As we prepare to return to D23 Expo in September, I sit down with D23 Vice President Michael Vargo to talk about what to expect (including the unexpected surprise or two) at this year’s event including panels, celebrities, parks, movies, streaming, gaming, and much more. I’ll then share my personal D23 Expo Wish List, or “20-ish Announcements I’m Wishing for (or Predicting) at D23 Expo 2022.”
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[00:00:00] Since 2009 Disney's D23 Expo has celebrated the past present and future of Disney entertainment, magic with a gathering for, and with their most loyal fans and friends. And it is a three day adventure. That includes all the wonder and adventure of Disney, including sneak peaks of what's coming from the parks, films, TV, gaming, and more.
And there's going to be celebrities and presentations. Archives and the list goes on and on and on. And it doesn't matter if you're a fan of one or all, because there's gonna be something special for you at expo 2022, which is coming back to the Anaheim convention center, September 9th, through the 11th. I have been fortunate to be there from the beginning.
I'm going to be back again all three days, not just as a guest and as a fan, but with a booth on the show floor once again. But of course the expo does not happen without the gargantuan. And that is an understatement effort of the team over at Disney's D 23 led by my guest this week, D 23 vice president Michael Vago.
Michael. It is so good to see you. And again, in what is I'm sure a crazy few weeks leading up to expo. Thank you so much for taking some time today. Thank you so much, Lou, it's a pleasure to be here and you framed it up perfectly. Uh, I've been a part of the expo since 2009 as well. And it's been great to have you along, uh, the journey with us the whole time.
Well thank you. And if you can, before we get into expo, um, I just, I wanted to talk a little bit about you because I love the fact that the person sort of spearheading these efforts is somebody. Who is a fan themself. Can you gimme a little bit of, you know, the Michael Vago origin story as fan cast member and with D 20.
Absolutely. You know, I, I grew up in Anaheim Hills area and, uh, so I practically visited Disneyland just about every weekend possible, um, and, and, and celebrating birthdays and everything else as I was growing up as a kid. So I felt like it was practically in my backyard and very much a part of my, my [00:02:00] childhood upbringing.
So, um, I've actually been with the company now for 30 years, I started at Disneyland. And as an entertainment cast member back in 1992. And, uh, you know, it's, I've, I've, I've experienced some remarkable things and, and, and, uh, some great experiences along the ride. And here I am, and, uh, being a part of the best fan club in the world is pretty remarkable.
I'm, I'm truly blessed and honored and, and very excited. Um, and, uh, you know, it's been a, it's been a great. Yeah, like I said, you literally went from fan. Air quote, friend of some, uh, of some characters in, in the parks. And now you handle not just, uh, D 23 and expo, but you know, corporate creative resources.
And you're very much part of the archives family. So you're spinning a lot of, um, big plates all at once, but let's talk about the expo itself because each year is literally bigger and better, and this year is no exception. And, and I think it's even. It's a special event. That's even more special because it's not just about what we're gonna see on the stages and the show floor, but it's about seeing each other.
Right. D 23 has always been about community for Disney fans and it's the best way to connect and meet. And I think especially now after such a, a long period of time, it's gonna be great to just as fans be able to connect again on the show floor. So true. And you know, it's been three years since our last D 23 expo.
So the fans. Gonna be more excited nor could we, um, to really connect again in person. Together the world's biggest fan of it, uh, Disney fan of it. And, uh, you know, I, I am so excited. The you're right, the bar keeps getting raised year after year. And I have to say all of our partners around the entire company really rally behind this year's event and really brought [00:04:00] their a game to, to the table.
I can't wait for everyone to see what everyone has to offer. There. It is. It is going to be an expo, like no, And I think we'll talk about this a little bit too, you know, it's going to be a, a, a look at the Disney 100 year celebration. That's gonna be happening in 2023. So kind of a little mini kickoff, if you will, to that celebration, which we're very excited about.
Yeah, that's what I was saying. I mean, it's sort of starting at the beginning with the opening ceremony and, and the legends, um, really sort of not just kicking off expo, but what is going to be a celebration of such an important milestone for the company as a. That's right. And, and that opener on Friday morning, uh, you know, Bob Eck, our CEO will be kicking off the, uh, the D 23 expo at that session.
