The world is always changing and with it, we all must adapt. The Disney Parks are no exception. As the Walt Disney Company expands so must the parks, leading to several big changed happening all over the Orlando area in particular. Here’s a look at some of the changes happening in the coming years at the Walt Disney World Resort.
1. Increase in ticket prices Overall, there has been an increase in ticket prices for all parks. Magic Kingdom prices went from $99 to $105 which is the first time tickets have risen to over $100. Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom now cost $97.
2. Lunch reservations for Be Our Guest restaurant The most popular restaurant in the Magic Kingdome is now offering lunch time reservations from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. As of February 25, guests are now able to make advanced dining reservations for the restaurant’s “fast-casual” lunch experience, which will hopefully help give more guests the opportunity to dine in this fabulous restaurant.
3. New interactive Peter Pan queue Peter Pan’s Flight has always been a crowd favorite and boasts long lines year round. Luckily the queue has been upgraded to be interactive and air conditioned which is sure to please the guests waiting in the height of the Orlando summer.
4. Norway Anna and Elsa expansion The biggest change Epcot is facing this upcoming year is the renovation of the Norway Pavilion in the World Showcase. Because of the immense popularity of Frozen, the Disney execs have decided to expand the Norwegian portion of the Showcase that will include a new Meet-and-Greet area where guests will get to meet Anna and Elsa. In 2016, a new Frozen themed ride will open where the Maelstrom boat ride used to be inside the pavilion as well.
5. Soarin’ Revamp Rumor Since the summer of 2014 many rumors have surfaces involving the popular flying ride. There has been talk of adding a new theater to decrease the wait time as well as showcase a new film that highlights areas of Florida. As of early February 2015, these changes are still just rumor, and it is definitely a change to keep our eyes open for.
6. Renovations to become Disney Springs One of the biggest changes doesn’t even involve the main theme parks in Orlando but rather Downtown Disney, the expansive shopping and nightlife area. The area will now be called Disney Springs as the entire area is getting a major cosmetic overhaul. Imagineers wanted to make this strip much more fluid by creating a theme that would flow through each part of the area, and the idea of recreating traditional Floridian style architecture was born. Disney Springs will also be expanding from 75 to nearly 150 shopping, entertainment and dining opportunities. Renovations are expected to be done in the summer of 2016. Disney Imagineers Reveal Disney Springs – Watch The Video.
7. Hour extension Disney World’s youngest park, Animal Kingdom, will be getting an hour extension soon. This means the park will be opened much later and will be offering new night time experiences including talk of a new show entitled “Rivers of Light” that is said to be unlike any show Disney has to offer. It will include floating lanterns, live music, water screens and a few other surprises.
8. Kilimanjaro Night Time Safari Since the hours will be longer, the Kilimanjaro Safari will also be offering night time safaris which could prove to be extremely popular as the animals will be more active at night.
9. New land coming: Avatar Last year, the park broke ground on the new Pandora extension of the Animal Kingdom. It will include two new rides and a new restaurant. This is undoubtedly the largest change happening in the Orlando branch of Disney’s empire. The area is slated to open in 2017 around the release of James Cameron’s sequel to the mega hit Avatar. Check out our video about what’s in store!
10. Expansion of Star Wars area With Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars and Episode VIII coming to theaters in the near future have prompted rumors that Hollywood Studios will be adding notable additions to the Star Wars portion of the park. This is one change I am incredibly excited for, however it could pose as a possible threat to the future of the Indiana Jones Stunt Show that is located next to it. We hope the Disney execs don’t choose to nix the Indiana Jones show in order to elaborate on Star Wars, but it is a rumored possibility.
11. Additions to Pixar Place Again, there are rumors of expanding the Pixar portion of Hollywood Studios. Right now Toy Story Mania is one of the park’s greatest assets, however that section of the park is noticeably more crowded than other areas. The Studio Backlot Tour closed in late 2014 and this area of the park is strongly rumored to be used as an addition to the Pixar Place. This would be a strong move for Disney as it would thin out that heavily congested area.
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