Live Blog of the ‘Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ D23 Expo panel

You can’t be at D23 this year? Well, we are and we’ve got you covered. Starting in one minute, we’re live-blogging the presentation that will announce all the latest Disney Parks news. From announcements about park updates and rides…you can read it all right here in this blog entry or follow our tweets at

  • 3:39  California Time – Still waiting for the panel to begin.
  • 3:43 – Audience is MASSIVE. It’s clear that this is one of the most sought out panels at the convention.
  • 3:45 – Just as an update, various rumors this year have been an Australian pavilion at Animal Kingdom, Brazil at EPCOT’s World Showcase, and a Monsters Inc. ride at Hollywood Studios. We’re about to see if any of the rumors are true. It’s fun to hear everyone around speculating about the announcements.
  • 3:49 – Just FYI, the stage is adorned with some shelves that display different awards and Walt memorabilia.
  • 3:52 – Finally starting!!!
  • 3:56 Mickey Mouse in onstage with Tom Skaggs. (Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts, in case you aren’t familiar with the name.) And Mickey is playing the drums!
  • 4:03 Really funny video of Tom Skaggs trying to walk a mile in several Disney Parks employees’ footsteps.
  • 4:07 They are going to talk about the ongoing Fantasyland expansion…I can’t imagine what else there will even be to announce. It seems like we know it all, but maybe there’s another surprise!
  • 4:09 Nothing new yet…
  • 4:10 Ah, there it is! “Ariel’s Undersea Adventure” will have an interactive line.
  • 4:11 Really cool Lumiere animatronic revealed for the “Be Our Guest” attraction in Beast’s Castle. He will be the size and scale he was in the movie!
  • 4:13 Like we posted on our blog yesterday, the Seven Dwarves Mining Train will have a brand new “swinging motion”. The last time there was a ride innovation like this as far as vehicle movement was “Indiana Jones Adventure”. But that’s my opinion…
  • 4:16 No more Fantasyland announcements. Now they are presenting some info about Aulani in Hawaii. (P.S. They showed a video ride through of the Mine Train ride. We’ll post it on our YouTube later!)
  • 4:22 Disney is presenting the Spirit of Aloha!
  • A bunch of Imagineering Videos and Artist Renderings that we saw here have just been released by Disney. (They must plan the timing of this stuff for weeks!)
  • 4:26 Whoa…Tom Skaggs just gave an audience member a free vacation to Aulani.
  • 4:29 They’ve moved on to talking about the new Disney resort in China.
  • 4:31 Location in Shanghai will have two hotels.
  • 4:34 Wanted to pause and give you a LINK to more official Hawaii info.
  • 4:36 If you’ve ever wanted to wander through Storybook Castle, you will DEFINITELY be happy about the Shanghai Castle. There are three indoor floors to explore. Ooh, and a RIDE! Castle is meant to represent all of the princesses.
  • 4:39 Onto DCA…giving details about the revamping of the park’s theming. A new restaurant by the Head Chef from Napa Rose. A new street called “Buena Vista Street” (Which will look like 1920’s L.A.), so bring your best Charleston moves…)and some more info on Cars Land.
  • 4:45 Lots of construction photos from Cars Land and some news of ride testing beginning soon.
  • 4:53 Aaaaannnd, we’re switching topics. President of Disneyland now onstage.
  • 4:56 They are announcing very personal guest experiences (that will no doubt be super expensive) like having dinner with an Imagineer in the Haunted Mansion. Something else about extinct attractions being brought back to life. It’s all very mysterious.
  • 4:57 Another Club 33 coming? Sounds like a slightly less fancy version of Club 33. Also, more Fantasyland expansions at Disneyland.
  • 4:59 The Club 33 announcement, though it was vague…was the big finale of the parks and resorts panel. So it turns out, none of the rumors were true! What did you hear that didn’t turn out to be true?
What do you think about the news? Are you excited, disappointed, or curious? I have a theory, D23 has spoiled us all…after all, they can’t announce something huge every year. So the fact that there were no new Disney World announcements will definitely make some people sad.
Your thoughts?

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  1. “The last time there was a ride innovation like this as far as vehicle movement was Indiana Jones Adventure.”

    1999. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man improved upon the technology used in the Indiana Jones Adventure, by introducing vehicles that can spin 360˚.

    2000. Pooh’s Hunny Hunt introduced the concept of a trackless dark ride, with vehicles that are able to drive around wherever they want.

    2010. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey introduced KUKA robotic arms moving along a flat track. This system offers the greatest freedom of movement of any dark ride in the World!

  2. I defer to you Will, haha! Please note the “That’s my opinion…” I’ll remember next time I type a live blog to maybe leave my opinion out of it. 🙂 I was referring more to the shaking/swinging motion and not just ride technology in general. 🙂

  3. P.S. Just in case that sounded too sassy, I meant to sound impressed. Anyone who has that much automatic recall of theme park technology is a-okay in my book.