The D23 Expo is here and with it will come a slew of announcements about the Disney Parks. Is it Christmas Day? No, it’s August 23rd. But for Disney Park enthusiasts, it’s not far off. We’ll be covering the D23 Park announcements in detail over the next few days and this post will serve as a preview for what’s to come, as well as breaking down the little bits of news that have come out as of Friday afternoon. We’ll start with what’s already been announced.
Moana: Journey of Water Coming to Epcot
From the Disney Parks Blog – “The reinvention of Epcot will include Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana.” This first-ever experience based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios hit film, “Moana,” will let guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting.”
I’ve seen several interpretations of what this attraction will be, anywhere from a water maze to a splash pad to a group of fountains. I do think water maze was iterated in the announcement so I think that’s likely but also is confusing. Maybe others are more versed in the world of water mazes than I am but I’ve never heard of them. If you take a wrong turn do you just get soaked? Time will tell. It sounds nice, I guess, since I like mazes and water.
My main area of trepidation is due to the fact that this is connected to Moana. I mean, why? It seems like this is an unnecessary tie-in when the park could easily just do a ‘water maze’ or whatever this is and no one would bat an eye at there not being some Disney-IP connection.
I also get concerned when IP’s are tied to very minor experiences and don’t get the attraction they deserve. Maybe I like Moana more than others but I think it’s a perfect opportunity for an adventure-based princess ride, something that is lacking at Disney Parks. Instead the first Moana attraction we get is walking through some fountains? It all seems a little strange.
On the plus side, this will add another water feature to the redesign of Epcot’s central spine. Really I just want things to look good and fit thematically, Moana: Journey of Water should definitely look good. The other side of things will be up in the air.
Disney has now announced the name of the Avengers themed land coming to California, Hong Kong and Disneyland Paris – Avengers Campus. Honestly, there wasn’t much more to the announcement yet outside of a model and we expect more announcements about this topic coming on Sunday so we’ll just leave that here. Avengers Campus is a fine name. Better than some other names. More to come…
Star Wars Hotel Name Revealed
The previously announced Disney World Star Wars Hotel now has a name – Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. From the Disney Parks Blog – “Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be a new, first-of-its-kind vacation experience where guests will check in for a two-night adventure aboard a glamorous starship. Once onboard, guests will interact with characters and become active participants in stories that unfold around them on their galactic journey.”
The most interesting part of this update is that this will be a two-night experience and will be ‘seamlessly’ connected to Galaxy’s Edge. This is another one where they may be more info later in the weekend so we’ll wait to add commentary.
What’s Coming This Weekend?
That mostly covers what has been announced so far. There were a few other minor Epcot announcements, including an update on the preview center that will take over the Odyssey. That leads us into what we expect for the rest of the weekend, particularly on Sunday, in terms of announcements. I think the Parks Panel will include a heavy dose of Epcot including several attraction announcements and possibly a new World Showcase Pavilion. Along with that, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a few other Disney World announcements, specifically at Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. The aforementioned Avengers Campus is prime for another attraction announcement, as well.
As for what our coverage of the Expo will include, the plan is to write individual posts about each announcement on Sunday (we’ll cover Saturday too if anything is announced but we don’t expect that). We’ll start with posts about each individual announcement and then add commentary to each one over the following few days.
Along with that, we’re planning to release an ’emergency podcast’ reacting to each of the announcements on Monday morning. In other words, stay tuned to the blog as we cover anything parks related from D23. We won’t be covering anything on the TV or movie side, although much of what’s been announced today (Friday) about Disney+ sounds promising to us.
What do you hope for from D23? Let us know in the comments below! If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!