The No-Guilt Disney Podcast team went to D23 Expo… and survived.
Even though some of the announcements might have sent our hearts into overdrive!
We’re recapping the panels and show floor and talking about not one, but TWO!, blue sweater sightings.
- Rogers: The Musical Full Performance
- Disney Parks Announcements from D23 Expo 2022
- 23-ish Predictions For D23 Expo 2022
- Marvel Studios Announcements from D23 Expo 2022
- Legendary Quotes from the 2022 Disney Legends Ceremony at D23 Expo
- Chris Evans In The Blue Sweater + D23 Expo FAQ
Find the No-Guilt Disney Team
Contact us by email at [email protected] or find us on socials:
- @gertiethedino on Twitter
- @accessibleinfluence on Instagram
- @realmousewifewdw on Instagram
- @realmousewifeFL on Twitter
Music from https://filmmusic.io
“Vivacity” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Editor’s note: Times may vary from the recording due to ads.
To all who come to our happy place, welcome to the No-Guilt Disney Podcast – where we have no guilt about our love for all things Disney.
We are three Disney fan girls who probably know more about the Disney Parks than most grown women should, and we’re perfectly okay with that.
We’re totally okay with that. But I’m not okay with hearing you say that line because that kind of tripped me up.
I know. I was like, “Oh, I guess I’m doing it this time.”
I guess you are. For those that are waiting on Jane. Jane is not with us today. Our schedules couldn’t align. But Theresa and I just felt like this was important news and we wanted to get it out as soon as possible. So we are talking D23 Expo. Big deal.
I’m so excited for this episode.
I am too, I am too. Theresa, tell the people who you are.
So my name is Theresa and you can find me on Twitter @GertietheDino.
Hey y’all, I’m Patty Holliday from NoGuiltDisney.com, No-Guilt Fangirl and NoGuiltLife. Basically, I like to call it the No-Guilt Universe. That was coined from one of our wonderful podcast listeners. So I stole it. I stole it. It fits anyway. We’re going to talk about D23 [Expo] today. I know at some point, we’re also going to kind of reflect on some of the predictions that we made and see how well we did. When was that prediction episode launched? You remember, Theresa?
I want to say it might have been around July. Sometime over the summer. They hadn’t really announced any of the panels yet, we didn’t know what- we didn’t know what was going to happen. But we list our 23-ish predictions. And I did go back earlier to kind of collect everything that we said. It was…they were definitely on the -ish side of 23-ish . We may have gone a little over. But if you know us, that’s to be expected. Because we just get excited when we’re talking about Disney and all of the things that we hope to see from Disney.
We do, we do. And I think we were accurate-ish.
We’ve definitely we had some very, very on point hits. We had a few misses, there were a few things where we were maybe reaching for a little far. But I would say overall, I think we actually did pretty well with with our predictions and what was actually announced or what we saw.
Okay, awesome. Well, I’m gonna let you take it away, you’re driving the bus today.
So for those of you who don’t know of D23 Expo, it is the biggest Disney fan event, it’s where all aspects of The Walt Disney Company come together, and share big news and updates. But really, in my opinion, it’s just a chance for all the Disney nerds to get together and just geek out over everything that we love. During the…one of the panels, it was interesting because they were talking about how during the very first D23 Expo, Marvel wasn’t part of the Disney Family. LucasFilm wasn’t part of the Disney family. There are so many different things that now in 2022 that are integral parts of Disney. And when we think about that, you think of Disney. But it was it was just fascinating to reflect that back during the first D23 Expo, it was a very, very different event. And I think throughout the whole experience, so many of the moments that got huge reactions, for me, were things that happened at the Marvel/LucasFilm panel, including a little little musical performance that we’ll talk about. Oh my gosh, they were…if y’all could have been in the room.
Swoon! It was amazing. I mean, in all aspects of that word AH-Mazing.
Favorite Moments from D23 Expo 2022
So before we get into some of the big news and big things that happened, I just figured we would talk about some of the favorite moments that we had, whether it was in a panel or walking the show floor, because there were a few things that they did differently this year. And that I hope to see return. But it was also some of my favorite panels that I go to came back again. And I just have to say: the Disney Character Voices panel. This one I think is a panel that goes under the radar for a lot of people. I went to it for the first time back in the 2019 D23 Expo, and it was the last panel on Sunday. This year, it was also the last panel on Sunday. And you go into it not assuming much. It has usually the the Fab Five the those character voices come in and talk and you get to hear them do their lines. They’ll do live performances as those characters. And then they usually have another group come out who are the the voice actors. So they had the princesses there. But then in the middle of it, they’re talking to the princesses. It’s fascinating to hear these stories. They’re very entertaining people. But all of a sudden, you have other voice actors come out by surprise who are not on the list. So I’ll say we were treated…the very last part of that panel was being treated to a live performance of I’ll Make a Man Out of You by Donny Osmond that nobody saw coming!
Listen. Twitter went nuts over Donny Osmond, which I totally get. Back in my day, as a young young child, one of my first memories is playing with the Donny and Marie Barbies. And so, Donny Osmond has kind of always been floating around in this in this sphere of amazing things. Do you remember during the time of COVID, when Disney did the sing alongs I think Donnie showed up and had all of his grandkids singing with him and stuff, the most adorable performance ever. I love that Donny Osmond, who has to be 70-something now… I’m not even sure but he’s getting up there. But he doesn’t look it, he doesn’t act it, he doesn’t sound it, he still sounds so amazing. And it’s just, I don’t know, it’s a testament to good living, maybe I don’t know. But he’s, I really was so excited when I saw that. And it was absolutely kicking myself for not getting the Sunday ticket. Just for everyone to note, Jane and I chose to only go on Saturday, where Theresa bought the whole three days. She was there the whole three days actually as media. So we have- well, and you bought a three day ticket. So you were kind of double dipping into panels. So we missed a lot of the big stuff. So my favorite moments are essentially going to be coming from what I experienced in the Marvel panel, which kind of makes sense because even if I had gone to all three days, I have a feeling that would have been the highlight anyway based on my past experience with the Marvel panels. But that one was a big one when I saw that, that he came out and that you guys actually got to hear the song live and in person. I had a little bit of jealousy, I will admit it. Now granted, I was sitting in Avengers Campus at that time, so not too much jealousy, but I had a little bit of jealousy when it happened. But
This is my plea to D23 Expo: this seriously is my favorite way now to close out D23 Expo. And now we’re talking about, the end of Expo at the beginning of this episode. But this is honestly, if they do this panel again, and I hope they do, especially if it’s how they kind of wrap things up, please, please, please go to the Disney Character Voices panel. It’s…I can’t say enough good things about it. And I really do think it just flies under the radar for most people. But if you think about it, the Disney character voices – it’s really for a lot of us, it’s our first experience with Disney when we’re growing up. It’s hearing Mickey and Minnie and Donald and Goofy, it’s or the princesses, or any other character voices that they might have. This is just it’s my favorite panel, I think, of the entire weekend. So I just need everybody to go to it in the future. So I have more people to nerd out about it later.
They the first D23 Expo I went to Sunday afternoon was a Frozen sing along with the writers of all the songs from Frozen, the Lopez’s, and they just happen to bring along Kristen Bell with them. And so I got to hear Princess Anna sing on stage, Josh Gad showed up as well. It was really awesome. And I agree with you, that’s a perfect way to close out D23 Expo is to go to one of these. The other Sunday night panel that I went to that was just mind blowing and amazing was also another…I don’t know that we sing along as much, but we definitely were enraptured and in love with and it was with Alan Menken. And he came out on stage, he had a piano and he played all his songs. And he told us all the stories, and it was truly – if you are into the musical aspects of what Disney puts together for us (and how can you not be) it was there. So yeah, I agree with you that final performances on Sunday nights, if you are thinking all the good stuff has already happened and Sunday’s lame. No, no, no, no, Sunday is awesome in a lot of ways, but particularly this last panel, if they continue to do it, make it some some sort of musical aspects. I missed the Disney Character Voices last time, and this time, but I absolutely love hearing how much you loved it. And like I said, I was watching obviously watching everything go down on Twitter, and people were going crazy over that panel. So you’re not wrong, this is this is a winner and it’s an under-the-radar winner. So you want to keep that on your your schedule for D23 [Expo] in 2024. Because we skip a year every year. So keep that in mind, folks. It’s not going to be next year. It’s going to be in two years.
Yes. And I just wanted to do some of my other panels that were really great. And again, I think there’s another where I got a lot of traction on Twitter, was celebrating the anniversary of The Muppet Christmas Carol. One of the pieces of news that came out there, that I’m gonna do right now before we get into the other big news updates, was that… so there’s a big story about how a song called When Love is Gone was removed from the feature version of The Muppet Christmas Carol because they thought it wasn’t going to do well for live audiences. But the song itself got out there, and people were aware of the song. And so something that they announced was on December 11, if you go to Disney+ and look at The Muppet Christmas Carol, and their extras section, which is where they kind of have some of the bonus features (like if you had a DVD) there will be now something called The Full Length Version of The Muppet Christmas Carol, and it will have the song When Love is Gone added back into the film and the whole story behind it. It was really fascinating because they essentially lost the masters. And they said that they had somebody who for two years their job was essentially to try and find the song, find something that they could use to get this song actually part of the film or get it remastered. And so they they found it, and it was great. During that panel, they actually had Jodi Benson come out. And she had a great comment saying, “I know what it’s like to have somebody try and cut one of your songs from a film,” because, if you don’t know, there’s a big story that they tried to cut Part of Your World out of the Little Mermaid because they didn’t think it was going to do well.
