We are often asked, “Disney, again?” when we tell friends we are headed to Disney World. We aren’t sure if it’s the goosebumps we get when we drive onto Disney property, the chance to be a kid again, or maybe the Dole Whips… but we seriously never tire or run out of things to do here! When new things are launched at Disney World, however, we do get heightened anticipation and just have to check it out for ourselves. Whether you’re at Disney all the time or haven’t been in years, here are a few newbies from the past year or two that should be on your to-do list!
12 – Explore Caribbean Beach’s New “Old Port Royale”
If you’ve ever stayed at Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort, chances are you stopped by the Old Port Royale which was home to dining options and a small marketplace. This area has recently been reimagined with excellent updates, including the relocation of check-in for Caribbean Beach guests. Not staying at Caribbean Beach? It’s still worth dropping by to dine at the new Sebastian’s Bistro with serene waterfront views.
11 – Meet Pixar Characters New To Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios has not always been well known for their strong character presence. As of recent, however, Hollywood Studios has become a character hot spot. Not only can you meet some of the original favorites like Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Donald, Daisy, Olaf, Sorcerer Mickey, and Minnie… but you can now meet an excellent Pixar character line up. Meet the fun trio – Woody, Buzz, and Jessie from the Toy Story films over in Toy Story Land. Just outside of Toy Story Land you’ll find favorites from The Incredibles like Mr. & Mrs. Incredible and Frozone for a dance party. Plus, you can meet and greet with Edna Mode. Then stop by Animation Courtyard to meet Mike and Sulley from the film, Monsters Inc.
10 – Trend Along with Color Themed Merch
First it was Rose Gold. Then it was Potion Purple. The color themed merchandise trend taking Disney by storm! About once a season, Disney introduces a new Disney inspired color that is showing up on all sorts of Disney merchandise including Minnie ears, shirts, accessories and more. Not only is color themed merchandise trending, but the eats are hot as well. Make sure you get the latest cupcake or beverage on your to-do list and don’t forget to Instagram it!
9 – Have a Taco Cone from 4R Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck
You read that right… a Taco CONE! A new food truck has rolled into Disney Springs called 4R Cantina Barbacoa. All food being served out of this window has a perfect dose of Mexican flavor, but we are especially fond of the Taco Cone for its sheer uniqueness (and deliciousness)! Pick a meat (brisket barbacoa, chicken, pork, or steak) to top lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, queso, cilantro, jalapeno and lime wedge – all wrapped in a cone for easy holding. Strut your stuff around Disney Springs eating up your yummy Taco Cone.
8 – Check Out What “Up!” at Animal Kingdom
The Disney Pixar film, Up! was a box office favorite in 2009. You know it was a good film when this many years later Disney is breathing new life into it with special Up! encounters at Animal Kingdom. First, be sure to catch the new UP! The Great Bird Adventure show that took over Flights of Wonder. You still get all the beautiful bird action, but with Russell and Dug joining in the fun. Drop by Russell and Dug’s meet and greet as well! But, wait… remember Russell’s huge and colorful bird, Kevin? She (yes, Kevin is a she) is making an appearance at Animal Kingdom as well. So, heads Up– this is one to add to your to-do list.
7 – Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party
While you’re visiting Animal Kingdom to see what’s UP, check out the new Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party featuring Timon and Rafiki from The Lion King. Located in Discovery Island in front of the Discovery Island Stage, guests are welcome to listen to music, dance, and play games with Timon, Rafiki, and other friends. Hakuna Matata means “no worries” – so this is an excellent time to let loose!
6 – Sip on a Cocktail at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill
California cuisine is what’s on the menu! This new restaurant located in Disney Springs’ Town Center is a great place to sit down with for a filling entrée or small plates. Enjoy a variety of menu options like salads, burgers, pizza, pasta and more. But our recommendation for your to-do list is to be sure to try one (or two) of their handcraft cocktails. With fun names like Show Me Love, Garden of Eden, Pepino’s Revenge, and Gitty Up – you know you’ve got some goodness in store.
5 – Experience VR with Ralph and Vanellope
Virtual Reality is the newest thing in gaming entertainment. Well, it’s arrived at Disney Springs in what is known as The VOID. The VOID is a virtual reality amusement park in a sense with two featured VR experiences. Since the opening of The VOID, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire has been letting the guest go undercover to challenge the Empire. The second addition to The VOID is Ralph Break VR. This VR experience opened around the time of the film Ralph Breaks The Internet. You may remember Ralph and his best friend, Vanellope from the original film, Wreck-It Ralph. Now you can travel with them through virtual reality at Disney Springs!
4 – Catch the Move It! Shake It! Mousekedance It! Street Party
You may remember the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play it! Street Party that partied down Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom and into the Castle Hub. Well, this has recently undergone a change with new music, new characters – all with the focus of celebrating Mickey and Minnie! Mickey and Minnie are dressed in white with colorful polka dots, as are several other Characters and Cast Members. This is an especially important “to do” if you have children with you.
3 – Dine at Storybook Dining at Artist Point
Head on over to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort to experience a new character dining experience not to be missed! Storybook Dining at Artist Point is serving up enchantingly good meals in its intimate atmosphere. But, stealing the show here are three characters you’ll just love to meet! Chat with Snow White while you dine and be prepared to give the cutest dwarf, Dopey, an extra big squeeze. You’ll then have a chance to go meet the Evil Queen for that perfect villain photo opp. Make reservations right away when adding this to your to-do list.
2 – Pandora – World of Avatar
The most recent land addition at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is undoubtedly one of the most popular areas to be in all of Walt Disney World. This land is always filled with people trying to explore the native foliage, take pictures of the floating mountains, and of course – ride the two incredible attractions! Avatar Flight of Passage is the star in this land and is a favorite attraction in all of Walt Disney World for many. Feel like you are truly riding on the back of a banshee as you soar over outstanding scenery for a sensory overload. Navi River Journey is the second attraction and while it’s not nearly as intense as Flight of Passage, it’s not one to miss. Take a soothing boat right through bioluminescent lighting as you experience what the Navi know as home. Plus, the quick-service restaurant in this land, Satu’li Canteen, is a perfect place to stop for a bite to eat. Be sure to drop by at night as the land glows with beautiful bioluminescent lighting!
1 – Toy Story Land
Toy Story Land is finally open, and people are arriving in droves! Guests just can’t seem to get enough of the Toy Story theming that is everywhere including right down to the cute popsicle benches. Take in all that Andy’s backyard has to offer including two new rides, an oldie but goodie, and a quick-service hot spot. Slinky Dog Dash Coaster is the true star as you cruise along in the loyal Slinky Dog over Toy Story Land. Alien Swirling Saucers is a great ride for kids to hold on tight and experience twists and turns. The classic Toy Story Mania is the same attraction we all know and love but now has an entrance in Toy Story Land. Lastly, taste some grub at Woody’s Lunch Box – a quick-service spot that makes for a great break for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And don’t forget to see Andy’s favorite toys in person including Woody, Buzz, Jessie, and the Army Men.
We can’t wait to see what Disney releases next! “Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.”– Walt Disney
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