Menu
Credit: Disney, Clipart

Our Predictions for What Disney Could Announce at This Year’s D23 Expo

It has been a challenging couple of years for Disney theme parks and Resorts with select experiences still missing following the COVID-19 pandemic.¬†With this year’s D23 Expo coming up this September, and with Disney remaining rather quiet on certain topics so far this summer, we’ve put together a list of D23 predictions that fans might hear about this fall.

(Note: These announcements have not been confirmed by Disney, and are just our guesses with a healthy dose of cautious optimism. We will be reporting during D23, however, to keep you up-to-date on any announcements Disney does make this fall.)

fantasmic-mickey-hollywood

Credit: Disney Tips

Fantasmic

While Fantasmic has already returned to the Disneyland Resort, Guests who visit Walt Disney World have been waiting for an update on this popular nighttime spectacular since Disney Parks reopened in 2020. We do know that new show scenes are in the works for when Fantasmic does return, and we have seen some updates in recent months thanks to overhead photos, but there has been little information from Disney on the matter in a number of months.

Most experiences that have returned to Disney Parks have done so shortly after Disney announces their return. And with Fantasmic scheduled to return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios “later this year,” it seems possible that the show will come back shortly after the D23 Expo.

topolinos-terrace

Credit: Disney (Topolino’s Terrace)

RELATED: Is the Disney Dining Plan Returning Sooner Than We Think?

Disney Dining Plan

The Disney Dining Plan has been confirmed to return, but Disney has not yet released a timeframe for it. It is likely intentional that no timeframe has been released, as the return of the Disney Dining Plan would surely depend on staffing and restaurant availability, so Disney could be waiting until whatever internal marker makes the most sense to bring the plans back. Still, with the plans confirmed to return, and alternatives already in place for select Guests, it seems like a possibility for one of Disney’s D23 announcements.

TRON: Lightcycle / Run

Credit: Disney

RELATED: New Details Revealed About TRON Lightcycle / Run in the Magic Kingdom

TRON Lightcycle / Run

TRON Lightcycle / Run is the newest roller coaster coming to the Walt Disney World Resort, and its construction finally seems to be moving along. Guests visiting the Magic Kingdom recently have seen the canopy lit up on the exterior of the attraction, and they have seen trains cycling on the tracks. Disney has not shared an opening timeframe for the ride, but D23 could be just the time to announce its opening date.

Walt Disney World Railroad

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World Railroad

The Walt Disney World Railroad has been closed since construction began on TRON Lightcycle / Run as the new attraction would impact travel along the railroad tracks in Tomorrowland. Disney has not announced an opening date for the Walt Disney World Railroad, but a major milestone was just reached that may hint that it is coming soon.

Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Credit: Disney

Reimagining of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

In case you’ve missed it, there have been a lot of changes at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa over the years. From the Enchanted Rose Lounge in the former Mizner’s location, to the redesign of Citricos to a theme inspired by Mary Poppins Returns (2019) lots of IPs have been making their way into Disney World’s flagship resort.

We already know that Narcoossee’s will eventually be closing for a remodel, and we have yet to hear the fate of 1900 Park Fare and the Garden View Tea Lounge. On top of this, we have seen the new lobbies and resort rooms at the resort’s most recent Disney Vacation Club accommodations, and they look very different compared to the original areas of the Resort.

Much like Disney’s Contemporary Resort adding a light Incredibles (2004) theme or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort adding nods to Moana (2016) it is possible that some new theming will be coming to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and if this is the case, details could be revealed at D23.

annual-pass-passholder

Credit: Disney Tips

Annual Pass Sales

Much to the disappointment of many out-of-state Guests, only limited Florida resident Annual Passes have been available since the Walt Disney World Resort reopened. The only way Guests who reside outside of Florida might still have Annual Passes is if they have continued to renew them since the pandemic began.

Disney has announced no timeframe thus far on when more Annual Pass options will return, but we are hopeful that we will hear some news on the topic at D23.

Package Pickup, Magic Kingdom

Missing or Altered Amenities

With something like Fantasmic still missing, many fans might have forgotten about some of the amenities that existed prior to the pandemic, which we are still hoping to see return. One major amenity that comes to mind is package pickup, which allowed Guests to purchase items around Walt Disney World property and either send them back to their Disney Resort or at least to the front of a theme park to pick up on their way out.

Housekeeping has been modified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (and more specifically staffing), which is likely also to blame for the lack of package pickup. In-room dining is another amenity that has not returned (with the exception of at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Previously deluxe resorts offered room service while others offered pizza delivery.)

And airline baggae check-in at Disney Resorts has yet to return, too. Again, staffing is likely the culprit here, but prior to the pandemic, Guests were able to check their bags for their flights right at their Disney Resort, a service that helped save time in check-in lines upon arrival at the Orlando International Airport.

Other changes from the pandemic era like limited Park Hopping and theme park reservations, look to be remaining in place. Of course, we would love to see Park Hopping restrictions come to an end, and at least a more casual version of the reservation system, but unfortunately especially the latter change seems far less likely.

This year’s D23 Expo takes place September 9-11, 2022 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. More information on this year’s event is available at D23.com, however, tickets are sold out. Check back here on Disney Tips during the event for all the latest updates out of D23, and details on which of our predictions end up being announced this year.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."