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Disneyland Updates Wow at D23 Expo

Among the events at D23 Expo were some of the most significant announcements for Disneyland.

With the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company rapidly approaching, the parks haven’t stopped working towards the future and building new attractions and experiences for fans of all ages to enjoy. Here’s a taste of what’s to come for the Disneyland Resort. We had the chance to attend D23 Expo as media so we could share the upcoming changes with you. 

Disneyland News From D23 Expo

Disney’s California Adventure

Open just a little over a year; Avengers Campus at Disney’s California Adventure has quickly become a fan favorite for Marvel lovers and Disney fans both. The innovative attractions, character greetings and that web-slinging Spiderman appearance have wowed fans since day one, and the marvelous land shows no signs of stopping. A new ride is in the works that will encompass the multiverse. We had the chance to hear the announcement from the Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D’Amaro and the President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige. 

King Thanos Comes to Avengers Campus Anaheim | WHERE Traveler®
King Thanos Comes to Avengers Campus (Courtesy Disney/D23 Expo)

“you’ve got Spider-Man swinging overhead. We’ve got the Dora Milaje showing us the way of the warriors. We’ve got Dr. Strange’s teaching us about the mystic arts…We are just getting started here,” D’Amaro teased audiences during the panel announcement at D23 Expo. 

“Well, you know, the fun thing about Marvel is the characters, all the characters all the time, and with the multiverse and Avengers Campus are going to be able to do that in this new attraction,” Feige explained to fans. “You’re going to be able to battle alongside all the Avengers against all the foes from anywhere from every when that you can possibly imagine. And you’re going to get a new villain named King Thanos. This is a new version of Thanos for the very first time coming into the MCU via this attraction…This is a Thanos that won. And the Avengers are not too happy when you have to help them.”

One new addition to the Avengers Campus that Disney and Marvel fans won’t have to wait long for is the arrival of Hulk. Hulk will begin making limited-time appearances this coming week. A new World of Color show is currently in the works to celebrate The Walt Disney Company's 100th anniversary. 

Hulk Appearance at D23 Expo Anaheim | WHERE Traveler®
Hulk Appearance at D23 Expo (Courtesy Disney/D23 Expo)

The Pacific Wharf section of the park will be getting an extensive makeover and rebranding as it transitions into San Fransokyo—the hometown of “Big Hero 6.” The new land will feature sections depicting scenes from the film, and guests will also be able to meet Baymax. 

Pacific Wharf Becomes San Fransokyo | WHERE Traveler®
Pacific Wharf Becomes San Fransokyo (Courtesy Disney/D23 Expo)

Downtown Disney & Disneyland Resort Hotels

Paradise Pier is going under a thorough rebranding as it gets reimagined into Pixar Place Hotel. “You’ll feel like you just walked into a Pixar art gallery,” Josh D’Amaro told audience members as he walked them through renderings of the new design. “We’ll see new interpretations of favorite characters—Woody, Buzz will be there, Mike, 22, Miguel, Dante and all of the Disney Pixar characters you can think of. Of course, Pixar artistry will be the core of this totally refreshed experience. It’s going to have fantastic communal areas like a “Finding Nemo” themed splash pad; the hotel is going to feel completely new.” 

Pixar Place Hotel Concept Art | WHERE Traveler®
Pixar Place Hotel Concept Art (Courtesy Disney/D23 Expo)

Among the new changes are updates to Downtown Disney. “You can expect a bunch of new options for shopping and dining that showcase Southern California culture,” D’Amaro shared. We’ve already shared that Michelin star chef Carlos Gaytan is creating his vision for Mexican cuisine Centrico and Paseo.” Other exciting restaurant announcements included the introduction of Din Tai Fung and Porto’s to the Downtown Disney district. 

Din Tai Fung at Downtown Disney Anaheim | WHERE Traveler®
Din Tai Fung at Downtown Disney (Courtesy Disney/D23 Expo)

Disneyland Park

The return of runDisney made a big splash during the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products panel at D23 Expo, with fans eager to participate once again. The last runDisney event was in 2017, and the fan-favorite event is scheduled to make its return in 2024. 

Star Wars fans have another reason to return to Galaxy’s Edge this fall. While Boba Fett and Fennec Shand characters were recently introduced to the land to the delight of many visitors, fans can get excited about another arrival soon—the Mandalorian and Grogu will be making their first park appearances beginning in mid-November of this year. 

The Mandalorian and Grogu at Galaxy's Edge Anaheim | WHERE Traveler®
The Mandalorian and Grogu at Galaxy's Edge (Courtesy Disney/D23 Expo)

Though the news of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure rebranding of Splash Mountain isn’t new, concept art and a storyline were introduced to fans at D23 Expo this past weekend. The ride will follow a story that takes place immediately following the happily-ever-after ending of “The Princess and the Frog.” Voice contributions will be given by major cast members of the film, including Anika Noni Rose (Princess Tiana) and Bruno Campos (Prince Naveen). The ride will also feature the same beloved musical stylings of the film. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is slated to open in 2024. While fewer details were given, the announcement of Tiana’s Palace was also made at D23 Expo, with the restaurant coming to Disneyland in the not-too-distant future. 

Concept art was show for the new ride, Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. Fans were assured the new ride would fit in perfectly with the Toontown experience theyve all grown to know and love as Mickey's Toontown reopens. Another beloved experience that will be reintroduced to fans is the "Magic Happens" parade. 

Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway Anaheim | WHERE Traveler®
Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway (Courtesy Disney/D23 Expo)