Article has been updated on 8/26/2019 with what actually happened and whether I got it right or not.
D23 is just a few days away and while I couldn’t go this year (maybe next time), it is fun to speculate about what we will see as all eyes are on Disney. Literally, between alleged plants on social media to further Bob Iger’s career, suspected over reporting of revenue and Spider-Man seemingly up in the air on if he’ll return to the MCU, it has been a crazy week so far and the event hasn’t even started yet. But with panels from movies, television, parks and the debut of their own streaming service, D23 2019 could be the craziest one yet. But what may we see? I do enjoy a good speculation list, so let’s take a look. Note, these things may or may not happen and everything in here is pure speculation. While I may try to rationalize these, I don’t want people saying, “The Churro said it was going to happen.” I don’t even know what I’m having for lunch on a given day (even when I pack it). Let’s just guess for fun.
1. More Epcot Details
We’ll start with a pretty obvious one, but something that Disney NEEDS to address. Epcot is right now going through what Hollywood Studios recently went through and is going through a big overhaul. Buildings have been announced as going to be closing, the removal of Leave a Legacy is almost done and there is that pesky rumor about the Land and Seas Pavilion futures. I could easily foresee Disney releasing more details about what exactly is going on to either confirm on refute any and all rumors while also crushing every Epcot fanboys spirit.
This one did happened. Land and Seas being bulldozed rumors were pretty much debunked entirely with the new layout having that section of the park being names “World Nature” and both buildings are in the concept art.
2. Trailers for Frozen 2 and Rise of Skywalker
It has been a big year for Disney movies. On top of Avengers: Endgame becoming the highest grossing movie of all time, they have released 5 other movies that have broken one billion dollars. And there are two more movies waiting that could easily reach that mark as well. Since most of these movies have been very ambiguous in what has been released thus far, I expect not only more information but also new trailers. Speaking of new trailers…
This one kind of happened halfway. They did preview scenes from Frozen 2, but no trailer. Rise of Skywalker got a sizzle reel/trailer which was release today. So we’ll say half right on this.
3. Trailers for Lady & The Tramp and The Mandalorian
It seems that these are going to be the big must sees when Disney+ launches in November not named, “Seasons 1-10 of The Simpsons.” Disney has been riding high on their live action remakes lately and with news about how the dogs are rescue dogs, it is very likely we will see some actual footage, even a trailer of it, at the Disney+ press conference. Same goes for The Mandalorian, being the big launch original series for the streaming service and the large budget. Expect a large portion to be dedicated to these two. But that’s not all…
Both happened and both look great!
4. Disney Afternooniverse Shows for Disney+ Announcement
At Comic Con of this year, a poster was revealed showing most of the Disney Afternoon shows would be represented on the new DuckTales series. But given how the MCU has made everything needing to be it’s own connecting universe, this one seems like a no brainer. Having redone and updated versions of Talespin, Goof Troop, Gummi Bears and Darkwing Duck (personal favorite) with the same visual style as the new DuckTales and updating the writing and tropes too would be great to see and further reason to buy a Disney+ membership.
5. A Tribute to Russi Taylor at Legends Panel or Parks Panel
With the recent passing of Russi Taylor, it left a big hole in a lot of people. With no bad stories about her and her character, it would be fitting to honor her in some capacity given that she portrayed Minnie Mouse for a long time. I expect maybe a tribute at the Legends Panel, given that she was a Disney Legend. But I also fully expect something at the Parks Panel talking about Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Maybe even announcing a nod in the ride to not only her, but her husband who also voiced Mickey Mouse before his passing in 2009.
Happened, but not where I thought it would. This happened during The Simpsons panel.