Can you imagine? That’s wild.
So she came out and she gave us a live performance of the song. So this is my this is my spiel that there’s…obviously the biggest news is always going to come out of those signature panels in Hall D23. So the Disney Parks panel, the live action panel, the Marvel/Lucasfilm, or animated films, the big news is going to come out of those panels. But some of these smaller panels, they always have just great surprises. And if you ever see a topic that you’re interested in, and just want to hear stories of how it came about or hear people just talking passionately about something that they worked on, go check out some of these smaller panels in the other stages.
Oh, for sure. For sure. Yeah, I agree with you. And so any anything, anything else that you love before I jump into my list?
Yeah. So I loved running into Imagineer Tony Baxter while I was dressed as Figment the Dragon.
Oh, no big.
This is one of those things where I think I put it out there. This was a “what is my life?” moment. I was sitting at a panel for Walt Disney Imagineering. And I’m just sitting there waiting for it to begin, and all of a sudden I turn around, and I just see Tony Baxter walking towards me. And I’m like, “what??” I was dressed in my Figment DisneyBound, and the person he was with saw me and pointed it out to him. And so we had a really great chat, we had just come out of the Disney Parks panel. And they had made a little mini-mini-announcement about the Imagination Pavilion, so we were talking about that briefly. But D23 [Expo]. You literally never know who you’re going to run into and when. And it’s such an amazing experience to be able to thank a person who had such an imprint on your life. I got to tell him that one of my earliest memories is walking through the rainbow tunnel in the Imagination Pavilion. So it was so fantastic to see him in person, because I’ve never had those experiences in the past where I’m…this is the first time I actually got to run into an Imagineer randomly, and just…I was starstruck, very starstruck. And if you know me and know my Epcot connections I- that was…it’s something that could only happen in the Disney environment, but especially at the D23 Expo. So I will say that was probably my other really big moment. And yeah, that was…it was amazing.
Yeah, D23 [Expo] brings brings out everyone and there’s I think one D23 [Expo] that I went to was 2015, I think I saw Tony in the lobby of Club 33 – not to name drop or anything, but I had a friend who was able to get us into Club 33 that night, and I saw Tony there. I saw Dick Van Dyke there. I saw Jennifer Goodwin, Snow White, who was skipping down the way with her husband (who is Prince Charming, by the way), it was crazy. The Expo before that…no, I think that was my first one. So it was that same D23 Expo I also ran into an Imagineer on the show floor. Literally went and almost ran into him, and it was Joe Rohde and he took a picture with – me super nice guy. So yeah, I get it, you never know. And at Club 33, Sean Astin was eating at the next table and he came over and joked around with us and asked us how our food was and everything was like “what is happening?” So you never know what to expect or what’s going to happen when you are at these big conventions. So if it’s ever been something that’s on your list, obviously Theresa and I are going to be highly suggestive that you jump into the D23 [Expo] train. And pay attention when news starts coming out. And of course, we will remind you, when news starts coming out for the next one, because they are…I mean, it’s magical, what can we say. That’s what happens at these events. So I was so excited when I saw your picture. I was like, she’s had a picture with Bob Gurr now, with Bob Gurr-tie. And now, she’s also been able to hang out with Tony Baxter for a little bit, so very excited for you, Theresa. I know dreams come true. So yes, awesome. Awesome. Okay, so some of my favorite things, obviously, the Marvel panel, #AllOfIt. But we’ll get into that when we start talking about it a little bit more in detail. But there were some big moments in there, which if you’ve listened to this podcast, you can probably guess what they are. There were some big moments in there that I just lost my mind over. But I also really loved we went out on the Expo floor after that. And let me tell you, the ABC and Hulu activations that they had just gave me life. I got to star in my own Only Murders in the Building video. I’ve got this little video of me seeing something happen and running away scared, just like the intro of Only Murders in the Building. So that was a lot of fun. I got to strut with the Kardashians.
I made a point to note that. I was like, Jane is not here, but we do need to talk about the Journey into Storytelling Pavilion where you got to have a moment with the Kardashians.
It was so great! Yeah, I walked in because I saw when we walked past it, I saw out of the corner of my eye, I saw the Abbott Elementary buss. And I was like, “oh, Abbott, I’m going in here.” And that was definitely happening. And as I walked in there, Jane was like, I’ll go walk around. And next thing I know, she texted me she was like, “uhhhhhhh, I’m with the Kardashians.” And I didn’t realize what they had set up, because I hadn’t seen anybody talking about it just yet. But sure enough, after I took my Abbott Elementary video – which, by the way, if you’re not watching the show, you are so missing out. This is the Emmy award winning Abbott Elementary, by the way. It’s so so amazing. So good.
And Season 2 starts this week! I know we are going to drop this episode before it comes out.
Yeah, I will. I’ll get on it. I’ll get on it. It starts this week, definitely, you want to watch it. It’s on ABC. It’s also on Hulu the next day. It’s worth going back and watching if you haven’t seen it, especially if you are a teacher, love a teacher, know a teacher, send your kids to school, all of those things. It’s very cool. And what was neat for me was when I was standing in line, there were two guys in front of me. And they were talking and they were taking a picture and one of them was taking a picture with the character of Jacob. He was like, “You look exactly like Jacob, do the same pose.” And he did he looked very much like the actor and I was dying, laughing. I was like, that is such that’s such a great picture. And they both then at that point said, “Well, we’re both teachers.” And so this show means so much to us. And I’m just going to put this plug out there for anybody that you might be listening from D23, in the future, all of these shows that you have access to, the ABC shows and the the the Hulu shows – you’ve got some gold there. And I know there’s some fandoms that would lose their mind if we got a little bit more of them like up on stages at some point.
I agree. I was thinking about it, because I think the timing hurt them a little bit. Only because the Emmys were the following Monday, and obviously Abbott nominated for several Emmys and won two. So I think that was just a challenge with scheduling. But yes, please give me an Abbott Elementary panel in the future, I will be the first one to sign up for it.
It would be so great. It would be so great. I would also – I have no idea if they can pull this off – But I would love an Only Murder in the Building panel. So that was a big highlight for me, was that pavilion – it was a lot of fun. We spent a lot of time in there, checking the videos and whatever. It was just, it was great. And the people that were working those booths were so helpful and were so delightful, and they would seem to be enjoying what they were doing. The various people that walked up and would do different things was cracking them up as well. So it was a good time had by all. I really love that. And then of course like I said Marvel, we’ll get to that. But anyway, those are those are my highlights. Oh, what else are we getting? Where are we going to start? What are we going to deep dive into here?
So I think the only other thing before before we get into the news, the other thing that we should talk about, I mentioned I DisneyBounded as Figment. But that’s the other thing when you go on the show floor, you don’t just see the costumes that they have from the films or from the shows or the the props and things from the Parks and Archives. We just need to talk very, very quickly about some of the costumes and cosplay and the characters that people become, when they are walking the show floor. Disney puts on a fantastic event, but the fans also need some credit here for what they put into it. I saw there was a person who he was kind of cosplaying as Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. So he came in and he had dressed up as Rick Moranis from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and he came in and he was walking around with a box that was essentially the theater for Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. I guess it was just – you know me, me and my nerdy Epcot, it was such a cool reference to see that he wasn’t just doing Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. It was the attraction, that he was walking around and you had the theater as if everybody’s sitting in it. I think one of the one of the people who won an award during Mousequerade was somebody who walked in, and she was Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Not dressed up as Dumbo. She had the full attraction spinning around her with some of the Dumbos going up and down. It’s It blows my mind how creative people are and how, how they can kind of transform these costumes. And not just into something that you see and you recognize who they are. But they make it interactive. So did you see anything when you were there on Saturday, any costumes that jumped out at you?
There were so many of course, my eye was drawn to a couple of Scarlet Witch and Agatha Harkness’ walking around together, which was a lot of fun. Nothing is jumping out of my head, because I am also confusing things based on what I saw on Twitter versus when I saw it in real life, because it all kind of melded together at one point. But yeah, the costuming is always on point and is always huge. And it’s just so much fun to see. And I really also am appreciating more and more the DisneyBounding because that’s such a fun way. For anybody that doesn’t know DisneyBounding is basically where you take a regular old outfit – I think Theresa specifically tries to just pull things out of her closet, she tries not to go out and buy stuff – but things that you can pull out of your closet to put together to make it look like a character by the color blocking or, how you wear things or certain accessories that you wear, that sort of thing. So I saw a ton of really great DisneyBounds out there as well. And they make me happy. So keep doing those people. I went way too lazy this year to totally get involved. I wore a red dress and I put on my red wig and my Scarlet Witch headpiece and I wore that for a little while. I eventually took it off because I was hot. But that was the extent of my DisneyBounding, just putting on the wig and the head piece, but it was still really cool to see all the creativity from all the fans.
And I have to say – Mad Madam Mim is making a comeback apparently, because that was probably – outside of Marvel or Star Wars characters – I must have seen 10 or 15 people doing Mad Madam Mim from The Sword in the Stone. So she is having she is having a career resurgence right now.
