#1 Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away!
A new stage show will be taking place at the Center Stage in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It will feature Star Wars characters such as, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Darth Vader and Darth Maul. Along with Captain Phasma who will lead her squad of First Order Stormtroopers through the park as they make their way to the Center Stage front of the Great Movie Ride.
Also, starting this summer an all-new Star Wars themed firework will take place nightly at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Star Wars themed fireworks, lasers and light projections will light up the sky! This amazing firework show will be combined with Star Wars themed music, iconic characters and scenes from throughout the saga. Imagine if Celebrate the Magic, Wishes and Illuminations were combined as one! That is what I have imagined this Star Wars themed show is going to be like!
#2 Rivers of Light!
The first ever nighttime show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is officially debuting on April 2, 2016. Rivers of Light will take place on Discovery River in the Asia section of the park. The show will depict an ancient lantern festival that is guided by two storytellers who call forth four animal Spirit Guides: an Asian Tiger, Tropical Turtle, African Elephant and a Great Horned Owl. Each Spirit Guide will lead you the audience through their journey through the Rivers of Light!
#3 Mickey’s Royal Friendship Fare!
This year the castle stage show “Dream Along with Mickey” is going to be replaced with a new castle stage show, “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Fare”. Join Mickey Mouse and his friends as they welcome favorite characters from some of Disney’s newest classics to the grandest stage at Walt Disney World in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom! In Mickey’s Royal Friendship Fare, Mickey and his troupe of Merry Makers have been preparing to host a joyous festival and have ventured far and wide to invite friends to join their celebration. Friends like Tiana, Naveen and Louis from the “Princess in the Frog”, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from “Tangled” and we can’t forget about Olaf, Anna and Elsa from “Frozen”. “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Fare” will debut in summer 2016.
#4 Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
Dr. Facillier hosts a wicked party and is joined by four wickedly wonderful villains. Guests will be able to enjoy an all-you-care-to-enjoy New Orleans style food and for dessert you can enjoy some delicious treats inspired by Disney Villains. Themed adult beverages will also be served.
#5 Kilimanjaro Sunset Safaris!
Along with Rivers of Light an all-new nighttime experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a night safari of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. With this nighttime experience you’ll get to venture out onto the Savanna for a nighttime safari tour and see the animals in a whole new light. During your tour of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve you will be able to witness the rarely seen nocturnal habits of the reserve’s many animal residents.
#6 Frozen Ever After!
This new “Frozen” experience is a re-imaging of the Norway Pavilion’s attraction Maelstrom at EPCOT. In summer 2016 you can come and celebrate a very special “Summer Snow Day” with Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and other friends from the movie “Frozen”.
#7 Soarin’ Around the World!
One of Disney’s most popular attractions is receiving a major upgrade! Not only is the Soarin’ attraction in Walt Disney World receiving an additional theater, every Soarin’ attraction in the Disney Parks is getting a new film! Soarin’ Around the World takes guests on a journey to far-away lands, over some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders. Soarin’ Around the World will open late 2016!
#8 New Meet & Greet Locations!
Two new character meet and greet experiences will debut Spring 2016 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Located in the Echo Lake section of the park will be the site of the all-new Celebrity Spotlight. Here you can meet the snowman that likes warm hugs, Olaf.
Guests will also get to walk the red carpet and meet Disney’s Hollywood starlet Minnie Mouse! Just next door to Minnie you can meet Mickey Mouse as he portrays his iconic role of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice!
Another all-new meet and greet experience is being constructed next to the Norway Pavilion at EPCOT called the Royal Summerhus. Here you can meet Queen Elsa and Princess Anna in a charming cabin in the countryside of Norway.
#9 Three new Dining Locations coming to the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom!
Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen. This new restaurant is located in Adventureland across from the Jungle Cruise at the Magic Kingdom. If you are hungry for adventure then step right in to Skipper Canteen and savor the flavor of tropical cuisine of this exotic outpost.
Beginning March 13, 2016 the Diamond Horseshoe in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom you can enjoy an all-you-care-to-enjoy saloon feast!
Tiffin’s is an all-new restaurant that will be located on Discovery Island at the rear of Pizzafari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The theme of this restaurant will celebrate the art of traveling. The name “tiffin” is an Indian English word for a midday meal or a type of container used to carry food while traveling. When you dine at Tiffin’s you will have the option of dinning inside or outside in which both will have waterfront views.
#10 Disney Springs!
In September 2015, Downtown Disney officially changed its name to Disney Springs. Disney Springs is a re-themed cohesive retail and entertainment venue that is separated into four district neighborhoods: The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center. You will be able to enjoy over 70 unique retail, dining and entertainment venues at Disney Springs in mid-2016.
#11 RunDisney Events!
When you run Disney, every mile is magic! Every year Disney hosts RunDisney events in three of their parks, Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris. The marathon weekends take place throughout the year and each one has a theme where you can dress as your favorite character!
- The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend takes place during the second weekend in January every year.
- The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend usually takes place during the last weekend in February.
- The Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side usually takes place during the third weekend of April.
- The Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend usually takes place during first week of May.
- The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend usually takes place during the first weekend in September.
- The Disneyland Paris Half Marathon usually takes place during the third weekend in September.
- The Disney Wine and Dine Marathon at Walt Disney World usually takes place during the first weekend in November.
- The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World usually takes place during the second weekend in November.
#12 Saving up to 25% on Rooms during April 14 – June 11, 2016!
If you are planning on visiting the Walt Disney World Resort during the months of April – June, you can save up to 25% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resorts. In order to save the 25% you must book your trip by March 31, 2016. I’m sure there will be more promotions throughout the year, so to stay up-to-date click here to view the latest offers and promotions!
#13 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival
Every year, sometime in March through May, Walt Disney World puts on EPCOT’s Flower & Garden Festival. EPCOT is always beautifully landscaped but the amazing Disney magic truly shines during this festival. This year the festival is running for 90 days, which makes this year’s festival the longest it’s ever ran!
#14 Seasonal Events!
Each year Disney puts on Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. These are special ticketed events that where only a certain amount of tickets are sold. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party takes place on some nights from mid-September to early November. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party takes place on some nights from the beginning of November until the week of Christmas.
#15 Minnie’s Springtime Dine Blooms!
This year Disney has introduced seasonal themed dining with Minnie and friends at Hollywood and Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can reserve a dinner reservation to enjoy some very tasty food while you visit with Minnie and her friends!
#16 New Land’s Construction!
Walt Disney World will be receiving some fairly large updates to its theme parks. Three all-new lands are being constructed, designed and completed as you are reading this.
In Disney’s Animal Kingdom a new land is being constructed called, Pandora: The World of Avatar. In this new land you will be able to experience Pandora as the Navi would do. You will even be able to ride a banshee! Pandora: The World of Avatar will open in 2017!
The other two lands are being constructed in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. One of the lands will be focusing on Star Wars! In this Star Wars land you will be able to fly the Millennium Falcon!
The other land that is being constructed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is Toy Story Land. You will be transported into Andy’s backyard with all of the toys that you have come to know and love. Both of these lands do not have an opening date as of yet. But while you are in the parks, take a look at some of the construction process!
**Thanks for reading along! I’m sure there will be more than 16 things to look forward to in 2016 at Walt Disney World, so stick around and see what’s coming next!**
**If this article has got you ready to Get the Magic Started on your next vacation, then contact me today!**