Completely swallowed up by all the news at D23 this weekend regarding the Disney Parks was an announcement about this new Disney Vacation Club resort in the works. While everyone was sharing news of new attractions, attractions closing and new restaurants – this new resort didn’t get as much notice as it should have.
At D23 in Anaheim, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced the next planned development for Disney Vacation Club will be an entirely new resort near Epcot called Disney Riviera Resort and that a new skyway transportation system will connect the new resort to other areas on Walt Disney World property.
“We’re thrilled to announce plans for a new Disney Vacation Club property called Disney Riviera Resort coming to Walt Disney World Resort,” Chapek said. “Our Vacation Club Members are among our most loyal fans, and we think that they will love what we have planned, especially the rooftop restaurant that will offer unbelievable views of nighttime spectaculars at both Epcot and Hollywood Studios.”
Estimated to open in fall 2019, this new resort experience is slated to be the 15th Disney Vacation Club property with approximately 300 units spread across a variety of accommodation types.
On July 17, Disney Vacation Club will welcome its 14th resort with the opening of Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, featuring 184 rustically elegant vacation accommodations including Deluxe Studios, one- and two-bedroom Villas, three-bedroom Grand Villas and unique waterfront cabins.
Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Disney Vacation Club, said, “The opening of Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in just a few days and the announcement of our next planned development, Disney Riviera Resort, demonstrate the incredible momentum underway at Disney Vacation Club. Our members tell us over and over again how much they love the outstanding accommodations and the value and flexibility of a Disney Vacation Club Membership, as well as the unique location to our growing and evolving theme parks and the exclusive member experiences and benefits they get from our Membership Extras program.”
Disney Vacation Club Members are able to choose from among a variety of exciting vacation destinations, including a stay at any Disney Vacation Club Resort or one of thousands of other vacation options in destinations around the world. Plus, when purchasing directly from Disney, members can also enjoy the Disney Collection, which includes select Disney Resort hotels, Disney Cruise Line and guided vacations with Adventures by Disney, as well as the Concierge Collection, a portfolio of extraordinary hotels in sought-after destinations. Vacations at a Disney Vacation Club Resort can last anywhere from one night to several weeks.
What Will a Ride in Disney’s New “Minnie Van” Cost?
Need a quick ride because you’re late for a dining reservation? No problem – The new Minnie Van service will be starting later this month. The “Minnie Van” was announced at the D23 Expo this weekend in Anaheim is ready to start moving you around with the next couple of weeks.
A whimsical, point-to-point transportation service that will help guests get around Walt Disney World Resort in a jiffy. Guests can arrange their own private Disney vehicle right from their smartphone, and a Disney Cast Member will drive them wherever they want to go around Walt Disney World.
A ride in the Minnie Van will be priced at $20 per trip per vehicle. It is being reported that the vehicle will be able to accommodate 8 people (in 3 rows). The service is planned to begin late July 2017 at Disney’s BoardWalk and Yacht Club Resorts. The service will then expand to more locations throughout Walt Disney World.
What’s Coming to Disney Parks – D23 Recap
The announcements out of Anaheim at D23 were overwhelming! Some rumors were confirmed, some rumors not even mentioned and some new and unexpected surprises surfaced. Here’s a recap of all that was announced concerning Disney Parks:
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Announced as Name for Star Wars Lands at Disney Parks
The lands, both called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, will allow guests to visit a remote trading port on the edge of wild space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life – and where guests will find themselves in the middle of the action.
The lands will feature two major attractions that put guests in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Each attraction – and even the land itself – will offer guests the chance to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe like never before.
One attraction will make you feel like you’re on a Star Destroyer inside a hangar bay. It’s an attraction built on a scale we’ve never done before.
The second attraction will give guests the opportunity to fly the Millenium Falcon, piloting the ship, shooting blasters or preparing for hyperspace – all while completing a critical mission. But how you perform on the mission holds even bigger stakes: perform with skill and you may earn extra galactic credits, while bringing the ship back banged up could put you on the list of a bounty hunter. End up on Harkos’s list and you may face a problem if you show up at the local cantina!