She is. I’m sure it did not hurt that she’s starring on the Oogie Boogie Bash during the treat trails, so that’s fun. It’s always cool to see some of these older characters pop up that we had forgotten about. And she’s a great character. If you are doing the Oogie Boogie Bash, which by the way – Halloween 365 episode is going to be up next. I know you are all waiting for that one. Hopefully we’ll be able to do a whole Halloween at Disney Parks next episode when it comes out. I’m not gonna say next week, but the next episode that comes out, we’re shooting for the first of October and we’ll have some discussions about all that.
Marvel Studios/LucasFilm Panel Announcements from D23 Expo 2022
Alright, so let’s get into what you’re listening to this episode for: some of the big news and biggest moments that happened during these panels. And Patty, I will let you kick it off with Marvel. Was there anything exciting that happened during the Marvel panel?
A little bit. Let me just say Kevin Feige made all of my fan girl dreams come true. So I do have another podcast, that’s No-Guilt Fangirl. And if you want to go and find that, when I haven’t recorded all of 2022 over there, just haven’t had a lot of time. But one of the last shows that we talked about was Hawkeye. And as you know, in Hawkeye, there is this fantastic scene there that I still just giggle and get giddy over and get so excited whenever I see it. This fantastic scene of Hawkeye is sitting at a Broadway play, and he’s watching Rogers: The Musical, and it’s the cheesiest, most ridiculous superhero, they’re replaying the Battle of New York on screen. Ant-Man’s there, which obviously he’s not. Have you seen the movies? He does not exist, but somehow he shows up. Anyway, it was one of the funniest things and I kept begging for an actual…we want to see this! We want to see this. And they did give us an extended cut, I think at the season end or maybe…I can’t remember exactly. But anyway, they did give us an extended cut of that episode. But we’re sitting there and Kevin Feige finally comes out on stage…by the way, we’re calling it the Marvel panel, but –
Marvel and LucasFilm. It was two sections. So it was LucasFilm and Marvel and a little bit of 20th Century Fox. So we’ll talk about LucasFilm also. So yes, Marvel/LucasFilm panel, but Marvel is obviously what Patty’s got a soft spot for.
I do, I do. It’s not that I disliked anything or was unimpressed with anything that we saw with Star Wars, Star Wars was fine. But in my heart right now, in this place that I’m in, and have been for the last five years: it’s all Marvel, all the time. So we’re just jumping straight into Marvel. But I we did want to point out that this wasn’t just the Marvel Panel, it was all of the big studios. So sure enough, after LucasFilm was finished, Kevin Feige walks on stage and I’m jumping up and down, knowing we’re gonna get something good, having no idea what we’re gonna get – just knowing it’s going to be good. And Kevin starts talking and he’s like, “you know, at D23 Expo, every time I have to watch all of these other panels, and they get to put on these big, elaborate musical numbers.” And as soon as he said that, I started grabbing Jane, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, he’s going to do it.” Because at the same time, you could see the orchestra being pulled onto stage, like all the other musicians were pulled out in front and center on the stage. Not front center, they were off to the left. But anyway, point being :I knew we were going to actually get a live showing of the Rogers: The Musical.
It took me way longer. I think because in my brain, I was like, “there was no way – there’s no way they’re gonna do this.” It took me a lot longer to connect the dots that was about to happen.
Kevin Feige, you crazy son of a B. It was so brilliant. It was so good. And then absolutely, it delivered. All of my dreams came true in that one moment. So I’m sitting here going, I don’t think he can top this. This makes me so happy, this was worth – listen, I paid like $120 to go see a Broadway play later on this week. And I think I paid a little over $100 for this ticket for that day. And I got in that five minutes. I got everything I needed. But it was great. It was everything you wanted it to be if you have seen that episode of Hawkeye and you really wanted to see this live and in person. We got it, we got it and we have video of it. It will be up on the blog. So I will definitely share that post in a link in the show notes. It was also kind of the awesome thing with D23 [Expo] this year – at least in the Marvel panel, they didn’t take anybody’s phones. They didn’t make us lock anything up. They did come by and basically tell people, “put your phone down, put your phone down” whenever any trailers or anything like that was being shown. So they were concerned about that. But they let us actually experience and share these amazing moments that happen. So anyway, like I said, I got this and I’m gonna put it up for you guys. But it was so good. And it was amazing. And I think I’ve just now talked for at least as long as that whole entire experience was, but I loved it so much. But how was Kevin Feige gonna top that? Well, let me tell you how. He decided to top that. He introduced the only [Marvel] show that so far on Disney+ has been given a season two and it was Loki. And as soon as he said “the only show that has been given a season two,” I again was beating on Jane. Because I’m sorry, if you sit next to me during one of these panels, you might get some bruises. You might get a little bit of abuse, but I just get so excited. I was grabbing Jane and I was like, “did they bring Tom Hiddleston?” and Theresa – did they bring Tom Hiddleston?
Oh, they brought Tom Hiddleston.
They sure did. And not only did Tom Hiddleston walk out on stage, he walked out y’all – he walked out in a blue sweater. And you know how I feel about the blue sweaters at D23 Expo.
I’m pretty sure we even have an episode titled, “Chris Evans and his blue sweater at D23 Expo.”
Absolutely we do. It was wild, because not only was he in this blue sweater, it was a blue cable knit sweater. Which, obviously if you are a Chris Evans fan girl, you know the whole cable knit sweater situation from Knives Out. So I just like to think that Tom made this deliberate choice where he combined this beautiful, soft, blue with the cableknit, and was like, alright, Chris Evans. I see you I’m gonna one up you. And he did. I mean, it looked great on him. He looked great. He came out he was just the most…he’s just delightful. I mean, just so delightful. Again, back on the No-Guilt Fangirl episodes, there’s a whole discussion about Tom Hiddleston. We fangirl the heck out of him. One of my friends met him at the stage door process when he was on Broadway a couple of years ago. This was pre-COVID. So if you’re interested in Tom Hiddleston, and you want to FanGirl him like we do, please go find the No-Guilt Fangirl Podcast and listen to that episode because it’s it’s an amazing story. And he’s an amazing guy.So yeah, Kevin Feige, boom, boom, made my dreams come true. Truthfully, after that, everything else was gravy. It was all good. It was all exciting. If we want to touch on some of these things and projects that are coming out, I’m happy to do so. But I just have to admit, right off the bat he had me at at Rogers: The Musical and Tom Hiddleston.
Okay, since we’re on Loki season 2: we got to see some footage of it. And outside of the blue sweater, one of my favorite moments of that was the announcement of Ke Huay Quan joining cast of Loki season 2. He was recently in Everything Everywhere All at Once. I’m so excited to see him back and acting. He was previously Data in Goonies. He was Short Round in Indiana Jones Temple of Doom, and then he kind of stopped acting for a while because he just felt that there wasn’t room for him. There were not roles for him as Asian actor that were not anything other than caricatures of his heritage. So it was recently – I think he said it was Crazy Rich Asians that made him think, okay, there’s new roles out here. I want to try and get back into this. And he’s he’s just everywhere now. But so earlier, we said there was LucasFilm right before this. They showed us some footage from the new Indiana Jones movie, which looks amazing. That movie looks so good. But he came out and –
Listen, I will say this right now, when I saw that they were doing another Indiana Jones – and I am a child of the 80s, I absolutely grew up with Indy. Indy was my guy. I loved, loved, loved those movies, even the terrible ones as a child. So when I saw this coming out again, I thought, oh, why are we doing this to poor Harrison Ford? Let him retire. Don’t make him do this. But I’m with you. When we saw that footage, and he came out on stage, and he actually got emotional about the experience and this character. And he basically told us, “Oh, this one is good. You are going to love it.” And then sure enough, they showed us a clip from it. And it’s amazeballs is what it is. I was like, all right. All right. I’m totally down. So I mean, not that I wasn’t going to go see it. But I’m definitely 100% on board with the Indiana Jones movie. So that was exciting. But yes, that’s when he came out on stage, he said, “I’m confused. Am I supposed to be at the Indiana Jones panel?” And I was like, ah, that’s so great
I saw a picture later on of him and Harrison Ford backstage, it was just super sweet. So yes, announcing that he was part of the cast, I got so excited. So this is going to be…I think they said 2023. We don’t have an exact date yet, sometime next year. This is going to be streaming. Everything that they showed, all the footage that they showed, there were some things I was a little bit aware of, but it just made me so excited for everything that’s to come.
Right. I agree. Listen, I have been overall thrilled with everything that they have put together with Phase Four of Marvel. I know not everybody is, and I will admit because I was so attached to the Avengers and their characters, I had concerns going in that I would not connect, or would not be interested in whatever they were going to bring post Avengers. But each one that comes out, they’re giving us some real quality stuff and some really interesting characters that – as somebody who’s not a comic book fan – I don’t know anything about them. And so it is, it’s a slow burn, I think, but I love that they’re using Disney+ to do all of this instead of plopping this movie in our lap that we’re like, wait, what? What is this? Who is Ironheart? You know, who was that girl? I love how they’re giving us, you know, little bits and little pieces of them. And then of course, as Marvel does, ties everything in so seamlessly, perfectly together. And I’m excited. I’m excited. Phase Four is about to wrap up, and then we’ll be moving on to Phase Five. And there’s some good stuff coming out with Phase Five.
