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18 Jan 2019 World leisure: news, training & property
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13 Feb 2018

Chapek spills beans at D23 Japan as parks chief reveals details on multiple park projects
BY Tom Anstey

Chapek revealed details about a number of Disney projects at the D23 fan event in Tokyo, Japan

Chapek revealed details about a number of Disney projects at the D23 fan event in Tokyo, Japan
photo: Disney

Disney’s parks and resorts chair Bob Chapek has shared details about the company’s development pipeline, revealing new information about the Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar bands across its theme park portfolio.

Speaking at D23 Expo Japan 2018, Chapek’s first announcement concerned Disneyland Paris, with plans to reimagine the park’s Rock 'n' Roller Coaster as a Marvel attraction, turning the ride into a high-speed ride featuring the likes of Iron Man and the Avengers. In addition to the ride, Chapek offered a sneak peek at the park’s upcoming Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel, which is scheduled to open at Disneyland Paris in 2020.

Following the great success of the Iron Man Experience at Hong Kong Disneyland, Ant-Man is set to get his own adventure at the park, with Disney inviting guests to “fight an army of Hydra swarm bots in a thrilling new adventure”.

Possibly the biggest announcement on the Marvel front, as Disney chiefs look to refresh the offering at Epcot, the Florida attraction will get a shot in the arm with the addition of a Guardians of the Galaxy rollercoaster coming to the park. Touted as a one-of-a-kind family attraction, Chapek promised the ride would feature a brand-new, innovative ride system, and would be one of the longest enclosed roller coasters in the world.

On the Stars Wars front, as Disney builds towards its new Galaxy’s Edge attractions, coming to both its US parks in 2019, fans were given a glimpse at a fleet of life-size X-Wing fighters and the Millennium Falcon.

New details were also revealed about the planned Star Wars immersive hotel concept, which Chapek said would combine luxury resort with complete immersion, creating an authentic story with guests boarding a starship before “departing” on a multi-day Star Wars adventure.

For Pixar, the upcoming Pixar Pier was given its official opening date, with the attraction set to open at Disney California Adventure on 23 June. The reimagined Paradise Pier will be made up of four different themed neighbourhoods using Pixar’s most popular IPs, with the new land anchored by the new Incredibles-inspired 'Incredicoaster' – a transformation of the existing Ingenieur Büro Stengel GmbH-designed California Screamin’ ride.

Celebrating classic Disney, new information was revealed about Mickey Mouse’s first-ever ride through attraction, with Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway opening at Hollywood Studios in 2019. The ride will be one of Disney’s most visually advanced, using new technologies to transform the two-dimensional cartoon world of Mickey Mouse in a “multi-dimensional experience”.

Chapek finally unveiled to the Tokyo crowd new Disney experiences coming to Japan in 2019, as Tokyo Disney Resort undergoes its biggest expansion since the opening of Tokyo DisneySea in 2001.

As part of the Tokyo expansion, popular Disney property Big Hero 6 will get its first attraction, with guests getting to “ride around with Baymax”. The Fantasyland area of the park will gain a new area dedicated to Beauty and the Beast, while Fantasyland will also get the first full-scale, live entertainment theatre at Tokyo Disneyland. Finally, Tokyo DisneySea will take guests on a journey through Japan, with a new version of Soarin’ coming to the park.

"We are hard at work creating even more ways to experience Disney magic at our parks and resorts around the world," said Chapek. “With our incredible library of beloved stories and characters, we know exciting adventures and magical memories are in store for all our guests."

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