Massive Lineup of New Rides, Hotels, and More Announced for Disney Parks Around the World at D23 Expo 2017

Massive Lineup of New Rides, Hotels, and More Announced for Disney Parks Around the World at D23 Expo 2017

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek Announces Extraordinary Line-up of Experiences Coming to Disney Parks around the Globe 

Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and a seventh cruise ship among the experiences coming for guests  

Today at D23 Expo 2017, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts announced an extraordinary line-up of brand new attractions and experiences coming to its parks and resorts around the world as it continues to revolutionize the guest experience, starting from before guests even arrive for a Disney vacation to the many memories that last a lifetime.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek welcomed nearly 7,000 fans as he unveiled more than a dozen new experiences coming to Disney parks and resorts and gave a sneak peek at much-anticipated projects in development. Several Imagineers joined the presentation by providing details of the creativity, imagination and innovation in development around the world. Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter also shared his enthusiasm for plans to include a larger Pixar presence at Disneyland Resort.

In addition to the announcement that Fantasmic! will return to Disneyland Park tonight, two nights early in honor of the Expo, fans were treated to a glimpse of the new “Beauty and the Beast” musical production coming to the Disney Dream on Disney Cruise Line, currently in production in Toronto, and a special one-night-only medley of nostalgic entertainment numbers showcasing the heritage of Disney Parks.

“On the heels of the many new and incredibly popular experiences that just debuted this year, the best is yet to come. We have ambitious plans for our parks and resorts around the world,” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  “We’re investing in the guest experience like never before, and we’re doing it all in way that is only possible at Disney!”

From new lodging and transportation options that make getting around more fun, to original storytelling and immersive experiences based on guests’ favorites, Disney continues to provide unparalleled vacation destinations for guests across the globe in even more exciting ways than ever before.

Immersive Theme Park Experiences and Attractions

An Unprecedented First Look at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Fans were elated to hear their Star Wars stories will come to life in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the newly announced name for the Star Wars-themed lands. Chapek shared exciting new details and a glimpse inside the two anchor attractions, including one that puts guests right in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance where guests will feel like they are inside a hangar bay on a Star Destroyer. Guests will also have the chance to fly the Millennium Falcon, where each guest is critical to the mission’s success. Chapek also revealed many characters that guests will meet, including BB-8, Chewbacca, Rex and Kylo Ren. Representing the largest single-themed land expansion at 14 acres each, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in 2019, with the first land debuting at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, then at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando.

Timeless Transformation of Epcot Revealed

Looking ahead to the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, there are grand plans to complete the transformation that started with the debut of New Fantasyland in 2014. Chapek announced exciting plans across Epcot to realize the original vision of the park while making it more timeless and relevant than ever before.

Patterned after the number one family attraction at Disneyland Paris, Ratatouille will be added in an all-new space in the France pavilion at World Showcase.


Epcot will also see the addition of a brand new E-ticket attraction based on the rockin’ and action-packed world of Guardians of the Galaxy, the next step in how guests can encounter these characters at Walt Disney World Resort.

In Future World, a new Green Mission at Mission: SPACE will take guests on a stunning tour around the Earth, and an updated Orange Mission will make the trip to Mars even more spectacular.

Adjacent to Mission: Space will be a new restaurant that will invite guests to travel high above the earth for an unforgettable dining experience.

More Thrills than Ever Planned for Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom

Disney remains at the cutting edge of deeply immersive, creative storytelling that draws guests into new worlds, and it is a legacy that lives on in every new Disney Parks experience.

The first-ever Mickey-themed ride-through attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, will come to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With a new original story and lovable attraction theme song, this new state-of-the-art ride-through attraction will take guests on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts using new technologies that transform the flat cartoon world into an incredible dimensional experience.

Chapek also announced that the highest rated attraction at Shanghai Disneyland is coming to Walt Disney World Resort. A thrilling, TRON-themed attraction will be added in a new area near Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom.

Additionally, a new live entertainment theater coming to Main Street, U.S.A., based on the iconic Willis Theater in 1920s Kansas City, will bring world-class entertainment to the world’s most popular park.

