The D23 expo is the ultimate Disney event, held annually in California. Disney lovers gather every year to hear about new projects coming to the Disney parks, Disney movies, and more! This year’s D23 expo has brought us Disney fans some exciting news! It looks like Disney is rolling out lots of changes during the next few years! Here is everything what will be coming to the Walt Disney World parks!
Image by D23
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
The retheming of Splash Mountain to a Princess and the Frog ride has been in talks since Summer of 2020. D23 gave us all the inside scoop of what the ride would be like and a model of what the ride will look like. The attraction will continue the story of The Princess and the Frog, and it will have the original cast from the movie providing voices for the ride! Based on the look of the model of the ride, it looks like it will be amazing! Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is set to open in late 2024 in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
Image by Disney Parks
“Happily Ever After” Fireworks
During the 50th Anniversary celebration of Magic Kingdom, a new fireworks show was introduced called “Disney Enchantment”. While many Disney fans have enjoyed Enchantment, many have wondered if this fireworks show would be a permanent fixture at Magic Kingdom. However, this show will retire at the end of the 50th Anniversary celebration (March 2023), and “Happily Ever After” will be making its triumphant return! “Happily Ever After” ended its run in September 2020, and Disney fans are overjoyed to hear of its return to the parks!
Image by D23
Magic Kingdom’s highly anticipated new attraction, TRON Lightcycle/Run finally has an opening timeline! Due to the pandemic and closure of the parks, the completion of this project has been long overdue. Recently, there has been a lot of ride testing, leading guests to believe that it will be completed and opening fairly soon. Good news Disney fans – it was finally announced that TRON Lightcycle/Run will be opening in Spring 2023 at Magic Kingdom!
Image by Disney Parks
The Hatbox Ghost was a famous happy haunt at the Disneyland Haunted Mansion, but disappeared for nearly 50 years! In 2015, the Hatbox Ghost returned to Disneyland, where he has remained ever since. He appeared at the very end of the attic scene at the end of the ride. Now, he will be joining the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom sometime next year! It was not announced where he will live on the ride in Walt Disney World. However, Disney fans are super excited about this news nonetheless!
Image by Wikipedia – Hatbox Ghost
Now for some of the biggest news to be dropped at D23 – an expansion! New lands are under development beyond the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom! The lands that may be coming would include Coco, Encanto, and even a Disney Villains land! These plans are in very early stages of development, but it is rumored that guests may be able to enter the “casita” from Encanto, or maybe even ride on an alebrije from Coco. Based on the concept art, the lands may be replacing Rivers of America and Tom Sawyer Island.
Image by D23
“Harmonious” will be over just as quickly as it started. It was first announced at the D23 Expo in 2018 that it would be Epcot’s newest fireworks show, replacing the beloved “Illuminations” but didn’t officially come to Epcot until October 1, 2021. Epcot will be celebrating 40 years later this year and I guess it is time for a new fireworks show! “100 Years of Wonder” will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Company through light and imagination. However, an end date for Harmonious has not yet been announced.
Image by D23
Figment Meet & Greet
A new meet and greet is coming to Epcot next year! The popular purple dragon, Figment, from “Journey into Imagination with Figment” will be getting his own meet and greet for a limited time in 2023! Many years ago, you were able to meet Figment at Epcot and it unexpectedly went away. Figment’s popularity has stood the test of time making this meet and greet a must do for “old Epcot” and Figment fans alike!
Image by @HistoryAtDisney
Journey of Water
After the announcement three years ago, we finally have an opening date for Journey of Water, inspired by Moana! This water attraction will be opening in late 2023, and will feature a 16-foot-tall Te Fiti figure! The walkthrough attraction will teach guests about the cycle of water and feature many nods to the Moana movie, such as Te Fiti, Kakamora, Moana, and more! The Journey of Water will be located within World Nature, the area “dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty, awe, and balance of the natural world.”
Image by Walt Disney World
Perhaps some of the most breaking news to come from this year’s D23 expo is that Dinoland USA will be going extinct! Taking its place will be a land featuring Moana and Zootopia. The plans are still in the very early stages of development so there are no official rides or attractions. There was, however, a piece of concept art revealed at this year’s expo that showed a potential for Moana’s boat on a lake and an aerial carousel ride. Dinoland has been an opening day land at Animal Kingdom. After the closure and demolition of the Primeval Whirl in 2020, park goers were skeptical about this area of the park. We will miss you Dinoland, however we are very excited for what will be taking its place!
Image by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
This years D23 expo brought many exciting announcements for the company and the parks. Although specific dates weren’t announced for many of the highly anticipated attractions, there is an opening timeline we can go by. The biggest news to come from the Disney Parks Panel was definitely the expansion to Magic Kingdom and the replacement of Dinoland USA! We are excited to see all the new changes come to the parks!
What announcement were you most excited to hear about?
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