2. Gondolas (Walt Disney World)
This one seems like a slam dunk. At this point, it’s an open secret with the details already having been confirmed by the mainstream media. Construction on the gondolas will become visibly obvious within the year, too. This means that if Disney does not make its own announcement soon, it’ll be a rehash of Bay Lake Tower’s construction.
For those who don’t remember, everyone knew Disney Vacation Club was being built–and vertical progress was visible from the monorail–yet Disney continued to deny the existence of the project. At that point, the rationale for playing coy was to avoid hampering Disney Vacation Club sales at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
In this scenario, there is not a necessary nexus between the gondola and upcoming Disney Vacation Club development at Caribbean Beach Resort, so further denial is less likely (but not out of the question). In other words, the gondola can be announced without a Caribbean Beach announcement; the latter likely won’t occur due to sales of Copper Creek Villas.
1. Not Much At All (Worldwide)
While there are a lot of rumors swirling, my biggest fear is that we won’t hear a single new announcement of substance, only updates on existing projects. I really hope this does not happen, but I could see it occurring due to existing project timelines, what Disney wants to promote with this Expo, and date of the next D23 Expo.
With Star Wars Land wrapping up in 2019 and the next D23 Expo also occurring in 2019, it would make sense for all of the major projects listed above to have opening dates beyond 2019. Heck, some of these projects might not even break ground until late 2019.
In fact, it would not surprise me if over half of the projects listed here are not scheduled to break ground until Fall 2019 (or later). About the only things with a sense of urgency attached to them are Super Hero Land at Disney California Adventure and the gondolas at Walt Disney World. The gondola system will no doubt be announced before 2019, but this may not be the right time, strategically, to make such an announcement.
All of this might set us up for a 2017 D23 Expo that focuses heavily on Star Wars Land, and minimizes other announcements so they don’t overshadow Star Wars Land (or more likely, vice-a-versa). If the Star Wars Land presentation and model on the show floor are strong, that’s all anyone beyond Disney blogs is going to write about, anyway.
If the other news is largely going to go unnoticed, is this D23 Expo the best time to share it? Particularly when it’s all sufficiently distant in the future that it could be announced in a year…or even two years?
Such a scenario would open the door for another major slate of announcements at the 2019 D23 Expo, after the first guests have already set foot in Star Wars Land (at least at Disneyland). Then, the emphasis can be shifted to the rumored projects that present the next phase of development at Disney Resorts around the world. I really hope this is not the case, and we are in store for a blockbuster D23 Expo with a wealth of new attraction announcements, but there’s this lingering fear in the bottom of my stomach that the more likely scenario is the 2017 D23 Expo focuses heavily on Star Wars Land, and saves every other big announcement for another day.
Care to make it interesting by placing your own “bets” about what will be announced at the 2017 D23 Expo? Do you think it will be a time for big attraction announcements, or will mostly focus on details about Star Wars Land? Any surprise announcements you think might be possible? Obviously, none of us know what the future holds for the D23 Expo (unless you’re a Disney executive or Imagineer…in which case, please let us know what’s going to happen! 😉 ), but I think it’s fun to take some guesses and see who ‘wins’ just the same. We’ll revisit this post in a month and whoever got the most right will win…bragging rights