This weekend, I went to dinner and when I came home? The internet exploded with Disney World D23 announcements and news! News of new theme park areas, Disney Cruise news – you name it! So, what did Disney just announce at the D23 EXPO and when so you need to start booking your next vacation? Here’s all the updates and proposed opening dates! Lead image courtesy of WDW News.
New WDW Lands
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the official title for the new land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It will offer at least two rides as well: ones on a Starship Destroyer and the other will let guests pilot the Millenium Falcon!
While both WDW and Disneyland are getting new, Star Wars themed lands, the folks at DL will be getting theirs first sometime in 2019.
Opening Date: 2019
Toy Story Land at DHS has an update, too: 2018.
7 New Rides and Attractions!
So. Many.Fun.Ride. Announcements!
1. Tron Coaster
While we were thinking that Tomorrowland Motor Speedway in Magic Kingdom was getting replaced by a Tron ride, it turns out that a Tron Coaster will be debuted in a brand new location near Space Mountain. North American fans of Shanghai Disney won’t have to travel across the world for the popular ride.
It was announced that Tron Coaster should be ready to ride by WDW’s 50th anniversary in 2021.
2. Mickey’s Runaway Railway
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is getting a major overhaul (we already knew that) but the announcement of Mickey’s Runaway Railway has classic Mickey lovers in a spin. Taking the place of The Great Movie Ride, riders will be immersed in a Mickey Mouse/Minnie Mouse cartoon short.
You’ve got until August 13th to get your last ride in for The Great Movie Ride. Debut date for Mickey’s Runaway Railway has not yet been announced.
3. Ratatouille Attraction
For those of us that think there should be more rides/attractions in World Showcase at Epcot, I’m happy to write that the announcement of a Ratatouille attraction in France Pavilion is fulfilling our dreams.
4. Seamless Circle-Vision in China Pavilion
Called an updated digital video production, China Pavilion will have a new “Seamless Circle-Vision”.
Opening Date: TBD
5. Goodbye Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Hello, Guardians of the Galaxy!
I knew Ellen’s Energy Adventure was headed out the door when the Epcot ride was only open for high peak crowd levels. The announcement of a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction was a breath of fresh air. Not only is the movie series super successful, we’ve hoping for Baby Groot to make an appearance.
August 13th is the last day you’ll be able to ride Ellen’s EA so, if you’re a die hard fan, make sure you visit Epcot by then.
6. Disney Skyliner
When you ride WDW transportation enough, you realize that there are holes in what was supposed to be a seamless system, particularly concerning Hollywood Studios. While the chatter originally was around a gondola-style ride that would make stops at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Boardwalk, and Epcot, it turns out it will do far more than that.
Here’s what we know so far. The gondola-style ride will connect the International Gateway at Epcot and DHS with Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach Resort – and the newly announced DVC Riviera Resort. Read below for more info.
Opening Date: Expected for Fall 2019.
7. Town Square Theater
Town Square in Magic Kingdom will have a new addition of a theater. No opening date announced yet.
New WDW Resorts
Holy cow, are we excited for the announcement of two new WDW resorts: Star Wars and Disney’s Riviera Resorts!
1. Star Wars Resort
Here’s the scoop form Bob Chapek:
“It’s unlike anything that exists today. 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.”
“It’s unlike anything that exists today,” Chapek said in a statement. “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.”
Opening Date: TBD
2. Disney Vacation Club Riviera Resort
The 15th Disney Vacation Club Resort, Riviera Resort will offer amazing views of nighttime spectaculars at both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. With 300 units and multiple accommodation types, you can bet that there will be plenty of budgeting options for DVC members.
Disney Cruise Line: Not Two But Three New Ships!
While rumors have been swirling about a proposed two new Disney Cruise ships, fans at D23 were surprised with the announcement of three new ones! While the design plans, itineraries, and ship plans are still under lock and key, we do know that 2021, 2022, and 2023 are the years that one of each will be completed. Each chip will be its own unique experience and will offer right around 1,250 state rooms.
“We decided two ships wouldn’t be enough to hold all of the exciting new experiences we have been dreaming up to take family cruise vacations to a whole new level with immersive Disney storytelling, world-class family entertainment…”, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
Translation? Bigger fun with top notch experiences that only Disney can do!
What are you looking forward to most? Please let me know in the comment section below!