Recapping the Biggest News at Destination D23!
Disney’s wildly popular Parks Panel always highlights D23, and this year’s Destination D23 event was no different.
Josh D’Amaro and his team of presenters just provided new information about upcoming ride renovations, shows, and experiences.
We’ve got a dozen new experiences coming to the parks, some of them as soon as…tomorrow! Let’s talk about the exciting news.
The Figment Meet and Greet
We’d known since last year’s D23 that a Figment character greeting was coming to the Imagination! pavilion.
The surprise is the timing for when it happens. Depending on when you read this, Figment might already be at EPCOT!
The character greeting at the Imagination! pavilion opens on Sunday, September 10th!
In fact, the presentation ended when Figment came on stage and waved to guests. Our favorite dragon is ready to entertain!
World Celebration Neighborhood
More changes are coming to EPCOT this year as well.
The park will finally complete its multi-year reimagining with the opening of multiple new experiences.
World Celebration, the last of the three new Neighborhoods, will debut this December.
Disney didn’t provide an exact date yet, but we’re approximately three months away from this debut!
As a reminder, the updates here that we haven’t seen yet are the new CommuniCore Hall, CommuniCore Plaza, and Dreamers Point.
These areas will work as hubs for Disney entertainment and gatherings, a focal point of recent Disney theme park design.
Journey of Water | Inspired by Moana
As a MickeyBlog reader, you’ve known for a while that Journey of Water was ready to debut soon.
After all, Disney has already scheduled annual passholder previews.
I suspect EPCOT could open this attraction this month if so inclined. However, Disney has chosen a more fitting date.
Journey of Water | Inspired by Moana will debut on October 16th. If that date sounds familiar, it should.
That’s The Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary!
As a lover of nature, Walt Disney would have adored the thought of this attraction. So, Journey of Water’s opening on this date is perfect.
You can think of this attraction as the exclamation point on the Disney100 celebration. But that’s not all!
Moana Character Spot
Disney also somehow surprised us with a totally predictable announcement that nobody had predicted.
Moana will have a permanent home at a character greeting spot in the Journey of Water area.
So, EPCOT will add two new permanent character interactions over the next six weeks! And there’s still more!
Asha Character Greeting
Since 2016, Disney has quietly released two of its most successful films ever.
On some level, people don’t fully appreciate the popularity and scale of Encanto and Moana.
They’re like the Cars franchise in that parents and toy sales vendors know, though.
Disney executives similarly expect big things from Wish, the company’s November theatrical release.
Soon, Asha, the film’s protagonist, will appear at three different parks.
Those are Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park, and EPCOT! So, EPCOT will add THREE character interactions by the end of 2023.
Test Track Reimagined Again
Here’s one of the surprising announcements from today’s panel.
Disney is working with Chevrolet to build an even better version of Test Track.
Plans call for an updated story that harkens back to the World of Motion days.
We’re getting a combo of the best parts of both versions of Test Track/Worlds of Motion!
Luminous The Symphony of Us
Another surprise is that the Harmonious replacement at EPCOT will arrive much sooner than expected.
The new show, Luminous The Symphony of Us, sounds a lot like Harmonious without the barges.
We’ll learn whether my quick, possibly hot take is right on December 5th!
Yes, EPCOT’s new show debuts in less than three months!
The New Country Bear Jamboree
MickeyBlog has discussed the idea of the quick fix.
When an attraction is underachieving and needs a boost, Disney can perform an overhaul.
Updating an existing attraction takes less time than building a new one. But the change can increase the appeal of a Disney staple.
For its latest project, Disney has chosen one of its most significant attractions.
Country Bear Jamboree, an opening day attraction at Magic Kingdom in 1971, will finally add some new songs next year.
Disney showed pictures of Jimmy Buffett’s most trusted musician and creative partner, Mac MacAnally.
Apparently, MacAnally is one of several established country music virtuosos who will help with the new Country Bears soundtrack.
These artists will take existing Disney classic tunes and add rockabilly and/or bluegrass vibes to fit the Country Bear vibe.
Disney fans should be VERY excited about this one! We love Country Bear Jamboree so much, but we’ve heard all its songs more than Margaritaville.
The Hatbox Ghost
Disney confirmed two other updates coming soon to Magic Kingdom.
One of them is the long-promised Hatbox Ghost addition at Haunted Mansion.
Once again, Disney didn’t provide a firm date, but the Hatbox Ghost WILL arrive at some point in November. That’s only two months from now!
The Pirates of the Caribbean Tavern
Here’s a fun idea that makes me wonder why Disney has never done this before.
Soon, Adventureland will provide a companion restaurant to Pirates of the Caribbean…and OF COURSE it’s a tavern!
Disney didn’t provide a timeline, but I expect this place to open within the next calendar year.
MickeyBlog’s staff is already debating the obvious: Will this place serve alcohol? That’s a really good question!
Star Tours Adds Ahsoka
Disney+ officials have spent the past month discussing the blockbuster success of the new Star Wars series, Ahsoka.
For this reason, nobody should be surprised that Ahsoka will add an even bigger presence at the parks.
We only recently received the Ahsoka character greeting. Now, Disney is introducing Ahsoka scenes to Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.
Her scenes will become a part of the story at some point next year.
The Zootopia Show
As we’ll discuss in a different article, Disney didn’t confirm a Zootopia themed land per se.
However, we did learn that a show is coming to the Tree of Life part of the park.
Some have speculated that the Zootopia show will replace It’s a Bug Life. Disney didn’t exactly say that, but it’s a reasonable guess.
We’ll provide more updates on this one as we get them.
Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point
Disney spent the first part of the week talking up its next luxury cruise ship, the Disney Treasure.
Now, we’ve learned the name of the private island destination coming soon. It’s Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point.
Disney promises a place that “celebrates the natural beauty, traditions, and artistry of the one-of-a-kind nation.”
Also, let’s not forget the obvious. You’ll be staying on your own private island in the middle of your Disney cruise. What’s not to love?
The Disney Adventure
Recently, MickeyBlog reported on the remarkable details of the Global Dream.
As a reminder, a different cruise company went bankrupt as it spent $1.6 billion building one of the ten largest ships ever.
Disney had befriended the shipbuilders who constructed this vessel. They gave Disney an exclusive 60-day window to buy it.
Now, Disney has revealed that the name of this cruise ship is the Disney Adventure.
I suspect it’ll feature many of the same amenities as the Disney Treasure, but this vessel will use Singapore as its home port.
Friends, that’s a ton of new stuff that Disney just confirmed is coming to the parks soon. In fact, a lot of it will arrive by the end of 2024!
We’re in a golden age for Disney theme parks!
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