And we can't wait to, um, share with everyone what's going on with the Disney 100 year celebration, give them a, a sneak peek at, at all the wonderful things happening around the company and fan celebrations. And of course the Disney legend ceremony itself has always just been, um, an incredible, uh, you know, Thing that we offered at the expo, uh, since 2009 and always been a fan favorite.
I'm excited about this year's legend ceremony, especially. Yeah. It's always interesting to see who sort of makes that list of, um, true legends. And, you know, you talked about sharing with Disney fans. One thing that you've done in the past, and I think really. Ramped up this year is sharing it for fans, not just who are in the four corners of the Oso, very big building, but fans around the world, look, this year's expo sold out faster than ever.
And for one reason or another, there's a lot of people, reason why people might not be able to make it there in person, but this year, DET 20 reason to be streaming. A lot of what is happening in the expo. Live to people watching at home. So true. And, and you're right. Uh, the sellout was, uh, remarkable. Uh, you know, everyone's, like I said, so excited to be there in person, but for those who can't attend, we have expanded our live stream [00:06:00] this year.
Um, unlike any other event that we've done, uh, it's gonna be, uh, live streams. All three days up to eight hours of programming each day, we're gonna be, uh, live streaming several of our, uh, sessions, uh, throughout the day, as well as some special curated content as well, just for the live stream audience. So everyone can tune in on, you know, D 23 expo.com.
All of our social channels, Facebook, Twitch, uh, YouTube, Twitter, um, all that will be available, uh, for the live stream. I think it's gonna be really great. And a couple of our, you know, uh, 10 pole. Uh, sessions, if you will, will also be available via live stream, including the, uh, Friday morning opening, uh, session with the Disney legend ceremony and which we just recently announced the Disney games session as well.
So we're very excited about those two, uh, being able to put on the, on the live stream. Yeah. And so let's talk a little bit about Disney games and just maybe as a whole, some of the things that are new this year, that's one of the things that we as fans always look forward to is not only are there new sort of exhibits in places like the Walt Disney archives, but there's always something new in terms of what's happening on stage or what's happening on the show floor, anything special, new that we wanna make sure we mark on our calendars and, or in the.
Well, you mentioned the games, you know, uh, obviously there's a game audience out there. So the Disney and Marvel games showcase was something that we thought would be, um, an interesting add to, to this year's event. And, uh, it will be, uh, uh, something that we're gonna share on Friday, September 9th at 1:00 PM, also on the live stream, like I mentioned, but really showing all the great new.
Content from, uh, Disney and Pixar games, Marvel games, Lucas games, 20th century games, a whole variety of things. Um, you know, there's so many things to explore. That's new on the show floor this year and, uh, Disney, um, brand television is coming to the table in a big way, in a new way. With some great experiences [00:08:00] that you could walk through from all of our brands, from, you know, FX and, uh, freeform and national geographic and so much more, uh, I think it's gonna be a great surprise for a lot of, uh, a lot of fans for Disney branded content, Disney non-branded content, star wars fans, Marvel fans, Pixar fans.
There is really truly something for everyone at this year's ex. You know, I I'm thinking back to the last expo and timing, being everything when Disney plus was announced in this incredible fervor to sign up for Disney plus talk about right place at right time with so many of us, you know, locked in at home for so many years, you know, thank God for things like Disney plus.
And now there's the, there's a Disney bundle pavilion too, where the you're gonna have, not just information about some of the stuff we can, the content we can consume at home, but talent and filmmakers and creators are gonna be. So the we can hear from and meet them directly as. That's right. And as you mentioned, you know, uh, Disney plus made its debut at the D 23 expo in 2019.
That's where I signed up for my subscription as well. And, uh, in this year's Disney bundle pavilion is going to be a. Remarkable experience with not only Disney plus, but Hulu and ESPN plus being there as part of the family. And we just actually saw a lot of the, uh, uh, rentings and floor plans for their experience.
And I have to say it's gonna be pretty incredible. The, uh, Hulu vessel, the Hulu green vessel is pretty awesome. You gotta walk through this. Um, Hulu world, if you will, with all these different stories and you get to really check into their obsessions of Hulu content, I think it's gonna be really, really cool this year.
And you're right. Uh, lots of surprises on the Disney plus live stage with, uh, talent and, and filmmakers and celebrities and everything as part of that. Well, it's funny that you use the word step into, cause that's always how I felt about D 23 expo. I think it's such, such an [00:10:00] extension of what Walt wanted from Disneyland.
