Disney Parks Unveils Future Projects, Surprises at Destination D23

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Experiences

Thank you for following along during our special LIVE coverage from Destination D23 2023. Keep checking the Disney Park Blog for the latest on the stories shared today and more!

Exciting news Disney Parks fans! On Sept. 9, we’re sharing new announcements and updates on some of our most highly anticipated projects at Disney Parks, Experiences and Products LIVE – as they’re unveiled – during the biggest Disney fan event of the year, Destination D23!

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro is presenting “A Celebration of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” at the event and offering a look at what’s coming to life at our parks, resorts and beyond – along with a few special surprises!

You can be among the first to hear it all right here beginning at 9:15 a.m. ET/ 6:15 a.m. PT on Saturday.

Josh just wrapped the presentation- saying, “over the next decade, we’re going to have more projects underway than at any point in our history.  Our sole purpose is to give you more and more of what you love about a Disney experience. And then surprise and delight you with things you never dreamed possible.”

Thank you for watching our special weekend LIVE coverage from 2023’s Destination D23.  Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for the latest on the stories shared today and more! 

JUST ANNOUNCED: Figment will begin meeting guests inside the Imagination Pavilion at EPCOT beginning tomorrow – Sept. 10!

Check out our new story dedicated to today’s Figment announcement filled with fun facts and must-have items.

JUST IN: New experiences inspired by “Encanto” – the Academy Award winning Walt Disney Animation Studios film – and the fan-favorite adventurer Indiana Jones are being considered for the reimagined land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Bruce says there’s a long way to go and a lot more to discover but Imagineering teams in Florida are up for the challenge.

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more details in the future.

Experiences inspired by “Encanto” and the fan-favorite adventurer Indiana Jones are being considered for the reimagined land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney Imagineering is planning to reimagine Dinoland U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom into a new land – inspired by a region sometimes referred to as “tropical Americas.”

As part of their research, Imagineers are looking at some of the most biodiverse areas on the planet in the regions just north and south of the equator here in the Western Hemisphere – the northern part of South America, stretching up into Central America.

This exciting location has been the inspiration for many magical stories over the years!

A new show based on “Zootopia” is being created for the Tree of Life theater at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

JUST ANNOUNCED: A new show based on “Zootopia” is being created for the Tree of Life theater at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

The current concept for the new “Zootopia” experience has guests visiting the different biomes you only glimpse in the film, traveling along with Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde and other characters.

Imagineers are currently finalizing the concept and more details will be coming in the future.

Bruce Vaughn, Chief Creative Officer at Walt Disney Imagineering, is joining Josh for a special “Blue Sky” look at what’s possible when dreaming big at Disney Parks.

Future expansion plans for Magic Kingdom in Florida are the largest ever for the park, according to Bruce. Imagineers are looking to tell stories “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain” similar in scale to things like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Pandora – The World of Avatar – adding new attractions, restaurants, shows and more!   More details to come in the future.

Fantasy Springs at Tokyo Disney Resort

A new look at what’s coming to Fantasy Springs at Tokyo Disney Resort is being shared! 

The eighth themed port of Tokyo DisneySea will feature Rapunzel’s Forest, Peter Pan’s Never Land and Frozen Kingdom – all inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios Films.

Fantasy Springs is scheduled to open in 2024 and you can see more in our earlier story

Disney Adventure

BREAKING: Disney Adventure is the name of Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship!

Disney Adventure is the seventh ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet and work is currently underway in Germany.  It’ll be the first Disney ship to sail from Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia and feature the Disney service, storytelling and entertainment everyone knows and loves. 

Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point - a brand new island destination

Thomas Mazloum, president of Disney Signature Experiences, is joining Josh on stage to share updates on Disney Cruise Line as it prepares for a period of growth unlike anything ever experienced before!

Right now, there are three new ships in development along with Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point – a brand new island destination! 

Disney teams are collaborating with talented artists and cultural advisors in the Bahamas to shape an experience that celebrates the natural beauty, traditions and artistry of the one-of-a-kind nation.

