Our predictions for 2019 D23 Expo announcements and what lies ahead for Walt Disney World

Aug 20, 2019 in "D23 - Official Fan Organization"

The 2019 D23 Expo gets begins this week in Anaheim, and for theme park fans, all eyes will be on the "Sneak Peek! Disney Parks, Experiences and Products" presentation in Hall D23 on Sunday.

The 2017 D23 event was a big year for Walt Disney World announcements, but we expect this year’s announcements to be more focussed on filling in some of the details about projects already announced.

Epcot is obviously the big focus for Walt Disney World in the coming years, and there are numerous projects already underway which we should hear more about.

First, we expect to have final confirmation of names for the new Space restaurant currently under construction near to Mission: SPACE, along with official names for the Guardians of the Galaxy rollercoaster, the new movies in Canada and China, and the future nighttime spectacular which will replace the temporary Epcot Forever show.

The new Epcot show is thought to include music from popular Disney movies, and will use some new technology to deliver special effects.

Next, we may hear an official confirmation of the United Kingdom Pavilion’s new ride, which we expect to be based on the Mary Poppins IP. The modest attraction is likely to be a carousel of some type, but will bring a much needed kids ride for that side of World Showcase.

Finally for Epcot, and perhaps the most significant, we expect to find out all about the central spine redesign that will be at the core of the new Epcot.

Future World as we know it will be gone, and we expect there to be three “worlds” with new names that will make up what is the existing Future World.

At the center, we already know from permits that Innoventions West will be completely removed, and in its place we expect to see a new meet and greet building to replace Character Spot, a large multi-level festival center complete with rooftop bar and lounge, and a walk-through garden area with an elaborate water feature. As with most additions taking place at Epcot, expect there to be an IP tie-in in this area from a recent Disney animated movie.

On the other side, the existing eastern buildings will remain, but with extensive remodeling, and will become home to a quick service restaurant, an expanded Mouse Gear, the relocated Starbucks and Club Cool, and a couple of smaller Food and Beverage offerings including the much-talked about Beer Garden.

Similar to the already announced main entrance redesign, we expect the new central area to be much more landscape heavy with trees and gardens replacing much of the existing concrete. Winding pathways will replace the main central guest corridor.

Finally for Epcot, plans for updates to Spaceship Earth may be revealed ahead of the attraction’s expected closure at the end of 2019 or early 2020.

Moving over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we expect to hear more about the Star Wars hotel, including its official name and perhaps details of itineraries and its story-line.

It may be too early to hear anything about plans for the Magic Kingdom’s 50th anniversary, and the focus there is now on TRON and smaller updates to Tomorrowland.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is still riding high on the addition of Pandora - The World of Avatar, and we don’t expect to hear announcements for that park at this Expo.

Outside of the main parks, an addition to Blizzard Beach is expected, although it may not be announced at the Expo. And we expect to soon hear more about the new Cirque du Soleil show which should be opening with the coming months at Disney Springs. While perhaps not to be mentioned at D23, there is more to come at Disney Springs at the two outer extremities of the property.

That rounds out our predictions for D23 announcements for Walt Disney World. However, Disney parks is now very much a global operation, and both Hong Kong and Shanghai are likely to feature heavily at D23 with new attractions. On the West Coast, more details should be released on plans for integrating Marvel into their line-up.

At the Cruise Line, all the talk is about a new ship and a new private island to join Castaway Cay. Both are likely to feature at D23.

And last but not least, there is the wild-card of the “Secret Walt Disney Company Project,” which still remains somewhat of a mystery. The announcement for that is on August 22, with more to come at D23 on Saturday. Consensus seems to be it won’t be directly park related, but likely consumer orientated, which may be of interest to all Disney fans.

Stay tuned to WDWMAGIC on Sunday for more coverages of D23 Expo announcements.

Discuss on the Forums
Article Posted: Aug 20, 2019 / 10:45am ET