The first D23 Expo in three years has wrapped up, and there were plenty of announcements made! Many were made during the Disney Parks and Experiences Panel on Sunday. It was hosted by Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro. I chose to watch the panel from the D23 Expo Live Stage instead of trying to get a seat in the main theater. I’m glad I did, from what others have told me it was insane in there, and many people were turned away.
I’m the first to admit that I don’t know the international parks all that well, so I’m just going to add the information directly from D23.
Three Frozen-Themed Lands Highlight Expansions at Disney Parks Around the World
Inspired by Disney Animation’s stunning films, World of Frozen will open in the second half of 2023 at Hong Kong Disneyland—the first of three Frozen-themed areas coming to international Disney parks. It will blend Arendelle with the park’s natural landscapes on Lantau Island.
At Disneyland Paris, the Frozen-themed land will be the next major milestone in the ongoing transformation of Walt Disney Studios park. This land will offer a gorgeous lakeside promenade and will immerse guests in the same magical wintry setting from the films. A new Tangled-themed family attraction will join the new gardens leading into the land. Frozen will also be part of the transformation of the Disneyland Hotel, reopening in 2024. As part of the grand finale of the 30th Anniversary celebration underway, a new stage show, “Pixar: We Belong Together,” will debut in 2023 in Walt Disney Studios park.
At Tokyo Disney Resort, Frozen is one of the stories coming to life as part of the Fantasy Springs expansion at Tokyo DisneySea, joining two other Disney Animation stories, Peter Pan and Tangled, plus a brand-new hotel integrated right into the park. Fantasy Springs will feature several new Audio-Animatronics® figures, including Elsa, who sings in Japanese and whose movements sync with the rhythms of the language.
A trio of singers took turns singing a rendition of “Into the Unknown” from Frozen 2, in Cantonese, Japanese, and French—representing the park locations which will feature the new themed land.
D’Amaro then shared a first look at the stunning transformation of Space Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland, showcasing how the attraction will transition from day to night. “With a nod to the original architecture, this reimagined Space Mountain will anchor a new plaza and will be completed by 2027,” he said.
Shanghai Disney Resort will be the first Disney resort to bring the world of the Oscar-winning Disney Animation film Zootopia to life. At Zootopia Central Station, guests will find animals going about their daily lives. At the Zootopia Police Department, which doubles as the entrance for the land’s new family attraction, guests will be greeted by an Audio-Animatronics figure of fan-favorite Officer Clawhauser.
Mickey’s favorite teddy bear, Duffy, is a fan favorite in all three Disney resorts in Asia, and to the delight of assembled fans, D’Amaro shared that Duffy & Friends will star in their very own six-episode, stop-motion animated series on Disney+ next year.
Hong Kong Disneyland will also unveil a new statue of Walt and Mickey near Cinderella’s Carousel as part of the Disney100 Celebration. Fans were given a keepsake rendering at the presentation’s conclusion.