Highlights of the Disney Theme Park News from Destination D23

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Disney Theme Park News

Highlights of the Disney Theme Park News from Destination D23

Destination D23 was full of Disney theme park news yesterday! Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro shared a look at what is coming to the parks in the future.

D’Amaro shared that  “over the next decade, we’re going to have more projects underway than at any point in our history.  Our sole purpose is to give you more and more of what you love about a Disney experience. And then surprise and delight you with things you never dreamed possible.”

Related – D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event Returns to Anaheim with More Magic in August 2024

Figment Meet & Greet at Epcot

Starting today, September 10th, EPCOT will be filled with even more magic and imagination as Figment, everyone’s beloved purple dragon, makes his grand entrance for meet and greets. Figment has been a cherished character in the hearts of Disney fans for years, and now, visitors to EPCOT can have the enchanting opportunity to meet him in person.


Zootopia-themed Show Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

An all-new Zootopia themed show is coming soon to the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The show will be housed in the Tree of Life, which means it would replace It’s Tough TBe a Bug, a 3D movie and multimedia show that stars Flik and Hopper from the Disney and Pixar film A Bug’s Life.

Country Bear Jamboree Getting an Update in 2024

Country Bear Jamboree will be receiving new songs and an entirely new show in 2024.

When the performance premieres, the beloved bears will put their unique spin on cherished Disney tunes, exploring various country music genres. The Imagineers are crafting this fresh experience as a tribute to the timeless musical revues of Nashville, collaborating closely with local musicians to capture the authentic country sound.


Hatbox Ghost Coming to Haunted Mansion in November

The Hatbox Ghost will be materializing in the Haunted Mansion as you pass the attraction’s Endless Hallway in late November!

We’ve been waiting for the Hatbox Ghost to come to Magic Kingdom and we can’t wait for him to materialize!


Possible Encanto and Indiana Jones themed expansions for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

While Disney previously announced a possible Zootopia expansion for the park, it appears Judy Hopps and friends have been limited to a new show coming to the Tree of Life.

The D23 announcements included a discussion about how Encanto and Indiana Jones are both heavily in discussion for expansions at the park. Disney is committed to expanding the Animal Kingdom story, and it appears these franchises will be at the heart of future Animal Kingdom expansions.


Epcot’s Test Track to be Reimagined

Test Track at Epcot will be receiving a complete reimagining.

Disney will continue to partner with Cheverolet on the attraction, with the re-imagining utilizing the original World of Motion attraction as inspiration.

No time frame was announced for the latest overhaul of the ride.


Pirates of the Caribbean Themed Tavern Coming to Magic Kingdom

A new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed lounge is coming to Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. This first-of-its-kind experience will extend the story of Pirates of the Caribbean. Imagineers are in the design process now and more details are coming in the future.

Journey of Water Inspired by Moana Opening Date Announced & Moana Meet & Greet

Journey of Water Inspired by Moana will officially open to the public on October 16, 2023. The attraction is an immersive, walk-through experience that is both engaging and visually stunning that invites guests to play with water as it travels from the sky to the oceans and back again.

Moana will be greeting guests at a permanent meet-and-greet location outside of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana. The Meet and Greet will begin when the attraction opens next month.


Ahsoka Coming to Star Tours in 2024

Ahsoka will become part of the popular Star Tours attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, Disneyland Park in California and Disneyland Paris – beginning next spring.

Ahsoka’s multifaceted personality, her journey from Padawan to experienced warrior, and her enduring commitment to the Force make her a standout figure in the expansive Star Wars universe.


Luminous The Symphony of Us coming to EPCOT

A new show will be called Luminous The Symphony of Us will debut on December 5 at Epcot! The new show will reportedly feature fireworks, fountains, lasers, lighting effects and some great Disney music.


