Recap of All Walt Disney World Announcements from D23

The past few days have been incredibly exciting for Disney Park fans all around the world. From new details about Shanghai Disneyland to the announcement of new attractions coming to the theme parks in the United States, everyone will have something to look forward to in the upcoming years. Out of all the Disney Resorts around the world, however, the one that got the most attention was the Walt Disney World Resort. Here's a recap of what has been announced:

At Magic Kingdom Park

Jungle Skipper Canteen
A new table service restaurant called Jungle Skipper Canteen opens later this year in Adventureland with more skippers serving up extra helpings of humor, along with lunch and dinner inspired by the flavors of Africa, Asia and South America.

At Epcot

Soarin’ Around the World
A new film will debut in 2016 for Soarin’ Around the World, taking Guests on a journey to far-flung lands, where they will fly above some of the most unique natural landscapes and soar over man-made wonders.

Royal Summerhus meet-and-greet
A new, themed meet-and-greet location will soon open next to the exisiting Norway pavilion at Epcot. The building will look like a typical cabin found in Norway, containing many details that aim to catch the Guests' attention and make them want to visit the actual country of Norway. Inside the new building, Guests will be able to meet Anna and Elsa.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios
A new, 14-acre Star Wars-themed land that will transport Guests to a never-before-seen planet with two signature attractions, including a customized secret mission on the Millennium Falcon and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts Guests in the middle of a climactic battle.

New destinations for Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Star Wars Launch Bay
Star Wars Launch Bay will take Guests into the upcoming film with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings.

New characters joining the Jedi Training Academy
Jedi Training Academy will be reimagined and include new characters from the popular Disney XD series "Star Wars Rebels."

New Season of the Force special event
Beginning in early 2016, this new seasonal event will give Guests the opportunity to close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.

A new, 11-acre Toy Story Land will include a family-friendly roller coaster and an alien saucers attraction, in addition to the previously announced third track for Toy Story Mania.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
“Rivers of Light,“ expected to open next spring, will combine music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery on the natural stage of Discovery River.

New animal species coming to Kilimajaro Safaris
Two new animal species, African wild dogs and hyenas, were announced for the upcoming nighttime version of Kilimanjaro Safaris, which is also expected to open next spring.

Official name of AVATAR Land revealed
The name for the new AVATAR-themed land was revealed: Pandora – The World of AVATAR.

Name of AVATAR Land's E-Ticket attraction confirmed
The name of the E-ticket attraction, which is the centerpiece of Pandora and will allow Guests to soar on a winged creature known as a Banshee over a vast alien world was announced: AVATAR Flight of Passage.

RENDERINGS: ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Certainly the best D23 I've every "seen" (i.e. read about/watched online via YouTube). Disney announced or confirmed most of the WDW changes we've been hearing rumors about for months (or longer). The only thing that wasn't announced that surprised me a bit was the new name for DHS. We've been hearing rumors about it being called Disney's Hollywood Adventure. Perhaps they haven't settled on a final name yet.

  2. Can we tell where Toy Story Land will go?

  3. Toy Story Land will take place in the former backlot behind Toy Story Midway Mania ( which will have a relocated entrance). Think Earful Tower.

  4. I think Disney have made the same mistake they did when announcing Avatar, too much detail too early. Its going to be five years until Star Wars land opens I think and probably 2 years for Toy Story.

    Universal spent a year on construction for Kong then announced the ride about a year before opening. That way it doesn't feel like the projext is dragging on.

    Disney could have annouced Star Wars is coming in 2020 (or whenever) and then announced the smaller details such as fireworks and Star Tours films that are going to open for next year.

  5. This all looks extremely exciting, i am concerned about the value of the Disney ticket while this work is going on, as, as a consumer/customer we have lost say 50% of a full park added to the reality that construction is loud and intrusive(yes for a great cause of course) but we are still left paying for that inconvenience and having a fair bit less to do and see! as MGM/DHS/D*** is and has been one of my favorite parks this concerns and excites me and as for the Animal Kingdom show, i can wait i hope to Buddah its open in time for my visit in April after easter!! :D

  6. Maybe because all the parks will be green walls and tarps people will not visit the parks for the next couple of years as much and they will kick it up a notch.. They should offer "Construction ticket pricing"
    I know I work 2 jobs to go 2 times a year from PA and LOVE Disney as much as all the other crazy people BUT I am pretty sure I will be Skipping a few years until it doesn't look like a massive construction project.

    Kind of a Bummer

  7. I agree with the comments above regarding ticket prices/construction. We've held off on going to Disney for the past year because of all the construction. We were planning on going next year but may put it off until the early summer 2017 so Pandora, Disney Springs, the new Soarin', the expanded Toy Story, the new adventure for Star Tours, etc., are all open. I don't know if any of the Toy Story Land or Star Wars Land stuff will be open by then or not. Maybe some, but certainly not all of it, especially Star Wars Land.

  8. As someone who helps people plan their vacations, I am BEYOND excited to see a name change. It's very hard for people from other countries to understand that Hollywood Studios and Universal Studios are different places. I sincerely hope that they do not add Adventure into the name though, because it will still cause the same issue. (Hollywood Adventure vs. Islands of Adventure)

  9. We need dates of the Star Wars and Toy land for one overwhelming reason: The arguments over whether such dates are realistic, too fast or too slow, constitute 70% of all Disney fan forum traffic. An additional 20% is focused around whether the 'experts' on those boards believe the $ to be spent are too much or not enough. The remaining 10% is split among several steady topics: strollers, ECVS, dining plan, and general whining for more freebies.

  10. Regarding timeframes, I don't think any of us will like the answer. It will take them a long time just to remove what's currently in place to make room for both Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land. Although we don't yet know where the separation point between the 2 new lands will be, it's clear that the following areas/attractions will be removed or refurbed to fit in: Backlot/catastrophe canyon, Lights Motor Action, Streets of America, Commissary Lane (maybe), Indiana Jones, Muppets, Mama Melrose's (could be redone as the Star Wars bar/canteen), and Honey I Shrunk the kids. Then, once that's done, building all the new stuff. It's likely to take 5-7 years to complete, so we're talking 2020-2022.

  11. Most rumors I've read point to 2021 completion date (with some areas opening before then), to coincide with the 50th anniversary of WDW.

  12. Jason, none of those things are being removed.


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