For many, the past year has been a time of reflection – a chance to reconnect with the basics and remember what made us who we are. For others, it has been a time of reinvention – an opportunity to think of the future in a whole new way.
At Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, it has been a bit of both.
From the beginning, we have strived to be a place where guests can come together with friends and family to share unforgettable moments. That’s the heart of what we do, and that will never change. But we will always look for new ways to tell our stories and delight our guests, and that’s what we’ve focused on this year.
At the Disneyland Resort, as cast members are getting back to work to reopen our theme parks and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, we’re getting ready for another exciting milestone: the opening of Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure park on June 4. Our teams have been hard at work bringing this incredible new land to life, and we can’t wait to share it with you.
New Magic Around the World
I’m also excited to share some updates on projects that are already underway.
As we previously announced, Walt Disney World Resort will kick off our 50th anniversary on Oct. 1, 2021. As part of our multiyear transformation of EPCOT, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will also debut on that day, while work continues on Harmonious and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – just a few of the incredible experiences coming soon.
Today, Shanghai Disney Resort started celebrating its 5th anniversary, and it has reached a major milestone with the topping out of the main attraction in the new “Zootopia” themed land.
Hong Kong Disneyland has unveiled the new Castle of Magical Dreams, part of the kickoff of its 15th anniversary celebration.
At Tokyo Disney Resort, work continues on a large-scale expansion at Tokyo DisneySea, which includes an eighth themed port with new attractions and areas based on “Frozen,” “Tangled” and “Peter Pan.”
At Disneyland Paris, Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel will open soon, with more than 300 pieces of Marvel artwork by artists from around the world. Work continues to bring more Super Heroes to Walt Disney Studios Park with Avengers Campus.
At Disney Cruise Line, our fifth ship, Disney Wish, will set sail in the summer of 2022. As a first step in our return to sailing, we recently announced a brand-new Disney Magic at Sea staycation for UK residents this summer.
Our Adventures by Disney business announced its first-ever dedicated expedition cruises to Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands, giving our guests a unique way to explore some of the world’s most fascinating ecological wonders.
Meanwhile, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing continues to work with partners around the world to deliver chart-topping games, innovative products and best-selling books. We’re further developing our approach to ecommerce in an effort to provide consumers with a more personalized and seamless shopDisney experience, and creating an assortment of new and elevated merchandise, including collectibles and streetwear. We’re also going to explore opportunities that connect streaming video, entertainment and shopping in a dynamic live environment.
Next-Level Dreamers & Innovators
As we look forward, we’re finding new ways to do what we do best – immerse guests in great stories and create magical moments they can share with their loved ones.
Our next chapter is about building on our rich legacy of storytelling and fundamentally reimagining what a Disney experience could be. We have highly talented teams coming together to bring new ideas and innovative concepts to life.
I recently had a chance to catch up with our team at Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, and while the projects they shared are in an early exploration stage, they’re the type of projects that will shape the future of the guest experience for decades to come. Leslie Evans, Executive R&D Imagineer, explained how the character platforms we’re working on bring unique capabilities and experiences to life that aren’t humanly possible today.
I can’t wait to share more with you in the near future – this team is really pushing the boundaries of creativity, technology and storytelling.
Just the Beginning
All of this is just the beginning, because we’ll continue to bring more Disney innovation and magic to the next generation of experiences.
You’ll also start to hear more in the months ahead about how we’re bringing the digital, virtual and physical worlds together to create new ways to engage with us – and to take our guests and fans to places they’ve never been before.
Of course, all of these experiences around the world will rely on our amazing cast, crew and Imagineers to bring to life. And as I shared at the beginning of this message, everything we’re doing builds on the incredible storytelling, guest service and unforgettable experiences we’re known for. It’s all uniquely Disney – but like nothing you’ve seen before.