Disney makes a ton of announcements about theme parks, including emerging details about Epcot reboot and Avengers in California

Posted Monday, August 26, 2019 9:29 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Disney made the following announcements on Sunday, as posted to their official theme park blog:

  • For the first time, Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Animation Studios have joined forces with Cirque du Soleil at Disney Springs to create a show that combines 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.
  • Bob Chapek announced the first Disney ride-through attraction to feature Spider-Man will open at the Avengers Campus, beginning in 2020 at Disney California Adventure and later at Disneyland Paris.
  • As Super Heroes assemble at both campuses, one of the iconic buildings in California will be the Avengers Headquarters. The building will become the future entrance to a brand-new E-Ticket attraction where guests will fly alongside the Avengers in an epic adventure to Wakanda and beyond when it opens in the next phase of development.
  • Epcot will be unified with four neighborhoods that each celebrate a unique aspect of what makes Epcot so special. World Showcase will continue to celebrate culture, cuisine, architecture and traditions from around the world. And where Future World currently stands, three new neighborhoods will spring up: World Nature, World Discovery and World Celebration.
  • At World Celebration in Epcot, Spaceship Earth will remain the park’s grand icon but the journey will be transformed with 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 at World Celebration will be the home base for Epcot’s signature festivals, providing a stunning view of World Showcase and an ideal spot to witness the park’s nighttime spectacular. This three level structure will have one of the most remarkable designs at any Disney park and will fast become a new icon for Epcot.
  • PLAY! pavilion at World Discovery is opening 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 beloved Disney characters like never before.
  • In World Nature, The reinvention of Epcot will include Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana.” This first-ever experience inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios hit film will let guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting.
  • 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. Also at World Showcase, the film “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” will debut in January 2020 in the Canada pavilion with new scenes and a new story. World Showcase at Epcot will also 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 at Epcot, a new nighttime spectacular called “HarmonioUS” will be the largest ever created for a Disney park. It will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over.
  • The Disney Wish is the name of the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship. Magic will be found throughout this new ship, including the three-story atrium that will be inspired by the beauty of an enchanted fairytale. The Disney Wish will be delivered in late 2021 and will set sail beginning in January 2022.

Read more from Disney Parks Blog.

Monday, August 26, 2019 9:33 AM

Here' the Epcot detail post.

In 2020, following the limited-time run of “Epcot Forever,” the new “HarmonioUS” will debut as the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park. It will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over, carrying you away harmoniously on a stream of familiar Disney tunes reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists from around the globe. “HarmonioUS” will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more.

(Emphasis mine) This does not excite me. The thing that made Illuminations special was that it was unique. This sounds like yet another jukebox show, and those are already tired.

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Monday, August 26, 2019 11:03 AM

Agree with this. Illuminations has always been my favorite Orlando night show, and I am very sad to see it wrapping up.

Other than that, I'm hoping the rest of the Epcot refresh will help with the staleness that has become Future World. I know the Disney nuts are butthurt over the changes, but I'm optimistic about the Epcot refresh.

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Monday, August 26, 2019 11:17 AM

Something had to be done with Epcot but I don't like that it's going become just another Disney park with attractions themed to Disney characters. I don't know what I want out of it but there was something special about the original vision for the park that just isn't being met with this new direction. I think I will enjoy it all the same.

Last edited by eightdotthree, Monday, August 26, 2019 11:19 AM
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Monday, August 26, 2019 1:13 PM

Won't somebody think of the Phonecians!?

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Monday, August 26, 2019 2:16 PM

The net change is positive, to be sure. They're not really messing with the festivals, which is to me the most important thing.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 12:22 PM

I wonder what this means in terms of the future of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man? I'm not sure I quite see Spider Man as a Disney "property", though I know they do have the rights to it. Mary Poppins I think will be a nice addition to World Showcase, and while they are new things, new films in the circle-vision theaters seems to be somewhat minor changes. (Don't get me wrong - I'm glad they are getting new films, as I like circle-vision overall, though it is not the most advanced technology today.)

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 12:47 PM

According to this article Universal holds the license for parks east of the Mississippi. I don't know about the Japan park though.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 2:19 PM

eightdotthree said:

According to this article Universal holds the license for parks east of the Mississippi. I don't know about the Japan park though.

Japan looks east of the Mississippi here. :)

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 2:44 PM

I guess if you want to get technical, the west bank of the Mississippi is east of the Mississippi.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 3:38 PM

If you keep going north, eventually you'll go south, but you can go east, and never end up going west. 😱

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 3:58 PM

Mind. Blown.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 4:08 PM

Everything I thought I knew is a lie.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 5:10 PM

3 lefts make a right.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 5:23 PM

Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 6:07 PM

There goes Lord Gonchar starting another Contraversy

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 8:26 PM

Why do mirrors reverse right/left but not up/down?

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Tuesday, August 27, 2019 8:26 PM
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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 8:29 PM

On a serious note, Epcot definitely struck me as a park looking for an identity when we went in Dec. Future World was barely futuristic and World Showcase didn't hold much appeal any part of my family (too boring for kids, adults not interested in shopping or food. All have been to many, many countries in real life). The only part of World Showcase we liked was the Frozen stuff (5 y.o. daughter) which is the least "world showcasey." I'm excited that the park is getting a huge makeover, but as has been mentioned, the parks are largely becoming homogenized celebrations of Disney IP's. DHS is barely about making movies anymore, just consuming them. I do wish Epcot could keep the World's Fair vibe somehow.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019 3:03 AM

I agree on the Illuminations replacement. Illuminations had gorgeous original music. This new show sounds like more cartoon music.

I know the cartoons are the base of the Disney brand, but IMO Disney seriously lacks quality live entertainment. Instead it’s all cartoon based.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019 12:22 PM

It may be extenuating circumstances (rope drop to close on our first day with major jet lag and 4 hours of sleep) but I didn't get much out of Illuminations.

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