Let’s Talk About How Sad Most of the Disney Parks D23 Announcement Panel Was


Disney parks fans love announcement time at D23. They wait all year for the parks and resorts announcements for information on opening dates, new attractions and more. Most everyone was excited about what possible announcements we were going to get and it was mostly, rehashing of old news, easy additions, or a glorified pitch meeting to toss ideas out and see what fans actually wanted.

It’s like a wedding. Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

Something old:

Guess what! Disney is going to do Princess and the Frog for Splash Mountain! We know!

Disney has been dragging this out for quite a while now. The opening time frame has been out there for awhile now. Then the concept model looks very little like the concept art and many think it looks like they are cheaping out on the attraction.

That’s okay. We get a water tower now and it will look pretty at night.


Tron is up next. Yes we know Tron is coming. It’s been coming since like 2017. The kicker is Disney already has this ride in Shanghai. Finally we know spring (so late March-late June) is the opening time frame.


The Pixar Place Hotel was discussed for Disneyland. Again. Nothing really new on that front other than a final name.

There was a section on the EPCOT redo, that was basically what we already knew and a statue maquette of Te Fiti for “Journey of Water”


Something New

Here are some of the new announcements we got. A couple are big, but most aren’t.

Technically this is old news as we knew the new Disney Cruise Line ship was coming, but we did get new news on what the ship looks like, is based on and it’s name, The Treasure. We also got some new news about Lighthouse Point, although the island itself wasn’t new news.

Disney Cruise Lines will also got to Australia next year.

Honestly Disneyland and Disney Cruise Lines got most of the big domestic announcements this time.

We got word that there will be two new nighttime shows coming to Disneyland for the 100th Anniversary– World of Color-One and Wondrous Journeys.

The 100th Anniversary kick-off time frame being late January was announced.

Tiana’s restaurant ‘Tiana’s Palace’ and a new store ‘Eudora’s Chic Boutique‘ were announced.

Finally, EPCOT is set to get a new nighttime show sometime next year.

The Avengers campus in Disneyland is getting a Hulk costumed character while Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge is getting a Mandalorian costumed character with Grogu.

Avengers Campus is also getting a “multiverse” attraction with King Thanos.

Except for a couple of things it wasn’t that greatl

Something Borrowed

Well this is a big category in the announcements. It’s mostly repurposed or returning offerings.

‘Happily Ever After’ is returning to Walt Disney World next year, likely in April after the 50th Anniversary celebration.

I loved this Twitter post:

The ‘Magic Happens Parade’ is returning to Disneyland early next year.

Figment is getting a new meet and greet? I can’t tell you how disappointing it was to hear Figment and think “Are they finally going to fix that ride?” and then they say “Meet and greet.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have that (Dreamfinder would be nice too) but that was a bit of a let down.


Walt Disney World is getting the Hatbox Ghost added. So just repurposed from Disneyland. But I love the Haunted Mansion so it actually made me a bit excited.

[Photo: Wikipedia]
A retheme to San Fransokyo is coming for the Pacific Wharf. So another repurposed face-lift for an area.


A bunch of restaurants are getting a branch added to Downtown Disney District. Because you can visit there and likely pay more.

Something Blue

This part is what has a lot of people scratching their heads. At the end of the presentation Josh D’Amaro discussed the “blue sky” concepts that MIGHT happen at Walt Disney World. He made sure to reiterate that they were possibilities and not actual announcements. I guess they needed more to fill up the time so they tossed these out. Likely it’s to see how parks fans react to the news and plan accordingly.

In the ‘What if?” section of the presentation they basically tossed out potential IP replacements for both Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom.

For Disney’s Animal Kingdom it was all discussion about the removal of Dinoland U.S.A. for either Zootopia or Moana. Zootopia makes a bit more sense and Disney would likely pull a Tron or Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and just reuse attractions and pieces from Shanghai’s upcoming Zootopia addition.

Magic Kingdom would potentially see ‘Coco,’ ‘Encanto’ and Disney Villains added “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain.” Why do a Villains gate when you can just shove it into a tiny area of the Magic Kingdom. Frankly all three is pushing it. I would say one area done well maybe two. If they do all three it’s going to be like the Fantasyland expansion where it’s one or two new attractions and then shopping and themed restaurants. I would rather see one or two ideas done well.

At the end of the day it was a bit of new announcements, but mostly updates on old projects, rethemes or bringing back shows and a bunch of speculatory razzle dazzle.

Kind of let down. But how much more can they do? Epic Universe is coming to Orlando and the new Super Nintendo area is currently coming together in Universal Studios Hollywood. Disney must be feeling the pressure. But they are limited in what they can do.

In conclusion have to agree with this tweet.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.