Destination D23: Big Plans for Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line

Destination D23: Big Plans for Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line

There was BIG news this weekend coming from Destination D23.  Disney Executives announced immediate and future plans for Disney Parks and Cruise Line.  There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started!


Journey of Water Inspired By Moana

Entrance to Journey of Water
Journey of Water Inspired by Moana will open to guests October 16. photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Are you ready for the most anticipated opening since Tron and Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind!  “Journey of Water, inspired by Moana” will open in Disney’s Epcot on October 16.  Guests will enter the self-guided pathways at the front of the park for a “playful” and “interactive” experience with water. 

Concept Art for Moana meet and greet.
Concept art for a Moana meet and greet. photo: Disney Destinations

Moana herself will greet guests among the magical corners of this new attraction in the World Nature neighborhood. 

World Celebration

Epcot's new neighborhoods
Concept Art for Epcot’s new neighborhoods photo: Disney Destinations

Meanwhile, the World Celebration neighborhood will officially open this December tying together both World Nature and World Discovery to form a cohesive experience at the beginning of Epcot.  This transformation, that has been under construction for quite some time, is to celebrate the return of the concept of Epcot’s beginnings. 

A New Nighttime Spectacular

Epcot landscape
Epcot will have a new Nighttime Spectacular as of December 5, 2023. photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

On December 5, 2023, Epcot will have a new nighttime spectacular.  “Luminous The Symphony of Us” will include both fireworks and water projections along with laser lights.  However, more specific information is yet to come. 

New Characters

At D23, fans also got the first look at Figment who will now join the many “character meet and greets” at Epcot.  As of Sunday, September 10, guests can interact with a live version of the little purple figment of imagination. 

Figment is now greeting guests at Epcot. photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

In addition, Asha from Disney’s animated film “Wish” will join “character meet and greets” at Epcot. She will also make appearances in the west coast parks.  Disney did not give a specific date for this new experience but stated it would be soon.

Test Track

Test Track signage
Test Track will be reimagined. photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

At D23 the Disney team announced that Test Track will get an overhaul “soon”.  Although, no official date is confirmed, Disney Imagineering is partnering with Chevrolet to use the history of “World of Motion” as inspiration for a “new iteration of Test Track.”

Soarin’ Over California

Soarin around the World sign
Soarin’ Over California will run for a limited time at Epcot in honor of the Disney100 celebration. photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

According to Destination D23, Epcot will see the return of Soarin’ over California for a brief time in honor of the Disney 100 celebration.  This is the fan-favorite original version of Soarin that at times makes an appearance at Disney California Adventure Park. 

Magic Kingdom

country bears.
The Country Bear Jamboree show will be all new in 2024. photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

In 2024, Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland will have new songs, and new acts inspired by Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry as well as all versions of Country Music.  Imagineers are currently working alongside musicians and artists to upgrade this show authentically.

Pirates decor.
Adventureland is getting a new Pirates of the Caribbean themed lounge. photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Plans for Magic Kingdom include a new “Pirates of the Caribbean” themed lounge in Adventureland. 

Hat box ghost
The Hat Box ghost will debut in Magic KIngdom’s Haunted Mansion. photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

In late November of this year, the “Hat Box Ghost” from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion will make his debut in the Magic Kingdom’s version of this attraction. 

concept art
concept art for the expansion of Magic Kingdom. photo: Disney Destinations

Once again, concept art was displayed for an expansion of Magic Kingdom Park beyond Big Thunder Mountain in Frontierland.  Bruce Vaughn, Chief Executive Officer of Walt Disney Imagineering suggests the future plans are the largest ever for the park.  The expansion is likened to “Galaxy’s Edge” and “Pandora-World of Avatar”.   

Animal Kingdom

The Tree of Life
A new Zootopia themed show will begin at the Tree of Life theater. photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

A new show will debut in the Tree of Life theater featuring Zootopia.  There was no mention of a time frame for this experience. The final details will be announced at a later date. 

In addition, executives hinted that both Encanto and Indiana Jones experiences will have a presence Animal Kingdom Park in the future.

Hollywood Studios

Star Tours entrance.
Ahsoka Tano will be featured in the Star Tours attraction on both coasts. photo: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Ahsoka Tano will join the Star Tours attractions at both Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Park. 

Disney California Adventure

World jumping vehicle.
The “world jumping vehicle” introduced at D23 for Avenger’s Campus. photo: Disney Destinations

A new attraction inspired by the “Marvel Multiverse” will take its place at Avenger’s Campus in the future.  The ride will have a “world jumping” vehicle the “combines elements of Tony Stark’s time-suits, Xandarian jump points and Wakandan technology”. 

Disney Cruise Line

Concept art for DCL ship
The newest ship being built for DCL is the Disney Adventure. photo: Disney Destinations.

The 7th ship in the DCL fleet introduced as the “The Disney Adventure” will sail from Singapore around Southeast Asia.

The Disney Parks executives made big announcements this year including the opening date of a highly anticipated experience at Epcot. More details will be introduced in the coming months. Stay on top of the information here by subscribing to our newsletter below.

Are you thinking of traveling to a Disney destination this year? Reach out to our friends at DizN Vacations. Their experience and expert knowledge of all things Disney travel will guide you in building the best trip you can imagine. Submit a free no obligation quote request to start your planning right away.

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