Walt Disney World Resort Update for September 12, 2023

by Alan S. Dalinka, staff writer

Walt Disney World Resort Update for September 12, 2023

 Writer's Note, News & Views

Destination D23 answered some of the open questions I've been asking in our Walt Disney World Resort Updates since the end of the year, provided a few surprises, and teased more possibilities about the future of Walt Disney World Resort—but as many folks commented along the way and several friends texted me during the event, gave us few specific details about future plans. All that came on the heals of what rapidly became Hurricane Idalia, which threatened and then missed having any significant impact on the Walt Disney World Resort area: the parks operated on their normal schedule except Typhoon Lagoon and the mini-golf courses. Thoughts go out to those around Florida's "big bend" up in the panhandle and in Georgia and the Carolinas, where the storm's physical impact was greatest.

Magic Kingdom continued operating under its regular schedule as Hurricane Idalia passed near the region and the park and Resort emerged unscathed. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The impact of Idalia on MousePlanet and our coverage of Disney news was to delay Disney Cruise Line's virtual grand reveal of its next new ship, Disney Treasure, by a week. That placed it squarely into the slot where I usually bring you Walt Disney World news and views. For those interested in the cruise line, my article on the Treasure provides the major details Disney shared and compared them to those of its sister ship, Disney Wish, which launched in the summer of 2022. Fortunately, and not surprisingly, there was precious little resort news ahead of Destination D23, so I didn't publish a later-than-usual update last week.

The one piece of relevant and still timely news we learned before Destination 23 is that EPCOT's Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will have Passholder previews September 24–29, and October 1–4, 2023. Perhaps because it is a walk-through attraction rather than a ride, these previews will be unlike any other held since I've been writing these updates in terms of how Passholders get to access. While no registration is required, Passholders must have a theme park reservation for EPCOT for the preview date they wish to visit the new walk-through attraction. Park-hopping from another park with a reservation for that other park or otherwise using an Annual Pass to simply enter EPCOT after 2 p.m. will not be sufficient for a preview. Passholders are limited to one preview per person, and be aware that as an outdoor experience, if lightning is within six miles of the park or other severe weather is in the vicinity, the attraction will close until the weather is clear.

Note: During those same dates, Disney Vacation Club is also offering the same dates as preview dates for eligible members, but its hours are expressly limited to "from park open through 5:00 p.m.," so it's possible that Passholder hours will be limited as well. Like Passholders, eligible DVC members need to have a ticket to get in the park as well as a theme park reservation for EPCOT for the date of the preview (park hopping or entering the park after 2 p.m. as an Annual Passholder will not suffice). DVC check-in will take place at the Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana entrance, across from the Coral Reef Restaurant in World Nature.

The new proposed Disney Vacation Club addition to Disney's Polynesian Village Resort continues to take shape along Seven Seas Lagoon. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Vacation Club's Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort's elevator lobbies provide spectacular views of Magic Kingdom. Indeed, the prior photo of the construction the new tower addition to Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, and several other photos in this Update were taken from its elevator lobbies during a break in Destination D23 scheduled activities. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Thanks to a cast member friend who invited me along on her friends-and-family preview, I had a chance to visit the attraction around sunset since our last Resort Update. Fortunately, my friend's assigned time slot was around sunset, so we were able to walk through in daylight and repeat the walk-through just after dark. I think the photos I took at the attraction after dark are prettier than the daytime.


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It's an attraction intended for all ages. There are lots of details carved in the rocks and pathways, including characters from the animated film. For those who have visited Aulani (the Disney resort in Hawaii), the inclusion of characters in the rock work is very much in the same style as the pool "valley" there, just as animals are "carved" into the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Moana appears in the rock work along the self-guided journey.

It may be tough to spot Hei Hei in the rock work, so I have not spoiled it with this photo, but cast members may be willing to point out a clue that will help locate the wayward chicken. 