Guests will also encounter many familiar faces inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, including BB-8, Chewbacca, members of the First Order and – among many others – Rex, the troublesome pilot you may remember from the previous version of a certain Disney attraction who takes on a new role in this land as the DJ at the cantina.
And speaking of the cantina, here guests will be able to try unique concoctions like blue milk. Nearby, they’ll also be able to acquire trinkets and treasures from across the galaxy.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in 2019, first at the Disneyland Resort and later in the year at the Walt Disney World Resort. (No further opening dates have been announced yet.)
First Mickey-Themed Ride-Through Attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
A new attraction featuring international icon Mickey Mouse is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort! Details for our first Mickey-themed ride-through attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, were just unveiled during the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation at D23 Expo 2017 – and we think you’re going to love it.
On Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, you’ll step through the movie screen and join Mickey and his friends like never before. The attraction will put you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon Short where you’re the star and anything can happen. This zany out-of-control adventure features surprising twists and turns, dazzling visual effects and mind-boggling transformations that happen before your very eyes.
The attraction is inspired by the Mickey Shorts that you can see on the Disney Channel. And the people who bring you the shorts at Disney Television Animation are partnering with us to help bring the attraction to life.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will feature a new story and a new singable attraction theme song as well as a new experience we’re calling “2 1/2 D.” No glasses required. Walt Disney Imagineer Kevin Rafferty said teams are inventing new technologies that turn the flat world of a colorful cartoon short into a “dimensional display of amazingness.”
“This is one of the boldest…most impossible things I’ve ever worked on in almost 40 years of being an Imagineer. And you know what? That’s what I love about it. Well, that, and Mickey,” Kevin said. “This is not going to be a small attraction, it’s going to be game-changing.”
As you plan ahead, we also wanted to let you know that in order to begin to prepare the new home of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at the Chinese Theatre in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, August 13, 2017 will be the final day of operation for The Great Movie Ride presented by Turner Classic Movies. Until August 13, you can still relive some of the greatest movie moments in history on the Great Movie Ride attraction.
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ & ‘Ratatouille’ Attractions Coming to Epcot
Epcot fans, rejoice! Plans were just unveiled at the D23 Expo that the park will receive not one, but two new attractions inspired by popular films.
First, a “Guardians of the Galaxy”-inspired attraction will be added to Future World, adhering to the original vision of Epcot’s Future World as the place to experience the excitement and adventure offered by space travel.
This is an addition we’re really looking forward to, as a “Guardians of the Galaxy” attraction – Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! – debuted at Disney California Adventure park earlier this year to rave reviews from guests. Epcot’s brand new E-ticket attraction will be based on the rockin’ and action-packed world of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and is the next step in how guests can encounter these characters at the Walt Disney World Resort. Epcot just may be the perfect place for a “Guardians”-inspired attraction as you can see in the photo above – Peter Quill (aka Star Lord) actually visited Epcot as a kid! (Note: This new attraction will replace the current Universe of Energy attraction, which will close August 13, 2017).
Second, a Disney•Pixar’s “Ratatouille”-inspired attraction will also be added to the France Pavilion in World Showcase. The attraction will expand the pavilion. Similar to the 4-D attraction Ratatouille: The Adventure that opened at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris in 2014, guests will be able to shrink to Remy’s size and scurry to safety in a dazzling chase across a kitchen with the sights, sounds and smells of Gusteau’s legendary Parisian restaurant.
According to Disney leaders, both attractions will open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in 2021.
New Tron Attraction Coming to Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort
The new Tron attraction will sit in an entirely new area right next to the Space Mountain attraction at Magic Kingdom Park. Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, made the announcement during the Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts presentation at D23 Expo 2017.
Regular Disney Parks Blog readers know that the TRON Lightcycle Power Run attraction at Shanghai Disneyland is a coaster-style attraction where riders board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles. It offers access into the energy, lights and excitement of TRON’s high-tech universe and is one of the most thrilling adventures at any Disney park.
Also, during today’s presentation, Bob said the plan is to open the Tron attraction in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021.
First Look: New Space Restaurant to Offer ‘Out-of-this-World’ Dining Experience at Epcot
Disney unveiled exciting plans to create a new restaurant at Epcot that’ll offer amazing meals with spectacular views high above Earth – from space!
