It’s that time of year, it’s D23 predictions season! With the big event around the corner, it’s time for the DVC Duo to gaze into our crystal ball and see what the future could hold. On Sunday, August 25, 2019, at 10:30 am pst, just days before the grand opening of Star Wars Galaxy Edge at Hollywood Studios, Bob Chapek will take the stage in California to announce what’s coming to the Disney Parks. What will he say, only Bob Iger truly knows. Lucky for us, we’re great at reading between the lines. Let’s dive into the rumor mill for our D23 predictions for Walt Disney World. Just remember, you heard it here first!
The Slam Dunks!
We all wish we could dunk, we now can as the NBA Experience is open at Disney Springs. We’re not here to talk basketball, we’re here to talk D23 predictions for Disney World. With Disney Parks giving us a glimpse into what we should expect to hear about the event, we already know a few things. First and foremost will be the details around the Epcot Spine. Disney Imagineering will have a scale model of the new area at the event.
Updates on Epcot should continue with more details coming out around the new Play Pavilion. Announced early in 2019, the new Play Pavilion will be located in the area previously occupied by the Wonders of Life Pavilion. The big question is what will the main attraction be within the pavilion. We’re guessing when the pavilion first opens the attractions could include a dance party, character meet and greets, and show.
Passholder Insights: Other small announces should include an official name for the Guardians of the Galaxy Coaster, as well as more details around the permanent nighttime show that comes after Epcot Forever.
The Potentials – Hollywood Studios
On to the good stuff! It’s why we’re all here. Kicking-off our tour around Walt Disney World D23 predictions, we’re heading over to Hollywood Studios. Naturally with the opening of Star Wars Galaxy and soon to be opening Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, one would think announcements around new attractions for the park would be minimal. In the DVC Duo house, we’re thinking Disney is going zig when we’re thinking zag. As we spoke about in Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster article, we believe Disney will be announcing a rethemeing of the attraction to the Incredibles. Make way for a Pixar Land!
You heard us right, we believe Disney is looking to create a Pixar Land. Combining the recently opened Lightning McQueen Racing Academy, with a rethemed Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster are the first steps towards this new land. Rethemeing Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster to the Incredibles would be an easy transition for Disney Imagineering as a lot of set pieces from the Incredacoaster at Disneyland’s California Adventure could be used.
Passholder Insights: Without the theme park rights to Marvel, Disney is not able to replicate the Disneyland Paris rethemeing of the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster to an Iron Man experience.
The Potentials – Magic Kingdom
A big anniversary is on the horizon. With the Magic Kingdom and all of Walt Disney World gearing up for the 50th anniversary we should expect details around the rumored 50 special additions for the 50 years. Rumors are centered around classic attractions like Small World, Carousel of Progress, and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki see commemorative additions. We should get a glimpse into what the additions would be, with Disney World ultimately looking to trickle out more information leading up to the celebration.
The majority of our D23 predictions for the Magic Kingdom will center around Tomorrowland. With the removal of the Stitch animatronic from Stitch’s Great Escape, we believe Disney is gearing up for an official announcement. Based on the recent adjustments of the Tomorrowland paint scheme and signs, we believe Disney is moving forward with an 80’s version of the future. Nothing would tie into the 80’s theme better than the 80’s video game stylings of Wreck-It Ralph.
Surprise time! Even though the Tomorrowland Speedway just reopened we believe Bob will announce a change coming to the attraction. When the new Tron coaster opens behind, the Tomorrowland Speedway cars will look out of place. We expect to hear about a rethemeing of the attraction to change the cars to fit into the 80’s video game styling of the land.
Passholder Insights: After the Tron coaster opens in 2021 rumor has it Space Mountain would close for a major refurbishment of the track.
The Potentials – Animal Kingdom
It’s wild card time with our D23 predictions. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the hardest park to predict at this years D23 expo. With Pandora World of Avatar recently opening, and the addition of the new Lion King animation experience at the Conservation Station, the question becomes will Disney empty the tank on surprises.
We know the Animal Kingdom is slated for expansion after the 50th Anniversary celebration. Rumors are flying around the potential of a Lion King attraction, a Zootopia Land, and the potential rethemeing of Dinoland USA. We’re expecting Disney to make a big splash with an announcement of the rethemeing of Dinoland USA. Based on Primevil Whirl currently be closed due to parts not being available to fix the issue and early closing of Dinosaur, we could see a new land for the Animal Kingdom officially announced. Let’s roll the dice with this prediction to say it will not be the obvious choice of Indiana Jones and more likely sticking with the pre-historic theme with Ice Age.
The Potentials – Epcot
Started with Epcot, let’s finish with Epcot. The best worst kept secret is the addition of a new World Showcase country. Everyone’s D23 predictions include the addition of Brazil, and we definitely agree with it. We’re going to take a step further out on a limb and say we’ll have two new countries announced with the second being Australia. Disney’s ultimate goal is to have every continent represented and if Brazil is added only Australia would be missing. We have no insight, this is purely our gut on this one.
Rounding out the Epcot D23 predictions is the update for Spaceship Earth. With the majority of Future World soon to be under construction, we believe the centerpiece of Epcot will undergo its 5th major update. From a timing perspective, everything seems to line up. As we spoke about in our Spaceship Earth article, changes could happen for over half the attraction.
Passholder Insights: Rumors around Coco coming to the Mexico Pavilion have slowed and more than likely we would not hear anything at the expo.
No D23 predictions would be complete without a Blue Sky idea. As much as we would love to hear Walt Disney World announce a 5th park, we believe that would come in 2 years. Our flier is all about the Marvel theme park rights. Now that Disney has pieces to make a worthwhile trade with that “Epic” park up the street with The Simpsons and IP’s like Planet of the Apes. We can picture Bob Iger taking the stage to announce Disney has obtained the theme rights to Marvel for Walt Disney World. Can you think of a better way to close the show? Us either!
It’s our favorite time of year. There’s nothing more exciting in the Disney community than seeing the Bob’s take stage to outline the future of the parks. If history has taught us anything is to expect the unexpected. There is always one or two announcements that no one saw coming and this year should be no different. Let’s cross our fingers we’re right on our D23 predictions!