The Major Disney Parks Announcements from Destination D23

by | Sep 9, 2023 | Disney News, Disney Parks, Disneyland Parks, WDW Blog

We’ve had some big Disney Parks announcements coming out of Destination D23! We’re sharing the announcements you need to know.

We’ve had some big news coming for Disney Parks fans this weekend! Destination D23 is currently happening at Walt Disney World, and each panel has brought exciting updates on some of the most highly anticipated projects at the Disney Parks and beyond. To help keep you updated, we’re sharing some of the big news you may have missed that came from Destination D23!

The Big Disney Parks Announcements from Destination D23

We’re sharing the biggest announcements you’re going to want to know about the Disney Parks that have come out of Destination D23!

Future Expansion Plans for Magic Kingdom

Bruce Vaughn, Chief Creative Officer at Walt Disney Imagineering, joined Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman, Josh D’Amaro, onstage to speak about a future expansion for Magic Kingdom. While the two were coy on exactly what an expansion at Magic Kingdom will look like, they have shared that they are looking to tell stories “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain.”

The teased expansion would be similar in scale to lands like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Panora — The World of Avatar. That means they’d be adding new attractions, restaurants, shows, and more. Disney has promised more details will come in the future!

Potential Encanto and Indiana Jones Experiences for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Another expansion teased at Destination D23 was the reimagining of Dinoland, U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Imagineers are currently looking to expand with a land inspired by “tropical Americas,” looking at the northern part of South America, stretching up into Central America.

Encano Animal Kingdom

Photo Courtesy of Disney

Specifically, they are looking to bring in new experiences inspired by Encanto and Indiana Jones! While Vaughn was quick to say that there’s still a long way before this concept becomes a reality, it’s an exciting possibility you can read more about here!

New Zootopia Show to Replace “It’s Tough to Be a Bug”

While the potential expansion for Animal Kingdom still isn’t fully confirmed, Disney did confirm that a new show based on Zootopia is being created for the Tree of Life theater in the park.


Photo Courtesy of Disney

The new experience will have guests visiting the different biomes you only glimpse in the film, traveling along with Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde, and other characters. Read more about that here!

Hatbox Ghost Arriving in Magic Kingdom This November

At last year’s D23 Expo, we learned that the Hatbox Ghost would be coming to the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom. At Destination D23, it was confirmed he would be arriving in late November 2023, materializing as you pass the attraction’s Endless Hallway.

destination d23 disney parks

Photo Courtesy of Disney

First Look at Ride Vehicle for New Avengers Campus Ride

Another announcement that was revealed at last year’s D23 Expo was that a new ride would be coming to Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure. Now, Disney has shared a first look at the “new world-jumping vehicle” that will be part of the attraction.

disney parks destination d23

Photo Courtesy of Disney

Brent Strong, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering, shared the concept art for the ride vehicle, which combines “elements of Tony Stark’s time-suits with Xandarian jump points and Wakandan technology.”

Ahsoka Will Be Coming to Star Tours

The fan-favorite Star Wars character Ahsoka is currently meeting guests at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland Resort. Starting next spring, she will become part of the Star Tours attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris.

Pirates of the Caribbean Tavern Coming to Magic Kingdom

Fans of Pirates of the Caribbean will be excited to learn that a Pirates of the Caribbean-themed tavern is coming to Adventureland in Magic Kingdom! The new tavern will offer a first-of-its-kind experience that extends the story of the ride.


Photo Courtesy of Disney

Imagineers are currently in the design process for the new spot, which you can read more details about here.

Asha from Wish Coming to EPCOT, Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris

While details are sparse, Disney did share the Asha from the upcoming Disney animated film Wish will be available to greet guests in EPCOT, Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. The new film hits theaters beginning this November, so we expect we’ll hear more details closer to that date.

EPCOT Transformation Updates

Disney also shared TONS of details about the ongoing EPCOT transformation, Beginning October 16th, guests will be able to experience the new Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana at the park. Additionally, Moana will be available to meet nearby on that same date.


Photo Courtesy of Disney

Beginning September 10th, Figment will be meeting guests inside the Imagination Pavilion at EPCOT. And starting September 22nd, Soarin’ Over California will return to EPCOT for a limited time in celebration of Disney100.

d23 destination disney parks

Photo Courtesy of Disney

World Celebration will open beginning this December, tying together the EPCOT neighborhoods of World Discovery and World Nature. This will mark a major milestone completion for the transformation of EPCOT.


Photo Courtesy of Disney

Additionally, the new night-time spectacular, “Luminous The Symphony of Us,” will debut on December 5th, 2023!  Jeff Vahle, President of Walt Disney World shared that the show will feature fireworks, fountains, lasers, lighting effects, and music. Read more about it here.

Country Bear Jamboree Getting an Update

Beginning in 2024, Country Bear Jamboree at Magic Kingdom will be getting an update. Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty shared that the update will involve new songs, with the new experience serving as a “homage to the classic musical revues in Nashville.”


Photo Courtesy of Disney

But rest assured, even with the update, you’ll still find the same famous characters like Trixie, Big Al, and others.

Test Track to Be Reimagined

Another ride that will be getting an update is Test Track at EPCOT. Imagineers are working with the teams at Chevrolet to update the ride, taking inspiration from the original World of Motion.


Photo Courtesy of Disney

You can read more about the update coming to Test Track and Country Bear Jamboree here.

The New Disney Cruise Line Ship’s Name Has Been Revealed

Outside of the Disney Parks, Disney also revealed the name of the seventh Disney Cruise Line ship. Disney Adventure is the name of Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship!


Photo Courtesy of Disney

Work on the ship is currently underway in Germany. You can read more about the announcement here, as well as past news on the ship here.

Posts by Morgan Flaherty

Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.

Authored by
Morgan Flaherty

Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.
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