The restaurant, which will be located adjacent to the park’s Mission: SPACE attraction, will invite guests to travel into space for amazing dining experiences in the stars. Walt Disney Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald shared a first look at the restaurant during the Walt Disney World Parks and Resortspresentation at D23 Expo 2017.
“We know our guests love dining at Epcot – and the restaurants really are out of this world,” Tom said. “Now we’re about to create one that takes that literally.”
The new space restaurant will be operated by the Patina Restaurant Group. Patina Restaurant Group operates several other restaurants at Walt Disney World including Tutto Italia and Via Napoli at Epcot and Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs.
Disneyland Paris Brings Favorite Marvel Characters to Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel
Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel is coming to the resort!
As a part of his presentation to the tens of thousands of fans at the D23 Expo in Anaheim today, Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek announced the “reImagination” of the Disney’s Hotel New York into a new Marvel-themed wonderland.
“We’re going to create a hotel at Disneyland Paris that would make Tony Stark proud,” Bob said. “I’m thrilled to announce that Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel will transport our guests to the action-packed, inspiring world of Super Heroes including Iron Man, The Avengers, and Spider Man among others!”
Plans Unveiled for Star Wars-Inspired Themed Resort at Walt Disney World
Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, just confirmed that a Star Wars-inspired resort will debut as part of the new Disney 360 vacation concept.
According to Bob, this revolutionary new vacation experience will be a living adventure that allows guests to immerse themselves in an entirely new form of Disney storytelling.
“It’s unlike anything that exists today.” Bob said. “From the second you arrive, you will become a part of a Star Wars story! You’ll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. Once you leave Earth, you will discover a starship alive with characters, stories, and adventures that unfold all around you. It is 100% immersive, and the story will touch every single minute of your day, and it will culminate in a unique journey for every person who visits.”
Disney Skyliner, New Minnie Vehicles to Transport Guests Around Walt Disney World Resort
A brand new transportation system is coming to the Walt Disney World Resort to add even more magic to your future vacation experiences. Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resortsjust announced that the Disney Skyliner will soon give guests a bird’s-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort.
Another new transportation service featuring vehicles themed to the one-and-only Minnie Mouse was also announced during the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts presentation at D23 Expo 2017.
“Since we’re all about exceeding guest expectations and making every aspect of your vacation uniquely Disney, we’re creating a new point-to-point transportation service in a way that only Disney can do,” Bob said.
The Minnie vehicles will take you everywhere you want to go at the Walt Disney World Resort, and you’ll ride in Minnie’s classic style.
New Theater Inspired By Kansas City’s Willis Wood Theater To Debut at Walt Disney World ResortA new venue for world-class entertainment is coming to Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. And a first look at the new theater was just unveiled minutes ago at D23 Expo 2017.
If the image of the theater looks familiar, that’s because the new entertainment venue will be based on the iconic Willis Wood theater in 1920s Kansas City, where Walt lived after he left Marceline. And as you can see from the design, it’ll fit well right off Main Street, U.S.A.
“Across Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, we’ve been upping the game in Entertainment with shows like Frozen Live at the Hyperion,” Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts said. “It’s been a huge hit at the Disneyland Resort, and I’m sure many of you have seen it. This new theater at Walt Disney World continues that streak by bringing a new venue for world-class entertainment to the world’s biggest park.”
Toy Story Land to Open at Walt Disney World Resort in Summer 2018Many of you know that Toy Story Land is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios – we’ve shared several updates on this exciting project. Today, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts announced that the land will open next summer!
In 2018, you’ll find yourself shrunk to the size of a toy to explore the world of Andy’s backyard with your favorite Toy Story characters, including Woody and Buzz. And Toy Story Land will feature two new themed attractions.
Slinky Dog Dash will be a family coaster attraction where you’ll zip, dodge and dash around many turns and drops that Andy has created to really make Slinky and his coils stretch to his limits.
Alien Swirling Saucers will also be a new attraction at Toy Story Land. It’s designed as a toy play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet, inspired by the first “Toy Story” film. Aliens are flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with “The Claw.”
