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Live Updates from D23 Convention in Anaheim

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Adam is currently at D23 for Theme Park Review this weekend. We'll update this post periodically with his Tweets & updates, and then he will do a full report from the forum with more content after the event is over. Follow the event live on our Twitter:



This weekend we're at the @D23Expo so look for lots of new developments for Disney posted here!



They have a free play area upstairs for Fix-It Felix Jr. at the @D23Expo


The Walt Disney Parks & Resorts pavilion hosts a sneak peek at Pandora coming to Animal Kingdom in 2017! @D23Expo:







The model of Pandora is huge and reveals a great level of detail ahead for Animal Kingdom. @D23Expo



The full park map for Shanghai Disneyland is on display at the Walt Disney Parks & Resorts pavilion. @D23Expo


New details on the dining and amenities at the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel at the @D23Expo:







Tron Lightcycle Power Run has been in development at Walt Disney Imagineering for ten years!



The antagonist of Roaring Rapids at Shanghai Disneyland is the giant Q'araq, the Guardian of the Water.



Some models of the ride vehicles for Tomorrowland at Shanghai Disneyland.



Treasure Cove at Shanghai Disneyland will feature the Siren's Revenge, an activity-filled, full-sized pirate ship!



Shanghai Disneyland will feature the Alice in Wonderland Maze, inspired by the Tim Burton film & the upcoming sequel.



Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue is a new take on the classic shooting dark ride with a new story & new targeting system!



Digitally rendered scenes with moving targets will interact with these new blasters in Buzz Lightyear's Planet Rescue



Unique wait time signs have been developed for the new Tomorrowland attractions. Very different than other parks.



A model of a wrecked pirate ship play area in Treasure Cove at Shanghai Disneyland.



Advanced animatronics are being developed for Treasure Cove's attractions, including this character from the films!



Voyage to the Crystal Grotto will feature scenes from iconic Disney films in the shadow of Enchanted Storybook Castle



Adventure Isle at Shanghai Disneyland will feature the "Young Adventurer Training Camp," an interactive dig site!


New details on the Toy Story Hotel, the value resort at the Shanghai Disney Resort:







The Shanghai Disney Resort cast member name tag design.



Back in Pandora.



Some of the creatures you may encounter during your vacation to Pandora.



The old RTA base on Pandora was converted into Alpha Centauri Expeditions' facility for guests to visit.



Away from the facilities, natural Pandora will mask the entrances to the Banshee ride & the new boat ride.



We even had a chance to talk to Disney Imagineer @Joe_Rohde for a bit!



today we are at the Disney Legends Awards ceremony, hosted by Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger!



We were just treated to a live performance of "Kiss Goodnight" by Richard Sherman and Ashley Brown!



Two of the stars of Dancing with the Stars performed a routine to the tune of "Once Upon a Dream."



Danny Elfman is here accepting his award as a newly-inducted Disney Legend!



George Lucas just shared during his speech that Goofy was the inspiration for Jar Jar Binks!


Out on the @D23Expo floor, the upcoming slate of @DisneyPixar films is shown off with some new posters:





teaser poster for @DisneyPixar Finding Dory.



A pamphlet on ACE, the tourism company that will bring guests to Pandora is being given out at the #D23Expo



The pamphlet highlights some experiences you can have on Pandora along with some common Na'vi phrases.



A message from Alpha Centauri Expeditions' founder Marshall Lamm (also known as Jon Landau)


After you visit the ACE info session at the #D23Expo you can buy this ACE field kit from Mickey's of Glendale:




More D23 updates coming soon!

Edited by robbalvey
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^ I'm guessing it's some sort of tie-in to the old Horizons attractions which used to be "Brava Centauri"


I'm 100% sure it has nothing to do with a coaster club full of rejects.

Edited by robbalvey
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I'm really intrigued by Toy Story 4. I wonder how they will continue the story as the end of the third seemed like it would be "the end"


Hopefully Cars 3 isn't a flop like the 2nd one was and I really can't wait for the Incredibles sequel.

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I'm really intrigued by Toy Story 4. I wonder how they will continue the story as the end of the third seemed like it would be "the end"


Hopefully Cars 3 isn't a flop like the 2nd one was and I really can't wait for the Incredibles sequel.


GMA was reporting that it TS4 would center on a love story between Woody and Bo Beep

IDK if this is a continuation of the current story or if it is prequel somewhere in the TS Universe

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Here are the remaining photos from Day One of the D23 Expo 2015... There's plenty more to come over the next two days!







