Exciting Attractions & Experiences Crisscross Walt Disney World Resort
New Interactive Queue at Peter Pan’s Flight (Jan. 2015) — Inside the new interactive queue at Peter Pan’s Flight, Magic Kingdom guests are immersed in the storyline of ‘Peter Pan’ as they await their journey to Neverland. Accompanied by the mischief-causing Tinker Bell, guests can enter the home of the Darling family and tour the children’s nursery as the room comes to life. The new, air-conditioned queue joins other entertaining “first scenes” such as at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Haunted Mansion.
Magic Kingdom Central Plaza Expansion (May 2015) — The Magic Kingdom Central Plaza expansion in front of Cinderella Castle is now complete, with lush new gardens and spacious walkways for all guests to enjoy. This beautiful expansion includes colorful flower displays with added fireworks viewing areas for FastPass+ viewing of “Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.”
Bijutsu-kan Gallery at Japan Pavilion (Oct. 2015) – A new exhibit, Bijutsu-kan Gallery, in the Japan Pavilion that celebrates the country’s culture of cute. “Kawaii: Japan’s Cute Culture” explores how it’s become a way of life in modern Japan.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Starbucks Coffee — Trolley Car Café (Feb. 2015) – Themed to a classic trolley car station from early 20th century Hollywood, The Trolley Car Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios serves Starbucks coffee and espresso beverages, Starbucks La Boulange™ pastry items and popular Disney baked goods.
Meet Doc McStuffins from Disney Junior (May 2015) – Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests can meet Dottie “Doc” McStuffins from the Disney Channel and Disney Junior TV show “Doc McStuffins” in her backyard playhouse clinic in the Animation Courtyard adjacent to “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!” for happy hugs and star-powered pictures.
Star Wars experiences (Dec. 2015) – The Star Wars themed entertainment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios includes new experiences as well as reimagined elements of popular Star Wars attractions, including Star Wars Launch Bay, a central locale for fans to celebrate all things Star Wars; Star Wars: Path of the Jedi, a cinematic overview of the Star Wars saga; and cool, new enhancements for Star Tours – The Adventures Continue and Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
New Character Dining at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (March 2015) — Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and their friends now welcome guests for a fun-filled character dinner at Tusker House Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. “Donald’s Safari Dinner” offers guests the opportunity to meet some of their favorite characters, including Donald and Daisy while enjoying a delicious selection of all-you-care-to-enjoy spit-roasted carved meats, unique salads, creative vegetarian offerings, hearty stews, and delicious desserts – all with an African touch. Guests can make reservations by calling 407-WDW-DINE (3463) or by visiting Guest Relations at any of the Disney theme parks or a Guest Services/Concierge desk at any Walt Disney World Resort hotel.
Harambe Market (June 2015) – Harambe Market, a bustling marketplace alive with the aromas and flavors of African street foods, adds an exciting new dimension to the expanded Harambe Village experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. Built around a Colonial-era train depot design complete with a 1960s water tower, Harambe Market invites guests to sample true flavors of Africa. Four themed shops offer fresh meals, snacks and beverages similar to those found in an African street market. Kitamu Grill features skewered chicken and a kebab flatbread sandwich. Famous Sausages showcases a corndog made with a South African boerewors sausage dipped in curry-infused corn batter. Chef Mwanga’s serves a spice-rubbed Karubi Rib paired with green papaya-carrotslaw. Wanjohi Refreshments (wanjohi means “brewer” in Swahili) quenches thirsts with craft draft beers, South African wines, delicious mixed drinks and non alcoholic tangerine lemonade or fountain beverages, including Sparberry soda from Zimbabwe. Zuri’s Sweets Shop, a new merchandise location at Harambe Market, offers an assortment of wild new treats and eats with 80 exclusive food items inspired by the sights, sounds and flavors of Africa.
Starbucks Coffee at Creature Comforts (June 2015) – Themed with a colorful African design, the new Starbucks in Disney’s Animal Kingdom can be found in the Discovery Island area of the park. The menu includes regular Starbucks coffee and espresso beverages and pastries, with a portion of each Starbucks Flat White Latte purchase benefitting conservation projects to help preserve the cotton-top tamarin in Colombia.
The BOATHOUSE (April 2015) an upscale, waterfront dining experience with nautical-themed rooms, private dining rooms and bars. Guests will enjoy a gourmet menu, as well as live-music and guided water rides through the waters surrounding Disney Springs.
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar (Sept. 2015)An aviation-themed lounge, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at The Landing at Disney Springs is tucked between Paradiso 37 and The BOATHOUSE restaurant, this new venue features unique cocktails and small plates.
