Destination D23 2023 Disney Parks Updates and News

Welcome! We here at Vegan Disney Food are huge Disney parks fans (and Disney history fans) and while we usually post these kinds of updates on, (our sister site, created in 2009, covering Disney parks, resorts, other theme parks and travel) I figured it couldn’t hurt to share important Disney news updates here as well for those who want to keep up on the news from a source they already support (and thank you for that support!). If you’re looking for updates and commentary, Zannaland will have you covered there. So much Disney Parks news was announced today at Destination D23 2023 in Walt Disney World, let’s go over it all! The following info is from the Disney Parks Blog live coverage:

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro is presenting “A Celebration of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” at the event and offering a look at what’s coming to life at our parks, resorts and beyond – along with a few special surprises!

Ahsoka will become part of our popular Star Tours attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, Disneyland Park in California and Disneyland Paris – beginning next spring.Star Tours Ahsoka Destination D23
The original series Star Wars: Ahsoka is currently streaming exclusively on Disney+ and as many of you know, Ahsoka recently arrived in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland. 

Asha Disney Wish
THIS WISH – Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Wish” introduces Asha, a sharp-witted idealist who makes a wish so powerful that it is answered by a cosmic force—a little ball of boundless energy called Star. Together, Asha and Star set out to prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen. Featuring the voice of Academy Award® winner Ariana DeBose as Asha, the all-new musical-comedy is helmed by Oscar®-winning director Chris Buck (“Frozen,” “Frozen 2”) and Fawn Veerasunthorn (“Raya and the Last Dragon”), produced by Peter Del Vecho (“Frozen,” “Frozen 2”) and co-produced by Juan Pablo Reyes (“Encanto”). “Wish” opens only in theaters on Nov. 22, 2023. © 2023 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Asha, from the new Disney animated film “Wish” will also soon be coming to EPCOT, Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris.

Frozen land Hong Kong Disneyland

A sneak peek of the world’s first Frozen-themed land debuting at Hong Kong Disneyland in November is being shown. World of Frozen – inspired by Walt Disney Animation Studios’ stunning films – will blend Arendelle with the park’s natural surroundings – and the audience is getting a first peek at the land.

Hatbox Ghost Magic Kingdom

BREAKING: Hatbox Ghost is coming to the Haunted Mansion attraction in Florida in late November! 

Disney Imagineer Daniel Joseph is joining Josh on stage for the exciting announcement and sharing more about Hatbox Ghost – one of our most well-known grim grinning ghosts.

Hatbox Ghost will be materializing in the Haunted Mansion as you pass the attraction’s Endless Hallway.

Avengers Campus Destination D23

FIRST LOOK: At Disney California Adventure Park, a new world-jumping vehicle is coming to the next attraction in Avengers Campus to help transport Super Heroes into the Multiverse. 

Brent Strong, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering, is sharing an early peek at the ride vehicle featuring a design that combines elements of Tony Stark’s time-suits with Xandarian jump points and Wakandan technology.   

More details on this high-tech vehicle that’ll travel to new worlds are coming in the future!

New Country Bear Jamboree

At Walt Disney World, the Country Bear Jamboree is getting new songs and the bears will be performing a new act in 2024!

Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty is on stage with Josh and says when the show debuts, the bears will be reinterpreting favorite Disney songs in different genres of country music. Imagineers are envisioning the new experience as a homage to the classic musical revues in Nashville and they’re working with Nashville musicians to get the authentic country sound.

The Country Bear Jamboree will still have the fun and friendly tone fans enjoy with the same famous characters like the loveable Trixie, Big Al and others. 

Pirate's Landing Magic Kingdom

JUST ANNOUNCED!  A new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed lounge is coming to Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. This first-of-its-kind experience will extend the story of Pirates of the Caribbean. Imagineers are in the design process now and more details are coming in the future.

Shanghai Disneyland Zootopia

A new look at what’s coming to Zootopia at Shanghai Disney Resort is being shared. 

Our earlier road to Destination D23 story has details on the new experiences coming to the land, including a new attraction, special entertainment, merchandise as well as Zootopified food and beverage items.

At EPCOT, the World Celebration neighborhood will begin welcoming guests this December! 

World Celebration will unite the front of the park, tying together the other two new EPCOT neighborhoods, World Discovery and World Nature. 

The completion of the last of the park’s three neighborhoods will be the latest major milestone multi-year transformation of EPCOT.

Moana Journey of Water

UPDATE: Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will open on Oct. 16, 2023! 

Journey of Water is a new walk-through experience located within World Nature – the EPCOT neighborhood dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty and balance of the natural world.  For more details on the experience, check out our new story.

