After the coronavirus pandemic shut down Disney’s parks in the U.S. and abroad in 2020, they are now on the upswing.
The parks, experiences, and products division of Disney is making more money, and attendance, occupied room nights, and cruise ship sailings keep going up.
Disney’s 2022 D23 Expo
In its most recent earnings report, Disney said that its new Genie+ and Lightning Lane products helped increase average per-person ticket sales during the quarter. These new digital features were added to improve the guest experience and let people skip the lines for the most popular attractions.
CEO Bob Chapek said at the time that the company had been able to bring back things like character meet-and-greets, theatre performances, and nighttime events at Disneyland.
This has allowed the company to add more people to its parks. To keep crowds under control, Disney has put limits on how many people can visit since it reopened in early 2020 after the first round of pandemic closures. It also has a new online reservation system.
Josh D’Amaro, who is in charge of Disney’s parks, experiences, and products, talked about how the company keeps adding new features and attractions to its theme parks and cruise lines at the D23 Expo on Sunday.
D’Amaro invited Jon Favreau, the executive producer of “The Mandalorian,” to the stage to announce that the Mandalorian and an animatronic Grogu will appear in Galaxy’s Edge as costumed characters that people can meet and talk to. In November, he will get there.
Friday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that the Avengers Campus at Disneyland in California would be getting a third attraction.
The ride is based on the idea of the multiverse, and riders will fight bad guys from different universes, like King Thanos.
Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel Studios, was there in person, and Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk, was there via video to announce that Hulk will be in the park for a meet-and-greet. The version of Hulk will be in the park next week. It was made as part of Project Exo.
Walt Disney World
D’Amaro said that Disney is in the process of making a new nighttime show for Epcot to mark the 100th anniversary of the company. Also, Journey of Water, which was announced in 2019 and was inspired by “Moana,” will open in late 2023.
Figment, the purple dragon that people love, is also coming to Epcot. In the future, he will be there for meet-and-greets.
Also, the Hat Box Ghost will show up in the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World next year.
D’Amaro showed a video of his test ride on Tron Light Cycle Run and said that the ride will open at Magic Kingdom in the spring of 2023.
The Disney Treasure, Disney’s sixth cruise ship, is a tribute to Walt Disney’s love of adventure. The “Aladdin” story was the inspiration for the grand hall, which has a statue of Jasmine and Aladdin riding on the magic carpet.
D’Amaro said that starting in October 2023, the “Disney Wonder” will now go to Australia and New Zealand.
Lighthouse Point, a new island vacation spot in the Bahamas, is also being opened by the company. D’Amaro said that 90% of the power used at this site will come from the sun.
Beyond Big Thunder Mountain
At the end of the panel, D’Amaro talked about what he called the Imagineering team’s “blue sky” projects. Some projects are still in the early stages of planning and may never be finished.
D’Amaro talked about the idea of making changes to Dino Land at Orlando, Florida’s Animal Kingdom. Some of the first ideas for the space include bringing “Zootopia” or “Moana” to the park, with all of its different districts and animal species.
Disney asks, “What is behind Big Thunder Mountain?” at Magic Kingdom.”The company hinted that an area based on “Coco” or “Encanto,” or maybe both, could be in that place.
D’Amaro even hinted that Disney villains might take over an area of Magic Kingdom if it were brought to life. When this idea was made, the crowd cheered loudly. Most of the time, Disney’s Halloween special events are when the bad guys show up.
“We will never stop making you happy,” he said.