Walt Disney World News from D23
A plethora of changes were announced for Walt Disney World Resort in Florida at the D23 Expo. Including new attractions, discontinued attractions, park expansions, transportation and a couple of new resorts, it was a head spinning amount of change. Here’s a rundown, from mind-blowing to welcome change, of the exciting changes coming over the next few years to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
1. Star Wars Resort at Walt Disney World
In what will seem like a long time to come near a Galaxy’s Edge far, far away a Star Wars inspired Resort is set to open. According to Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, this revolutionary new vacation experience will be a living adventure that allows guests to immerse themselves in an entirely new form of Disney storytelling.
“It’s unlike anything that exists today.” Bob said. “From the second you arrive, you will become a part of a Star Wars story! You’ll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. Once you leave Earth, you will discover a starship alive with characters, stories, and adventures that unfold all around you. It is 100% immersive, and the story will touch every single minute of your day, and it will culminate in a unique journey for every person who visits.”
2. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Set for 2019, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge promises to put you in the story. The 2 major attractions are just the beginning. The first will be an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance. The other will give you control of the Millennium Falcon!
Imagineer Scott Trowbridge shared some very detailed information about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge:
“We are inviting you to live your own Star Wars adventure, we are giving you an opportunity to make choices and those choices matter and they have consequences. If you do a great job flying the Falcon you might see a few extra galactic credits coming your way but if you bang the ship up and bring it back all damaged the boss man won’t be too happy. When you roll across the street to the local cantina you might hear from someone in the Cantina that maybe there’s even a bounty on your head because you owe more credits than you have.”
“For those who want to participate there’s an invitation, in various ways, to be a deeper part of the story… Every detail that we put in front of guests will be part of the story; the cast members even the merchandise helps to reinforce the core Star Wars story.”
“It is a very vibrant trading port so you can expect lots of Star Wars characters, some we may be familiar with and some we might be meeting for the first time. Whether those characters are humans, alien creatures, or droids.”
“It will be interactive and participatory if you want it to be. This is the first step to unveil this project with more details to come soon.”
Disney appears to be aiming to impress the most die-hard Star Wars fans and hoping the rest of us will be absolutely blown away.
3. The Magic Kingdom is getting TRON Lightcycle Power Run
This coaster style attraction is being added to Tomorrowland. Nestled beside Space Mountain and behind the Tomorrowland Speedway. TRON will be open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World in 2021.
4. Toy Story Land
Summer 2018, shrink to the size of a toy and explore Andy’s backyard in Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios. Two new themed attractions. Slinky Dog Dash will be a family coaster attraction where you’ll zip, dodge and dash around many turns and drops that Andy has created to really make Slinky and his coils stretch to his limits.
Alien Swirling Saucers will see Aliens flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with “The Claw.”
5. Epcot is getting some love
The dated Universe of Energy will be replaced by a Guardians of the Galaxy inspired attraction in Future World. The France Pavilion will expand to feature a Ratatouille inspired attraction in the World Showcase. Similar to the 4-D attraction Ratatouille: The Adventure that opened at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris in 2014. Guests will be able to shrink to Remy’s size and scurry to safety in a dazzling chase across a kitchen with the sights, sounds, and smells of Gusteau’s legendary Parisian restaurant.
Disney leaders say both attractions will open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort.
6. Epcot wants you to dine in Space
Epcot already allows you to dine around the world so they looked elsewhere for the upcoming restaurant. The restaurant will invite guests to travel into space for amazing dining experiences in the stars.
7. Mickey Themed Ride
Hollywood Studios will be saying “Cut!” to The Great Movie Ride to make way for the mouse who started it all. On Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, you’ll step through the movie screen and join Mickey and his friends like never before. The attraction will put you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon Short where you’re the star and anything can happen. This zany out-of-control adventure features surprising twists and turns, dazzling visual effects and mind-boggling transformations that happen before your very eyes.
8. A new Disney Vacation Club Resort
The 15th Disney Vacation Club property will be Disney Riviera Resort. It is currently being built at the Caribbean Beach Resort.
Bob Chapek shared a few details and concept art for the project. The main detail he shared was that the resort would feature a rooftop restaurant with views of both Epcot’s and Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ nighttime spectaculars.
Disney Riviera Resort is slated to open in Fall 2019, with approximately 300 units spread across a variety of accommodation types.
9. More Transportation Options
Disney Skyliner, this gondola system will soon give guests a bird’s-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort. Connecting Disney’s Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach and Riviera resorts with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot. Many of the gondolas will feature favorite Disney characters.
New Minnie themed Ford Traverse vehicles will offer point-to-point transportation options for guests. This service will be similar to an Uber experience. The drivers will be knowledgeable Cast members who will be able to answer your Walt Disney World Resort related questions. The service will be a flat fee and offer up to 2 car seats.
10. Main Street U.S.A is getting a Theater
A new venue for world-class entertainment is coming to Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida.
The theater will be based on the iconic Willis Wood theater in 1920s Kansas City, where Walt once lived.
“Across Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, we’ve been upping the game in Entertainment with shows like Frozen Live at the Hyperion,” Bob Chapek said. “It’s been a huge hit at the Disneyland Resort, and I’m sure many of you have seen it. This new theater at Walt Disney World continues that streak by bringing a new venue for world-class entertainment to the world’s biggest park.”
The next few years are going to be very busy behind the scenes at Walt Disney World. One thing is for sure, the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World in 2021 is going to be EPIC!