He wanted a place where we could step into these stories. That's exactly what it allows us to do. Whatever type of content we gravitate to, or we love we're able to literally step into these places and spaces. I know the Disney parks and resorts pavilion is only sort of one that is, you know, we, so many of us look forward to.
And as I start going through the schedule personally, right? We start we're we're we're Disney fans. We're planners, you look through and I start marking off the things that are can't miss presentations, Michael. My problem this year is can't miss this. Can't miss this, can't miss this. And I'm just basically checking off the list because just a very quick thing.
We have an inside look at the society of explorers and adventures. I've been a huge fan of the S E lore for so long, a peak behind the curtain at Walt Disney, imaginary illusions, which. Every Disney Disney fan wants to see uncovering treasures from the Marty scar collection. Like really just, I'm gonna pause there for a second, getting to sort of hear from the wife and daughter of the late Disney legend about some of the things the treasures they've discovered from Marty's personal collection, I know is gonna be a huge draw for people.
Absolutely. And, and, and you're right. I there's so much to choose from. And, uh, specifically to, to Marty's presentation, you know, Bob Weiss, uh, with Walter Disney, imaginary, this was really his project that he really wanted to push through. And we're so excited to bring into life and, and share it with the fans at the expo and hear Marty's story from the family.
Um, I think is gonna be really remarkable, but that is always the challenge. What do you do? How, you know, there's so much to pack in, in three days and each day goes by so fast, as you know, um, so, you know, trying to pack in schedules and presentations and then meet and greets with some of the talent and do some shopping and everything else in between.
It's, it's a lot to pack in in three days, for sure. Um, you know, I always recommend come to the expo with a plan. [00:12:00] And then a contingency plan as well, because sometimes you might spend a little more time shopping than you had planned, or you might catch, you know, uh, somebody walking by on the show floor that you wanted to go say hi to, and time gets away from you.
So, you know, come with a plan and a contingency plan. And I also say, you know, check the D 23 expo mobile app. It is really a great tool to help navigate your way through the show floor, check out the latest on the schedules and presentations and any announcements that we might be making throughout the weekend.
Yeah. I really love the, the updates and the upgrades to the app and, and you know, it it's, expo's always been a continuous learning experience for everyone. Right. We learned to, to plan, to have a contingency plan also to bring comfortable shoes. Yeah. Um, but we there's also, there, there's so many sort of like squirrel moments, right?
You think you're on your way somewhere? Excuse me. And next thing you know, something else pops up. There's a surprise. There's a parade. There's something else that's happening, but let's just quickly touch on a couple of the other. Things that that are on the schedule. And maybe you can sort of speak to them a little bit.
Again, the immersive experiences that, that Disney fans, Disney parks, fans, and Disney cruise line fans, there's bringing to life. The Disney wish 70 years of Imagineering. The boundless future, the Disney parks, experiences and products, um, hosted by, um, parks, appearance products, chairman Josh tomorrow. Um, talk a little bit about those three, because I think for a lot of us, those, especially the last two imaginary and the future of what's coming to the parks and products is for a lot of us, it's sort of like the reason why we, we get in and plan early and plan around those event.
A hundred percent. You know, so many of our D 23 members are obviously big park fans. So we know we always have to go big with our parks and resorts, uh, presence at the expo. So Josh is going to deliver a remarkable [00:14:00] presentation on Sunday morning with the, with the. The parks panel. I can't wait for everyone to hear some of the great surprises announcements that he's gonna be sharing with everyone.
The pavilion is unlike any other, I think every year, as I mentioned earlier, they just raised the bar. And, you know, we talked with a lot of our partners around the company early on, you know, two years, three years in advance to make their pavilions, uh, and, um, Very experiential. You know, we just don't want it to be a display of any kind.
We really want this to be a great hands on experience for all of the fans to come and see. And the parks is a great, um, benchmark for that. You know, they bring out the Imagineers and the people that really tell the stories behind the scenes of the parks and, and all of the. Um, uh, imaginary, that's gonna be taking place in the future and I can't wait for everyone to see the incredible models that they're gonna have out in some of the great content that's in the pavilion.
It's it's really cool. And, and you mentioned some of the other sessions as well. I mean always popular, uh, you know, to get into some of these, you know, I can't wait, especially even for the 50th anniversary of the main street electrical parade. Uh, cuz I always felt like that was one of my childhood upbringings, um, were the same age.