New Pixar Pier to Bring Favorite Pixar Stories to Life at Disney California Adventure Park; Limited-Time Pixar Fest Celebration Coming Throughout Disneyland Resort
In addition to the amazing experiences for Disney Parks around the world announced today at D23 Expo by Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, a new immersive experience was just announced for Disney California Adventure park in California! In 2018, more of your favorite Pixar stories will come to Disney California Adventure park with the new Pixar Pier.
Pixar Pier will feature a brand-new look for the area now known as Paradise Pier, as some of your favorite characters come to life on this seaside waterfront. You will discover whimsical neighborhoods filled with your friends from “The Incredibles,” “Inside Out” and even more of your pals from “Toy Story.” Building upon the evolution of Disney California Adventure park that began in 2007, we are building more new worlds for you to step into and enjoy your favorite stories.
This permanent addition to the park will open during a new limited-time celebration taking place throughout the Disneyland Resort in 2018 — Pixar Fest! Experience the magical worlds of Pixar in brand new ways as the entire resort comes alive with some of your favorite stories.
At Disneyland park, this incredible celebration will feature a brand-new fireworks spectacular as well as the return of the guest favorite, Pixar Play Parade. That’s right! This popular parade is moving across the Esplanade, which could only mean …
The popular “Paint the Night” parade returns — this time, to Disney California Adventure park! And if you’re as excited as I am by that news, then hold onto your jet packs, Space Rangers — because we’ve also learned that there may even be a new float joining this already amazing nighttime parade.
Disney Cruise Line Planning Not Two, But Three New Ships
Disney fans attending D23 in Anaheim got a huge surprise today. They were the first to hear that Disney Cruise Line is planning not two, but three new ships in the next phase of expansion. By the time these three ships are sailing, we’ll have nearly doubled the size of our fleet! That means more families than ever before will be visiting spectacular destinations around the globe and creating magical memories at sea!
Last year, we told you that two new ships were going to be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany with scheduled completion dates of 2021 and 2023. This additional ship will be built at the same shipyard and is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
“We decided two ships wouldn’t be enough to hold all of the exciting new experiences we have been dreaming up to take family cruise vacations to a whole new level with immersive Disney storytelling, world-class family entertainment, and imaginative innovations that are fantastically fun and uniquely Disney,” Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said.
All ship names, design plans and itineraries are still in development, with each of the ships expected to have their own unique experiences. The three new ships will be powered by clean-burning liquefied natural gas and be the same size – approximately 135,000 gross tons with about 1,250 guest staterooms planned – which is slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
With a legacy of revolutionary design, Disney Cruise Line’s new ships will usher in the next generation of innovative cruise experiences designed especially for families that will transform the art-of-cruising and take guests on adventures in a way never dreamed of before.
Immersive Super Hero Experience Coming to Disney California Adventure Park
Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, gave a hint at what’s to come next for some of your favorite Super Heroes at Disney California Adventure park. Soon, the Guardians of the Galaxy will be joined by Spider-Man and the Avengers in what will become a completely immersive Super Hero universe at the park.
These new stories will build on the success of the new and already popular Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! and create a place where you can team up with your favorite Super Heroes like never before. We don’t have more details to share just yet, but keep an eye on Disney Parks Blog as we reveal more about this one-of-a-kind experience.
So – there you have it folks – all that is in the works for Disney Parks. It looks like the 50th Anniversary in 2021 will be HUGE!
Flash Sale on Disneyland Tickets from Get Away Today!
If you will be heading to Disneyland before the end of the year – you won’t want to miss this sale on park passes from Get Away Today!
Get Away Today is bringing back their most popular sale ever for a flash sale. Beginning at 5 p.m. MT (7 p.m. ET) TODAY, they will bring back their Summer of ’17 Sale where you can save $17 off the gate price on all of their 3-day Disneyland Park Hopper tickets.
Here is what you need to know about the offer:
It is ONLY good on their most popular ticket, the 3-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Ticket (no other ticket types)
It is good for $17 off the gate price of BOTH adult AND child (ages 3-9) tickets
Tickets can be purchased separately or as part of a package.