Thomas is also sharing a sneak peek of the latest work on the Disney Treasure cruise ship.  Check out this week’s road to Destination D23 reveal of the Disney Treasure.

A special peek at what’s to come at Disneyland Paris is being shared!

In Paris, Imagineers and teams are busy transforming Walt Disney Studios Park. The resort’s future “Frozen”-themed land that’ll highlight the kingdom of Anna and Elsa is taking shape and just a part of an exciting transformation.  Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for more details.

Also at EPCOT, Test Track will be reimagined!

Imagineers along with teams from Chevrolet are reaching back into history for inspiration – from the original World of Motion – and bringing that spirit of optimism to the next iteration of the Test Track attraction!  More to come in the future.

Here are all of the EPCOT updates featured in today’s presentation. 

BREAKING: A new nighttime spectacular at EPCOT called “Luminous The Symphony of Us” will debut on Dec. 5, 2023!  

Jeff Vahle, President of Walt Disney World, is with Josh on stage to announce the brand-new show that’ll feature fireworks, fountains, lasers, lighting effects and music. 

Moana at EPCOT

UPDATE: Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will open on Oct. 16, 2023! 

Journey of Water is a new walk-through experience located within World Nature – the EPCOT neighborhood dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty and balance of the natural world.  For more details on the experience, check out our new story.

Also, on Oct. 16 – Moana will arrive in World Nature and make her first appearance in her own dedicated space near Journey of Water. 

At EPCOT, the World Celebration neighborhood will begin welcoming guests this December! 

World Celebration will unite the front of the park, tying together the other two new EPCOT neighborhoods, World Discovery and World Nature. 

The completion of the last of the park’s four neighborhoods will be the latest major milestone multi-year transformation of EPCOT.

Zootopia at Shanghai Disney Resort

A new look at what’s coming to Zootopia at Shanghai Disney Resort is being shared. 

Our earlier road to Destination D23 story has details on the new experiences coming to the land, including a new attraction, special entertainment, merchandise as well as Zootopified food and beverage items.

A new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed lounge is coming to Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park

JUST ANNOUNCED!  A new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed lounge is coming to Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. This first-of-its-kind experience will extend the story of Pirates of the Caribbean. Imagineers are in the design process now and more details are coming in the future.

At Walt Disney World, the Country Bear Jamboree is getting new songs and the bears will be performing a new act in 2024!

Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty is on stage with Josh and says when the show debuts, the bears will be reinterpreting favorite Disney songs in different genres of country music. Imagineers are envisioning the new experience as a homage to the classic musical revues in Nashville and they’re working with Nashville musicians to get the authentic country sound.

The Country Bear Jamboree will still have the fun and friendly tone fans enjoy with the same famous characters like the loveable Trixie, Big Al and others. 

New world-jumping vehicle coming to the next attraction in Avengers Campus

FIRST LOOK: At Disney California Adventure Park, a new world-jumping vehicle is coming to the next attraction in Avengers Campus to help transport Super Heroes into the Multiverse. 

Brent Strong, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering, is sharing an early peek at the ride vehicle featuring a design that combines elements of Tony Stark’s time-suits with Xandarian jump points and Wakandan technology.   

More details on this high-tech vehicle that’ll travel to new worlds are coming in the future!

Hat Box Ghost

BREAKING: Hatbox Ghost is coming to the Haunted Mansion attraction in Florida in late November! 

Disney Imagineer Daniel Joseph is joining Josh on stage for the exciting announcement and sharing more about Hatbox Ghost – one of our most well-known grim grinning ghosts.

Hatbox Ghost will be materializing in the Haunted Mansion as you pass the attraction’s Endless Hallway.

World of Frozen

A sneak peek of the world’s first Frozen-themed land debuting at Hong Kong Disneyland in November is being shown. 

World of Frozen – inspired by Walt Disney Animation Studios’ stunning films – will blend Arendelle with the park’s natural surroundings – and the audience is getting a first peek at the land.

Disney animated film “Wish"

Asha, from the new Walt Disney Animation Studios film “Wish” will also soon be coming to EPCOT, Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris.