So, uh, very special to me. Yeah. You know, park experiences and products is one of those things that, you know, when the sort of literal and figurative curtain drops. Uh, and it, that park that the pavilion opens up fully to guests, because sometimes there are some surprises that come out over the weekend.
It's remarkable to watch the faces and the expressions and sort of the air come out of the room as you stand there. And you look around in awe because. It's not just about what you're seeing, but to your point, it is very immersive. It's also very participatory too. It's not just this thing that you sort of are ushered through and walk through.
There are people there to talk to. There are hands on things [00:16:00] that you can do. There's great. Photo ops as well. You can and should spend, and probably will a pretty good amount of time in the parks pav. That's right. And, you know, that's what makes these D 23 events, especially the expo expo so special and, you know, always like to give the fans a sneak peek or B a look behind the curtain, if you will, you know, and some of the great, uh, stories that we have to share, and some of the behind the scenes look at things, how they come together, what's on the horizon, uh, for tomorrow and, and the years to come.
I think that's, it's, they're gonna be blown. But it's also not just about what's coming next, but what we have to celebrate in the past, I mentioned your connection to the archives. I personally love Disney history, and now you have a hundred years of company storytelling. Across a wide spectrum of brands.
And I started thinking about like what the timeline of the a hundred years and all of the things that, that Disney has covered. Some of the things that are celebrating milestones this year, Tron, um, Dick Tracy animation, live action. Um, There's gonna be a lot, certainly in terms of what people can expect.
And maybe you can share a little bit without Daling. Well, if you wanna divulge secrets, that's fine. a little bit of, of what might be coming to the archives and then sort of extend a little bit from that. If you can, Michael. Cause I know. We're going to be able to experience the archives on the show, Florida at expo.
Not everybody can, but after expo's over some of that that's in the archives is going sort of on the road to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Correct? You're right, Lou, this year's, uh, D 23 expo will bring an epic archives experience to the show floor as always we've unpacked some remarkable treasures over the past 100 years that we're gonna have in some great, uh, photo experiences.
If you will, throughout the exhibition, everything from Dick Tracy and [00:18:00] Mary Poppins and snow white in the seven dwarf, there's so much there. It's, it's really great, but what's really special. We're actually going to be, uh, hosting a panel. On Saturday, um, by, uh, Becky Klein, the director of the Wal Disney archives, your friend of mine.
Um, that's going to be talking a little bit more about our Disney 100, the exhibition, which is, um, a incredible, uh, touring exhibition that will take place starting in 20, 23. Very different than what we have at the D 23. Expo. In fact, we talked about these immersive experiences behind the scenes stories and that sort of thing.
The Franklin uh, Institute will be our opening venue for this new exhibition starting in, uh, spring of 2023. And this is going to be an experiential hands on experience. So you can actually go in, understand the stories behind music and costume and storytelling, uh, on how Disney magic is made. And it's gonna be pretty incredible.
We're gonna be announcing app D 23 expo future cities and what the tour is going to look like, um, of that exhibition, both domestically and international. You can't see my face if you're listening, but I just sort of like raised my eyebrows, like, huh, domestic. Now I'm thinking about WW radio group of trips out to some of the, uh, the traveling archives events around the country, maybe around the world.
Um, Michael I'm also in case you can, can't tell by the, uh, the artwork and things behind me. I'm a huge Marvel fan, right? Marvel obviously gonna have a big present. Again, with some of the smaller, more intimate, interactive things like Marvel draw live, and obviously the hall D 23 presentation on Saturday and hall D 23, where Marvel's gonna be joined by not just folks from the Marvel family, but from the Lucas film family to see some things we've never [00:20:00] seen before.
To quote what I'm reading in the app to be among the first to learn what is in the works. Can you tell us a little bit and obviously huge Spider-Man fan it's 60 years of Spider-Man. I know we're celebrating the, uh, the 60 years with Marvel comics as well. Absolutely. You know, previously the Wal Disney studios session was one big tent pole showcase, right.
That we would have, it was like a two hour presentation one day. And it was filled with everything from Disney movies and animation studios and Marvel and star wars. This year, we were like, there's so much to share with the fans. We had to do it in two days. So our brains can't handle that our brains literally cannot handle it two hours ago.
so, so it's still gonna be an epic, long showcase. Uh, I can't wait for everyone to see it, but Friday is going to be our Disney, uh, branded content, if you will. Um, so Disney and Disney animation studios and Pixar and Disney live action. But on Saturday, as you mentioned, Saturday morning, we're gonna be kicking it off with, uh, star war.
