Fans Underwhelmed with D23 Expo’s Disney Parks Panel

disney parks panel d23

D23 Expo just wrapped up, but the highly anticipated Disney Parks and Experiences Panel left many fans wanting more.

D23 is touted as the Ultimate Disney Fan event, and for the most part, rightfully so. Disney fans were almost always on the edge of their seats at new exciting updates of upcoming movies, new tv shows, appearances from some surprise characters, and the fan favorite, the Disney Legend awards ceremony.

One panel in particular, didn’t live up to expectations.

josh d'amaro d23

Josh D’Amaro at D23/Disney

The D23 Expo panel, “A Boundless Future: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products,” hosted by Josh D’Amaro, the Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, was one of the most highly anticipated panels of the entire Expo, but at the end of it, fans were left just a bit confused and more than a little frustrated.

Journalist Scott Gustin who was present at the event, took to Twitter to ask fellow fans what their opinions were on the panel, and the thread produced some interesting results.

Check out Gustin’s original post:

Reviewer Andrew Roth, @rothsreviews, perfectly encapsulated how everyone felt with a single phrase: “Not great.” Roth also contrasted Disney’s vague announcements with Universal’s explicit announcement of a new Park in 2025.

And Roth wasn’t the only one. Disney fan and Twitter user Leslie Harvey, @TripswithTykes, opined,

“As a regular Disneyland visitor I’m happy enough but really bummed there are no new rides in the pipeline anywhere in Walt Disney World after Tron. What 3 of the 4 parks there lack? Rides. Genie+ going to continue to be a hot mess there for years until they add rides.”

Another user, Bryce Benzine, @Bryce_Benzine, also questioned the leadership. He said, “I am disappointed. This presentation gave me no excitement to go in February, especially since Tron only has a vague “Spring 2023” opening timeline. I am an avid fan, and I love this company; however, the leadership has me questioning a lot of things right now.” Benzine further went on to clarify unlike most people who point to Disney CEO Bob Chapek for the decline, in his opinion, D’Amaro was the man responsible.

While the Disney Parks panel revealed new characters who would be joining the Disneyland Resort, and gave viewers some tangible Disneyland news, when it came to the Walt Disney World Resort, most of what D’Amaro revealed was Blue Sky and possibilities as opposed to any real details. They teased the audience with a Villains Land, a DinoLand U.S.A. revamp, and Encanto-land coming to the Magic Kingdom but gave no dates or confirmation that they would actually be at the Disney Park.

Fans are disappointed, to say the least, considering that what they did announce wasn’t specific at all, and they chose not to bring a lot of fan favorites that are current projects that are on pause or being updated and developed (think the PeopleMover).

Disney however did give fans an update on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and upcoming Disney live-action and Pixar animation studios movies and shows that are in the works.

While many exciting updates came off the D23 Expo weekend, here’s hoping Disney can give fans some real answers for when they can expect updates in the Parks.

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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