‘What’s New’ and ‘What’s Next’

DAPs Magic Disney News – PRESS RELEASE

Exciting Projects Crisscross Walt Disney World Resort

“What’s New”

‘Let the Memories Begin’

“Let the Memories Begin” (January 2011) – As part of the new “Let the Memories Begin,” Disney guests become the stars of a nightly spectacular when photos taken in the park during the day become larger-than-life projections on Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort or “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Resort. This groundbreaking new experience celebrates the family vacation memories created in Disney theme parks every day.

And Disney guests will be seen starring on television, too. For the first time, Disney Parks is featuring the home videos and snapshots of real guests in television ads and other marketing that allow an audience of millions to share in true-life, heartfelt moments. Disney Parks also is asking guests to share their memories by uploading photos and videos at a special “Let the Memories Begin” online hub at www.DisneyParks.com/Memories.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line (January 2011) -Disney Cruise Line launched Disney Dream, a 4000-passenger ship. Like the other ships in the fleet (Disney Magic and Disney Wonder), the Dream provides a cruise vacation where adults find relaxation and indulgence, children engage in immersive, magical adventures with favorite characters and families enjoy quality time together. Featured are original Disney musicals and entertainment, unique dining experiences, customized children’s spaces and areas just for adults. And Disney’s private island paradise – Castaway Cay – provides something for every member of the family. Disney Cruise Line offers three-, four-, five- and seven-night itineraries to the Bahamas and the Caribbean and seven-night itineraries to the Mexican Riviera, with voyages to the Mediterranean and Alaska during summer 2011. The Disney Magic and Disney Dream typically sail from Port Canaveral, Fla., while the Disney Wonder typically sails from the Port of Los Angeles. A new ship, Disney Fantasy, joins the fleet in 2012.

Castaway Cay (August 2010) – Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island paradise in the tropical waters of the Bahamas, has received an extra dose of pixie dust. Enhancements include an expanded family beach, a floating water platform featuring two twisting water slides, two fresh-water play areas for guests to cool off, a new teen retreat and 20 new private rental cabanas offering the ultimate in beachside luxury.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (February 2010) – A leading sports and entertainment venue that hosts more than 180 events a year, Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex was re-themed with the ESPN brand, providing guests with an immersive ESPN experience that is unique to the complex.

Hewlett-Packard Photo Creation Center (March 2011) – The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex continues to add more athlete enhancements with the addition of the Hewlett-Packard Photo Creation Center inside the renamed HP Field House at the complex. The creation center will allow athletes, coaches and fans to create and design an assortment of uniquely customized posters, photo albums and materials to commemorate their sports experience.

Jostens Center (July 2008) – Jostens Center represents the latest expansion project for ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (220 acres), which is widely regarded as the leading sports venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation. The multi-sport facility includes 45,000 square feet of competition space accommodating six basketball courts or 12 volleyball courts or two roller hockey rinks, as well as locker rooms and meeting rooms. The facility allows Disney the ability to double the number of indoor sports events that it can accommodate.

Walt Disney World Speedway

Indy Racing Experience (November 2008) – Race fans and thrill seekers alike have the opportunity to buckle up and ride in IndyCar series race cars at the Walt Disney World Speedway. Both drive and ride options are available with the experience, which uses actual open-cockpit racing machines that were used in the Indy Racing League. The Indy Racing Experience shares track hours with the popular Richard Petty Driving Experience. For more information, including rates, hours of operation and corporate packages: 888/357-5002 or www.indyracingexperience.com.

Pet Resort

Best Friends Pet Resort (September 2010) – This one-of-a-kind facility provides pet hospitality services that include boarding, grooming and doggy day camp, and amenities such as luxury suites with television and raised bedding. Pet activities feature nature walks and playgroups, and pampering services range from ice cream treats to bedtime stories. The facility is operated by Best Friends Pet Care.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Wild Africa Trek (January 2011) – Guests wanting to venture off the beaten path at Disney’s Animal Kingdom have the chance during an immersive add-on experience that takes a small group of adventurers on personalized, guided excursions that include a bushwalk through unexplored areas of the forest along with over-landing in customized vehicles across an animal-filled savanna. On these expert-led treks, extended time is spent observing and learning about the wildlife.

