D23 Expo 2017: Excitement and Disappointment Abound

There is so much information coming out of the D23 Expo that we can barely keep up – needless to say, most of it is very exciting!

Of course there has been some great movie news coming out of the D23 Expo – from what is essentially confirmation that Thanos will play a big part in Infinity War, to the fact that Incredibles 2 will be focused on Elastigirl and the casting of the live-action Aladdin film.

But Disney hasn’t only focused on their movies – they’re releasing a lot of information about their parks, as well…specifically Walt Disney World.

Yours truly wasn’t too fond of the fact that Disney removed Maelstrom, a long-standing Epcot attraction, and replaced it with a ride focused on a made-up country. After all, while Epcot was never exactly what Walt meant it to be, it was still more about education than entertainment. Changing a ride themed around its host country (Norway) to one themed around an animated Disney film was apparently the first step in changing Epcot as a whole, as well.

For instance, two of the biggest announcements from this year’s D23 Expo were that there would be a Ratatouille attraction opening in France and that Universe of Energy will be replaced with a Guardians of the Galaxy ride. The former I can actually get behind – the circlevision movies in the World Showcase are wildly out of date – but as much as I love Guardians, and as much as I don’t have any strong attachment to Universe of Energy, I’m sad to see another attraction focused on teaching guests replaced with what will likely be nothing more than a ride a la “Frozen Ever After”.

Another big shakeup announcement from the D23 Expo involved Disney’s Hollywood Studios: the Great Movie Ride is set to be replaced with a “Mickey’s Runaway Train” attraction. One can only assume that this is because Disney has finally lost the rights to the MGM movies featured in the Great Movie Ride, but that doesn’t make it any less of a disappointment. Sure, the new Mickey-themed attraction might end up being really cool – but the Great Movie Ride is a staple; it was there when Hollywood Studios opened as Disney-MGM Studios, and it has been there ever since. This makes it one of the longest-standing original WDW attractions of all time – right up there with Magic Kingdom rides like Space and Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean, and the few remaining original Epcot attractions, as well (i.e., Living with the Land). One thing’s for sure – plenty of big WDW fans aren’t going to be happy about this particular change.

The 2017 D23 Expo isn’t over yet; in fact, as this article was being written, news was released that there will in fact be a Tron ride opening at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Despite rumors that this attraction would replace the Tomorrowland Speedway, Slashfilm reports that it will in fact “sit in a new space next to Space Mountain”. And don’t forget that we’ve already heard about Disney World’s new Uber-style service, the “Minnie vans”. Keep an eye out for what are sure to be more exciting announcements from this event!

Author: Tara Lynne

Tara Lynne is a fandom and geek culture expert, public speaker, and character cosplayer who is best known for her Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones), Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica), and Andrea (The Walking Dead) cosplays. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.



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