Marvel and, um, uh, 20th century films as well. That's gonna be a part of that. I think you might have heard some nav that might be coming to theaters at the end of the year. Might be sharing a little bit more about what that's going to be about. Um, but Marvel, of course, Marvel studios, uh, always just brings the, a game to the table and, uh, I cannot wait for you, Lou, especially as a big Marvel fan to see what they have to, uh, to share with you.
The celebrity lineups are gonna be pretty epic as well. My inner nerd is losing his, his brains are falling out of his head. So Lou, I mentioned earlier about the archives exhibition, um, celebrating the past 100 years of the company, there's gonna be lots of other experiences, um, and opportunities throughout the weekend that everyone can catch a glimpse of the 100 year celebration.
Um, lots of special surprises. And first looks, uh, that I mentioned in our opening [00:22:00] session on Friday morning. But also. So I first look at some of our merchandise and products in our, uh, D 23 X one marketplace. Everyone loves to shop as well when they come to the expo. So we'll have a first look at some of the 100 year product, um, as well.
We're also giving away a special commemorative gift just for our D 23 gold members at the expo. Uh, that will be a 100 year celebratory poster art, uh, created by one of our remarkable Disney designers. Uh, Eric tan. And something that we've been working on for over a year now, um, is gonna be pretty spectacular out in front of the Anaheim convention center.
Can't say too much more about it right now, but it's going to be a, a great, uh, greeter, if you will, for everyone coming into to the show. So can't wait for that. And then earlier we had now announced as well that we're restoring Wal. Walt, Disney's a Gulf stream plane, and we're bringing it. Um, it's currently sitting at Walt Disney world bringing it out to Anaheim, uh, fully restored the exterior of the plane.
And we're gonna have it on display in the D 23 arena at the Anaheim convention center. Uh, which, I mean, we're landing a plane. not landing it, but we're bringing the plane into the expo. That's a, that's a, that's a expo first. So you, we, we briefly touched on something that I know for a lot of people, Michael is to a certain degree, almost the reason why they come, because this may come as a surprise to you.
Disney fans love to shop and there will be no, there'll be no want of shopping there because there is. Um, merchandise limited edition merchandise from across the company, Disney, Marvel, Pixar star wars, national geographic, including things from expo. Can you talk a little bit about the shopping experience, how it's changed and improved this year?
The marketplace, and Mickey's at Glendale. Absolutely. You know, we really changed the entire shopping experience at this year's expo. Uh, you know, [00:24:00] previously we had, uh, different store locations and such, which we have a little bit of that, but everything's really gonna be consolidated in the D 23 expo marketplace located in hall, a.
Really designed by franchise and story so everyone can, uh, easily navigate their way around the store. Um, we also have, obviously Mickey's a Glendale, always a popular destination that will also be on a, on the show floor as well as the Mickey's at Glendale pin shop. And then we also have our own D 23 expo shop that will be located on the second floor.
And that will carry a lot of our expo branded, uh, merchandise. We actually just saw everything in its full glory a couple weeks ago on display in our offices. It's pretty incredible. Um, the, some of the, the product lines that they brought out this year, and then on the third floor, uh, the D 23 expo marketplace is hosting an, um, a limited edition annex up on the third floor at the convention center.
So that's where you can go and get some of that limited edition product. Lines and, um, free up some space in the, in the main marketplace area. Uh, and we're actually implementing this year, um, virtual queuing, so people can easily find a great time to go in and, and get their shopping done. And we're doing that through the Disneyland app.
So make sure you download the Disneyland app as well as the D 23 XO app to take advantage of the virtual. So in addition to comfortable shoes, bring extra luggage, you're gonna need it. It's just easier if you pack it in advance and really Michael sort of to, to tie this all in a bow and come full circle.
I said at the very beginning that Disney and, and D 23 is about people. And when I talk about people just briefly touch on the fact that. The the talent that is going to be there, right? It's gonna be everywhere from the movies and parks and, and music and authors and artists, um, with their own interpretations of their fandom.
There's the sense of community, right? The fans that are gonna be there, who [00:26:00] are. Sharing what they love with who they love in lots of different ways. I'm thinking about things like the maade, um, and the, the Emporium, right? The idea that fans and collectors can meet and connect with other people. And, you know, like me, like having a place there where we can share our fandom, um, with others as.
