- New characters are expected at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, including The Mandalorian, Grog, and The Incredible Hulk.
- The sixth cruise ship in the Disney fleet is called the Disney Treasure.
- The company discussed its “blue sky” project, which represents what the area behind Big Thunder Mountain in the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida might look like.
Disney theme parks are recovering after the coronavirus pandemic closed their domestic and international venues in 2020.
Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products business is growing in revenue and seeing steady growth in attendance, nights booked and cruise ships.
During its latest earnings, Disney touted that its new Genie+ and Lightning Lane products helped boost average per capita ticket revenue during the quarter. These new digital features have been introduced to improve the guest experience and allow park visitors to skip the lines to major attractions.
The company said it was able to bring back entertainment such as character encounters, theatrical performances and nightly activities at Disneyland to the park, allowing it to increase the capacity of its parks, CEO Bob Chapek said at the time. Disney has limited attendance since it reopened after its first round of closures due to the pandemic in early 2020 and has introduced a new online booking system for crowd control.
The company continues to add new features and attractions to its theme parks and cruise lines, as Josh D’Amaro, head of parks, experiences and products at Disney, spoke Sunday at his D23 Expo.
D’Amaro welcomed Jon Favreau, Executive Producer of The Mandalorian, on stage to announce that the Mandalorian will appear with an animatronic Grog in Galaxy’s Edge as part of his costumed characters available to meet and interact with. He will arrive in November.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek revealed on Friday that California Disneyland will be getting a third attraction at its Avengers campus. The ride is based on the multiverse and the riders will fight villains from different universes including King Thanos.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige appeared in person, and Mark Ruffalo, who portrays the Hulk, appeared via video to reveal that the Hulk would be in the park as a meet and greet opportunity. A version of the Hulk has been developed as part of the Exo project and will hit the park next week.
Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure will be transformed into San Fransokyo from Big Hero 6, and will also feature an encounter with Baymax, a helpful medical robot. In addition, the Paradise Pier Hotel becomes the Pixar Place Hotel.
Disney Center will have several new restaurants, including Porto’s Bakery and Cafe and Din Tai Fung.
Disneyland’s Toontown Land will get Hollywood Studios’ version of the Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railroad attraction in Orlando, Florida, as well as a number of cosmetic updates and a new playground for kids. These updates are expected in 2023.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which replaces Splash Mountain, takes place immediately after the events of The Princes and the Frog and follows Princess Tiana as she searches for the missing ingredient for a carnival-themed party. The attraction is scheduled to open at the end of 2024.
D’Amaro said the music would be an important part of the ride, and the cast from the film would return to voice the ride. Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Tiana, took the stage to sing “I’m Almost There” and “Dig A Little Deeper” from the 2009 animated film.
D’Amaro announced that Disney is in the midst of creating a new nighttime performance for Epcot to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary. In addition, the Moana-inspired Journey on Water, which was announced back in 2019, will open in late 2023.
Also arriving in Epcot is Figment, a fan-favorite purple dragon who will return to the park for meet and greets in the future.
Also, the Hatbox Ghost will appear in the haunted mansion at Walt Disney World next year.
D’Amaro showed footage of his Tron Light Cycle Run test run, noting that the ride is slated to open in the spring of 2023 at Magic Kingdom.
Disney’s sixth cruise ship is called Disney Treasures and is dedicated to Walt Disney’s love of adventure. The Great Hall is inspired by Aladdin and features statues of Jasmine and Aladdin riding on a flying carpet.
D’Amaro said Disney’s Miracle will now travel to Australia and New Zealand starting in October 2023.
The company is also opening a new island getaway located in the Bahamas called Lighthouse Point. D’Amaro said 90% of the energy used at the site will be provided by solar power.
Daffy and Friends, cute lovable characters from Shanghai Disneyland, are getting their very own stop-motion series on Disney+.
D’Amaro also revealed new images from Zootopia, which will feature a large animatronic of Officer Clawhouser. An official opening date has not been set.
Hong Kong Disneyland gets a new statue of Walt Disney inspired by Walt watching his kids ride the carousel and inspired the launch of Disney theme parks. The Frozen Land theme park will open in the second half of 2023.
In Paris, a new promenade will be added to connect the new Frozen-inspired area with the rest of the park, and a Rapunzel: Tangled themed attraction will be added to the new garden.
Tokyo Disney Resort is also in the process of adding new land to its park inspired by Frozen, Rapunzel: Tangled and Peter Pan called Fantasy Springs.
Space Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland will undergo a makeover in 2024 and a new plaza will be built in 2027.
At the end of the panel, D’Amaro discussed what he called the “blue sky” projects that the Imagineering team is working on. There are projects that are still in the early stages of development and may not see the light of day eventually.
D’Amaro talked about the possibility of redevelopment of Dino Land at Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. Initial ideas for the space include the ability to bring Zootopia, with its variety of areas and animal species, or even Moana into the park.
In the Magic Kingdom, Disney asks the question, “What’s behind Big Thunder Mountain?” The company teased that the area based on “Coco” could be in this location or “Encanto”. Perhaps both.
D’Amaro even teased the possibility of recreating an area of the Magic Kingdom taken over by Disney villains. The crowd burst into applause at this suggestion. For the most part, villains appear during Disney’s Halloween specials.
“We will never stop making you happy,” he said.
Credit: www.cnbc.com /