Journey of Water, Inspired By Moana Opening at EPCOT
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will welcome adventurers in EPCOT soon. Guests can explore a serene walking trail that entertains, inspires and educates as they engage with water in magical ways like Moana did with the ocean. The new attraction is located in the World Nature neighborhood of EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Amy Smith, Photographer)

Also, on Oct. 16 – Moana will arrive in World Nature and make her first appearance in her own dedicated space near Journey of Water. 

BREAKING: A new nighttime spectacular at EPCOT called “Luminous The Symphony of Us” will debut on Dec. 5, 2023!  

Jeff Vahle, President of Walt Disney World, is with Josh on stage to announce the brand-new show that’ll feature fireworks, fountains, lasers, lighting effects and music. 

Reimagined Test Track Destination D23 2023

Also at EPCOT, Test Track will be reimagined!

Imagineers along with teams from Chevrolet are reaching back into history for inspiration – from the original World of Motion – and bringing that spirit of optimism to the next iteration of the Test Track attraction!  More to come in the future.

Disneyland Paris Destination D23 2023

A special peek at what’s to come at Disneyland Paris is being shared!

In Paris, Imagineers and teams are busy transforming Walt Disney Studios Park. The resort’s future “Frozen”-themed land that’ll highlight the kingdom of Anna and Elsa is taking shape and just a part of an exciting transformation.  Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for more details.

Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point

Thomas Mazloum, president of Disney Signature Experiences, is joining Josh on stage to share updates on Disney Cruise Line as it prepares for a period of growth unlike anything ever experienced before!

Right now, there are three new ships in development along with Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point – a brand new island destination! 

Disney teams are collaborating with talented artists and cultural advisors in the Bahamas to shape an experience that celebrates the natural beauty, traditions and artistry of the one-of-a-kind nation.

Thomas is also sharing a sneak peek of the latest work on the Disney Treasure cruise ship.  Check out this week’s road to Destination D23 reveal of the Disney Treasure.

Disney Adventure

BREAKING: Disney Adventure is the name of Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship!

Disney Adventure is the seventh ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet and work is currently underway in Germany.  It’ll be the first Disney ship to sail from Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia and feature the Disney service, storytelling and entertainment everyone knows and loves. 

Tokyo Disneyland Fantasy Springs

A new look at what’s coming to Fantasy Springs at Tokyo Disney Resort is being shared! 

The eighth themed port of Tokyo DisneySea will feature Rapunzel’s Forest, Peter Pan’s Never Land and Frozen Kingdom – all inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios Films.

Fantasy Springs is scheduled to open in 2024 and you can see more in our earlier story


Bruce Vaughn, Chief Creative Officer at Walt Disney Imagineering, is joining Josh for a special “Blue Sky” look at what’s possible when dreaming big at Disney Parks.

Future expansion plans for Magic Kingdom in Florida are the largest ever for the park, according to Bruce. Imagineers are looking to tell stories “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain” similar in scale to things like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Pandora – The World of Avatar – adding new attractions, restaurants, shows and more!   More details to come in the future.

Tree of Life Zootopia

JUST ANNOUNCED: A new show based on “Zootopia” is being created for the Tree of Life theater at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

The current concept for the new “Zootopia” experience has guests visiting the different biomes you only glimpse in the film, traveling along with Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde and other characters.

Imagineers are currently finalizing the concept and more details will be coming in the future.

Dinoland Encanto Indiana Jones Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney Imagineering is planning to reimagine Dinoland U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom into a new land – inspired by a region sometimes referred to as “tropical Americas.”

As part of their research, Imagineers are looking at some of the most biodiverse areas on the planet in the regions just north and south of the equator here in the Western Hemisphere – the northern part of South America, stretching up into Central America.

This exciting location has been the inspiration for many magical stories over the years!

JUST IN: New experiences inspired by “Encanto” – the Academy Award winning Walt Disney Animation Studios film – and the fan-favorite adventurer Indiana Jones are being considered for the reimagined land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Bruce says there’s a long way to go and a lot more to discover but Imagineering teams in Florida are up for the challenge.

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for more details in the future.


JUST ANNOUNCED: Figment will begin meeting guests inside the Imagination Pavilion at EPCOT beginning tomorrow – Sept. 10!

Figment meet & greet

Josh just wrapped the presentation- saying, “over the next decade, we’re going to have more projects underway than at any point in our history.  Our sole purpose is to give you more and more of what you love about a Disney experience. And then surprise and delight you with things you never dreamed possible.”

So there you have it all of the Disney Parks news and updates from Destination D23 2023 – happening now! What bit of news are you most excited about? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Of course when these new places and spaces and experiences open, we will share any vegan food items that appear with them as well! 

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