Podcast: Episode #27 – “Everything We Learned At D23 Expo 2017”

This weekend’s D23 Expo revealed SO many changes coming to the Disney Parks, our pal Jack from ‘Turning Onto Harbor’ was there and we will unpack everything!

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Our D23 Recap

Each week on the show we report news and rumors from the parks worldwide, and this weekend at the D23 Expo many of those rumors were confirmed. Here is what we learned this weekend.

DISNEYLAND RESORT

D23 Star Wars ModelSTAR WARS LAND – Star Wars Land finally has a name, and a layout. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is being built at Disneyland in California, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. The land will open at Disneyland first, and then at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, more details on that later in the show.

PIXAR FEST – A limited-time, all-things Pixar celebration called Pixar Fest will launch at the Disneyland Resort in 2018. The celebration will include a new fireworks spectacular, as well as special characters and entertainment experiences.

As part of the celebration, Pixar Play Parade will return to the resort, this time in Disneyland Park, and fan-favorite, Paint the Night, will move to Disney California Adventure Park, which has one of Disney’s longest parade routes.

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 6.14.10 PMPARADISE PIER BECOMING PIXAR PIER – Paradise Pier inside Disney California Adventure Park will become Pixar Pier next summer. This area adjacent to the World of Color lagoon, will take on a brand-new look as more favorite Pixar characters and stories come to life on the seaside waterfront, from The Incredibles, Inside Out and even more Toy Story.

MORE MARVEL COMING TO DCA – The Guardians of the Galaxy will soon be joined by Spiderman and the Avengers in what will become a completely immersive Super Hero universe at Disney California Adventure. This description is very vague, we are expecting more specifics to be announced at Comic Con in San Diego.

WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT

The Magic Kingdom was just recently updated with New Fantasyland, but Walt Disney World’s flagship park will still see a few updates in time for the resort’s 50th birthday in 2021.

Magic Kingdom Park

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 6.12.22 PMTRON – The wildly popular Shanghai Disneyland attraction, “TRON Lightcycle Power Run” is headed for the Magic Kingdom, but not in place of Tomorrowland Speedway. Artist’s renderings show the show building being located behind the arcade and directly to the left of Space Mountain. An opening date will be announced soon.

NEW THEATRE ON MAIN STREET – “Based on the iconic Willis Theater in the 1920s Kansas City where Walt lived after he left Marceline, this new addition to Magic Kingdom Park will be located off of Main Street U.S.A. and will be an entirely new venue for world class entertainment. Opening will be announced at a later date.” – WDWInfo

EPCOT

EPCOT will see the most changes in the coming years including an all new entrance area, the Innoventions buildings being eliminated, as well as the Fountain of Nations being removed to make way for an open concept Future World. Epcot will also see several new and updated attractions like:

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 6.13.37 PMGUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – Following up on the success of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT, Epcot will gain a brand new GOTG E-ticket attraction. To make way for this new adventure, Ellen’s Energy Adventure inside Universe of Energy will close Aug. 13, 2017. The new attraction will open by the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in 2021.

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 6.13.19 PMRATATOUILLE – A new ‘Ratatouille’-inspired attraction inside the France pavilion will take guests on a dazzling chase across a kitchen with the sights, sounds and smells of Gusteau’s Parisian restaurant. Patterned after the number one family attraction at Disneyland Paris, the new attraction will open no later than 2021.

MISSION: SPACE – In addition to an updated Orange (or, more intense) Mission, a brand new Green Mission will take guests on a stunning tour around the Earth, with younger cadets being able to join the adventure for the very first time. The updated Mission: SPACE opens this August.

NEW MISSION: SPACE RESTAURANT – Right next door to Mission: SPACE, a new table-service restaurant will invite guests to travel high above the Earth for an unforgettable dining experience. The new restaurant will be managed by Patina Restaurant Group and an opening will be announced at a later date. Artist’s renderings make me wonder if this new restaurant won’t be installed in the former Wonders Of Life Pavilion.

NEW FILM FOR CHINA PAVILION – An updated film will be added to Epcot’s China pavilion, using a next-generation digital camera system, the Circle-Vision production will now be seamless, meaning no black lines between the individual screens.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

STAR WARS LAND – Guests will experience intergalactic adventures in the highly-anticipated Star Wars themed land known as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The 14-acre land will open with two attractions, one that gives guests the chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and another that puts guests right in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open first at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, followed by Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla., in 2019.

Guests will encounter several characters, including:

– BB-8
– Chewbacca
– Rex
– Kylo Ren

MICKEY & MINNIES RUNAWAY RAILWAY – The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will close on August 13th to make way for an all-new attraction, and the first to feature Mickey Mouse…Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway!

The attraction will feature an original story that will take guests on a journey inside the world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts using new technologies that turn the flat cartoon world into an incredible dimensional display. The new attraction will not replace, but will be located inside the Chinese Theatre. Opening for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be announced at a later date.

TOY STORY LAND OPENING DATE – Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is scheduled to open summer 2018.

Transportation & Resorts

NEW DVC HOTEL – The 15th Disney Vacation Club property, called Disney Riviera Resport will be located near Epcot with a rooftop restaurant that has views of nighttime spectaculars at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Opening will be announced at a later date.

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 6.15.00 PMSTAR WARS HOTEL – An immersive Star Wars-themed hotel was confirmed, but with very little detail. Disney says that this hotel will be the most experiential concept ever. Dedicated entirely to the galaxy of Star Wars, guests will have a one-of-a-kind experience where a luxury resort meets a multi-day adventure in a galaxy far, far away. Opening, and presumably more details (including location?) will be announced at a later date.

UBER LIKE VAN SERVICE – Starting later this month, Disney will launch an Ubër-like service called “Minnie Vans.” The service, according to Disney, is a whimsical, point-to-point transportation service that will help guests get around Walt Disney World Resort in a jiffy. Guests can arrange their own private Disney vehicle right from their smartphone, and a Disney Cast Member will drive them wherever they want to go around Walt Disney World.

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 6.14.48 PMGONDOLA TRANSPORTATION CONFIRMED – The widely rumored new gondola-based transportation system at Walt Disney World has been confirmed, and will be called the Disney Skyliner. Disney says, “This transportation system will give guests a bird’s-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort.” The Disney Skyliner will connect Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to four resorts – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, as well as the proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney Riviera Resort. Opening date for Disney Skyliner will be announced at a later time.”

Discussion

Homework For Next Week

On next week’s podcast, author Aaron Goldberg joins us to talk about his book The Disney Story. Give it a read, and make sure you join us next week! If you have questions for Aaron, shoot them to us at NoMidnightBlog@gmail.com.

In Closing

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Our guest next week, Aaron Goldberg! Until next week…

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