Destination D23 Disneyland News
Saturday was the big day at Destination D23 2021, as Disney’s Contemporary Resort hosted Connections: A Look at the Future of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
Josh D’Amaro, the recently installed Chairman of the Parks division, headed the event.
Since this D23 wasn’t originally scheduled, nobody was quite sure what to expect. Thankfully, we did receive updates on many upcoming park enhancements.
Here are the Disneyland highlights for Destination D23.
It’s All Coming Back
Since Walt Disney World reopened in July of 2020, park officials have methodically restored previous amenities.
Most are back now, but some haven’t returned, causing consternation among DVC members.
Well, this event proved music to the ears of such Disney fans, as Disney has announced several big comebacks.
In 2022, just in time for its 50th anniversary, the Main Street Electrical Parade will return to its first home, Disneyland.
The park’s social media feeds had previously strongly hinted at this, but it’s official now. And that’s just the start.
Disney indicated that Fantasmic! and World of Color will return next year as well. However, D’Amaro didn’t give many firm dates for this stuff, merely acknowledging that it’ll all happen.
In fact, Fantasmic! is also returning at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2022. So, it’s fair to expect all the parks to have their regular nighttime presentations by the end of the year.
Just last week, Disneyland brought back A Christmas Fantasy, its holiday parade. Obviously, Disney wouldn’t do this unless it was comfortable with current COVID-19 stats.
As always, this stuff is in air quotes in the unlikely scenario wherein another outbreak occurs. We seem to be mostly past that, though…knock on wood.
So, these massive social gatherings are coming back to the parks sooner rather than later.
Other Upcoming Disneyland Changes
That’s not the only Disneyland Resort headline, though. The Downtown Disney reconstruction plan is underway again.
DVC members wince at this thought, as the previous DVC resort project died due to bureaucracy.
This led to a hilarious series of events wherein park officials announced the closures of Earl of Sandwich and other places.
The sandwich shop actually closed, only to reopen again after those plans collapsed. Weeeeeeell…
Yeah, Disney has announced that three Downtown Disney locations will close permanently in January.
They are Sugarboo & Co., Starbucks Coffee, and…Earl of Sandwich. Yeah. Disney hates sandwiches. Maybe Earls, too.
Disney promises the following:
“Continuing that momentum, the Disneyland Resort is planning a multi-year project to take Downtown Disney District to the next level, with work beginning in January 2022.
Kicking off the project, the former AMC Theatres building and the adjacent area will be completely transformed into a stunning new lifestyle space.
Drawing inspiration from Southern California mid-century modern architecture, the area will be a beautiful blend of vibrant color palettes, multi-cultural design elements and patterns, an open lawn for relaxation and future events, and an even broader collection of dining and shopping.”
So, Downtown Disney will undoubtedly improve mightily in coming years.
Meanwhile, if you want Earl of Sandwich, there’s always Disney Springs or possibly somewhere local to you. It is a franchise with 33 locations in America.
Other Disneyland News
Here’s the surprise twist in the D23 Disneyland updates. MagicBands are coming to the Happiest Place on Earth!
Yes, just a few months ago, everyone was wondering whether Disney might kill off the wearable program permanently.
After all, Disney introduced MagicMobile, which allows guests to enter the parks and pay for goods with their phones. MagicBands seemed redundant.
Well, they’re not, at least according to park officials. Yes, Disneyland will soon add MagicBand+ devices at the parks. Better yet, these wearables will Glow with the Show.
Do you remember that special effect from nighttime presentations? The new style of MagicBand will allow for this sort of rhythmic illuminated blinking.
For Disney fans, this means World of Color will have a new twist in 2022. Your MagicBand+ will light up in concert with the music playing.
During the discussion, D’Amaro indicated that the Disneyland version of MagicBand+ will possess different features than the Orlando ones.
He added that the Parks Blog will clarify the differences soon-ish. So, we probably won’t know what that means for another few months.
Disney will also bring the “Hey, Disney!” virtual assistant to Anaheim in 2022. You can expect its rollout around the same time as the Walt Disney World version.
All three Disneyland Resort official hotels will add “Hey, Disney!” during 2022.
So, that’s the Disneyland side of park updates. Next time, we’ll discuss Walt Disney World and international news.