In his two-hour presentation at D23 today, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Josh D’Amaro rattled off a long list of coming (and potentially coming) movie-themed attractions.
First and foremost is Frozen, which will be the subject of new lands at three of the company’s parks internationally.
Next year will see the first such addition at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Per Disney, “World of Frozen” will open “in the second half of 2023” at that park.
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Further out will be a Frozen-themed land at Disneyland Paris, which will also get a new Tangle-themed attraction.
Per Disney: The land “will be the next major milestone in the ongoing transformation of Walt Disney Studios park. This land will offer a gorgeous lakeside promenade and will immerse guests in the same magical wintry setting from the films.”
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The Tokyo park will also get a Frozen-inspired attraction, as has previously been announced, as part of an expansion called “Fantasy Springs,” which will also include elements inspired by Tangled and Peter Pan.
The Tokyo park’s Space Mountain will undergo an transformation that looks most impressive in the nighttime concept presented by D’Amaro.
The biggest round of applause from D23 Expo fans came for a potential Coco-themed land, which could also include elements from Encanto. Beyond Big Thunder Mountain at Walt Disney World: Encanto.
Also in the speculative realm, according to Disney execs is a revamp tied to Moana and possibly Zootopia at Animal Kingdom in Orlando. The Moana attraction could feature “creatures in the deep,” according to Walt Disney Animation Studios CEO Jennifer Lee. Walt Disney World, of course, already has a Moana-inspired attraction called “Journey of Water” opening next year at Epcot in which guests will follow “the story of water on the planet, inspired by Moana’s connection to the ocean.”
Even before that, Zootopia will also be coming to Shanghai Disneyland in the form of Zootopia Central Station.
D’Amaro also unspooled footage of himself riding the new Tron Lightcycle attraction coming to Disney World in spring 2023. While the building itself looks spectacular, the actual ride looks much like a normal coaster with handlebars and lightcycle wheels added.
The original film cast of The Princess and the Frog will lend their voices to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which is replacing Splash Mountain at Disneyland and Walt Disney World in 2024. The film’s voice of Tiana, Anika Noni Rose, was on hand to give fans a sense of what that might be like.
The reimagining Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland will be unveiled in 2023 ushering in “a new era of inclusive experiences for families of all ages.” As part of the revamp, “Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will invite guests into a cartoon world where toon rules apply.”
Disneyland will also offer up two new film-related nighttime spectaculars in late January 2023.
“World of Color – One” will “celebrate the storytelling legacy begun by Walt” and Disney’s first 100 years. It promises to “tell a new story through Disney classics and new favorites.”
“Wondrous Journeys” at Disney;and will include references to all 60 of Disney’s animated movies and feature an “absolutely incredible” new song called “It’s Wondrous,” which D’Amaro previewed for the D23 Expo audince.
As part of “what could be on the horizon” D’Amaro teased “a land overrun by villains,” with a promo reel pulled from Disney Animation classics. While he couched it as another blue sky idea, if he needed proof of concept, his pitch got a huge roar of approval from the audience.
Some other, smaller announcements:
California Adventure is adding a Pixar Place Hotel “where you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a Pixar art gallery featuring new interpretations of favorite Pixar pals,” according to a Disney tweet.
A Big Hero 6 nod will come to life at Pacific Wharf in Disney California Adventure Park as seen in the animated film
Mando and Grogu will join the characters interacting with guests at Disneyland’s Star Wars Land in mid-November.
And finally, for old-school park fans, The Hatbox Ghost will be returning to the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World.
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