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5 Secrets Disney is Keeping From Guests About the Future of its Parks

3. The evolution of Epcot 

One of the unexpected developments that we heard about at this year’s D23 Expo was during an Imagineering presentation, when it was seemingly unofficially revealed that there are plans for a “next phase” of Epcot. However, what these plans are has yet to be revealed.

However, just because nothing has been confirmed yet doesn’t mean we’re totally in the dark. Rumors have been circulating that several big changes are coming to Epcot in the next few years, including a replacement for Illuminations (which will reportedly use Disney’s patented drone projection and puppetry technology) and an overhaul of the Imagination pavilion (with a new film for the Magic Eye Theater on the docket for the short-term). Though Epcot fans are probably hoping for a complete overhaul of Future World, it looks like at least a few incremental upgrades are on the way for this park, with perhaps something more substantial to be announced after the completion of the expansion of Disney’s Hollywood Studios (which could be 7 or 8 years out still). Though Disney is curiously silent about its plans for Epcot past 2016, we're hoping that whatever they have planned for the future of this park is announced in the near future. 

4. Marvel land at Disney California Adventure 

While we know that Marvel won’t be coming to Walt Disney World anytime soon (if ever), Disneyland Resort has no restrictions in place regarding these characters, and several signs suggest that Disneyland is indeed developing a Marvel Land for Disney California Adventure. While many were hoping that this 2015's D23 Expo would see this land unveiled,  with this year’s revelations about Star Wars Land taking center stage, it seems that there was just no room for announcements about Marvel’s superheroes. However, just because we haven’t heard anything official about this rumored land yet doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Many sources report that creative development and conceptualization on this new land is still going full steam ahead. 

5. An opening window for Pandora: The World of Avatar

Though we didn’t expect target opening windows to be announced for new projects like Toy Story Land or Star Wars Land, Pandora: The World of Avatar, which was announced more than four years ago and is still heavily under construction, still has no opening window. This project was rumored for several years to be opening in 2017, but now insiders claim that there have been a number of delays, which have reportedly pushed this project back as far as 2018. No matter what the situation is, it would have been great to finally at least have some kind of confirmation of when this new land might welcome its first guests, especially since this land featured so prominently at this year’s D23 Expo and has been in development for so long. Even if the news isn't good, we'd rather have bad news than no news at this point. 

Though we’re certainly not complaining about the wealth of announcements that were made at this year's D23 Expo, the amount of rumored developments that remain unannounced is quite surprising. Are there any rumored developments you would have liked to have seen announced at this year's D23 Expo? 

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There are 8 comments.

They're spending a lot of time renovating Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. It's not a surprise to me that they are waiting on Epcot. Once Avatar or Toy Story is finished (whichever comes first), they'll probably announce and start building cool new stuff (besides frozen) for Epcot. So D23 2018 will probably be pretty big.

If you were listening carefully during Bob Iger's presentation and during the Parks & Resort Presentation respectively, they did refer to Disney's Hollywood Studios with its new name almost every time they talked about it. Every time they said the park's name, they were very careful to leave out the apostrophe s. Much like what happened with Disney California Adventure, they have dropped the apostrophe and called it Disney Hollywood Studios every time. (Listen back if you can)

Additionally I asked the Imagineers in the Pandora - World of AVATAR exhibit, and they advised they were still on track for a Summer 2017 opening and that had not changed.

I certainly hope so. Heading to Disneyworld in 2018, and really looking forward to seeing Pandora.

How can Disneyland get Marvel? That's Universal.

Disney's deal when purchasing Marvel included a clause that Disney could only use the characters west of the Mississippi River, while Universal has the rights to characters east of the Mississippi River. Hence Disneyland gets Marvel and WDW doesn't. Although I believe there is a loophole concerning one character, but I have no idea which character.

I was really hoping for news on the future of the Disneyland Paris resort, possibly the resort most in need of a major addition. Sadly, all they said was more or less "We just added Ratatouille and we're looking forward to the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris".
Don't get me wrong, Ratatouille is a great, and much needed, addition to the Walt Disney Studios Park. However, one would think they had big plans for the 25th anniversary of the resort. Apart from Buzz Lightyear and the Space Mountain redo, the Disneyland Paris park has not had a major new ride in 20 years. I guess they are too busy fixing years of maintenance neglect...

A lot is happening with DLP. Most of it is refurbishments. Check Disney and More for info on DLP.

I know, I read Disney and More weekly. Yes, the Experience Enhancement Plan is a welcome change. However, to me, celebrating a Disney resort's existence for a quarter of a century with something they should have done continuously since opening day (regular maintenance) is not sufficient to make me a return visitor again.
In my view, a major overhaul of the guest service experience is also needed to elevate the resort to the level of its sibling parks around the world.

I am happy that something is finally done to try to save the Paris resort, and I understand that the EEP does not give much room for major new attractions. Hopefully, the plan will bring the resort back on track and build a foundation for future expansions.

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