- The adventure begins when you arrive at the Galactic Starcruiser Terminal at Walt Disney World and check in for your two-night experience.
- You will be invited to enter a Launch Pod for transport into space. Through windows above, you’ll see yourself leave the real world behind as you jump to hyperspace and draw closer and closer to the Halcyon.
- When the Launch Pod docks with the Halcyon and the airlock opens, you will step into the ship’s main deck Atrium to begin your journey through a galaxy far, far away.
- A visit aboard the Halcyon becomes a multi-day story that interweaves with members of the crew, other passengers, familiar Star Wars characters, and an excursion to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- The all-immersive experience also features entertaining activities, such as:Wielding a lightsaber while facing off against a training remote, where you may discover your own connection with the Force
- Visiting the starcruiser’s Bridge to learn about ship systems and how to operate them, including navigation and defense – skills that may come in handy during a journey through this adventure-filled galaxy.
Fun Facts – Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
- Every window in the Halcyon – including those in each cabin – has a view of the galaxy beyond, with ever-changing vistas as the ship progresses from place to place.
- You’ll be able to explore the Halcyon and perhaps discover hidden spaces deep in the mechanics of the ship – perfect for uncovering secrets … or holding secret meetings.
- Choices you make during your adventure will help determine how your Star Wars story progresses.
Also at Walt Disney World Resort, we’ve got big plans for our multi-year transformation of Epcot, with new experiences that will make the park more Disney, more family, more timeless and more relevant to the millions of guests who visit each year.
The park will be unified with four neighborhoods that each celebrate a unique aspect of what makes Epcot so special. Where Future World currently stands, three new neighborhoods will spring up: World Celebration, World Discovery and World Nature. And World Showcase will continue to celebrate culture, cuisine, architecture and traditions from around the world.
At World Celebration in Epcot, Spaceship Earth will remain the park’s grand icon but the journey will be transformed with new scenes reflecting the universal nature of the human experience. A new guide and all-new narration will focus on the storytelling that brings people together.
World Celebration in Epcot will also feature breathtaking views at Dreamers Point, lush gardens, a wishing tree, an interactive new fountain and a new statue celebrating the legacy of the original dreamer, Walt Disney.
A new pavilion at World Celebration will be the home base for Epcot’s signature festivals, providing a stunning view of World Showcase and an ideal spot to witness the park’s nighttime spectacular. This three-level structure will have one of the most remarkable designs at any Disney park.
At the World Discovery neighborhood in Epcot, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will feature the first reverse launch into space! The thrilling, family-friendly attraction will feature a never-before-seen storytelling coaster that rotates to focus on the action – wherever it may be.
Also, an expansion of the Mission: SPACE pavilion, the new restaurant Space 220, will open this winter as an out-of-this-world culinary experience with the celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up.
In World Showcase, we’ll welcome the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane, which will join the United Kingdom pavilion as an entirely new neighborhood!
In the China pavilion, “Wondrous China” will take guests on a spectacular journey across China, filmed and presented in a completely seamless 360-degree digital format.
The film “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” will debut in January 2020 in the Canada pavilion with new scenes and a new story.
The France pavilion will offer even more for guests to discover, including a new “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along” in January 2020. And in summer 2020, the much-anticipated attraction Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open, as well as a delicious new restaurant called La Crêperie de Paris.
In World Nature, The reinvention of Epcot will include Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana.” This first-ever experience inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios’ hit film will let guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting.
And the Land pavilion’s new film “Awesome Planet,” which showcases the spectacular beauty, diversity, and dynamic story of the planet in World Nature, will begin welcoming guests in January 2020.
And following the limited time run of Epcot Forever at Epcot, a new nighttime spectacular called HarmonioUS will be the largest ever created for a Disney park. It will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over.
At D23 Expo, we shared a first look at the newly themed Chinese Theater that will be home to Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway when it opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in spring 2020.
Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge, will be a unique hotel and proposed Disney Vacation Club resort inspired by the wonders of nature and artistry of Walt Disney.
Also, at Magic Kingdom Park, the TRON attraction will be called TRON Lightcycle Run. As regular readers know, this attraction lets riders board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles and experience the energy, lights and excitement of TRON’s high-tech universe.
And for the first time, Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Animation Studios have joined forces with Cirque du Soleil to create a show that will combine Disney storytelling and heart with Cirque du Soleil’s signature artistry. Previews will begin March 20, 2020, leading up to the world premiere on April 17.
Target and Disney are coming together for a project that includes the launch of 25 Disney stores within select Target stores nationwide on October 4, with 40 additional locations opening by October 2020.
The “shop-in-shop” will feature an enhanced Disney assortment of more than 450 items, including more than 100 products that were previously only available at Disney retail locations.
