A three-day celebration of all things Disney, D23 2019 brought some of the world’s biggest stars to Anaheim last week for major Disney TV and movie announcements on days one and two. On day three of this “ultimate Disney fan event,” the focus shifted to Disney Parks, Resorts and Experiences, bringing massive news drops about new rides, hotels, and Disney Cruise Line updates.
From epic Epcot updates to the first-ever Spider-man ride, here are the biggest reasons to get pumped to plan your next Disney vacation and all the details you need to know.
#1 Disneyland’s New Marvel-Themed Land
We already knew a Marvel-themed land was coming to Disney California Adventure, but now we’ve got the backstory behind "Avengers Campus." Earth’s mightiest heroes could use some extra help, so they’re setting up recruitment bases around the world (there’s another Avengers Campus being built at Disneyland Paris) to get help from everyday people like us.
Avengers Campus will feature two attractions (one of which will be part of Phase Two of the land’s development), Ant Man-themed restaurant Pym Test Kitchen, a mysterious California Sanctum (look out for Dr. Strange here!), and lots of opportunities for fans to interact with their favorite superheroes, including Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor and Loki, Black Panther and the Dora Milaje, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Phase One opens next year.
The Walt Disney Company
#2 A Family-Friendly Spider-Man Ride
Disney’s first Spider-Man themed attraction puts guests into web-slinging vehicles designed by Peter Parker and his clever peers, who have been working hard at the Worldwide Engineering Brigade (WEB) on technology that gives regular people superhero abilities. Guests will set off on a test drive of the vehicle, which slings webs just like Spidey, but things go south when another one of Peter’s projects, his Spider-Bots, begin glitching and multiplying uncontrollably. Peter needs your help slinging webs to catch the Spider-Bots before it’s too late.
The fact that Disney has been calling this “family friendly” leads us to believe this one will have a low or no minimum height requirement, allowing the littlest fans to sling webs alongside their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
#3 A Black Panther Attraction Will Fly Guests to Wakanda
Phase Two will bring a second new attraction to Avengers Campus, and this one sounds pretty epic. You’ll suit up and join the Avengers aboard a Quinjet destined for Wakanda, where you’ll find yourself up against a pretty terrifying villain. We’re betting this one is going to be the more thrilling of the two new attractions. Giving Marvel fans their thrills in the meantime is Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! which is already open at Disney California Adventure.
#4 Marvel Theming Is Taking Over Disneyland Paris’ Hotel New York
Guests visiting Disneyland Paris will soon be able to lay their heads down in themed suites featuring their favorite Marvel superheroes. Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel opens next summer and will feature hundreds of pieces of Marvel Art as well as character meet-and-greet opportunities.
#5 Walt Disney World Vacation Planning Is Getting Easier
A trip to Walt Disney World requires a lot of planning: from FastPasses and Advance Dining Reservations to reservation-based experiences and timed shows, parades and nighttime spectaculars, there’s a lot to keep track of. To take the edge off, Disney is rolling out a new digital tool.
Disney Genie, launching in late 2020, will create customized itineraries for you based on your interests and what you hope to see, do, eat and ride. Instead of booking and mapping out all of your experiences individually, Disney Genie will do it all for you and generate a customized itinerary (but don’t worry, you’ll still have the flexibility to change your plans—and if you do, Disney Genie will help by reoptimizing the rest of your itinerary).
#6 Disney Imagineer's Are Creating a New Disney Cruise Line Port
Disney Cruise Line’s most popular port of call is without a doubt Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. With three more ships on the way, DCL needed an additional spot to send cruisers and plans are now full steam ahead to develop Lighthouse Point on the Bahamian island of Eleuthra. Beloved Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde, who also masterminded Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, Animal Kingdom Lodge and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Hawaii, is at the helm of this project and promised that the new “seaside adventure camp” will celebrate Bahamian culture while preserving the spot’s natural beauty.
#7 A New Star Wars Hotel
A new cruise offering is headed to Walt Disney World: visitors will soon be able to blast off on a “space cruise” on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, the name given to Disney’s new Star Wars hotel. Dubbed an experience rather than a hotel, this immersive adventure begins at the terminal, where, as on a real cruise, guests will check in as a group for their two-day, two-night sailing.
Guests will then board a launch pod that blasts them into a galaxy far, far away where they’ll meet up with their ship, the Halcyon. On board, cruisers will interact with characters and other guests, each playing a role in their own Star Wars story.
The Walt Disney Company
#8 Epcot Is Getting a Massive Overhaul
Epcot at Walt Disney World is undergoing a massive transformation, with Future World as we know it on its way out. The park will be divided into four “neighborhoods,” World Showcase, World Nature, World Discovery, and World Celebration, with the latter three replacing the Future World half of the park.
#9 World Showcase Is Getting Two New Rides: Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Mary Poppins
The United Kingdom and France pavilions are set to see the biggest changes. In France, on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure guests will shrink to Remy’s size and race through Gusteau’s kitchen. In January 2020, France’s theater will begin showing a “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along.” And because in France it’s all about the food, Le Creperie de Paris, a new quick- and table-service restaurant, is also in the works.
#10 Spaceship Earth Is Getting Some Updates
Classic Epcot attraction Spaceship Earth is going to change, much to the dismay of many fans of this beloved attraction housed within the park’s iconic sphere. The ride will shift its focus away from inventions and technology and instead celebrate storytelling with the help of some new scenes and a magical “story light.”
#11 A Crazy New Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster
Riders will experience a reverse launch into space on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, an innovative rotating coaster that will send them on journey to Xandar.
#12 You Can Eat 220 Miles Above the Earth
Space 22, a new Epcot restaurant at the Mission Space pavilion, launches guests up into space where they can enjoy views of earth during their meal.
The Walt Disney Company
#13 The First-Ever Moana Attraction Celebrates Water
Moana: Journey of Water lets guests interact with “magical, living water” a bit like Moana does in the movie. A walk-through attraction, this experience will be like a water maze pinpointed by playful fountains and gorgeous foliage.
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#14 A Nature-Themed Resort Is Being Built on the Shore of Bay Lake
Another new Disney hotel project in the works is Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge. The resort takes its inspiration from Disney films like “Pocahontas” where nature plays a big role. Some of the resort’s unique lodgings will include treehouse suites and A-frame houses. A “Princess and the Frog”-themed restaurant is also being built that will reimagine Bay Lake as the film’s bayou.
#15 Disney’s First-Ever Mickey Mouse-Themed Ride
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, a family-friendly ride based on the Disney Channel’s Mickey Mouse Shorts, will open next year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and in 2022 at Disneyland’s Toontown.