Just mere days ago, 25 bloggers (including me) were able to be part of the Disney Parks and Resorts presentation at D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. We were overwhelmed with all of the new additions that are in store for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. From Toy Story, to Avatar, and of course, STAR WARS, the announcements created an electric vibe in the room!
Two STAR WARS Lands: The Best News Ever
Let’s start with the big STAR WARS announcement. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek talked about the exciting news announced earlier in the day by Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger for plans to bring Star Wars-themed lands to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando and Disneyland park in Anaheim. THIS GIRL is over-the-deathstar excited about this new addition.
Each 14-acre land will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet with two signature attractions, including a customized secret mission on the Millennium Falcon and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle. I was most impressed with the idea of interacting with characters that are from the iconic films, and new characters that we haven’t seen before. Our family always loved interacting with Jawas and the Sand People during Star Wars Weekends, so to be able to do so every time we visit Walt Disney World would be beyond amazing.
There will be STAR WARS themed updates to both parks later this year. STAR WARS Launch Bay will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings (hurray for space food!). Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. Other additions are an update to Jedi Training Academy, new adventures added to Star Tours, and Season of The Force, a new seasonal event that will take place early 2016.
You’ve Got A Friend in Toy Story Land
But STAR WARS isn’t the only new and exciting change to Disney Parks. Toy Story Land is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World!
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 Toy Story Land. This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard. Guests will feel like they’ve been shrunk to the size of Woody and Buzz as they are surrounded by oversized toys that Andy has assembled using his vivid imagination. I can’t help but think about the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids play area when I imagine how awesome this is going to be. Who wouldn’t want to feel as small as a toy, and go frolicking around Andy’s backyard with Woody and Buzz?
Slinky Dog Roller Coaster, Aliens, and More Toy Story Mania!
All on the back of Slinky Dog, the Slinky Dog coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a fun, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land. I love the idea of a family coaster within Toy Story Land.
The famous little green aliens from the movie will be the stars a new Alien Saucers attraction. Our little green friends will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers. The music, lighting and sound effects add to the flurry of action, but we’ll have to keep an eye out for “The Claw”. Oooooh….
Toy Story Midway Mania will add a third track to this popular family attraction, to mimic the adventures we’ll be having in Andy’s backyard.
Pandora – The World of AVATAR
We were given the official name of this new land that’s currently in production at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Pandora – The World of AVATAR will include floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest and the winged creatures known as Banshees, giving guests a transformational experience they will never forget.
AVATAR Flight of Passage, the centerpiece of Pandora, allows guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world. The spectacular flying experience will give guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage. During the presentation, James Cameron (yes, THE James Cameron) remarked how “crazy” the imagineers were, because they are wholeheartedly dedicated to Pandora reflecting all the emotions felt when watching the film. I’m interested in seeing how the floating mountains will operate!