This week’s news roundup is the biggest roundup we’ve ever had and is dominated by news out of the D23 Expo 2022. Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro, shared a look into the future for Disney theme parks and beyond. Highlights include exciting things coming to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, the expansion of Avengers Campus at Disneyland Resort with a third attraction; a first look at the Disney Treasure, the next ship joining the Disney Cruise Line fleet; a closer look at the Frozen-themed lands coming to three park destinations around the world; and a behind-the-scenes look at the blue-sky brainstorming of Disney Imagineers. We’ve also got some seasonal news to share. All this and more are below in this week’s news roundup.
1 – Disney Announces Opening Timeframe for Tron Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom
Over at Magic Kingdom, TRON / Lightcycle Run construction seems to have been going on forever. While it is a bit of a head-scratcher why this project, which is a repeat of an attraction at another Disney park, is taking so long, the end is in sight. We finally have an idea when this new roller coaster (which is a fantastic ride) will open in Florida.
2 – Disney Confirms Return of Fan Favorite MK Fireworks Show, Enchantment Will be Canceled
Disney Enchantment, the nighttime fireworks spectacular at Magic Kingdom, was poorly received when it debuted and has never really caught on with Disney fans. Despite recently getting reworked to actually include references to the 50th Anniversary of Disney World that the show supposedly was developed for, Disney announced this week that the show would be canceled at the conclusion of the 50th-anniversary celebration. In its place, a former fan favorite fireworks show that Disney officially said last year would not return actually will be now.
3 – EPCOT Harmonious Already Being Replaced – New Nighttime Spectacular in Development
In addition to canceling the Enchantment nighttime show at Magic Kingdom, Disney also announced less than a year after its debut that Harmonious at EPCOT is also being canceled.
4 – New Updates and Opening Timeframe Announced for World Celebration Neighborhood in EPCOT
The next major milestone in EPCOT’s multi-year transformation will include the completion of the World Celebration neighborhood. Disney has released some exciting updates to the new neighborhood along with an idea of when guests can expect to see it open.
5 – Disney Reveals Special Halloween Treats at Disney World Parks and Disney Springs
Speaking of Halloween, if you are visiting Walt Disney World through Halloween, you’ll be glad to know that special seasonal food and beverage items will be available for guests. Some are already available, but most will become available in October. Catch all the details at the link below.
6 – New Food and Beverage Items Coming to Disney Parks
Disney Parks continually update menus at locations through the parks and resorts. Check out the link below to see what’s new and where you can find them.
7 – New Details Revealed for Splash Mountain Replacement, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
Imagineers joined D’Amaro onstage to discuss new story details for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, coming to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort in late 2024. Several members of the original film cast will return to lend their voices to the attraction, including Anika Noni Rose as Tiana, Bruno Campos as Naveen, Michael-Leon Wooley as Louis, and Jenifer Lewis as Mama Odie.
8 – Disney Announces Fantastic New Character Meet and Greet at EPCOT
When EPCOT first opened, Figment was more than just a character in the Journey Into Imagination attraction. He was actually the official mascot for the park. While his role has been diminished in recent years, the love for this quirky character among fans has not. In fact, Figment has been making a comeback as of late with new Figment-inspired clothing, souvenirs, and more. Unfortunately, the one thing that has been missing has been a meet & greet, but we have great news.
9 – New Details and Opening Timeframe Announced for Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana at EPCOT
As part of the ongoing transformation of EPCOT, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, will invite guests to follow the story of water on the planet, inspired by Moana’s connection to the ocean. At the recent D23 event in Anaheim, Disney shared additional details along with an opening timeframe.
10 – All Halloween Parties Sold Out for First Time Ever
For the first time in the party’s history, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party has had every party night sell out. While ticket sales were slow this summer, after the parties began in August, party dates quickly began selling out, with all party dates selling out last week. We found the crowds to be much more manageable than in years past on a sold-out night. This has led to speculation that the number of tickets sold for the party in 2022 is less than what it was in 2019, the last year to offer the party, because of the pandemic. It will be interesting to see if Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party also sees dates sold out. At this time, all party dates are available for the Christmas party.
11 – Popular Ghost Coming to Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom
Uber-fans fans of the Haunted Mansion have long been fascinated with a very special ghost at the Disneyland version of the attraction with a very cool trick that unfortunately never quite worked, and so he was removed shortly after the park opened. Fortunately, there’s room for at least one more ghost so he’s coming back.
12 – Disney Cruise Line Announces Name and Theme of Next Disney Ship
The sixth ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet will set sail in 2024. In addition to revealing the new name, Disney shared details on what Imagineers have dreamed up for a new design concept inspired by the theme of adventure, celebrating Walt Disney’s lifelong love of exploration. Learn more and see concept art at the link below.
13 – Disney Cruise Line Announces New Ports and Update on Lighthouse Point
Disney Cruise Line isn’t just expanding their line-up of ships; they are expanding the line-up of destinations around the world. We also got an update on the development of Disney Cruise Line’s second private island destination in the Caribbean.
14 – Avengers Campus to Expand with New Attraction
Guests at Disney California Adventure park will soon head into the Multiverse alongside fan-favorite Super Heroes, as details on a never-before-seen third attraction with a brand-new story were announced for Avengers Campus. Joining in battle with the Avengers means facing foes from anywhere and everywhen, including a new threat, King Thanos, a Multiverse variant designed specifically for Avengers Campus.