Some of the "wet" areas allow guests of all ages to splash around and get as soaked as they wish.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

There are lots of ways to observe and interact with water. There are even both wet and dry paths to chose from as you walk through, and though the dry path may get some moisture, if you or your little ones want to get really soaked, there are ways to do that in the wet path as well as ways to get just a little wet while interacting with the water. I had another opportunity to walk through the attraction as invited media during Destination D23 just ahead of an approaching thunderstorm, which is why I can confirm the comment I made above; the attraction will close when severe weather approaches and before it gets close enough to close the attraction, wind can push the water around and on you, even on the dry paths.

At Destination D23, Disney announced that Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will open to guests starting October 16, 2023, and the character herself, Moana, will have a new meet-and-greet location nearby that will open that day, too. I last met her at Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic back on August 2, at Disney's Animal Kingdom, where she started appearing during park days earlier this year. No word on whether that will continue when the EPCOT attraction opens (though, as a betting guy, I would bet that she will not continue to appear at Animal Kingdom).

Moana will meet and greet in a new dedicated space near Journey of Water at EPCOT starting October 16, 2023. The character only started regularly meeting and greeting guests at Disney's Animal Kingdom along Discovery River earlier this year. She was meeting and greeting during the Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic event on August 2. File photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Do you want to see more images of Destination D23 than what we have shared on social media and in this Update? Let me know in the comments or on our social media channels! I can make that happen…

Destination D23 Provides Some Details About What's Next at Walt Disney World Resort

The Destination D23 official Disney fan event took place over this past weekend, from Friday, September 8 through Sunday, September 10, at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Convention Center at Walt Disney World Resort. Relevant to our Walt Disney World Resort Update, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro and "special guests" took to the stage and presented "A Celebration of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" featuring "updates about Disney Parks and Resorts around the world and Disney Cruise Line.

D23 provided a live stream of the presentation. As an invited member of the media representing MousePlanet, Disney hosted me in the media section for the presentations and was given additional access over the weekend, including a little time in a small group with Josh D'Amaro. I provided coverage on MousePlanet social media (X formerly known as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) all weekend, with some assistance from Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix who watched the live stream from California of the Parks' presentation and provided full coverage of the news of what we are calling A Deconstructed D23 Expo for 2024 coming to Anaheim next August.

Disney's Contemporary Resort is one of the original Disney owned and operated hotels that opened along with Walt Disney World Resort in 1971. Much of its convention space, including the Fantasia Ballroom where Destination D23 presentations were held, was added later. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Josh D'Amaro and members of some of the Parks' leadership teams and Imagineers took the stage and provided some details about what is coming up next and what is in development for Walt Disney World Resort (and around the globe, but I will focus today just on Florida). Like the complaints Disney and we heard following D23 Expo 2022, some of Josh and the team's announcements were more in the nature of "here is what we are considering" rather than "Disney is committed to building," but the big picture Josh offered to fans of Disney Parks and Experiences globally at the conclusion of his presentation was that, over the next decade, there will be "more projects underway than at any point" in Disney's history: "Our sole purpose is to give you more and more of what you love about a Disney experience. And then surprise and delight you with things you never dreamed possible."

Turning to specifics first…

As of this past Sunday, September 10, 2023, Figment is now meeting and greeting guests at Imagination! pavilion at EPCOT. Figment's meet and greet appearances were announced quite some time ago, but a date had not previously been given. Figment appeared on stage at Destination D23 with Josh and many of the Saturday morning session's presenters, and then Destination D23 attendees had an exclusive first opportunity to meet and greet Figment at EPCOT's World Showplace pavilion during a special after hours party at the park. Social media reports I saw on Sunday suggested that wait time for Figment was around 3 hours around midday—only half the peak of 6 hours that was reported for folks awaiting the Figment popcorn bucket during EPCOT International Festival of the Arts back in February 2022.


