If you, your kids, or grandkids are Disney fans, you’ll need to visit Walt Disney World this year.
Here’s why: Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando just announced several new experiences to be unveiled this year.
“What’s your favorite Disney Thrill?” Vanessa de la Viña, public relations manager at Walt Disney World Resort, asked on Disney Parks Blog.
“Whether it’s giving a beloved character a big hug, showing off the perfect pair of Minnie ears, or giggling your way through an exciting adventure with your entire family, you can enjoy all kinds of thrills at Walt Disney World Resort,” de la Viña continued. “Today, we’re excited to share all the new experiences coming to Walt Disney World over the next few months!”
Here’s a sneak peek at six new experiences coming to Walt Disney World this year.
1. New Character Meet And Greets
Let’s face it, no trip to Walt Disney World is complete without a chance to enjoy — and take pictures — meeting some of Disney’s beloved characters, whether they are old favorites or new introductions. Several new characters will make their debut at Walt Disney World this year.
For instance, just in time for the 25th Anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Moana, from the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Moana, will begin greeting visitors April 22 at Discovery Island.
Then, sometime this summer, visitors will be able to meet long-time EPCOT icon Figment at the Imagination! Pavilion.
Finally, Mirabel, from Disney Animation’s Encanto, will begin greeting visitors this fall in the Fairytale Garden at Magic Kingdom.
2. EPCOT Transformation Comes To A “Crescendo”
If you’ve been to EPCOT recently, you undoubtedly have seen construction around World Celebration and World Nature — the EPCOT neighborhood “dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty, awe, and balance of the natural world,” de la Viña, previously explained.
The construction is part of the park’s multi-year transformation, which is scheduled to be completed this year.
“Journey of Water, inspired by the movie Moana, will debut this fall in World Nature,” de la Viña explained this week. “This self-guided exploration trail will take you through the natural water cycle — from the skies to oceans and all the way back again. Just like Moana, you’re encouraged to become a protector and friend to our natural resources.”
3. CommuniCore Hall’s Opening
When CommuniCore Hall, a multi-use facility, opens in World Celebration later this year, it will be the center of the park’s festival programming. It will also be home to Mickey & Friends, where visitors can meet Mickey Mouse and some of his best friends.
“CommuniCore Hall will be a flexible exhibition and gallery space, offering a wide variety of experiences that highlight art, live music, food — complete with a demonstration kitchen — and more,” explained Jeremy Schoolfield, Walt Disney Imagineering communications manager. “Meanwhile, CommuniCore Plaza, an outdoor event space, will have the flexibility to host intimate musical performances that extend out into the nearby gardens, as well as large-scale concerts.”
4. Commemorating Disney100
Amazingly, Disney is celebrating the centennial anniversary of brothers Walt and Roy Disney founding the company in 1923. EPCOT will host what’s known as the “Disney100” celebration.
“As we honor the legacy of Disney storytelling and unforgettable characters that have entertained and inspired people of all ages for a century, now is the time to relive those beloved Disney memories and delight in making new memories with friends and family in our theme parks,” de la Viña continued. “Enjoy all-new experiences as we celebrate this momentous anniversary and the culmination of the EPCOT transformation — from meeting Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their platinum attire to snapping a selfie with a platinum sculpture of the one who started it all, and watching Spaceship Earth illuminate the evenings with a special lighting design.”
As an added attraction, a new nighttime spectacular will make its debut at EPCOT later this year at the World Showcase Lagoon. Visitors will be able to watch a fireworks, lasers, and light show that is accompanied by an original composition along with songs from the Disney songbook.
5. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park’s 25th Anniversary
“We can’t wait to celebrate 25 years of magic at Disney’s Animal Kingdom next month on Earth Day!” de la Viña explains. “Since it opened on April 22, 1998, this one-of-a-kind theme park has offered awe-inspiring animal encounters, thrilling attractions, and larger-than-life musical stage shows.”
During the month of April, there will be new ways to celebrate Earth Day and the anniversary of the attraction’s opening, including limited-time character sightings and some surprises on April 22, when the park officially turns 25.
6. TRON Lightcycle/Run’s Opening
Disney fans have anxiously been waiting for TRON Lightcycle/Run to open at Magic Kingdom. The wait is nearly over; the attraction opens on April 4.
Disney’s movie TRON was released on July 9, 1982. It was then followed by TRON: Legacy, which was released December 17, 2010. The storyline for TRON Lightcycle/Run picks up after TRON: Legacy.
“After being digitized and transported to the Grid for a special Lightcycle race, it’s your Team Blue against one of the Grid’s menacing Programs — Team Red, Team Yellow, or Team Orange,” explains Steven Miller, senior manager of corporate social responsibility at Walt Disney World Resort. “Your goal is to be the first to race through eight Energy Gates, digital markers that Users and Programs compete to ‘capture.’ The first team to capture all eight Gates by passing through them is declared the winner.”
But Wait, There’s More
Finally, there’s an added plus for everyone who has been waiting for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure to open at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort in 2024.
Construction is still underway at Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom. It is an all-new adventure that will transport visitors into the world of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ The Princess and the Frog as Tiana and the jazz-loving alligator Louis make their way down the bayou and prepare to host a celebration during Mardi Gras. However, later this summer, a tiara-topped water tower complete with the Tiana’s Foods logo will make its way to Magic Kingdom.
The tiara-topped water tower is an important part of Tiana’s Foods. That’s the employee-owned cooperative Tiana founded following the success of Tiana’s Palace — a restaurant she had always dreamed of opening and finally did after much hard work.
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