Heading into the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts panel at D23 Expo, fans were salivating for more news on Star Wars land. Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, brought announcements from the galaxy far, far away with an official name and some details about who guests will see in the Star Wars expansions. But that's not all. Chapek also revealed and confirmed attractions and hotels involving Marvel, Tron, Pixar, and Disney Studios. The biggest news for each franchise/studio is as follows:
The official name of the galactic lands coming to both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios is Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Chapek said they're raising the bar for immersiveness with the land and discussed how guests will be able to go on their very own Star Wars adventures. Not many new details about Galaxy's Edge were revealed, but we do have some character information. We'll see familiar faces such as BB-8, Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, First Order stormtroopers, Hondo Ohnaka, and even Rex, the pilot of the original Star Tours attraction. In this land, Rex is a DJ spinning tunes at the cantina.
Chewie and Hondo will be involved with the Millennium Falcon ride; they're looking for a crew. If you fail your mission while riding the attraction, you could end up on the list of the bounty hunter Harko, and that will affect your transactions within Galaxy's Edge.
The other attraction, the one where you're caught in a fight between the First Order and the Resistance, will partially take place inside the hangar bay of a Star Destroyer.
Though Galaxy's Edge will open in 2019 on both coasts, it will debut in Disneyland before Hollywood Studios.
The immersive Star Wars hotel was confirmed by Chapek. It's coming to Walt Disney World and will be 100% in-universe, a new Disney 360 vacation concept. Guests will have multi-day adventures that begin from embarking. Chapek said, "From the second you arrive, you will become a part of a Star Wars story. You’ll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. Once you leave Earth, you will discover a starship alive with characters, stories, and adventures that unfold all around you."
To make the hotel experience feel like Star Wars come to life, every room will have a view of space.
Guardians of the Galaxy has made a splash at Disney California Adventure, and the outlaws aren't stopping there. EPCOT will be getting an E-ticket attraction inspired by the Marvel film in Future World (it will replace Universe of Energy). Chapek said the Guardians will take park guests on an out of this world adventure. Chapek also dropped a photo from Peter Quill's history; Quill visited EPCOT as a kid. They hope to have the EPCOT Guardians ride open in time for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary in 2021.
Back in Disney's California Adventure, Chapek confirmed an immersive superhero universe is coming to the park. There isn't any concept art or anything yet for this universe. Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout has been popular, and the Avengers and Spider-Man will be joining the Guardians.
Meanwhile over at Disneyland Paris, a Marvel-themed hotel will be opening. Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel will put guests into the world of Marvel's heroes in an art gallery kind of style.
As we reported earlier in July, a Tron roller coaster is coming to Magic Kingdom. The ride will be housed in an entirely new area by Space Mountain in Tomorrowland and is based on the same ride style as the Tron attraction at Shanghai Disneyland. They're hoping to have it open in 2021.
Epcot's France pavilion will be infested with rats in 2021, because a Ratatouille attraction is coming. The ride is being built in a new area behind the Eiffel Tower and will be modeled on the attraction of the same name in Disneyland Paris.
Construction is chugging along at Toy Story Land expansions at both Shanghai Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios, and the latter location will open first in summer 2018.
Pixar is poised to make a big splash at Disneyland Resort in 2018 with Pixar Fest. The limited-time celebration will feature festivities focused on stories from Pixar films and will include a new fireworks show. Guests will also be able to get a permanent Pixar fix because the Paradise Pier area at Disney California Adventure is becoming Pixar Pier. The shop fronts will be themed with more Toy Story (Midway Mania is already there), The Incredibles, and Inside Out.
The first ever ride through attraction focused entirely by Mickey Mouse is coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Finally. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will replace The Great Movie Ride and will put guests into the world of a Mickey Mouse cartoon with a new technology Disney is calling 2 1/2 D (no glasses required).
Which announcements have you ready to book a Disney vacation? Tell us in the comments.