Sunday, September 01, 2019

The 2019 D23 Expo: Highlights, Part 4

With Day 1 and Day 2 in the books, it was time for Sunday, the last day of this year's D23 Expo.

Once more into the queue in Hall E!  We were lined up for the last of the Expo's major "announcement" panels; what used to be called Parks and Resorts now goes by the more cumbersome and less appealing name Parks, Experiences, and Products.

The panel was hosted by Bob Chapek, the Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products; maybe in the future he can come up with a better title!

One of his first announcements was a new daytime parade for Disneyland, "Disney Magic Happens."

The parade will feature floats from newer Disney films, such as MOANA (2016), along with scenes from Disney classics such as SLEEPING BEAUTY (1959), seen below.

A new ride, Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, will be added to Disneyland's Toontown.

The "El Capitoon Theatre" entrance will be where the Toontown Five & Dime store currently stands.

This ride is also currently being built at the Hollywood Studios park in Florida, where the entrance will be the Chinese Theatre replica which was formerly the entrance of The Great Movie Ride.

The most exciting moment of this panel was the unexpected appearance of the legendary Dick Van Dyke!

He entered to a huge, prolonged ovation.

His appearance was to announce that Cherry Tree Lane will be added to the UK area of Epcot in Orlando, along with a MARY POPPINS ride. It's the first-ever ride inspired by MARY POPPINS -- although I do note there is a special horse on Disneyland's carrousel which pays tribute to Julie Andrews and her role as Mary.

We also got a bit of a preview of the upcoming Rise of the Resistance ride in Galaxy's Edge, which may be seen in a video from Laughing Place.

Reflecting that "products" are now lumped in with "Parks," the CEO of Target stores -- and the dog Bullseye! -- appeared to announce that Disney Store sections will be opened in some Targets; every one of us attending the panel was presented with a $10 Target gift card. That was an unexpected treat.

From this panel it was on to the show floor, where we spent more time at the Parks and Marvel pavilions, including checking out displays on the Spider-Man attraction coming to Disney California Adventure next year.

Each "Marvel land" at various parks around the world will be referred to as an Avengers Campus.

In Phase 2 of the Avengers Campus there will be some sort of attraction related to Doctor Strange, but the details were quite vague.

We closed out the Expo with a panel titled Disneyland '59: Matterhorn, the Monorail, and Submarine Voyage.

It was all about Disneyland's second big phase, officially celebrated on June 14, 1959.

A book on this topic will be a future release in the new series from the Hyperion Historical Alliance. The first book in the series, THE MAKING OF WALT DISNEY'S FUN AND FANCY FREE, which was also the topic of an Expo panel, releases next month.

Coming soon: Photo posts on the Walt Disney Archives and Marvel pavilion costume exhibits.


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