World Jumping Marvel Ride Coming to Disney California Adventure

At Disney California Adventure Park, an exciting addition is on the horizon for the next attraction in Avengers Campus, aimed at facilitating the transportation of Super Heroes into the Multiverse. The “King Thanos” attraction was first announced last year and today we got a look at the new ride vehicle.

This cutting-edge design seamlessly blends elements inspired by Tony Stark’s time-suits, the advanced Xandarian jump points, and the state-of-the-art Wakandan technology. Stay tuned for additional information on this advanced vehicle, set to embark on journeys to uncharted realms, which will be revealed in the near future!


World Celebration Opening in Epcot

The new World Celebration neighborhood in Epcot has received an opening date! World Celebration will unite the front of the park, tying together the other two new EPCOT neighborhoods, World Discovery and World Nature. The new neighborhood will officially open in December 2023.


Asha from Wish Meet and Greet coming to Epcot

EPCOT, Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris are getting an exciting new meet and greet in the near future. Asha, from the new Disney animated film “Wish” will meeting guests soon.

Wish will follow a young girl named Asha who wishes on a star and gets more than expected when a trouble-making star comes to her aid. Wish stars Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk and Ariana DeBose. Wish releases in theaters worldwide starting November 22, 2023.

Soarin' Over California

Soarin’ Over California Coming to Epcot

For a limited time guests will get to experience Soarin’ Over California at Epcot! Starting September 22, 2023, this version of the ride will be available in honor of the Disney100 celebration.


Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point Coming Soon for DCL Guests

Disney Cruise Line guests will soon have an all-new private island to travel to. Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point will begin greeting guests next year. Disney is hard at work “collaborating with talented artists and cultural advisors in the Bahamas to shape an experience that celebrates the natural beauty, traditions and artistry of the one-of-a-kind nation”.


Disney Adventure is Newest Ship Coming to Disney Cruise Line

Disney announced today the latest ship that will be joining the Disney Cruise Line fleet! The Disney Adventure will be the seventh ship in Disney’s fleet, and will be the first Disney Cruise Line vessel to sail from Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia.

The Disney Adventure will feature the same stellar Disney Cruise Line customer service and storytelling that DCL is known for. Work on the ship us currently underway in Germany. An initial sailing date was not included in the announcement.


D23 Expo Returns to Anaheim in 2024

Want to be in the room when Disney makes more exciting announcements? D23 Expo is returning to the Anaheim Convention Center in 2024!

The enhanced Disney fan experience will offer an array of thrilling events across various locations, such as a D23 takeover at Disneyland, nighttime entertainment at the Honda Center, D23 Day at Angel Stadium, and numerous other exciting activities. At the Anaheim Convention Center, Disney enthusiasts can look forward to beloved fan favorites, including exhibits, panels, shows, and shopping, all set to captivate their hearts.D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event promises an unparalleled fan experience featuring spectacular performances, new venues, and multiple days of entertainment uniting the magic of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and more!

Highlights include:

  • Sunday, August 4: D23 Day at Angel Stadium, where D23 fans are invited to attend the Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Mets game.
  • Thursday, August 8: D23 kickoff celebration at Disneyland Resort.
  • Friday, August 9 – Sunday, August 11: Shopping, exhibits, panels, and presentations will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center during the day, with the fun extending into the evening at the Honda Center, the bigger home to marquee shows.

Tickets for D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event will go on sale in Spring 2024, with ticketing options to be announced later for access to the Anaheim Convention Center and the Honda Center. Admission for D23 Day at Angel Stadium and the D23 kickoff celebration at Disneyland Resort will be available as separate ticketed events. Additional details for D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event will be announced in early 2024.

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Sara is a travel agent with Destinations to Travel, a Disney Earmarked agency. She lives in Alaska with her husband and 3 kids. Due to her extreme dislike of winter, she travels often to warmer destinations during the colder months. She visits the Disney parks and resorts frequently with her family and loves helping other families plan magical vacations. Contact her here for help with your vacation!
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