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Live Updates from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Presentation at 2015 D23 EXPO

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation at the 2015 D23 EXPO has concluded! Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog over the next few days for more details on these new and exciting experiences.

The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation at the D23 EXPO 2015 is underway! We’re excited to share the news as Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek announces new attractions and entertainment, part of the unprecedented growth at Disney Parks around the world. While the guests inside Hall D23 will be the first to hear the news, we will provide live updates here. Keep an eye on this space!


Guests at Epcot in Florida and Disney California Adventure in California will journey to far-flung lands, fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and soar over man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its debut next year.


Iron Man Experience Coming to Hong Kong Disneyland

Iron Man just landed for a special appearance at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation! Soon Hong Kong Disneyland guests will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with the Super Hero himself when Iron Man Experience opens in 2016.


As part of the largest expansion in the park’s history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will invite guests into the world of AVATAR, 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.

Pandora – The World of AVATAR Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

  • Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land.
  • AVATAR Flight of Passage – The centerpiece of Pandora – The World of AVATAR, brings guests into one of the most thrilling scenes from the film, in which they will soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world.
  • “Rivers of Light” – Expected to open next spring, “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live performers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.
  • Sunset 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.


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 the all-new 11-acre Toy Story Land. Guests will become part of the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard, including two new Disney Parks attractions and one expanded favorite.

Toy Story Land Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

  • Family-friendly roller coaster – This coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a thrilling, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land on the back of Slinky Dog.
  • Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers.
  • 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 an additional track to this popular attraction.


Disney Parks Chairman Bob Chapek just reminded fans in Hall D23 of the all-new Star Wars-themed lands that are coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, announced by Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger earlier today. Chapek also shared more information about new Star Wars experiences coming to both resorts, some starting late this year.

The worlds, stories and characters of the Star Wars galaxy will come to life through new and enhanced experiences at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California.

Star Wars Launch Bay Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Park

Star Wars Launch Bay – Opening later this year, this interactive experience will take guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland park in California into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as well as the first six films in the Star Wars saga.

Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both coasts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment, themed food locations and Hyperspace Mountain – a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. Disney’s Hollywood Studios will feature a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies on weekend nights.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland park in California will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


  • Luv this new Star wars BUT VERY VERY disappointed that we will be losing the Nov-Dec Christmas lights that are spectacular each and every year. The Osborne family does a fantastic think to allow us to see these. So disappointed they will be gone after this year to make room for Star Wars:(

  • I sure picked a great time to move back to FL! Heading to Orlando in two weeks for good! So excited!

  • I hope they add RC Racer and a larger Pizza Planet to Toy Story Land.
    Whatever they do I’m sure it will be great though….Also they should find a way to move Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster to Hollywood Studios.

  • There was no mention of Lights Motor Action closing,or backlot tour replacement, and finally no mention of a name change for studios. I wonder if they’re saving it for new years d23 expo.

  • Is there any thing on the Indiana Jones Ride coming to Hollywood studios or is there still nonsense to be made at D23 I really hope this ride is in the works that ride will draw people to the studios

  • Exciting times for the parks around the world. Will there be a replay of the live presentation made available online?

    • Not a full replay, Brian, but we’re working on a wrap-up to share tomorrow.

  • Thanks for the updates and coverage of the event Erin, exactly what I was hoping for! And the news itself, Toy Story Place and Star Wars-themed lands, is incredible! Absolutely can’t wait…..

    • Thanks for following along, Dustin!

  • @Erin And what about DLP? Just “Happy Birthday”?

  • Any news on Shanghai??

  • Toy Story Land seems to be taking the place of Pixar Place, now that the theme’s off of “Backstage studios”
    But there’s more to Pixar than just Toy Story–Will other new Pixar characters appear there as well?

    (Like, let’s say, if a certain couple of -emotional- characters never got the chance to appear at the Magic of Animation building…) 🙂

  • It’s better than Christmas morning!!! I am so excited and proud to call myself a pixie Disney nerd. 🙂

  • This is exciting news! I hope there is lots of amazing theming for Toy Story Land. It will be hard to top Radiator Springs. Seeing that light up at night is something I just got to see.

  • Do you have an estimated date for Toy Story land opening? Im guessing not til at least 2017

  • awesome! I wanted to hear the new name for the studios?

  • So does this mean that Space Mountain will be closed over the holidays so they can get it ready for Hyperspace Mountain? I have so many questions….

  • Where will these lands be located?

    • At Disneyland park, the land will be located in the Big Thunder Ranch area, inclusive of some backstage locations.

  • This is all a lot to process! Just as we’re absorbing the first bit of news about Star Wars-themed lands at DLR and WDW, now there is a Hyperspace Mountain and a new Star Tours adventure too?

    And, I must say — I am envious of the WDW folks for getting a Toy Story Land. I would love to have that at DLR.

  • Any word yet on the new name for Hollywood Studios? Mr. Iger hinted at it, but I haven’t seen any announcement yet. Much as I’d love it to be Star Wars Land, that won’t work with all the Pixar stuff….and those two are pretty polar opposite to try to make a name for both, lol. But then neither does the rumored Disney’s Hollywood Adventureland (plus that will get confusing with Adventureland in Magic Kingdom)

  • Will the alien saucer attraction be similar to the original Flying Saucers or Luigi’s Flying Tires,or will new technology be involved?

  • Exciting news!

  • Wow can’t wait ! Hope there will be some Clone Wars and Rebels activities too !

  • Will Season of the Force be replacing Star Wars weekends? 🙁 Or will both co-exist now? (Will we have dates soon for Season of the Force?)

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