By the time this article releases, we’ll be one day away from the D23 Parks, Experiences and Products panel. That’s because we’re hastily throwing this article together on Saturday, September 10th! I asked Brandon, Andrew B and Kyle to throw out some predictions for what might go down at the panel. Andrew B and Kyle had few expectations for what the day will bring. Meanwhile, Brandon sent me an entire essay/wishlist to sift through. Here’s my attempt to make sense of it all.
Also, we’ll be focusing on the U.S. parks for this article, since those are the parks that we visit the most. That said, the announcements for the international parks have been, and are sure to continue to be, amazing.
- Due to the current state of the Disney Parks, it’s understandable that some of these predictions are somewhat negative. Andrew B summed this up with the prediction that a majority of the announcements at the parks panel will be up-charges that will either be so terrible or so expensive that most guests won’t even know they exist.
- Honestly, I can see where he’s coming from. Going off of that, here’s my lone prediction for the D23 Panel: we’ll see the complete overhaul of Disney Genie. The core concept of Disney Genie isn’t terrible, but it was executed so miserably that using it is arguably the most confusing and frustrating part of a Disney trip now. I think the complaints about it have been so widespread that they’ll at least re-work it into something else. It has been making them a lot of money though, so perhaps they’ll just leave it as is.
- Kyle and Andrew B both predict that Happily Ever After might make a return, due to the poor reception of the Enchantment show. If it returns, it’ll come back in the Spring after the 50th celebration ends. Brandon disagrees, saying that it won’t return at all.
- There will be more information on the opening of Tron. What the opening date is, no one’s really sure. Andrew B thinks it’ll open next year, due to the unfinished work on the exterior. Brandon also thinks it could be next year, but said it’s possible we receive it in December much like Rise of the Resistance in 2019. Kyle thinks it could be even sooner than that!
- In addition to Tron, Brandon says we’ll get a re-opening month for the Walt Disney World Railroad.
- Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Updates:
- Original song for attraction performance.
- New art of the finale scene showing how the river boat will still be there.
- Maybe some footage of the animatronic for Tiana similar to Belle in Tokyo.
- Stuff about parades. Brandon’s crossing his fingers for a new nighttime parade, but thinks it’s less likely. He’s hoping we won’t see Main Street Electrical Parade again though, as he says “god it needs to die.”
Also, going forward every prediction comes from Brandon. He’s the mastermind of this article.
- We’ll get some updates on the construction in the middle of the park, such as the Moana walkthrough.
- No new opening dates though.
- Discussion around Spaceship Earth will happen, and we might get a new piece of concept art. If we get an opening year, it’ll be sometime between 2026 and 2028.
- Nothing for Mary Poppins or the Play Pavilion. They won’t even be mentioned.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- A re-theme of Rock n Roller Coaster. Who knows what IP it’ll get, but it won’t be original.
- News about Fantasmic! reopening. We’ll get some concept art or a mention of what scenes will be updated. The Pocahontas scene will change but they won’t mention it.
- Opening date will be Summer 2023.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Dinoland overhaul. The opening year for whatever will replace it will be very far off.
- Something in Pandora to promote Avatar 2, like a show or some other form of synergy. Bob Chapek loves his synergy.
- Update on what’s going on with Toontown. Might get a look at Runaway Railway and the additional scene for this version.
- The same info we receive for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in the Magic Kingdom will carry over to Disneyland. Also, they’ll mention a larger expansion of New Orleans Square that will take over Critter Country.
- OR, they’ll say that the rest of Critter Country will stay exactly the same. Regardless, they’ll say something about the fate of Critter Country.
- No Disneyland Forward news, as that was just a land rezoning and it hasn’t even been approved.
Disney’s California Adventure
- Quinjet E-Ticket update, opening either 2025 or 2026.
- We technically already know this ride is still happening, as it was mentioned on Friday, September 9th at the expo. That said, they’ll most likely give more detail at the actual parks panel.
- Update to the section of the park with Goofy’s Sky School. They’ll either add a new IP such as Coco to fit with the Pixar Pier theme, tear the whole ride down, or just revamp the area stretching to Little Mermaid.
Brandon’s Wild Cards
When Brandon sent me his predictions, he included a few predictions under each park that he titled “wild cards.” These are predictions that he doesn’t think have the highest chance of happening, but could be huge bombshell for the panel. If some of them come true, we can all hail Brandon as our lord and savior.
- For Epcot, there will be an announcement for a new attraction going in the Imagination pavilion. There won’t be a date, name or even concept art. Just a mention and a new logo that has Figment in it. No Dreamfinder though, because it’s “stupid to think they’d bring him back, he didn’t sell a million popcorn buckets.”
- For Hollywood Studios, we’ll get a Star Wars Launch Bay replacement. It might even be an announcement for a new land that takes over that whole area, including the Disney Junior show and the building where the Little Mermaid show was.
- Also for Hollywood Studios, they’ll finally give it a name change: Disney’s Big XL Park!
- For Animal Kingdom, we’ll get a Pandora expansion for 2027. It’ll be a new ride or area.
- For Disney Springs, we’ll get a replacement for the NBA Experience. The hope is for a Parks Museum, but it’s more likely we’ll get an interactive VR experience or Escape Room.
- For Disneyland, we’ll see Autopia be replaced by a Fantasyland expansion. It will probably include Frozen to a degree, or it’ll just be vaguely labeled New Fantasyland and we’ll get news on IP at a later date.
- Coinciding with the removal of Autopia, we’ll finally learn what’s going to happen with. the Peoplemover. This is because so much of the track is above the land that Autopia is. currently on. If they would EVER announce it, it would be with the removal of Autopia.
. . .
Stay tuned for a special re-cap of D23 where we go over everything we got wrong (and maybe a few things we got right). Brandon and I will be going over all the new announcements in our brand new Limitless Park Podcast, premiering this week!
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