I was really struck by all of the footage that they were showing, and just with what we’ve seen, like, with all the movies and all the shows so far, they are able to make everything feel cohesive and a complete story, but as you’re watching the footage, it all feels so distinct. It’s not like, Oh, here’s another Marvel show. Here’s another superhero. Everything definitely has its own tone and its own candor. And I think when we were watching the Ironheart footage that was mine where I was just like, this just feels like a completely different experience than anything we’ve seen before, even though it’s pulling characters from within the same universe. So that one – I don’t know much about that character. I was very unfamiliar with it. And I was as we were going through, I’m like, Alright, I’m into this. But the one that the footage I have – there’s two otherthings that jumped out at me that made me I’m so excited for them. So one was Werewolf by Night, which is going to be the first Marvel Special Presentation. It’s going to be directed by Michael Giacchino, who we really know as being a composer. He’s directed a couple things, but this is his first thing he’s directing for Marvel. And I love old Hollywood, I grew up on Turner Classic Movies. And so the footage, everything was very, very reminiscent of the horror movies by like Ed Wood or Vincent Price, or from the 30s and 40s. And it’s coming out soon. It’s coming out in, I think, October 7, and I’m really excited to watch this and I believe it’s going to tie in to Loki Season 2, because you see a little bit of the TVA in there.
Okay, see, I missed that. I will have to go back and watch that again. When this came out, first of all, I love weird. I love horror movies. I definitely was like, “What is this?” And then after I watched it, I still went, what is this? So I will admit that I have zero concept of what we saw, and how they’re presenting it, how it ties in with Marvel comics or Marvel in general. But I’m here for it. I’m definitely down to watch every single second of this, probably multiple times. Because it also kind of speaks to the things that I like, especially during this spooky season. Listen, I am one of those people that really enjoys watching scary movies. And so right now I’m living my best life. I’m going to the theater every week watching a new scary movie. It’s awesome. Again, I don’t think it’s going to be for everyone. But for those that get it, and are down with this aesthetic, I think they’re going to be very, very happy because it looks very cool.
I think and that’s something to remember too. It’s I think Marvel is sort of moving in a direction where they encourage you to watch everything because it’s all going to tie together in the end. But I think if this is one that…just give it a chance, I think it’s going to turn out really well. But it might be one of those that if you want to stay connected to the universe, just give it a try. Because there may be some things that impact stories later on, even though it’s considered a special presentation. Not not a series, not a film. It’s something new and unique they’re trying. And I think it’s great that they’re letting people explore different ways of telling these stories outside of what – again, what you would expect from a superhero story.
I agree. I agree. Yeah, yeah.
Yeah. Then the other one that just had me geeking out was we got to see footage of The Marvels and to me, I love Captain Marvel. When we were there for this panel on Saturday, I was DisneyBounding as Ms. Marvel which has been one of my favorite Disney+ series, but so this was the first time you had the cast of The Marvels appearing together on stage, and in this footage when you got to see all of them interacting together, it was just so delightful. When you have Kamala shouting at Nick Fury “Can I be an Avenger???”
I love her so much.
She’s fantastic. And so Kevin Feige had the comment, he’s like, “we didn’t know that she was a Marvel super nerd when we met her, and we only mildly regret it. She’s definitely a bigger fan than all of you.” and if you hear her talking about it, she loves the Marvel Universe, and she is such just such a great symbol for them. Iman Vellani, sorry, I should say her name. But she is such a great representative for them of the impact of Marvel and the Marvel Cinematic Universe and what it means to fans, and I’m so excited to see everything that she does with this character. But I hope they put out this footage from The Marvels soon, or do a big trailer release. Because it just looks like so much fun. I cannot wait to see this.
Oh my gosh, yeah, she’s a star and she’s exciting and she is amazing. And apparently, Saturday night when I was hanging out in Avengers Campus during Oogie Boogie Bash, she was over in Galaxy’s Edge. So I totally missed my chance to fangirl her. But I love her too. I think she’s amazing. I also really liked what they showed us with this movie. I love the fact that Kamala’s family is going to be in the movie as well, because that whole cast was just delightful. And one of the biggest, I think just the biggest sleeper hit. There’s there’s so many people that overlooked it. And I wish you would all go back and watch it because it was just a great, great, great show. All right, so let’s talk real quickly how we did in the Marvel predictions and Star Wars predictions. How we did from our episode where we were -ishing. How close did we get on any of these?
We were 50/50. We did okay here. I think the big one that we got mostly right was that we got some Thunderbolts casting. That was one where I was very proud of us. So they announced the Thunderbolts cast, and I think my prediction for that was “anyone you see Julia Louis-Dreyfus speaking to, she is recruiting for the Thunderbolts.” And she is there. So you also have US Agent, you have Yelena, you have Taskmaster from the Black Widow movie, you’re also gonna have Red Guardian, you are going to have Ghost from Ant Man and the Wasp, and then the one that – I don’t know why I didn’t expect this, I don’t think I said it – but they announced you have Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes. And Kevin Feige’s quote, “I think it tells you all you need to know about the Thunderbolts when the beloved Winter Soldier is the most stable among them.” We are gonna be in for some fun with this movie. The part we got wrong: I thought maybe Moon Knight would be a part of it, because they did introduce at the end of Moon Knight another variation, and I do think we’re gonna get more of that story. I thought it made sense here. They didn’t announce Baron Zemo which… I think he’s gonna be in it. Baron Zemo led the Thunderbolts in the comics for a period of time. I think he is going to show up, but I thought it was interesting that was not part of the announcement. But I’m not letting go of that prediction yet.
You know, I’m right there with you on that train. Also, we need more Baron Zemo, period, because he was de-lightful the last time we saw him, which is where we saw him dancing a little bit. Yeah, oh yeah. Memes. It was in Captain America and the Winter So- wait, no, sorry. Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and he was great. So we definitely want more. I think everybody wants more of him. So yeah, we’re not gonna give up on that, we’re gonna hope and cross our fingers that he does show up in this the show. We also said that there would be a sneak peeks of Loki Season 2, and I think my quote exactly was “Please, oh please, oh please: bring me Tom Hiddleston.” Thank you Kevin Feige and Tom for making the appearance just simply on my behalf.
Well and they said they literally flew in just for that, and then flew right back out. So they really they wanted this for you, Patty,
I’m telling you. Yeah, the things that Tom will do to make my fangirl heart go pitter-pat. I appreciate that. They also gave us some peeks of Secret Invasion and Echo, and a trailer for Black Panther Wakanda Forever. Those were all things that we were asking for from Marvel. And we also want the LucasFilm side. What did they give us for the LucasFilm side?
So we had said that we thought we would see some clips for the Mandalorian Season 3, some more for Andor, because that’s also coming up. We got an update on Ahsoka. So those those were the predictions that we got right. Some of the other news that we did get out of the LucasFilm portion of it was they talked a little bit more about Star Wars The Bad Batch, they showed some footage for Star Wars Tales of the Jedi, which I’ll say we cannot get enough Ahsoka Tano, so I was very excited to see some more of that footage. Of those six episodes, three are going to focus on her story. I can’t get enough of her. They talked about the Star Wars Skeleton Crew series. And then again, we got the the Indiana Jones footage, which I don’t know how we didn’t predict that.
We should have. At Star Wars Celebration, they even brought Willow and Indiana Jones out, and we totally blipped over that and completely missed all that. Hey, oh, and listen, Willow.
Yes, Christian Slater. Willow was also brought out on stage and the cast was there. And they were talking about what the new series is going to be and whatnot. And then they’re the casting announcement that nobody saw coming. But again, my 80s-loving heart. And again, what color was a sweater?
It’s blue, it was blue.
Christian Slater showed up on stage and looking just as amazing as Christian Slater from Heathers did once in the day. I mean, the man doesn’t age. He gonna be in Willow. So honestly, I was probably least excited about Willow because I watched the movie when I was a kid. But it never, it just wasn’t my thing. I wasn’t a huge fantasy-type nerd back then. And I’ve grown a little bit more into that as my fandoms have developed. So I’ve got to go back and watch Willow to get prepared for the series. But as soon as Christian Slater was showing up, I was like, alright, I’m in. I’m gonna watch every single episode and get all of the Christian that I can. So that was exciting for me.
Yeah, so some of what we predicted but we didn’t get: I really thought we might get a director announcement for the Kevin Feige produced Star Wars movie, especially with the panel being combined. I thought it would be a good good segue. So that’s still happening, but we don’t know who was directing that yet. We had thought maybe announcements about Solo 2 or Lando. Not Orlando. Or space Lando. We’re a Disney podcast, have to clarify. And then the other one that I had based on a rumor that I saw on Twitter, because you know how reliable that is. We have Agatha House of Harkness coming to Disney+. And there were some casting rumors that I was hoping would maybe be true with Catherine O’Hara and Amy Poehler being in that show. And that ended up with no announcements, but But Amy Poehler did have her own announcement to make at a different panel.
All right, let’s segue into that one.
Walt Disney Animation Studios/Pixar Announcements from D23 Expo 2022
So this was at the Disney/Pixar Animation and Live Action film panel. This was one that none of us were able to attend. But I still do want to talk about some of the announcements, or some of the predictions. This is the panel for the predictions where we made only three, but we got all of them right. And then there was a big announcement we didn’t see. So the big announcement that we didn’t see coming, is Inside Out is getting a sequel. We’re getting Inside Out 2, and Amy Poehler was there to be part of this announcement. And I remember as soon as I heard that, I was just tweeting up a storm. “I’m in the same building as Amy Poehler!!!” Patty has her fangirl heart, this is where mine goes. Amy Poehler can do no wrong in my opinion.