“Finding Nemo-The Musical” (January 2007) – The undersea world that charmed audiences around the world in the Disney•Pixar film “Finding Nemo” comes to life in a live musical stage show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom featuring original songs by Tony Award-winning “Avenue Q” co-composer-creator Robert Lopez and a cappella musical “Along the Way” co-creator Kristen Anderson-Lopez. The show immerses guests of all ages in the story of Marlin and Nemo, an overprotective clownfish father and his curious son, through a dazzling production that combines puppets, dancers, acrobats and animated backdrops. The 30-minute show represents the first time Disney has taken a non-musical animated feature and transformed it into an original musical production.

Magic Kingdom

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom (Early 2012) – Beginning in early 2012, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort will feature a brand-new interactive experience enabling guests to defeat the Disney Villains. Armed with magic spells in the form of special cards, players must search for the symbols that lead them to the animated villains’ hiding places. Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom will be included as part of park admission.

Enchanted Tiki Room (reopened Aug. 15, 2011) – The enchantment continues with a version reminiscent of the original show (called Tropical Serenade). The attraction has been entertaining guests since the theme park’s opening day Oct. 1, 1971. Its winged hosts — Jose, Fritz, Pierre and Michael — led 200 other birds, tikis and flowers in an entertaining Polynesian revue. The Adventureland attraction was inspired by Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, which opened at Disneyland Park in 1963.

Town Square Theater (Spring 2011) – Guests visiting Mickey Mouse at his permanent new location in “Town Square Theater” can obtain a Disney’s FASTPASS ticket specifying a one-hour window when they can return to see the popular character for hugs, photos and autographs — without waiting in the standby queue. It marks the first time the complimentary, computerized service has been available for a character meet-and-greet at any Disney Park.

“Main Street Electrical Parade” (June 2010) – With floats and characters appearing for the first time at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s “Main Street Electrical Parade” returns to Magic Kingdom with its joyous sights and sounds. Direct from Disneyland and marking its first engagement in Florida since 2001, the cherished parade is led by Tinker Bell waving from the basket of a magical balloon aboard a new float. Pinocchio and Snow White also join the parade aboard bright new floats.

“Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!” Street Party (February 2009) – A traveling show filled with acrobatic performers, singing and dancing Disney characters and floats decked out as gift-wrapped packages invites Magic Kingdom guests to mix and mingle down Main Street, U.S.A.

Disney Fairies (November 2008) – For the first time, guests can enter the enchanted world of Tinker Bell – Disney’s most famous fairy – and six of her fairy friends for meet and greets and photos.

“Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor” (April 2007) – Guests find the power of laughter in an engaging and interactive adventure inspired by Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” as they match wits with the one-eyed hero Mike Wazowski and his friends. As Monster-of-Ceremonies, Mike recruits two comedian wanna-bes whose humor will delight audiences at a 400-seat theater in Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom.


La Hacienda de San Angel and La Cantina de San Angel (September 2010) – The Mexico pavilion opened two restaurants under one roof – La Hacienda, a 250-seat restaurant serving romantic dinners beside World Showcase Lagoon, and La Cantina, a 150-seat quick-service restaurant serving both lunch and dinner.

Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria (August 2010) – Located in the Italy pavilion, Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria is an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria. Operated by Patina Restaurant Group, the same restaurateurs who run the pavilion’s Tutto Italia restaurant, the 300-seat pizzeria is inspired by Naples 45, another Patina Restaurant Group pizzeria in New York City. The casual pizzeria features wood-burning ovens – and uses water from a source that most resembles the water in Naples, Italy, home of some of the world’s best pizza dough. The 14,000-square-foot space includes indoor and outdoor dining.

Katsura Grill (December 2011) – Located in the Japan Pavilion, Katsura Grill replaces the former Yakitori House. The new exterior is inspired by the strolling gardens at the historic Katsura Imperial Villa outside Kyoto, Japan. New items on the menu include Okonomiyaki, a veggie, pancake-like patty and a cold ramen noodle dish with shredded crab in a sweet soy dressing. The re-imagined quick-service restaurant is located amidst tranquil gardens and includes indoor and outdoor dining.