15 – Land at Disney California Adventure to be Re-themed
Just around the corner from Avengers Campus, Pacific Wharf will be reimagined as San Fransokyo from the Oscar-winning Disney Animation film “Big Hero 6,” complete with a place to meet Baymax as well as new spots to eat and shop.
16 – Mickey’s Toontown Updates, Including Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
At Disneyland, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will invite guests into a cartoon world where toon rules apply. Mickey’s Toontown will step into a new era of inclusive experiences for families of all ages when it opens in early 2023.
17 – Pixar Place Hotel and Downtown Disney District Update
Across the way, progress continues on the reimagining of the Paradise Pier Hotel to Pixar Place Hotel, where guests will feel as though they’ve stepped into a Pixar art gallery featuring new interpretations of favorite Pixar pals. Over at the Downtown Disney District, more than a dozen new and reimagined locations will open, including a Southern Californian favorite, Porto’s Bakery & Café.
18 – runDisney Races to Return to Disneyland in 2024
runDisney races will return to the Disneyland Resort in 2024! Stay tuned to rundisney.com for specific dates, registration information, and more details.
19 – “Big Sky” Ideas
A highlight of the D23 presentation included a look at what’s possible when Disney Imagineers and their collaborators dream big. Disney Animation Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee, the Academy Award-winning writer and director of “Frozen” and “Frozen 2,” shared how the studio is working with Walt Disney Imagineering on concept explorations for Dinoland U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and potential expansion opportunities at Magic Kingdom, both at Walt Disney World. These are only ideas and possibilities at this point. Nothing has officially been announced.
20 – Disney 100 Years of Wonder
At the expo, D’Amaro also gave a first look at how Disney Parks, Experiences and Products will mark Disney 100 Years of Wonder (Disney100), the biggest celebration in the history of the company. New décor, specialty food and beverages, character experiences and more will come to parks around the world, with the heart of the celebration rooted at Disneyland Resort.
- Two new nighttime spectaculars — “World of Color – One” and the new fireworks show “Wondrous Journeys” — will kick off in late January at Disneyland Resort. “World of Color – One” at Disney California Adventure will celebrate the storytelling legacy started by Walt Disney a century ago. It’s going to be World of Color like you’ve never seen it before, with an all-new inspiring story told through some favorite characters. “Wondrous Journeys” at Disneyland park will ignite the wonder in everyone and feature nods to all 60 Walt Disney Animation Studios films to date, taking viewers on a journey filled with artistry, music, storytelling, and heart. Special entertainment moments will also pop up across the resort, including the long-awaited return of the “Magic Happens” parade in spring 2023.
- A brand-new nighttime spectacular will come to the World Showcase Lagoon at EPCOT in late 2023 as part of the Disney100 Celebration.
- Hong Kong Disney Land will also unveil a new statue of Wald Disney and Mickey Mouse near Cinderella’s Carousel as part of the Disney100 celebration.
21 – Three Frozen-themed Lands Highlight Expansions at Parks Around the World
Inspired by Disney Animation’s stunning films, World of Frozen will open in the second half of 2023 at Hong Kong Disneyland – the first of three Frozen-themed areas coming to international Disney parks. It will blend Arendelle with the park’s natural landscapes on Lantau Island.
At Disneyland Paris, the Frozen-themed land will be the next major milestone in the ongoing transformation of Walt Disney Studios park. This land will offer a gorgeous lakeside promenade and will immerse guests in the same magical wintry setting from the films. A new Tangled-themed family attraction will join the new gardens leading into the land. Frozen will also be part of the transformation of the Disneyland Hotel, reopening in 2024. As part of the grand finale of the 30th Anniversary celebration underway, a new stage show, “Pixar: We Belong Together,” will debut next year in Walt Disney Studios park.
At Tokyo Disney Resort, Frozen is one of the stories coming to life as part of the Fantasy Springs expansion at Tokyo DisneySea, joining two other Disney Animation stories, “Peter Pan” and “Tangled,” plus a brand-new hotel integrated right into the park. Fantasy Springs will feature several new Audio-Animatronics figures, including Elsa, who sings in Japanese and whose movements sync with the rhythms of the language.
Shanghai Disney Resort will be the first Disney resort to bring the world of the Oscar-winning Disney Animation film “Zootopia” to life. At Zootopia Central Station, guests will find animals going about their daily lives. At the Zootopia Police Department, which doubles as the entrance for the land’s new family attraction, guests will be greeted by an Audio-Animatronics figure of Officer Clawhauser.
Mickey’s favorite teddy bear, Duffy, is a favorite of fans in all three Disney resorts in Asia, and D’Amaro shared that Duffy & Friends will star in their very own six-episode, stop-motion animated series on Disney+ next year.
What’s New and Happening Now at Walt Disney World Resort
The New Disney World Normal: Visiting Post Pandemic – What You Need to Know
Now through October 31, Select Nights – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Now through November 19, 2022 – 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival
Now Open – Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Now Through Spring 2023 – The Most Magical Celebration – 50 Years of Walt Disney World
New Openings at EPCOT – As Part of the Historic Transformation of EPCOT
Now Open – Drawn to Life
Coming Soon to Walt Disney World
November 8-December 22, Select Nights – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom
Spring 2023 – Tron Lightcycle Run Coming to Magic Kingdom
2023 – Happily Ever After Returns to Magic Kingdom
New & Coming Soon to Disney Cruise Line
The Disney Wish
Itineraries in 2022 and 2023
Coming to Disney Cruise Line
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