Yeah, you and I both love Parks and Rec. So I’m right there with you on this one.
Yes. So they announced Inside Out 2. Some of the other predictions that we made for this was Elemental being the only thing getting solidified for 2023 for Pixar, and I know they showed some footage, they talked a little bit more about the film. We had predicted that the Untitled Walt Disney Animation Studios film, we were going to get the title and the synopsis, which we did. They said that this is going to be a new film that is going to use a combination of 2D-animation and 3D-animation. And it’s going to be called Wish. It is going to star Ariana DeBose as Asha, and then Disney is bringing in their special good luck charm of Alan Tudyk, who is going to be voicing a goat named Valentino. And I think we all know that if he’s in something, it’s gonna be a hit. That’s just a fact. But so it’s basically going to talk about Asha, which is Ariana DuBose’s character’s name, expose this character’s name, and she lives in a kingdom of wishes. So it’s it’s fascinating to me when you think about the fact that wishing and Disney are pretty synonymous. And this is really the first time they’re telling a story, just around that concept. And I love as soon as they mentioned 2D-animation. I’m a sucker. I’m a sucker for the 2D-animation. I’m very excited to see how visually how this all comes together. So we did pretty good on that prediction.
Yeah, I’m impressed with us.
The other ones that we said we’ll get the trailer for the live action Little Mermaid, which looks so good. And we thought maybe we’d get some footage for Snow White, and I don’t think that was revealed. Going back through the notes. Like I said, I think we did pretty good in our predictions for the Disney/Pixar animation panel.
Disney Legends Ceremony at D23 Expo 2022
Hey, sometimes we know things, or at least we think we know things and we get lucky, right? Quick touch on the Legends panel. You were there. And I know we threw out a ton of names. But this was kind of a big miss. Only one we ended up actually getting as a Disney Legend was Chadwick Boseman, which hey, listen, if we were gonna hit hard, like I’m proud, I’m happy that it was with Chadwick. And I’m glad that that he was honored in this way.
Yeah, we were in the ballpark with a few others. I know I had said Kevin Rafferty for Imagineering, and he didn’t get it. But Robert Coltrin, who was like a longtime collaborator with him, did get honored. And he’s someone that you just don’t hear his name as often. And he even kind of alluded to that when he was speaking that when you go to a theme park, it’s not like a TV show, or film or the theater where you see a list of credits and who works on everything. Kevin Rafferty did talk about Robert Coltrin a ton in his book, highlighting the different projects they worked on. So I think that was a very, very deserving win. I’d also said Ron Clements and John Musker, and we didn’t get them, but we got someone in that same world, Don Hahn for his work directing generally around the same timeframe. So we got close, we were in the right frame of mind for a few. But when we were talking about all of our predictions later on in the episode, fully removed from the Legends topic, Patty, you had said the comment, “When is Kristen Bell going to be a Disney legend?” So I want to say we got two right. We got 2 correct here.
We did get to correct, and K-Bell was up on stage, just being the queen that she is. I love her so much.
Yes. And she had one of my favorite quotes. And I’m I am not providing any context for this quote, you can…I’m sure there’s videos out there so you can see the whole thing. So the Disney Legends when they go up and accept their awards, they make a little speech. And Kristen Bell has one of my favorite comments. She said, “I’m so happy to be part of the Disney family. And this year, I’ll probably be dressed as Bob Chapek for my birthday or for Christmas. I haven’t decided yet.” I’m not giving any context for that. I just want you to enjoy that quote.
Listen, I’m looking forward to the Instagram photo. All right, Kristen? Do not fail us! Christmas, birthday, whichever your choice. I don’t care. But I would love to see K-Bell as Bob. Oh, all right, we are going to now drop into Disney Parks, which is one of the biggest, one of our favorites, one of our most discussed topics on this podcast, and in our Facebook group. So let’s talk about what they…you know what? Hold on, we’re gonna bring this thing full circle. We’re gonna first set the stage, and let you guys know exactly what was happening here. Theresa, you were in the panel.
Yes, I was in the panel. Yes.
Disney Parks News and Announcements from D23 2022
Okay. Jane and I were not in the panel. We were actually at breakfast at the time that this panel started in our hotel. We set up on my phone and hit the live streaming. And we’re watching it, I think it was delayed a few seconds, but we were watching it, for all intents and purposes, live as it went down. And Josh D’Amaro walks out on stage and I thought for a minute, literally everything was going to come true for me, and this was going to be the best day ever. It didn’t quite solidify, but he comes out on stage, and he starts talking about Rogers: The Musical. And how Kevin Feige had dropped that, and they put that on yesterday and he was like, wait a minute, that’s my realm of things. And I thought, oh my gosh, are they about to announce Rogers: The Musical coming to the Hyperion Theater and Avengers Campus – which, by the way, why haven’t you done? If it makes no sense, I don’t care. Just do it, even if it’s the one song. It’s one song, it’s all we need. For five minutes, we will fill up that stage, you can rotate it as many times as you want to. But for five minutes, we will take people out of lines all over. We will suck them all in, and it will all just be transported to the Battle of New York in the cheesiest way possible. Please, this is a surefire hit. I don’t understand what we’re waiting for. Because you now have it all staged out, you have actors who apparently know what they’re doing, and can sing the songs – just hire them and make this happen. Throw that up on the marquee, and we are so there! Y’all, it didn’t happen. It didn’t happen. But that was my very first…I was seriously jumping up and down going, “we’re getting it, we’re getting it, we’re getting it!” And then he moved on. And we didn’t get it.
But the first announcement they did make was pretty showstopping, and something that if you listened to any of our recent episodes about things that you love about Disney, or what you would trade to get back at Disney, they made an announcement they made a lot of people happy. So, first thing the panel jumps off was, all of a sudden you start hearing music for a little nighttime spectacular that people really miss, and that is Happily Ever After. Happily Ever After is going to be coming back to Walt Disney World.The sound. Literally, the sound in that room. As soon as that music started playing, you hear Jordan Fisher come out and start singing. I think we all were hoping this was going to happen. And we don’t have a firm date yet. The current nighttime spectaculars that they did for the 50th anniversary, Enchantment and Harmonious, I believe they both had an 18-month window that they were going to be happening. So that puts it right around March 31. So I was joking. I was like, they better not announce that this is coming back with an April 1 date, because I’m just gonna assume that’s the worst joke ever. But so yeah, sometime after March 31, Happily Ever After will be returning. They said they’re going to be using the music and they said it’s going to be an updated version. So it’s not going to be exactly what we’ve seen before. It’s an updated version. I don’t know to what extent, maybe just to work in some of the new the new properties that they have. But we are getting Happily Ever After back. I’m so excited that this. I’m so excited to hear that again in Magic Kingdom.
Right? When that happened, Jane and I just looked at each other and we were like Theresa’s in heaven. We knew how smitten about Jordan Fisher and his little, “so do you think we can get this back anytime soon?” little campaign going on Twitter. And we yeah, we were celebrating that as well. As you guys know, I am not a huge fireworks and parades person. But I know this makes people happy. So I’m happy for them.
And they did- we don’t have any details on this yet. But I’m so sorry, it made me so happy. They did acknowledge that Epcot is also getting a new nighttime spectacular to replace Harmonious sometime in late 2023. I just… Harmonious just didn’t do it for me. I think they realized that when they were kind of creating these things as part of the 50th, it just was not hitting the right notes with the guests. And that’s – it is what it is. They did say that Epcot Forever will be reappearing in that in between time, So Epcot Forever is coming back, which Patty knows, I loved. I really liked Epcot Forever, celebrating the park that is my favorite, and that just means the most to me. So I’m hoping that they will, they’ll figure out the right blend of celebrating Epcot, or the spirit of Epcot, and finding a way to recapture some of that magic. Obviously Iluminations: Reflections of Earth is my favorite nighttime show of all time. I know whatever they replace Harmonious with is not necessarily going to be that, but I hope they find some of that spirit coming back, and maybe finding a way to make the barges move during the day.
Wow, that would be lovely. I will also have to say what Jane’s comment was, because I said “how do you feel about Epcot forever?” And she said, “it has veggie veggie fruit fruit and so therefore I love it.” I said “okay, then so yeah, there’s that.” That was some that was definitely some good news. One of the things that we predicted that did not happen was a nighttime parade. They did not make any announcements for that, unfortunately. But I think that those those two announcements about the firework shows made a lot of people happy.
Yes, and they did also announce that Disneyland is also going to be getting a new nighttime spectacular, or two new nighttime spectaculars as part of Disney 100, celebrating the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company in 2023. Disneyland’s is going to be named Wondrous Journeys, and there’s going to be a new version of World of Color called World of Color – One. No big details about that other than January 2023, is when we’ll get to see some new new nighttime experiences over at Disneyland as well. In addition to that, sometime in spring of 2023 the Magic Happens parade will also be coming back to Disneyland. So we’re getting more entertainment coming back to to the Disney Parks, as they are able to get more of their casting back into shape after after COVID, when they did have to have a lot of people temporarily be out of work. I think it’s just super exciting that entertainment is coming back to the Disney Parks, or expanding, it’s just always a good thing. The Magic Happens parade was one I actually never got to see it in person. So I’m excited for that coming back. And hopefully I will finally have a chance to see it soon.
