Theme Park Bits: A New Parade, Cirque Du Soleil Returns, And More

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Tickets are available for a new Cirque Du Soleil show at Walt Disney World.
  • More details on Disney Cruise Line's new offering.
  • Learn about the Disney Genie program.
  • And more!
  • Cirque du Soleil at Disney Springs

    In the wake of the D23 Expo, there's been a lot of announcements worth highlighting here briefly in the Theme Park Bits space. Let's start in Walt Disney World and move our way around from there. If you've been to Disney Springs lately, you know that there's been a Cirque du Soleil-shaped space that needs to be filled. Well, not only has a new show been announced, but tickets are now available. Though the animation-inspired show is as-yet-unnamed, you can buy tickets for it before it goes into previews in March of 2020. Disney animation and dazzling choreography feels like a perfect fit, so you'll want to check this one out as soon as you can. Get those tickets!

    One of the big announcements at the D23 Expo by Disney honcho Bob Chapek centered around something called the Disney Genie. This new planning tool won't be ready until the end of 2020 (which is kind of a bummer, honestly), but for now, we can see how the Genie will potentially revolutionize how you plan out your trips in advance, and what you might end up experiencing on a given day. For now, I'm going to stick with one of the third-party planning tools (I'm partial to Touring Plans), but the Disney Genie might be a game-changer. We'll find out...eventually.

    Another theme-park announcement revolved around an attraction that will eventually be at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World: Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway. Inspired by the utterly delightful shorts that you can watch right now on Disney XD, this new attraction is taking the place of the dearly departed Great Movie Ride in Disney's Hollywood Studios, and will be a new addition to Mickey's Toontown in Disneyland. For those of us who visit Anaheim more often, it's a longer waiting game: the new ride won't be there until 2022. Hopefully, it's worth the wait.

    Moving over to Disneyland, they've got something else coming sooner as per the announcement at D23. Earlier this year, the Mickey's Soundsational Parade ran its last show, and will be replaced next spring by the Magic Happens parade. (I'm not partial to the use of the word "Happens" here, but I'll manage.) The new parade is going to feature characters from Moana and Coco among others, and is sure to be a very colorful experience. Hopefully, the new floats are plenty elaborate too — the moreso, the better.

    Lighthouse Point

    The other big theme-park news at D23 didn't even have to do with a theme park. One of the other major "experiences" that the company offers is its Cruise Line. The Disney Cruise Line is going to have another offering in the Bahamas at an island called Lighthouse Point. I mention it here because legendary Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde (who you can thank for the Avatar area at Disney's Animal Kingdom, among others) is directly involved in this new experience. Rohde's involvement means this is likely going to be a lot more than just a stop on a generic cruise, and raises my interest in the project by tenfold. Here's hoping it lives up to his reputation.