Much of the excitement of D23 is still present in the Disney-Fan universe and even industry experts were taken by surprise at sheer volume of announcements and additions to come to Disney Parks over the next 5 years.
Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Bob Chapek was the one to make the majority of the news during the D23 event held in Anaheim, close-by to the Disneyland park. Chapek spoke to nearly 7,000 fans:
“On the heels of the many new and incredibly popular experiences that just debuted this year, the best is yet to come,” said Chapek. “We have ambitious plans for our parks and resorts around the world. 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!”
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
No, it’s not a sponsorship from Samsung but the NEW name of Star Wars Land in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. The two lands, both under construction, should be open in 2019 with Disneyland taking the incumbent spot and Walt Disney World opening up soon thereafter. Each will feature major attractions that take guest into the conflict be tween the First Order and the Resistance.
In one attraction, guests will find themselves located inside a Star Destroyer in a hangar bay, which Disney resports, is an “attraction built on a scale we’ve never done before.” In the second, guests will helm the Millennium Falcon while undertaking a critical mission.
Favorite characters such as BB-8, Chewbacca and members of the First Order will all be found in Galaxy’s Edge. A visit to the Cantina will score a meeting with Rex—once the pilot of the original Star Tours attraction—who’s now spinning tunes as a DJ.
New Additions to EPCOT
Taking the cue from the successful addition of Guardian’s of the Galaxy addition to Disney’s California Adventure, EPCOT in Walt Disney World will soon be getting a new Guardians-inspired attraction in Future World, replacing the tired Universe of Energy (sorry Ellen fans!). The last journey into the Universe of Energy will be August 13, 2017.
At My Way Holiday we are very excited to see that Walt Disney World in Orlando will be borrowing from one of our favourite rides in Disneyland Paris with the French Pavillion getting a new attraction inspired by the film “Ratatouille,” where guests will get a rat-eye view of Gusteau’s Parisian kitchen.
Both of these new attractions are expected to open by 2021 in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.
(Take a look at a great preview of the ride in Disneyland Paris)
A new table-service restaurant is also scheduled to open near Mission: SPACE. Renderings sugggest guests will be fully immersed in a video-style experience that emulates dining at a distant space port.
Can’t Miss – Disney Hollywood Studios
One of our other favourite (but tired) attractions, the Great Movie Ride, will be shut down as of Aug 13, 2017 and in its place Disney announced it will be building its first Mickey-themed ride-through attraction called Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Supposedly inspired by the Mickey shorts that aired on the Disney Channel, the ride is slated to have its own theme song and stunning visual effects – all without 3D! No glasses will be required to experience this ride which is a welcome change for many.
Imagineer Kevin Rafferty says that this ride will have “more hidden Mickeys than anywhere in the Universe!”
Also opening at Disney Hollywood Studios will be Toy Story Land, with an official opening date set for summer 2018. The land is designed to replicate Andy’s backyard, which guests will experience after being “shrunk” to the size of a toy. Attractions in the new land will include the Slinky Dog Dash, a family-friendly roller coaster, and Alien Swirling Saucers where aliens fly around in saucers trying to capture your toy vehicle with “The Claw.”
Rumours were true – the Magic Kingdom is getting a new TRON Lightcycle Attraction, from the highly successful Shanghai Disneyland, but it will not replace the park’s Tomorrowland Speedway.
Tron—the highest-rated attraction at Shanghai Disneyland—is considered one of the most thrilling rides within the Disney parks collection.
Live / Stay in Space: Star Wars Themed Resort
In what may be one of the more unique announcements, Disney announced they will be building a new, interactive Star Wars-inspired experiential resort at Walt Disney World Resort.
“It’s unlike anything that exists today,” said Chapek. “From the second you arrive, you will become a part of a Star Wars story. You’ll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. Once you leave Earth, you will discover a starship alive with characters, stories, and adventures that unfold all around you. It is 100 percent immersive, and the story will touch every single minute of your day and it will culminate in a unique journey for every person who visits.”
Gondolas are the NEW Monorails at Walt Disney World Resort
Disney World Resort will also welcome a brand new, aerial transportation system called the Disney Skyliner which will connect such Walt Disney World Resort attractions as Disney’s Art of Animation, Pop Century and Caribbean Beach resorts, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot.
The concept art looks very interesting and the connection between value and moderate resorts with Hollywood Studios and EPCOT will make stays at these lesser priced resorts even more attractive.
What was your favourite announcement from Disney and what are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments below and you could win a $50 Disney Gift Card from My Way Holiday.