With so much announced this Summer at this year’s D23 fan celebration regarding Disney’s many park properties, we were about due now for a round of updates on some of the new initiatives. Disney decided to roll out updates on the many parks projects creatively with a “12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas” series of announcements.
While there was nothing earth-shattering in these updates, Disney did a pretty good job at filling in some of the gaps and giving us a bit more detail on some of the big park changes on the horizon. In case you missed any (or all) of the 12 updates, here is a quick rundown of what was announced:
Day 1: Details about the updated Pixar Play Parade at Disneyland Park:
Disney used this post to announce the return of the Pixar Play Parade to Disneyland Resort. The new iteration of the popular parade begins on April 13 and will now occur at Disneyland Park. New features of the parade will be floats featuring the iconic Pixar Lamp, as well as floats featuring characters from Up and Inside Out. See the full post for some awesome images of the new parade features.
Day 2: Details about Disney World’s Caribbean Beach Resort Refurb:
If you’ve traveled to Disney World pretty much anytime during 2017, you likely know that there has been some pretty serious construction going on at Disney World’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Know we have some idea as to what the finished product will look like.
In the new Caribbean Beach Resort, the front desk will be relocated to Old Port Royale, which makes much more sense than the original location, which is pretty much separated from the resort and quite a hike from some sections. This gives it more of a centralized location. Obviously, such a move will impact the resort’s food court and its table-service restaurant, Shutters, both located in Old Port Royale. Details about changes to both of these, along with a poolside bar, Banana Cabana, can be found in the original post here.
Day 3 (Part 1): Details about the Food & Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure:
Disney used this opportunity to announce that Food & Wine Festival returns to Disney California Adventure for a third year in 2018 and will be expanded to 6 weeks this time around. More details about the festival can be found in the full post here.
Day 3 (Part 2): Launch date for Toy Story Land at Shanghai Disneyland announced:
We got a bit of a surprise on Day 3 with a second announcement. The second post of the day was about Toy Story Land, the first expansion project in the short history of Shanghai Disneyland. The new land is now slated to open on April 26, 2018. More details about the new Toy Story Land, along with some amazing concept art, can be found in this post.
Day 4 (Part 1): Updates on the new Disney Skyliner Transportation System at Disney World:
The new Disney Skyliner Transportation System was one of my favorite new projects announced at D23 last summer. As a frequent visitor to WDW, I very much welcome any way Disney can make travel between resorts and parks more pleasurable than the resort bus system. The new gondola system will run from a few resorts to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Caribbean Beach will have its own station, which appears to be what they will be using the old main desk building for from the pictures and Pop Century and Art of Animation will share a Skyliner station.
More images of the Disney Skyliner Transportation System can be found here.
Day 4 (Part 2): Details about the transformation of Hong Kong Disneyland’s Castle
The second post of Day 4 saw Hong Kong Disneyland getting a little love as a refurb of the park’s iconic castle was announced. You can find all the details here.
Day 5: A new Moana premium experience at Aulani:
On this day, we found out that Disney’s Hawaiian paradise, Aulani, will be getting a new Moana-themed premium experience. The new 90-minute “Kakamora Chaos with Moana”experience, children get a chance to interact with Moana for a number of fun themed games. More information about this premium Moana experience can be found here.
Day 6: Details about the Epcot International Festival of the Arts “Disney on Broadway” series:
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts returns for its sophomore run from January 12 to February 19, 2018. On the 5th day of announcements, Disney rolled out their lineup for the popular “Disney on Broadway” portion of the festival. “Disney on Broadway is a theatrical performance which occurs on America Gardens Theatre stage in Epcot’s World Showcase. It runs Fridays-Mondays at 5:30, 6:45 and 8pm. Here is the lineup:
- January 12-15 and 19-22: Kara Lindsay (NEW!) and Kevin Massey, who will perform songs from “Tarzan,” “Aladdin,” “Newsies” and “Frozen.”
- January 26-29 and February 2-5: Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White, who will perform songs from “Tarzan,” “The Lion King,” “Aida,” “Aladdin,” and “The Little Mermaid.”
- February 9-12 and 16-19: Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland, who will perform songs from “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Tarzan,” “Mary Poppins,” “Newsies” and “Frozen.”
More information about the Epcot International Festival of the Arts and the “Disney on Broadway” series can be found here.
Day 7: Flights of Wonder replaced with New UP show:
Disney announced on this day that the not-so-popular Flights of Wonder attraction at Disney World’s Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be replaced with a new show featuring Russell and Dug from Disney Pixar’s movie UP. Flights of Wonder will close permanently at the end of this month and the new UP show is scheduled to begin in Spring 2018.
Day 8: New Star Wars Day at Sea experiences for Disney Cruise Line
Disney took this opportunity to announce Star Wars Day at Sea returns to Disney Cruises in January and will include new experiences. Star Wars Day at Sea will sail 15 times between January and April and will include all-new Dark Side, Resistance and Droid experiences featuring fan favorites Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, Rey, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2 and yes, Porgs. Here are more details about the new Star Wars Day at Sea experiences.
Day 9: New Italian restaurant coming to Disney Springs:
Disney Springs will continue to grow in 2018 and first up will be a new Italian restaurant, Terralina Crafted Italian. The new venue is a product of the Levy Restaurant Group, who most recently brought us the amazing Paddlefish restaurant, also located in Disney Springs. Terralina Crafted Italian is slated to open in early 2018. More info about the restaurant can be found here.
Day 10: Details about Disney California Adventure’s Pixar Pier revealed:
With so much commotion about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and other changes coming to Disney World and Disneyland Park during D23, changes planned for Disney California Adventure understandably flew a bit under the radar. Disney is doing quite a bit in 2018 to spotlight Pixar properties in Disneyland and the centerpiece will be the new Pixar Pier area of California Adventure.
On Day 10, Disney gave us a working model of the new park area and the new Incredibles-themed Incredicoaster ride. Also revealed were details on other Pixar Pier “neighborhoods,” which are essentially sections of the Pier that are themed for different Pixar movies. Here are more details about Pixar Pier.
Day 11: More details about the new Incredicoaster ride:
Day 11 continued on the Pixar Pier rollout and spotlighted more details about the new Incredibles-themed Incredicoaster ride. Really, Day 10 and Day 11 could have been merged together if they really wanted to, but whatever. Here is the fun video that was released giving you a better idea as to what the ride will be like.
Day 12: More details about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge:
Disney Parks certainly saved the best (in my opinion) for last as they unveiled more visuals about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
First up is a sneak peek at the inside of the Millennium Falcon, where visitors will be able to walk through and experience the feeling of being inside the iconic ship:
Next is a shot of the life-sized X-Wing fighters being constructed for Galaxy’s Edge:
Finally, we get a look at one of the marketplaces in Galaxy’s Edge which will be a place to get unique toys from the Star Wars galaxy.
So there you have it- 14 announcements in 12 days. A little early gift for all of us from the crew at the Disney Parks Blog. As always, I will be posting about any additional information about these projects that comes out in the future, so stay tuned!