Tickets are good for travel any time now through December 31, 2017.
These tickets must be purchased by 11:59 p.m. MT on Monday, July 17, 2017. (Disneyland’s birthday!)
The ticket discount will automatically apply to your purchase when you purchase between July 13 at 5 p.m. MT and 11:59 p.m. MT on Monday, July 17.
Great News! Get Away Today has a vacation layaway plan to help plan your Disneyland and Southern California vacations!! Book your 2017 Disneyland package online at www.getawaytoday.com or call to speak to a Get Away Today agent at 855-GET-AWAY! Use promo code OPENSUITCASE and automatically receive a $10 discount on a Disneyland and/or a Southern California vacation package!
Get Away Today Vacations prides itself on the tremendous customer service they give each individual customer. If there is ever anything they can do to make your vacation a little more magical, simply call them anytime. After all, no one wants you to have a wonderful vacation more than they do!
Some Walt Disney World Fun Facts
Walt Disney World Resort at nearly 40-square-miles, is a world-class entertainment and recreation destination featuring four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom); two water parks (Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon); 36 resort hotels (26 owned and operated by Walt Disney World, including nine Disney Vacation Club resort properties); 63 holes of golf on four courses; two full-service spas; Disney’s Wedding Pavilion; ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; and Disney Springs, an entertainment-shopping-dining complex. Walt Disney World Resort opened October 1, 1971 and is open daily, year-round.
There are nearly 70,000 Cast Members in Central Florida.
Magic Kingdom, the first Walt Disney World Resort theme park, debuted in 1971 – 16 years after Walt Disney’s first park, Disneyland, opened in Anaheim, California. Magic Kingdom’s blue- and gold-turreted, 18-tower icon, Cinderella Castle, rises 189 feet above the park’s 142 acres.
Following the success of Disneyland, which opened in 1955, entertainment pioneer Walt Disney (1901-1966) set his sights on what he called his company’s “most exciting and challenging assignment” — the creation of a vast vacation paradise known today as Walt Disney World Resort. Walt’s dream was realized when Magic Kingdom, the first of four theme parks at the sprawling Florida site, opened October. 1, 1971. Walt’s older brother and lifelong business partner, Roy O. Disney, inaugurated the park. And the magic began.
The Magic Kingdom sits on 142 acres with the 189-feet-tall Cinderella Castle at its center. Similar to Disneyland in California, Magic Kingdom is divided into six themed lands — Main Street, U.S.A.; Adventureland; Frontierland; Liberty Square; Fantasyland; and Tomorrowland. Popular attractions include Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, it’s a small world, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, “Mickey’s PhilharMagic,” Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Jungle Cruise, The Hall of Presidents, Mad Tea Party, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Country Bear Jamboree, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid and Princess Fairytale Hall.
Walt Disney envisioned a showcase for innovation, a place to celebrate human achievement and where people could experience the cutting edge of technology. On Oct. 1, 1978, Card Walker — then president of Walt Disney Productions — revealed plans for Epcot, a theme park inspired by Walt’s philosophies. A groundbreaking ceremony was held one year later and Epcot opened in 1982. The debut of Innoventions in 1994 marked an exciting addition to the Epcot experience. This evolving technology exposition gives Epcot guests an opportunity to explore the latest inventions and innovations that may change the way they live their lives.
Epcot is an ever-changing international and discovery showplace covering 305 acres that opened October 1, 1982. Epcot has two entrances. The original entrance is convenient to the parking area and monorail station (the monorail runs between Epcot and Magic Kingdom Transportation and Ticket Center three miles to the north). The International Gateway entrance opened in 1990 between the United Kingdom and France pavilions in World Showcase, providing park access to guests staying in Epcot resort area hotels — Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk, Walt Disney World Swan and Walt Disney World Dolphin.
Future World – Themed areas focusing on discovery and scientific achievements: Spaceship Earth (Siemens), Universe of Energy, The Land, Soarin’, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Test Track, Mission: SPACE (HP).
World Showcase – Eleven nations surrounding World Showcase Lagoon: Canada, United Kingdom, France, Japan, The American Adventure, Italy, Germany, China, Mexico, Morocco, Norway.