Yeah, this was one of the one of the saddest COVID casualties in the Disney Parks. This parade was only running for a couple of weeks, honestly – I think maybe two or three weeks. It had just opened when the whole world shut down, including Disneyland for over a year. And that was a big thing. We’ve been looking, and hoping, and waiting for this parade to come back. I have only seen it on YouTube as well. It looks amazing. It looks like a lot of fun. Again, parades are not my thing, but I’m happy for the people that it makes them happy. And I do think that this is a parade that will make a lot of people happy once it is back up and running. So if you are looking for an excuse to go to Disneyland this spring, here you go. We’re gonna give it to you. You’re gonna want to go see this parade and then the additions that are coming soon. Lots of good Disneyland news, which makes me happy
Okay, I know you’ve been waiting an hour to talk about this. So let’s talk about some some Disneyland news that is making – at least within this, the No-Guilt Disney audience – that is making so many people, so happy.
All right. So again, this was not on our predictions. And truthfully, it was one of those things that I was afraid to say it out loud. But I had this feeling, this gut feeling, that it was going to happen soon. Truly the timeline that they gave us fits with kind of my gut feeling that was going on. But y’all. Y’all. runDisney is coming back to Disneyland in 2024.
I feel like I need to have this extra cheering on behalf of Jane.
Honestly, honestly. Get excited. . You should have seen us. Thankfully, when we were having breakfast, there was nobody in the restaurant because we were absolutely ridiculous when that news came out, and just jumping up and down. I’m not exaggerating, we were jumping up and down and we were so excited to hear this, because the runDisney Disneyland races just hold a special place in our hearts for a lot of reasons. First of all, as far as Jane and I’s friendship – that’s really actually what solidified it. We always traveled together for these races, and did them together from 2014 on. So the Disneyland races are a big deal for us personally. But then, just as a whole for the community. Folks have been asking for these races to come back in a big way. And so we’re all very excited that this news finally dropped down. I need to know though, what was the experience that you had in the room? Because obviously, like I said, we made fools of ourselves and acted like idiots. And we literally, then ran directly to Disneyland and went straight to getting a button that says, “We’re celebrating runDisney Disneyland races!” and took pictures with PhotoPass. That’s how much we wanted to document the moment that we heard. That we were at Disneyland when we heard that the Disneyland races were coming back. We were so ridiculous about it, guys. But it really does mean a lot to us. But what was it like in the room? I am curious, because my thought process is that while there is a huge, “huge” contingent of runDisney runners in the world and fans in the world, there is a big number of them. But when it comes to actual overall, if you were to slice up where the runDisney fandom fits in the big pie of Disney Parks fandom, it’s probably actually pretty small. I do think it’s small subset, because not everybody runs, not everybody’s interested in this kind of thing. I think we are all very passionate, which makes up for it and makes it feel like it’s a lot bigger than it is. But I was curious what the response was in the room. Now, that being said, obviously, you’re a small bit biased, because you’re part of this podcast. So you hear us talking about all the time, so you know how important it was to us. And also you are traveling with somebody who is very big into the runDisney fandom as well. So I’m sure she was sitting next to you freaking out and losing her mind. But outside of that little bubble, can you give me an idea of what happened in the room? Or if it kind of went like okay, yay, polite claps? Or did people really get excited about it?
It got a really good reaction. And I think it helped that this announcement being made in Anaheim, because it has the Disneyland locals showing up in full force.This actually felt like it was one of the bigger reactions that I personally noticed during the panel. I think a lot of people, because it’s been so long, and it’s they’re not answering a lot of questions about why or when. A lot of people obviously have theories about why it left and didn’t come back. And especially where I was sitting, people were so excited. I was talking with my friend Lisa, she’s @TheCastleRunner over on Instagram. She’s never had a chance to do a Disneyland race, because when she started racing and really started getting into it, they they were gone because it was 2017, right? That was the last Disneyland races.
Yeah. And these races, by the time they come back will have been gone for seven years. That’s a whole lifetime of experience for the runDisney population. So yeah, there’s a ton of people who have never had a chance to experience the Disneyland races and what this all comprises, but yet they love what they’re doing at Walt Disney World. So they can only imagine getting a chance to do it…one more time a year at Disneyland? Four more times a year at Diseyland? We don’t know yet. All we know is what they were doing before the races were on hiatus. And at the time, for anybody who is curious about this, I can give you a little bit of history. At the time that the Disneyland races went on hiatus, what was put out was just essentially that it was chalked up to construction. There were plans at the time to do some big, mega construction through Downtown Disney and through some of the back parts of Disneyland where they were currently putting the race course. And at the very last race of runDisney Disneyland ever, I was cheering towards the end of the race. I can’t even remember what my sign said, I have to look and see what it said. I have to go back and look. But anyway, I had a sign that caught a runDisney employee’s eye, and he came over and we had this great chat for about 25 minutes. And he was very insistent, he was like, “honestly, I have no reason to lie to you. I’m telling you that that is the reason why.” Sidenote, there was also something going on with the City Council of Anaheim at the time, and rumor has it that they were not happy with the shenanigans of closing down the streets for races and whatnot. I kind of predicted that after Disneyland was closed for an entire year, that this City Council of Anaheim might be singing a different tune, once they realize how much they really do need to partner with Disneyland for their little city to continue to grow, and expand, and recover from the whole COVID situation. Again, none of that is proof. I don’t have anybody on the board that told me that’s what happened. But that was the rumor, is that it was partially a political situation. And then this gentleman from runDisney, was adamant that it was all about these new hotels that were going up, and the Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway, I think the Toontown expansion was was announced, as was Galaxy’s Edge. And so he was just like, we’re bringing you all this amazing new stuff in the Parks that we just simply can’t put a route through and around it and give you the experience that you want. Which, in hindsight – looking at that, he wasn’t wrong. It was going to be very hard to have the Disneyland experience that we had all grown to love. Because what makes these Disneyland races so great is you really do get a lot of Park time and it’s awesome. And with these construction projects that were going to be happening, it wasn’t going to be possible, and I get it, I get it. But it felt like as some projects were canceled, and some projects were changed, we kind of get hope that maybe something would come back, and they still weren’t able to announce it. So honestly, there was a small part of me that thought they were never coming back anytime it came up. When the discussion was had in Facebook groups, I was like, it’s not going to happen, y’all, you gotta let it go. If it ever happens, it’ll just be this amazing gift to us. But I will say, like I said from the beginning – just the last, probably six to nine months, I kind of felt like with runDisney Walt Disney World having such a great year, and it being so obviously beloved and wanted with all the sellouts. And the race weekends really went off very, very well this year as a return to in-person running. I just kind of had this feeling that we might see something with Disneyland coming out sooner rather than later. I did not have it on my D23 [Expo] Bingo card. I was so thrilled and so excited when it happened. And I know that if you get a chance to run these races, you’re gonna love it too. If you have questions about that, first of all, you know we’re gonna have a longer podcast talking all about the Disneyland races. Jane and I will run down everything we knew from the past and prepare you for what could happen with the future. And of course, when we hear actual, hard news and they tell us what is actually happening, we will come to you with that information as well. Because again, we’re so excited. We did make a point to stop our Disneyland day, we found a quiet place at the Disney Grand Californian Hotel to record a video that’s in the Facebook group. We answered some of your questions that you had about running at Disneyland. And if you want to see that definitely pop into our Facebook group. It’s No-Guilt Disney on Facebook. And you can watch that video of us talking about the history of this. And also what we may or may not see coming out when runDisney does come back in 2024. I’m still so excited. You should see the big smile on my face, it’s ridiculous. Why do we love it so much? So yes, that was that was Best Day Ever kind of announcement for us, was when we heard about the runDisney coming back.
And let’s we’ll stay in Disneyland for a moment. I talked about some of the other news that they announced for Disneyland. One of the predictions that we did get correct was Avengers Campus Expansion. In 2019, they had announced several attractions that would be coming to Avengers Campus. Obviously COVID happened and plans get adjusted. So they made their big announcement for what is going to be essentially replacing the the Quinjet attraction that they originally announced. They talked through about how, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe expanded, and new stories were being told, they thought it made sense to go back to the drawing board and look at the story and where it was currently, and letting that influence a new attraction, which I thought was actually really smart of them to do. They knew they wanted to expand that, they knew it’s been a big hit that whole land, I got to see it for the first time on this trip. It was really exciting to walk through it.
Did you like it?
I wish it would have been bigger. So this was great news. I love the characters, I think the characters are what really brings it home. Obviously, we can’t see that in Florida, because they can’t have most of them over there.
