Lite 99
Tampa's Feel Good Favorites

Disney history may change forever in a few weeks. 

D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event

The 2024 edition of the D23 Ultimate Fan Event — Disney has dropped the word “Expo” from the title — is scheduled for August 9 through the 11th. The event will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center for shopping, exhibits, and smaller panels and presentations during the day, and move over to the Honda Center (the arena home of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks) for larger, marquee presentations at night. 

While we don’t know exactly what to expect at the 2024 D23 Ultimate Fan Event, there are definitely some educated guesses that we can make based on upcoming projects.  

An Opening Day for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in Disneyland

While Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Walt Disney World is currently in the midst of a…problematic preview period, we know the highly anticipated attraction is scheduled to open to the general public on June 28th. However, as of press time, its West Coast counterpart in Disneyland still has no opening date listed other than “2024.”

Unless an opening date is announced between now and the event, we imagine that the massive gathering in Disneyland’s hometown would be the perfect opportunity to confirm one.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure — Mid-May 2024

DisneylandForward 

While it might be too early for Disney to drop too many specific details, we would imagine that the DisneylandForward project — Disney’s $1.9 billion expansion project for the California resort, which was given final approval by the Anaheim City Council in May — will likely be discussed. The approval changed zoning regulations, allowing Disney to develop land that’s mostly dedicated to parking at this time. This would would allow theme park attractions to be constructed alongside hotels on the west side of Disneyland Drive, as well as attractions, shopping, dining and entertainment by the the Toy Story Parking Area at Katella Avenue and Harbor Boulevard.

DisneylandForward concept art ©Disney

Avatar

Potentially tied to DisneyLand Forward, we also think’s a possibility we might hear about the Avatar attraction that’s been teased several times for Disneyland. Earlier this year, Disney CEO Bob Iger offered a sneak peak of a “possible” Avatar land/attraction in Anaheim, saying it was the company’s “intention” to build it at the Disneyland Resort, and that the company was “thrilled about many potential new stories that our guests could experience in Walt’s original theme park, including the opportunity to embark on all-new Avatar adventures with a visit to the world of Pandora.”

Concept art for an Avatar area in Anaheim ©Disney

The Avengers (?)

Back in 2019, Disney showed concept art and spoke about an Avengers E-Ticket attraction based around a battle in the nation of Wakanda that would be coming to California Adventure’s Avengers Campus. Word on the attraction went quiet during and after the pandemic, with rumors of it being canceled. At the 2022 D23 Expo, Disney announced that the ride would now feature Marvel heroes from various multiverses teaming up to battle King Thanos. We’re hoping that the 2024 event may have further details, and (fingers crossed) include an official name and at least partial construction timeline.

Moving from Disneyland across the country to Florida, we’re expecting to hear more about Disney World’s two massive projects. With Disney and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District coming to an agreement on a 15-year, $17 billion development plan — and effectively ending the company’s long-running feud with Ron DeSantis — it seems logical that Disney would want to put on the full court press for upcoming Walt Disney World projects. 

Beyond Big Thunder

First up, there’s the massive expansion to the Magic Kingdom that the company has previously dubbed “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain.” The project was first discussed by Josh D’Amaro at the 2022 D23 Expo, with blue sky concept art seemingly displaying potential attractions based on Coco, Encanto, and Disney’s stable of villains.

RCID Comprehensive Plan map and map of Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland

Earlier this year, during an Imagineering media event, Michael Hundgen – Walt Disney World Site Portfolio Expert – confirmed this expansion was “probably the largest expansion ever at Magic Kingdom” and said the amount of land being used was on par with Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. We’re hoping for some more specifics on the expansion, including which intellectual properties will be included, since one of them seems unavailable for the Magic Kingdom now…

Concept art

Tropical Americas 

In addition to the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is about to see some love as well. Whether you consider it an expansion or a a rethemeing, massive change is coming to the park either way as Dinoland U.S.A. is turning into a Tropical America’s themed area. Josh D’Amaro and Imagineering’s Bruce Vaughn spoke about the project at the 2023 D23 Expo, with the latter saying “Imagineering has been talking about stories from this part of the world; Encanto with Indiana Jones just rose to the top. They give us so much to play with. We have a long way to go now and a lot more to discover. But our team here in Florida is all over it.”

@Disney

In April of this year, Disney Imagineering posted a video to Instagram with a caption where they officially announced the project. It read, “Travel with us to the Yucatán Peninsula, one of the many locales where we’ll draw inspiration for Tropical Americas, the exciting update coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom!“

Encanto Mural in Animal Kingdom!

Inside the clip, Neal Emery, Principal Landscape Designer at Walt Disney Imagineering explained that the team had recently taken “a trip down to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula to study culture, art, and the archeology of the Mayans. Imagineers build 3D models to help visualize the stories that we’re trying to tell, to bring the fantastical and magical to life.”

We’d be THRILLED!

The clip also contained further concept art that seemed to once indicate that a full size Casita from Encanto was coming, as was an Indiana Jones retheme of Dinosaur. We’re hoping that Disney confirms these details at the upcoming Fan Event, as well as some potential construction timelines. 

We’ll miss Dinosaur, but we’re not opposed to this

These are just some of the projects we’re hoping to get updates on at D23 Ultimate Fan Event, but of course Disney could always throw us a curveball and announce some projects we haven’t even imagined yet. Stay tuned to DFB for full D23 coverage!

Is It Time to Talk About a FIFTH PARK in Disney World Again?

Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!

WE KNOW DISNEY.
YOU CAN, TOO.

Oh boy, planning a Disney trip can be quite the adventure, and we totally get it! But fear not, dear friends, we compiled EVERYTHING you need (and the things to avoid!) to plan the ULTIMATE Disney vacation.

Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned pro, our insider tips and tricks will have you exploring the parks like never before. So come along with us, and get planning your most magical vacation ever!

Which project are you most interested in hearing about at the 2024 D23 Ultimate Fan Even. Let us know in the comments below. 

The post Heads Up! We Are WEEKS Away From Disney’s Biggest. News. Ever. first appeared on the disney food blog.