The idea for a park based on favorite movie themes originated with Walt Disney at a time when studio back lot tours were limited to a privileged few. He first considered a park on his own back lot. Land issues combined with potential traffic problems caused him to look elsewhere; namely, Anaheim. The result was Disneyland. In the mid 1980s, a greatly expanded production schedule for The Walt Disney Company demanded more facilities. Rather than buy expensive land in California, the company utilized its Florida property and combined production facilities with theme-park attractions to give Disney guests a behind-the-scenes Hollywood experience.
This theme park sits on 135 acres. Production facilities opened in the summer of 1988. Entertainment facilities opened in May of 1989. Attractions include: “Toy Story Midway Mania!, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, The Great Movie Ride, “Muppet*Vision 3D”, “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!”, “Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage,” “Voyage of the Little Mermaid,” The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror, “Fantasmic!”, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (Hanesbrands Inc.), “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!,” Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream, For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration. The park immerses guests in the glamour of show business 365 days a year with thrilling attractions, Broadway-style shows and world-class entertainment.
DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM
Adventures with real exotic animals, close encounters with prehistoric giants and warm, fuzzy moments with beloved Disney characters create unsurpassed fun. Walt Disney World Resort’s fourth major theme park sprawls across 403 acres. Jungles, forests and a vast savanna are divided into five themed lands: Africa, DinoLand U.S.A., Discovery Island, Asia and Pandora – The World of Avatar. Major attractions include: Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, DINOSAUR, Kali River Rapids, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, Primeval Whirl, “Festival of the Lion King,” “Finding Nemo-The Musical,” “It’s Tough to be a Bug!” and Tree of Life. The park opened April 22, 1998. Animal Kingdom celebrates one amazing adventure after another with wild animals, exciting attractions, lavish stage shows and lovable characters! Where else can you ride a runaway train, take an authentic African safari or a whirling white-water raft ride?
Disney Springs is home to signature dining, retail and premier entertainment experiences. A bustling metropolis of shopping, dining and entertainment locations, Disney Springs is the exciting reimagination of Downtown Disney. It consists of four neighborhoods: The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center.
The 120-acre Disney Springs is in the east-central portion of Walt Disney World Resort. Disney Springs borders the south shore of Lake Buena Vista at the intersection of Buena Vista Drive and Hotel Plaza Boulevard.
The location dates to its March 22, 1975 opening as the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village. Since then, it has taken several names in its evolution including, most recently, Downtown Disney.
Disney Springs was inspired by the welcoming, waterfront towns of the early 1900s; early Florida settlers were attracted by the springs and their natural beauty. “In Disney Springs, you enter more than a place to shop and dine,” said Keith Bradford, vice president of Disney Springs. “You enter a story–as only Disney can tell it.”
The multi-year makeover from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs more than doubled the number of locations. Today, more than 150 venues call Disney Springs home.
Entertainment ranges from street musicians to shows at Cirque du Soleil and House of Blues–in all, 25 different acts every night.
Shopping ranges from unique boutiques to high-end brand name retailers to Disney locations to everything in between.
Uniqueness stamps many shopping/dining/entertainment venues. In Town Center, UNIQLO’s Disney Springs location is the first in the southeast U.S. for the Japanese retailer. Dessert lovers can order from a cupcake-dispensing ATM at Sprinkles. Guests to the rooftop lounge of the Coca-Cola Store can pick from more than 100 drink choices. Vintage cars drive right onto the lake at The BOATHOUSE, among the waterfront restaurants and bars of The Landing. The Lego Store, Rainforest Café, World of Disney and Dockside Margaritas help anchor Marketplace. Or guests go for strikes, spares and sushi at Splitsville Luxury Lanes (West Side, home to House of Blues, Characters in Flight tethered balloon experience and the breathtaking performances of Cirque du Soleil).
Admission to Disney Springs is free. Disney Springs may be reached by car, bus, boat or via pedestrian bridge. Drivers can access either the Orange or Lime parking decks, steps from the action. Each is a “smart” garage: available parking spaces are designated by an overhead green light, eliminating the need for jockeying up and down rows of cars. Parking is free. Valet parking is available for a fee. Complimentary motorcoach service to Disney Springs is available to guests of Disney resort hotels and all four theme parks. Complimentary water taxis are available from several nearby Disney resort hotels; arrival docks are located at the Marketplace and The Landing neighborhoods.