Yes, it absolutely is what brings it home and Jane and I, we spent a lot of time – and I’m talking a lot of time – in Avengers Campus. It’s our home away from home at Disneyland. And we also noticed something that was kind of striking. Now, obviously, the regulars at Disneyland are gonna be like, “well, duh,” but we get to go once, maybe twice a year, so we don’t have weekly visits to lean on. But the thing that we noticed was that it really just depended on the luck of the draw, or the luck of the scheduling, or maybe there is a pattern that we just didn’t see, as far as when these characters would come out. So there was a pattern that we saw. For example, there’s a show that happens, Black Widow and Black Panther fight against Taskmaster up on top of the, I don’t know, balcony/overhang, whatever you want to call it, underneath the Quinjet. They have this whole thing that happens. After that happens, 5, 10, 15 minutes later, depending on what the crowd does, I think is when Iron Man will come out to do a meet and greet. And that’s something that Jane had noticed in her previous experiences out at Avengers Campus. I had not seen Iron Man yet, so she sent me over. She was like, just go linger around over there. Don’t get in line, but linger, because Iron Man is going to come out in about 10 minutes. And sure enough, he did. And I was one of the first people to get pictures with Iron Man, it was awesome. But we had gone off and done some stuff, and I think we ended up back in Avengers Campus by the evening. It was probably five o’clock-ish or so. And our plan was just to wander around, or sit down and just hang for a little bit. And no joke, within 15 minutes, we were able to spot and take pictures with six different groups of Avengers – or, you know, six different characters that came out. I was like, Wait, what is happening? I didn’t expect there to be that many in that short period of time. But it happened, and it was so cool. And I was just like, “Hi, I’m gonna run over here now and get this one. Oh, did you see him? I’m gonna go over there and get that one.” And we were able to get a bunch of interactions, and video, and pictures of these characters that all came out in a very short period of time. Again, there might be some pattern to that we weren’t..we only saw it happen one day when we were there at Avengers Campus. I can’t attest to exactly what that is, but it was in the evening. So something to keep in mind is if you are into Avengers Campus and characters, you may want to plan before the sun goes down. But not too early in the day. I definitely felt like it was a five o’clock, six o’clock timeframe where we were seeing a lot more of them. It was also really hot, so maybe they were waiting until it was cooler for them to come out. Maybe normally it’s going to be interspersed through the day. I don’t know. But we saw a ton of them. I saw America Chavez. I saw Ant Man, I saw Loki. I saw…oh, gosh, who else did we see? We saw Black Widow. Oh, we saw Captain America. It was just all over the place. I was like, what is happening – all these characters! It was very cool. So love it, and love that we are now expanding and we’re gonna get this extra ride.
And speaking of all these characters, that actually really ties into what the ride is going to be. So they said it’s going to be inspired by the Multiverse, and you’re going to interact with heroes and villains specifically, that could be from anytime or anywhere. And in the concept art that they released…they’re not kidding. You’ll see Spider Man, you’ll see Hulk, but you also see two different versions of Hulk in this art. There was She-Hulk, there was Ms. Marvel, there was Captain Carter. So they’re characters that maybe were part of a Multiverse and not in the traditional MCU, but that we’ve seen throughout the expansions. And I think it’s something that gives them the ability, as the stories continue to grow, for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They can add new characters – and they did add a new character for this. The attraction is going to circle around facing a new villain, and that is King Thanos, which they said is going to be a version of Thanos who defeated the Avengers. I love the idea of this, because it does enable them to change the story as it goes along, or keep telling new stories and thinking through, “now that we have this multiverse, there’s no end to what we can do.” So as more information comes out about this attraction, I’m really I’m really excited to hear about it, and especially hearing if it is something where they will maybe intend to modify over time as the MCU expands.
Well, that’s one thing that they have been doing in Avengers Campuses. If you’re watching the shows, they’re bringing out new characters when they can. For example, we don’t have a She-Hulk meeting in Avengers Campus just yet. But they have had a variety of of Loki’s come out when they had all these Loki variants. So they are adding characters to the Campus when they can, so I thought this was smart to have an attraction that has that possibility. Or it could end up being one of those situations where… remember Star Tours, how you could get one of 100 different experiences.I could see that as being a similar situation, something that could be different every time. So that’s all exciting; Very, very cool information coming.
They did have, again, new characters. Hulk is going to start appearing on Avengers Campus – they said in September 2022, so possibly even by the time this episode drops, we’ll start seeing Hulk. It’s going to be a limited time one, but that if they have the costume, it doesn’t mean it will never come back. I think it was the last of the Marvel announcements for Disneyland. I think the other big-ish announcement that they made for Disneyland, is that Pacific Wharf is going to become San Fransokyo. And this is one they didn’t give a lot of details about it. It’s going to include Baymax, as a meet and gree. There’s going to be some new dining options there. This is just going to be a mini re-theme. They didn’t mention an attraction with it that I remember. But I actually saw some just reactions I was getting after I tweeted this. My Disneyland local friends were super excited about this adjustment. I think there’s obviously a lot of discussion about including IP in the theme parks. We’ve had this discussion before, and you know how I feel about it generally. But for my friends who go to Disney California Adventure frequently, they were really, really were excited about this addition. I will say the concept art they released looks really nice with that conversion to San Fransokyo from Big Hero Six. It seems like this one may be smaller in terms of big announcements, but this one, actually, I think there was a lot of excitement about.
I feel like this fits with what is happening with that park. Originally it was very much about California. Just, period. Just California. And some people didn’t like it. I will admit, Disney California Adventure felt like a glorified theme park. What am I trying to say? Like, go down to the Boardwalk, go down to the pier, because they didn’t have a lot of what I felt were Disney-level attractions the first time that I went there. Over time, they have added, they’ve changed. Pixar Pier now instead of Paradise Pier, things like that. It’s definitely morphing into something. And I know a lot of people feel a very certain way, Theresa, about IP in the Parks, but I felt like for this park – it just makes sense. And I love how this was still going to manage to marry the two, right? We’re still going to get the California feel, there’s still going to be those things that are there. But it’s also Baymax. And Baymax – you know, it’s very underrated. If you haven’t seen Baymax lately, go back and watch it. It’s a great film.
I’ll say here’s one of my big misses, but I still – just because it didn’t happen yet, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. One of my predictions, because of the direction – they also changed Paradise Pier to Pixar Pier, they officially announced that the Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel will become the Pixar Place Hotel. One of my predictions was that DCA would be getting a new name. That they would change it from Disney California Adventure to Disney Hollywood Adventure because of the transition to the experiences of walking through the movies versus representing California and different areas of California through this park. They did not make that announcement, but because they did announce another transition from the California area to a Disney-inspired California area, I’m not letting go of this announcement at some point down the line, but it did not…that was that was probably my biggest reach for an announcement for the Disney Parks panel that did not come true.
Well, I have to say – I think what they’re doing is working. I mean, if you think about it, all the Pixar stuff – where is Pixar, headquartered? Emoryville, California. So it’s still California, you know what I’m saying? I know it may be a stretch, but maybe they’re like, “yes, you get it, Patty. You’re totally on board with this.” I don’t know. But I feel like in a way they’re working within the confines of this. Because do you remember a couple years back, there was this huge push to rename Disney Hollywood Studios as well? And and I feel like, to an extent, they’re also just working within the Hollywood theme. They are making it about movies, but making it about movies in a different way than they originally made it about movies, if that makes sense. Or about Hollywood. So with these different lands that are themed to big IPs, that’s it’s still Hollywood. It’s still the entertainment capital of the world. We’re just not a working studio like we once were. So I think that the name still works. Could they change it? Would I hate it if they changed it? No. and No. I mean, yes, they could change it. And no, I wouldn’t hate it if they did. Either way, if it comes, I’ll be like, “hey, look Theresa, you got your wish,” but it wasn’t high on what I expected either. And I can see a vision for what they’re doing right now. We’ll see. We’ll see what further changes come to the park.
I think we’re gonna we’re gonna jump over now to a good segue period, because there is an attraction that is coming both to Disneyland and Walt Disney World that we got a closer look at, both in the Parks pavilion, as well as during the Disney Parks panel. And that’s Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which is coming to New Orleans Square at Disneyland Park and Frontierland at Magic Kingdom. This is the Splash Mountain re-theme. They did have a model of what it’s going to look like, I believe the Disneyland version of it was the model. But obviously the attraction itself is pretty similar on both coasts. So it gives you an idea of what maybe you could expect to see over in Magic Kingdom as well. As that’s going to be opening in 2024. We got to have a performance from an Anika Noni Rose, doing Princess Tiana, which was fantastic. They mentioned that quite a few of the cast members, including her, are going to be reprising their roles for this attraction. And we got a little bit more information about the storyline. It is going to pick up where the movie left off, Tiana is going to be searching for an ingredient that she needs for this party she’s hosting during the Carnival season in New Orleans. And they also showed something that looked really impressive, which was the transition of what that’s going to look like going from daytime into nighttime. And it looks…the concept art looks gorgeous. We do have a blog post about all of these announcements for the panels that we went to, so there is an image that does show what the the nighttime experience is going to look like. They had Charita Carter come out who is one of the lead Imagineers on it to talk about this attraction. I know there’s a lot of hesitation from people, particularly on the Magic Kingdom side, how this is going to work into Frontierland. But I’d say, they they have a very clear vision of what they want to do. And there’s also maybe some other discussion about things happening on the Frontierland side, question mark, over in Magic Kingdom – which we’ll get to. But I’d say this is….I’m excited as we hear more about this attraction, I’m excited for the direction that they’re going with it. If you’re feeling hesitant, they they seem to have a very, very clear picture in mind, so trust the process.
I think I think the ride looks great. I think it’s going to be amazing. Somebody had put together, spliced together after the announcement, an on-ride example but put all of the music from from Princess and the Frog to the ride, and I was down with it from that point on. So I can’t wait to see how this works out. I will say Disneyland’s Splash Mountain did me dirty last time I was on it. I got soaked from head to toe. No exaggeration. There was not a spot on me that was even remotely dry. So I’m not sure when I’ll get on the ride next. I will have to pick a very warm day to make that happen. I think this announcement and this explanation hopefully will go a long way to calm some folks down who are getting a little crazy about this change. I think it’s a great change. I think it’s about time to change. I think it’s a good, good option all around.