Captain EO” (July 2010) – The classic musical spectacular that thrilled Epcot guests from 1986-1994 has returned to Epcot. Twenty-four years ago, Michael Jackson joined forces with Disney, producer George Lucas and director Francis Ford Coppola to create a groundbreaking 17-minute 3-D film experience starring Jackson as Captain EO performing two original songs, and featuring Academy Award-winning actress Anjelica Huston and a cast of merry, mythical space characters with dual personalities who undergo magical transformations to become Jackson’s electronic band in conquering the forces of darkness. “Captain EO” is presented multiple times daily at the Imagination pavilion. It replaces “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience,” which is planned to return at an undetermined date.

Disney’s Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure (January 2009) – Inspired by Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Kim Possible” animated series, guests of all ages become secret agents to save the world from various comical villains and their mad inventions in this ultra-interactive adventure packed with mystery and excitement. Guests team up with members of Team Possible in this high-tech experience played in seven of the Epcot World Showcase pavilions.

“The Seas with Nemo & Friends” (December 2006) – Featuring technology that for all appearances has the stars of the Disney•Pixar film “Finding Nemo” swimming amid the marine life of the huge aquarium in The Seas with
Nemo & Friends pavilion at Epcot.

Soarin’ (May 2005) – Guests can take flight aboard Soarin’, an exhilarating hang-gliding journey over the magnificent landscapes of California. Appropriately enough, this incredible aerial tour of the Golden State comes to Epcot from Disney California Adventure in Anaheim.

Innoventions (continual updates) –  Discover tomorrow’s technology today at this hands-on exposition of the world’s newest products and inventions. Guests visit the house of the future, explore cyberspace, test the latest developments in computers and discover the latest breakthroughs in virtual reality and communications. Guests to Epcot can experience a Segway™ Personal Transporter for themselves, firsthand, at World Showcase before the area opens for other park guests.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

“Star Tours -The Adventures Continue” (May 2011) – A new 3-D version of the tremendously popular Star Tours attraction is now open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Based on the iconic Lucasfilm Star Wars films, the attraction includes immersive new elements, allowing guests to experience more than 50 story combinations to many familiar places in the Star Wars galaxy. Among the locations that might provide haven from the Empire’s pursuit are the icy planet of Hoth, the lush jungles of Kashyyyk and the underwater Gungan world of Naboo. And along the way guests may encounter Star Wars characters that offer to help (or hinder) their journey, including Yoda, Admiral Ackbar, Darth Vader and Boba Fett. “Skytroopers,” a legion of stormtroopers created just for the Star Tours attraction story, might even join in the chase.

Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun! (January 2011) – Favorite Pixar pals perform in an all-new parade showcasing appearances by four characters not previously featured – Remy and Emile from “Ratatouille” and Carl and Russell from “UP.” The parade is performed to a new musical track from the current Pixar parade at Disney California Adventure. The new show replaces “Block Party Bash,” which was presented between March 2008 and January 2011.

New meet and greet experiences (Summer 2011) – Guests can take part in an energetic and fun-filled meet-and-play experience with Phineas and Ferb at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Phineas and Ferb – from the popular television show of the same name – “know what they’re gonna do today”: the duo will make a movie all about their crazy adventures. With the help of guests and movie director Cletus Filmore, they will recreate some of their favorite moments…unless they are taking a break to meet with their adoring fans, signing autographs and taking pictures. The fun takes place near the exit of “Muppet«Vision 3-D.” In addition, Winnie the Pooh replaces Lotso in the meet-and-greet location at Feature Animation. Lotso will continue to be seen in the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun! Parade. A “Cars 2″ meet-and-greet is also now open near “Muppet«Vision 3-D,” and, in June 2011, Lightning McQueen replaced Herbie the Love Bug on stage in Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show.

“Disney Junior-Live on Stage!” (March 2011) – Ever since “Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage!” premiered in 2001, it has been a chance for younger guests to experience Disney Channel friends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As that circle of TV friends has grown and changed, the Disney entertainment gurus have endeavored to make those new friends part of the vacation fun, too. So here come Jake and the Never Land Pirates as part of “Disney Junior-Live on Stage!” The show also includes current favorites from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny and Little Einsteins.

Meet Jake from “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” a popular “Disney Junior” show (Nov. 2011) – Jake has officially joined other stars of Disney Junior at the meet-and-greet location in Animation Courtyard. Walt Disney World Resort guests also can catch the Disney Junior character at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!” and Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood & Vine. 