Pixar Fun at the Happiest Place on Earth

In addition to announcing the summer 2018 opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Chapek was joined by Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter to unveil plans for Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure, where the pier will take on a brand new look as more favorite Pixar characters and stories come to life, from The Incredibles, to Inside Out to even more Toy Story. Chapek also announced there is more Pixar in store during Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort. Starting in 2018, this limited-time offering will include a new fireworks spectacular as well as special characters and entertainment moments.

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

Disney Cruise Line to Nearly Double the Size of its Fleet by 2023

Chapek surprised the crowd by announcing that Disney Cruise Line will add one more ship in its expansion to take family cruise vacations to a whole new level, giving the line a total of seven (yeah, seven!) ships. Joining the other two new ships that were announced just last year, all three new ships will be powered by one of the cleanest-burning fuels available, liquefied natural gas. When all three ships are completed by 2023, Disney Cruise Line will have nearly doubled the size of the fleet.

Immersive Hotel Concepts

Among the announcements were projects that infuse even more exciting experiences for resort hotel guests in ways that are only possible at Disney.

To the delight of fans, Chapek confirmed ambitious plans to create the most experiential concept ever in an immersive Star Wars-themed hotel at Walt Disney World Resort. Dedicated entirely to the galaxy of Star Wars, it will be a one-of-a-kind experience where a luxury resort meets a multi-day adventure in a galaxy far, far away.

Adding to the immersive resort hotel slate, Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel at Disneyland Paris will transport guests to the action-packed world of Super Heroes, including Iron Man, The Avengers, Spider-Man and more. Guests will be able to explore the Marvel Universe through its comic art, films, Super Hero costumes and more, displayed in the style of a contemporary art gallery.

Leading up to the July 17 opening of Copper Creek Villas & Cabins, Chapek also announced the proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney Riviera Resort, coming to Walt Disney World Resort near Epcot.

Seamless Transportation Options

Completing the immersion so guests never have to leave the story while on a Disney vacation, Chapek announced plans that will make getting around Walt Disney World Resort even more fun.

An all-new Minnie Van service will provide a point-to-point transportation service in a way that only Disney can do, giving guests an even more seamless resort vacation from start to finish.

Additionally, a whole new transportation system called Disney Skyliner will give guests a birds-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort. This brand new system will connect Disney’s Art of Animation, Pop Century and Caribbean Beach resorts, as well as the proposed new Disney Riviera Resort, with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot. 

Honoring the Heritage of Disney Parks

In a memorable tribute to the legacy of beloved attractions, entertainment and characters, fans enjoyed a special one-time-only performance of entertainment numbers from Disney Parks through the years. Following the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade, Chapek hinted there are even more fan favorites in store from Disney Parks’ storied past.


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  1. What about the “confirmed” rumor that the Trom coaster was taking the place of Tomorrowland Speedway?

    Can we now discuss the definition of the word “confirmed” and how you might not want to use it so flagrantly?

    1. Yes, let’s do….WHO CARES!!! They broke the story that TRON was coming to MK. I would have loved for it to replace the awful TS that sits in that large piece of land. But I’ll take this. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they switched it up last minute after the story broke. Don’t be too upset when the final product sits on the TS. But you just keep on hating, don’t click it if you don’t like it!

      1. Because as we all know, “breaking” a story about a theme park attractions means as much instant glory and admiration as commenting first on a YouTube video. Of course I can’t count the number of instances Jim Hill has alluded to things that he can’t talk about because it will get someone in trouble and then almost immediately followed by Tom “breaking” a story that perfectly fits with what Jim was referring to. That fact that Tom actually thinks he’s the top is absolutely laughable, keep trying Tommy Boy. They really should change their slogan to WDWNT: the TMZ of Theme Park news.

