New at Disney Parks: Star Wars “Cruise” and a Big Epcot Update

Each room in Disney's Galactic Starcruiser, the Halcyon, will offer ever-changing views of space around the "ship."

At this weekend’s D23 Expo, Disney Parks released details on a number of new attractions and experiences coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, including a “galactic starcruiser” Star Wars experience, a new Avengers Campus themed land and a host of updates for Disney World’s Epcot Center

Galactic Starcruiser 

Disney had previously said that its new Star Wars-themed land, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, would include a hotel. During this year’s D23 Expo the company shared more details on what’s planned: instead of a traditional hotel, the Galactic Starcruiser will be a cruise ship-like vacation experience that will aim to fully immerse guests in the world of Star Wars. 

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will see all guests arrive and depart together on a two-night “itinerary” aboard the Halcyon, a spacefaring cruise ship. Guests will arrive at the Galactic Starcruiser terminal and enter “Launch Pods,” giving them a view of space as they are transported to the starship. 

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Onboard, guests will stay in cabins with a view of outer space while taking part in a number of Star Wars-themed activities and experience an immersive story with members of the crew and familiar Star Wars characters. Choices guests make during the cruise will help determine how the story progresses, and Disney says that thoroughly exploring the ship could give guests the chance to uncover secrets or hold secret meetings. 

In addition to story events, guests will be able to take part in onboard activities such as lightsaber training. The ship will also make a “stop” at the Black Spire Outpost on Batuu, meaning guests will have the chance to check out the rest of the Galaxy’s Edge area as though they were on a planetside excursion. 

No pricing information has been announced at this time. 

At Disney's Avengers Campus, guests may be able to spot members of the Avengers on the roof of the HQ.

Avengers Campus

Outside of Star Wars, Disney announced big plans for its Marvel properties with the addition of an Avengers Campus area to Disney California Adventure. Opening in 2020, the area will allow guests to get recruited as superheroes, as well as take part in a number of Marvel-themed attractions, including a Spider-Man experience, a Pym Test Kitchen based on Ant-Man and The Wasp, and encounters with Marvel characters including Black Widow, Ant-Man and The Wasp, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, super heroes from Wakanda and Asgard, and Iron Man.

Epcot Updates

Finally, executives shared plans for a multi-year transformation of Epcot. The park will be unified into four neighborhoods, each representing a unique aspect of the park. The current site of Future World will become three of these neighborhoods: World Celebration, World Discovery and World Nature. The World Showcase will act as the fourth neighborhood, continuing to celebrate culture, cuisine, architecture and traditions from around the world. 

World Celebration will include Spaceship Earth, which will remain the centerpiece of the park, but with the addition of new scenes that Disney says will reflect the universal nature of the human experience. It will also receive a new guide and new narration. World Celebration will also have the Dreamers Point viewing area, gardens, a new interactive fountain and a new statue of Walt Disney. The neighborhood will also be home to a new, three-level pavilion that will serve as the home base for Epcot’s signature festivals. 

A new restaurant at the Mission: SPACE pavilion will offer views of the Earth from 220 miles up. 

In the World Discovery neighborhood, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will be a family-friendly “storytelling coaster” with a reverse launch into space. The Mission: SPACE pavilion will also get a new restaurant, Space 220, in winter 2020, offering daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up. 

World Showcase will be home to the first attraction inspired by Marry Poppins, Cherry Tree Lane, in the United Kingdom pavilion. The China pavilion will be home to “Wondrous China,” taking guests on a journey across the country in a 360-degree digital format. In January 2020, “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” will debut in the Canada pavilion with new scenes and a new story. Also that month, the France pavilion will receive a new “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along,” while in summer 2020 the Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction and the La Crêperie de Paris restaurant will open. 

In World Nature, the Journey of Water attraction will be reworked with inspiration from Moana, allowing guests to interact with magical, living water. The Land pavilion will receive a new film in January 2020 called “Awesome Planet,” which will showcase the beauty and diversity of the planet. 

Finally, the limited time run of Epcot Forever will be replaced with HarmonioUS, which Disney says will be its biggest-ever nighttime spectacular. The new show will celebrate the company’s music. 

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