Your ConciEARS planners have been busy! Like so many, we were glued to the footage from the D23 Expo in Anaheim, soaking up every last tidbit Disney allowed us to glimpse. So much was released and hinted at during these events that it is impossible to get it all. We spent half the weekend texting back and forth, comparing notes and gushing over our favorite parts. Without further ado, here are the six favorite announcements from the Expo from your ConciEARS travel planners!
There were two announcements made at the D23 Expo that made me especially excited. The first was the announcement of a Mary Poppins attraction coming to the United Kingdom pavilion at Epcot. We didn't receive a lot of information at this early stage, so who knows if we'll be stepping in time with chimney sweeps, tripping a little light fantastic with leeries, or exploring the Banks Family home at 17 Cherry Tree Lane. Over the last few years I've been a bit spoiled with announcements of my favorite Marvel characters and Star Wars experiences coming to the parks, so it was especially fun to see how elated my girlfriend was at the announcement that one of her favorites, Mary Poppins, would be coming to Epcot.
The other piece of news that thrilled me was a rather small but important project. A new statue of Walt Disney coming to the World Celebration neighborhood of Epcot. Many of us have seen the short film of Walt Disney introducing us to the "Florida Project" and his vision of the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and we know that he never got to see this plan fulfilled in his lifetime. The Epcot we know has seen more changes than most Disney parks over the years, and we all just learned about the huge changes coming to Epcot in the near future. I love that we'll have a representation of Walt watching over these changes, as the park fulfills its promise of being ever-changing and always in a state of becoming.
We have seen a lot of changes to the Disney Cruise Line in the last few years, but it was very exciting getting to see even more changes on the horizon. The Wish promises to be a fun addition to the Disney Fleet. It is going to be themed to Tangled, one of my family’s favorite movies from recent times. Also exciting is the new port of call in the Bahamas! Joe Rohde and the Imagineers are constructing an island paradise that respects the culture of the Bahamas as it provides supreme relaxation for cruise guests. It’s a great time to look into Disney’s cruises as they are always a great choice outside the usual Parks experience.
One of the highlights from the Star Wars Prequels was Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Seeing the character grow into what would be Alec Guinness’ original version was a great story arc, but after the Revenge of the Sith it seemed like we would never see Ewan play Obi-Wan again. Talks of a solo movie with Ewan McGregor playing the iconic Jedi have been passed around for years and he always said he would gladly come back if asked. Finally at D23, they announced that not only was Ewan McGregor coming back to the role, but a whole new series would highlight the character on Disney+! I am beyond excited to see what stories are being developed for this series. I for one would love to see a rematch between Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi versus Ray Park’s Darth Maul.
D23's Moon Knight announcement was unexpected and exciting. He's not an obvious choice, but he gives Marvel some amazing themes to explore: magic, religion, and mental health, among many others. Without giving away too many spoilers, you're never entirely sure what's true with Moon Knight. Marvel has an amazing opportunity via this show to address mental health in a way that supports and empowers. Waiting for this one is going to be hard!
If you want to learn more about Moon Knight, head over to Marvel’s page on this intriguing character!
At my house, we were most excited about the Jungle Cruise movie! That ride is my boys’ #1 must do every time we go to Disneyland — once we rode it three times in a row! I personally love the lore of the ride, since it was one of the original opening day attractions from 1955 and has become famous for having super cool, funny cast members as river guides. Dwayne Johnson won me over with Moana and I LOVE all things Emily Blunt, so I’m excited to see what they do with this movie. Fingers crossed it follows the footsteps of Pirates of the Caribbean as a great Disneyland attraction film!