Announcements from D23 Expo 2023

Lots of big announcements coming out of the D23 Expo at the Contemporary in Walt Disney World today. I love these announcement days. Fun fact: during my c-section back in 2017 I asked my boyfriend-turned baby daddy-turned fiance-turned ex-turned boyfriend again (BFBDFEB, if you will) to quiz me on all the D23 announcements that came out that year while they were cutting me open, that’s how much I love these things.

This morning was the part of the expo where the most exciting announcements came out, and here they are in a nutshell:

  • Journey of Water inspired by Moana opening October 16th. (preview dates for AP holders and DVC members previously announced for 9/24-9/29 and 10/1-10/4)
  • Moana meet and greet debuting near Journey of Water in Epcot also on 10/16
  • World Celebration area of Epcot will open in December of this year. This is one of the new areas of Epcot that make up the area formerly called Future World, it is not a specific attraction. Specifically it is the area in the center of the park, where the Fountain of Nations used to be
  • Figment meet and greet in Epcot (where Vanellope used to meet in the Imagination pavillion) debuting tomorrow September 10th!
  • Test Track will be reimagined, thank Walt, because boy oh boy has this new version made no sense and been quite disappointing as compared to the original where we were all test dummies. The new version will be inspired by World of Motion. No mention of a date or timeframe.
  • Massive Magic Kingdom expansion, called the “largest ever” expansion to Magic Kingdom. Previous ideas mentioned for the expansion included Encanto and Coco areas and attractions. Rumors also have suggested Rivers of America and Tom Sawyers Island might be replaced.
  • Tropical Americas area will replace Dinoland USA in Animal Kingdom (previously rumored to be a Zootopia or Moana themed land) – Definitely very excited about this one, I’ve been saying for years that both Epcot and Animal Kingdom are conspicuously lacking any areas related to Latin or South America, when a rain forest area would be pretty awesome for an animal park (as would an Australia area, but whatever). Disney announced today that the new area will include things (attractions?) with references to Encanto and Indiana Jones (odd, but ok).
  • Part of the new Tropical Americas area mentioned above will include a reimagination of the Dinosaur ride into an Indiana Jones themed adventure (retheming this ride is a major, major bummer in my opinion)
  • A Zootopia show will be replacing Its Tough to Be A Bug in the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom. No timeline announced, but the most terrifying attraction in Disney can’t be removed quickly enough in my opinion (joking, but seriously I cant go in there)
  • New island destination for Disney Cruise Line will be called Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point (in the Bahamas similar to Castaway Cay, which we absolutely loved on our cruise this summer)
  • Seventh Disney Cruise Line ship will be called the Disney Adventure (the third of the trio that include the Wish, the Treasure, and now the Adventure)
  • New Epcot nighttime spectacular will be called Luminous: The Symphony of Us. Fingers crossed it is worthy of replacing Illuminations (I didn’t hate Harmonious, but it didn’t stand up to Illuminations). It is scheduled to premiere December 5th.
  • Hatbox Ghost will premiere in the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom in late November (after everyone speculated it would premiere this summer).
  • Country Bear Jamboree will be replaced by an updated musical show in 2024. It will be called the Country Bear Musical Jamboree.
  • Asha from the new Disney Wish movie will be coming to the parks (this means nothing to me, sorry).
  • New Pirates Themed Tavern coming to Magic Kingdom will bring back Peg Leg Pete.

These are all the announcements that I’ve heard thus far relating to Walt Disney World or Disney Cruise Line, since we are East Coast folks and I can’t handle all of the Disneyland/International Park Announcements in my tiny little New Jersey brain.

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