Disney theme park round up from the 2022 D23 Expo

Posted | Contributed by bigboy

Disney made a number of announcements at its annual D23 fan convention.

  • Mandalorian star Grogu ("Baby Yoda") will appear at Disneyland with costumed characters for meet-and-greets.
  • A third attraction will come to the Avengers Campus, based on the multiverse.
  • Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure will be transformed into San Fransokyo from Big Hero Six.
  • The Paradise Pier Hotel will become the Pixar Place Hotel.
  • Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway is coming to Anaheim.
  • A model was shown of Tiana's Bayou Adventure, which replaces Splash Mountain on both coasts.
  • A new nighttime spectacular is in the works for Epcot to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary.
  • Tron Lightcycle Run will open in the spring at Magic Kingdom.
  • The next Triton-class cruise ship in the Disney Cruise Line will be called the Disney Treasure.
  • The Disney Wonder will sail to Australia and New Zealand in October, 2023.
  • New images were shown for the new Zootopia land coming to Shanghai.
  • The Frozen-themed land will open in Hong Kong in late 2023.
  • Tokyo is adding a new land called Fantasy Springs based on Frozen, Tangled and Peter Pan.
  • Tokyo's Space Mountain will be transformed in 2024.
  • Blue-sky projects might include bringing Zootopia or Moana to Animal Kingdom's Dino Land, Coco or Encanto attractions may land at Magic Kingdom, and a Disney villain area may also surface there.

Read more from CNBC.

eightdotthree's avatar

Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure will be transformed into San Fransokyo from Big Hero Six.

They better not get rid of the Karl Strauss beer truck...

That last bullet point and no news on the projects at Epcot that were announced pre-COVID and have been shelved seem to have conjured up quite a bit of butt hurt on social media.

Jeff's avatar

Which projects were those? Other than the re-do of the center of the park, I guess I wasn't paying attention. I mean, they added two high capacity rides in the last two years, which has made a huge difference in things to do that aren't food and/or wine.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Spaceship Earth remodel, Play Pavilion, and whatever was going to happen with Mary Poppins in World Showcase.

Jeff's avatar

Oh yeah, that vaguely sounds familiar. They don't have infinite resources, and they're already fundamentally changing Epcot. I think some of those ideas are better, especially if they improve the capacity at MK and AK. When I think about how different the parks are compared to when I moved here, I'm being beyond satisfied. I would think the annual and every few years folks would be too.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy


I would think the annual...folks would be too.


Wasn’t there at the center of the park supposed to be a large, raised viewing/event space allowing exclusive visual access to the nightime spectacular? Did it get built? Is it scrapped? Is it still on the way?
I sound this way because I thought it was a good idea but I haven't heard or seen anything.

The western part of that area is set to open next year with Communicore Plaza, Communicore Hall, and the Moana walkthrough. The eastern half of that area opened in the spring with a refurbished quick service and gift shot and a relocated Club Cool and Starbucks. The Communicore areas look to follow the previous plans in spirit with a stage and an indoor event space. I don't recall seeing or hearing anything new about the elevated viewing area. May have just been lost in the shuffle. The renderings really make the new area look great.

I don't see what's to complain about with Epcot. Something came out recently about new permits for the Play Pavilion and absolutely no details were released about the Mary Poppins attraction, which means it could have been nothing more than a juiced up character encounter. I've seen grumbling about Spaceship Earth being in bad shape recently, but it clearly wasn't that way during my April trip. Dated, yes, but that's part of the appeal to me (and I ride it every trip). Even if none of that happens, Epcot is still badass.


Is it scrapped?

Scrapped---or maybe more accurately, modified. Instead of a big elevated thing (which would have been expensive to build and difficult to maintain) they have a stage/festival area that is more ground level.

Jeff's avatar

Yeah, I think you're right based on the evolved artist concept images.

I'm surprised that they're already developing another nighttime show. Is the Stargate-Floating Taco Experience not cutting it?

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

I didn't see the live version but I watched the "broadcast premier" on Disney+ and I wasn't that impressed. I suppose if they had a live orchestra and vocalists each night (like in the special) it may have captured me but the actual "show" was underwhelming. And, frankly the equipment is a distraction/eyesore.

TRON opening at Magic Kingdom in the spring! Heck yea! Got my trip already planned for next June.

Raven-Phile's avatar

The current taco-barge-gate show is hot garbage, and I'm glad it's going back where it belongs. EPCOT needs something that's not a Magic Kingdom show for its nighttime spectacular.

Honestly, the difference in nighttime atmosphere in World Showcase between IllumiNations and this... thing are astounding. EPCOT/World Showcase used to have a certain vibe at night. The warm glow of the lights and torches, along with the smell of restaurants and the general laid-back feel made me want to spend every evening I could there. Now, it feels like cramming onto Main Street in front of the castle to see the latest, loudest production possible.

Jeff's avatar

I have to agree there. Illuminations was a thing that never got old after literal decades. I think there have been four or five MK shows since I've been here, and they're all basically the same, and once is enough. I think it's good that at least they're doing fresh recordings and arrangements from their jukebox for these shows, but there's something to be said for a piece that's purpose-built for the show. I mean, when they did the new Avengers stuff for the Disney Wish restaurant, they didn't make a clip show of other movies, they shot new stuff of Paul and Brie doing superhero stuff.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Raven-Phile's avatar

There have been a few DVC after hours events at EPCOT in the last few months where they pulled out music from Reflections of Earth, and there was much rejoicing.

I can't even watch the We Go On one without getting all kinds of feelings.

Pretty sure this meme is going to come true for a March 2023 Tron opening (and my AP renewal)

I might be one of the only people who liked Harmonious, but I liked it. It was fun in a way that Illuminations wasn't, and a couple of the segments brought up the "my cheeks hurt" smile. Illuminations was more classic EPCOT to be sure, but still.

Different strokes I guess.

Jeff's avatar

I just happened to land on a blogger site that declared Moana or Zootopia a done deal at AK. I love how blue sky possibilities fester into certainties among that crowd.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

I saw the Facebook post with that article, along with the dozens of comments buying into it. There's a large base of folks that are clueless to the clickbait nature of that site.

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