A Look Back at D23 2018 & What to Expect at D23 2019
My friends and family haven’t seen my face since February 9. At least, they haven’t seen my face look up from my phone screen since the start of the D23 Expo in Japan on February 10. To put it lightly, I’ve been scouring the internet for performance videos, toy updates, and announcements from Disney execs since the kickoff of the event…basically living vicariously through the lucky ducks who snagged tickets to the event. The event may be long since past, but we’re reflecting on the announcements from the expo to look ahead to the D23 2019 Expo in California!
There are countless panels, celebrity appearances, musical performances, and so much more that make D23 an expo unlike any other, but year after year, the Disney Parks panel generates the most buzz as everyone waits anxiously for the latest on what’s coming to the beloved parks.
Although D23 was in Japan this year, that doesn’t mean Walt Disney World Resort was overlooked at the Parks panel; far from it! Fresh off the lips of Bob Chapek, here’s scoop on what’s coming to Walt Disney World Resort in the not so distant future:
Let’s start in Epcot! Bob Chapek– chairman of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts- fittingly led the panel, and he started things off with a bang! Let’s start with old news…we all know Ellen’s Energy Adventure (finally) closed last year, and a previously mysterious Guardians of the Galaxy attraction was announced as its replacement. I just visited Epcot a few days ago, and the Universe of Energy sign still remains outside of the attraction…construction clearly hadn’t even begun.
I should know by now “not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within”, as Chapek announced on Sunday that construction is well underway on the new attraction! This new ride won’t be a simple layover of the old Ellen ride; it’s set to be one of the longest indoor roller coasters in the world! Make sure to tell your kids, because the coaster will be a family friendly attraction featuring a new, innovative ride track never before seen at Walt Disney World Resort.
Hollywood Studios feels really small right now. With Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge construction moving along, it’s starting to get exciting to think about this park opening next year.
He’s the leader of the club for a reason, and it’s about time M-i-c-k-e-y M-o-u-s-e got an attraction all to himself! Mickey’s Runaway Railroad is a new ride- through attraction coming to the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood Studios, and we were treated to an update on its concept!
“Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will have a new catchy theme song created especially for the attraction as well as a new experience that defies logic that we’re calling 2 ½-D. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will put you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon Short where you’re the star and anything can happen.” –Thomas Smith, Disney Parks Blog
Mickey will always be my favorite, so I’ll be the first one in line for this one on opening day!
Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge
Of course a D23 Disney Parks panel couldn’t possibly go off successfully without at least a passing reference to the most highly anticipated addition to a theme park in…well, maybe ever. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is coming in 2019, and thanks to Chapek we know a bit more about what we can expect when we fly to that galaxy far, far away. Merchandising for the new land will feature toys and apparel unique to the land.
Basically, the idea behind the new style of merchandise is this: if you were Boba Fett visiting this outpost, you wouldn’t find plush Mickey and Minnie toys. What you would find are rustic toys and apparel hand made by merchants. That’s the route Disney is taking here, and they released this image of some of the toys you’ll be able to pick up when you visit the new land! Personally, I need that Wookie in my collection!
If you didn’t know already, a new Star Wars themed resort is planned for Walt Disney World Resort, and at the event, we learned that it would be seamlessly connected to Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios! Guests will be able to connect from hotel to park seamlessly. Guests staying at the hotel will don galaxy-appropriate attire and have access to the land unlike ever before. This full-immersion luxury resort is the first of its kind, and I can’t wait to see it for myself!
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