The Disney parks are always changing and expanding, adding new franchises and sometimes retiring old favorites. The 50th Anniversary is coming up, and Disney outlined the new franchises, experiences, rides, and attractions that will be awaiting guests when they arrive at the parks. Disney also unveiling a new app that will allow guests to book, explore, schedule, and maintain all aspects of their Disney adventure during their stay. Planned to debut in late 2020, Disney Genie is a new digital offering that will enhance the way guests plan for and experience a trip to Walt Disney World Resort. Disney Genie will make planning easier and more fun by providing guests customized itineraries geared to every type of guest, from the tiniest princesses and princes to the foodies and the thrillseekers. Guests will even be able to tell Disney Genie what they want to experience, and it will quickly evaluate millions of options to present them with an optimal day and schedule tailored to their requests. Disney talked about the upcoming plans at the D23 Expo, and Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek unveiled new details on the Disney parks.

“It was Walt’s vision for our theme parks to be places where Disney stories come to life in amazing ways, and with the world’s most creative and talented team of artists and dreamers, there’s no shortage of inspiration,” Chapek said.

During the presentation, Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke joined Chapek onstage for a performance of “Step in Time” to announce the first Mary Poppins attraction at a Disney park, which is coming to Epcot. After the performance, Award-winning composer Pinar Toprak performed her new anthem for Epcot on piano for the crowd. Jordan Fisher also surprised guests with a sneak peek of the musical score for Disneyland’s new parade.

Marvel Expansion Disney

One of the biggest upgrades is the Avengers Campus, which is staring in California and Paris. Guests will suit up alongside their favorite Super Heroes in 2020, and both campuses will feature the first Disney ride-through attraction to feature Spider-Man. The attraction will have guests slinging webs to help Spider-Man collect Spider-Bots that have run amok (thwip!). The campus will include the Avengers Headquarters, and the building will become the future entrance to a brand-new E-Ticket attraction where guests will fly alongside the Avengers in an epic adventure to Wakanda and beyond when it opens in the next phase of development. The Avengers Campus will feature a Pym Test Kitchen where Pym Technologies is using the latest innovations to grow and shrink food. Disney also said that guests will find heroic encounters throughout the campus, including Ant-Man and The Wasp, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Super Heroes from Wakanda and Asgard, and Iron Man.

At Walt Disney World Resort, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be a glamorous ship – called the Halcyon – where every window features views into space. Guests will embark together on a two-night adventure that includes special activities, dining, and a “spaceport” day on Batuu at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, inviting guests even deeper into their own Star Wars stories.

Chapek shared more of the ways Epcot will stay true to its original vision while bringing timeless Disney storytelling to life with the magic of possibility. The park will be unified with four neighborhoods that each celebrate a unique aspect of what makes Epcot so special. The World Showcase will welcome the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane, which will join the United Kingdom pavilion as an entirely new neighborhood. In summer 2020, the France pavilion will offer even more for guests to discover, including the much-anticipated attraction Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, as well as a delicious new restaurant called La Crêperie de Paris. Also in the France pavilion, the classic Impressions de France film will be joined by an all-new “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along” in January 2020. The “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” will debut in January 2020 in the Canada pavilion with new scenes and a new story and in the China pavilion, “Wondrous China” will take guests on a spectacular journey across China, filmed and presented in a completely seamless 360-degree digital format.

The iconic Spaceship Earth will remain a voyage through time as the journey transforms with new scenes reflecting the universal nature of the human experience. A new guide and all-new narration will focus on the storytelling that brings people together. Disney explained that a new pavilion will be the home base for Epcot’s signature festivals, and it will provide a view of the World Showcase and an ideal spot to witness the park’s nighttime spectacular. The three-level structure will have “one of the most remarkable designs at any Disney park and will fast become a new icon for Epcot” according to the company.

Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana” will be an exploration trail where guests can meet and play with magical, living water. The Land pavilion’s new film “Awesome Planet,” which showcases the spectacular beauty, diversity, and dynamic story of the planet, will begin welcoming guests in January 2020.

Guests will also ride on a daring adventure featuring the first reverse launch into space on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. This family-friendly attraction will feature a never-before-seen storytelling coaster that rotates to focus on the action, wherever it may be. Disney is also planning an expansion of the Mission: SPACE pavilion. The new restaurant Space 220 will open this winter with the celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up. Disney also stated that The PLAY! pavilion will open in time for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. In this interactive metropolis, guests will discover a city bursting with games, activities.

The 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort will extend beyond the Magic Kingdom to each of the resort’s four theme parks, a first for the company. Set to debut in spring 2020, the new Magic Happens parade will come to life with an energetic musical score and a new song produced in partnership with singer-songwriter Todrick Hall. Celebrating awe-inspiring moments of magic that are at the heart of so many Disney stories, the parade will feature stunning floats, beautiful costumes, and beloved Disney characters from “Moana,” “Coco,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and more – all led by Mickey Mouse and his pals. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in 2020 and Disneyland in 2022. Chapek also revealed a first look at the new area of Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland that will be home to this attraction, which will take guests on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts.

As part of the multi-year transformation of the park, guests will be able to visit the world of Frozen, complete with all its sights, sounds, cuisine, and traditions. The area will feature two attractions – a new coaster called Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs that takes guests on a winding journey through the kingdom, and Frozen Ever After, inspired by the incredibly popular family attraction in Epcot’s Norway pavilion at Walt Disney World Resort. Also, for the first time, guests will experience the full force of Elsa’s powers as she creates a beautiful “winter-in-summer” day

Another first-of-its-kind show will celebrate the magic of Walt Disney Animation Studios in a story brought to life by Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Imagineering, and legendary Disney animators. It will combine Disney storytelling and heart with Cirque du Soleil’s signature artistry. Previews will begin March 20, 2020, leading up to the world premiere on April 17th. Chapek also confirmed Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge, a unique hotel and proposed Disney Vacation Club resort drawing inspiration from the wonders of nature and artistry of Walt Disney.

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