Walt Disney World Resort

‘What’s New’ and ‘What’s Next’ at Walt Disney World Resort

“What’s New”
‘Let the Memories Begin’
“Let the Memories Begin” – As part of the new “Let the Memories Begin,” Disney guests will become the stars of a nightly spectacular when photos taken in the park during the day become larger-than-life projections on Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort or “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Resort. This groundbreaking new experience will celebrate the family vacation memories created in Disney theme parks every day.

And Disney guests will be seen starring on television, too. For the first time, Disney Parks is featuring the home videos and snapshots of real guests in television ads and other marketing that will allow an audience of millions to share in true-life, heartfelt moments. Disney Parks also is asking guests to share their memories by uploading photos and videos at a special “Let the Memories Begin” online hub at www.DisneyParks.com/Memories.

Disney’s Magical Express
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 (OIA) 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 OIA and Walt Disney World Resort).

Magic Your Way
Magic Your Way – Magic Your Way ticketing and packages allow guests to create their own magical Walt Disney World vacation. Ticket-holders can customize their Walt Disney World theme park visits by adding components to the base ticket such as park-hopping or building on water parks or other vacation fun. The savings grow the longer a guest stays.

Magical Gatherings
Magical Gatherings – Magical Gatherings makes it easier than ever to plan group vacations to Walt Disney World Resort. Among the services and offerings are a Vacation Planning Kit, complete with DVD and step-by-step information on how to plan a Magical Gathering, plus the My Disney Vacation Web-based planning tool, offering tips and reminders and full-color customized park maps. Guests who are part of a Grand Gathering of eight or more people can choose from three special experiences: Safari Celebration Dinner, Good Morning Character Breakfast and International Dinner and IllumiNations Dessert Reception.

Disney’s FASTPASS – Disney’s antidote to line-standing is offered at a selection of popular attractions in all four theme parks. Guests who choose to get a FASTPASS receive a ticket with a designated one-hour-long window of time when they can return and skip the regular line. Guests don’t have to choose FASTPASS: there’s a standby line at all attractions. Disney’s FASTPASS costs theme park guests nothing extra. Since its debut, more than 350 million FASTPASS tickets have been issued.

Disney’s PhotoPass
Disney’s PhotoPass – Using the latest digital equipment and Disney-engineered technology, photographers take photos of guests throughout the theme parks. Instead of receiving a paper claim ticket, guests receive a Disney’s PhotoPass card that links all of their vacation photos taken by Disney photographers together into one online account. Guests can go online to www.disneyphotopass.com to easily view, share and order their photos, order a CD of all their Disney’s PhotoPass images, and more.

Pet Resort
Luxury Pet Resort – This one-of-a-kind facility provides pet hospitality services that include boarding, grooming and doggy day camp, and amenities such as luxury suites with television and raised bedding. Pet activities feature nature walks and playgroups, and pampering services range from ice cream treats to bedtime stories. The facility is operated by Best Friends Pet Care.

Verizon – Marking a first in both the travel and mobile industries, WaltDisney Parks and Resorts and Verizon have teamed up to enhance the guest experience at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Guests are able to access an array of features on their Verizon Wireless phones including the ability to easily locate shows, restaurants and the Disney characters anywhere inside the parks; get real-time attraction availability information; access mobile games; receive messages from characters, and more.

Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line – On a Disney cruise, adults find relaxation and indulgence, children engage in immersive, magical adventures with favorite characters and families enjoy quality time together. Featured are original Disney musicals and entertainment, unique dining experiences, customized children’s spaces and areas just for adults. And Disney’s private island paradise – Castaway Cay – provides something for every member of the family. Disney Cruise Line offers three-, four- and seven-night itineraries to the Bahamas and the Caribbean with voyages to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe in 2010, and Alaska in 2011. The Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder will be joined by two new ships, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Castaway Cay – Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island paradise in the tropical waters of the Bahamas, has received an extra dose of pixie dust. Enhancements include an expanded family beach, a floating water platform featuring two twisting water slides, two fresh-water play areas for guests to cool off, a new teen retreat and 20 new private rental cabanas offering the ultimate in beachside luxury.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – A leading sports and entertainment venue that hosts more than 180 events a year, Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex was re-themed with the ESPN brand, providing guests with an immersive ESPN experience that is unique to the complex.