Star Tours

JUST ANNOUNCED!  Ahsoka will become part of our popular Star Tours attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, Disneyland Park in California and Disneyland Paris – beginning next spring.

The original series Star Wars: Ahsoka is currently streaming exclusively on Disney+ and as many of you know, Ahsoka recently arrived in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland. 

We’re underway! Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro just kicked off the 2023 Destination D23 presentation “A Celebration of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – with help from the Muppets.  


  • Im surprised they have all these projected projects yet they furloughed allot of their Imagineers. Would be nice if they would consider bringing some of them back.

  • I’m really looking forward to the new ride for Avengers Campus.

  • I hope they find a way to keep the Bone Yard in Animal Kingdom. It is a great place for the little ones to let off steam. For the last year, and now as a new Incredi AP holder he has already been countless times and is his absolute favourite place in Disney, along with Tom Sawyer Island.

  • Dinosaur is one of our absolute favorite attractions. Hope you can figure out a way to keep it in the tropical America land…. It is a trip back in time, and could totally still work!!!! Please KEEP DINOSAUR!!

  • I am still wondering why Disney World won’t even consider a Princess and the Frog attraction. Not a silly refurbishment of a ride. I mean its own land. I have suggested it before and it is minimal investment with maximum return!
    Disney needs to start listening to fans at some point if they don’t want to keep seeing red and stay in the black.
    Too harsh? I think “Galactic Starcruiser” says it all. Com’on Disney, talk to the fans! NO, seriously!

  • As a huge fan of A Bug’s Life, I’m really shocked and sad to hear that Zootopia will be taking over “It’s Tough to be a Bug! One of my favorite attractions when I go to DAK! I was also hoping that A Bug’s Land would take over Dinoland USA! I just pray that A Bug’s Life will get more love and recognition in the future! Also, I think we have more than enough Frozen and Star Wars! Why don’t we give other movies a chance to show their stories and creativity! Expand the storytelling and imagination instead of using the most popular movies all the time

  • I’m glad the expansion in Dinoland will be an actual geographical area of the world that isn’t represented currently. I really hope that the imagineers make it look like the rest of the park with the phenomenal attention to authenticity and detail that the original imagineers pored into it. I’m NOT a fan of pandora being in DAK so I’m glad this area will hopefully represent South America as wonderfully as Africa and Asia are represented. I also hope some South American animal will be represented as well, llamas, capybaras, tapirs, jaguars…there is so much potential! I’m holding out hope that this expansion is as awesome as the rest of the park!

    I’m not excited about Zootopia in anything at DAK. Doesn’t belong there.

    Also, I’m really upset that you are going to mess with the country bears. It holds an incredibly special place in my heart and childhood memories. I will be the first to admit if you do it right, though, so please, please don’t mess this up like you did the auction scene in pirates.

  • Please save the Galactic Starcruiser. It is Disney’s highest achievement in interactive storytelling and has been sold out for the past four months.

  • Man… I really wanted a Zootopia land at Animal Kingdom. I feel like, while Encanto and Indiana Jones are both cool… They just don’t fit the theme of, you know, -Animal- Kingdom. Zootopia makes way more sense. Indiana Jones and Encanto would be better suited for Hollywood Studios and Epcot respectively.

  • Not super excited about the Avengers coaster utilizing the multiverse. Love the idea of further expanding Avengers Campus as I love Marvel, but I hated all the stories told in the What-if series. Not looking forward to seeing them in the parks.

    Also, and news of Rogers: The Musical staying at California Adventure past the end of September? It seems like a waste to get rid of it so soon after putting so much effort into making it.

  • The Encanto ride is a very exciting idea. Maybe a trackless ride like Mystic Manor? And Indiana Jones, I am so in love with this concept art.

  • I’m supposing that all this means more charges…….

  • Hi D23! Are you going to re-run the live stream presentations and if so where? Thank you!

  • 6:15 am? Guess I’d better set an alarm

  • Is this going to be streaming live?

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