Disney Villains are Finally Getting a Land in Magic Kingdom
All the Disney travel news from the D23 Expo event 2022. We unpack all of it in this week's episode. What you need to know as a Disney traveler to Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise and Disney resorts around the globe.
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Everything New for Disney Parks and Resorts from D23 Expo 2022
So What's Next for Disney Parks?
You won't believe what's coming behind Big Thunder Mountain at Walt Disney World
This is Disney's Blue Sky sneak peak of what's coming down the road for Disney Parks. This portion of the D23 Expo had the biggest cheer of anything announced in 2022.
First though, Josh D'Amaro announced what's happening with Dinoland at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park. It has been languishing and looks forgotten so the announcement of a big transformation coming was welcome. Zootopia and Moana will share the space currently occupied by Dinoland.
But the biggest news of all...
Disney Villains are Finally Getting a Place to Call their Own
Magic Kingdom will feature new frontiers and it's all hiding on the other side of BTM. The little town of Santa Cecilia will come to life as Coco gets a Magic Kingdom presence. And if you do want to talk about Bruno, you're in luck because you may be able to walk right into the Madrigal's casita. But all is not fun and flowers in this new land...as what if the Disney villains took up residence there as well...beyond Big Thunder Mountain.
This was presented as conceptual and would likely be 10 years down the road, but Disney would not share it in this way if it weren't going to happen. Big news for Walt Disney World and Magic Kingdom.
There's More Coming to Walt Disney World
A new nighttime show for EPCOT will debut in late 2023 to kick-off the 100th Anniversary of the Walt Disney Company.
Moana's Journey of Water and the rest of the World Celebration area at EPCOT will open in late 2023. So we'll have to bear with those construction walls for another year it seems.
Figment is returning in a brand new form for a meet and greet at EPCOT. That will be in place by the end of 2023.
In Magic Kingdom, the perennial favorite Hatbox Ghost will materialize once again in the Haunted Mansion.
And we now know that Tron Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom will debut in Spring 2023. We were hoping it would be sooner, but apparently they are working on finishing touches right now. No specific date, just "spring."
Finally, in 2023, a new version of Happily Ever After will return as part of a new Magic Kingdom nighttime show. This received a good amount of applause.
What's New and Coming to Disneyland Resort
The DVC Villas at Disneyland Hotel will be called the Villas at Disneyland Hotel. How creative.
On October 16, 2023 Disney 100 kicks-off and it promises to be the biggest celebration ever for Disney.
Under the theme of a Boundless Future the following announcements were made:
The Mandalorian and Grogu (aka Baby Yoda) will be onsite starting in Mid November 2022 at Disneyland Galaxy's Edge
Over at the Avengers Campus in Disney California Adventure Park, Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, noted "we're just getting started." A new giant Hulk will be at Avengers Campus in California "next week."
Plus, they're bringing the Multiverse to Avengers Campus. Disney is expanding the campus to include a new attraction. In the new attraction you will battle alongside all the Avengers against all the foes from anywhere. You will fight King Thanos. This is a new Thanos -- a Thanos who won. And the Avengers are not too happy about that and you have to help them. More news to come.
Also new to Disney California Adventure, they are reimagining Pacific Wharf into San Fransokyo from Big Hero Six. You'll be able to meet Baymax there.
Finally, they are reimagining Paradise Pier Hotel, as it will become Pixar Place Hotel. It will feature a Finding Nemo splash pad and more characters. All in all, Disney promises that the hotel will feel completely new.
Over at Downtown Disney more than a dozen new or reimagined locations are in the works. More announcements coming over the next year. But the big news locally is a that SoCal favorite bakery Porto's is coming to Downtown Disney.
RunDisney at Disneyland is coming back in 2024. More details coming soon. It's been awhile for Run Disney as the last one took place in 2017.
Mickey's ToonTown Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway are coming along. It was good to hear that it will be a slightly different version of Runaway Railway than the WDW edition, to fit into the Disneyland ToonTown story. It's all opening in 2023.
Tiana's Bayou Adventure will open in late 2024 in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. The story for the ride is that it picks up where the film (Princess and the Frog) left off. In the new story, Princess Tiana is an entrepreneur and community leader in the year 1927. She is hosting a party for the community and we need to help Tiana to find a special ingredient that she's missing.
Disney promises that the latest tech is being implemented to really enhance the outside of the whole area at night. Mist will be used like a painter's canvas. "True bayou magic." The attraction is to be a love letter to New Orleans. Guests should feel the story is authentic to the city. Another great piece of news is that the original cast will be lending their voices to the new attraction.
What's new at Disney Cruise Line
The sixth ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet is all about adventure...celebrating Walt's love for exploration. The new Disney Cruise ship is called Disney Treasure.
The Disney Wonder is heading to Australia and New Zealand late 2023.
The island of Eleuthera and Lighthouse Point will be the new Bahamas port for Disney Cruise. 90% of the power will come from solar.
What's Coming to Disney Parks Around the Globe
Zootopia is opening at Shanghai Disneyland.
World of Frozen at Hong Kong Disneyland will open in the second half of 2023, featuring a Wandering Oaken sleigh coaster.
Disneyland Paris' Frozen Arendelle land is coming along and Disneyland Hotel is being fully reimagined -- opening in 2024
At Tokyo Disneyland, Disney Fantasy Spring will feature Peter Pan, Tangled and Frozen. Plus a totally reimagined Space Mountain will open by 2027 at Tokyo Disney.
Pixar We Belong Together will be debuting at Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris next year. The DLP 30th Anniversary celebrations will be continuing until September 2023.
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Mike Belobradic and Amelia Belobradic
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About the Editor
Mike Belobradic is the founder of the 1923 Main Street® Disney Travel Podcast and the Luxury Disney Travel Blog.