Though Disney saved this next item until the late afternoon panel discussing EPCOT's history and transformation, it makes the most sense to share it here, as it is date specific. The original version of the Soarin' attraction, Soarin' Over California returns to EPCOT starting September 22, 2023 as part of the park's Disney 100 celebration (in other words, for a limited but unspecified time). The panel also noted that notwithstanding the widespread rumor about the golfer that hits the ball toward the audience, all of the people seen in the scene were hired actors and none of them was Michael Eisner, Disney CEO at the time the attraction was created and the ride film was shot.

Disney shared some additional details for EPCOT later this year on stage too. EPCOT Vice President Kartika Rodriguez and Imagineer Scott Mallwitz shared that the World Celebration neighborhood of the park will be completed in December. That portion of the park, including the new CommuniCore Hall continue to be surrounded by construction walls.

This birds-eye view of the center of what was formerly Future World at EPCOT shows Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana in the lower right wich is part of World Nature. Above it is the new CommuniCore Hall which is currently under construction and, along with the new landscaped area which will include the new Dreamers Point area and sculpture of Walt Disney in the center, will join the parts of World Celebration that are open: the "C" shaped building at left (which includes Connections Cafe & Eatery) plus Spaceship Earth. Concept art courtesy Disney Parks.

They also shared the park's new nighttime spectacular will be named "Luminous: The Symphony of Us." It will debut December 5, 2023. However, they shared no additional details about the new show which replaces the temporary, "EPCOT Forever" which returned earlier this year after the short-lived "Harmonious" was retired. The Harmonious ring-shaped structure and the "taco-shaped" video barges were all removed from World Showcase Lagoon this summer. All that Disney Parks Blog says about the new show is that it "will feature fireworks, fountains, lasers, lighting effects and music and continue Disney’s long tradition of amazing nighttime entertainment at the park."

The "temporary" show, "EPCOT Forever," currently plays nightly on World Showcase Lagoon. It glowed away before, back at the end of September 2020 to make way for "Harmonious." Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

With the new Disney animated film Wish coming to theaters in November, its leading character, Asha, will soon come to EPCOT to meet and greet guests. She will also meet and greet guests at Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. She made a special surprise appearance on stage following Walt Disney Animation Studios presentation of an extended clip of the film on Sunday (photos and recording of the film were prohibited).

Before leaving the discussion of EPCOT, Destination D23's presenting sponsor, LUG, will offer Disney-licensed exclusive merchandise in Disney Parks and Resorts in 2024, including a bag featuring Figment which will be released during the 2024 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Sticking with specifics, Imagineer Daniel Joseph shared that the Hatbox Ghost will finally start materializing in the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom in late November. Daniel Joseph also explained that since the Hatbox Ghost originally appeared briefly in the Haunted Mansion (at Disneyland) when the attraction opened, he is considered one of the 999 haunts—so there is still room for one more.

Unlike the Disneyland version of the attraction where the Hatbox Ghost appears just past the attic scene, in Florida the Hatbox Ghost will be spotted passing the Endless Hallway just before the ballroom. Riding the attraction back in mid-August, guests could already see barriers surrounding the area where the new audio-animatronic figure will be located. Concept Art courtesy Disney Parks.

Earlier this year, Disney announced new adventures are coming to Star Tours at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2024 (as well as Disneyland and Disneyland Paris). At Destination D23, Disney shared that Ahsoka, who is currently starring in an original Star Wars series with her name on the Disney+ streaming service, will be part of the attraction too. No further details were shared.

For Magic Kingdom, Imagineer Chris Beaty announced that Country Bears Jamboree is getting new songs and the bears will be performing a new act in 2024. The songs will be reinterpretations of "favorite Disney songs in different genres of country music." The imagineers are working with Nashville musicians to "get the authentic country sound." The promotional poster shown and distributed at Destination D23 shows familiar characters like Big Al, Trixie, and others sticking around for the new show.

