Coming off the successful launch of its Star Wars-themed Galaxy’s Edge land in Anaheim, Disney continues to add new features and attractions to its theme parks and cruise lines, which it outlined Sunday at its D23 Expo.
Without the new Galaxy’s Edge land in Anaheim, Disney’s theme parks and resorts took in more than $20 billion in revenue last year.
Although some of the news leaked out ahead of the panel, fans were still wowed with new details and an appearance by Dick Van Dyke, who performed “Step in Time” to announce the addition of a first-ever “Mary Poppins” attraction coming to Epcot’s United Kingdom pavilion. That was only one of several changes coming to the Epcot, which has been seen by some visitors as needing a refresh.
The park has been known, predominantly, for its unique food offerings and annual festivals. Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney parks, experiences and products, said Epcot will be update to be more family-friendly and to have more Disney flair.
U.S. & World
The company also teased new lands based on “Zootopia” and “Avengers” as well as a new addition to its fleet of cruise ships.
Chapek announced a new parade coming to Disneyland in Spring 2020. Called Magic Happens, the parade will feature music from Todrick Hall, with floats drawn from “Coco,” “Moana,” “Sleeping Beauty” and more.
Mickey & Minnie: Runaway Railway
A new ride featuring old school versions of Minnie and Mickey Mouse is being housed in the old replica of the Chinese Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida.
Hong Kong’s Disneyland Castle
The new castle is inspired by 13 different Disney princesses, including Cinderella’s coach, Snow White’s apple and Belle’s rose. The new icon will be called the Castle of Magical Dreams.
‘Frozen’ park land in Hong Kong
A “Frozen” theme park land is coming to Disney in Hong Kong. The land will give fans a chance to walk around Arendelle and even take a trip on Wandering Oakens Sliding Sleigh, a roller coaster.
Cirque Du Soleil in Disney World
Walt Disney has partnered with Cirque Du Soleil to create an all new show coming to Disney World in Orlando. The show will integrate iconic Disney characters. The performers will interact with animated characters, the company said during the panel.
The music of the show will also integrate themes and melodies from well-known animated features. Previews begin in March 2020 and the show will debut in April 2020.
Disney comes to Target
Target on Sunday announced it’s opening dozens of permanent Disney stores within its own stores over the next year.
Starting in October, 25 Disney stores will open at certain Target stores across the country, the company’s CEO said at the panel.
The Avengers Campus
These campuses in Anaheim and Paris will let parkgoers become Avengers. The park lands will feature a Spider-Man attraction as well as the Pym Particles Test Kitchen.
Worldwide Engineering Brigade aka WEB is a company that helps give regular people super powers. WEB will be home to the Spider-Man experience. Here you will get the chance to test out their webslinger vehicle. While driving the vehicle little spider bots are let loose and you must snatch them up with your new web-slinging powers.
There is also an area based on Dr. Strange. Thor, Black Panther, Black Widow, and more will be walking around the park — you might also catch of a glimpse of the trickster Loki.
Phase one of the project will open next year, Chapek said.
Marvel Art and Characters hotel in Paris
A new hotel in Paris will garner inspiration from Marvel’s iconic heroes. Rooms in the hotel will feature art and color designs based on fan-favorite characters.
Big changes are coming to Epcot. Disney will be updating classic attractions and transforming locations to be more family-friendly and to have a little more Disney flair.
The World Showcase will remain, but three more neighborhoods will be added: Discovery, Celebration and Nature.
The new spaceship earth will focus on storytelling, Chapek said. He said many of the scenes that were part of the original will remain, but be updated. New moments will also be added. The exit to the ride will be called Dreamer’s Point and feature a new statue of Walt Disney.
World Celebration will be filled with a wishing tree, a story fountain and a pavilion for live events.
World Discovery will feature a “Guardians of the Galaxy” ride called Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind. Mission Space will also be updated with a new restaurant. The restaurant is called Space 220, which is located in a space station sitting high above the Earth. It will open this winter.
World Nature will feature The Journey of Water experience based on “Moana.”
In the World Showcase, Remy from “Ratatouille” will appear in a ride in the France area of the park. The ride will shrink people down to the size of mice and they will race through Gusteau’s kitchen. A creperie will also be added to the France area.
Additionally, a “Mary Poppins” attraction is coming to the United Kingdom area of the park. The company is adding a whole neighborhood based on Cherry Tree Lane.
Epcot will also be getting a new nighttime spectacular called Harmonious. It will debut in 2020.
Walt Disney World’s 50th
The company will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Florida park with new food, accessories and other products.
A new digital platform called Disney Genie will be the central hub for planning the perfect day at Disney. The app is designed to optimize your day in the parks with reservations, itineraries and mobile ordering.
Is a country lodge-inspired hotel and resort. The location will have A-frame house and tree house accommodations for guests.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
A two-night adventure, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is an immersive hotel. Guests will become part of the action by interacting with cast, crew and other passengers.
You check in at Walt Disney World and take a launch pod that blasts you to the Star Cruiser. You emerge into the atrium. Guests will spend two days and two nights inside the massive ship. Each cabin has a glimpse of the galaxy around you.
The choices you make affect the course of your journey, the company said during the panel. There is also a “port day,” a trip to the Black Spire Outpost on Batuu.
Expanding the fleet
Disney is adding three new ships to its fleet and a new destination. On Sunday, Chapek said Lighthouse Point on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas will be that new cruise destination.
Already, Disney has four ships: Fantasy, Magic, Dream and Wonder. The fifth ship is called The Disney Wish and will feature Rapunzel on the stern. This ship will begin to set sail in January 2022.
CORRECTION (Aug. 26, 2019, 11:08 a.m. ET): The Avengers Campuses are located in Paris and Anaheim. A previous version of this story misstated the locations.
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