I dropped the ball this year.  The D23 expo happens every other year and for some reason it always seems to fall on the same weekend as an event called Tiki Oasis that I go to with a bunch of friends.  Well this year D23 came earlier and I was all excited to be able to go for the first time in years.    Then Saturdays sold out (which was the big day with all the cool panels).   So it was going to cost a fortune to get a 3 day pass–when I knew I wouldn’t be going all 3 days.    Then Thursday night I started seeing the early press coverage before it opened of the Star Wars exhibit with the model for Star Wars Land.    Now despite not getting to see the big panels–I wanted to go—I actually had the Sunday only tickets purchase screen up on my computer —but decided to wait until I got home to figure out whether my wife wanted to go.    I waited to long and it sold out…….2 years from now I won’t make the same mistake.

 So Instead I spent much of Saturday geeking out over all the news flooding the internet   (and secretly hoping that the Star Wars Land model will eventually make its way over to  Star Wars Launch Bay…….the whole second floor is empty after all.)

So here is a recap of all the big D23 news for the Theme Parks:

  1.  Star Wars Land gets a name:  Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge  Here is a quick view of the model.  It will open in Disneyland in 2019 and I can’t wait.   The word of the day here is Immersive!

2.  The rumors about the Great Movie Ride closing are true.

 I personally love this ride –but when I took my family a couple of years back they all thought it was boring.   The new attraction taking its place will be the First Mickey Mouse themed ride in the parks (hard to believe).    It will be called  Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and is inspired by the Mickey Mouse Cartoon animated shorts that have appeard on the Disney channel and Disney Online over the last couple of years.   You know those cartoons I review all the time.    Apparently you will step into the screen in this ride through attraction that will use new technology to create an amazing new experience.

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3.   Epcot is getting some much needed love.    The Frozen ride is a big hit and Soaring continues to well Soar –but this park could use more excitement.

Two years ago I did a blog series on things I’d add to Epcot if money was no object and of course one of the most logical things was to add that Ratatouille ride from Paris to the France Pavilion.   Well that is finally going to happen.   I’ve seen you tube videos of this attraction and it looks totally fun.

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 Ellen’s Universe of Energy attraction (whose shelf life expired years ago)  is also getting replaced with a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction. The details of what the attraction will be are still a mystery my guess is that it will be something new and original..    And next to Mission Space will be a cool space themed by the Patina group which runs several of our favorite restaurants in Downtown Disney.   This looks amazing from the concept art and I know the food will be great since the Patina Group is involved.

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4.  Flynn Lives!      The Magic Kingdom in Florida is getting the Tron Coaster and it won’t be replacing the Tomorrowland Speedway –but will be in a whole new area next to Space Mountain .  This ride is a totally hit in Shanghai and the top of my bucket list.   You will have to wait until 2021 for this attraction however.     I better start planning a trip to 2021 now.Tron.jpg

5.  Star Wars Themed Resort……Start saving now.   This was another rumor that is coming true.

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The word Immersive seems to be the new catch phrase at Disney and this is the best example of that.  This experience will literally put you in the world of Star Wars with a resort experience that will leave the real world behind.   Expect this to be super expensive so start saving your money now.   It Promises to be a unique experience for every person that does it.

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6.   Getting tired of all this news already???  Then why not relax on a Disney Cruise ship.  Disney is adding 3 new Cruise ships to it’s Cruise line.  Hopefully that will mean more cruises on the west coast.   I’ve never been on a Disney Cruise before — but if they start cruising the Pacific more regularly this may happen in the nears future.Disney Cruise

7.   2018 at Disney California Adventure will see the Paradise Pier area turn into a limited time Celebration of everything Pixar.   Expect a lot of Character Meet and Greets from Pixar’s stable of characters.

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 The Paint the Night parade will return –but to DCA and the Pixar Play Parade will wander across the street to Disneyland that will be accompanied by an all new Fireworks show

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8. DCA will be getting even more Marvel.  The Guardians Ride and the Summer of Heroes was just the beggining as Spider-Man and the Avengers will a part of something Immersive coming soon