It’s the D23 Expo and once again it on the other side of the world. Sadly, none of the team made it our there this year but you can follow all of the news and info from the event on this blog. It will be updated over the next few days so please check back to find out what is going on.

DISNEY PARKS AND RESORTS
Avatar Land
It has already been stated that there will be no big announcement from the Disney Parks and Resorts arm but Disney have certainly gone out of there way to tease us with tidbits from projects that are already announced/rumoured. The first in the Imagineering pavilion is Avatar Land. Announced back in 2009 very little has happened since but this weekend, Imagineers have teased us with a recreation of a desk of a researcher who has visited Navi to discover more it their world. Apparently, guest can talk to some Imagineers who will respond as they have really been there.

20130810-094257.jpg

20130810-094318.jpg

20130810-094330.jpg
Photos courtesy of Inside the Magic
Star Wars
With the recent acquisition of Lucasfilm it is surely only a matter of time before Disney decide to build an attraction I’m one of the parks. So, it seems fitting that the imagineering pavilion has an area all to do with Star Wars. Once again, it’s a tease and there are no giveaways but the area in the pavilion has been entitled “Orange Harvest”

20130810-112651.jpg
Photo courtesy of Inside the Magic
This is a play on words of the Return of the Jedi’s working title “Blue Harvest” but maybe the orange relates to Florida? Equally, there are blueprints stored in boxes

20130810-113136.jpg
Also, a banner behind has Disneyland Paris written on it. There were rumours of DLP getting a Star Wars area first so this may still be happening.

Disney Cruise Line
Having just been onboard the Disney Magic there is a large number of changes coming to the ship with its dry dock in September. I can tell you that the dry dock will take 5 weeks to complete with 2 weeks of rehearsal as it sails to Miami for a October 20th sailing. The biggest addition to the cruise ships will be the first time guests will be able to meet and greet Marvel characters. The Oceaneers Lab will become the Marvel Academy and guests will be able to meet Spider-Man, Captain America and Iron Man. This is due to a previous agreement with Universal for use of the characters in Florida. But, as a special treat, guests get to meet Captain America at the D23 Expo

20130810-114001.jpg

DISNEY ANIMATION AND FILMS
On Friday, Disney announced a slate of films coming from Walt Disney Animation and Pixar. They are as follows:
PIXAR
Party Central – a new short from the world of Monster University.
The Good Dinosaur – a story that looks at what life on Earth would have been like if the meteor missed Earth.
Inside Out – all about the human brain and its emotions. Sounds a little like Cranium Command.
Finding Dory – previously announced, it follows Dory as a traumatic event causes homing instinct to find her family.
Toy Story of Terror – Due to air on ABC in October. The toys find themselves in a Psycho style motel.
TOON STUDIOS
Disney Fairies will produce two new films – The Pirate Fairy and The Legend of the Neverbeest
Planes: Fire and Rescue – follow up to the new movie.
DISNEY ANIMATION
Get a Horse – a new Mickey Mouse animated short will precede Frozen and uses hand drawn 2D and 3D CGI. What makes it unique is the fact that the voice of Mickey will be Walt Disney himself.
Frozen – based on on the Snow Queen, released at the end of 2013.
Big Hero 6 – the first time a main animated release is based on a Marvel comic book. The film is released in 2014.
Zootopia – due for release in 2016, the original tale from the creators of Tangled brings a story where humans never existed and animals rule the earth. It’s billed as a buddy comedy.
WALT DISNEY PICTURES
At the Walt Disney Pictures presentation Disney haven’t announced anything new but have revealed many details about the upcoming movies.
Marvel Phase 2 – plans are revealed about phase 2 of the Marvel Universe:
Exclusive clips were shown from Thor 2 and Captain America 2.
Clips were also shown from Guardians to the Galaxy, the same footage as the San Diego Comic Con.
The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron was revealed and a short clip shown although it apparently didn’t reveal very much.
DisneyNature have teamed up with the National Forest for their next film “Bears”
Next came clips from the live action version of Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Brangnah, The Muppets Most Wanted and Into the Woods. The latter has also has some casting confirmed including Meryl Streep as the Witch and Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf.
Brad Bird was onstage to talk about the new movie Tomorrowland. There were hints at The Optimist link but still nothing has officially been revealed. Rumours suggest the film will begin at the 1964/65 worlds fair and there is a definite sci fi link. The 1952 box released on Twitter sometime ago will be on show at the Expo later today.
Final film was the soon to be released Saving Mr Banks. Film is due for re,ease this year and guests were shown several exclusive clips followed by Richard Sherman on stage to sing.

DISNEY INTERACTIVE
on Sunday, Disney Interactive took to the stage to present several new products. Some are ones we have known about for some time while others are brand new.

Disney Infinity – the new sandbox style game is due for release in a weeks time and the Interactive team spent time going through the elements of the game. There is to be several different sandboxes as part of the game – Monsters Inc/University, The Incredibles, Cars and announced today, Toy Story. They will have many characters to interchange and play with including the Lone Ranger from the new movie and released in January, Sorcerer Mickey. All those who attended the presentation got a Sorcerer Mickey at the end. For those who haven’t heard of Infinity think Skylanders but in a Disney universe.

Fantasia: Music Evolved – imagine if you can conducted an orchestra or play around with sound using nothing but your body. The new game will use XBox Kinnect technology to allow guests to conduct music from Fantasia plus other classical tunes including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. There is also the chance to include other genres of music too. In the demonstration and Imagineer demonstrated the game using Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. This is a very different looking game and has been co produced by the team behind Rock Band. There will be much more info to come before its 2014 release.

Disney Animated – a new app that will allow you to take a closer look at Disney animated movies like never before. The app (costing £9.99) in the UK will coming in 2 sections. The first allows you to look at and break down scenes and characters from Disney movies and look at movies frame by frame. The will also let you look at poster art, cels, you name it! Part 2 allows you to play with animation. Creating your own short movies and uploading to social media. They let you play with Disney characters and give you basics on the animation process.

20130811-232718.jpg

it’s a small world animated series – There wasn’t huge amount of detail about the series but Richard Sherman has been writing new music for the series.

Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story– Ever wondered what a web series about Vinylmation characters might look like? Well, think no more as a new web based series of shorts will debut on Disney.com about the life of a blank Mickey and Minnie and their encounters with other Vinylmation characters. Take a look at the trailer below

Disney have also released a behind the scene video too