Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek unveiled details today at the D23 exposition on several new attractions that will be appearing at the company theme parks, including a new parade of Disney characters.
“It was Walt’s vision for our theme parks to be places where Disney stories come to life in amazing ways, and with the world’s most creative and talented team of artists and dreamers, there’s no shortage of inspiration,” Chapek said.
He was joined by Dick Van Dyke onstage for a performance of “Step in Time” to announce the first Mary Poppins attraction at a Disney park, coming to Epcot.
Composer Pinar Toprak performed her new anthem for Epcot on piano, and singer Jordan Fisher previewed the musical score for Disneyland’s new parade.
Disney Cruise Line Magic On and Off the Ships
Three new ships are coming to the Disney Cruise Line fleet. Chapek announced the first of the three ships – the Disney Wish – will be delivered in late 2021 and will set sail in January 2022.Reflecting the theme of the vessel, Rapunzel will grace the stern, representing her character’s wish to see the world. D23 Expo attendees also got a first look at the ship’s three-story atrium, inspired by the enchanted fairy tale.
Guests can also look forward to a signature island experience that celebrates nature and the spirit and culture of The Bahamas at a new Disney port of call located on the island of Eleuthera at a place called Lighthouse Point.
Timeless Transformation of Epcot
Chapek shared more of the ways Epcot will stay true to its original vision while bringing Disney storytelling to life. The park will be unified with four neighborhoods that each celebrate a unique aspect of what makes Epcot so special:
- World Showcase will welcome the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane, which will join the United Kingdom pavilion as an entirely new neighborhood.
- Following the limited-time run of Epcot Forever, the new nighttime spectacular HarmonioUS will be the largest ever created for a Disney park, celebrating how the music of Disney inspires people.
- In summer 2020, the France pavilion will offer the attraction Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, as well as a new restaurant called La Crêperie de Paris.
- Also in the France pavilion, the classic Impressions de France film will be joined by an all-new Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along in January 2020.
- Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 will debut in January 2020 in the Canada pavilion with new scenes and a new story.
- In the China pavilion, Wondrous China will take guests on a spectacular journey across China, filmed and presented in a completely seamless 360-degree digital format.
- The Spaceship Earth will have new scenes reflecting the universal nature of the human experience. A new guide and all-new narration will focus on the storytelling that brings people together.
- A new pavilion will be the home base for Epcot’s signature festivals. It will provide a stunning view of World Showcase and an ideal spot to witness the park’s nighttime spectacular using the three-level structure.
- World Celebration will also feature views at Dreamers Point, lush gardens, a wishing tree, an interactive new fountain, and a statue celebrating the legacy of the original dreamer, Walt Disney.
- Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, will be a lush exploration trail where guests can meet and play with magical, living water.
- The Land pavilion’s new film Awesome Planet, which showcases the spectacular beauty, diversity, and dynamic story of the planet, will begin welcoming guests in January 2020.
- An expansion of the Mission: SPACE pavilion, the new restaurant Space 220will open this winter as a world culinary experience with the celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up.
- PLAY! pavilion will open in time for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. In this interactive metropolis, guests will discover a city bursting with games, activities, and experiences that connect them with friends, family, and Disney characters.
The 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort will be one of the biggest ever. For the first time, the celebration will extend beyond Magic Kingdom to each of the resort’s four theme parks, with attraction openings and new entertainment, food and beverage, merchandise, and more.Planned to debut in late 2020, Disney Genie is a new digital offering that will enhance the way guests plan for and experience a trip to Walt Disney World Resort. Disney Genie will make planning easier by providing guests customized itineraries geared to princesses, thrill seekers, foodies, families and more. Guests will even be able to tell Disney Genie what they want to experience, and it will quickly evaluate millions of options to present them with an optimal day.Next Generation of Animated Stories at Disney Parks
Set to debut in spring 2020, the newMagic Happens parade will come to life with an energetic musical score and a new song produced in partnership with singer-songwriter Todrick Hall. The parade will feature floats, costumes, and Disney characters from “Moana,” “Coco,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and more – all led by Mickey Mouse and his pals.
D23 attendees got a first look inside Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in 2020 and Disneyland in 2022. Chapek also revealed a first look at the new area of Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland that will be home to the attraction, which will take guests on a journey inside the world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts.“Zootopia” at Shanghai Disney Resort
D23 Expo fans heard more details about the“Zootopia”-themed land coming to Shanghai Disney Resort. In addition to a major new attraction that blends storytelling and state-of-the-art technology to bring this film to life, guests can expect immersive entertainment, merchandise, and dining options that can only be found in this mammalian metropolis.
Celebrating Animated Stories at Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland will celebrate some of the greatest animated stories of all time when the park’s castle transforms into the Castle of Magical Dreams. Drawing inspiration from 13 beloved Disney stories featuring princesses and heroines, the castle will feature adornments like Snow White’s apple, Cinderella’s coach, and Belle’s rose. The castle will be a canvas for new entertainment, including a daytime show and nighttime spectacular, and will be home to a new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where children can receive royal transformations.
As part of the multi-year transformation of the park, guests will be able to visit the world of Frozen, complete with all its sights, sounds, cuisine, and traditions. The area will feature two attractions – a new coaster called Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs that takes guests on a winding journey through the kingdom, and Frozen Ever After, inspired by the popular family attraction in Epcot’s Norway pavilion at Walt Disney World Resort. Also, for the first time, guests will experience the full force of Elsa’s powers as she creates a beautiful “winter-in-summer” day.
First Cirque du Soleil Show Celebrating Walt Disney Animation Studios
A first-of-its-kind show will celebrate the magic of Walt Disney Animation Studios in a touching story brought to life by Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Imagineering, and legendary Disney animators. It will combine Disney storytelling and heart with Cirque du Soleil’s signature artistry. Previews will begin March 20, 2020, leading up to the world premiere on April 17.
Uniquely Disney Lodging
Chapek also shared more details about the previously announced Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge,a hotel and proposed Disney Vacation Club resort drawing inspiration from the wonders of nature and artistry of Walt Disney.
Bringing Magic into the Daily Lives of Families and Fans
The audience was the first to hear how Target and Disney will come together with a creative retail collaboration that encompasses experiential retail and merchandising, including the launch of 25 Disney stores within select Target stores nationwide on Oct. 4, with 40 additional locations opening by October 2020. The “shop-in-shop” will feature an enhanced Disney assortment of more than 450 items, including more than 100 products that were previously only available at Disney retail locations.
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