Some things you'll be able to see during your ACE vacation in Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park... #D23Expo







Unique food and merchandise was teased for Avatar at the Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Pavilion presentation. #D23Expo







Behind the scenes photos of the making of the new Soarin' ride film that will debut at Shanghai Disneyland. #D23Expo






Pre-visualizations & models of Treasure Cove, the new Pirates-inspired land at Shanghai Disneyland. #D23Expo







Early construction photos of Treasure Cove at Shanghai Disneyland... #D23Expo






Skull Rock from concept to construction at Treasure Cove. #D23Expo




A new ride system has been developed for Shanghai Disneyland's "Peter Pan's Flight" attraction. #D23Expo






A look at the @Marvel experience coming to Shanghai Disneyland. #D23Expo




Zootopia's biggest pop star Gazelle will be voiced by Grammy®-winning international superstar Shakira! #D23Expo




"Gigantic" will release in 2018! Directed by Nathan Greno (Tangled) with music from the Lopez's (Frozen) #D23Expo






#Pixar's "Riley's First Date" short was debuted at #D23Expo to be released on the #InsideOut DVD/Blu-Ray Nov 3 2015.




An Apatosaurus named Arlo must face his fears in Disney's The Good Dinosaur opening Nov 25th, 2015. #D23Expo







Tron Lightcycle Power Run construction and development is well underway at Shanghai Disneyland. #D23Expo




A quick glimpse at the testing Walt Disney Imagineering has been doing in the famous DISH room for Tron. #D23Expo







Several milestones during the construction of the Tron Lightcycle Power Run. #D23Expo







Tron Lightcycle Power Run will surround guests in immersive lighting to transport them to The Grid. #D23Expo




It looks like there will be a themed dance party like elecTRONica in Tomorrowland at Shanghai Disneyland. #D23Expo




A look at the fabrication of the Tomorrowland entrance sign for Shanghai Disneyland. #D23Expo




Our live coverage of the #D23Expo has wrapped up for the night! Stay tuned for a recap & more live update tomorrow!

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So, Star Wars Lands for DL and DHS were dropped today. Happily waiting for the report.

It's already posted in both the Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios and the Disneyland threads. It's also on the front page of TPR with a link.

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First part of today's update....


Note that cameras were not allowed in the "Studios Panel" so there isn't as much to report on today...


Walt Disney Studios announced Colin Trevorrow will direct 2019's Star Wars: Episode IX


New standalone Star Wars series, “Rogue One,” has begun filming. December 16, 2016 release:





#StarWars themed lands officially announced for @Disneyalnd & @WaltDisneyWorld



A Star Wars cantina dining experience was confirmed during the Disney Studios Live Action presentation.



The Star Wars land will host alien creatures, immersive environments and appearances by familiar characters.

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Is it just me, does this year's D23 read and look like possibly one of The Best

D23s for theme park announcements, as well as films and television, and stage?


And it's just getting going!


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Toy Story Land for Hollywood Studios, comes with new Slinky Dog Coaster AND a new Buzz Lightyear UFO ride.

Don't they already have a Buzz Lightyear ride at Magic Kingdom though? Sounds like it could be a trackless ride or just a basic flat.

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Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Announces New Lands, Entertainment and Experiences at D23 EXPO 2015


Star Wars, Toy Story Land, Pandora – The World of AVATAR, Soarin’ and Iron Man among new experiences coming for guests


ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2015) – Today, Disney announced a line-up of new attractions and entertainment coming to its theme parks around the world during the D23 EXPO 2015 in Anaheim, Calif.


Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek gave 7,500 lucky fans a behind-the-scenes look at what’s to come. He was joined by Imagineers working on these projects as well as legendary filmmakers James Cameron and Jon Landau who shared new details about Pandora – The World of AVATAR including the names of the land and E-ticket attraction – AVATAR Flight of Passage. Fans also got a chance to see Marvel legend Stan Lee in a cameo appearance where he posed as an unsuspecting fan during Iron Man’s dramatic entrance.


Among the many announcements Chapek shared were new and enhanced Star Wars experiences coming later this year to the Florida and California theme parks, plans for a new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and more details on Pandora—The World of AVATAR, which is already under construction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Chapek also shared that Soarin’ Around the World will make its U.S. film debut at Epcot and Disney California Adventure taking guests to new places around the world. Additionally, fans got a preview of exclusive video of the first Marvel attraction planned for Disney parks, coming to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2016.