“Disney Channel Rocks!” (October 2010) – A live, rock-concert-style show that celebrates great music and great friends through hit songs from popular Disney Channel Original Movies and Series, “Disney Channel Rocks!” blasts popular music from a variety of Disney Channel hits, including the “High School Musical” series, “Camp Rock” and “StarStruck.” The show follows a format that is similar to “High School Musical 3: Senior Year – Right Here! Right Now!”

“The American Idol Experience” (February 2009) – Starry-eyed Disney guests get a taste of the pop culture phenomenon “American Idol” up close and personal at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. “The American Idol Experience” is another immersive opportunity as guests experience the challenge of auditioning, the rush of performing on stage in competition or the thrill of judging the performances in a live interactive setting modeled after the “American Idol” set. There are several show times daily. Guests advancing through the screening process have the chance, in the nightly final competition, to win a guaranteed reservation for a regional audition for the “American Idol” TV show.

Toy Story Mania! (May 2008) – Celebrating Disney•Pixar classics “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2,” this ride-game experience combines delightful film characters with personality-matching games guests can play. A new game added in June 2010 features characters from the comical new adventure, “Toy Story 3.” Donning 3-D glasses, guests shrink to the size of a toy and hop fanciful ride vehicles following a midway-themed route. At each game booth, they aim for animated targets using their own special on-board spring-action shooter. Guests of all ages from beginner to serious gamer will delight in Toy Story Mania!

Downtown Disney

Apricot Lane Boutique (Opened August 12, 2011) – The specialty retail store offers celebrity-inspired branded apparel, affordable fashion jewelry, handbags and accessories. The store on Pleasure Island is located in the space previously occupied by the relocated Harley-Davidson Motorcycle shop.

AMC Dine-In Theatres (Summer 2011) – AMC Theatres® has put a new twist on the date-night concept of “dinner and a movie” at AMC Downtown Disney 24: “a movie with dinner.” Six auditoriums at the Downtown Disney West Side location have been transformed into AMC Dine-In Theatres where guests can watch the latest movies while dining from a menu including quesadillas, burgers, flatbread pizzas, grilled sandwiches and house specialties as well as appetizers and desserts. Reserved seating and table-top dining is offered.

Pollo Campero (November 2011) – With restaurants in 12 countries, the Latin favorite Pollo Campero is the newest dining option at Downtown Disney Marketplace, featuring signature chicken dishes and tasty-thick yuca fries – plus much more. For fans of great-tasting healthful options there’s first-of-its-kind Fresh A-Peel fare featuring all-natural burgers, salads and wraps. Top it all off with dessert. Erin McKenna’s BabyCakes NYC serves up signature cookies, cupcakes and vegan desserts free of gluten, dairy and eggs.

D Street (April 2010) – The store showcases edgy apparel for both men and women, Vinylmation figures and collectibles, artwork, accessories, jewelry and more. The Downtown Disney West Side store’s unfinished industrial look provides a great venue to showcase Disney art created by local artists.

littlemissmatched (November 2009) – A colorful and playful setting filled with fashionable accessories, beach bags, flip flops and mismatched socks. Located in Downtown Disney West Side.

Paradiso 37 (June 2009) – A high-energy restaurant and bar from E-Brands Restaurant Group features North, South and Central American cuisine, an international wine bar, and a tequila bar with 37 kinds of tequila and 10 signature frozen margaritas. The waterfront dining spot at Downtown Disney is open daily from 11 a.m. until late night with nightly entertainment.

Characters in Flight (April 2009) – Downtown Disney now has its own iconic attraction in the form of a giant tethered balloon that takes guests 400 feet into the air from the waterfront. With a volume of 210,000 cubic feet of lighter-than-air gas, the 72-foot-diameter balloon, operated by Aerophile, can lift up to 30 guests at a time on a six-minute trip, by day or night, that gives them an unparalleled, 360-degree view of the Vacation Kingdom and beyond.

Tren-D (February 2009) – A stylish boutique with designer flair and eclectic offerings is a premier shopping spot at Downtown Disney Marketplace. The urban-inspired specialty store is a one-of-a-kind, hip destination for fashion-conscious shoppers seeking trendy apparel and novel accessories.

