5 New Things We’ll See at Disney World in 2016


Things seem to always be changing at Walt Disney World, and we’re anticipating many changes ahead.  While we’ll have to keep waiting for the promised new “lands” of Avatar and Star Wars, there are some events, dining, updates, and expansions that will appear in 2016.  Spring is going to see Walt Disney World blossoming with newness!

  1. Animal Kingdom expands to nighttime – many people still think of Animal Kingdom as a half-day park, and the early closing times didn’t help to change that idea, but while we’ve been promised for a long time that changes would be coming, in the Spring of 2016, we will finally be able to see Animal Kingdom’s Rivers of Light show on the Discovery River (right out in front of Expedition Everest).  Animal Kingdom is also going to offer a nighttime version of Kilimanjaro Safaris, which will include animals we don’t see during the day.  The new signature restaurant, Tiffins, is opening in 2016 as well. So, be prepared to expand your thinking about Animal Kingdom.
  2. Frozen Ever After comes to Epcot – while there are some mixed feelings about this replacement for Maelstrom in the Norway pavilion of the World Showcase at Epcot, there is also a lot of curiosity and anticipation.  Will Frozen Ever After live up to the hype?  Will it be able to stand the test of time and fickle affections?  We will find out in Spring of 2016. And along with the much-wondered-about ride, there will be a new meet and greet location with Frozen characters in the Norway pavilion as well.
  3. More eateries and shopping locations at Disney Springs – we may still be getting used to the idea of Downtown Disney being Disney Springs, but it’s growing and changing before our eyes. The long awaited STK Steakhouse will open, along with several other restaurants – some inspired by chefs Rick Bayless and Art Smith, and we can look forward to Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, The Edison (also rumored for a long time), and Sprinkles. Along with these additions, Another section of Disney Springs, the Town Center area, will be finished and will have lots of shopping options.
  4. Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side – Star Wars weekends may be gone, but fans of the galaxy far, far away needn’t worry that there’s nothing to keep their interest until Star Wars Land is built. Spring 2016 will see the debut of a new race weekend, to include kids’ races, a 5K, 10K, and half marathon. The Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland is now known as The Light Side, and Walt Disney World gets the honor of the Dark Side. Look for this in mid-April.
  5. Soarin’ will fly around the world – Epcot’s Soarin’ attraction is a guest favorite, but fans will have to do without it for several months. It’s set to close in early January, and re-open with new destinations in Summer 2016. This update will not only change the scenery viewed in the popular attraction, but will also add a third theater, which may help reduce wait times.

So, those are the top 5 things I’m looking forward to at Disney World in 2016. If I missed your favorite, tell us about it!

I’m Jeri, and I’m a Disney Addict!  I’m also an Independent Travel Agent with World of Magic Travel Services, the preferred travel agency of Chip and Co. and Disney Addicts.  I am always happy to offer my free services to you to help make your next vacation a little more magical! And I would love to help you plan a vacation that can include some of the new experiences at Walt Disney World.  Contact me for a free quote at jeri@worldofmagictravel.com.  

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