Hey Mousekefriends! Destination D23 kicked off this morning with an exciting presentation from Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. D’Amaro revealed lots of news to make your vacations to Disney Destinations all over the world more magical than ever! Let’s dive in and find out what you can expect on your future travels. Let’s start with Walt Disney World.
Disney's Magic Kingdom
Everyone’s favorite phantom, the Hatbox Ghost, will be arriving in Disney’s Magic Kingdom in November of this year! This all-new audio-animatronic will be sure to fright and delight your family during your next tour in one of Haunted Mansion’s famous Doom Buggies.
Frontierland in Disney’s Magic Kingdom getting new entertainment from old friends with the Country Bear Musical Jamboree. Join Big Al and all his bear pals for a concert of your favorite Disney tunes reimagined in the way only these characters can do: country music! Think “Bare Necessities” from Disney’s The Jungle Book with a bluegrass twang!
Yo-ho, yo-ho! You’ll be doing your best Jack Sparrow impersonation on your way into (or out of?!) a new Pirates Of The Caribbean-themed lounge in Walt Disney’s World’s Adventureland. This “first-of-its-kind” experience will immerse you in an extended story of those swashbuckling pirates.
Finally, Imagineering also updated us on one of the “Blue Sky” projects they teased at last year’s Destination D23: expanding Magic Kingdom beyond Big Thunder Mountain! We learned that they are still brainstorming what exactly to do, but “the space is certainly there,” and we cannot wait to find what else is to come to the Most Magical Place on Earth!
Starting on December 5, 2023, EPCOT’s World Showcase will debut its newest nighttime spectacular. We’ll bid adieu to EPCOT Forever and welcome Luminous: The Symphony of Us “featuring fireworks, fountains, lasers, lighting effects and music.” Disney Live Entertainment’s nighttime spectaculars are always a highlight of my Disney vacations, and I am personally very excited to see this new show in my favorite neighborhood of EPCOT! In related EPCOT news, we learned that another new neighborhood in EPCOT, World Celebration, will finally open to guests in December as well!
Disney Imagineering have once again partnered with teams from corporate partner Chevrolet to reimagine Test Track in EPCOT at Walt Disney World! While we weren’t given a timeline for this, what we do know if that Disney will look back to the opening-day attraction World of Motion, that previously occupied the building where Test Track currently resides, for inspiration and incorporate modern ride technology to hopefully create an even more thrilling experience than what we have now!
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, the newest attraction in EPCOT will officially open to guests on October 16, 2023! Find out how far you’ll go in this great family-friendly walking trail; whether you want to get soaked, cool off in from the Florida sun getting splashed by whimsical water, or stay completely dry watching your loved ones get wet. Look around for beloved characters from film as you walk-through too! I was lucky enough to get to preview the attraction last week during my own trip to Walt Disney World and absolutely loved it.
Princess Moana herself will also start meeting with guests in her own dedicated space near the attraction on October 16.
We got one final surprise about EPCOT before this morning’s presentation ended: Figment! Guests will get to meet Figment, the dragon with that perfect purple pigment, beginning tomorrow at the Imagination Pavilion in Walt Disney World’s EPCOT.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
It sounds like Disney’s Animal Kingdom is about to undergo some very…enchanting… refurbishments! We do not have many specifics since it sounds like a lot of is still under development, but here’s what we do know:
- Dinoland USA will become a new themed land called Tropical Americas. This land will continue Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s storyline of environments from around the world, and be inspired by the lands and nature of South America and Central America.
- Of course, this immediately makes us think: Disney’s Encanto! We’ll keep our ears out for possible attractions, character meet & greets and Colombian-themed dining options.
- The Tropical Americas area could also potentially include Indiana Jones-themed attractions and entertainment!
- The Tree of Life Theater, where “It’s Tough To Be A Bug” currently plays, will house new entertainment expanding on the story of Zootopia! Maybe we’ll see more of Zootopia added to Disney’s Animal Kingdom too?
Let’s move over to the West Coast now and see what’s happening at Disneyland Park.
Tiana’s Palace just opened this week! This new dining option themed to The Princess and the Frog is a quick-service restaurant serving cuisine inspired by New Orleans including gumbo and beignets. And debuting next year will be Tiana’s Bayou Adventure – the new log flume attraction also inspired by The Princess and the Frog. (This attraction will debut at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World next year too!)
Disney's California Adventure
Disney’s California Adventure just got a new land themed to Disney Pixar’s hit film Big Hero 6 called San Fransokyo Square. You can even meet Baymax and give him the first bump of your dreams!
As for what’s coming: Destination D23 gave us a sneak peek at the ride vehicles for Disney California Adventure’s upcoming brand-new attraction in Avengers Campus! This ‘world-jumping” craft will transport guests into the Multiverse to join their favorite Marvel super heroes in galaxy-saving adventures.
If you have never been to Disneyland Paris, maybe now is the time to think about celebrating your “First Visit.” Their reimagined Disneyland Hotel will be available to book in just a few days with themes inspired by all the Disney Princesses. And if that isn’t enough to make you want to stay there, the hotel serves as the entrance gate to Disneyland Park and hotel guests have direct access and some hotel rooms have stunning theme park views.
And…Disneyland Paris is expanding! That’s right: Destination D23 confirmed that guests will get to explore Arendelle in the suburbs of Paris while visiting Walt Disney Studios Park!
Disney Cruise Line
Now, I know we’re all extremely excited about the next ship from Disney Cruise Line, the Disney Treasure (watch the reveal video for the Disney Treasure here). And understandably so! Booking for the Disney Treasure will start next week for certain Castaway Club members with a general sale date of September 20, 2023, and its maiden voyage will be on December 21, 2024. But Disney Cruise Line gave us yet more exciting news this week with the reveal of the name of the seventh ship in their fleet: the Disney Adventure! She will be the first Disney ship to sail from Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia “and feature the Disney service, storytelling and entertainment everyone knows and loves.” Work is already underway on the vessel and hopefully we’ll learn more about a timeline very soon.
Destination D23 is always chock full of exciting announcements. Check out what was announced in years past here.
Want to see all of these additions in person? To start your magical vacation planning at any and all of these Disney Destinations now, contact me at Kingdom and Cruise to book your trip!
I am a native New Yorker who found my love for all things Disney as an adult. Since then, I have traveled all over the world visiting all seven continents, all six Disney resorts worldwide, all eleven real-world countries represented at Epcot’s World Showcase, and more than twenty-five other locations. And I did all of the planning for these adventures entirely on my own. Attention to detail, reliability, and great problem-solving are crucial to succeed. I am excited to use these passions and skills, combined with my vast knowledge of Disney products, to make your adventures stress-free, exciting, and special.