I'm never glued to my phone more than during D23 Expo weekend! So much information is released in a span of three days that I cannot refresh the hashtag fast enough! So much news is out there but I've combed through it to create a roundup focusing on Toddler-friendly shows, movies and attractions!
The D23 Expo takes place bi-yearly and is basically the biggest Disney fan club meeting. Celebrities, brand new (and exclusive) products and tons of sneak peaks, previews and brand new announcements related to all things Disney! Taking place over three days there are break out sessions and panels that focus on movies, parks, and everything in between. Let's take a look at some of the things announced over the past few days.
Friday, August 23rd
The big panel on Friday was the Disney + panel where those in attendance were treated to preview screens of the service and previews of new shows being created specifically for the platform.
We already heard every animated Disney film would be coming out of the vault and on to Disney + but the images provided from the panel that showed all of the movie titles next to each other was quite the sight!
What will Disney + offer our toddlers? For starters, all of the Disney Jr. titles they already love like, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sofia the First, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. PLUS brand new titles like:
Phineas & Ferb: Candace Against the Universe (a new full-length movie)
Forky Asks a Question (animated shorts)
Monsters at Work (a new spin-off series of Monsters Inc. featuring new characters)
With so much content to try and search through, Disney + will feature profile customizations. One great feature for parents will be the "Kids" profiles. Previews of this screen showed the kid-friendly content front and center with categories like, Mickey Mouse & Friends, Princesses, Superheros, and Disney Junior.
To add to the fun, each profile (kid or adult) will get to select a character avatar for their profile. Examples showed Ariel, Olaf, Iron Man and of course, Mickey Mouse.
"Frozen Adventures" a New Mobile Game
Developed by Jam City, this puzzle adventure mobile game is the first of their partnership with Disney and will be released in November of this year. The game features Elsa, Anna, Olaf and Kristoff as they build and explore Arendelle.
This may be too advanced for young toddlers but could be great for kids as the preview showed appears to have puzzles in the same vain as Candy Crush where you have to line up the same jewels in a pattern. Pre registration is open now and Frozen Adventures will be available to download through the App Store and Google Play.
Marvel's Spidey and His Amazing Friends
Not exactly the Spiderman news adults were hoping for but this will be exciting for our little Disney Junior fans! During the Marvel Animation panel on Friday the brand new show, Spidey and His Amazing Friends was announced as coming to Disney Junior as their first full-length Marvel series. The show will find the usually solo, Spiderman teaming up with friends to defeat the bad guys and will also showcase other heroes we know and love like the Hulk, Black Panther and Ms. Marvel. This new show will debut in 2021.
Saturday, August 24th
On Saturday the big panel was the Disney Studios panel. Here guests were treated to exclusive footage of new movies to come from Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and the Disney Animation Studios. The titles that stand out to me as being the most kid-friendly are:
This new Pixar movie is set to be released in 2020 and features the voices of Jamie Foxx, Phylicia Rashad and Tina Fey.
High school band teacher, Joe Gardner has a passion for Jazz and longed to be a musician and just as he's about to achieve his dream he dies. The premise of Soul shows us how all souls go through a "seminar" before they can "graduate". To me, it sounds like a concept much like Pixar's Inside Out where our feelings were given characters to showcase how they all behave and react while in our brains.
Starlord and Spiderman together again! Pixar's Onward features Chris Pratt and Tom Holland as two brothers who go on a quest to find out if there is still magic left in the world and to see if they can see their deceased father.
Those in attendance were treated to a live performance of a new song featured in Frozen 2 and they were showered with confetti shaped like fall leaves.
Not much is known about the second installment of the beloved franchise but we did learn that Evan Rachel Wood will be the voice of Elsa and Anna's mother and that we're going to learn where Elsa's powers come from.
Sunday, August 25th
The final day of the expo held the most anticipated panel, the Disney Parks panel. What would be announced? A new country in EPCOT? A new parade for Magic Kingdom? An entirely new park in a brand new location? Well none of those things were announced but the panel was chock full of sneak peaks and more information about what's to come in the parks over the next few years. The kid-friendly highlights are:
Disneyland, California: Magic Happens Parade
One of the parks is getting a new parade, it just isn't a nighttime parade in Orlando BUT it will feature music from Todrick Hall and floats designed around Coco, Moana and Sleeping Beauty.
Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway
I'm still shocked that none of the Disney Parks had a ride featuring the mouse that started it all but, it's true. Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway will feature Mickey and Minnie in the cartoon stylings of the Disney Channel's "Mickey Mouse" shorts. Opening in Disneyland in 2022 and Disney World in 2020, guests will be transported from the human world to the cartoon world with Goofy as their guide! It appears that the WDW version will follow along the same premise as the beloved, Great Movie Ride where guests sit in a train car and are taken on track through different scenes. Illustrations of the lobby show Mickey artifacts as opposed to the movie memorabilia that used to be on display.
Disneyland, Hong Kong: Frozen Land
I'm not jealous of this at all (she lies). Hong Kong Disneyland will get a Frozen themed land where guests will get to walk around Arendelle! The land will feature two rides; a BRAND NEW coaster titled, Wandering Oakens Sliding Sleigh and a replica of the Frozen Ever After ride from WDW's EPCOT. I do not know the style of coaster as few details were released so that particular ride may not be toddler-friendly but what toddler doesn't want to walk around Arendelle? And we know Frozen Ever After is perfect for toddlers!
Disney World, The Journey of Water in EPCOT
Moana is getting a larger stake inside of EPCOT through Journey of Water, a walk through experience that will allow guests to interact with water. Not sure if this walk through will include signs that say "you may get wet" but with toddlers, anything is possible!
Disney World, Play! Pavilion in EPCOT
Speaking of getting wet. One of the many games and interactive experiences coming to the Play! pavilion (which sounds like a toddler's dream) will be a "water fight" with Huey, Dewey and Louie!
That was a lot of information to take in over the course of 3 days! AND there is plenty more where this came from with news on Star Wars movies, Marvel TV series, an Avengers Campus is coming to both DL in CA and DL in Paris! Not to mention, Walt Disney World is going to celebrate 50 years in 2021 and not much info was released specifically on that celebration, I assume more will come on that later!