  2. Some neat stuff here, I anticipate Disney PR folks will write here with many comments of dissent, but let’s be honest… They’re not building enough capacity (basically, none) of NEW park areas for the amount of resorts they’re adding. They closed as much space at Studios as they will reopen basically, and new areas won’t carry capacity of Stunt Show and Backlot Tour. I think they new areas will be much more up to date, but no new space. The parks are going to be wall to wall people, with NOT enough to do considering the crowds, and Epcot closing space for more restaurants? Bad call. Before changing over what they have they need a full 5th park for all these tens of thousands of new rooms they’ve built in the last decade, while the parks have basically not added much.

    1. The point is that the crowds become untenable, driving people who have not invested in the resort hotels away. Soon you will need to pay for fast passes and take “tours” to skip lines, which will be longer because of the fast pass mechanic. Basically monetizing experiences so the “real” guests got what they want and the rest of us are treated like the cattle we are. Maximize spending, not enjoyment.

      1. In Disney’s mind, no reason Disney shouldn’t be $1500/guest/day, including overnight stay, tickets, and tours to skip a few lines. If you want Dining, add another $250/guest/day. If you want VIP experience, triple it. It’s the direction it’s going. I see lots of neat little add ones, but this is 2 decades ago work that should have been done, a 5th park is overdue.

        1. This is exactly what they’re going for with the Star Wars hotel. The daily rates for that ” luxury resort meets a multi-day adventure” must be mouth agape worthy.

        2. Thanks Cheryl for your wonderful comment, we will file it with the other garbage.

        3. I’ll pay $1500/person/day if you open everything up, make it a great experience, and add some real estate. instead, they serve lower quality food than ever, only open 1/10th the lanes to get in, rides run slow to cut cast members. It’s just poorly run. Cheap. No value. I’m excited for new stuff, but as over-run as the parks are and quality declining, not sure worth it compared to other travel options out there anymore. And we are big Disney fans. Just not of Disney World anymore.

    2. Word. Lot’s of cool things. The only one I’m weary about is the GoTG attraction which sounds as merely a retheming of the UoE much to what they did with Frozen at the Norway pavilion.

      HS will practically be a dead park from mid Aug. onward.

      And the only thing that could be described as added park space are the Tron coaster and Rattatouille, nothing more. While at the same time adding more & more rooms. Parks are gonna get more hectic, for lack of a better word and I’ll leave it at that.

      1. “Following the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade, Chapek hinted there are even more fan favorites in store from Disney Parks’ storied past.”

        What does that mean? Is the Main Street Electrical Parade coming back to Walt Disney World?

        (Please say yes…please say yes…)

      2. I think the rooms are trying to get more of the off site guests to stay On property. I am concerned about the capacity issues.

        1. I’m also concerned. Cram them in, give them way less no matter what the cost. I don’t mind paying $10k for a vacation, I work very hard, but Disney has gotten too cheap. These announcements are way too little in the fun and growth for all the time shares they build with DVC, and another darn resort. Gotta be kidding me. And last visit, food was really terrible, they cut it all back with Dining plan. I guess they figure it’s included, why try so hard. I can say why, we ate off property 99% of the time it was so cut back. They’re having management problems realizing people come for a fun experience, not to be given such little value for huge crowds and rides running half capacity to save them yet another dime.

      3. I don’t understand your capacity concerns. They just added a whole new land and extended the operating hours of Animal Kingdom.

        They are adding a new full sized stage show on top of what will probably be the most popular attraction at the park when it opens, Tron. Without removing anything at all. Most people will use their FP+ on Tron making it much easier to get times at rides like Space Mountain.

        At EPCOT if they do what you say and just retheme UoE that would be huge for capacity. That ride is a capacity machine but runs mostly empty these days. Would be nice to actually see that ride with a queue and based off of what GotG is doing in DCA, it’ll have a large one. Then Ratatouille is a bonus.

        Finally, all the new transportation they’re adding should greatly disperse the crowds among the many options people now have to choose from.

  3. Thanks Joe and Tom for all the information looks like good times headed our you think the speedway is safe or will it be removed? Just wondering.

    1. Considering the speedway is in the concept art for Tron, I’d say it’s safe for the time being.

      1. I love how you get to walk past (and smell) 1974 automotive technology and a blank wall on your way to Tron.

        And what about sight lines from Fantasyland, Storybook Circus and the Hub?

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