Business - July 15, 2017

Disney World fans await theme parks news from D23

It’s going too far to say it’s D-Day for Walt Disney World. But Saturday is most definitely D-23 Expo Day, and announcements made during the official Disney fan club event could change the look of Central Florida’s biggest theme parks.

Or not. Until we hear it come out of the mouth of Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, it all falls under the heading of “rumor, speculation, hopes and dream,” with, perhaps, facts thrown in. Chapek’s 90-minute spiel — and possible confirmations — begin in Anaheim, Calif., at 6 p.m. Eastern time.

Some of the Disney World-based buzz is rooted in attractions elsewhere, such as a “Tron” ride like the one that opened at Shanghai Disneyland or the “Ratatouille”-themed ride at Disneyland Paris. Others, such as a “Star Wars” hotel and a “Guardians of the Galaxy” attraction spin off of hot franchises. Or maybe there will be further news about renovations at Epcot, news that Chapek himself broke last year at a D23 session at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Maybe some of those ideas overlap?

D23 can be newsy, that’s for sure. It’s where “Star Wars” land was confirmed for Disney’s Hollywood Studios and where Magic Kingdom’s expansion of Fantasyland was confirmed. Already at D23 this year, a model of “Star Wars” land was introduced and caused a stir, and Whoopi Goldberg was a surprise addition to the list of official Disney Legends.

Chapek’s talk also could include news for Anaheim and Paris parks, not to mention for Disney Cruise Line.

This is a developing story. Check back later for details. or 407-420-5477

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