Welcome to the September edition of Disney Rumor Round Up for 2019! You can check out the August 2019 installment here. D23 Expo 2019 has come and gone, so let’s take a look back at what was confirmed and what is still rumored. Disclaimer: Any rumors mentioned in this article are not confirmed by Disney and may not ever happen.
The D23 Expo didn’t bring us any new information for the Magic Kingdom other than a new piece of concept art for Tron Lightcycle Power Run, opening in 2021. Disney also sort of teased the 50th anniversary and the special offerings it could bring.
Speaking of the 50th anniversary, according to sources at WDWMagic, Disney is paying close attention to the end of the 2019 fiscal year as attendance has not been as high as thought and both Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge locations seem to be underperforming in terms of crowds. If the quarter four and year-end reports don’t meet expectations, that could hinder future spending on the 50th anniversary. They would still have some aspects of a celebration, but some of the larger or more exciting projects would get scaled back or cut altogether.
Epcot was the king of the show at the D23 Expo. Disney unveiled a lot more concept art for the future of this park, and announced some new elements that are part of that.
Starting in what is currently Future World, Disney announced the area will become three new neighborhoods: World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery.
World Discovery will be home to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, which will have a backwards facing launch. The new Play pavilion, Test Track, Mission: SPACE, and the all-new Space 220 dining experience, will be also part of this area.
World Celebration is the central “spine” of the park. This includes the brand new entrance which is already underway, Spaceship Earth which was confirmed to be getting a large refurbishment, and a new festival center building which will be three stories tall and include rooftop views. A surprise to everyone was the new Dreamers Point. This area will include a brand new statue of Walt Disney. The Spaceship Earth refurbishment will bring a new story light that will take you on a journey of storytelling. Old scenes will be refreshed, and new ones will be added. The exit area will also be completely redone. Disney did not confirm dates on this portion. World Celebration also includes Journey into Imagination, but Disney did not speak about the future of this pavilion.
World Nature includes The Land pavilion, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and an all new attraction called Journey of Water, which will be inspired by Moana. This attraction will be a walkthrough with special water effects throughout. No dates were given, but this will be located where Innoventions West currently sits. In The Land pavilion, Awesome Planet will open in January 2020.
World Showcase was expected, and is still expected, to get another pavilion according to rumors. Many felt this would be announced at D23, but it was not. Reportedly, it’s still far enough out that it can be announced later. Outside of that, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure got an opening season of Summer 2020. The Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along got an opening date of February 2020 and the new Canada film got a date of January 2020. Finally, in World Showcase, the big announcement was that a Mary Poppins themed attraction will be added to the United Kingdom pavilion. This new attraction is still rumored to be a flat or spinner type ride, not a major dark ride. It will take up expansion space for the pavilion, not existing space.
This isn’t the end of what is to come for Epcot as Disney called it their most ambitious park redo ever.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened with somewhat of a bang on August 29th. Since then, as in Disneyland, crowds have been relatively manageable. All eyes are now on the completion of Rise of the Resistance. Disney has not changed course, and the opening of Rise of the Resistance is still set for December 5th, but rumors say that there could be delays. The ride system(s) are still reportedly problematic and not running consistently like they should be. Also, according to DISboards posts, Disney is planning for some sort of event on December 4th as guests have been contacted by Disney to move evening reservations to the morning or to other dates.
For the most part, there’s nothing new on the Animal Kingdom front. Disney has now said that Primeval Whirl will be operating seasonally, which, in Disney speak, means the attraction’s days are numbered.
Walt Disney World Resort
Reflections will be home to an all-new Princess and the Frog themed dining experience as well as new lodging accommodations. There will be tree house rooms as well as water front cabins similar to those at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be home to a one of a kind Star Wars adventure where guests stay onboard the Halcyon and take part in missions, and even go through lightsaber training. No opening dates were given as of yet, but it is expected that the experience could open sometime next year. There will be direct shuttle access from the experience to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
The month of September always brings fiscal year end budget cuts. This round impacts a lot of entertainment at Walt Disney World, from bigger acts like Burudika at Animal Kingdom and The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History in Magic Kingdom, to the DJ’s dance party near Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy in Hollywood Studios.
Over at Disney California Adventure, Disney confirmed new details on the highly anticipated Marvel area called Avengers Campus. This will be home to a Spider-Man web shooting attraction as well as an Avengers “E-Ticket” attraction that will open as part of phase two. This new attraction is said to use a brand new ride system that puts guests inside an epic battle with the Avengers.
Finally, Disney also confirmed details regarding the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship and their new highly anticipated Bahamian island destination. The Disney Wish will be the next cruise ship in the fleet. Disney also said it would begin sailing with guests in January 2022. No other major details were released as of yet, but we will learn more soon enough.
As for Lighthouse Point, fan favorite Imagineer Joe Rohde is leading the project. Joe will be responsible for keeping the property distinctly Bahamian and keeping a low impact on the environment. This project could be completed in late 2022 or 2023, depending on certain approvals.