A new Disney president and Disney princesses. Expansion and new experiences. Monsters, a night of mayhem and MyMagic+. All this and more was introduced this year at the Walt Disney World Resort, around Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and within The Walt Disney Company. Although impossible to cover all of them, we thought it might be fun to present you with a Disney year in review for 2013! Stroll down memory lane and relive some of the magic. Afterwards, be sure and leave me a comment with all the great moments of 2013 that I might have missed!
Walt Disney World Resort
- Transportation unveils new bus designs in its fleet.
- Jan. 11-13 – Walt Disney World Marathon celebrates its 20th anniversary.
- Feb. 1 – George A. Kalogridis becomes president of the Walt Disney World Resort.
- Feb. 1- Josh D’Amaro becomes vice president of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park; Ken Potrock becomes senior vice president and general manager of Disney Vacation Club and Adventures by Disney; Tom Wolber becomes senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises and Downtown Disney.
- Feb. 14 – As part of Limited Time Magic, more than 50 couples renew their vows in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park
- Feb. 15 – Disney Junior – Live on Stage! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios adds ‘Doc McStuffins’ and ‘Sofia the First‘
- Feb. 20 – THINK presented by IBM opens at Epcot Innoventions West
- February – In an effort to make driving on Florida roads safer, the Walt Disney World Resort has joined a coalition of state and national organizations, including the Florida League of Cities, Florida Sheriffs Association, AAA and AutoNation, to support state legislation to stop motorists from texting while driving.
- February – As part of the test-and-adjust phase for MyMagic+, MagicBands are introduced during testing. Guests are able to enter their rooms, enter the theme parks and water parks, access their FastPass+ selections, make payments if they choose and associate Disney PhotoPass photos with just the touch of a MagicBand to a touch point or mobile device.
- March 1-3 – Disney VoluntEARS raise more than $280,000 during the Junior Achievement of Central Florida (JA) Bowl-A-Thon. The event will allow JA to provide more that 11,200 students in Central Florida with practical economic education.
- March 13 – The American Adventure pavilion at Epcot opens “Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection,” which features art and artifacts representing more than 400 years of African-American achievement and contributions to U.S. history.
- March 14 – Tom Staggs announces plans for Disney Springs, a multiyear expansion of the Downtown Disney Area
- March 14 – Rescued sea turtles cared for at The Seas with Nemo & Friends return to the sea
- March 27 – The Walt Disney World Resort awards $1.5 million in grants to 59 nonprofit organizations throughout Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk and Seminole counties that provide outcome-driven programs and services to children and families.
- April 26 – BoardWalk Bakery reopens
- May 1 – Liz Hedrick is named the Walt Disney World 2013 VoluntEAR of the Year; Disney’s Animal Kingdom Community Involvement is named VoluntEAR Team of the Year
- May 4 – Disney’s Hollywood Studios has “May the Fourth” event as part of Limited Time Magic
- May 11 – Merida was officially added to the Disney princess court in a special coronation at Magic Kingdom Park
- May 12 – Adventurers Outpost opens at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park with Guests meeting Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse there
- May 24-25 – Monstrous Summer kicks off around Walt Disney Parks and Resorts with a 24-hour all-nighter at Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park in California
- May 31 – A Pirate’s Adventure – Treasures of the Seven Seas opens at Magic Kingdom Park
- June 1- Guests can become Wilderness Explorers, a new experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
- June 18 – Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom Park reopens with Starbucks included in its offerings
- June 24 – The Walt Disney World Resort donates $15,036 to Foundation for Foster Children, a nonprofit organization that helps children living with foster families realize some of their own wishes such as access to summer camps, art classes, social activities and tutoring.
- July – Disney Sports holds the ESPN Wide World of Sports Festival as 600 teams from more than 16 countries compete in nearly 50 events
- July 25 – Senses – A Disney Spa officially opens at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
- 2013 Ears to You grants yield over $1 million for Central Florida charities.
- Walt Disney World Cast Members donate 2.7 million school supplies to the 2013 Monstrous Back-to-School Supply Drive. Cast Members also donate 2,141 VoluntEAR hours preparing and packing supplies and 13,000 backpacks.
- Aug. 11 – Guests meet Sofia the First at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Sept. 4 – Fountain View opens at Epcot
- Sept. 9 – California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resorts reopens
- Sept. 13 – The “Unleash the Villains” event was held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where, as part of Limited Time Magic, 13 Disney villains partied with Guests until 1 a.m.
- Sept. 18 – Princess Fairytale Hall opens at Magic Kingdom Park for Guests to meet Cinderella, Rapunzel and other Disney princesses
- Oct. 15 – Glow with the Show ears, the color-changing Mickey Ear Hats that interact with shows and experiences at Disney Parks, come to the Walt Disney World Resort.
- Oct. 16 – A rare Hartmann’s mountain zebra is born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Oct. 30 – The Walt Disney World Resort wins a best practice award from Sustainable Florida for to conserving electricity.
- Nov. 2 – In a limited-time meet and greet at Epcot, Guest meet Anna and Elsa from the Disney film “Frozen.”
- Cast Members donate more than 36,000 toys and volunteer more than 6,000 hours to sort and distribute toys to local area families for the annual Toys for Tots Drive for the U.S. Marine Corp Foundation.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
- March 24 – Adventures by Disney launches “Scotland: A Brave Adventure”
- April 18 – Tokyo Disney Resort celebrates it’s 30th anniversary
- April 25 – Monstrous Summer “EyeNouncement” event is held at Epcot, featuring Mike Wazowski of “Monster University” on Spaceship Earth to kick off the promotion of a 24-hour all-nighter at Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park in California
- May 17 – Mystic Point opens at Hong Kong Disneyland Park
- June 10 – Adventures by Disney has its first trip to Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia)
- June 21 – Disney Magic calls on Greece for the first time (Piraeus/Athens)
- June 23 – Disneyland Park celebrates 50 years of the Enchanted Tiki Room
- September – New Vera Bradley merchandise debuts at Disney Parks
- Oct. 12 – Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs sharesc expansion, including an AVATAR-themed land, while visiting Tokyo Disney Resort
- Oct. 20 – Disney Magicrelaunches
- Oct. 23 – The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa begins welcoming Disney Vacation Club Members home
The Walt Disney Company
- March 6 – Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announces that the company has surpassed its goal to provide 1,000 career opportunities for returning U.S. veterans over a three-year period, hiring more than 1,300 veterans in just one year as part of the Heroes Work Here initiative.
- May – Disney VoluntEARS program celebrates 30 years
- May – Reimagined D23.com website launches
- Aug.10 – 2013 Disney Legends Tony Baxter, Collin Campbell, Dick Clark, Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Jobs, Glen Keane and Ed Wynn are honored
- Aug. 28 – Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund reaches major milestone – 1,000 grants since 1995 for critical conservation needs
- Oct. 16 – The Walt Disney Company celebrates 60 years
- Nov. 9-16 – Thirty Cast Members from The Walt Disney Company travel to Ecuador to participate in the company’s first global service project as part of the 30th anniversary of the Disney VoluntEARS program.
- Nov. 14 – Veterans Institute Workshop, co-sponsored by Disney’s “Heroes Work Here” and Disney Institute, is held at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort Convention Center, with First Lady Michelle Obama giving the keynote speech at a luncheon.