6. A Surprise Disney Legend
It what seems to be a tradition lately, the last two Legends Ceremonies have had a surprise inductee that was not announced until right before it happened or in a pamphlet in the seats as people are sitting down (Johnny Depp and Whoppie Goldberg respectively). If they were to go this year, who would it be. Do you give it to an obscure choice like Bill Farmer the voice of Goofy, or someone bigger to the general public like James Cameron because the FOX deal, Cameron Boyce to honor his tenure with the company and one final send off for him after his sudden and tragic passing, or someone who would make the crowd go ballistic for like Joe Rohde for his years in Imagineering and designing pretty much everything in Animal Kingdom. Honestly there is no way to really know. And I know they announced Christina Aguilera after the initial announcements, but I feel like that was more of a timing on whether or not she could commit to attending than a surprise announcement.
7. Affirming No New Pixar Sequels for a While
Even though the last Pixar movie, Toy Story 4, made one billion dollars, I feel like the general direction they want to go in is to have more original movies. So far, the movies announced are all not based on anything previously done and I expect this trend to continue. I’ve always thought Pixar is at their best when they do original movies. Wall-E, Inside Out, and Up I feel are the strongest movies in their line up because of how different they are. Though they could always announce shorts for Disney+.
Didn’t NOT happen.
8. More Live Action Remake Announcements and Updates
They make money and are easy to make. They already have two set to release this year, Lady and the Tramp and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (kill me), Mulan set to release next year and 12 in development (despite what another blog may tell you). While they may hold off on announcing any new projects, there will be lots of updates on these. I forsee more info on The Little Mermaid and Hunchback of Notre Dame. And I know that everyone’s sick of these, but would you watch a double feature of two of these or a movie about John Hamm wanting to be a baseball player and The Lone Ranger. For me, it’s neither.
It happened, sadly.
9. Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Plans
By the time the next D23 convention happens, it will be 2 months before the Walt Disney World Resort celebrates 50 years of operation. So what better time than the Parks Panel to announce what will be happening to celebrate this historic milestone. Even if they announce a general two year plan to get the park ready for this historic occasion, it will get the crowd fired up. I don’t think it will include any legacy attraction removals or layovers though like some may have you think. Even though Disney themselves already said it, people still believe it (oh, we’ll get to that).
It was mentioned with the logo being shown.
10. A Mickey and Minnie Mouse Theatrical Movie
With all the animated Disney movies made, none of them have featured Mickey Mouse as the main protagonist. Yes, he was in a segment in Fantasia (and Fantasia 2000) as well as in a segment of Fun and Fancy Free. But that’s it, those were parts of the movie, not the whole movie. The time has come for Mickey Mouse to be in his very own movie outing. What it would be about…how about a retooled version of the Epic Mickey games story line to also include Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in there as well. It’s weird that it took so long for Mickey to get his own ride at the theme parks and even longer to be in a movie that hasn’t even been announced. I could see this happening at some point, but maybe we’ll get a tease for it this year.
Didn’t happen, but they did announce another movie, Raya and the Last Dragon which looks like it’ll be really cool.
But wait…there is one more thing I think could happen this year at the D23 Expo. Consider this, a bonus entry. It’s not company related though. Just something that would be funny:
11. A Certain Blogger Gets Kicked Out of the Parks Panel
Imagine writing for a website that talks about nothing but Disney Parks and then not liking the parks (but still going and spending money) and having a deep seated hatred towards the person who oversees those parks. Then you write a series of articles that get rebuked and you get called out as a liar by that park’s own blog site. You then announce that you are going to go to D23, to the Parks Panel and boo the person who runs the parks and disrupt the event. Yeah, that sounds like the actions of someone who could get removed from the panel since it is also something that investors will be attending and you want minimal disruptions for this. I would really love to be proven wrong about this though, as I’d like to hope that everyone attending can be adults and accept any changes that are coming. Not asking everyone to agree with them, just accept that changes will happen.
Didn’t happen, sadly. But they did continue to prove themselves as being a man-child after the event.
And that’s my list. There are a lot of safe bets on here, some wild ones, one that might get me a strongly worded message. I know I’ll be keeping a tally to see just how right or wrong I am. But if you are attending D23 this weekend, enjoy it and have fun! Also while you’re there, can you get me a shirt or something? Just message me to confirm if I like it and I’ll pay you back. I wear a size XL for reference.