4 Important Announcements Were MISSING from Disney’s BIG News Drop

April 3rd, 2024, was a BIG day for the Walt Disney Company. The Annual Shareholder Meeting took place, where shareholders voted to elect Disney’s full slate of 12 board directors (against the Trian Group’s and Blackwell’s recommendations). But the election was only one part of this major meeting — we also got some pretty big updates from Disney executives like CEO Bob Iger!


We heard more about the new Moana 2 movie that’s coming out in November, got a sneak peek at the concept art for a possible Pandora land coming to Disneyland, and even learned that ESPN has secured NCAA football playoff rights through the 2031-2042 season (talk about planning ahead). But there were some HUGE announcements we were expecting that DIDN’T happen during the meeting, which means fans are still waiting on answers to these four major questions.

Disney’s shareholder meetings are frequently platforms for the company to make big announcements, whether those be about the company’s employees and Cast Members, theme parks, movies, cruise ships, or any other part of Disney. So we always look forward to these meetings in the hope that we’ll get to learn more about what’s next.

The Walt Disney Company headquarters in California

This year, we were hoping for more information about Disney’s theme park expansion plans as well as an update on the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (in both Disney World and Disneyland). We didn’t get either of those announcements, and we noticed that a couple of other updates were also conspicuously MISSING. Let’s dig in.

Disney World Park Expansions/Re-Themes

Disney has a few upcoming projects planned for Walt Disney World, and we’ve been waiting to learn when those might actually start to come to life. Bob Iger neglected to comment on any of these plans specifically. Instead, he just said, “There’s much more coming to our parks around the world, including Florida.”

One of the plans we’re MOST excited about is the “Beyond Big Thunder Mountain” expansion that Disney has announced for Magic Kingdom. At the 2022 D23 Expo, we heard about possible Coco-, Encanto-, and Disney villains-themed lands that could come to this area, and we even got to see some concept art for the new lands.

Possible Land Expansion in Magic Kingdom ©Disney

During the 2023 Destination D23 event, Disney executives Josh D’Amaro and Bruce Vaughn reported that the expansion plans for Magic Kingdom are the “largest ever” for the park. They said that the expansion will be on a scale similar to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (in Hollywood Studios) and Pandora – The World of Avatar (in Animal Kingdom).

Potential Coco Area in Magic Kingdom

Then, earlier this year, we spotted this cryptic update hidden in an announcement about the new Country Bear Jamboree show that’s coming to Frontierland in Magic Kingdom: “But hold your horses, we’re not done yet. We have a lot of growth and investment planned for our theme parks in the coming years and look forward to sharing more announcements about Frontierland … so y’all come back now, ya hear?” (We were also expecting to hear an opening date for the new Country Bear Jamboree show, but sadly that didn’t happen today either.)

Villains Land Could Come to Magic Kingdom

In addition to the changes at Magic Kingdom, Disney has announced that the DinoLand U.S.A. part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be re-themed. Their announcement suggested that we might see lands or attractions themed to MoanaIndiana JonesZootopia, or even Encanto.

DinoLand USA Expansion

The concept art for this area was shared at a Destination D23 event in 2023. The land that they shared was called The Tropical Americas. We haven’t gotten much confirmation about these lands yet, but Disney executives did say that they are planning to go all in on this expansion.

Concept art for DinoLand expansion ©Disney

We’re wondering if the Indiana Jones ride from Disneyland could make its way to this new land! The ride DINOSAUR uses a very similar ride design as the popular Indiana Jones ride on the West Coast, so we wouldn’t be surprised if Disney brought that ride to Disney World if they choose to go with the Indiana Jones theme.

We keep getting excited about these changes, but we’re still waiting for a big, concrete announcement about WHEN Disney might actually start working on the new lands. We were hoping that it might happen during the shareholder meeting, but we were disappointed today when no mention was made of these expansions or rethemes.

Click here to see a major HINT that the DinoLand re-theme could begin SOON!

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Opening Date

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is a NEW ride opening in both Disneyland and Disney World. In both parks, it has taken over the old Splash Mountain attraction.

