Kingdom Hearts III at this point seems like the never-ending staircase in Super Mario 64; no matter how fast or how long you run up the stairs, the top never reveals itself. Much like a dog chasing its own tail, the prolonged wait for Kingdom Hearts III never ceases to tease its fans and we all lose our minds and foam at the mouth when a measly six seconds of gameplay footage is revealed. It might be too early to jump with joy just yet, however, as the latest theme park ride reveal might not mean what it seems to be conveying to fans of one of the most beloved gaming franchises.
It’s been months since the reveal of Big Hero Six addition to the game and at long last during the D23 EXPO that was held in Japan, Kingdom Hearts and Disney fanatics were treated to the most lucrative reveal of the game yet. There was a secret reveal that has since flooded the internet that teased the appearance of a possible inclusion of a Toy Story world in the next installment of the franchise, which fans have been clamoring for since the end of the first game. All that has been revealed at the D23 EXPO, however, was a short gameplay clip of Sora, Donald and Goofy jumping aboard yet another Disney theme park ride cart. This time the cart looked like a replica of Magic Kingdom’s Buzz Lightyear Shooting Ride from Disney World, as the gameplay showed Sora shooting at some Heartless enemies from a first-person POV.
Fans of the franchise have been drooling over the Buzz Lightyear cart since its reveal, as many believe it to be concrete confirmation that Pixar films will finally be included in the many different worlds we might be visiting in Kingdom Hearts III. Nevertheless, we would like to warn die hard fans of the franchise to not be to excited over the theme park ride reveal, as while it may look similar to the Buzz Lightyear ride cart from Disney World, it does not mean the player will acquire said summon cart from a Toy Story world. The reason for this is because way back before the original Kingdom Hearts was even released, gamers were treated to a beta trailer that featured the inclusion of summons such as Dumbo, who has yet to have a world of his own yet.
On the subject of summons, there was also the summon of a grown up Simba and the dragon Mushu, both of which received a world in Kingdom Hearts II, but originally were only summons that were acquired through summon stones that the fairy godmother (who also didn’t have a world in the original game) used to free them from along with other Disney Characters such as Chicken Little. Why bring this all up and not jump with joy along with the rest of the Kingdom Heart community over a Toy Story reveal? Because this has happened to fans of the franchise before; we see things or characters in trailers or gameplay reveals that we assume are conformations of worlds that will be visited in the game, only to later realize that those worlds never appear once throughout the game when it’s released and the only fragment of that world we had longed for so bad is nothing more than a summon.
As much as we would like to tell ourselves that Kingdom Hearts III will finally be the installment to the long running series to add the addition of Pixar worlds, we must keep a level head and assume nothing to be true unless proven otherwise. The only time to assume that something in the Kingdom Hearts universe has been confirmed is when you see that specific world in a gameplay trailer or it is confirmed by Square themselves, as has occurred with the Tangled world and San Fransokyo.