Jostens Center – Jostens Center represents the latest expansion project for ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (220 acres), which is widely regarded as the leading sports venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation. The multi-sport facility includes 45,000 square feet of competition space accommodating six basketball courts or 12 volleyball courts or two roller hockey rinks, as well as locker rooms and meeting rooms. The facility allows Disney the ability to double the number of indoor sports events that it can accommodate.

Walt Disney World Speedway
Indy Racing Experience (November 2008) – Race fans and thrill seekers alike have the opportunity to buckle up and ride in IndyCar series race cars at the Walt Disney World Speedway. Both drive and ride options are available with the experience, which uses actual open-cockpit racing machines that were used in the Indy Racing League. The Indy Racing Experience shares track hours with the popular Richard Petty Driving Experience. For more information, including rates, hours of operation and corporate packages: 888/357-5002 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 888/357-5002 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or www.indyracingexperience.com.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Yak & Yeti Restaurant – Reminiscent of the western Himalayan foothills in India and Nepal, this Asian-fusion establishment offers table-service dining and a full-service bar, as well as quick-service food and beer garden options, along with retail offerings from Pan Asia ranging from silk purses, incense and saris to fine teapots. It seats 250 inside for table-service dining and 350 in the quick-service courtyard.

“Finding Nemo-The Musical” –The undersea world that charmed audiences around the world in the Disney•Pixar film “Finding Nemo” comes to life in a live musical stage show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom featuring original songs by Tony Award-winning “Avenue Q” co-composer-creator Robert Lopez and a cappella musical “Along the Way” co-creator Kristen Anderson-Lopez. The show immerses guests of all ages in the story of Marlin and Nemo, an overprotective clownfish father and his curious son, through a dazzling production that combines puppets, dancers, acrobats and animated backdrops. The 30-minute show represents the first time Disney has taken a non-musical animated feature and transformed it into an original musical production.

Expedition Everest – The legend of the yeti comes to life in Expedition Everest. A high-speed train bound for Mount Everest takes trekkers (a.k.a. coaster enthusiasts) on a daring adventure through rugged terrain, along icy mountain ledges and inside dark snowy caves in the forbidden mountain. The mammoth attraction is located in the Asia section.

Magic Kingdom
Rapunzel “Play and Greet” – Rapunzel, along with Flynn Rider from the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures animated feature “Tangled,” are greeting guests of all ages in a new interactive “play and greet” offering in Fairytale Garden in Fantasyland. The movie opens Nov. 24 in theaters nationwide.

“Main Street Electrical Parade” – With floats and characters appearing for the first time at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s “Main Street Electrical Parade” returns to Magic Kingdom with its joyous sights and sounds. Direct from Disneyland and marking its first engagement in Florida since 2001, the cherished parade is led by Tinker Bell waving from the basket of a magical balloon aboard a new float. Pinocchio and Snow White also join the parade aboard bright new floats.

“Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!” Street Party – A traveling show filled with acrobatic performers, singing and dancing Disney characters and floats decked out as gift-wrapped packages invites Magic Kingdom guests to mix and mingle down Main Street, U.S.A.

Pixie Hollow - Disney Fairies – Deep in the heart of Never Land, Pixie Hollow invites Magic Kingdom guests into the enchanted world of Tinker Bell – Disney’s most famous fairy – and six of her fairy friends. Tink and Disney’s other fairies are on hand to greet guests and pose for photos in Mickey’s Toontown Fair.

“Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor” – Guests find the power of laughter in an engaging and interactive adventure inspired by Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” as they match wits with the one-eyed hero Mike Wazowski and his friends. As Monster-of-Ceremonies, Mike recruits two comedian wanna-bes whose humor will delight audiences at a 400-seat theater in Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom.

Pirates of the Caribbean – The classic Disney theme park adventure, brought to the big screen in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” has added characters and features from the blockbuster film franchise. Woven into some of the attraction’s most memorable scenes, Captain Jack Sparrow and his nemesis Barbossa are seen interacting with the familiar Audio-Animatronics buccaneers.

La Hacienda de San Angel and La Cantina de San Angel – The Mexico pavilion opened two restaurants under one roof – La Hacienda, a 250-seat restaurant serving romantic dinners beside World Showcase Lagoon, and La Cantina, a 150-seat quick-service restaurant serving both lunch and dinner.

Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria – Located in the Italy pavilion, Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria is an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria. Operated by Patina Restaurant Group, the same restaurateurs who run the pavilion’s Tutto Italia restaurant, the 300-seat pizzeria is inspired by Naples 45, another Patina Restaurant Group pizzeria in New York City. The casual pizzeria features wood-burning ovens – and uses water from a source that most resembles the water in Naples, Italy, home of some of the world’s best pizza dough. The 14,000-square-foot space includes indoor and outdoor dining.

“Captain EO” – The classic musical spectacular that thrilled Epcot guests from 1986-1994 has returned to Epcot. Twenty-four years ago, Michael Jackson joined forces with Disney, producer George Lucas and director Francis Ford Coppola to create a groundbreaking 17-minute 3-D film experience starring Jackson as Captain EO performing two original songs, and featuring Academy Award-winning actress Anjelica Huston and a cast of merry, mythical space characters with dual personalities who undergo magical transformations to become Jackson’s electronic band in conquering the forces of darkness. “Captain EO” is presented multiple times daily at the Imagination pavilion. It replaces “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience,” which is planned to return at an undetermined date.

Disney’s Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure – Inspired by Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Kim Possible” animated series, guests of all ages become secret agents to save the world from various comical villains and their mad inventions in this ultra-interactive adventure packed with mystery and excitement. Guests team up with members of Team Possible in this high-tech experience played in seven of the Epcot World Showcase pavilions.

Spaceship Earth Relaunch – Presented by Siemens, Spaceship Earth has undergone changes that treat guests to an innovative “interactive” attraction with many new scenes, new costumes and set decorations, new lighting and special effects, a new musical score and narration, and a totally re-themed interactive post-show.

“The Seas with Nemo & Friends” – Featuring technology that for all appearances has the stars of the Disney•Pixar film “Finding Nemo” swimming amid the marine life of the huge aquarium in The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion at Epcot.

Soarin’ – Guests can take flight aboard Soarin', an exhilarating hang-gliding journey over the magnificent landscapes of California. Appropriately enough, this incredible aerial tour of the Golden State comes to Epcot from Disney California Adventure in Anaheim.

Innoventions – Discover tomorrow’s technology today at this hands-on exposition of the world’s newest products and inventions. Guests visit the house of the future, explore cyberspace, test the latest developments in computers and discover the latest breakthroughs in virtual reality and communications. Guests to Epcot can experience a Segway™ Personal Transporter for themselves, firsthand, at World Showcase before the area opens for other park guests.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
“Disney Channel Rocks!” – A live, rock-concert-style showthat celebrates great music and great friends through hit songs from popular Disney Channel Original Movies and Series, “Disney Channel Rocks!” blasts popular music from a variety of Disney Channel hits, including the “High School Musical” series, “Camp Rock” and “StarStruck.” The show follows a format that is similar to “High School Musical 3: Senior Year – Right Here! Right Now!”

“The American Idol Experience” – Starry-eyed Disney guests get a taste of the pop culture phenomenon “American Idol” up close and personal at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. “The American Idol Experience” is another immersive opportunity as guests experience the challenge of auditioning, the rush of performing on stage in competition or the thrill of judging the performances in a live interactive setting modeled after the “American Idol” set. There are several show times daily. Guests advancing through the screening process have the chance, in the nightly final competition, to win a guaranteed reservation for a regional audition for the “American Idol” TV show.

Toy Story Mania! – Celebrating Disney•Pixar classics “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2,” this ride-game experience combines delightful film characters with personality-matching games guests can play. A new game added in June 2010 features characters from the comical new adventure, “Toy Story 3.” Donning 3-D glasses, guests shrink to the size of a toy and hop fanciful ride vehicles following a midway-themed route. At each game booth, they aim for animated targets using their own special on-board spring-action shooter. Guests of all ages from beginner to serious gamer will delight in Toy Story Mania!

“Block Party Bash” – Play, party and dance as the most interactive traveling show in Disney history performs at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests are invited to rock to retro tunes, be dazzled by high-flying acrobatics and join in the fun as more than 20 partying Disney•Pixar characters fill the theme park streets. This immersive rolling spectacle features favorite characters from “The Incredibles,” “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “A Bug’s Life.”

“Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage!” – A cast of friends from Playhouse Disney fills the popular Playhouse Disney stage. Children will be on their feet singing, clapping and dancing to performing stars from “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Little Einsteins,” “Handy Manny” and more.

Jedi Training Academy – Taking a cue from the popular “Star Wars” saga, the power of the Force and the magic of Disney combine for an original and intergalactic entertainment experience. Young Jedi hopefuls learn lightsaber moves before facing off against the evil Darth Vader. Jedi Training Academy is presented multiple times daily, adjacent to the Star Tours attraction.

Handy Manny Meet and Greet
– What would a Disney theme park be without characters, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios is center stage for character meet and greets. Disney Channel stars JoJo and Goliath, the Little Einsteins and Handy Manny welcome guests in the Animation Courtyard next to “Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage!”

Downtown Disney
D Street – The store showcases edgy apparel for both men and women, Vinylmation figures and collectibles, artwork, accessories, jewelry and more. The Downtown Disney West Side store’s unfinished industrial look provides a great venue to showcase Disney art created by local artists.

littlemissmatched – A colorful and playful setting filled with fashionable accessories, beach bags, flip flops and mismatched socks. Located in Downtown Disney West Side.

Paradiso 37 – A high-energy restaurant and bar from E-Brands Restaurant Group features North, South and Central American cuisine, an international wine bar, and a tequila bar with 37 kinds of tequila and 10 signature frozen margaritas. The waterfront dining spot at Downtown Disney is open daily from 11 a.m. until late night with nightly entertainment.

Characters in Flight – Downtown Disney now has its own iconic attraction in the form of a giant tethered balloon that takes guests 400 feet into the air from the waterfront. With a volume of 210,000 cubic feet of lighter-than-air gas, the 72-foot-diameter balloon, operated by Aerophile, can lift up to 30 guests at a time on a six-minute trip, by day or night, that gives them an unparalleled, 360-degree view of the Vacation Kingdom and beyond.

Tren-D – A stylish boutique with designer flair and eclectic offerings is a premier shopping spot at Downtown Disney Marketplace. The urban-inspired specialty store is a one-of-a-kind, hip destination for fashion-conscious shoppers seeking trendy apparel and novel accessories.

T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure, A Place to Eat, Shop, Explore and Discover – At Downtown Disney, guests can dine face-to-face with a dinosaur at T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure, A Place to Eat, Shop, Explore and Discover, which combines table-service dining and retail in an interactive prehistoric environment built around water, fire and ice. T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure is operated by Landry’s Restaurants, which operates the Rainforest Cafes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney.

World of Disney Store – The world’s largest Disney character store offers a constantly changing selection of unique merchandise, including adult and children’s clothing, jewelry, CDs, videos, DVDs, software, toys, collectibles, candy, housewares and much more among more than 50,000 square feet of themed shopping areas. A kids’ makeover salon, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, transforms little girls into princesses or pop star sensation Hannah Montana.

Kouzzina by Cat Cora – Cat Cora, the first and only female Iron Chef on Food Network’s hit show “Iron Chef America,” and Disney opened a family-dining restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk featuring Mediterranean-style cuisine that pays tribute to the chef’s Greek roots. Open daily for breakfast and dinner with seating for about 200 guests.

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort joined the Disney Vacation Club family of properties. The curvilinear tower is designed to complement the fabled styling of the original building. The crescent shape, which features 295 two-bedroom equivalent villas, delivers some of the most dramatic views available anywhere at Walt Disney World Resort. Most of the rooms feature innovative touches, such as modern artwork, flat-screen TVs, full kitchens complete with granite countertops and modern appliances, separate bedrooms, washers and dryers, and other home-like amenities.

Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa – Nestled in natural forest glens, Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa marks the newest phase of what has become the largest Disney Vacation Club resort. The villas revive Walt Disney World “treehouse living,” a tradition from 1975-2002. All stand-alone, three-bedroom homes, elevated 10 feet off the ground on pedestals and beams designed to blend into the forest environment, sleep nine and offer modern luxuries such as cathedral ceilings, granite countertops and flat-screen TVs, all presented in a style dubbed “cabin casual.”

