Day TWO of the D23 Expo was a success! One of the highlights of the day was sitting in on the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts announcements from Chairman Bob Chapek! We heard so many amazing things for Disney Parks and Resorts around the world and we’re SO excited to share the information with you!
DISNEYLAND AND CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Perhaps the most exciting announcement for Disneyland was about “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.” That’s right, friends, Star Wars Land has an official name! As many of you already know, Star Wars land is set to open in 2019. There is no official date yet, but what we do know is that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disneyland before the Walt Disney World location.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is an incredibly detailed and beautiful land set on 14 acres. Guests will get to experience things like flying the Millennium Falcon (what!) and jumping right into a battle between the First Order and the Resistance – sounds like a Star Wars-lovers dream! We were also excited to hear about a few characters that guests will get to interact with – BB-8, Chewie, Hondo, Rex (he’ll be the DJ at the Cantina where fancy drink concoctions will be served while guests explore or relax!), and Kylo Ren were a few among the line-up of Star Wars celebs, along with a few new droids we’ve never met!
Pixar Pier in California Adventure
YES, you read that title correctly – “PIXAR PIER” will be taking the place of the beloved Paradise Pier in California Adventure in 2018. From the artist renderings we were able to see, it looks as though they will keep the fun, Summer-time feel of the pier, but with more Pixar characters/theming in addition to the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction that already sits on the pier.
Pixar Fest in Disneyland
Pixar fun will be making its way into DISNEYLAND for the first time! In 2018, there will be a limited-time experience called, “Pixar Fest,” that will include a brand new fireworks spectacular along with special character appearances and of course, the Pixar Play Parade will be dancing down the streets of Disneyland instead of California Adventure – this all sounds so fun!
Paint the Night Parade
“When can we do this again?” A lot of people have been waiting on the edge of their seats asking this very question about the Paint the Night Parade’s return to Disneyland. Well, guess what?! The parade WILL be returning, but this time, to California Adventure! We’re just happy to hear it will be back – it’s truly one of the best parades we’ve ever seen!
“Radiator Screams” – Cars Land Halloween Overlay
Exciting news for anyone visiting California Adventure this early September to October 31 during Halloween – Cars Land will be getting a Halloween overlay for the first time ever! Cars characters will don costumes and Halloween decor will be seen up and down Route 66! We bet there will even be special Halloween-themed food offerings available – can’t wait!
Below is a photo we snapped of John Lasseter showing the artist renderings of a Halloween-themed Radiator Springs!
Avengers-themed “Universe” at California Adventure
Some of you may have noticed the Avengers signature “A” on a somewhat hidden hatch that sits on the west side of the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction (close to the gate around that side of the attraction) – well, there has been rumor and speculation that the hatch is a subtle hint to an Avengers themed “land” at California Adventure, and guess what? The rumors are TRUE! Today we learned that there are plans for Spider-Man and the Avengers to join the Guardians of the Galaxy in a “completely immersive super hero universe.” No date, year or any more details on this yet, but we will be sure to update and share info as we hear more!
WALT DISNEY WORLD
Now, onto Walt Disney World announcements! We’ve got a lot to share for Walt Disney World theme parks, so get ready for some serious updates!
Star Wars Land
Just like mentioned above for Disneyland, Walt Disney World’s Star Wars Land “Galaxy’s Edge” will open in 2019, but AFTER Disneyland’s themed land opens. So exciting!
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Hollywood Studios is gaining a new attraction and it’s the first ride-through attraction built entirely around Mickey Mouse – it’s about time, ha! We heard the attraction has a very “singable and lovable” theme song (one that will get stuck in your head!) and the ride is a “wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse cartoon short.” This sounds so fun and we’re so happy Mickey finally gets his very own ride!
This attraction will also feature BRAND NEW technologies never used before that Walt Disney Imagineers are calling “two and a half-D” (no 3D glasses needed)! We were lucky enough to see a very short clip of a part of the attraction and wow – the technology really is mind blowing. We can’t wait to experience the finished product! And for all of you hidden Mickey fans out there (that would be us! Ha!), this ride will feature more hidden Mickeys than any other attraction!
Toy Story Land
11-acres of Toy Story fun also known as, “Toy Story Land,” will open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Summer 2018! The current Toy Story Midway Mania attraction will be moved, and there will be a couple new attractions – a rollercoaster called, “Slinky Dog Dash” and another ride called, “Alien Swirling Saucers.”
Epcot (all things listed below set to open by 2021)
- New Ratatouille attraction in the France Pavilion at World Showcase, just past the Eiffel Tower. Check out this attraction at Disneyland Paris here – it’s the #1 attraction at that park!
- New Guardians of the Galaxy attraction toward the Epcot entrance, replacing the Universe of Energy attraction (closing August 13, 2017).
- New “Green Mission at Mission: SPACE” will take guests on a tour around the Earth (younger kiddos will get to join in on the adventure for the first time).
- New table service dining experience across the way from the Mission: SPACE attraction invites guests to travel above the Earth for a great meal and view of outer space!
- New “circle vision” show in China!
Guardians of the Galaxy artist renderings via the Disney Parks Blog.
Magic Kingdom (all things listed below set to open by 2021)
- The highest rated attraction at Shanghai Disneyland, Tron, will be coming to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in a brand new area near Space Mountain!
- A new theater based on “Willis Wood Theatre in 1920’s Kansas City” will be coming to Main Street to feature live performances.
In an effort to make getting around from park to resort and so on and so forth at Walt Disney World, there are plans for a couple of new means of transportation! The first is the “Minnie Van Service” (pictured below) providing transportation from one location to another with a touch of Disney magic – available this month! The second means of transportation is the new Disney Skyliner. The Skyliner will link Art of Animation, Pop Century and Caribbean Beach resorts AND Disney Riviera Resort (new!) to Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
The cutest “Minnie” van we ever did see!
Disney Skyway artist rendering on the big screen
There were some pretty exciting announcements made about a couple of hotel projects that are underway at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris! The Walt Disney World Hotel is going to be a luxurious and immersive Star Wars-themed hotel with views of space from each room – sounds epic! The Disneyland Paris Hotel is called “Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel.” The hotel is set up like a “contemporary art gallery,” where guests will get to enjoy the world of their favorite super heroes through costume displays, artwork and more!
Artist rendering on the big screen of the Star Wars-themed hotel rooms!
We are so looking forward to everything on this list! We know there will be many more announcements and details to come for each one of these, so keep an eye on our blog and Instagram account as we continue to share the latest and greatest happenings for you and your families at Disneyland and California Adventure!
A fun photo from the finale of the announcements! See Mickey and friends on stage?! All the feels.