T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure, A Place to Eat, Shop, Explore and Discover (October 2008) – At Downtown Disney, guests can dine face-to-face with a dinosaur at T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure, A Place to Eat, Shop, Explore and Discover, which combines table-service dining and retail in an interactive prehistoric environment built around water, fire and ice. T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure is operated by Landry’s Restaurants, which operates Rainforest Cafes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney.


Kouzzina by Cat Cora (September 2009) – Cat Cora, the first and only female Iron Chef on Food Network’s hit show “Iron Chef America,” and Disney opened a family-dining restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk featuring Mediterranean-style cuisine that pays tribute to the chef’s Greek roots. Open daily for breakfast and dinner with seating for about 200 guests.

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort (August 2009) – Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort joined the Disney Vacation Club family of properties. The curvilinear tower is designed to complement the fabled styling of the original building. The crescent shape, which features 295 two-bedroom equivalent villas, delivers some of the most dramatic views available anywhere at Walt Disney World Resort. Most of the rooms feature innovative touches, such as modern artwork, flat-screen TVs, full kitchens complete with granite countertops and modern appliances, separate bedrooms, washers and dryers, and other home-like amenities.

Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa (June 2009) – Nestled in natural forest glens, Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa marks the newest phase of what has become the largest Disney Vacation Club resort. The villas revive Walt Disney World “treehouse living,” a tradition from 1975-2002. All stand-alone, three-bedroom homes, elevated 10 feet off the ground on pedestals and beams designed to blend into the forest environment, sleep nine and offer modern luxuries such as cathedral ceilings, granite countertops and flat-screen TVs, all presented in a style dubbed “cabin casual.”

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Pirate-Themed Guestrooms (February 2009) – Buccaneers are immersed in a world of pirates at a themed village created within Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – 384 guestrooms feature pirate-ship beds, wood flooring to look like a ship’s deck, buccaneer accessories and themed decor from stem to stern. The zero gravity pool welcomes swashbuckling adventurers with a kids area and slide themed like an old fort with turrets and cannons.

Contempo Café at Disney’s Contemporary Resort (November 2008) – Diners place their orders using state-of-the-art electronic menus and touch-sensitive screens. Selections include honey-lime chicken sandwich, marinated beef flatbread, hot roast beef sandwich and chicken basil pasta. Located on the 4th floor concourse, the 114-seat restaurant is open from 6 a.m. to midnight.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground Archery Experience (July 2008) – Whether novice or expert marksman, the experience at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground offers target shooting led by an archery guide. Open to resort guests and non-guests alike, the 90-minute experience includes equipment and instruction.

The Wave…of American Flavors (June 2008) – The upscale restaurant at Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers bold American cooking with flavors from all over the world. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Wave…of American Flavors offers seasonal menus featuring local and regional products when possible, organic beers and trendy cocktails such as the antioxidant cosmo with açai juice. The innovative wine list has a quirky claim to fame: all screw caps, no corks.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground Segway Experience (November 2007) – A new “off-road” Segway experience takes guests along the Fort Wilderness backwoods trails aboard the Segway X2 personal transporter featuring deeply treaded tires and higher ground clearance to provide a smooth, stable ride through trail-like terrain.

The Villas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (July 2007) – The 109 two-bedroom equivalent accommodations in Jambo House and the 340 two-bedroom equivalent accommodations in Kidani Village (completed September 2009) comprise Disney Vacation Club’s Villas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom vacation villas feature African-inspired details and home-like amenities, and most feature sweeping views of an expanded savanna inhabited by a variety of African animals.

Rix Lounge (December 2006) – Located at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Rix Lounge is a 5,000-square-foot nightlife venue featuring house music, specialty drinks, tapas-style appetizers and rotating entertainment. The décor is inspired by a unique combination of Spanish and Mediterranean design influences, and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems create a first-class, fresh, contemporary and sophisticated ambiance.

Disney’s All-Star Resort Family Suites (November 2006) – More than 400 guestrooms have been transformed into 215 family suites at the value-priced Disney’s All-Star Music Resort. Featuring two bathrooms and sleeping up to six people, each suite includes a generously sized kitchenette with counter space, sink, microwave, coffee maker and under-counter refrigerator. Other amenities include a private master bedroom, two 27″ flat-screen TVs and custom furniture.