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Pirate-Themed Guestrooms – Buccaneers are immersed in a world of pirates at a themed village created within Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – 384 guestrooms feature pirate-ship beds, wood flooring to look like a ship’s deck, buccaneer accessories and themed decor from stem to stern. The zero gravity pool welcomes swashbuckling adventurers with a kids area and slide themed like an old fort with turrets and cannons.

Contempo Café at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Diners place their orders using state-of-the-art electronic menus and touch-sensitive screens. Selections include honey-lime chicken sandwich, marinated beef flatbread, hot roast beef sandwich and chicken basil pasta. Located on the 4th floor concourse, the 114-seat restaurant is open from 6 a.m. to midnight.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground Archery Experience – Whether novice or expert marksman, the experience at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground offers target shooting led by an archery guide. Open to resort guests and non-guests alike, the 90-minute experience includes equipment and instruction.

The Wave…of American Flavors – The upscale restaurant at Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers bold American cooking with flavors from all over the world. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Wave…of American Flavors offers seasonal menus featuring local and regional products when possible, organic beers and trendy cocktails such as the antioxidant cosmo with açai juice. The innovative wine list has a quirky claim to fame: all screw caps, no corks.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground Segway Experience – A new “off-road” Segway experience takes guests along the Fort Wilderness backwoods trails aboard the Segway X2 personal transporter featuring deeply treaded tires and higher ground clearance to provide a smooth, stable ride through trail-like terrain.

The Villas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – The 109 two-bedroom equivalent accommodations in Jambo House and the 340 two-bedroom equivalent accommodations in Kidani Village (completed September 2009) comprise Disney Vacation Club’s Villas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom vacation villas feature African-inspired details and home-like amenities, and most feature sweeping views of an expanded savanna inhabited by a variety of African animals.

Rix Lounge – Located at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Rix Lounge is a 5,000-square-foot nightlife venue featuring house music, specialty drinks, tapas-style appetizers and rotating entertainment. The décor is inspired by a unique combination of Spanish and Mediterranean design influences, and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems create a first-class, fresh, contemporary and sophisticated ambiance.

Disney’s All-Star Resort Family Suites – More than 400 guestrooms have been transformed into 215 family suites at the value-priced Disney’s All-Star Music Resort. Featuring two bathrooms and sleeping up to six people, each suite includes a generously sized kitchenette with counter space, sink, microwave, coffee maker and under-counter refrigerator. Other amenities include a private master bedroom, two 27" flat-screen TVs and custom furniture.


“What’s Next”

New Sailings for Disney Magic and Disney Wonder – In 2010, the Disney Magic will sail to Europe for an unprecedented five-month season of Northern European and Mediterranean cruises. Book-ending the summer season of 12-night Northern European Capitals cruises, theDisney Magic will once again return to the Mediterranean for 10- and 11-night cruises, with three new ports of call. In addition to popular ports in Italy, France and Spain, theDisney Magic will visit Tunis, in Northern Africa, the island nation of Malta, and Corsica, an island oasis off the southern coast of France. In the summer of 2010, the Disney Wonder will sail four- and five-night cruises to Nassau, Key West and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. In the summer of 2011, the Disney Wonder will sail for the first time to Alaska, with seven-night cruises calling on Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan.

All-New Parade for Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Favorite Pixar pals will perform in an all-new parade being planned for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to debut Jan. 16, 2011. Disney•Pixar fans will be treated to appearances by four characters not currently seen – Remy and Emile from “Ratatouille” and Carl and Russell from “UP.” The parade will be performed to a new musical track from the current Pixar parade at Disney California Adventure. The new show replaces “Block Party Bash,” which has its final performance Jan. 1, 2011.

New Safari Experience – Guests wanting to venture off the beaten path at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will have the chance during a new, immersive, add-on experience, Wild Africa Trek, that will take a small group of adventurers on personalized, guided excursions that include a bushwalk through unexplored areas of the forest along with over-landing in customized vehicles across an animal-filled savanna. On these expert-led treks, extended time will be spent observing and learning about the wildlife.

Star Tours Attraction – A new 3-D version of the tremendously popular Star Tours attraction will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2011. Based on the iconic Lucasfilm “Star Wars” films, the attraction will include immersive new elements that will take guests to many familiar places in the “Star Wars” galaxy.

Hewlett-Packard Photo Creation Center – The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex continues to add more athlete enhancements with the addition of the Hewlett-Packard Photo Creation Center inside the renamed HP Field House at the complex. The creation center will allow athletes, coaches and fans to create and design an assortment of uniquely customized posters, photo albums and materials to commemorate their sports experience.

