What’s New Wednesday: May 4th edition – Walt Disney World

It’s been awhile since I’ve had an edition of What’s New Wednesday, but some exciting things are happening again around Walt Disney World! If you’re traveling soon, you’ve got more new things to look forward to. As mentioned a few weeks ago, a lot of new things are coming this summer with Disney’s Awaken Summer campaign. A 3rd track to Toy Story Mania to alleviate some of the standby line, a 3rd track and a new place to soar (around the World) with Soarin’, Frozen Ever After, Anna & Elsa’s big move to Epcot, and a whole new experiences (at night) in Animal Kingdom!

So what’s new? Princess Fairy Tale Hall in Magic Kingdom FastPasses opened up through June 11th which very likely means that all things Frozen will open up after that date since Anna & Elsa can’t be in 2 places at once!

Olaf is HERE! He’s ready to BRING BACK SUMMER in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Currently they are listed as “soft openings”. Wait times were not bad today, however it was a long day of almost constant rain. You can find him near the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular.

Sorcerer Mickey is finding a new home as of May 8th! Currently he’s in a less than ideal location in an empty building next to Toy Story Mania. He’s getting a new set with a gorgeous looking backdrop and a great new location. Minnie is also joining him with a glam look ready for the red carpet – it is some very unique attire!

The Frozen Games are coming to Blizzard Beach this summer. Beginning, May 27th, join Olaf and Kristoff and participate in a variety of “frozen” themed activities. Only water park admission is required (remember, this is different than your theme park admission).

During Fulton’s Crab House’s current refurbishment, the restaurant will undergo a name change: Paddlefish. With this change a menu change is coming as well! Check back for additional details as Disney continues to update!

BIG things coming to Disney World starting this winter!

It has been a really big day for Disney! With the D23 Expo going on in Anaheim this weekend, all sorts of buzz is around my favorite places. Disney World has several new and exciting things coming around. A lot of these have been rumors for a long time. As usual, rumors are typically true in Disney World!

First, coming later in 2015 a Jungle Cruise themed restaurant: Skipper’s Cantina will be coming to Adventureland. This a long awaited announcement as the current refurbishment of Liberty Tree Tavern was to expand the kitchen for this restaurant. The skippers of the Jungle Cruise will be manning this restaurant so I expect the same corny jokes and humor. While the full details are not completely revealed, many (including myself) believe that the restaurant will work in similar fashion to Be Our Guest with lunch as a quick service stop and dinner as table service. It will also rival the popularity and difficulty to grab the reservation as Be Our Guest. I’m excited to see when opening day will be and get some reviews!

Next, Star Wars Land coming to Hollywood Studios and a second in Disneyland This will a new 14 acre land that will transport you to Star Wars. This will be a very time consuming process. I’m guessing they have been doing a lot groundwork already, but I’m sure we’ll soon see a lot of new things popping up and walls going up around the construction zones. The land sounds nothing short of amazing. Guests can ride the Millennium Falcon and also check out the famed cantina (while my family isn’t die hard into Star Wars, you bet I will be trying out both)!

While all of the Star Wars fans so patiently wait for the new area to open (no whispers of dates yet), Disney did reveal some exciting things to tie you over:

  • An update to Jedi Training Academy
  • Star Tours 3.0 (a refresh to the existing ride – don’t expect to see a refurbishment since it’s a simulator style ride)
  • Star Wars: Season of the force coming in 2016 which will be a lead into the Star Wars weekends with fireworks returning to Hollywood Studios (a great way to add evening traffic to that park!)

Staying in Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Land is also coming! I am really excited about this one. It adds a kid and family friendly area in a park that was lacking a good kid presence outside of Disney Jr. themed attractions. This 11 acre area will be anchored by a new family coaster created by Andy where guests get to ride on the back of Slinky Dog. Another new attraction will be the Alien Green Saucers which sound a lot like the Mad Tea Party in Magic Kingdom. Guests will also be able to meet their favorite Toy Story friends. Additionally (and already announced), the 2nd Toy Story Mania track is in place to help alleviate the current (and future) traffic coming to that area. No details on an opening date for any of the new attractions.

Moving over to Epcot, the update to Maelstrom to a Frozen attraction is still in progress. Newer information about the transformation of the entire Norway pavilion has been revealed as well. The Royal Sommerhus (which has started to peek over the the top of the construction walls earlier this week) will give guests an new location to meet Anna & Elsa and the area is very authentic Norwegian. Sven will also be making his appearance here. Still no Olaf (sorry friends!) Scheduled to open in mid-2016.

Epcot’s headlining attraction Soarin’ will also be getting an update: Soarin’ Around the World will make its debut in 2016. This new experience will keep you in your hang glider as you fly high above some amazing attractions. No longer will it be California centric. Disney is currently in process of adding a third theater in Epcot to meet capacity demands.

The last park to get an update: Animal Kingdom. For anyone that has been there recently, you’ve seen the construction walls. None of these projects are newly announced, but it was nice to hear updates to them.

Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris. A family favorite attraction will now be extended for a nighttime adventure with speciality lights added with some additional animals getting adding to the safari. Expect to see this as hours get extended while Animal Kingdom joins the other 3 parks with true evening hours (can I get a FINALLY?!)

Rivers of Light. Walls have been up for what seems like forever on this project! Scheduled to open in spring of 2016, this experience will combine live music, lanterns, water, and animal imagery. Don’t expect any fireworks, but it sounds like a very unique experience and capacity will be high to see this around the water.

Update on AVATAR. The official title will be Pandora – the World of AVATAR. The main attraction in this land will be “Flight of Passage” which brings gets into scenes from the movie as they soar on a Banshee. This will be another amazing immersive experience. It is scheduled to open in 2017. Stay patient friends!

I, for one, am absolutely excited about all of these new updates! We are frequent Disney goers, and while there’s always something new, I haven’t seen announcements this big since new Fantasyland was announced and with so many announcements and enhancements, it’s an amazing time to get excited about Disney travel.

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2015 or 2016 holiday Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!