“What’s Next”

New Fantasyland (early 2012) – The largest expansion project in Magic Kingdom history will open in phases beginning February 2012 at Walt Disney World Resort, featuring attractions and experiences in an area that will nearly double the size of Fantasyland.  Among the novelties, guests will be able to fly high with The Great Goofini or with Dumbo the Flying Elephant, “immerse” themselves in Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid and “be our guest” at the Beast’s Castle. Out of the gate in early 2012 will be The Barnstormer coaster, Fantasyland Station and – for the first time anywhere turning counter-clockwise – the first half of the Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction. Completion of The New Fantasyland is scheduled for 2014 with most new experiences open by 2013.

Launch of Disney Fantasy (March 2012) – The Muppets leading guests in an interactive detective adventure game around the ship. Guests’ own drawings springing to life and dancing with animated Disney characters. Two new Broadway-caliber, spectacular musical stage shows. A Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for magical princess and pirate makeovers. A fanciful water play area called AquaLab. Disney Fantasy, the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, will bring to life these innovations and more, offering a cruise experience from stem to stern that caters to every member of the family. The 4,000-passenger Disney Fantasy will sail week-long Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, Fla., with its maiden voyage scheduled for March 31, 2012.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (2012) – A new resort hotel inspired by Disney animation will feature 1,120 family suites themed after “The Lion King,” “Cars” and “Finding Nemo,” and 864 themed rooms in “The Little Mermaid” wings. Animation themes will carry throughout building exteriors and room interiors and feature larger-than-life icons from the animated films in courtyard areas. Crowned by a 35-foot-tall model of King Triton, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will be located next to Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

Royal Guest Rooms (February 2012) — Beginning mid-February 2012, when Walt Disney World guests stay in the Royal Guest Rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort—-Riverside, they’ll discover special treasures left behind by the stars of favorite animated films such as “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Princess and the Frog.”In quarters befitting not only the young Princes and Princesses of the family but also their grown-up King and Queen parents, guests can unwind amid remarkable décor. They’ll be able to watch “fireworks” swirl as they recline in ornate beds, curl up in custom linens and more. It’s majesty and fun, all rolled into one. Each of the 512 Royal Guest Rooms sleeps up to four guests in two queen beds.

Upscale entertainment center (late 2012) – Splitsville, a 50,000-square-foot facility that combines bowling with billiards, dining, music and nightlife, is in development for Downtown Disney West Side. To make way for this experience, RIDEMAKERZ relocates to the Marketplace.

Shopping, Dining and Lodging District (phased construction across 8-10 years) – Announced as part of a Walt Disney World expansion is a 450-acre mixed-use tourist commercial district just outside Disney’s western gateway (Western Way at Western Beltway). Early plans include 4,000-5,000 value-priced lodging units and a pedestrian-friendly dining/retail village.

Four Seasons to Anchor New Disney Luxury Resort (hotel opening 2014) – Also announced as part of the Walt Disney World expansion for the next decade: a 900-acre luxury resort anchored by the prestigious Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. The development, along the northeast border of the property, will include a luxury hotel, 18-hole championship golf course, single- and multi-family vacation homes and fractional ownership vacation homes.

AVATAR (2015) – Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide is joining forces with visionary filmmaker James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the world of AVATAR to life at Disney parks. Disney will partner with Cameron and producing partner Jon Landau to create themed lands that will give theme park guests the opportunity to explore the mysterious universe of AVATAR first hand. Disney plans to build the first AVATAR themed land at Walt Disney World, within Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  With its emphasis on living in harmony with nature, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a natural fit for the AVATAR stories, which share the same philosophy. Construction is expected to begin by 2013.

Annual Events

Walt Disney World Marathon (January) – This annual 26.2-mile adventure races through all four Disney theme
parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. A half marathon, two-day health expo and 5K round out the weekend’s agenda.

Atlanta Braves Spring Training (February-March) – The Atlanta Braves return to Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex for spring training.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (March-May) – Future World and World Showcase are blooming with more than 30 million colorful blossoms, interactive garden activities for kids and workshops with national gardening experts during this annual spring festival at Epcot.

Star Wars Weekends (May-June) – For several weekends each summer, Disney’s Hollywood Studios turns into a giant Star Wars fan-fest with up-close meet-and-greets for guests with their favorite characters and actors from the film series as well as interactive games, parades, music and fun for the whole family.

