With pretty much the entirety of Hollywood Studios having closed in the last year and a half, people were expecting some pretty big things from D23.
The Mouse delivered. Instead of release dates, we’re just going to list by project, since several of these cover multiple parks, and most of them don’t have any kind of release date anyhow.
Jungle Cruise Skipper Canteen, Magic Kingdom (late 2015)
- Full Name will be Jungle Navigation Company Limited Skipper Canteen, and no one will ever call it that.
- Was under construction for months before it was announced
- Supposedly going to have more international flavors in its cuisine (Asian, African, and/ or South American)
- Will be staffed by Jungle Cruise skippers, so expect lots of terrible puns.
- Like Be Our Guest, it will have multiple themed rooms, such as a crew mess hall and a secret meeting room.
- Unknown yet if it will be table service or counter service.
Toy Story Land, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Will expand on existing Pixar Place area
- In this land, you are a toy, shrunk down to play in Andy’s backyard
- Two new rides have been announced: a space shuttle mission with the Little Green Men, and a Slinky Dog coaster I may already be in line for.
- How did this take 20 years for them to do?
Star Wars Lands, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland (no one knows)
- Star Tours: The Adventure Continues will be updated to include prequel characters and situations, but they are not deleting any of the old tracks. The ride will still be randomized. Guess I will have to ride it thirty times.
- The prequels and the Disney XD cartoon Rebels will be incorporated into the Jedi Training Academy storylines at both parks
- We’re getting a Millennium Falcon ride!
- We’re also getting a Space Battle ride.
- We know very little about this, and it will take a really, really long time to build.
- We’re getting the Cantina we’ve been begging them to turn Backlot Express into.
Rivers of Light and Sunset Safaris, Animal Kingdom (Spring 2016)
- In an effort to keep Animal Kingdom from being dismissed as a partial-day park, Disney is trying to up their game by adding more nighttime activities
- Rivers of Light will be a mixed media show of, well, water and light, as well as dancers and fire.
- Hyenas and African wild dogs are being added to the safari, which will add some nocturnal flair to the usually daytime event.
- I really am hesitant about both the ethics and logistics about bothering the animals for nighttime.
Pandora: The World of Avatar (formerly known as Avatarland) Animal Kingdom (2017)
- Instead of re-enacting the movie, the aim of this seems to be to bring people onto Pandora and let them have their own adventure, like Star Tours vs. Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh
- Announced rides include the Flight of Passage, where you ride the back of a banshee and look over Pandora.
- Currently under construction
Season of the Force, Disneyland (late 2015/ early 2016)
- Hyperspace Mountain is an overlay that will appear during the upcoming “Season of the Force” event, which I can only hope ties in the Star Wars holiday special, and is at the moment only announced for Disneyland
- Please still be there when I go to Cali.
- Both parks will feature the Star Wars Launch Bay, a walkthrough exhibit and playground featuring art, props, characters, and of course merchandise. This is set to take over the Animation Courtyard of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Tomorrowland in Disneyland.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios will showcase a new fireworks show set to the soundtracks of the iconic films.
Soarin’ Around the World, EPCOT and California Adventure (2016)
- This incredibly popular attraction is getting an update to become a worldwide adventure, instead of just California.
- Expected to arrive 2016 (probably to coincide with the long-awaited third theater for the EPCOT ride in hopes to cut down wait times.)
- Every web site has a poorly Photoshopped picture of the ride vehicle over a landmark