Disney’s parks have come back after being closed in 2020 due to the global coronavirus outbreak. Disney is witnessing continuous growth in attendance, occupied room nights, and cruise ship sailings, contributing to the company’s parks, experiences, and products division’s rising revenue.
The new Genie+ and Lightning Lane offerings were highlighted by Disney during its most recent earnings report as factors that contributed to an increase in per-guest ticket sales. The new digital elements were included so guests could have a more personalized experience and avoid long wait times at the park’s most popular attractions.
CEO Bob Chapek claimed at the time that the firm has been able to increase capacity at its parks by reintroducing in-park attractions, including character meet-and-greets, theatrical performances, and nocturnal events at Disneyland. Since reopening in early 2020 after the initial round of pandemic closures, Disney has implemented a new online reservation system and visitor caps in an effort to manage crowds.
The business continues introducing new features and attractions to its theme parks and cruise lines, which Josh D’Amaro, head of Disney’s parks, experiences, and product division, described Sunday at its D23 Expo.
On stage, D’Amaro introduced executive producer of “The Mandalorian” Jon Favreau and revealed that the Mandalorian and an animatronic Grogu would be accessible for meet-and-greets and encounters as part of Galaxy’s Edge’s in-land costumed characters. In November, he’ll fly in.
On Friday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that a third attraction would be added to the Avengers Campus at Disneyland in California. Based throughout the multiverse, riders will face up against a variety of foes, including the Mad Titan himself, Thanos.
Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, made an in-person appearance, and Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk, made a video appearance to announce that the character would be making an appearance at the park for a meet-and-greet. Next week, visitors to the park can see the Hulk version created as part of Project Exo.
Disney California Adventure will turn Pacific Wharf into San Fransokyo from “Big Hero 6,” complete with an appearance by Baymax, the friendly healthcare robot from the film. Furthermore, Pixar Place Hotel will soon replace the former Paradise Pier Hotel.
Porto’s Bakery and Cafe and Din Tai Fung are just two new dining options coming to Downtown Disney. Toon Town in Disneyland will get a makeover, including a new play area for kids and a recreation of the famous Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride from Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida.
In 2023, we anticipate these improvements. Taking place immediately after “The Princes and the Frog,” Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which is replacing Splash Mountain, follows Princess Tiana as she seeks a missing ingredient for a party honoring Carnival. In late 2024, the ride will return to the public.
D’Amaro has confirmed that the ride’s soundtrack will play a significant role and that the movie’s original cast will make a cameo to lend their voices to the attraction. Tiana’s voice actress, Anika Noni Rose, performed two songs from the 2009 animated feature, including “I’m Almost There” and “Dig a Little Deeper.”
Walt Disney World
To mark the company’s centennial, D’Amaro revealed that Disney is now working on a new nighttime spectacular for Epcot. In addition, the “Moana“-inspired Journey of Water theme park that was announced for 2019 will not open until late 2023. Figment, the beloved purple dragon, will also make a return visit to Epcot so that park guests can meet and greet him.
The Hat Box Ghost will return to Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion in 2019. D’Amaro previewed his ride on Tron Light Cycle Run and mentioned that it would debut at Magic Kingdom in the spring of 2023 with a video of his test ride.
“Disney Treasure” is the name of Disney’s sixth cruise ship, and it was chosen to honor Walt Disney’s spirit of exploration. A figure of Jasmine and Aladdin on the flying carpet decorates the main hall in “Aladdin” style. D’Amaro has announced that the “Disney Wonder” will begin sailing to Australia and New Zealand in October 2023. The business is also launching Lighthouse Point, a new resort on an island in the Bahamas. According to D’Amaro, solar energy will supply 90% of the facility’s electricity needs.
The lovable Duffy and Friends from Shanghai Disneyland will star in their stop-motion series on Disney+. D’Amaro also previewed upcoming attractions, including a giant animatronic of Officer Clawhauser for the Zootopia area. The land’s grand opening has not yet been scheduled.
The new Walt Disney statue at Hong Kong Disneyland is based on the story of Walt Disney being inspired to create Disney theme parks while watching his children ride on a merry-go-round. The opening of the Frozen-themed area of the park is scheduled for the latter half of 2023. To connect the new Frozen-themed region in Paris to the rest of the park, a new promenade will be built, and a “Tangled”-themed attraction will be installed in the adjacent garden.
Also, Fantasy Springs, a new land at Tokyo Disney Resort inspired by “Frozen,” “Tangled,” and “Peter Pan,” is currently under construction. In 2024, Space Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland will begin a makeover, and by 2027, a brand-new plaza will have been built for riders to enjoy the ride.
Beyond Big Thunder Mountain
After the discussion, D’Amaro spoke about some of the “blue sky” projects being worked on by the Imagineering team. There are specific projects that are only getting started and may never be completed. D’Amaro brought up the idea of remodeling Animal Kingdom’s Dino Land in Orlando.
Some early concepts for the area include adapting Disney animated features like “Zootopia” (with all its districts and animal species) or “Moana” for the park. Disney is curious about what lies beyond Big Thunder Mountain at Magic Kingdom. The firm has hinted that either this area or one called “Encanto” will feature a “Coco”-themed section.
The Cinderella Castle royal makeover is complete as we ramp up to Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration, beginning October 1st. ✨ #DisneyWorld50 pic.twitter.com/hTMyFd7AxG
— Walt Disney World (@WaltDisneyWorld) July 23, 2021
Probably both of those things are true. D’Amaro has hinted at the prospect of bringing to life a region of Magic Kingdom overrun by Disney villains. At this proposal, the audience cheered enthusiastically. Disney’s villains typically appear during Halloween-themed events. He assured me that “we will never cease pleasing you.”
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