This weekend’s D23 Expo, an annual convention run by the Official Disney Fan Club, revealed a host of exciting new films and park announcements. While many are getting excited by the incredible Star Wars news, there are plenty of other improvements in Walt Disney World that will keep fans excited for their next trip.
The revival of Epcot
Orlando’s Epcot is under a fresh new focus this year. It’s the resort’s third-oldest theme park and Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts said he wants to make the area “more Disney, timeless, relevant, family-friendly.”
It will soon be home to two new rides, both scheduled to open in 2021. One, based on Guardians of the Galaxy, will replace the Universe of Energy in Future World. The second – Ratatouille the Adventure – will be the same as the Parisian-themed ride in Disneyland Paris, where it is the number one attraction.
Tomorrowland will soon be building a Tron ride next to the iconic Space Mountain. The rollercoaster has already been a huge hit in Shanghai Disneyland where visitors ride motorbikes at 60 miles-per-hour, the fastest of any Disney attraction.
Main Street U.S.A. is also getting a live entertainment theatre, based on a theatre in Kansas City near where Walt Disney grew up. While details on the shows haven’t been released yet, it’s likely they’ll emulate the success of Broadway-style Disney shows that are popular in Disney cruises and other theme parks.
Mickey Mouse makes a comeback
Hollywood Studios is set to be the location for the very first attraction based on the world’s most famous mouse. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be based on a cartoon short and visitors can step into a movie screen onto Goofy’s train. The animation will be 3D and it will replace the Great Movie Ride.
New transport options
An Uber-style service called Minnie Vans will allow guests to hail a polka-dot covered van which will transport them directly to where they want to go in the resort. There will also be a new gondola-style transport system called Disney Skyliner which will connect the revamped Epcot and Hollywood Studios with other attractions.
A new hotel called Disney Riviera Resort will also open near Epcot in 2019, holding 300 units in total. Walt Disney World is gearing up for their 50th anniversary in 2021 and the park stated they want to book out every hotel room every day of that year. All of the announcements made this weekend should see completion before the anniversary year kicks off.