When the Country Bear Jamboree debuted at Magic Kingdom in 1971, Imagineers custom built 18 bears for the show. This one was on display at "The Plausible Impossible: 60 Years of Disney Audio-Animatronics" presented at the 2023 Destination D23 by the Walt Disney Archives team along with Walt Disney Imagineering. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

A closing date for the current version of the Country Bears has not been announced, but with the new version of the attraction opening in 2024, it would seem to be sooner rather than later. Promotional poster courtesy Disney Parks.

In the less-specific department, Disney Imagineers are still considering and working on plans for a major Magic Kingdom expansion beyond where Big Thunder Mountain sits in the northwest corner of the park. Bruce Vaughn, Chief Creative Officer of Imagineering joined Josh on stage for that discussion that said the thinking is that it would be on the scale of park additions like Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Pandora with new attractions, restaurants, shows and such. Interestingly, while included in the Disney Parks Blog point-by-point recap of Destination D23 that "blue sky" discussion was not mentioned in the Disney Parks Blog Magic Kingdom-specific wrap-up of Destination D23, but it does note that "a new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed lounge is coming to Adventureland… This first-of-its-kind experience will extend the story of Pirates of the Caribbean attraction." Disney Parks Blog says that, "Imagineers are currently in the design process and more details will be coming."

There is a great deal of land beyond the rocks of Big Thunder Mountain where Magic Kingdom could, some day, expand with another land. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Back at EPCOT, we now expect a Test Track version 3.0 at some point in the future which, from Disney's description, seems to aim to also be an homage to the original attraction on that site, World of Motion. At Destination D23, Disney shared that it is working with the attraction's sponsor, Chevrolet, to create the next version of the attraction by drawing upon inspiration from World of Motion "and bringing that spirit of optimism to the next iteration of Test Track.

The current version of Test Track is presented by Chevrolet. The prior version of the attraction was presented by Chevy's parent company, General Motors, as was the original attraction on this site, World of Motion. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Over at Disney's Animal Kingdom, the 2022 D23 Expo "blue sky" discussion Josh led, has now transitioned a bit at Destination D23 into (from the Disney Parks Blog point-by-point summary) "Walt Disney Imagineering is planning to reimagine Dinoland U.S.A. at Disney's Animal Kingdom into a new land—inspired by a region sometimes referred to as 'tropical Americas.'" The biodiversity of Central and northern South America are serving as the inspiration for the Imagineers, and Disney plans to tell stories from Encanto and Indiana Jones in this new land. Imagineer Bruce Vaughn and Josh D'Amaro shared high-level concept art, but no specifics or timeline.

Bruce and Josh also shared that imagineering is developing a new show for the Tree of Life theater based on Zootopia. Disney Parks Blog summarized the current concept-in-development as, "guests visiting the different biomes you only glimpse in the [original Zootopia] film, traveling along with Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde and other characters."

And that's everything we learned about the future of Walt Disney World Resort from the 2023 Destination D23 event. For those wanting to be first to know the timeline Disney will get shovels in the ground working on the announcements that provided no time guidance, you can keep an eye on lots of different places where Disney has to make public filings for permits and such for demolition and construction. If you would like to volunteer to do that for MousePlanet, please contact us through MousePlanet's Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter private message accounts!

Disney released no new information about Tiana's Bayou Adventure during Destination D23. It is scheduled to open in late 2024. A quick look at one of the audio-animatronic animals that appear in the attraction was shown in a video during the event. In the meantime, work continues on the attraction which was formerly Splash Mountain. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

For perspective on the information Disney released at Destination D23, remember that D23 is the Official Disney Fan Club, and it is run by The Walt Disney Company. It is named for 1923, the year the Disney Brothers, Walt and Roy, founded the Studio that is now the company.

