September 6, 2023, 4:06 PM ·

What can Disney theme parks fans expect from the big Destination D23 event at the Walt Disney World Resort this weekend?

Thousands of fans have registered for the sold-out event, which will fill the weekend with presentations, events, and limited-edition shopping. But for those of us at home, the big event likely will be Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro’s Saturday morning presentation, “A Celebration of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” It’s the “tomorrow” part that most interests many of us. We want to know what D’Amaro will reveal about the future of the Disney Parks, starting at 9:15am Eastern. You can watch the presentation via livestream on D23’s YouTube channel.Here are five projects that we hope we will hear updates on during D’Amaro’s presentation.

Tiana’s Bayou AdventureThe only major attraction to open at Walt Disney World and Disneyland next year, the replacement for Splash Mountain has been under construction for months on both coasts. But when will it open. Here’s hoping that we get an opening date, or at least an opening season, for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Given that construction began in Florida months before California, it would be natural to expect that the Magic Kingdom installation opens first. But that’s no given. Perhaps we will know an answer by mid-morning on Saturday.ZootopiaShanghai Disneyland dropped a tom of details this week about Disney’s first theme park land based on the 2016 Academy Award-winning Walt Disney Animation Studios film. But we still don’t know when the land will open. Given the area photos that Disney released this week, could this new land open as early as this year? Or will it be a 2024 for Zootopia?Disney TreasureAgain, Disney already has released many of the details about the Disney Wish’s sibling, including its inaugural sail date (December 21, 2024). But Disney Cruise Line held back two details from its press reveal this week: the themes for its new Broadway-style show in the ship’s Walt Disney Theater and for the lounge that will replace the Star Wars Hyperspace Lounge. Perhaps D’Amaro will give us one, or both, of those reveals while he recaps everything else released this week.World of FrozenThis Frozen-themed land will open in Hong Kong Disneyland this November. We still need a specific opening date, however. The land will include the Frozen Ever After boat ride as well as the Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs family roller coaster. Another version of the land is under construction in Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris. Here’s hoping for more information, including a timeline, for that land, as well.EPCOT nighttime spectacularEPCOT Forever returned this year as a stop-gap after Walt Disney World closed Harmonious at the conclusion of the resort’s 50th anniversary celebration. But the resort has promised a new nighttime spectacular for the World Showcase lagoon this year, and construction on show support has begun. Now’s the time for D’Amaro to confirm some details about the new production, including its debut date. Destination D23 tends to be Disney’s venue for announcing opening dates and new entertainment at the parks, saving announcements of big new attractions for the D23 Expo in Anaheim. Beyond these five projects, perhaps we could hear news about new or returning entertainment at the parks, including maybe some details about the redesigned Fantasmic! that Disneyland is working to return to its Rivers of America next year.And lest anyone forget, what’s up with that Avatar at Disneyland thing that Bob Iger teased?What are you hoping to hear from D’Amaro at Destination D23?* * *
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