Welcome to DisneyBizJournal.com - News, Analysis and Reviews of the Disney Entertainment Business!

Brought to fans, investors, entrepreneurs, executives, teachers, professors, and students by columnist, economist, novelist, reviewer, podcaster, business reporter and speaker Ray Keating

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Breaking News from Destination D23 at Disney World

 by Beth Keating



September 9, 2023


Many of you were glued to your computers this morning watching the Destination D23 livestream from the Contemporary Resort at Disney World in Florida. D23 is the official Disney Fan Club.

This fan-gathering is always the home of breaking Disney Parks news, amidst the fun and interesting discussion panels, entertainment segments and, of course, merchandise shopping, and today didn’t disappoint. Here are some of the bulleted highlights of the Saturday event (September 9, 2023), many of them announced by 
Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products himself.  If you haven’t been hovering over YouTube all day for the latest news, here are some of the scoops.

Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog


 “Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana” will be officially opening to the general public on October 16th. There will also be a Moana character meet-and-greet there. (DVC and Annual Passholder Previews will be underway shortly.)


• World Celebration will open in EPCOT in December.

Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

• Figment fans, make your way to EPCOT this weekend – your favorite purple Figment will begin meeting and greeting in person, tomorrow (September 10, 2023) in the Imagination pavilion. Be warned – he is HUGE! The walk-around character was taller than most of the cast who joined him on stage for a rousing chorus of Figment’s “Imagination” theme song.

• In more EPCOT news, the new fireworks show now has a name and debut date:  “Luminous: The Symphony of Us” will arrive on December 5, 2023.


Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

• The upcoming film Wish will introduce folks to Asha, and she will subsequently be appearing in EPCOT, Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.

• Guests who wax nostalgic about the old version of Test Track will be pleased to hear that Disney will be partnering with Chevrolet to reimagine Test Track and will take as its inspiration the original World of Motion.

Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

• At this afternoon’s panel, “EPCOT: Always in a State of Becoming,” it was announced that for a limited time, guests at EPCOT will be able to experience the original cut of “Soarin’ Over California” as part of the Disney100 celebration, beginning September 22, 2023.


• The “Star Tours” attraction will be adding “Ahsoka” to the lineup in the spring, including at Disney World, Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.


• The “Country Bear Jamboree” will be getting new songs for a new act, with the atmosphere being classic jamboree/Nashville-style in tone. Disney also revealed new artwork for the show, “Country Bear Musical Jamboree,” opening in 2024.

• Over in Adventureland, near Pirates of the Caribbean, there will be a new pirates’ themed tavern introduced, with the name and opening date of the restaurant/lounge to be shared later.

• Construction on his new home has already been underway, but at long last, the Hatbox Ghost will be arriving at Magic Kingdom in late November!

• Imagineer Bruce Vaughn joined D’Amaro and talked about the possibilities with the proposed expansion in the area “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain,” first broached in the Blue Sky projects at the last D23 gathering.  While the specific attractions and shows haven’t been named yet, Vaughn indicated that the scope of the project will be similar in scale to the Galaxy’s Edge and Pandora expansions – in other words, a very large addition to that end of the park!


• The biggest news out of the Animal Kingdom is the long-anticipated revamp of DinoLand – to “the Tropical Americas.” According to Disney, they are “diving deep into their research” and “New experiences inspired by Encanto – the Academy Award winning Walt Disney Animation Studios film – and the fan-favorite adventurer Indiana Jones are being considered for the reimagined land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort.” (Before you throw on your fedora and grab your bullwhip, note the wording “are being considered” in the language... though there were very broad hints about these IPs during the discussion of the land.)

Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

• The Tree of Life will be getting a new show inspired by Zootopia, likely to be replacing “A Bug’s Life” inside the theatre in the base of the Tree of Life, though that wasn’t explicitly stated. Since the show will include animatronics, that indicates to us that it won’t just be an evening projections’ show on the outside of the Tree, but an overhaul of the show inside.



• Disney Cruise Line announced the name for the new, 7th ship in its fleet: the Disney Adventure.  This cruise, featuring Disney, Pixar, and Marvel stories on board, will be home ported in Singapore.

• In another Cruise Line announcement, the name of Disney’s newest private port will be “Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point” in the Bahamas. (The first cruise sailing there will be the Disney Magic, on June 16, 2024.)



• Avengers Campus is getting a new attraction, where guests will be able to battle alongside the Avengers, and come face to face with big bad villain Thanos, complete with new ride vehicles in a hub for the multiverse! New Avengers “technology” will allow “recruits” to connect to the multiverse, and will transport participants on a multi-world mission. D23 guests got a peek at the ride vehicles.



• D23 fans also got a look at Hong Kong’s “World of Frozen,” opening November 30, 2023.



• Looking forward to the next big D23 event?  It was announced that next year’s event is being called “D23 The Ultimate Disney Fan Event,” and will take place from August 8th-11th in and around Anaheim, California. The D23 kickoff celebration will take place at Disneyland Resort on August 8th, 2024, with other panels and exhibits happening during the day on August 9th through 11th at the Anaheim Convention Center, providing more space for more guests. At night, participants will head to shows in the indoor NHL hockey arena at the Honda Center.


Tickets for these events aren’t on sale yet, but mark your calendars now, because when they do drop (sometime in spring 2024), they are certain to go really fast!  They typically sell out in a matter of hours.



Josh D’Amaro wrapped up “A Celebration of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” by saying, “We are going to speed up; we are not going to slow down, and over the next decade, we are going to have more projects under way than at any point in our history – any point in our history.  We are planning to invest billions of dollars in our destinations around the world.” 


Disney fans will be looking forward to it.




Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.

No comments:

Post a Comment