And Patty and Jane, they got their big announcement that shed some tears on their side. I maybe did not get quite as big of an announcement, but there were tears of something that was announced for Walt Disney World during this panel. I’ll say Lisa and I, we were sitting together during this panel. And we, based on the day before they had announced Inside Out 2 was coming, they started talking about journeys at some point during the Parks panels. In our minds, we’re like, “oh, they are officially going to talk about the Journey into Imagination update.” I think it’s been long, long rumored that at the Imagination Pavilion would be getting a refresh. I know, Inside Out has frequently been one of those things that people thought made sense. I would be okay with that, if that’s the direction they go. So Disney, I’m giving you my permission. But we thought that’s what would the announcement for Imagination would be. And it was not that. But they announced there’s something that I’ve never gotten to see, being a Journey into Imagination fan, being a Figment fan. And they announced that there’s going to be a Figment meet and greet that will be returning to Epcot. Back in the mid-2000s…I think this ended in…it was 2005 to 2008, maybe. They actually had a big, walk-around Figment character that I never got to see. But so – Figment! They’re bringing Figment back into the park. I don’t know if it’s going to be like that walk-around style, or if it’s going to be something that resembles the Dragon, maybe in the Muppets Mobile Lab style when they had it come out. Or maybe they’ll bring back Dreamfinder, which was my big hope, Dreamfinder coming back. But Figment is going to be a bigger presence in Epcot. Which, love him or hate him, I’m a big fan. It made me really excited. I had hoped we would have gotten more about the Imagination Pavilion, but they gave us a little teaser. So I am excited that they are discussing Imagination. And hopefully we’ll get more announcements about it later.
We know that made you made me so happy. Yep. We were like, “this is the best day ever for the No-Guilt Disney Podcast.”
We all got something for us!
We sure did!
Looking at a few of our other predictions for Disney Parks. I’ll say one – I gave this to us as a win – was Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind getting a holiday overlay. We got that, it was just announced prior to D23 Expo. Jane’s idea that they could do it the way that they do for Haunted Mansion Holiday or Space Mountain in Disneyland. With Cosmic Rewind, you could easily do something with holiday music and holiday overlay. They did announce that, it was just before D23 Expo happened. I count that as a win. We sort of got an opening date-ish for Tron Lightcycle Run. We thought we’d get a firm date, but it’s now been pushed. We know Spring 2023.
Yeah, I also expected them, based on what we’re seeing visually – we’re seeing them doing a lot of testing on the ride. So I was even kind of leaning towards like they were gonna say and it’s opening October 1, right?
Yeah, I think October 1, or even we thought that maybe the Walt Disney World Railroad would get a date for October 1. They did not. Josh made me nervous, y’all. He was talking about….he made a lot of train references at one point. And we’ll talk about what that was later. But he made a lot of train references, and that some things might make you nervous. And I was like, “Oh, no. What is happening to the train?” He was referencing a different train. But yeah, that was one of those things that they didn’t reference. They did not acknowledge Walt Disney World Railroad. They did not acknowledge a Fantasmic reopening date. I think that we’ll get those soon. These things are coming back. We’ll get those soon. But it was just not part of the D23 [Expo] announcements. We also thought maybe that we’d get a re-theme for Rock n’ Roller Coaster, that they did not talk about that. I think the biggest miss that I was 100% confident that they were going to talk about was Disneyland’s Tomorrowland getting an overhaul. I really thought that was going to be a big piece of this presentation, that just did not get mentioned.
I was surprised by that as well. I did expect to hear more about that. But also, selfishly because runDisney is coming back I’m like, don’t mess with anything else really big in the Parks right now. We need to run, okay? So maybe those dreams have had to be shelved in order for something else to happen. I don’t know.
Yeah. And so the other predictions, or – this is where we talk… it’s the “Blue Sky” portion of the program. I was trying to do my tweets about what they were announcing, and they got to this, and I started to write stuff but I’m like, wait….what is happening? So Blue Sky in Disney-speak, if you’re not familiar, Blue Sky is basically when they are just doing their brainstorming about what could come to the Parks. And so some of what we had predicted was Encanto would have a presence at Magic Kingdom or they’re gonna announce that maybe for Animal Kingdom, to take over for Dinoland. I know there was also a lot lot of talking about Zootopia coming to Dinoland. And so when they were getting into this Blue Sky portion, they focused on two specific things. One of those was the Dinoland update. They brought out Chris Beatty from Imagineering. They brought out Jennifer Lee from Walt Disney Animation Studios. And so they were talking about what are things that could come to Dinoland U.S.A. And nothing confirmed, but they were showing Zootopia as a metropolis, possibly similar to what’s at Shanghai Disneyland, or maybe a Moana mini-land to take over where Dinoland is. But then they got into the whole discussion of “what exists behind Big Thunder Mountain at Magic Kingdom?” And that’s a question I’d never thought about, but they were showing some examples of –
Well, you have never run a half marathon, right? Yeah, we’ve all seen what’s behind Big Thunder Mountain, those of us that have run the half marathon back there. This was one of the most interesting…commentary on that too, because, honestly, it doesn’t feel like there’s a ton of land out there, but I could be wrong.
It could be big. Somebody was looking at, if they were to adjust the Rivers of America back there, similar to what they did for Disneyland with theirs with their Galaxy’s Edge expansion, I think someone said it could be up to 14 acres. And that’s about the size of Galaxy’s Edge, so that there could be a serious expansion happening back there. But so for some of the things that they were saying, they talked about maybe Coco, or Encanto, or the one that definitely got the biggest reaction was something themed around the Disney Villains. And that’s been – there’s the theory of the fifth gate being the Disney Villains Theme Park for the longest time, people thinking that’s what it’s gonna be. I think maybe even got into development at one point. There’s so much conversation about what could be back there. I feel like because this was a non-news news update, it almost felt to me like they were holding back on announcements of things that they knew they’re planning on, because maybe they got a little burned in 2019. This one sounded like they wanted to give maybe the investors, or maybe some other people, showing them that even if they don’t have it firm outline yet of what they’re doing, they are planning expansions for these areas, and they are definitely thinking about what is the next big thing to come to the Disney Parks? And how can we utilize some of our films that really are beloved, that just have not really had chance to be represented in the theme parks yet. I think Encanto is clearly the biggest one, they’re referring to it now as the next big Disney franchise. So we’re gonna get a lot more Encanto, just broadly speaking, there’s going to be a lot more of that to come, which makes sense. It was really it was interesting to hear the thought process behind all of these big things that could happen. We don’t know what it’s going to be yet. But I would say expanding Magic Kingdom, if they can, if there’s the space to do that, that’s great. That’s a park that I can easily, outside of Epcot, that’s probably the one I could spend the most time in just because there’s so much to do there. It’s obviously the signature park of Walt Disney World. And if you’re gonna bring in more IP, that’s the place to put it.
Not only that, if they’re listening to the podcast and have been for the past three years and decided that they need a Halloween 365 section, ahem, I feel like they could theme the villain section as very much a spooky season all year long. And with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party now starting in early August, that would also be an extra additional way to include some Halloween expansion of that Halloween party. So I’m totally down with it if they do decide to go villains route for that thought process and that reasoning, but I also like Encanto, and I like Coco, and so those things are also great and wonderful. Can we have it all? Isn’t there something like, I don’t know, 80-bazillion acres left of Disney World that they bought from that original purchase that hasn’t been used yet? Come on people, let’s get with it. And let’s start using up some of this land, because we’ve got so many good things that that we just want to see.
There’s a lot that they can do there, and because these are still in Blue Sky, who knows what the next the next Disney film that comes out – maybe there’s going to be something that catches there too. So even though the panel felt, maybe light on some announcements, it’s very clear that they are they’re thinking very much ahead to the future of what could come and they’re working closely – Imagineering and Walt Disney Animation Studios, working closely to make sure that if and when they announce these new things, where they build these new immersive experiences, that it is going to continue the Disney tradition of making you feel like you are just a part of that environment. So I’m, I’m encouraged by some of what they’re thinking about. I’ll still say I think an Encanto/South America area is what I would love to see as what’s replaces Dinoland, just because I think that gives them a chance to get some more animals, also more of that walking through different environments that are real locations. So that’s my plug, I would love to see Encanto and South America being what gets added to Animal Kingdom. But regardless, there’s a lot. It’s a bright future. It’s a boundless – what was the name of the panel? Boundless Future for Disney Parks. So I think there’s going to be a lot of good news coming in the future.
Wrap Up of D23 Expo 2022
They certainly did give us a lot of information over the course of the weekend. And obviously we haven’t even touched on all of it. But we did our best, we touched on our what our predictions were, what we got, right what we got wrong. And we’ll also put some links to the posts that give us a deeper rundown for you as well as that Rogers: The Musical link for you as well. So you’ll definitely want to check those out. And where can they find us if they have more to say about this episode, or any other they might have listened to Theresa?
As Patty said earlier, you can make sure to find us on Facebook. The Facebook group is No-Guilt Disney. You can also make sure to email us at [email protected] And make sure you join us each week on the No-Guilt Disney Podcast, because as Patty likes to say:
It’s no fun to fangirl all the blue sweaters alone.
We have so many blue sweaters now!