Disney Says ‘Aloha’ – Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i that includes traditional hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club villas, is being built on 21 acres of oceanfront property in Ko Olina, 17 miles from Honolulu International Airport and approximately 30 minutes from Waikiki. Aulani draws its inspiration from the traditions and heritage of the people of Hawaii. Upon completion, Aulani will include 359 traditional hotel rooms and 481 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club villas with views of the ocean, mountains and the lush grounds.

Disney Cruise Line Expanding Its Fleet – The Walt Disney Company is expanding its successful cruise vacation business by adding two new ships, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, to set sail in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Two decks taller than the existing Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, the new 4,000-passenger liners will more than double the passenger capacity for Disney Cruise Line. Now under construction, the Disney Dream will offer new innovations, magical children’s spaces, family entertainment and immersive experiences for which Disney Cruise Line is renowned. The Disney Dream will sail three-, four- and five-night itineraries to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – A new resort hotel inspired by Disney animation will feature 1,120 family suites themed after “The Lion King,” “Cars” and “Finding Nemo,” and 864 themed rooms in “The Little Mermaid” wings. Animation themes will carry throughout building exteriors and room interiors and feature larger-than-life icons from the animated films in courtyard areas. Crowned by a 35-foot-tall model of King Triton, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will be located next to Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

Magic Kingdom Fantasyland Expansion (2013) – The largest expansion in the history of Magic Kingdom will vastly increase the size of Fantasyland. Guests will be able to:
  • Visit a Disney princess in her castle, cottage or chateau to share a dance with Cinderella at Dreams Come True with Cinderella; celebrate Sleeping Beauty’s 16th birthday with the Good Fairies during a Birthday Surprise for Sleeping Beauty; or join Belle in an enchanting storytelling performance during Enchanted Tales with Belle.
  •  Dine at Be Our Guest Restaurant, one of three enchanted rooms inside the Beast’s castle. Just outside the castle in Belle’s Village will be Gaston’s Tavern, another themed dining option.
  •  Fly with Dumbo high above brand new circus grounds, twice the size of the existing attraction. Dumbo’s Flying Circus will include a stylized tent where guests can enjoy midway games and other interactive family fun.
  • Join Ariel on her newest adventure, Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, a ride-through attraction with melodies from the animated feature.
Shopping, Dining and Lodging District (phased construction across 8-10 years) – Announced as part of a Walt Disney World expansion is a 450-acre mixed-use tourist commercial district just outside Disney’s western gateway (Western Way at Western Beltway). Early plans include 4,000-5,000 value-priced lodging units and a pedestrian-friendly dining/retail village.

Four Seasons to Anchor New Disney Luxury Resort (TBD) – Also announced as part of the Walt Disney World expansion for the next decade: a 900-acre luxury resort anchored by the prestigious Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. The development, along the northeast border of the property, will include a luxury hotel, 18-hole championship golf course, single- and multi-family vacation homes and fractional ownership vacation homes.


Annual Events

Walt Disney World Marathon (January) – This annual 26.2-mile adventure races through all four Disney theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. A half marathon, two-day health expo and 5K round out the weekend’s agenda.

Atlanta Braves Spring Training (February-March) – The Atlanta Braves return to Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex for spring training.

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.

Star Wars Weekends (May-June) – For several weekends each summer, Disney’s Hollywood Studios turns into a giant Star Wars fan-fest with up-close meet-and-greets for guests with their favorite characters and actors from the film series as well as interactive games, parades, music and fun for the whole family.

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.

Children’s Miracle Network Classic (November) – Annual PGA tournament held at Disney’s Magnolia and Palm golf courses features top players.

Festival of the Masters (November) – More than 200 award-winning artists from across the country showcase their wares throughout Downtown Disney. The three-day festival features chalk artists, House of Blues folk artists, a jazz festival, culinary delights and family activities.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (November-January) – This holiday light display on the Disney’s Hollywood Studios backlot features millions of sparkling holiday bulbs designed by Arkansas businessman and philanthropist Jennings Osborne as a gift to his daughter and the guests of Walt Disney World Resort.

Holiday Splendor (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.

Academy Travel is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
Specializing in Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney Vacations
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