Here’s Everything Disney Just Announced at the Parks Panel – Part 1
The Walt Disney Company named its D23 parks panel ambitiously. The title was A Boundless Future: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
When you promise a boundless future, you heighten the expectations of viewers. Did D23 live up to the hype? In a word, yes!
We’ve got much to discuss! Here are all the announcements from the first half of Disney’s parks panel!
Happily Ever After Returning in 2023
In May of 2017, Disney debuted its replacement for the Wishes nighttime presentation at Magic Kingdom.
Happily Ever After included visuals from many recent Disney movies, plus a new song from Jordan Fisher.
Unfortunately, the show’s timing wasn’t great. Park officials wanted something new for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.
So, Disney Enchantment replaced Happily Ever After. Of course, at the time, we weren’t sure whether Happily Ever After would ever return.
Then, the parks panel started with Jordan Fisher playing the song. At that point, we had a strong idea that Disney Parks Chairperson Josh D’Amaro quickly confirmed.
— papa fish (@jordanfisher) September 11, 2022
Happily Ever After will come back to Magic Kingdom in 2023. It’ll play again once the 50th-anniversary party ends in March.
Various aspects of Disney will celebrate milestones soon. The big one happens in 2023 when The Walt Disney Company turns 100!
Many of today’s announcements factor that event into their plans. For this reason, some stuff that might have arrived in 2022 will instead start in 2023.
I’ll point out examples as we go along. However, other significant milestones also come into play.
For example, EPCOT turns 40 on October 1st. Then, the entire Imagineering division celebrates its 70th birthday on December 16th.
Meanwhile, Disneyland Paris reached 30 years in operation in April. The most popular paid tourist destination in Europe will commemorate this milestone through next September!
There’s even a drone show:
Tokyo Disney Resort also turns 40 on April 15th, 2023. So naturally, Disney wants to make a big deal out of all these milestones.
In fact, Disneyland Paris will honor the company’s history with an Imagineering tribute video playing later this year.
Leslie Iwerks counts as something of a subject matter expert here, as her grandfather founded the company along with the Disney brothers.
So, we still have plenty to anticipate during the final three and a half months of 2022 and throughout 2023.
— DLP Report (@DLPReport) September 11, 2022
Along those lines, D’Amaro confirmed another presentation, Pixar: We Belong Together. It’ll play at Walt Disney Studios Park.
Throughout the presentation, D’Amaro reinforced the significance of nighttime displays at various Disney parks.
Management recognizes that fans sorely missed them during the pandemic.
Now that the worst is over, Disney’s ready to remind folks about why these presentations are so great.
Disneyland Resort Announcements
Actor, director, and Disney Legend Jon Favreau took the stage for the first significant park announcement.
Favreau blends seamlessly into two aspects of Disneyland Resort, as he created The Mandalorian and directed multiple MCU movies.
His purpose here is to highlight something new coming to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Apparently, before the pandemic, Disney had readied a unique character appearance. They started the project in 2019 but didn’t have it ready by March 2020.
Well, you know what happened next, but it’s a case of better late than never because we’re getting a Mandalorian character appearance!
— Sabina Graves 🔜 🎃 (@SabinaHasNoR) September 11, 2022
While that’s amazing enough on its own, the Mandalorian will bring along his favorite passenger.
Yes, we’ll have a Baby Yoda character interaction coming in mid-November! Expect long lines and plenty of guests so excited that they may pass out!
Favreau doesn’t make any Marvel announcements, which does surprise me a bit.
After the actor exits, D’Amaro recounts the various Marvel characters who have appeared at Avengers Campus.
The Disney executive hilariously mentions Loki three times since that character has taken on so many forms including President Loki.
Afterward, Marvel leader Kevin Feige comes on stage and discusses a new character greeting…after he’s interrupted by a Zoom call from MCU actor Mark Ruffalo.
The Hulk actor appears to hint at the new thing coming to Avengers Campus. Folks, it’s a giant (like 15 feet tall!) Hulk dressed in his spacesuit.
WE ARE GETTING SPACE HULK AT AVENGERS CAMPUS!!!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom currently has an Avatar mech suit that’s large, but this Hulk outfit makes Josh D’Amaro look like Ant-Man. Oh, and it’ll appear at DCA next week!
The Massive Announcement
MickeyBlog has already discussed the new Avengers Campus ride coming as part of the upcoming expansion.
Feige and D’Amaro provided additional details, and I’ll be honest. They may cause you to hyperventilate.
The villain on this ride is…King Thanos. Yes, I’m serious.
Disney posted giant photographs of the King Thanos render. It’s absolutely incredible!
This Thanos has defeated the Avengers and rules the galaxy…in his universe. As previously mentioned, it’s a multiverse attraction.
So, Avengers from various realms team up to battle all the enemies of the MCU. The scariest of them is King Thanos, who sports an evil white beard and fur armor fringes to match.
Feige says, “This is the Thanos who won!” That means he’s superior to the Thanos from Marvel-616 and, thereby, that much more of a threat.
Beyond that, Disney didn’t provide many details. However, the images show recognizable Marvel characters alongside “some that you’ve never met before.”
You’ll notice folks like Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, Hulk, She-Hulk, and Captain Carter. I think that’s Werewolf by Night above Dr. Strange, too. There’s a ton going on here.
Since we don’t know a release date, Disney will dole out new details over time. However, I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t the Quinjet ride that Disney previously announced but later canceled.
More Disneyland Resort Updates
D’Amaro continued to drop bombshell announcements after the Avengers Campus talk.
My favorite one involves the former Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure. Disney will repurpose this space into…San Fransokyo!
Yes, that’s the fictional town that provides the basis for Big Hero 6, the Disney movie that brought us Baymax!
This city mixes elements of San Francisco and Tokyo, making it futuristic and visually stunning.
When the movie came out, I said that Disney should make this place into a themed land, and now they are!
D’Amaro also revealed the new name of the former Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Its new name is Pixar Place Hotel!
This evolution started when park officials reinvented DCA as half-Marvel and half-Pixar. The re-theming at the hotel will complete this conversion.
In the not-too-distant future, people won’t even remember the original DCA concept that focused on California, not Disney’s intellectual properties.
At Downtown Disney, D’Amaro revealed that the next iteration will include a dozen new/reimagined locations.
One of them is Porto’s Bakery & Café, which I’d literally never heard about until this moment.
The California locals in the crowd lost their minds over the announcement, though. They were that much more delighted to hear that Porto’s offered free food on the way out of the panel!
Friends, Disneyland Resort is changing. Disney has committed to modernizing the entire area, and it sounds incredible!
Remarkably, these announcements only indicate the first half of the Parks panels. So be on the lookout for part two of this recap later today!