That's right. That's where they get, see you too, Lou. Uh . Which is pretty cool in person. Uh, but you're absolutely right. That's what this is all about. It's about reconnecting with our fans, uh, you know, all about the community, like you said, you know, the fans come the. Uh, to this event with such enthusiasm and excitement, um, you know, they come in their cosplay and, uh, dress up like their favorite characters and really wanna come in and just have a great Disney experience.
And that's what we aim to deliver here is, uh, something that is unlike any Disney experience ever and bringing the Disney biggest Disney fan event to the bus. Biggest Disney fans is one thing that we just love to do, and we can't wait for the next. I, uh, I'm not just saying it cuz you're here. Like since that very first expo, when nobody knew what it was or what to expect, um, I have fallen in love with this event and the people and it is the thing that I continue to look forward to most attending as a Disney fan, you are a fan.
You also come at it from a lot of ways. You're the fan you're, you know, again, sort of the, the leader of the club as. What is the one thing that Michael Vago, the, the fan is looking forward to most at ex. Always a tough question. And I have to say is to see the other fans. And I truly, um, love watching, uh, what you had said earlier, the expressions on everyone's faces and just to see their, them having a good time and experiencing something for the first time.
And, um, seeing a celebrity who [00:28:00] is their idol, you know, that they will probably never get to see again in person. That to me is, is so much of. The expo is all about and, and sharing it with the other fans as well. I mean, that's just, you said it earlier, it's just so immersive and experiential as a Disney fan.
And I love experiencing it as a fan as well, and we love putting it on for the, for the fans. It's, it's, it's really a great highlight of, of what we do. I can't wait. I know I am not the only one, like I said, it's gonna be bigger and better than ever. And I know, you know, friends of mine and I like. Chomping at the bit to get out to Anaheim and, uh, and get ready for expo this year.
Uh, I'm looking forward, hopefully seeing you there. I, I will tell you if you're listening. One of the things I love about you, Michael, is, is you're so approachable. And if you see Michael on the floor, as long as he is not running somewhere, um, you're always so generous and gracious when you talk to other Disney fans and, and I appreciate what you and the entire team are doing.
And, uh, I look forward to seeing you in just a couple of weeks. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Lou. Thank you for having me and I look forward to seeing you as well. Can't wait, I as well.
As we count down to D 23 expo. One of the aspects of the event that I've always looked forward to was not what we can expect on. And from the schedule. But what we cannot, the unexpected surprises, announcements, reveals, and revelations. And during every expo, since its inception, there's always been things from the parks, experiences, products, movies, and TV that were literally awe inspiring and draw dropping.
And to be in the room when announcements are made and you can hear the gasps and the cheers is an amazing experience and it's a big part of why I go and enjoy it. So. Really and always as a fan first. And I think this year it's likely gonna be no exception as I'm sure Disney and Marvel and star wars have a lot up their sleeves.
And for me personally, what is coming to the Disney parks is [00:30:00] always the one. That I circle first and look forward to most. And this year on Sunday morning, September 11th, Disney parks, experiences and products chairman Josh tomorrow is gonna take to the stage on hall D 23 for a boundless future. Disney parks, experiences and products to share a look at new details of projects that we are anticipating and are in development for parks around the world.
Now, none of us know what's in store, but I think it's always fun to dream imagine. And it almost like internally Imagineer what we think hope and even pray is gonna be coming to the Disney park. So I thought it would be fun this week for me to share my 20 things that I wish for, or predict to be announced at expo.
Now these are wishlist items for now, but if any are correct, we'll call them predictions. Some of these, I think you probably expect on your own worth thought of as well. And I think there's a few that may be a little bit more. Far reaching now hearing the title, a boundless future makes me think of a boundless realm and instantly haunted mansion.
I'm not sure if that is a, not so subtle hint or not, but I'm gonna try not to take what might be obvious and tempting bait that something new is coming for or to the haunted mansion. But I digress. Please keep in mind. This is meant solely to be fun. I do not claim these to be rumors or any kind of inside information.
It's just to speculate, have some fun. And again, I will only refer to them in hindsight, as predictions, if any of them happen to come true. So let's just daydream a little with my quick list. I'm not gonna go too much into. And when he had started in Walt Disney world over in magic kingdom, first, I expected there to be an announcement that Tron is going to open.
