Search "D23 Expo 2015 Rumors" on google right now, and you will receive a dizzying array of wishes, dreams, rumors, and speculation. It's insane!
So, we're going to try to narrow some of the speculation down for you, and present what is likely to happen during this event. We do this so that we can have written proof that we were wrong and that Disney through us for a loop. That's all part of the fun. D23 is like getting a Christmas present wrapped in a big box, but the gift inside is small, only sometimes the box is actually Mary Poppins' tote and the gift inside is way bigger. They're masters in the art of deception and wonder.
In an effort to keep everything organized, while frantically trying to stay up to date, we will separate the rumors into multiple categories—Marvel, Parks, Pixar, Star Wars, and Video Games. We will start with Parks, because the rumors there have at least a little to do with everything else.
For a great breakdown of what has been revealed, go to the source--D23.com. It seems that one of the items that has garnered the most excitement is the TRON Lightcycle Power Run roller-coaster. It's always exciting when Disney comes out with a coaster, because they don't do many of them, but they do them well. There's also a lot of excitement around two immersive experiences, one will throw guests into an unparalleled cinematic experience with Star Wars, and the other allows guests to get inside the Marvel Universe. The property will house two resorts—one themed after the Lion King and the other Pixar/Toy Story. And, if you were wondering which princess will get a castle in Shanghai, the answer is all of them. That's right, Storybook Castle will represent all of the princesses.
Disney has released a model of the Animal Kingdom expansion for the first time, as well as a lot more detail about what will be included. Regardless of how you feel about Avatar (I can't stand it, and think this is a terrible idea), if the end result looks anything like the model, the park is going to be incredible. So far, no word on the specifics people were hoping for. The official viewing for this starts tonight, but if you paid $2000 extra for the Sorcerer package, you were able to go on an early tour of the expo last night. If you think you hear a touch of envy in my voice, you are correct. Many are hoping they will be announcing the rides, dining, nighttime entertainment, and a firmer opening date. They may tease some of this throughout the weekend, but I wouldn't hold my breath for an opening date.
DISNEYLAND / CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
MiceChat has certainly done it's part to fuel the rumors around Disneyland. Disney just bought several pieces of property around it's current property, so it only makes sense that much of what is "backstage" now will become "onstage" space, and the "backstage" offices and such will move across the street. Why would Disney do this? In order to add more Star Wars and Marvel to the parks of course. I'll be honest, most of the rumors sound reasonable, and I would love for them all to be true. We do know that when Innovations re-opens it will include a scaled down version of the Star Wars Launch Bay, which was created for Shanghai Disneyland. It also makes sense for Disney to capitalize on its Marvel properties in Disneyland. Contractually, they can't have Marvel characters in their Orlando park, but having it only in Disneyland might play in their favor. Suddenly, there's a huge draw to go to parks on both coasts.
Disneyland is also expected to receive a MyMagic+ announcement, thereby removing their freedom and autonomy, err... I mean, thereby removing the burden of carrying a parkpass, debit card, and ID.
And, all parks containing a Soarin' ride are expecting the ride to receive a new film before the next Expo. Since we know it's been filmed already, and that the digital conversion of all the theaters has been completed or is nearing completion, it's possible they will reveal a launch date for the new film.
Everyone is hoping for confirmation that Disney's will be getting a comparable expansion to the one in Disneyland. The park has seen several attractions shut down recently, and seems to be a prime candidate for a Star Wars expansion. It would also make sense for them to expand the Pixar portion of the park. We're all keeping our fingers crossed for this one. DHS seems primed for a major overhaul, and if it doesn't get one soon, all those vacant attraction buildings are going to kill it. I would expect that there will be good news during this Expo.
NOTE: I wouldn't expect too much in terms of details about rides, etc. on these two possible expansions, because the rides are tied into the movie plotlines of films not yet released. So, really, we're just looking for solid confirmation.
California Adventure just received a new show, celebrating 60 years of Disneyland, and Animal Kingdom is preparing for their new nighttime show—River's of Light. The other parks are getting a little jealous and want their nighttime shows refreshed. I don't know that we'll see anything on this front. Disneyland is locked into its 60th anniversary. DHS just received an update to their Fantasmic. It's possible EPCOT gets something new, but their show still draws crowds and works for that park. I could be wrong, but I think this will be a no go.
If you are looking for information about Infinity 3.0, they just had a Toy Box Summit earlier this week. So, I imagine any news on that front has already been reported, but they will certainly have devoted space to show guests what's new. You can see the video for 3.0 here. It has some great new updates. It also includes Star Wars, which means Star Wars is getting two new games, because it's in Infinity 3.0 and It's own game Star Wars: Battlefront. You can be sure Lucasfilm and Disney will take the time to highlight this new game.
Since Disney nearly no-showed at Comic Con, you can guarantee they'll use their own stage to pitch the upcoming projects for their Marvel properties. There's sure to be some footage from Civil War, especially after that credits tease from Ant-Man. We will likely also get information on Spidey and Doctor Strange. If you were hoping for an appearance from The Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 you will be disappointed to hear that their will not be anything on that front at the Expo. Although, some are hoping for A Chris Pratt/Indiana Jones announcement.
You can bet this Expo will be filled with Star Wars. Disney is not going to let their franchise go the way of 1,2, and 3. They're going to hype it up, and then exceed your expectations. Get ready. I'm saying this even after J.J. Abrams said no new footage will show at D23. I dont believe it. There's no way they disappoint on this front two Expos in a row. It's coming. And, when it does, I'll have a date stamp on this post to say I called it. If it doesn't, I'll edit this post to say that there would be no new footage and leave it at that. But, trust me, it's coming.