Morimoto Asia (Sept. 2015) A one-of-a-kind dining experience from Chef Masaharu Morimoto, this Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian restaurant provides flavors from across Asia with unique exhibition kitchens showcasing the continent’s traditions.
New retail and dining locations now open include Apex by Sunglass Hut, The Art of Shaving, Chapel Hats, Dockside Margaritas, Erin McKenna Bakery NYC, Erwin Pearl, Havaianas, Sanuk, Sound Lion, Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s and Vivoli Gelateria.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (April 2015) — A sweeping renovation at the iconic Disney’s Polynesian Resort includes refurbished guestrooms, an all-new childcare area rebranded as Lilo’s Playhouse for children ages 3-12, a completely renovated Nanea Volcano feature pool area, a new children’s water play area, and an enlarged deck to accommodate poolside seating. The Great Ceremonial House lobby area is completely renovated with bright open areas, plus the new Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, a highly themed lounge area with handcrafted tiki cocktails and Polynesian-themed “small plates.” An enhanced Captain Cooke’s quick service restaurant, all-new Polynesian Pool Bar & Grill, and a Pineapple Lanai kiosk featuring the world-famous Dole Whip round out the new dining options.
“Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular’’ — Starting Dec. 18, 2015, Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests will be treated to a spectacular finish to their visit to the park involving a dazzling Star Wars-themed fireworks show set to memorable Star Wars music from throughout the saga.
Soarin’ Around the World (2016) – Guests onboard the popular Soarin’ attraction will journey to far-flung lands and fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its debut at Epcot.
Frozen attraction coming to Epcot (2016) — Lovable sisters Princess Anna and Queen Elsa from the Oscar-winning animated blockbuster hit “Frozen” are taking guests on a new journey to Arendelle. The new attraction, which is coming to the Norway pavilion at Epcot, will immerse guests in many of their favorite moments and music from the film. A royal greeting location where guests can meet Anna and Elsa is also in the works.
Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris (Spring 2016) — The popular Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park will be extended for a new nighttime adventure. Guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.
“Rivers of Light” (Spring 2016) — “Rivers of Light” is an innovative experience unlike anything ever seen in a Disney park, combining live performances, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. “Rivers of Light” will magically come to life on the natural stage of Discovery River, delighting guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.
Pandora — The World of AVATAR (2017) —Disney in collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment is bringing to life the mythical world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s AVATAR, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. The awe-inspiring land of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and soaring Banshees will give guests a transformational experience they will never forget.
AVATAR Flight of Passage (2017) – This E-ticket attraction, the centerpiece of Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, will allow guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world. The spectacular flying experience will give guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage.
Toy Story Land coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios — The reimagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with Toy Story Land. This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard. Guests can experience two new attractions, including a family-friendly roller coaster on the back of Slinky Dog and an aliens saucer attraction. Toy Story Mania! will add a third track to the existing popular attraction.
Star Wars Themed-Land arriving at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — Star Wars-themed land is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where Star Wars characters and their stories will come to life. Highlights feature two signature attractions, including the ability to take the controls of one of the most recognizable ships in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon, on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.
Disney Springs (2016) — A unique destination that will treat guests to significantly more shopping, dining and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm is currently underway. Disney Springs will feature an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands in a setting inspired by Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty. New retail shops coming to Disney Springs include Edward Beiner, Lilly Pulitzer, L’Occitane en Provence, PANDORA, Tommy Bahama, UGG, UNIQLO and Zara. Upcoming new dining locations include:
- The Ganachery (2015) — A new chocolate shop with fresh batches of ganache chocolate daily, including dark (65 percent custom blend), hazelnut, chipotle and a custom blend flavored with the world’s finest spices and flavors.
- STK (2016) – A modern steakhouse mixed with the ambiance of a sleek lounge and emphasizing a social and fun environment. The vibrant, lively scene will offer guests fine dining, signature cocktails, and a DJ playing eclectic music nightly.
- The Edison (June 2016) – A lavish “Industrial Gothic”-style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination that will feature exceptional classic American food, artisanal craft cocktails and unparalleled live entertainment.
- Sprinkles (2016) – The world’s first cupcake bakery, as named by Food Network and others, serves up handcrafted cupcakes, slow churned ice cream and homemade cookies. Their innovative Cupcake ATM satisfies sweet-toothed epicureans 24/7.
- Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza (2016) – Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza is a modern day “pizza joint” known for its custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies.
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (January) — This annual event features a 26.2-mile adventure race through all four Disney theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom and a half marathon. Also included in the weekend is Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, which combines Saturday’s half marathon and Sunday’s full marathon for 39.3 miles of fun, a two-day health expo and a 5K.