Michael Vargo
Michael Vargo is the head of Disney D23, the Official Disney Fan Club. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

D23 runs many events for fans each year. Since 2009, the D23 Expo in Anaheim, a multi-day convention centered at Anaheim Convention Center across the street from Disneyland, has been the major place for all divisions of Disney, and, especially the Disney Parks division, to share big plans for the future (like Pandora, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Avengers Campus, additions to Disney Cruise Line, and so forth). When launched, Expo was to be an annual event, but in 2010, Disney decided that Expo would be every other year, with a smaller event held at Disney's Contemporary Resort Convention Center at Walt Disney World Resort in the year between the Expos originally named Disney D23 Destination D (and shortened in 2021 to Destination D23). Though the global pandemic switched the Expos from the odd-numbered years to the even and the Destination D events from the even to the odd years, both events continue to draw large numbers of Disney fans, to the point where the events often sell out long before they start.

Disney billed the 2023 Destination D23 event as "the Biggest Disney Fan Event of the year," and this edition was to "celebrate 100 years of Disney! Journey through every era of Disney, as we venture back through the last century of storytelling and look forward to a limitless future for the company, and its most dedicated fans!"

This & That & Reminders…

…At Destination D23, Disney Cruise Line announced the full name of its new island destination on some sailings starting in June 2024: Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point (and, like Castaway Cay, the word "Cay" is pronounced like "key.") DCL also announced that the name of its seventh ship, the first Disney ship which will make its home port in Singapore and sail to Asian destinations, will be named Disney Adventure. Disney acquired the partially completed ship as a result of another line's liquidation of assets, and it is now being completed at a shipyard in Germany under the supervision of the same shipyard as Disney collaborates with on the Disney Wish class ships (which next will result in delivery of Disney Treasure), and previously collaborated with for building the Dream and Fantasy.

Thomas Mazloum, President of Disney Signature Experiences (which includes Disney Cruise Line), shared at Destination D23 that a "Disney Fantasy" sailing from Fort Lauderdale in June 2024, will include a first visit to DCL's new private destination Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…Paddlefish at Disney Springs is offering a Florida Resident Discount! Show proof of Florida residency to receive 25% off your food and non-alcoholic beverages through the end of September!

…Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs is celebrating National Cheeseburger Day, Monday, September 18, 2023. Planet Hollywood’s Executive Sous Chef, Rafael Chico wants you to try his, but he also offered up these tips if you want to celebrate at home:

  • You want your burger to remain juicy, so choose a standard meat, chopped sirloin or chuck—80/20 is perfect!
  • Bind your patties together with eggs and breadcrumbs.
  • Special tip: season the meat AFTER you bind the patties together with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Cook burger 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium; 8-9 minutes for well done.
  • Always toast your buns with a light butter spread as it keeps the sauces from sinking into the bread.
  • Some of the best cheeses: smoked gouda, brie, cheddar, and American.
  • Some of the best sauces: ketchup, mayo, barbecue, and garlic aioli.
  • Toppings can include shredded lettuce, onions, and tomato.
  • Don’t forget the bacon!

Planet Hollywood is located at Disney Springs opposite the escalators for the Orange Garage. It is the flagship location of the Planet Hollywood brand.

Recently, Planet Hollywood hosted me for a sampling of its menu and to show off its new Halloween merchandise.

Planet Hollywood also rotates its memorabilia collection from time to time, and with Halloween approaching, it currently has some "Pirates of the Caribbean" (film series) memorabilia along with some horror-film genre items.

Photos by Alan S. Dalinka.

…REMINDER: Walt Disney World Resort celebrates Hispanic and Latin American Heritage Month, September 15 through October 15. Mirabel, from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Encanto begins Magic Kingdom meet-and-greets on September 15 (and she will continue beyond the end of the celebration). Mirabel’s uncle, Bruno, also joins the park's Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade starting September 15. More food and beverage and merchandise offerings will be detailed in September as well.

…REMINDER: The 2023 edition of Visit Orlando's Magical Dining event is underway through October 1. Enjoy three-course, prix-fixe dinners at many of Orlando’s most popular restaurants—including Jaleo and STK at Disney Springs—with tiered pricing set at just $40 or $60 per person plus tax and gratuity. Up to $2 from each meal served will benefit one or more local nonprofits that help people in need. The full list of participating restaurants and their special menus is available at MagicalDining.com.

…The Edison at Disney Springs offers the September edition of its Mixology Series with a charitable tie: the restaurant is partnering with Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando to support the care of Central Florida’s animals. The Edison's team have curated a menu of signature craft cocktails inspired by furry friends, plus specialty food stations, featuring various bites. Guests can participate in a silent auction, as well, including prizes for restaurants and hotels in and around Disney Springs, Kennedy Space Center tickets, mixology events at The Edison and more. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Pet Alliance. Tickets can be purchased for $85++ per person, and the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 14. The Edison kindly requests that pets stay at home. Guests can upgrade their experience to Platinum Upgrade for $40, which includes a choice between a 1 oz. pour of WhistlePig Old World rye whiskey 12-Year of a 3 oz. pour of 2018 Silver Oak cabernet sauvignon. Pours will be paired with A-5 Wagyu pastrami on house-baked focaccia and dijon-naise. Guests must be ages 21 and older. Tickets and information are available on Tock.

…REMINDER: Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is now underway on select nights at Magic Kingdom through November 1. The hard-ticket event runs after the park closes early, at 7:00 p.m., and runs through midnight. Party ticket holders can enter the park as early at 4 p.m. on event night (no additional ticket or park reservation required) and may come in costume subject to the park's published guidelines. Many dates are sold out, so if you want to go, be sure to book your tickets in advance.

…REMINDER: The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic has announced the line-up of interactive food and beverage seminars taking place during this year’s event, Friday, November 10 and Saturday, November 11, 2023. During the educational seminars, guests can expand their knowledge of wine, beer, spirits, or pasta-making through hands-on learning experiences led by the resort’s award-winning food and beverage team. Updates for this year’s seminars include Craft Cocktails offered both Friday and Saturday and Wine Blending adding a bottling component in which guests will leave with their own bottled custom Meritage blend to take home. The 2023 seminar line-up includes:

  • Craft Cocktails – Friday and Saturday
  • Wine Blending – Friday and Saturday
  • Pasta Making – Friday
  • It’s Better to Wine in Italian (Italian Wines) – Friday
  • Base to Bubbles (Champagne) – Friday
  • Beer, Please! – Saturday

The seminars will take place prior to the outdoor festival. It’s Better to Wine in Italian and Beer, Please! seminar tickets are $75 per person, excluding tax. Base to Bubbles, Wine Blending, and Craft Cocktails seminars are $85 per person, excluding tax. Pasta Making seminar tickets are $110 per person, excluding tax. All seminars require separate tickets and space is limited. Specific dates and times of each seminar are available at foodandwineclassic.com. The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic offers guests unlimited tastings at creatively spaced, outdoor stations featuring culinary and beverage selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants amidst a festive backdrop of live entertainment on the hotel’s scenic causeway. The event runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on November 10–11, 2023. For more information, visit swandolphinfoodandwineclassic.com.

…REMINDER: Give Kids the World Village, the non-profit resort that provides week long, no cost Central Florida vacations to critically ill children and their families, is offering an opportunity to win a stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite inside Magic Kingdom. The prize vacation package includes a 1-night stay in the suite for up to four guests (including the winner), two more nights in a Deluxe Resort, three day hopper tickets, and more! Visit GKTW.org/castle for all the details and entrance opportunities. All proceeds benefit Give Kids The World. Open to U.S. residents.

…REMINDER: Applications and nominations for the 2024 Disney Dreamers Academy are open through October. Students looking to achieve their dreams can apply and, for the first time this year, be nominated for the program at DisneyDreamersAcademy.com. A panel of judges will select 100 students from the thousands of nationwide applicants to participate in the once-in-a-lifetime mentoring program designed to assist young people in identifying and pursuing their dreams. The selected students, along with a parent or guardian, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World to participate in the program, including career-oriented workshops, leadership seminars and presentations by celebrity guests, community leaders, educators and Disney executives. Over the years, Disney Dreamers Academy has inspired more than 1,500 students from across the country. Each year, graduates have gone on to become doctors, engineers, performing artists, entrepreneurs, Disney Cast Members and more, and some have transitioned into mentors to the Disney Dreamers who followed them.

…Last week, CNBC published "Disney’s Wildest Ride: Iger, Chapek and the Making of an Epic Succession Mess," its take on the leadership situation at The Walt Disney Company over the past several years and how it weighs on the business.

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  1. By wdwchuck

    Figment? I will never understand......

  2. By carolinakid

    None of these “coming attractions” excite me.... just being honest

  3. By wdwchuck

    Quote Originally Posted by carolinakid View Post
    None of these “coming attractions” excite me.... just being honest

    Great to hear from you again Kid. I can see the underlying feud between Disney and the State of Florida here. I wonder who thought it was a good idea to implement ESG and lose billions of dollars because of that whacked out ideology.
    Even to Disney billions of dollars is real money. Billions they could have used to develop WDW.

  4. By Dave1313

    meet and greet Figment at EPCOT's World Showplace pavilion during a special after hours party at the park. Social media reports I saw on Sunday suggested that wait time for Figment was around 3 hours around midday—only half the peak of 6 hours that was reported for folks awaiting the Figment popcorn bucket

    I'm thinking there are probably more eBay scalpers for popcorn buckets than autographs ... (assuming Disney character autographs are not as sought as those from real people/celebrities who are unique people vs anyone that can fit in the costume). I'm thinking probably only true Figment fans who want a pic with the character are waiting for the meet and greet.

    Without trying to look it up with a lot of reading posts/articles from 10+ years ago, I'm curious how far in advance of reality many big projects of the past (such as New Fantasyland in MK, or maybe Cars Land in DCA) were teased before they were formally a "go"? It certainly seems like the last 2 years are pushing a whole lot of "maybe" with almost no actual commitments.

    I know the big things announced before COVID were obviously impacted by the shutdown and unknowns associated with returning to normal in general at the time (Theater behind Main Street being the most obvious one in my mind, I think they had started clearing the backstage area before they cancelled that), and probably a few of the other announcements from that time frame were only Blue Sky and not actually moving forward before 2020, but this seems the extreme. They may as well put a teaser about binging back the Skyway at MK and DL (which we all pretty much know will never happen).

    Not sure I think Indy fits in at DAK (was that part also Blue Sky, or is the transformation of Dinosaur firm? I thought from reading other things that one was a certainty, but I may have misinterpreted). I do agree they need to do something with Dino Land (and tbh, I never liked much of the H&C carnival area), particularly since leveling Primeval Whirl and not replacing it with anything. But all of that seemed like it was in the Blue Sky category of "someday... maybe....or maybe not.".

  5. By currence

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    Without trying to look it up with a lot of reading posts/articles from 10+ years ago, I'm curious how far in advance of reality many big projects of the past (such as New Fantasyland in MK, or maybe Cars Land in DCA) were teased before they were formally a "go"? It certainly seems like the last 2 years are pushing a whole lot of "maybe" with almost no actual commitments.

    I feel like Disney has really shifted to early announcement since the late 2000s, when the Bay Lake "Not a DVC" Tower was being built. And while (mostly) everyone understood that Disney could not discuss things that didn't have the proper paperwork filed, it was a bit funny to see a building going into the ground that no one was publicly willing to discuss.

    That, coupled with the ease of public access to permits, and the rise of social media, means that there aren't a lot of secrets let once a plan is past the initial planning stages. So if Disney wants to have a big D23 Event with splashy things that gets the internet excited, it almost has to be things that are still years away.

    And, of course, it's not just Disney. If I recall, earlier this week, Apply formally announced that it was moving the iphone to USB-C. And I'm pretty sure that the internet collectively yawned, because everyone who cared already knew.

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