4 Big Changes Coming to Walt Disney World

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because were curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” -Walt Disney

This statement has never been more true than it is right now.  Disney World has announced many new changes coming in the coming long and short terms.  Here are the highlights of the 4 biggest changes.

1) Hollywood studios For a long time, this park has needed “something”, well, maybe lots of “something”.  It looks like they are finally going to get it!  A new name is in the works as well as the expansion of the Star Wars area, extra ride capacity at Toy Story Midway Mania and Soarin’ and brand new attractions.  The iconic Sorcerer Hat is already gone and in a few years, this park will only slightly resemble its former self.  I am hoping that they keep the best and recreate the rest.

Jedi Mickey at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Jedi Mickey at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

2) Frozen coming to Epcot This topic excites many park goers and infuriates others.  Of course, we all know that Maelstrom was closed to make room for a new attraction themed to the movie Frozen and that a Frozen character meet and greet will also be added.  Many Disney enthusiasts think that Disney should never have removed the 27-year-old Malestrom to add a trip through Arendelle but time will tell. Tom Staggs (COO) promised in the Wall Street Journal that the new attraction will honor Scandinavian culture and mythology. Rumors say the attraction will open on May 1, 2016 but Disney has not announced an official opening date yet.

Frozen Attraction concept art for Epcot ©Disney
Frozen Attraction concept art for Epcot

3) Avatar coming to Animal Kingdom I have to admit that I wondered if the movie Avatar would even be remembered by the time Disney finished the updates to this park.  I am still not sure that I was wrong about that but I have to say, I am excited to see the changes that are planned.  A nighttime show called Rivers of Light is expected to open in March, 2016 (not official, just a rumor as to the opening time frame).  This will make Animal Kingdom, which has traditionally been a park that closes early, into more of an all day park.  Pandora: The Land of Avatar is expected to open sometime in 2017.  James Cameron (who I personally think is a genius but that is the subject for a different post) had a hand in designing what we will see in this new area so it promises to be exciting.   Two new rides for this area have been announced.  One will be an indoor boat ride and the other will be some sort of flying attraction.  Construction is already underway.

Animal Kingdom concept art for Avatar Land
Animal Kingdom concept art for Avatar Land © Disney

4) Downtown Disney, I mean, er….Disney Springs- I feel like I will never get used to the new name “Disney Springs” but I am trying.  In any case, a new parking garage was built to handle the additional traffic and many changes to the restaurants and shopping area are, or have already, taken place.  New shops and restaurants seem to be “springing” (see what I did there?) up all over the place.  The Boathouse, STK Orlando, Morimoto, Food Trucks at Exposition Park, Star Bucks and more are in the process of making an appearance or are already open.   Luckily, some of our favorites, especially the Cirque Du Soleil show are not going anywhere.  The changes are expected to be finished by the end of 2016.  While the area is under improvement, I recommend you leave extra time to get there and get to your dining reservation.

Disney Springs concept art ©Disney
Disney Springs concept art ©Disney

Which changes are you looking forward to most?

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