news briefs japan expo rey star wars

D23 Expo Japan Memories and Rey Comes to Disneyland—Plus More in News Briefs

By Courtney Potter

D23 Expo Japan treated fans to some amazing sights and sounds, and Star Wars Launch Bay gets a new hero… Read more, along with other news from around Disney, in this week’s news briefs!

Relive D23 Expo Japan 2018! had “yellow shoes on the ground” in Tokyo for the third annual D23 Expo Japan, and we have several fantastic articles covering every exciting detail! Check out our full three-day recap here—and for a rundown on all of the Expo’s amazing Disney Parks and Resorts announcements, click here.

Save the Date!
Be sure to mark these upcoming Disney events on your calendar:

D23 and Walt Disney Archives
February 20, 2018
D23 Member Night at Disney’s The Lion King in Orlando
March 8, 2018
Be a Warrior During a Complimentary Advance Screening of A Wrinkle in Time
March 24, 2018
Celebrate the Opening Weekend of Frozen on Broadway in New York City
January 12–February 19, 2018
Epcot International Festival of the Arts
January 26–February 18, 2018
Lunar New Year Festival at Disney California Adventure
February 28–May 28, 2018
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
March 2–April 12, 2018
Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival
April 13, 2018
Pixar Fest begins at the Disneyland Resort
April 26, 2018
Disney•Pixar Toy Story Land opens at Shanghai Disneyland
May 27, 2018
Star Wars: Galactic Nights Returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
June 23, 2018
Pixar Pier opens at Disney California Adventure
Summer 2018
Toy Story Land opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Star Wars-Themed Lands Opening at Disneyland and Walt Disney World

February 16, 2018
Marvel Studios’ Black Panther opens in U.S. theaters
March 9, 2018
Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time opens in U.S. theaters
May 4, 2018
Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War opens in U.S. theaters
May 25, 2018
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters
June 15, 2018
Incredibles 2 opens in U.S. theaters
July 6, 2018
Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp opens in U.S. theaters opens in U.S. theaters
August 3, 2018
Disney’s Christopher Robin opens in U.S. theaters
November 2, 2018
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms opens in U.S. theaters
December 19, 2018
Mary Poppins Returns opens in U.S. theaters
March 4, 2018
The Oscars air live on ABC (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT)
March 11, 2018
American Idol premieres on ABC (8–10 p.m. ET)

rey star wars launch bay disneyland

Rey to Make Debut at Star Wars Launch Bay Inside Disneyland Park

Folks from all over Disney are ridiculously hard at work on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, coming to Disneyland Park in 2019… but until then, Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland can offer fans a fix of “a galaxy far, far away.” And here’s some great news for guests: Starting in May, a new face will join the interactive Launch Bay experience with the arrival of the Resistance’s newest hero, Rey!

For the uninitiated: Rey is a scavenger—and a survivor—toughened by life on the harsh desert planet Jakku. Despite dismissing herself as “no one,” she learns that her life is being shaped by the mysterious power of the Force. Central to the stories of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rey has become an inspiration to a whole new generation of Star Wars fans.

Joining Chewbacca, Rey will visit with guests at the Light Side character experience throughout the summer, with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren encountering guests at the Dark Side area. So brush up on your Jedi skills and get those cameras (or mobile devices) ready…

Frozen on Broadway: Behind the Scenes at the Sitzprobe

If you read with any regularity, you know how truly excited we are for the debut of Disney Theatrical’s brand-new Broadway musical Frozen! So color us tickled to see this very cool behind-the-scenes video from the musical’s sitzprobe during its pre-Broadway run in Denver, Colorado. What’s a sitzprobe, you may ask? It’s the first time the cast of a musical gets to sing through the show with their live orchestra… and it’s definitely one of the most amazing days during a musical’s production process.

Based on the 2013 film written by a trio of Oscar® winners, Frozen on Broadway will feature music and lyrics by the creators of the film score—Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Up Here, Winnie the Pooh, In Transit) and EGOT (Emmy®, Grammy®, Oscar, and Tony®)-winner Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon, Up Here)—and a book by Jennifer Lee (Zootopia, Wreck-It Ralph), the film’s screenwriter and director (with Chris Buck). Directed by Michael Grandage, choreographed by Rob Ashford, and starring Broadway vets Caissie Levy as Elsa and Patti Murin as Anna, Frozen begins previews at the St. James Theatre on February 22!

black panther soundtrack

Black Panther Soundtrack Debuts Online This Friday

Awesome news, Black Panther fans—the score to the extremely anticipated film will hit digital shelves on Friday, February 16!

Composed by Grammy®-nominated composer and songwriter Ludwig Göransson, the score album will be released by Marvel Music and Hollywood Records. Black Panther marks Göransson’s third collaboration with director Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station). The Swedish-born composer wrote the original songs for Creed and has also produced albums for music stars including Childish Gambino, Haim, and Chance the Rapper.

The score was recorded in London with a whopping 132-piece western classical orchestra, as well as African percussionists and a 40-person choir. “After reading Ryan’s first draft of the script, I quickly realized that the only way I could properly score Black Panther was to travel to Africa to record, research, and learn from as many musicians I could find,” Göransson recently said. “I was introduced to Senegal’s most incredible musicians and storytellers, and from there it all started to come together.”

You can already pre-order the Black Panther score on iTunes, and you can listen to the full soundtrack on Spotify right now!

Incredible Marvel Cinematic Universe “Class Photo”

All your favorite Marvel Super Heroes—as well as a host of Marvel filmmakers and the man himself, Stan Lee—joined together for an amazing “class photo” to help celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. See the photo, read up about how they made it happen, and take a gander at some behind-the-scenes footage here at