On October 1st work is progressing. They're doing testing. It just makes perfect sense. Two. I also think that we're gonna get an announcement for the replacement for stitches. Great escape, [00:32:00] number three. And I know I've been saying this for years. I really think that now is the time now is the best time.
Although don't touch carousel progress, that we are going to get a tomorrow land update and reimagining in Walt Disney world. And possibly Disneyland. And I think that may even include a replacement for the laugh floor as well. Staying in magic kingdom. I know a lot of people have been talking about this really almost since into debuted.
I would not necessarily be surprised if happily ever after comes back after enchantment has done its 50th anniversary run, moving over to Epcot. I think we're gonna get some updates on whatever happened to the Epcot Rema that was announced back in 2019. The play pavilion, Mary Poppins, spaceship earth and quote, more Disney, more relevant, more timeless and more family at quote, coming from Bob Jeck.
Remember how spaceship earth was going to go from communication to storytelling. I think there's a good chance. We finally get some updates on that project as well. Number six, and this goes back to something that I predicted or wished or hoped for was going to be announced at the 2019 D 23 expo. I still believe this was meant not for expo 2019, but destination D 2019, which never actually happened over in Walt Disney world.
I think we were finally going to get an announcement of an update to journey into imagination with fig. Now, keep in mind that the current version we have was almost sort of a quick fix remedy for the abomination. That was the second iteration of journeying to imagination without figment. I think the handwriting has been on the wall for many, many years, especially due to the postshow area.
Really looking somewhat, almost abandoned when that happens. That usually is a predictor of something coming to that area. And I think more importantly, the pavilion as a whole. Staying in Epcot, I [00:34:00] believe as I'm sure you may, as well that Coco is going to be coming in or around the Mexico pavilion. It just makes sense.
And I love the visuals, the music, the food, everything at Coco makes perfect sense over in Mexico. Number eight, moving over to Disney's Hollywood studios. I think star wars launch bay is going to be replaced and I would not be surprised nor would I be unhappy if it went back to something. Sort of in the Disney MGM studios roots and Walt Disney company's roots with something related to Disney animation, maybe even something, a little more immersive and interactive.
Number nine, let's talk parades. I didn't mention anything about magic kingdom and I know there's been a lot of sort of speculation or hope that paint the night would come from Disney, California over to Walt Disney world. I don't believe if it does, it comes to magic kingdom because it can't fit, but.
Disney's Hollywood studios, maybe. I absolutely think Disney's Hollywood studios will get a parade, whether it is a brand new parade. Or please, please, please. The paint the night parade coming over from Disney, California adventure. And number 10 before we leave. Disney's Hollywood studios. Voyage of the little mermaid, how we have loved you.
So for oh, so many years, but I think the time has come, we could expect a replacement for the little mermaid show, maybe an overall update to that area as a whole over in Disney's Hollywood studios, number 11, moving over to Disney's animal kingdom, specifically Dino land USA. Jest and Hester. We love you.
We appreciate you, but the time it may have come again, the handwriting being on the wall, no new updates Al world's been closed down. The area is ripe for an overall reaming and update. Shanghai is getting a Zootopia theme land. Something on a smaller scale would make perfect sense, right? In Dyna land and number 12, moving all the [00:36:00] way over to the other side of the park and the newest land in Disney's animal kingdom.
I think Pandora is finally going to get an expansion announced, which will dovetail in nicely with the December 16th, 2022 release date of avatar two. Moving over to the resorts. Number 13, this is the one again, very, very wishlist speculative at best and something I would just love to see happen in Walt Disney world.
Not just a place to play in, but more importantly. To stay in. What do you think of a Marvel themed resort coming to Walt Disney world. Now, before you say that Marvel can't be in Disney world, the current licensing agreement, as I understand it, not that I've read it only restricts Marvel in the parks.
Remember the Avengers monorail, the Marvel superhero store in Disney spring. Walt Disney world has the space and the capacity needs for another resort. I would love, love, love to see a Marvel theme resort. Come to Walt Disney, world. Number 14, I'll make this a twofer under Walt Disney world transportation.
And I think a, we may get new monorails finally coming to Walt Disney world. Remember the current monorails? The mark six have been in operation since 1989. If I do the math quickly, those are 33 years old. It may be time for updated monorail trains. 14 B I think we hoped for, or expected this. As soon as the original opened an expansion to the Walt Disney world Skyliner system just makes sense.