“From Disneyland’s 60th anniversary celebration to the anticipation of Shanghai Disney Resort, we’re in the midst of unprecedented growth and expansion around the globe,” said Chapek. “With these new announcements, we continue our legacy in creating innovative attractions, worldwide entertainment, and magical lands that take our guests into the worlds of stories they love.”


In addition to these announcements, Chapek talked about the exciting news announced earlier in the day by Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger for plans to bring Star Wars-themed lands to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando and Disneyland park in Anaheim. Each 14-acre land 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.


Details on each of the projects include:


Star Wars Enhancements & New Experiences

From a new Star Tours adventure to Star Wars Launch Bay, from a new Jedi Training Academy to "Season of the Force,” soon guests will be part of both new and enhanced experiences at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.


· Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.


· Star Wars Launch Bay – This interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. Also atDisneyland park, Star Wars Launch Bay will share the space with the reimagined Super Hero HQ, featuring opportunities to meet and take photos with super heroes like Captain America and Thor, as well as experience the returning Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries. Both experiences will be available for guests later this year.


· Jedi Training Academy — A favorite of younger fans is reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series "Star Wars Rebels."


· Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both coasts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more. Guests also will be thrilled to climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction, in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.


Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida

The reimagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with Toy Story Land. This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard. Guests will think they've been shrunk to the size of Woody and Buzz as they are surrounded by oversized toys that Andy has assembled using his vivid imagination. Using toys like building blocks, plastic buckets and shovels, and game board pieces, Andy has designed the perfect setting for this land, which will include two new attractions for any Disney park and one expanded favorite.


· Family-friendly roller coaster – All on the back of Slinky Dog, this coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a fun, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land.


· Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers. The music, lighting and sound effects add to the flurry of action, while “The Claw” looms over.


· Toy Story Mania! – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds a third track to this popular attraction.


After Dark at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Pandora – The World of AVATAR

As part of the largest expansion in the park’s history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will immerse guests into the world of Pandora, and the entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences, offering guests longer days than ever before to experience this one-of-a-kind theme park.


· “Rivers of Light” – Expected to open next spring, “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative experience unlike anything ever seen in a Disney park, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. “Rivers of Light” will magically come to life on the natural stage of Discovery River, delighting guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


· Kilimanjaro Safaris – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.


· Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land – a world that includes floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest and the winged creatures known as Banshees, giving guests a transformational experience they will never forget.


o AVATAR Flight of Passage – This E-ticket attraction, the centerpiece of Pandora, allows guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world. The spectacular flying experience will give guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage.


Soarin’ Around the World in Florida and California

Next year, guests at Epcot in Florida and Disney California Adventure in California will journey to far-flung lands and fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its U.S. debut.


Iron Man Unveiled for Hong Kong Disneyland

Iron Man landed at D23 EXPO today for a special appearance, and soon Hong Kong Disneyland guests will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with the Super Hero himself. Set to open in 2016, Iron Man Experience will be the first Marvel attraction at any Disney park, taking guests on an epic adventure over the streets and in the sky above Hong Kong. The adventure will begin at the new Stark Expo where guests board the Iron Wing to take flight and battle Hydra alongside fan-favorite Avenger, Iron Man.








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· Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers. The music, lighting and sound effects add to the flurry of action, while “The Claw” looms over.


So my guess this is something like Aquatopia minus the water? That alone sounds pretty damn awesome to me.

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^ If the Aliens Saucers ride is indeed trackless, then with the Luigi's Car Dance ride in DCA, Disney is

sure speeding up the pace, finally getting trackless rides into their U.S. parks.


Goody. (I hope.)


EDIT to add: Looks like the Alien Saucers ride will be something like Mater's Jamboree at DCA.

That's great still! Proving they can re-theme an already existing attraction to something new!

Edited by Nrthwnd
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Is it just me, or is the Avatar theme just 'meh'... Yeah, I know there are more movies in the series on its way, but the first didn't strike me as something that would constitute a whole land. Maybe a ride? Well, if it flops they can always repurpose it as FernGully land

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Well, if it flops they can always repurpose it as FernGully land



I think it'll be just fine, honestly. Avatar is really just a big extension of the themes and experiences that Animal Kingdom offers (save the Earth!) to another planet, so any area dedicated to it should really mesh with the rest of the park and not feel like its own totally isolated land. That kind of natural flow isn't going to let you feel like they dedicated too much room to a single IP, I don't think.

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