New Details on Disney’s Star Wars Lands, Epcot Revamp and More

Photo by Disney

At this past weekend’s D23's Destination D: Celebrating Mickey Mouse, Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products Chairman Bob Chapek shared new details surrounding a number of experiences coming soon to Disney parks.

Chapek announced the names and the first look inside the two signature attractions set for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge when it opens at Disneyland Resort next summer and at Walt Disney World Resort in fall 2019. The audience was also the first to hear that Academy Award-winning composer John Williams is creating original Star Wars themes exclusively for these lands, and was treated to a preview of the new music. Attendees also heard more about the new Star Wars resort experience coming to Walt Disney World Resort.

In celebration of 90 years of Mickey Mouse, Chapek shared the company’s latest plans to celebrate the character. He also shared more about the multi-year transformation of Epcot, including new attractions designed to honor the park's original vision.


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Attendees also got the first in-person look at the Disney Skyliner gondolas, a new transportation system set to debut in fall 2019. 

More Details on Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

At the event, Chapek announced that guests can take the controls in one of three roles aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. On Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, guests can join an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance – including a face-off with Kylo Ren

Chapek also announced that the music for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will feature original themes created especially for the land by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams. Chapek shared a preview of the all-new music, recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios.

Chapek also provided a sneak peek at the Star Wars resort coming to Walt Disney World Resort. This multi-day, fully immersive adventure will take guests aboard a luxury starship with all the features expected of a first-class hotel, including dining, recreation, and accommodations, all authentic to the Star Wars universe.

Celebrating Mickey Mouse

With the 90th anniversary of the debut of Mickey Mouse on the horizon, Chapek shared a number of ways Disney parks will celebrate the iconic character. 

The new Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway will use new technology to transform a two-dimensional cartoon into a real-world experience. The first-ever ride-through attraction themed to Mickey Mouse – set to open in fall 2019 – will feature a new original story and theme song as it takes guests on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel's "Mickey Mouse" cartoon shorts.

Following the kickoff of World's Biggest Mouse Party earlier this year, the festivities continue at the Disneyland Resort with Get Your Ears On – A Mickey and Minnie Celebration, which will bring new entertainment, food and merchandise to the resort. On January 18, "Mickey's Mix Magic" will light up the night at Disneyland Park with all-new music, projections and lasers that set the scene for an epic dance party that takes over almost the entire park. Additionally, the fan-favorite Mickey's Soundsational Parade returns to the resort in January 2019 with an all-new float with Mickey himself, who will lead the celebration down Main Street U.S.A.

Over at Walt Disney World, from January 18 to September 30, Mickey & Minnie's Surprise Celebration at Magic Kingdom will feature new food, merchandise and entertainment, including a new dance party with Mickey, Minnie and their friends, and a chance to meet Mickey and Minnie together in their new birthday outfits. On the high seas, Disney Cruise Line will welcome Mickey & Minnie Surprise Party at Sea, an all-new high-energy deck party on the Disney Fantasy next summer.

Chapek also announced an all-new cinematic nighttime experience, Wonderful World of Animation, coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios on May 1 as part of the 30th Anniversary of Disney's Hollywood Studios. The show will use state-of-the-art technology to take guests on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation, all beginning with Mickey.

Transformation of Epcot

The event also included more details on the multi-year transformation of Epcot.

At World Showcase, Chapek announced that the Ratatouille experience coming to the France pavilion will be called Remy's Ratatouille Adventure. Guests will also enjoy a brand new "Beauty and the Beast" sing-along, created by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live action "Beauty and the Beast" films. There will also be an update to the O Canada! 360-degree show.

For IllumiNations fans, Chapek announced an all-new, transformative show set to debut in 2020. It will celebrate how Disney music can inspire people from around the world, featuring massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers. Before that new show debuts, there will be a limited-time experience called Epcot Forever, a celebration of the park. Debuting in fall 2019 and set to classic Epcot tunes, the show begins with a spark of imagination that quickly grows into a spectacle of fireworks, music, lighting, lasers, and choreographed, special effects kites.

New Resorts

During his presentation, Chapek announced details about Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge, a deluxe, nature-inspired resort coming to Orlando that will feature more than 900 hotel rooms and proposed Disney Vacation Club villas.

Chapek also offered a sneak peek at Disney's Riviera Resort, inspired by Walt Disney's travels along the Mediterranean coastline. Projected to open in fall 2019, this proposed resort will be the 15th Disney Vacation Club property.

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