BAY LAKE, Fla. – Walt Disney World has a list of exciting new additions for its future in the coming months, years and beyond.
During the D23 Expo presentation “A Boundless Future: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products,” Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro offered a special look at the company’s innovative ways the next generation of Disney magic is coming to life at its theme parks.
From new attraction openings, rare meet-and-greets returning and even early concept explorations – Disney fans will have something to look forward to.
" I can tell you, we see an absolutely boundless future in front of us where our theme parks, and even beyond our theme parks, they inspire the wildest imaginations and they exceed our greatest expectations,” D’Amaro explained.
Take a look at all the announcements below.
TRON Lightcycle Run
Walt Disney World has announced that TRON Lightcycle Run will officially debut to guests at Magic Kingdom in spring 2023. During the D23 Expo, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro shared a first look at himself taking a ride on the attraction, which is currently testing. (see video above) This will be the second TRON attraction built in a Disney park.
“Happily Ever After” returns
Magic Kingdom will also see the return of the popular nighttime spectacular “Happily Ever After” in 2023. “I am so excited to share that next year. We’re gonna bring back “Happily Ever After” as part of an updated Magic Kingdom nighttime spectacular,” D’Amaro said. The show ended its run following the start of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration. Currently, guests can experience the nighttime show “Disney Enchantment,” which recently saw a small update.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
Coming in late 2024 is “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.” The attraction will take over Splash Mountain. Several members of the original film cast will return to lend their voices to the attraction, including Anika Noni Rose as Tiana, Bruno Campos as Naveen, Michael Leon Wooley as Louis and Jenifer Lewis as Mama Odie. Last week, Disney fans got a first look at a model of what the attraction will look like. No word on when Splash Mountain will close for good.
Hatbox Ghost at Haunted Mansion
At the Haunted Mansion, the Hatbox Ghost will finally materialize in 2023 in Magic Kingdom. “Ever since a certain happy haunt returned to Disneyland, our fans have been asking for him in Florida too. Well, foolish mortals, we have heard you and I am thrilled to announce that next year the Hatbox Ghost will materialize in the Haunted Mansion.” The Hatbox Ghost reappeared at Disneyland back in 2015 – and was immediately a smash hit.
The popular EPCOT character, Figment is about to get even more popular. After appearing on festival merchandise for years, the imagination character is reappearing to interact with guests late next year. “For most of our lives use he’s appeared only in our imaginations. For a short period of time, years ago, you could actually meet this lovable purple dragon. Well, I am thrilled to announce that by the end of next year, you’ll get the chance to meet Figment in person once again,” D’Amaro described to fans at D23. “I’m gonna have a lot more to share in the future but our teams are right now hard at work bringing figment to life and I know that you’re going to all be excited to meet him.”
New EPCOT nighttime show and experiences
To celebrate Disney’s 100th anniversary celebration, an all-new nighttime spectacular is being planned for EPCOT. The new show will debut later next year, continuing the park’s legacy of inspiring nighttime entertainment on World Showcase Lagoon. Currently, guests can see Harmonious as part of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration.
Also, the next major milestone in EPCOT’s multi-year transformation will include the completion of the World Celebration neighborhood in late 2023, featuring a new statue of Walt Disney called “Walt the Dreamer” and the “Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana” attraction.
Walt Disney World land concepts
Closing out the presentation, Josh D’Amaro was joined on stage by Imagineering Portfolio Creative Executive Chris Beatty and Walt Disney Animation Studios Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee for a special blue-sky presentation. The three talked about what could be on the horizon for Walt Disney World. All of them discussed to fans that ideas are beginning to develop for Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. These ideas include a Zootopia or Moana themed area at Animal Kingdom and a Coco, Encanto and Villain’s land at Magic Kingdom. Disney leaders described these creative “what if” ideas.
“Disney is a company of unrivaled creativity. And we’re never never going to stop working towards that next great idea. We’re never going to stop surprising. We’re never going to stop delighting you - pushing the boundaries of where we can all go together! We’re always in search of Walt’s great, big, beautiful tomorrow. This is a relationship between us at Disney and you, our greatest fans and our guests. We dare to dream it – and you all complete the picture,” D’Amaro concluded.
Click here to read up on all the exciting announcements for Disneyland Resort.
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