By Zach Johnson
On Monday, Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, took the virtual stage at the IAAPA Expo: Virtual Education Conference to share a behind-the-scenes look at lessons learned over the past year—and to chart Disney Parks’ path forward.
While the pandemic required some projects to be put on pause, Disney Imagineers never stopped dreaming up new experiences. Groundbreaking updates are coming to Disney destinations around the world, with progress continuing to be made on several projects—many of which are pushing the boundaries of innovation and storytelling like never before.
Here’s a glimpse at some of the announcements D’Amaro made today:
Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris
Guests are invited to team up with the Avengers and their allies in a new land: Avengers Campus. The Worldwide Engineering Brigade (aka WEB) building will soon house the attraction WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, where guests will board vehicles and help Spider-Man subdue of an army of Spider-Bots that have taken over Avengers Campus.
Guests visiting Disneyland Paris will soon be able to experience Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel, celebrating 80 years of Marvel storytelling in a typical New York setting. Inspired by an art gallery, with more than 300 items from more than 95 artists on display, the four-star hotel will boast one of the largest collections of Marvel artwork in the world.
Walt Disney World Resort
Work continues on the historic, multi-year transformation of EPCOT, including “Harmonious,” Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
“Harmonious” will be one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created, with massive floating set pieces that house a variety of show effects, including custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, colorful lights, lasers, pyrotechnics and much more. “Harmonious” will feature the hallmarks of a Disney experience, like images and music, which will be reimagined by diverse cultural musicians and artists from around the world.
Work also continues on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the family-friendly “storytelling coaster” that features a revolutionary ride system with vehicles that rotate 360 degrees and can even do a reverse launch! The Omnicoaster is a first-of-its-kind programmable roller coaster ride system, where guests can be rotated along the ride track in any direction while traveling at high speeds. Fun fact: The Omnicoaster name builds upon the tradition of the Omnimover ride system in which Walt Disney Imagineers are able to turn guests in any direction, redirecting their attention to a specific element or scene.
At Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the adventure will start in the “Galaxarium,” a planetarium-like exhibition that explores the similarities and mysteries of the formation of Earth’s galaxy and Xandar. Guests will be invited to learn more about Xandar’s treasures… until the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive and adventures across the cosmos ensue. The attraction will open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in 2021.
Plans are on track to open Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in 2021. Based on Disney and Pixar’s hit film Ratatouille, this family-friendly attraction will invite guests to shrink down to the scale of a rat for a culinary adventure with Chef Remy. During each adventure, guests will race across Gusteau’s kitchen floor aboard trackless ride vehicles in a rousing 3D chase.
In a galaxy not so far, far away, progress continues at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, where guests will live aboard a starship for a two-day, two-night experience that’s out of this world. Unlike any typical cruise, guests will become the heroes of their own Star Wars story in a new type of immersive experience that only Disney could create. Guests will cruise the galaxy in style aboard the Halcyon, known for its impeccable service and exotic destinations. During their stay, guests will stay in well-appointed cabins, experience onboard dining, make a planet-side excursion to Black Spire Outpost on Batuu and more.
Shanghai Disney Resort
Progress continues on the Zootopia-themed land, where guests will be invited to experience the metropolis of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Oscar®-winning animated film. This expansion—the park’s eighth themed land and the first-ever Zootopia-themed land at any Disney park—will include a new attraction that will seamlessly blend Disney storytelling and state-of-the-art technology to bring this fan-favorite movie and its characters to life. The aerial photo of the area shows how big the show building will be!
New attractions, restaurants and shops recently opened at Tokyo Disneyland, marking the largest expansion in the park’s 37-year history. Part of the expansion will be “Fantasy Springs,” which will be themed to a magical spring inspired by the beloved films Frozen, Peter Pan and Tangled. It will feature four new attractions, three restaurants and a new Disney-themed hotel situated inside Tokyo DisneySea that will overlook Fantasy Springs.