You ain’t never had a friend like this! Moments ago, at D23 Expo 2019, details were unveiled by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek for “Disney Genie,” a revolutionary new digital offering set to debut in late 2020 that will enhance the way you plan for and experience a trip to Walt Disney World Resort. Joining other innovations like the MagicBand, Disney Genie is being designed to help you make the most out of your visit, whether you’re a first-time guest or a seasoned pro.
Disney Genie will make planning easier and more fun by providing customized itineraries geared to your interests, right at your fingertips – from a royal, princess-themed day at Magic Kingdom Park to a trip around the world at Epcot for foodies and even a perfect day for thrill-seekers. Certain features of Disney Genie will also be available through your preferred travel professional.
Sometimes you may know exactly what you want to do, but may not know the best time or order in which to do it. You’ll be able to tell Disney Genie what you’d like to experience, and it will quickly evaluate millions of options to present you with an optimal day. And best of all, it’s flexible! If you change your mind for any reason, Disney Genie will re-optimize your day.
Disney Genie can also send you real-time tips and updates, including recommendations for experiences it thinks you’ll love, helping you navigate the theme parks with added convenience and comfort. If you don’t want to worry about making reservations in multiple steps, Disney Genie will even take care of that for you.
This represents yet another way we are using creativity and innovation to connect guests with the stories and characters they love and to help them make lasting, magical memories with the family and friends they cherish most. Over the past several years, Disney parks have become more seamless and enjoyable through other digital offerings, such as mobile food ordering, the Play Disney Parks app, online check-in and so much more.
Disney Cruise Line
At the D23 Expo 2019 today, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek announced the highly anticipated name of the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship, gave us a first glance of the ship’s elegant atrium and revealed the iconic Disney character that will adorn the ship’s stern. Bob was joined by Imagineer Joe Rohde to share a first look at the plans for our second island destination in The Bahamas. I’m thrilled to share all these details with you!
Disney Wish was revealed as the name of our fifth ship. It’s very fitting because making wishes come true is at the heart of so many Disney stories.
The ship’s atrium will be a bright, airy and elegant space inspired by the beauty of an enchanted fairytale. A beloved hallmark of Disney Cruise Line, it has been a tradition to adorn the back of our ships with an iconic character that reflects the theme of each vessel. For the Disney Wish, the ship’s stern will feature Rapunzel. Our favorite artsy princess, paintbrush in hand, uses her enchanted hair to suspend herself as she decorates the stern of the ship with the help of her feisty sidekick, Pascal. Spirited, smart, curious and above all, adventurous, Rapunzel embodies the wish and desire to see and experience the world.
The Disney Wish is scheduled for delivery in late 2021 and will set sail in January 2022. The vessel will join Disney Cruise Line’s award-winning fleet where guests experience the magic of Disney entertainment combined with the relaxation of tropical, sun-drenched beaches and the adventure of ocean cruising. All three new ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
I also want to share details on our second tropical destination in The Bahamas, which will be located on the breathtaking island of Eleuthera at a place called Lighthouse Point. The new destination will celebrate both the stories of The Bahamas and the natural environment of Lighthouse Point itself.
Joe Rohde, whose work includes the design of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii, has embarked on an in-depth cultural tour of The Bahamas. With local artists and cultural experts, he has explored cultural sites across New Providence and Eleuthera, from Junkanoo shacks to noted art galleries.
Joe points out that Disney will be directly involved in conservation efforts to preserve and protect the environment and will be working with local artists to create a unique destination that is rooted in Bahamian culture and filled with Disney magic.
Construction at Lighthouse Point will begin only after an Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan are reviewed and accepted by the Government of The Bahamas and public consultation has occurred. Construction could begin in 2020 with completion in late 2022 or 2023.
With three new ships coming to the Disney Cruise Line fleet, there’s so much to look forward to on the high seas and at the new Disney tropical destination experience in The Bahamas.
Next year, the highly-anticipated Avengers Campus is opening in Disney California Adventure park, while the all-new “Magic Happens” parade will debut in Disneyland park.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Avengers Campus to Open in 2020 at Disney California Adventure Park
You can soon suit up alongside your favorite Super Heroes at the Avengers Campus, beginning in 2020 at Disney California Adventure park. This campus is set up by the Avengers to recruit the next generation of Super Heroes.
“In some ways, these new campuses are like the Avengers themselves: a group of diverse individuals who have teamed up for the same purpose,” said Scot Drake, Creative Executive, Marvel Global Portfolio, Walt Disney Imagineering. “This collection of unique addresses—each dedicated to a different discipline—have been brought together to champion the next generation of heroes.”
The first key address at the Avengers Campus will be the Worldwide Engineering Brigade – also known as “WEB” – which will house our new Spider-Man experience, the first Disney ride-through attraction to feature this iconic Super Hero.
During an open house at WEB, the aspiring inventors are excited to invite you for a test drive of their latest invention: the “Web Slinger” vehicle, which allows you to sling webs just like Spider-Man! The attraction gives you a taste of what it’s like to have actual super powers as you help Spider-Man collect Spider-Bots that have run amok.
