Disney is constantly adding new things at the Walt Disney World resort every year. It can be hard to keep up on the latest openings and what to expect on your next trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. Trust me it has almost become a second full-time job with all the new Disney announcements lately. Since the average family visits every three years, we have included 2017 as well as 2018 items in our list of what is new at Disney World.
Keep checking back, as we are constantly updating this list as Disney World makes announcements on new opening dates and new additions to the resort!
Events & Tours
International Art Festival (January 2018)
Epcot International Festival of the Arts will be back in January 2018.
Epcot will be hosting their second annual Festival of the Arts on weekends from January 14th through February 19th, 2018. The festival was a success last year and provided programming that locals and off-season guests really enjoyed, including unique food offerings and vendor workshops. New to the 2018 event, Disney Master Artist Kevin-John will be attending with three of his popular Disney-inspired art.
Should be an exciting event, and definitely something to mark on the calendar!
Toy Story Land (Summer 2018)
In Toy Story Land, explore the world of Andy’s backyard with your favorite Toy Story characters, including Woody and Buzz. There are two new themed attractions being developed for Toy Story Land. Slinky Dog Dash is a family coaster attraction. Alien Swirling Saucers twirls and spins you around as you try to become the chosen one for the claw.
Pandora the World of Avatar (May 27, 2017)
The new World of Avatar is home to two new attractions. First, is the family friendly Na’vi River Journey, a river ride through a bioluminescent rainforest. And second, the Avatar Flight of Passage excursion will offer the jaw-dropping experience of riding on a Banshee over the world of Pandora.
See our reviews:
Happily Ever After (May 12, 2017)
A new fireworks show will replace the long-running Wishes show at the Magic Kingdom. It will feature the latest in fireworks, pyrotechnics and projection technology, plus fresh animation, and a new musical score and theme song.
The new show takes you on a journey filled with heart and humor, as Cinderella Castle itself becomes part of the story. Dazzling projections bring heartfelt Disney stories to life on and around the iconic castle. The 18-minute spectacle will feature moments from all your favorite Disney films such as “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” as well as “Moana” and “Zootopia.” You can catch Happily Ever After fireworks nightly at the Magic Kingdom.
Watch a full video of the show here!
Rivers of Light – Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Opened February 2017)
Rivers of Light is a beautiful water show at the Animal Kingdom.
Nighttime water show, includes water, special effects, and lights at the Animal Kingdom. Join in on a magnificent emotional journey. The show includes a visual mix of water, fire, nature, and light choreographed to an original musical score. Continuing the park’s transformation from a day-into-nighttime experience, the amazing after-dark show on the banks of Discovery River celebrates the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans in the world. With innovative and never-before-seen technology, Rivers of Light will be unlike any other production ever staged at Walt Disney World Resort. Check out our review here or you can watch a full video of the show here.
New Food Locations at Disney World
Planet Hollywood – Disney Springs (January 2017)
Planet Hollywood reopened and joined forces with Guy Fieri to fire up an exclusive portion of the new menu, featuring Guy Fieri’s burgers and sandwiches.
Edison – Disney Springs (Opening Fall 2017)
The Edison. Copyright Disney.
The Edison will feature exceptional classic American food, artisanal craft cocktails, and unparalleled live entertainment. This location will be similar to its’s sister in Los Angles
Paddlefish (February 2017)
This restaurant used to be known as Fulton’s Crab House but is currently undergoing a full gut and transformation into Paddlefish. The new space will offer multiple dining areas and event space. The new menu will mostly be focused around seafood.
The Polite Pig (April 2017)
The Polite Pig is a sister restaurant to the Ravenous Pig, a favorite with Orlando locals. The restaurant will bring the same focus on genuine Florida cuisine to a broader global audience at Disney Springs. Lunch and dinner menus will feature a variety of wood-fired smoked and grilled items as well as an innovative beverage program that serves all drinks on tap, including beer, wine, and cocktails.
