The magical parks and resorts of Walt Disney World are ever growing. In 2017, the highly anticipated Pandora – The World of Avatar opened, as did the Rivers of Light and a new water slide at Typhoon Lagoon called Miss Adventure Falls. The arrival of 2018 brings with it more new rides and shows – here’s our roundup.
Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Opening in summer 2018, Toy Story Land is a whole new area being built at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Here, you'll be able to explore Andy's backyard as seen from the point of view of a toy. There will be two new rides, a new restaurant and more to explore in this immersive land. Slinky Dog Dash will be a new roller coaster you can't find anywhere else in the world. On this wacky ride, guests of all ages will ride on the back of Slinky Dog as he slinks up and down, over bunny hops and around twists and turns. You'll encounter other friends from Toy Story, like Rex, Jessie, Sarge and more. The other new attraction, called Alien Swirling Saucers, will have you spinning around while avoiding "the Claw" and the adorable three-eye aliens from Pizza Planet.
New Up-inspired Show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Earth Day of 2018. One of the many ways they will be celebrating is by introducing an all-new animal show. Opening this spring, the new show will feature Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his lovable talking dog Dug from Disney-Pixar's film Up. Discover exotic species of birds from all around the world in this new story set at the Caravan Theater in Anandapur Village. Plus, after the show you'll get a chance for your own Up close encounters with these fantastic winged creatures.
New dining at Disney Springs
This year, an incredible array of new dining locations are making their debuts at Disney Springs. A total of eight new restaurants are set to open their doors this year including The Edison, Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, Enzo’s Hideaway and Pizza Ponte. These new venues from Patina Restaurant Group will offer guests a range of uniquely themed dining options and nightly entertainment. Opening later this year is Terralina Crafted Italian with a menu by James Beard-Award Winning Chef Tony Mantuano, Wine Bar George from Master Sommelier George Miliotes, Jaleo featuring Spanish style tapas and the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill. Disney Springs is establishing itself as a destination for world-class cuisine.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort transformation
Old Port Royale at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is being completely reimagined. The newly refurbished area will include a stunning new centralized lobby and check-in area, as well as a new restaurant with waterfront dining and more. The Centertown Market will offer guests a casual place to grab a bite to eat. Shutters, a Caribbean-inspired table-service restaurant, will transport guests to the tropical islands with new theming and beautiful waterfront dining areas. An expanded Banana Cabana poolside bar will be a wonderful place to grab a drink while enjoying the Fuentes del Morro pool, one of the best and most highly themed pools in Walt Disney World.
Much more on the horizon
Look for more updates on Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge this year, the new themed land heading to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Scheduled to open in 2019, the new land will offer two major attractions where you'll be able to pilot the Millennium Falcon and plan your escape from the First Order. More rides in development at the parks include a new Tron-themed roller coaster, a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction, Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway and a ride based on Disney-Pixar's Ratatouille. Plus, construction is underway for the Disney Skyliner, a new raised transportation system that will take guests from several resorts and parks while offering rare bird’s-eye views of Walt Disney World.
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(Photos: Walt Disney World)