Night of Joy (September) – Top contemporary Christian music performers headline this annual celebration throughout Magic Kingdom. The long-running series has played to a combined audience in excess of a million.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (September-October) – A family-friendly fright-fest in Magic Kingdom featuring a children’s parade, trick-or-treating throughout the park, face painting, and more.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (September-November) – Savor fine wines and delectable cuisine during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival featuring live entertainment, guest chefs, culinary demonstrations, seminars and winemaker dinners.

Children’s Miracle Network Classic (October) – Annual PGA tournament held at Disney’s Magnolia and Palm golf courses features top players.

Festival of the Masters (November) – More than 200 award-winning artists from across the country showcase their wares throughout Downtown Disney. The three-day festival features chalk artists, House of Blues folk artists, a jazz festival, culinary delights and family activities.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (November-January) – This holiday light display on the Disney’s Hollywood Studios backlot features millions of sparkling holiday bulbs designed by Arkansas businessman and philanthropist Jennings Osborne as a gift to his daughter and the guests of Walt Disney World Resort.

Holiday Splendor (November-January) – Walt Disney World Resort is all aglitter during the holiday season with dazzling lights, spirited song and even snow flurries. Here’s what’s in store: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom; Candlelight Processional at Epcot; plus caroling, tree lighting ceremonies and visits by Santa.

“Vacation Innovations”


Gowalla (November 2010) – The social network Gowalla has teamed up with Disney Parks on exciting new ways to experience Disney. Visitors can engage with family and friends through custom Disney Gowalla pages and Passport Stamps, and track their experiences. Gowalla artists developed the Stamps, which guests can collect as a virtual scrapbook of their Disney experiences. Fun in-park trip itineraries for Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort are included in the application, which may be downloaded free onto guests’ smartphones. The fun starts by going to Gowalla.com/WaltDisneyWorldGowalla.com/Disneyland or Gowalla.com/Disney.


Verizon (November 2009) – Marking a first in both the travel and mobile industries, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Verizon have teamed up to enhance the guest experience at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Guests are able to access an array of features on their Verizon Wireless phones including the ability to easily locate shows, restaurants and the Disney characters anywhere inside the parks; get real-time attraction availability information; access mobile games; receive messages from characters, and more.

Disney’s Magical Express

Disney’s Magical Express (May 5, 2005) – The innovative service offers airport shuttle, luggage delivery and airline check-in for Disney hotel guests. Guests of 24 Disney owned-and-operated hotels at Walt Disney World Resort using Disney’s Magical Express service can check their bags at their hometown airport, bypass baggage claim at Orlando International Airport (OIA) and board state-of-the-art motor coaches to the Vacation Kingdom, where their bags “magically” appear in their room upon check-in. The complimentary service is designed to give Disney hotel guests the stress-free vacation they want. With the service, a family of four can save more than $80 (based on round-trip taxi transportation, plus tip, between OIA and Walt Disney World Resort).

Magic Your Way

Magic Your Way (January 2005) – Magic Your Way ticketing and packages allow guests to create their own magical Walt Disney World vacation. Ticket-holders can customize their Walt Disney World theme park visits by adding components to the base ticket such as park-hopping or building on water parks or other vacation fun. The savings grow the longer a guest stays.

Disney’s PhotoPass

Disney’s PhotoPass (December 2004) – Using the latest digital equipment and Disney-engineered technology, photographers take photos of guests throughout the theme parks. Instead of receiving a paper claim ticket, guests receive a Disney’s PhotoPass card that links all of their vacation photos taken by Disney photographers together into one online account. Guests can go online to www.disneyphotopass.com to easily view, share and order their photos, order a CD of all their Disney’s PhotoPass images, and more.


Disney’s FASTPASS (launched in July 1999) – Disney’s antidote to line-standing is offered at a selection of popular attractions in all four theme parks. Guests who choose to get a FASTPASS receive a ticket with a designated one-hour-long window of time when they can return and skip the regular line. Guests don’t have to choose FASTPASS: there’s a standby line at all attractions. Disney’s FASTPASS costs theme park guests nothing extra. Since its debut, more than 350 million FASTPASS tickets have been issued.