ANAHEIM, Calif. — Soon, visitors to Disney California Adventure in Anaheim will enter the Marvel multiverse and fight a new villain.
At Walt Disney World, visitors will now know when they can hop on Flynn’s Lightcycle and enter the grid on a brand new TRON / Lightcycle Run ride in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom.
From coast to coast and globally, Disney has big plans for visitors to its theme parks, resorts and cruise lines worldwide.
On Sunday, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro greeted thousands of screaming Disney enthusiasts and shared a glimpse into Disney’s theme park and resort future during the “A Boundless Future: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products on the last day of the D23 Expo,” the company’s biennial fan convention.
“As the world’s greatest storytellers, I’m thrilled to share the new and innovative ways we are bringing next-generation Disney magic to life across Disney parks and experiences,” said D’Amaro.
D’Amaro kicked off the event with news about Disneyland Resort in Anaheim before sharing news about attractions coming to Walt Disney World in Florida.
Here’s what’s coming to Disneyland Resort:
Mandalorian and Grogu meet-and-greet
The Disney chairman joined movie director Jon Favreau, who announced that the Mandalorian carrying baby Grogu would soon roam Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland starting mid-November.
The Incredible Hulk in a Quantum Suit will be available for photo ops as a meet-and-greet for a limited time at the Avenger’s Campus at Disney California Adventure.
Third attraction at Avenger’s Campus
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige joined in the action and announced that the third attraction coming to Avenger’s Campus would allow visitors to enter the Marvel multiverse.
“In this new attraction, you’re going to be able to battle alongside all of the Avengers against all of their foes,” said Feige. “And you’re going to meet a new villain, King Thanos. This is a new version of Thanos [that] for the very first time [is] coming into the MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe] via this attraction. This is a Thanos that won the ‘Infinity War.’”
Neither D’Amaro nor Feige detailed the specifics of the ride.
Pacific Wharf makeover
Baymax and the rest of the crew from “Big Hero 6” will arrive at Disney California Adventure when Disney reimagines the Pacific Wharf into the fictional city of San Fransokyo.
Toontown and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
At Disneyland park, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will invite guests into a cartoon world where toon rules apply.
The newly reimagined Mickey’s Toontown will be an inclusive experience for families when it opens in early 2023.
Downtown Disney news
Cuban bakery Porto’s Bakery & Cafe has signed a lease with Disney and will open a new location in Downtown Disney.
The Paradise Pier hotel will be renamed Pixar Place. The company is currently making over the hotel into a Pixar-themed resort.
Lastly, runDisney races will return to Disneyland Resort in 2024.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Disneyland and Walt Disney World
Disney already announced that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the attraction replacing Splash Mountain at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World, will open in late 2024. During Sunday’s parks panel, D’Amaro revealed that several cast members of “The Princess and the Frog” will lend their voices to the attraction, including Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Michael-Leon Wooley, and Jennifer Lewis.
Disney to celebrate 100 years of studio magic
Parts of Disneyland will turn platinum early next year. Disney is celebrating its 100th anniversary and will kick off the celebrations with two new nighttime spectaculars.
At Disney California Adventure, Disney’s water and light show, the World of Color, will have a new show called One, and at Disneyland, the “Wondrous Journeys” fireworks show.
Additionally, at Disneyland, the “Magic Happens” parade will return.
At Walt Disney World:
TRON Lightcycle Run opening timeline
One of the biggest Disney World reveals to come out of Sunday’s parks panel was the opening timeline for the highly anticipated attraction TRON Lightcycle Run. The coaster, currently under construction at Magic Kingdom, will open in spring 2023. So still no opening date, but at least fans have a general idea of when to expect the new ride.
Happily Ever After returning
The much-beloved nighttime fireworks spectacular Happily Ever After will return to Magic Kingdom in a brand new way next year.
D’Amaro broke the news after Jordan Fisher performed “Happily Ever After” live in front of an enthusiastic crowd. The details are sparse about how the nighttime fireworks show will be “updated,” but fans can at least look forward to it coming back. It was replaced by Disney Enchantment, which debuted for Disney World’s 50th-anniversary celebration.
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana’s opening timeline
The new “Moana”-inspired attraction under construction at EPCOT’s World Nature neighborhood will open in late 2023. The walkthrough attraction will take visitors through the water cycle.
EPCOT’s new nighttime spectacular
A new nighttime spectacular is in the works for EPCOT, which means the clock is ticking on Harmonious. The new show, set for the park’s World Showcase Lagoon, will debut next year for the company’s 100th-anniversary celebration. D’Amaro did not reveal any other details about the show.
During the presentation, D’Amaro announced that visitors would get to meet Figment in person as part of a character meet-and-greet at Epcot. The meet-and-greet will be available near the end of 2023.
Hatbox Ghost to materialize at Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion attraction at Magic Kingdom is getting a haunting new addition. Disney added the popular Hatbox character to the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland in 2015.
The Hatbox Ghost will materialize and be part of the attraction next year at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Disney World fans have been hoping for the character to be featured on the East Coast.
Disney Cruise Line
For Disney Cruise Line, the big news was D’Amaro announcing the name of the next ship in the fleet. The sixth ship, which will begin sailing in 2024, will be named the Disney Treasure. It will feature a new concept for The Grand Hall, drawing inspiration from Asia and Africa.
And, for the first time, the cruise line will sail to Australia and New Zealand. Disney plans to use the Disney Wonder ship for those sailings and voyages to destinations in the South Pacific, such as Fiji and Samoa.
Around the world
“Frozen”-themed lands will soon be part of Disney’s theme parks in Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, a land based on the popular animated film “Zootopia” is underway at Shanghai Disneyland.