Today at D23 Expo 2022, President of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D’Amaro, shared a look at the future of Disney theme parks and beyond, with announcements covering new attractions, new territories, new shows and much more.
Singer-songwriter Jordan Fisher kicked off the show with a rousing rendition of the popular anthem “Happily Ever After.”
D’Amaro took the stage saying, “”It’s great to be together in person and reconnect with our fans at D23 Expo. I love sharing with them the excitement of what we have in front of us.
“As the world’s greatest storytellers, I’m thrilled to share the innovative new ways we’re bringing next-gen Disney magic to life at Disney parks and experiences.”
D’Amaro then thanked Fisher and announced that “Happily Ever After” would return to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in 2023.
This was the first of many reveals during the 2 hour panel, so let’s get to it:
“It feels like home here.” D’Amaro talked about Disneyland before hosting Disney legend Jon Favreau.
The two were talking about opening “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” when they were interrupted by The Mandalorian approaching with an animatronic Grogu on his hip.
This brought the announcement that the duo would be appearing in person at Disneyland in mid-November 2022. Favreau explained that he worked with Disney Imagineering to ensure the design was as authentic to the show as possible.
After he left, D’Amaro introduced Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, asking him when did Marvel start doing shows on Broadway (referring to “Rogers The Musical” performance during the Marvel panel yesterday).
“Broadway is our territory (referring to Disney on Broadway). I’m going to start doing Marvel movies,” D’Amaro said.
“Wishing you luck,” Feige joked.
The duo then started talking about all the new things coming to “Avengers Campus” when they were interrupted on video by actor Mark Ruffalo, who plays Hulk in the MCU.
He said there are colorful superhero outfits in “Avengers Campus,” but maybe they should add some green.
Saying, “How did he get that number?”, Feige and D’Amaro were again interrupted by a real Hulk in his “Avengers: Endgame” time travel outfit. With Ruffalo as the voice, the trio announced that Hulk will be appearing in person at Disneyland starting next week for a limited time.
This wasn’t the only “Avengers Campus” announcement D’Amaro and Feige made.
Alongside the “Multiverse Saga” announced by Feige at SDCC22, a third never-before-seen attraction with an all-new storyline has been announced for “Avengers Campus.”
Feige, explaining the ride, said, “Wonderful heroes will fight all villains from everywhere…everywhere.”
They then showed the art of the big bad guy of the attraction: King Thanos, with a white beard. This is a more evil version of Thanos than the one the Avengers fought against, according to Feige.
Feige left the scene, but D’Amaro continued to add more Disneyland Resort news:
Just around the corner from “Avengers Campus,” Pacific Wharf will be redesigned like San Fransokyo from the Oscar-winning Disney animated film “Big Hero 6,” with a place to meet Baymax, as well as new places to eat and shop.
At Disneyland Park, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will invite guests into a cartoon world where toon rules apply, and Mickey’s Toontown will usher in a new era of inclusive experiences for families of all ages when it opens at Disneyland Park. beginning of 2023.
Progress continues on the reimagining of the Paradise Pier Hotel which now bears a new name: Pixar Place Hotel. It will also have a new “Finding Nemo” themed splash pool for families.
In the Downtown Disney District, more than a dozen new and reimagined locations will open. D’Amaro added to that list today with the announcement of Southern California favorite Porto’s Bakery & Café, which will open in 2023. Interestingly, the brand already has a location near Disneyland in Buena Park. .
For running fans, runDisney races will return to resorts in 2024, after a seven-year absence.
After all these announcements, D’Amaro launched a special segment featuring “Tiana’s Bayou,” the theme change from “Splash Mountain” to Disneyland and Walt Disney World in 2024.
Imagineers joined D’Amaro on stage to discuss new story details for the attraction, and an image of the attraction lit up at night was shown.
D’Amaro also announced that several members of the film’s original 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.
Rose then appeared in person and performed a medley of songs from “Princess and the Frog.”
At the end of his comprehensive presentation, D’Amaro shared news of the upcoming “Disney 100 Years of Wonder” (“Disney100”), the biggest celebration in company history.
He said new scenery, specialty food and drink, character experiences and more will come to parks around the world, with the heart of the celebration rooted in Disneyland Resort.
Two new nighttime shows will begin at the end of January at Disneyland Resort as part of the celebration:
“World of Color – One” at Disney California Adventure will celebrate the legacy of storytelling started by Walt Disney a century ago. D’Amaro said it would be “World of Color” like you’ve never seen it before, with an all-new inspirational story told through some favorite characters.
“Wondrous Journeys” at Disneyland Park will “ignite the wonder in everyone” and feature nods to Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 60 films to date, taking viewers on a journey filled with art, music, storytelling and heart.
Special entertainment moments will also pop up across the resort, including the long-awaited return of the “Magic Happens” fashion show in spring 2023.
WALT DISNEY WORLD
In addition to “Tiana’s Bayou,” D’Amaro shared some news from Walt Disney World, now in the midst of its 50th celebration.
EPCOT continues to evolve as it prepares for its 40th anniversary.
The next major step in EPCOT’s multi-year transformation will include the completion of the World Celebration District in late 2023. It will also be home to “Dreamers Point,” an inspiring new area where you can see Walt Disney’s new statue called “Walt the dreamer.”
“Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana” will also open in late 2023, inviting guests to follow the story of water on the planet, inspired by Moana’s connection to the ocean. One of its anchors will be the goddess Te Fiti in all her lush glory.
And an exciting return is in the works as fan-favorite character Figment will begin dating park guests by the end of 2023.
Finally, D’Amaro mentioned that they were working on creating a brand new nighttime show at EPCOT for the “Disney100” celebration, which will debut in late 2023.
At the Magic Kingdom, D’Amaro said that TRON/Lightcycle Run will invite guests to enter the grid in the spring of 2023 and showed a video of him giving it a try.
He also mentioned that the Hatbox Ghost will materialize again at “The Haunted Mansion” in 2023. No date was given, but coincidentally the movie “The Haunted Mansion” comes out on March 10, 2023, so I guess the ghost may appear at this time. .
And that’s it for the first half of our coverage of the “Boundless Future for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products” hosted by Josh D’Amaro at D23 Expo 2022.
Part two will be tomorrow covering all other parks and the Disney Cruise Line. Make sure you don’t miss it…lots of good news to share!
Which of the Disneyland and Walt Disney World announcements excites you the most? Let us know in the comments!