They are basically not just conveyance, but attractions in and of themselves. I personally love the skyline or I hope to see it expanded. I. Number 15, I'm calling somewhere in Walt Disney world. I don't know where it makes sense in world showcase. It makes sense. In Disney's Hollywood studios. It makes sense.
In magic kingdom, I expect to see in Canto in the parks in Walt Disney world somewhere, is it a show? Is it a dining experience? One can hope. I don't [00:38:00] know, but it just makes so much sense. Number 16, let's move over to Disney Springs. I believe that there are, is not just an addition, but multiple additions in a sort of multi-phase expansion and update of certain areas.
And possibly even including a new Disney Springs resort on the west side, by the watermelon and strawberry parking lots. I just realized I skipped one over at Disney's Hollywood studios. I would look for a re theming of. Rock and roller coaster, formerly starring Aerosmith to be announced as well, moving over to the west coast and Disneyland.
I think we will get more information about the Avengers E ticket attraction in Avenger's campus. We know that many years ago, pre pandemic, they talked about a possible opening date in 2020, and then life happened. We now have this big, beautiful, massive show building ready for a new super E ticket attraction.
And as long as we. Prognosticating and predicting parades in the parks. Number 19, if Disney's festival of fantasy parade leaves, magic kingdom and Walt Disney world, does it go over to Disneyland or does Disneyland get a brand new daytime or nighttime parade? Do we get any updates and details about the expansion, the Disneyland forward project that was announced many years ago?
We'll see, and finally, number 20, let's move over to Disney cruise line and the speculation that has been going on for some time of the new name of the next Disney cruise line ship in the Triton class fleet next to the Disney wish. Now I've really been leaning personally in one direction, but I've also just realized that all of the current ship names are nouns, right?
It's the magic. The wonder to dream the fantasy a wish I wonder. If that naming convention will continue. I think a [00:40:00] lot of people are leaning towards believe for the name of the next ship, but it could be something like the Disney adventure, the Disney imagination, or the Disney discovery. What do you think the next name of the Disney ship can or will or should be more importantly?
What do you think or hope is coming and is going to be announced at this year's D 23 ex. What do you think of my list? Please come share your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, or wishlist over in the comments. I'm gonna create a new conversation over in the WW radio clubhouse. I'll link directly to this conversation.
You can get there by going to WDW radio.com/. Expo wishlist. That's WDW radio.com/expo wishlist. And if you're gonna be at expo, I once again, gonna have a WDW radio booth on the show floor in the Emporium alongside mouse van travel, we will be in booth two 18 E. It's gonna be a big booth with a very easy to spot surprise front and center.
We're gonna have giveaways games, prizes, interviews, and opportunities. For you to be part of all the fun in the booth and on the show, I'm setting up some interviews and some time with some very special guests. So come by the booth, say hi, check out our schedule, grab some giveaways. And you never know who or what you might see there, or what we might be doing, including live recaps of the panels, events and announcements as they happen.
Now, if you can't make it to expo in person, don't worry. Because on once again, gonna bring the expo to you as I have every year, since the very first expo back in 2009, I'm gonna be live on Facebook throughout the event and hope to have a general schedule of when I'll be live and what we'll be doing, but please make sure you turn on notifications and see first on the WW rodeo page on Facebook and in the WW rodeo clubhouse group on Facebook as [00:42:00] well.
So you don't miss a. Plus, there's also gonna be chances for you at home to win prizes exclusively. If you can't be there. My goal has always been to bring the expo to you if you can't be there. And this year is no exception, not just in coverage, but in experiences as well. And also, like I said, if you're there.
Come by say hi to our friends over at mouse van travel, they're doing some great prize giveaways, and they're gonna have travel advisors in the booth to help answer any travel related questions you may have. So once again, I'd love to hear your thoughts about my wishlist slash predictions of announcements.
Coming to this year's expo. Go to WDWRadio.com/ExpoWishList to share your thoughts, speculations or comments on just how crazy you might think I am. If you're gonna be at expo, come by the booth. Not just once, but multiple times a day, all three days, because you never know what we might be doing, who might be there, what we might be giving away or surprises we have in store.
I am ridiculously excited for this year's expo as a fan, as somebody who is exhibiting on the show floor. And more importantly, as someone who cannot wait to see you, you individually and you collectively again, there's nothing like the handshakes and the hugs and being back together in person in a place and a space that has created for like minded, Disney fans from around the world.
I hope to see you at expo on the show floor