D23 Expo 2015: Recap Of The Parks And Resorts Panel — Toy Story Land, Star Wars Land, Avatar Land, Frozen Ever After, More

One of the biggest moments of the D23 Expo 2015 came on Saturday afternoon when the Parks and Resorts panel took place. Everyone was aware of the early announcement about Star Wars Land, but there was much more to come for Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and around the world. Disney announced Toy Story Land, Soarin’ Around the World, and so much more.

star wars launch bay d23 expo

The presentation began with talk about Star Wars Land which will indeed be coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Park. Some more details were finally revealed though, and it gave fans a lot to look forward to.

  • Everything in Star Wars Land will be “in-story.”
  • Different characters that bring Star Wars to life will encounter Guests
  • Star Tours is going to be upgraded with a new destination from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • Both new and old Star Wars characters will be in Star Wars Land
  • Star Wars Launch Bay coming to both DHS and DLR
  • Jedi Academy will be getting an update
  • Early 2016 will bring Star Wars: Season of the Force to both parks – Entertainment, food, characters, music
  • Hyperspace Mountain will take over Space Mountain in Disneyland with digital projections
  • DHS will get a new Star Wars-inspired fireworks show.
  • It will be 14 acres in size.

After that, Disney made a huge announcement that brought forth another new addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World — Toy Story Land. Here are some details about what will be coming in Toy Story Land.

  • Guests will shrink to the size of a toy
  • Upon entering, it will be like entering Andy’s backyard as a toy
  • There will be a Slinky Dog roller coaster
  • A third track is being added onto Toy Story Mania
  • Different Toy Story characters will be available for meet-and-greet opportunities
  • The Claw and the Green Aliens will be part of yet another Toy Story Land attraction
  • It will be 11 acres in size.

A little bit was revealed about the “Frozen Ever After” attraction that will be coming to Epcot next year. The Sven animatronic was shown as was some concept art about the attraction and new meet-and-greet location.

Next up, Disney’s Bob Chapek returned to the D23 Expo stage and discussed Tokyo Disneyland where there will be a lot of new additions. There is going to be a fully immersive land in Tokyo that will have Alice In Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, and Frozen.

d23 avatar land

After that, it was time to discuss Avatar Land, aka Pandora, which will be coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and is scheduled to open in 2017. Here are some details from that presentation and more that will head to that park.

  • “Flight of Passage” is the name of the main ride in Pandora – The World of Avatar. This attraction will be much like Soarin’ and there will be another planned boat ride as well.
  • The “River of Light” nighttime show will bring the Tree Of Life to full light with music, floating lanterns, water screens, and much more.
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris will get a sunset version of the ride for a look at the animals in the savanna after dark. There will be a couple new species coming as well — hyenas and African wild dogs.

Following that presentation, Stan Lee and Iron Man took to the stage to speak of the Iron Man Experience which will be heading to Hong Kong Disneyland.

d23 expo iron man

Next, it was time to talk about Shanghai Disneyland which will be incredibly amazing. Here are some of the details from that presentation.

  • There will be no Main Street USA, as it will be called Mickey Avenue.
  • The hub is going to be called the “Gardens of Imagination.”
  • Shanghai Disneyland will have the longest parade route of any park.
  • A reimagined Pirates of the Caribbean attraction/ride will be called Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure.
  • Roaring Rapids Mountain will be the centerpiece of Adventure Isle and yes, Tron Lightcycles are coming to the park too.
  • Storybook Castle will be the tallest and biggest castle of all Disney Parks and will include an interactive Snow White ride.

One of the final announcements is something that so many have been waiting for. Soarin’ Around the World will debut at both Disney California Adventure and Epcot sometime in 2016 so fans now have a date.

The D23 Expo 2015 has revealed a lot of information, and the Parks and Resorts panel brought the most. Toy Story Land, Star Wars Land, Marvel movies, Pixar movies, and so much more has come from this weekend and it isn’t over yet.

[Images via Disney]