Atlanta Braves Spring Training (February-March) — The Atlanta Braves return to Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex for spring training.
Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend (February) — The predominantly women’s half marathon brings women of all ages together to celebrate all the qualities a princess possesses. The weekend features a two-day health and fitness expo geared towards women, a family fun run 5k and kids’ races. New in 2013 are the Disney Enchanted 10K and Glass Slipper Challenge, where participants run the 10K and half marathon over the course of 2 days.
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (March-May) — Future World and World Showcase are blooming with more than 30 million colorful blossoms, interactive garden activities for kids and workshops with national gardening experts during this annual spring festival at Epcot. While exploring the themed gardens, guests can taste sweets and savories from about a dozen food-and-beverage marketplaces surrounding the World Showcase Lagoon.
Night of Joy (September) — Top contemporary Christian music performers headline this annual celebration throughout Magic Kingdom. The long-running series has played to a combined audience in excess of a million.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (September-October) — A family-friendly fright-fest in Magic Kingdom featuring a children’s parade, trick-or-treating throughout the park, face painting, and more.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (September-November) — Savor fine wines and delectable cuisine during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival featuring live entertainment, guest chefs, culinary demonstrations, seminars and winemaker dinners.
Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend (November) — The ultimate “Runners’ Night Out” features a half marathon at night. After finishing, runners and their guests can celebrate their accomplishment at an exclusive after hours party inside the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. The weekend also includes kids’ races, a family fun run 5K and a health and fitness expo.
Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort (November-January) — Walt Disney World Resort is all aglitter during the holiday season with dazzling lights, spirited song and even snow flurries. Here’s what’s in store: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom; Candlelight Processional at Epcot; plus caroling, tree lighting ceremonies and visits by Santa.
MyMagic+ — With one tap of a MagicBand, Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests can enter their Disney Resort guestroom, access FastPass+ experiences and attractions, use as a payment method for food and merchandise, enter Disney theme parks and water parks, and connect to Disney’s PhotoPass. With the free My Disney Experience mobile application, park maps and information about attractions, show times, dining, FastPass+ and more are easier than ever to explore and access. MagicBands and My Disney Experience are part of MyMagic+, which has the ability connect nearly all aspects of the guest vacation experience at Walt Disney World Resort.
FastPass+ — Thanks to the the technological advances of MyMagic+, all guests can reserve access to favorite FastPass+ attractions and entertainment experiences before leaving home — or in the parks — giving them more time to explore and enjoy Walt Disney World. This can be accomplished via My Disney Experience.com or at FastPass+ kiosks located in Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. Using the My Disney Experience online site, Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests may make FastPass+ selections up to 60 days in advance of their visit, for each day they have a park ticket. Disney Passholders and Day guests (those not staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel) are able to make FastPass+ selections 30 days in advance of their trip once tickets are purchased.
Contactless Payment — As part of the ongoing efforts to improve the guest experience, a new form of electronic payment is now being accepted at many Disney-operated merchandise, quick-service food and beverage, outdoor vending, spa and recreation, as well as ticket sales locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort using stationary touch-to-pay devices (stations also used for payments made with MagicBands). Known as contactless payment, this new form of electronic payment is most commonly associated with mobile apps including Apple Pay, Google Wallet or Softcard, as well as Near Field Communication-enabled (NFC) credit cards. Purchases using contactless payment are made by holding a mobile device or NFC-enabled credit card near the touch point (Mickey head) on stationary touch-to-pay devices.
Disney Vacation Account — Disney Vacation Account provides easy to use online tools to help participants estimate the cost of their Disney vacation based on current prices (prices are subject to change) and manage a savings plan that is right for them and their budget. As excitement builds toward the Big Day, participants save at their own pace toward the goal of their dream Disney trip, making contributions using their debit, credit or Disney gift card. There are no fees to create or maintain an account. Disney Vacation Account contributions may be used to pay for pre-arrival vacation packages, cruise fare and hotel reservations at Disney-owned and operated resorts, including Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawai’i.
Disney’s Magical Express — The innovative service offers airport shuttle, luggage delivery and airline check-in for Disney hotel guests. Guests of 24 Disney owned-and-operated hotels at Walt Disney World Resort using Disney’s Magical Express service can check their bags at their hometown airport, bypass baggage claim at Orlando International Airport (MCO) and board state-of-the-art motor coaches to the Vacation Kingdom, where their bags “magically” appear in their room upon check-in. The complimentary service is designed to give Disney hotel guests the stress-free vacation they want. With the service, a family of four can save more than $80 (based on round-trip taxi transportation, plus tip, between MCO and Walt Disney World Resort).