Avengers Campus will also feature Pym Test Kitchen. Just as Ant-Man and The Wasp use “Pym Particles” to grow and shrink just about anything, Pym Technologies is using the latest innovations to grow and shrink food at this eatery!
You will also find heroic encounters throughout the campus, including Black Widow, Ant-Man and The Wasp, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Super Heroes from Wakanda and Asgard, and Iron Man.
As Super Heroes continue to assemble at the campus, one of its iconic buildings will be the Avengers Headquarters where you may catch a glimpse of the Avengers along its rooftops.
This building, which will open in phase two, will become the future entrance to a brand-new E-Ticket attraction where you will step on board a Quinjet and fly alongside the Avengers in an epic adventure to Wakanda and beyond! You will team up alongside the Avengers in a battle to save our world against one of the most powerful villains they have ever faced. Imagineers are hard at work conceiving an all-new innovative ride system to put you in the middle of this action.
All-New ‘Magic Happens’ Parade to Debut in Spring 2020 at Disneyland Park
Debuting in spring 2020, the all-new, extraordinary “Magic Happens” parade will travel down Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland park.
Celebrating awe-inspiring moments of magic—both large and small—that are at the heart of so many Disney stories, “Magic Happens” reminds us we don’t need wings to fly, shooting stars were made to wish upon, and magic doesn’t stop at midnight.
This daytime spectacular will feature stunning floats, beautiful costumes, and beloved Disney characters – all led by Mickey Mouse and his pals.
On her voyager wa‘a (or canoe), Moana journeys forth on the crest of a beautiful wave, inspired by beautiful koa wood carvings inset with LED panels, providing a dazzling glimpse into the magic the ocean holds.
Celebrating the magic that happens when Miguel strums the guitar of Ernesto de la Cruz, the spectacular float inspired by the Disney and Pixar film “Coco” bridges the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead with vibrant marigolds. Fantastical alebrije spirit animals join the procession, along with Miguel’s dog Danté.
The regal grand finale of “Magic Happens” parade celebrates magical moments from classic Disney stories, including the trio of fairies from “Sleeping Beauty” who transform Princess Aurora’s gown from pink to blue and back again!
In addition, the parade will feature even more floats and characters, an energetic musical score and a new song produced in partnership with singer-songwriter Todrick Hall. The high-energy music combines this original song with classic Disney tunes in a fresh, contemporary style.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway to Open in 2022 at Disneyland Park
As we’ve previously shared, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway—the first major Mickey-themed ride-through attraction—is coming to Disneyland park in 2022.
The action takes place at the El CapiTOON Theater in Mickey’s Toontown, where Mickey and Minnie are premiering their newest short, “Perfect Picnic.” Before you enter the cinema, you’ll experience a special exhibit created by the Toontown Hysterical Society featuring costumes and props from the toon world.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway puts you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy® Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts! Once you step into the cartoon world of Mickey and Minnie, you’ll board a train with Goofy as the engineer. Then, one magical moment after the next leads you to a zany, out-of-control adventure filled with surprising twists and turns.
With an original story and lovable theme song, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway uses state-of-the-art technologies and dazzling visual effects to transform the cartoon world into an incredible and immersive multi-dimensional experience.
Hong Kong Disneyland
As part of its multi-year transformation, Hong Kong Disneyland’s iconic castle is becoming Castle of Magical Dreams. In addition, two exciting attractions are coming to a new, immersive “Frozen”-themed area at the resort!
Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek shared several new updates on the ongoing expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland at D23 Expo 2019, including a spectacular first look at the transformed castle.
Castle of Magical Dreams will stand as a shining beacon of courage, hope and possibility, draws inspiration from 13 beloved Disney stories featuring princesses and heroines. The structure will feature adornments like Snow White’s apple, Cinderella’s coach and Belle’s rose as well as original artwork and sculptures.
And the castle will become a canvas for new entertainment, including a daytime show and nighttime spectacular and be home to a new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
Also at Hong Kong Disneyland, guests will be able to experience the world of “Frozen” like never before – enjoying its sights, sounds, cuisines and traditions. The new “Frozen” area will feature a one-of-a-kind coaster called Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs that will take guests on a winding journey through Arendelle. Each experience on Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs begins when you visit Oaken’s infamous store. Then, Olaf and Sven help pull your sled to the top of the lift before sending you on your way.
Frozen Ever After – the popular attraction at Epcot – will also be opening in the Resort’s new “Frozen” area. Frozen Ever After takes guests on an adventurous journey through the kingdom of Arendelle. And during visits, guests will have the chance to see Elsa create a beautiful “winter-in-summer” day.
And there are still more announcements to come! Stay tuned right here for all of the latest updates on all of the D23 Expo 2019 highly anticipated new experiences coming to Disney. What are you most excited about?