In 2009, we saw Disney unveil plans for a New Fantasyland and a new Star Tours, but since then, the Parks and Resorts presentations at the D23 Expo have been almost barren of major announcements. However, 2015 is expected to be a year where Disney uses the event to reveal something big, perhaps simply based on the sheer amount of rumored, yet unconfirmed park projects that seem to be going on. Here’s a list of what’s currently going around the rumor mill and what are the most likely items we will hear something about during the 2015 D23 Expo, taking place August 14th through the 16th:
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Where do you even begin with this one? We are fully expecting the major reveal of the overhaul of this park at the D23 Expo, and if we don’t get one, there may just be a full scale riot at the Anaheim Convention Center that is simulcasted throughout social media. A name change for the park, a massive Star Wars themed land, and new PIXAR attractions are expected to be announced, but there may be even more. Speculation points to a revamped Fantasmic!, the arrival of the Red Car Trolley, a new indoor stage venue on Sunset Boulevard, as well as new parking entrances and multi-level structures also possibly being a part of the makeover plans.
Star Wars Land
While we aren’t expecting a ton of details, Star Wars Land will likely be announced for Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Park. While not much solid information is available , all we know is that the land will be HUGE, encompassing one entire side of DHS and taking up land from Critter Country to Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland.
New Nighttime Spectaculars
With Rivers of Light debuting at Animal Kingdom in 2016, rumors indicate that new nighttime entertainment is on the way to the other three Walt Disney World parks as well. We already mentioned upgrades to Fantasmic! at Hollywood Studios, but an IllumiNations replacement seems very likely for Summer 2016. What could be further off is a clone of the Paint the Night Parade for the Magic Kingdom, as well as a new fireworks show in the skies above Cinderella Castle, but these are also things that could be announced in 2 weeks time.
Star Wars Launch Bay
Announced for Shanghai Disneyland, the Star Wars Launch Bay is “A kind of meet-and-greet mixed with a museum, promising immersion into a state-of-the-art cinematic experience.” This attraction is expected to land inside Innoventions at Disneyland just in time for the holidays and should be coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the not-too-distant future as well.
The MARVEL Universe
“The Marvel Universe is a similar experience, with a chance to meet the famous superheroes, as well as being briefed on a “multimedia mission,” while you can also learn to draw some of the characters.” Also announced for Shanghai, this experience is rumored for the second floor of Innoventions at Disneyland Park. More substansuial
Soarin’ Over the Horizon
It has been filmed and the digital conversion of Soarin’ theaters is completed in California and will be by next year in Orlando. It would be surprising if this updated version of Soarin’ did not debut in the U.S. between 2016-2017.
More About Disney Springs
There are some really interesting shopping and dining concepts rumored for Disney Springs that have yet to be announced.
Disneyland Resort may never see a MagicBand, but a digital FastPass service and RFID ticket media will be coming to the west coast soon. The D23 Expo seems like a likely place for this announcement to be made, especially since some FastPass+ testing will be taking place in Anaheim soon.
So… which announcements would you like to see happen? Which ones do you actually think will happen?