Designated parking spaces for Guests with Disabilities are available in both the Orange and Lime garages. Wheelchair, ECV and stroller rentals are available in the nearby Sundries location at the Town Center bus loop.
Dining choices range from grab-and-go kiosks to food trucks to fast casual to table service to destination experiences. Disney Springs boasts five James Beard Award-winning chefs: Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto Asia), Art Smith (Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming Kitchen and Southern Shine), Rick Bayless (Frontera Cocina), Tony Mantuano (Portobello), Wolfgang Puck (Wolfgang Puck Café). More than 50 food and beverage locations are open now, with more to come.
More than 57,000 recycled bricks from nearby Rollins College were used in the hardscape of The Landing, one of the four Disney Springs neighborhoods.
Featuring beautiful Spanish Revival architecture, the Town Center neighborhood utilized 15 shades of white paint.
The springs coursing through Town Center contains 1.2 million gallons of water. The distance from one end to the other is the same as the walk down Main Street, U.S.A. to Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom.
At the Marketplace, there are two “Hidden Mickeys” in the murals found inside World of Disney, the world’s largest Disney merchandise store.
ESPN WIDEWORLD OFSPORTSCOMPLEX
A 230-acre complex designed to accommodate professional-caliber training and competition, festival and tournament events and vacation-fitness activities in more than 30 individual and team sports. The complex includes a 7,500-seat baseball stadium and 5,500-seat Hp Field House. Annual events include Atlanta Braves spring training. The first event was held on March 28, 1997.
36 resorts (including nine Disney Vacation Club properties) in a variety of price points featuring more than 30,000 hotel rooms; 3,293 DVC units; 799 campsites. 26 of the resort hotels are owned and operated by Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground (409 Wilderness Cabins/799 Campsites)
Disney’s Value Resorts
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (864 rooms /1,120 family suites),Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort (1,920 rooms), Disney’s All-Star Music Resort (1,704 rooms/215 family suites), Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort (1,920 rooms), Disney’s Pop Century Resort (2,880 rooms)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (972 rooms), Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (727 rooms), Disney’s Contemporary Resort (655 rooms), Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (484 rooms), Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (621 rooms), Disney’s Beach Club Resort (576 rooms), Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (867 rooms) and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn (372 rooms).
Disney’s Deluxe Villa Resorts
Disney’s Old Key West Resort (558 units), Disney’s BoardWalk Villas (282 units), The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (114 units), Disney’s Beach Club Villas (177 units), Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa (924 units), The Villas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (449 units), The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (106 units), Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort (295 units), Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows (20 over-the-water bungalows and 360 deluxe studio villas).
Official Hotels of Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Swan (756 rooms), Walt Disney World Dolphin (1,509 rooms), Buena Vista Palace (1,013 rooms), Doubletree Guest Suites Resort (229 rooms), The Hilton (814 rooms), Holiday Inn (323 rooms), Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel (325 rooms), B Resort & Spa (394 rooms) and Wyndham Lake Buena Vista (626 rooms). Shades of Green on Walt Disney World Resort (586 rooms) is a U.S. Armed Forces Recreation Center for vacationing servicemen and women from all branches of the armed forces.
More than 600,000 square feet of modern meeting space located throughout the areas. Major function space is available at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Disney’s BoardWalk, Walt Disney World Dolphin, Walt Disney World Swan, Buena Vista Palace, The Hilton, Hotel Royal Plaza and Regal Sun Resort.
Three 18-hole championship golf courses and a nine-hole family-play walking course; Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water parks; Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland mini-golf courses; tennis courts; basketball courts; pools; lakes for swimming, boating, parasailing, water skiing and fishing; jogging paths; horseback riding; biking; Segway tours.
Monorail trains, ferryboats, launches or motor coach shuttle service between all areas.
Walt Disney World Resort is truly a one of a kind location with so much to do and see. There is something for every size family and every family budget. It will always be my favorite vacation spot!