If you were on social media at all this past weekend then you may have heard a lot of buzz going on at the Disney Fan Club’s D23 Expo. The D23 Expo is the ultimate Disney fan event that brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities.
At this year’s D23 Expo, a lot of exciting announcements were made.
One of the biggest news out of D23 Expo sparked the excitement from all the Star Wars fans out there. Disney announced there will be a new Star Wars- themed land that will be brought to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. If you aren’t a Star Wars fan yet, you will be!
These authentic lands will have two signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Warsadventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.
For those visiting Hollywood Studios in Florida, a new Toy Story Land is set to be built.
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.
- 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 Worldin 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.
Marvel’s “Doctor Strange— opening in U.S. theaters on October 26, 2016
Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War— opens in the U.S. on May 6, 2016
The Finest Hours— storms into U.S. theaters on January 29, 2016
The Jungle Book— hits theaters in stunning 3D and IMAX 3D on April 15, 2016
Alice Through the Looking Glass— opens in U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016
Finding Dory— swims into theaters June 17, 2016.
Pete’s Dragon— opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016
Moana— sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016
Beauty and the Beast— released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017
Toy Story 4– in theaters June 16, 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales— releases in U.S. theaters on July 7, 2017
Cars 3— Release date TBD
Little is known about this film but we just couldn’t be more excited. We will fill you in as we learn more about Cars 3.
The Incredibles 2— Release date TBD
Like Cars 3, very little is known. All we know for sure is it features the return of The Incredibles writer and director Brad Bird.
Gigantic— In theaters 2018
Set in Spain during the Age of Exploration, Disney’s “Gigantic” follows adventure-seeker Jack as he discovers a world of giants hidden within the clouds. He hatches a grand plan with Inma, a 60-foot-tall, 11-year-old girl, and agrees to help her find her way home. But he doesn’t account for her super-sized personality—and who knew giants were so down to earth?
One of the greatest excitement to Disney fans attending the D23 Expo is all the exclusive merchandise available to them for purchase. Here are some of our favorites.
D23 Expo Mickey Ear Hat:
Mr. Toad Limited Edition Plush:
Steamboat Willie Tsum Tsum Collection:
Once Upon a Time Doll Collection: