What was missing from the Disney D23 Expo Boundless Future presentation (2023)

Posted: Monday September 12, 2022 11:17am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

D23 Expo always brings high expectations of big announcements for the parks, and when Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D'Amaro left the stage yesterday, Walt Disney World fans felt like the flagship of Disney's theme park empire was largely ignored.

D23 Expo 2022

There is always the chance of a wildcard announcement that managed to fly under the radar in the lead-up to D23 Expo, but several realistic announcements did not make it into the 2022 event.

PLAY Pavilion!

Announced in August 2019 and originally planned to open for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, the future of the PLAY! Pavilion remains uncertain.

PLAY! pavilion concept art

Disney said in 2019 that guests will discover an interactive city bursting with games, activities and experiences that connect them with friends, family and Disney characters – both real and virtual – like never before.

Recent permits have suggested work is underway on something inside the former Wonders of Life pavilion, and an announcement was expected at D23 Expo.

Strangely, the PLAY! Pavilion was not mentioned at all during the Expo, and was absent during Josh D'Amaro's talk of EPCOT's redesigned center reopening in 2023.

Spaceship Earth "Story-Light" Update

Originally announced in 2020, Spaceship Earth was planned to be updated with a new "story-light" concept, with work beginning May 2020. The pandemic put a hold on the project, and there has been no talk of updating Spaceship Earth since.

New Spaceship Earth concept art

The D23 Expo seemed like the obvious place to relaunch this project, but Spaceship Earth was not mentioned.

Back in 2020, Disney said, "the next iteration of Spaceship Earth will focus on the story of humanity, following our long journey from prehistoric humans to today brought to life with magic and depth that only Disney can deliver. Many of the moments you know and love will be updated in amazing ways, blended with brand-new scenes to tell a story about our human experience."

(Video) A Boundless Future: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Panel - D23 Expo

Mary Poppins at EPCOT

As another casualty of the pandemic, the project to add a Mary Poppins area and ride to EPCOT's United Kingdom pavilion was put on hold. Like Spaceship Earth and the PLAY! Pavilion, many expected to hear Disney announce a restart of Mary Poppins in the U.K. No mention was made, leaving the project's future in serious doubt.

Walt Disney World Railroad and Fantasmic! reopening

When no significant additions were announced for Walt Disney World at D23, attention turned to smaller projects. Surprisingly, both the Walt Disney World Railroad and Fantasmic! were not given reopening dates.

Fantasmic! will be returning in the coming months

With TRON Lightycle Run opening Spring 2023, we can expect a return of the Walt Disney World Railroad before then, with the outside of the attraction scheduled to be completed this year.

Rehearsals are underway at Fantasmic!, and Disney has said the show will return this year. We expect a return of the Disney's Hollywood Studios nighttime show before Thanksgiving, but Disney is remaining tight-lipped for now.

Star Wars Launch Bay - the next area for redevelopment at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Tipped by many as the next new attraction area at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Launch Bay and the surrounding Animation Courtyard were not part of Josh D'Amaro's boundless future presentation. This would have been somewhat of a wildcard announcement, with no concrete speculation on what will eventually come to the area.

Launch Bay is expected to be the next re-Imagining project at Disney's Hollywood Studios

A replacement for Primeval Whirl

With Primeval Whirl now demolished and the area blocked off with a fence, fans were hoping for news of a new attraction to take that space. It didn't come, but D'Amaro did show some Blue Sky concepts for the redevelopment of DinoLand U.S.A. It appears Disney has bigger plans than just a replacement for Primeval Whirl, but it isn't happening just yet.

Much of DinoLand U.S.A. is now empty space

(Video) D23 Expo 2022 - Every Reveal & Announcement Breakdown (Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars) Explained

Disney's Animal Kingdom nighttime spectacular

With Rivers of Light long gone, and Disney KiteTails winding down from a show to walk-by viewing, there were hopes that the lagoon may once again be home to a nighttime spectacular. Instead, Disney is concentrating on fixing the poor guest reaction to Walt Disney World's signature nighttime shows at EPCOT and Magic Kingdom.

Disney's Animal Kingdom has a purpose-built nighttime spectacular venue which sits empty

What were you expecting that did not make this year's D23 Expo parks presentation? Let us know in the comments.

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CaptainAmerica28 days ago

Both. He doesn't have unilateral control, and projects over a certain dollar amount would likely need CFO, CEO, and Board approval, but I would imagine Parks prepares their own capital plan and then presents it to Corporate for approval.

DisneyDodo29 days ago

Does the Parks chairman have control over how much money is invested in the parks? Or is the budget given to him, and he then decides how to invest that money?

(Video) D23 2022 Reservation Random Selection Process

Phicinfan29 days ago

Not sure I fully agree with that. Some do have to decide Disney vs. Universal, unless they plan off site stay and going to both, which I have done with my family in the past

CaptainAmerica29 days ago

Again, I'm not saying he's amazing. I'm saying it's too soon to know because COVID.

lazyboy97o29 days ago

But you’re giving him credit for things that were not his decision. Galaxy’s Edge was a directive from Iger but Chapek was involved in cutting the ongoing operating costs. There’s almost no chance that Toy Story Land was able to be pushed through Blue Sky, Concept Design and Feasibility in the few months between Chapek getting the job and the announcement at D23. Even Evolving Epcot had huge sums dedicated to Iger playing architecture patron, which Chapek fully abandoned once Iger was completely out the door.

CaptainAmerica29 days ago

Understood, but sort of beside the point that I'm making. I'm not saying that Bob Chapek is a creative genius, only that his time as Parks chairman showed a willingness to invest. I'm not judging whether that stuff is actually any good, I'm just pointing out that he was willing to pay for it. (And I forgot to mention Runaway Railway.)

V_L_Raptor29 days ago

Philosophically or logistically? I mean, there have been tons of projects they've been "committed" to completing that got stuffed one way or another. Even a notion of committing is kind of useless at this point. It's more like D23 is laying out the board for a huge game of cowpie bingo, and everyone's waiting for the cow to drop a... well, project.

(Video) D23 Expo Updates: Happily Ever After Returns, Tron Opening, & Disney Villains Land At Magic Kingdom!

HauntedPirate29 days ago

Not exactly shining examples of Disney’s finest, outside of Rise and the visual depth in GE. Don’t forget he also greenlit DE, KiteTails, and allegedly came up with the base idea for HARModious.

erasure fan129 days ago

I don't think you can really count the blue sky stuff as implied. I have a hard time giving them any credit for looking ahead. Not with how absolutely horrible this D23 showing was. Covid can't be an excuse. These useless people in charge had 2 years to figure out how to improve the parks with new attractions. But all they were concerned about was what can we get rid of, and what things that were included can we upcharge for.

mysto29 days ago

The rethemed Dino area in AK and "beyond big thunder" in MK will need attractions. You are right they didn't announce them, but if the new areas are greenlit then several attractions will eventually be announced.So the new attractions are implied? A glint in the eye?I also agree it's a bit disappointing, I'm just saying that there was news, they are looking ahead.

bhg46929 days ago

Simply not true. My friend from NY just left town with the decision made to only go to one park. They chose universal this time and only went to Disney springs.

CaptainAmerica29 days ago

A Harry Potter fan who goes to Universal because they have Harry Potter was never going to go to Disney.People do NOT say "I'm going to go to Central Florida for a theme park vacation, but I need to decide whether to go to Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Resort." That's not how the decision making flows.

(Video) Reviewing Everything from Disney's D23 Expo 2022 Parks and Resorts Panel!


What will be revealed at D23? ›

Disney unveiled footage for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” “Ironheart,” “Secret Invasion,” “Werewolf by Night” and more during the D23 Expo. Matt Shakman, the director of “WandaVision,” will officially direct the MCU's “Fantastic Four” feature film.

What is the significance of 23 in D23? ›

Founded in 2009, the organization is known mainly for its biennial exposition event, the D23 Expo. The name D23 refers to D for Disney and 23 for 1923, which is the year Walt Disney founded the company. U.S. Membership is in two levels: free and gold.

Will there be a D23 Expo in 2023? ›

At D23 Expo, it was announced that Disney100: The Exhibition will open on February 18, 2023, at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with Chicago, Illinois, and Kansas City, Missouri, set as the next two stops on the North American tour.

What was announced at D23 2022? ›

Zootopia+ Details Unveiled at D23 Expo- Disney Bundle Panel. In other animated news, a new series set in the Zootopia universe called Zootopia+ will be premiering on Disney+ on November 9.

What does D23 stand for? ›

The “D” stands for Disney, and “23” represents 1923, the year that Walt Disney arrived in California and founded what was to ultimately become The Walt Disney Company. Is D23 on social media? Expand.

Do people dress up for D23? ›

The return of the D23 Expo to the Anaheim Convention Center means the exhibition floor and the streets around the Disneyland resort will be teeming with thousands of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel fans dressed in cosplay costumes for the three-day party. The 2022 D23 Expo that kicked off Friday, Sept.

Is being a D23 member worth it? ›

Yes, a D23 membership it is totally worth it. But if you are going to join, I recommend you try Gold first beause at $99 a year or $129 for two people, it's not too expensive. Just the access to exclusive VIP events and experiences makes up for the cost alone.

What are the benefits of being a D23 member? ›

D23 is the official Disney Fan Club that offers paid Gold and free memberships. Perks include discounts at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and D23 Expo tickets. For Gold members, there are also special events, an annual gift, and more. (Updated April 20, 2022.)

What is Disney's 100th anniversary? ›

As first announced at D23 Expo 2022 last month, Disney 100 Years of Wonder will be the largest cross-company global celebration in the 100-year history of The Walt Disney Company. Disney Parks around the world will celebrate the 100th anniversary, with the heart of the celebration at Disneyland Resort.

Can you bring food to D23? ›

D23 shares the following regarding bringing food and drinks in: “No outside food, beverages, or coolers are allowed at D23 Expo. However, exceptions will be made for attendees with special dietary needs, including food allergies, and for baby food/formula.

How many D23 tickets can you buy? ›

Gold members may purchase up to 12 tickets for the expo (for themselves, plus family and friends). Just keep in mind that the Gold member has to be going to the D23 Expo. Members cannot buy tickets for others without going to the event themselves.

Can you hug characters at Disney World? ›

We know it's been a while (about 2 years!) since guests have been able to hug their favorite characters, so we wanted to send out a quick reminder about some important RULES to follow now that these close-up interactions have returned! It's so much fun to hug characters and experience close-up interactions with them.

What is Disney doing about gender? ›

According to Disney, the company is taking out all the "gendered greetings" in the theme park's recorded messages to promote a more welcoming environment for guests who do not identify with traditional gender roles, including male or female.

Can you meet Tinkerbell at Disney 2022? ›

Ariel has a meet and greet at Ariel's Grotto in Fantasyland. (Not currently available.) Jasmine often has a meet and green in Adventureland near the Magic Carpets. Tinkerbell (not a princess, but a fairy, so close enough) has a meet and greet near the entrance to Magic Kingdom.

Where was D23 this year? ›

Disney previously announced that its 100th anniversary celebration, dubbed Disney100, will officially kick off at this year's D23 Expo, which takes place September 9-11 on five different stages at the Anaheim Convention Center.

How long does D23 last? ›

This year's Disney and Pixar D23 panel is set to kick off at 3:30 pm PT / 6:30 pm ET and will unfold on the Hall D23 stage. While most of this year's D23 panels will run for an hour or 90 minutes, the Celebrate the Magic of Disney and Pixar panel is set to run for an impressive 2 hours!

How much is it to be a Club 33 member? ›

For Disneyland Resort's Club 33, members will pay $25,000 upfront, and then $10,000 every year after. For Walt Disney World, the up front cost is higher. Members will pay $33,000 to join and the annual fee is $15,000.

What are Disney engineers called? ›

then WED Enterprises, from the initials meaning "Walter Elias Disney", the company co-founder's full name. Headquartered in Glendale, California, Imagineering is composed of "Imagineers", who are illustrators, architects, engineers, lighting designers, show writers and graphic designers.

What is the cost of a D23 membership? ›

General membership in D23 is free and with that membership you have access to the website, member articles, some member discounts, and a very limited number of general membership events. So going from free to $99.99 (or $129.99 for a duo membership) might seem to be a big leap. Events are often location specific.

What was announced at Disney plus day? ›

Disney+ will release new sing-along versions of Walt Disney Animation Studios' “Frozen” and “Frozen 2.” As subscribers watch the sing-along version of these films, they will be able to fully immerse themselves in the music with onscreen lyrics. Where do ideas come from?

What is D23 fan club? ›

Launched in 2009, D23 is the official fan club of The Walt Disney Co. The “D” stands for Disney, and “23” denotes 1923 — the year in which Walt Disney moved to California and opened his West Coast studio.

Where is the next D23? ›


– The 2022 D23 Expo is scheduled to kick off Sept. 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California. D23 Expo is dubbed as the Walt Disney Company's biggest fan convention.

Can you watch D23 online? ›

Watch the live stream on D23Expo.com/live, D23.com and on the D23 YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

What age is free at Disney World? ›

Disney World offers two ticket categories according to age level: One is for ages 10 and older; the other is for ages 3 to 9. Admission is free for children under the age of 3. Read on to learn about the types of passes and what is/is not included.

Is Disney day only one day? ›

Technically, the Disney Plus Day 2022 event will be an all-day event.

What to expect from Disney+ Day 2022? ›

The Disney+ Day announcement also includes a special docuseries, Growing Up. Created by Brie Larson, it dives into 10 coming-of-age stories to reveal the struggles and the courage of adolescence. Growing Up is described as part experimental, part narrative and part documentary.

Is joining D23 worth it? ›

Yes, a D23 membership it is totally worth it. But if you are going to join, I recommend you try Gold first beause at $99 a year or $129 for two people, it's not too expensive. Just the access to exclusive VIP events and experiences makes up for the cost alone.

What is the cost of a D23 membership? ›

General membership in D23 is free and with that membership you have access to the website, member articles, some member discounts, and a very limited number of general membership events. So going from free to $99.99 (or $129.99 for a duo membership) might seem to be a big leap. Events are often location specific.

What is the Disney Club 33? ›

Club 33 comprises a number of private dining clubs located within the various Disney Parks. First opening in 1967 inside Disneyland Park, the club was modeled after numerous executive VIP lounges created by pavilion sponsors in the 1964 New York World's Fair.

What is Disney's 100th anniversary? ›

As first announced at D23 Expo 2022 last month, Disney 100 Years of Wonder will be the largest cross-company global celebration in the 100-year history of The Walt Disney Company. Disney Parks around the world will celebrate the 100th anniversary, with the heart of the celebration at Disneyland Resort.

What day is Disney day? ›

The event was inaugurated in 2021, coinciding with the second anniversary of Disney+, and returned on September 8, 2022.

Who owns D23? ›

Buena Vista Distribution Company Founded by Disney in 1953 to distribute its films; its first release was The Living Desert (see more detail under that entry). The headquarters were located in New York until the 1970s when they were moved to California.

Will Marvel D23 panel be Livestreamed? ›

Tickets are sold out, but the fun will also be livestreamed at D23Expo.com/live and on D23Expo.com and the DisneyD23 YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Will D23 Expo 2022 be streamed? ›

Livestream the Magic of D23 Expo 2022 with These Can't-Miss Panels and Presentations. D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is proud to announce the official livestream schedule for D23 Expo 2022 from September 9 through 11.

Are D23 tickets refundable? ›

Your badge will provide you access to all the magic of D23 Expo, allowing you to participate in opportunities presented by Disney and Friends of Disney, receive photos taken at select experiences, redeem your D23 Expo Gold Member gift (D23 Gold Members only), and more! No refunds are permitted for D23 Expo tickets.


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