To say that millions of voices cried out in response to announcements at The Walt Disney Company‘s D23 Expo 2022 may not be too much of an exaggeration. Four writers for That Hashtag Show are thrilled about certain news out of this year’s D23 as well. That includes films, shows, and theme park attractions.

Kat Bloodgood’s D23 Thrill

“Seeing the new Little Mermaid teaser made me so excited for a new version of the film,” Bloodgood said.

The theatrical release date for The Little Mermaid is May 26, 2023.

Brian Saeger’s D23 Thrills

Saeger’s biggest takeaway from D23 is the Hatbox Ghost coming to the Haunted Mansion ride at Walt Disney World Resort next year. Saeger’s “bonus mentions” were Pacific Wharf of Disney California Adventure Park transforming into San Fransokyo from Big Hero 6; Galaxy’s Edge in both Disney World and Disneyland Park adding Din Djarin, the protagonist of Star Wars: The Mandalorian, in mid-November; and the 100th anniversary celebration of Disney starting in Disneyland in late January. (As Saeger pointed out, the actual anniversary date is Oct. 16, 2023.)

The Hatbox Ghost (photo credit: Disney)

The Haunted Mansion at Disney World was supposed to include the Hatbox Ghost when the ride opened in 1971. However, it didn’t work out due to effects problems, as Saeger said. Tony Baxter, a former Disney Imagineer, advocated for the character’s return, Saeger also pointed out.

Linsay Rousseau’s D23 Thrills

Rousseau is most excited about Willow, Indiana Jones 5, and The Mandalorian season 3 coming out of D23.

“I’m of an age where the originals of these movies had a huge impact on me,” she said.

Willow, a live-action series based on 1988’s Willow, will be released on Nov. 30 on Disney+. June 30 is the scheduled release date for Indiana Jones 5. Feb. 2023 is the month of release on Disney+ for The Mandalorian season 3.

The Author’s List

There were so many announcements from D23 that I’m excited about. (I’m almost fatigued by the many announcements.) My list is below.

  • Inside Out 2 coming in the summer of 2024. (It’s since been confirmed that the specific release date is June 14, 2024.) This is solidly my favorite announcement. (Also, I love how the announcement was dramatic.) Inside Out‘s story is so compelling.
  • The release date is Oct. 26 on Disney+ for Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi. Also, Disney released a trailer for the show. This production was so unexpected before Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2022 announced the show on April 27. I’m excited to see Count Dooku younger and as a Jedi.
  • The release date for Mufasa: The Lion King is July 5, 2024. It shouldn’t weaken The Lion King in any way, but as we saw with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, that a prequel can actually strengthen even an industry-changing film.
  • The new trailer for and a clip of Hocus Pocus 2 and the film coming to Disney+ on Sept. 30. I remember the first Hocus Pocus fondly. That’s the case even though the opening scene, where hair grows long, over the face of Emily Binx (Amanda Shepherd), after her life is sucked from her, frightened me profoundly. I also remember being sad that Thackery Binx (Sean Murray) was turned into a black cat and that his father understandably didn’t recognize him.

That’s Not All …

  • The Mandalorian season 3 teaser. It was terrific. I’m especially excited by the D23 news since season 2 was about as good as any production I’ve ever seen.
  • The release year on Disney+ for Peter Pan and Wendy is 2023. It’s good that Wendy (Ever Anderson) will be getting more attention, and the Panverse is something I enjoy especially because of Hook (RIP Robin Williams). Also, I love the image of the Peter Pan and Wendy poster of the pirate ship floating among clouds.
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch season 2 coming to Disney+ on Jan. 4. If people haven’t seen season 1, their reason being that it’s animated, they should see it anyway. Some of the storytelling is that compelling.
  • Haunted Mansion coming on Aug. 11, 2023. I remember the Disneyland ride fondly.
  • The Little Mermaid teaser. Ariel’s dreams and wishes resonate as I don’t doubt they do with most anyone.
  • The trailer for Disenchanted and it releasing on Nov. 24 on Disney+. It looks like it has a genuinely compelling story. (As a side notes, since seeing Enchanted in the holidays of 2007, I have thought about how a princess (to be) (Amy Adams) saved a man (Patrick Dempsey).)
  • The release year on Disney+ for Zootopia+ is Nov. 9. Zootopia is an incredible film.
  • King Thanos is a Thanos who defeated the Avengers in another universe. Avengers Campus at California Adventure is adding him to the park. I’ve been into the Marvel Cinematic Universe almost as much as Star Wars since Thanos snapped his fingers in Avengers: Infinity War. (And I named my boy after Luke Skywalker.)
  • Din and Grogu being part of Galaxy’s Edge.

For more about these and other Disney projects, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show.

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