Walt Disney World has a lot of updates incoming at D23 this year. Based on rumors, Disney seems to be adding tons of Disney characters to their parks, and pretty much destroying the theme of Future World. In this post, I want to round up all of the rumors, and figure out what will happen at the panel, from most likely to least likely.
MOST LIKELY: UPDATE ON SW LAND AND TOY STORY LAND CONSTRUCTION
Most likely, Disney will open the WDW part of the panel with an update on the construction of their two new lands at Hollywood Studios. They’ll release more concept art, and probably give us more hints about how immersive the lands will be, and what the rides will look like.
This is pretty much a given, as these lands are huge and Disney likes to hype them.
VERY LIKELY: EPCOT RENOVATIONS
Epcot needs a lot of work, and Disney will be addressing this at D23, albeit not in the way that I would want them to. Epcot Renovations have rumors within the one theme, so I’ll go over the most likely (and least likely) features of the refresh of EPCOT
GoTG Ride Replacing the Universe of Energy
So many rumors have stated that a new Guardians of the Galaxy themed ride will replace the aging Universe of Energy Pavilion. Some say that even the semi-abandoned Wonders of Life pavilion will be enveloped into the ride, but recent permits have suggested otherwise. Disney will most likely announce this ride at D23, as they announced Mission: Breakout at D23 last year. The ride will utilize a pretty innovative track, but it’s not futuristic.
MY OPINION: ugh. I enjoy the UofE, and would rather see them update it and get rid of their semi-abandoned building for a new ride, but I guess they think differently. I also don’t like the chosen IP: Guardians of the Galaxy. The movies aren’t timeless yet, and while Song of the South isn’t either, the ride is at MK, fits there, and is really creative. Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t fit the theme of the land, as the IP doesn’t take place in the futuristic and really isn’t futuristic itself.
My opinion aside, the ride will probably be announced at D23 on Saturday.
Ratatouille Ride in France
France may be getting its’ own dark ride. Permits have leaked, which suggest a new ride as part of the France pavilion, utilizing an unused expansion pad next to the pavilion. Rumors have stated the ride will be a clone of Ratatouille: The Adventure at Disneyland Paris. It will most likely be announced and hyped as part of Epcot Renovations at D23.
MY OPINION: World Showcase is pretty boring for anyone under 21, so I get why Disney wants to add more kid-friendly options. The ride being a clone is unoriginal and stupid, though. Be more creative with EPCOT, Disney. Otherwise I’m indifferent.
New World Showcase Pavilion
Brazil may be coming to World Showcase soon. WDWNT reported a rumor that Brazil may be the next pavilion, which makes sense, as there is no South American representation at WDW. Not much is known about the country, but more is surely to be announced at D23.
MY OPINION: Cool.
Inside Out Replacing Journey into Imagination
Journey into Imagination with Figment is an aging attraction, like most of EPCOT. So it makes sense that Disney would want to replace it with a new ride. Most rumors suggest an Inside Out themed dark ride, which would probably be similar to JiT in many ways. Recent surveys have all but confirmed this, by asking guests how they feel about Figment.
MY OPINION: Figment, the mascot of Epcot, will no longer have his own ride. And that’s sad. But the ride needs an upgrade, and while Inside has not proved itself to be timeless, it was a good movie and fits the theme of Imagination.
This one might not be announced at D23, but probably will happen over the course of the renovations.
IllumiNations being Replaced
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is EPCOTs’ nighttime show, and the best show Disney runs. I love that show. But it’s old, and will be replaced. What it will be replaced by may be announced at D23, but I have no proof to support that. Some say it will be an update to bring modern technologies and a new score, and others say Disney will ruin it and add Disney properties. (They’ll probably call it IllumiDisney)
Innovations is pretty much an abandoned pavilion. Something HAS to be done about it, but nothing has been leaking saying what will happen to it. I hope Disney announces something at D23, but I don’t know if they will.
Spaceship Earth Changes
Siemens ended its’ sponsorship of Spaceship Earth recently, which means Disney is free to do whatever they want with the attraction. Expect some changes, with some maybe being announced at D23 (But maybe not, because they might not have plans for the ride just yet).
Mulan/Mary Poppins themed shows or attractions in World Showcase
I have my doubts about these two properties, as there isn’t a lot of strong evidence about them and no rumors about what they could be. Some say Mulan may be taking over Reflections of China, but we don’t know. Small changes like that may be announced at D23, but if either of these IPs get full rides, it’ll be announced after D23 as part of phase two or three.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends Becoming the Marine Life Institute
This is a rumor that has made rounds recently, and one that that I highly doubt will happen simply because of the costs. The cost of the Epcot overhaul is already astronomical, and this will increase it by a lot. If this were to happen, it’ll be announced at a later date.
As well as these additions, many cosmetic changes will occur, to bring Epcot to the modern world, and may even the future (Like the name suggests). Updates to The Land and other pavilions will occur to freshen everything up. Leave a Legacy will be removed to create a nicer entrance that doesn’t look like a graveyard. This is almost a given.
LIKELY: TRON COASTER AT MAGIC KINGDOM
The TRON Coaster from Shanghai is all but confirmed to be replacing the Tomorrowland Speedway at the Magic Kingdom. The Tomorrowland Speedway is a waste of space to Disney, and this ride makes sense. While its’ not original, everything at MK doesn’t have to be. Lots of rides there are clones, so it fits there. The ride itself is super cool, so I’m excited to see this announced at D23.
MY OPINION: Yes!
LIKELY: GONDOLA SKYWAY SYSTEM ANNOUNCED
Construction has already begun on this system of transportation which will connect Epcot to the Caribbean Beach resort, Pop Century/Art of Animation resorts, and Hollywood Studios.
It is likely this will be announced at D23, as no official announcement has occurred. All we know is that construction is underway, each car will hold ten people, and it is being built by European manufacturer Dopplemayr.
LESS LIKELY: TOMORROWLAND OVERHAUL
Some people have suggested that the TRON Coaster coming to MK may mean a Tomorrowland Overhaul will occur. No proof of this has leaked, and no other rides or cosmetic changes have been discovered. It most likely won’t be announced at D23, but it may happen somewhere along the line.
NOT LIKELY: ZOOTOPIA LAND AT ANIMAL KINGDOM
I talked about a possible Zootopia land coming to Animal Kingdom. While some people speculate that the land may be coming to Animal Kingdom soon, most don’t think it will be announced at D23. It’s always possible, though.
VERY UNLIKELY: NEW HOTEL OR PARK ANNOUNCED
The only rumor related to this is that the tennis courts at the Swan and Dolphin will be replaced with a hotel. While that will happen, I doubt it will be announced at D23.
That’s what will be announced at D23, based on the strongest rumors and leaks DisTwitter has found. This weekend I will talk about what was announced, and see how wrong (or right) I was.