Changes Around WDW

WDW Magazine - - Contents - BY STEPHANIE SHUSTER

With all the ex­cite­ment over ma­jor changes at An­i­mal King­dom in­clud­ing Pan­dora – The World of AVATAR and Rivers of Light, it’s easy to for­get about the other changes hap­pen­ing at WDW these days. Sure, a lot of magic is still in the works (check out the next ar­ti­cle in this is­sue for a look at what’s com­ing soon!) but in the past year a lot of things have changed all over the Most Mag­i­cal Place on Earth.


The Magic King­dom is look­ing a lot dif­fer­ent af­ter dark in 2017. Hap­pily Ever Af­ter has re­placed the long-run­ning Wishes as the nightly fire­works show. Once Upon a Time is the new­est in a string of ever-chang­ing Cas­tle pro­jec­tion shows. And most no­tably – the Main Street Elec­tri­cal Pa­rade has moved over to Dis­ney­land in Cal­i­for­nia, leav­ing pa­rade lovers out in the cold.

But, af­ter a suc­cess­ful launch of beer and wine avail­able at Be Our Guest (in a for­merly dry park), Dis­ney has added al­co­holic bev­er­ages to the menus at Liberty Tree Tavern, Cin­drella’s Royal Ta­ble, Skip­per Can­teen, and Tony’s Town Square.

Princess Elena of Avalor (the new­est Dis­ney Chan­nel star!) is now meet­ing at Princess Fairy­tale Hall and Liberty Square now of­fers an­other show – The Mup­pets Present Great Mo­ments in Amer­i­can His­tory. Plus, Tiana’s tak­ing over the Liberty Belle each af­ter­noon to throw a Fes­ti­val of Fan­tasy pa­rade view­ing ice cream so­cial event.

And let’s not for­get the new way to start your day at Magic King­dom: the gates open an hour be­fore the park does so that guests can shop on Main Street, grab a Starbucks or some break­fast, and watch the open­ing show in front of the Cas­tle – no more train sta­tion count­down!


The big­gest news at Ep­cot is the in­tro­duc­tion of the Ep­cot In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val of the Arts, held in Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary. It fol­lows the for­mula of food, mer­chan­dise, and per­for­mances that make the park’s other fes­ti­vals so pop­u­lar – but it cel­e­brates vis­ual, per­for­mance, and culi­nary art. It’s a great way to bring some cheer and added value to Ep­cot dur­ing the slower win­ter months!

In other Ep­cot news, the Dis­ney & Pixar Short Film Fes­ti­val is show­ing some new shorts – in­clud­ing Feast! Choza Mar­garita is set to open in Mex­ico, re­plac­ing the pop­u­lar mar­garita stand, and the Frozen Ever Af­ter Sparkling Dessert Party is mak­ing its de­but this month!


The Mu­sic of Pixar LIVE is a new sum­mer en­gage­ment tak­ing over the The­ater of the Stars each evening for three per­for­mances which in­clude a sym­po­hony bring­ing to life some of the most iconic mu­sic from Cars 3, Toy Story, and more.

Meet and greet op­por­tu­ni­ties have been en­chanced here with a Star Lord and Groot (in his baby form!) meet cel­e­brat­ing the launch of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – and a much an­tic­i­pated BB-8 meet and greet in Star Wars Launch Bay. More good news for Star Wars fans await­ing the new land – a new 7-hour Star Wars Guided Tour is be­ing of­fered with VIP ac­cess to Star Wars at­trac­tions in the park.


Miss Ad­ven­ture Falls has opened – the new­est, and long­est fam­ily raft ride at WDW! In fact, this one in­cludes a very cool ramp that takes guests to the top of the slide – no need to carry that in­ner tube to the top! Cowabunga Dis­ney dudes!


It’s hard to be­lieve but new stuff is STILL open­ing at Dis­ney Springs! This year, The Po­lite Pig, Pad­dle­fish, and Planet Hol­ly­wood Ob­ser­va­tory are all new din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences for guests – with more to come in the sum­mer and fall! New shops are open­ing all the time too. Our fa­vorite? The Dress Shop at Mar­ketplace Co-op!


At Wilder­ness Lodge, the DVC vil­las have be­come the Boul­der Ridge Vil­las, swanky new Cop­per Creek Cab­ins are open­ing up for glamp­ing fam­ily re­unions, and the Hid­den Springs pool got a makeover. Did we men­tion there are some new eats too, at the Geyser Point Bar and Grill? Yum!

Guest rooms and the Coron­ado Springs Re­sort and Pop Cen­tury Re­sort are get­ting a com­plete over­haul well into 2018 – but the first newly ren­o­vated build­ings are open now!

Over at Dis­ney’s Board­walk, Fly­ing Fish got a com­plete menu and in­te­rior re-de­sign,

Abra­cad­abar is serv­ing up cu­ri­ous cock­tails and mock­tails and Trat­to­ria Al Forno is of­fer­ing the most ad­ven­tur­ous char­ac­ter din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence yet – you can meet Ra­pun­zel, Flynn, Ariel, and Eric at the Bon Voy­age Break­fast!

Want a rea­son to get gussied up in the morn­ing? High end Sun­day brunches are now on of­fer at Cal­i­for­nia Grill and Nar­coosees!


Park hop­ping just got eas­ier with the new Ex­press Trans­porta­tion op­tion – a paid ser­vice that al­lows guests to trans­fer be­tween parks on an ex­clu­sive bus – by­pass­ing se­cu­rity at their next des­ti­na­tion!

Mag­icband2 has been rolled out across prop­erty along with a ton of new bands and ac­ces­sories which al­low guests to wear their tech­nol­ogy in a va­ri­ety of styles.

The Dis­ney Din­ing Plan has been mak­ing waves again. This year dur­ing Free Din­ing, the

quick ser­vice plan was of­fered at value and mod­er­ate re­sorts – with the “ba­sic” plan that in­cluded ta­ble ser­vice op­tions only of­fered on deluxe book­ings. And it was re­cently an­nounced that in 218 the plan will now fea­ture al­choloic bev­er­ages and spe­cialty shakes, cof­fees, and mock­tails at ta­ble ser­vice ex­pe­ri­ences.

Fi­nally, at the oft-for­got­ten ESPN Wide World of Sports, a new cheer­lead­ing and dance venue is open­ing to bet­ter ac­com­mo­date the com­pe­ti­tions that hap­pen at WDW through­out the year!

That’s a lot of changes to keep up with and 2017 is only half over! Be sure to watch our blog at wdw-mag­a­­e­gory/blog for all the lat­est WDW news!

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