Wine Bar George (2017)
Orlando master sommelier George Miliotes uncorks his first Disney wine bar in a space reminiscent of a winemaker’s estate warmed by oak wood and cozy lighting. Small plates dominate the food menu but it will be the wines with a starring role: more than 100 selections both by the bottle and the glass in a range of varietals and vintages.
Star Wars Guided Tour (2017)
Advanced Weapons Research from Rogue One. Copyright Disney.
This seven-hour guided tour will be led by a Star Wars “all-in-the-know” tour guide that will include: a journey on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; an opportunity to participate in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple (for guests age 4-12); a guided exploration of Star Wars Launch Bay, dinner at a quick-service restaurant featuring Star Wars-themed items; the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party; fireworks viewing and more. More information to come.
New Hotels at Disney
More Guest Experiences and Dining Options Coming to Disney’s Coronado Springs and Caribbean Beach Resorts (More Info Coming Soon)
More Guest Experiences and Dining Options Coming to Disney’s Coronado Springs and Caribbean Beach Resorts – Copyright Disney
The expansion at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will include a new 15-story tower that will add 500 rooms, featuring suites and concierge level services. The resort will also refurbish its current resort rooms and transform its landscape with floating gardens and an island oasis that connects the resort through a series of bridges.
New Cabins and Deluxe Villas coming to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (Summer 2017)
There is soon to be a new Disney Vacation Club Resort in town, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort. This area features new Resort accommodations that include plans for Deluxe Villas and unique waterfront cabins. Other enhancements coming to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge include a brand-new bar & grill, in addition to a quick-service restaurant. A sweeping re-imagination of the former Hidden Springs Pool, part of Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, is also scheduled to open in summer 2017. Named Boulder Ridge Cove, this area will feature an expanded sun deck and zero-depth-entry pool.
Confirmed New at Disney World’s 50th in 2021
We don’t have the exact opening dates for these items but we do know that they will open in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021!
The transportation system will connect Disney’s Art of Animation, Pop Century and Caribbean Beach resorts and other locations with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot. And many of the gondolas with Disney Skyliner will feature favorite Disney characters.
Star Wars Inspired Resort
“It’s unlike anything that exists today.” Bob said. “From the second you arrive, you will become a part of a Star Wars story! You’ll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. Once you leave Earth, you will discover a starship alive with characters, stories, and adventures that unfold all around you. It is 100% immersive, and the story will touch every single minute of your day, and it will culminate in a unique journey for every person who visits.”
Coming over from Shanghai Disneyland Tron Coaster will be added to the Magic Kingdom! This coaster will sit next Space Mountain in a brand new area.
New Space Restaurant at Epcot
Adjacent to Mission: SPACE will be a new table-service restaurant that will invite guests to travel high above the Earth into space, for great meals with a great view.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Epcot’s brand new E-ticket attraction will be based on the rockin’ and action-packed world of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and is the next step in how guests can encounter these characters at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney•Pixar’s “Ratatouille”-inspired attraction will also be added to the France Pavilion in World Showcase. The attraction will expand the pavilion. Similar to the 4-D attraction Ratatouille: The Adventure that opened at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris in 2014, guests will be able to shrink to Remy’s size and scurry to safety in a dazzling chase across a kitchen with the sights, sounds and smells of Gusteau’s legendary Parisian restaurant.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
And so much more is sure to pop up as 2017 continues on! So, make sure you put together a list of all your new must do at Disney for your next trip. Also, make sure that you keep visiting our website for news, trip planning, and great insights into building your perfect trip to the Orlando area!
If you want some more information on planning your 2017 trip to Disney World, outside of reading this blog for free of course, we have a couple of book recommendations. We love these two unofficial guides, due to their unbiased opinions! Be sure to give a look at both The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2017 and The Easy Guide to your WDW Trip 2017.
Looking for a FREE packing list for your trip check out the FREE: The Ultimate Disney Packing List! Or head over to our list of Items to Buy Online Before Your Next Disney Trip to save some money on your next Disney vacation.
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