©Disney Tiana’s Bayou Adventure concept art

The ride is themed to Disney’s The Princess and the Frog movie, with a storyline that takes place “after the final kiss” in that film. Visitors will join Tiana on an adventure through the bayou and encounter friends like Louis the alligator, Mama Odie, and a band of critters.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Concept Art ©Disney

We’ve been carefully following the construction progress of this attraction in both Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom. Disney previously announced that the ride will open in Magic Kingdom THIS SUMMER (2024) and in Disneyland sometime later this year (2024)

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Well…summer is almost here, Disney! We’re still waiting for an official opening date for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, and we really thought that today would be the day it was announced.

While we keep waiting, we’ll be dreaming about the queue. That might sound odd, but Disney has announced that the smell of freshly made beignets is going to be pumped through the queue, and that sounds like HEAVEN. We’re just hoping that they bring back the actual beignets so that we’re not left craving the treat with nowhere nearby to actually get one!

Learn more about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure here!

Update on the NEW Disney Cruise Ships

Disney actually didn’t talk about the Disney Cruise Line…at all. It was very odd, especially considering they recently dropped an announcement about another NEW ship, the Disney Destiny.


The Destiny will be themed to Heroes and Villains of Disney stories, and it’s a Wish-class ship. Disney announced that the theming will draw “on the legacies of beloved Disney stories, characters, and theme park attractions.” It’s been confirmed that characters from The Lion KingOne Hundred and One Dalmatians, and Hercules will be featured.


The Destiny will set sail in 2025, which is SOON! So we were surprised that Disney didn’t have more announcements to share about this ship.

The Disney Destiny!

Another brand-new ship that’s debuting soon is the Disney Treasure. This ship is also in the Wish class, and it’ll take its maiden voyage on December 21st, 2024.


We’ve already learned quite a bit about this ship, including that it will have Coco-themed restaurant, a Haunted Mansion lounge, and a Jungle Cruise-themed bar.

Learn all about the Disney Treasure here!

With so much coming up soon for the Disney Cruise Line, we were surprised that there were no new announcements made during the recent shareholder meeting.

Check out our full guide to the Disney Cruise Line here.

Update on Bob Iger’s Successor

One of the most important tasks that Bob Iger has to complete before his tenure as the CEO of Disney is over is to help choose a successor. That means he needs to help the board select a new CEO before December 31st, 2026 (provided he doesn’t extend his contract with the company again).


Fans and experts alike have been vocal about their opinions on who the next Disney CEO should be, but we’ve heard very little about it from Bob Iger himself.

Bloomberg recently reported that the Walt Disney Company is focusing its efforts on four potential candidates: Dana Walden, co-chair of Disney Entertainment; Jimmy Pitaro, former ESPN president; Disney Parks chair Josh D’Amaro; and Alan Bergman, Walden’s other co-chair at Disney Entertainment. According to the same source, no decision on a successor is expected in 2024, though Iger has apparently been spending time with all of the candidates.

Josh D’Amaro, Head of Disney Parks and Resorts

About the succession issue, Iger previously said, “I want to ensure Disney is strongly positioned when my successor takes the helm. The importance of the succession process cannot be overstated, and as the Board continues to evaluate a highly qualified slate of internal and external candidates, I remain intensely focused on a successful transition.


Though we weren’t expecting an announcement about the final decision (since that decision likely won’t be made for a while), we were surprised that Disney didn’t at least mention the process of choosing a successor. This seemed like a good opportunity for the company to update shareholders about how that decision is going.

Learn more about Iger’s succession issue here.

I guess we’ll just have to wait until the next big event to hear more about Disney’s future plans! Disney may be saving some of its BIGGEST theme park announcements for the upcoming D23 Expo (called “D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event”), which takes place this year on August 9th through the 11th in Anaheim, California. We’ll be bringing you full coverage of that whole event and any exciting news that’s announced!

Stay tuned to DFB for more updates on the latest Disney news!

Click here to get a FIRST LOOK at the possible Avatar expansion in Disneyland! 

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What other announcements were you hoping Disney would make today? Let us know in the comments!

The post 4 Important Announcements Were MISSING from Disney’s BIG News Drop first appeared on the disney food blog.

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