Earlier I told you about the Moana and Mirabel character greetings coming to Walt Disney World later this year. I thought that deserved a separate topic. Where to meet (or at least see) Mirabel is one of the top questions I’ve been asked here at Disney Over 50. The new character meet and greets are not the only bits of Walt Disney World news! There is news about Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, and even Disney Springs! Here are all the details from Disney Parks Blog.
JUST ANNOUNCED: New Disney Thrills Coming to Walt Disney World Resort
by Vanessa de la Viña, Public Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort
What’s your favorite Disney Thrill? Whether it’s giving a beloved character a big hug, showing off the perfect pair of Minnie ears or giggling your way through an exciting adventure with your entire family, you can enjoy all kinds of thrills at Walt Disney World Resort.
Today, we’re excited to share all the new experiences coming to Walt Disney World over the next few months!
New Character Greetings Debuting Soon
Let’s start with one of the most magical moments: meeting your Disney favorites face-to-face. We recently saw the return of fan-favorite character experiences including Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ariel’s Grotto and Pete’s Silly Sideshow at Magic Kingdom Park. New friends will make their debut soon.
Just in time for the 25th Anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Moana, from the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios film, will greet fellow voyagers on Discovery Island for the first time, starting April 22.
Later this summer, guests will get the chance to hug long-time EPCOT icon Figment at the Imagination! pavilion.
And this fall, Mirabel from Disney Animation’s Academy Award-winning film “Encanto” will greet guests in the Fairytale Garden at Magic Kingdom, which will be transformed with whimsical décor inspired by la Familia Madrigal.
EPCOT Transformation Comes to a Crescendo Later This Year
If you’ve been to EPCOT recently, you’ve likely seen the amazing progress happening around World Celebration and World Nature as part of the park’s multi-year transformation. Well, get ready because it will all be completed later this year!
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will debut this fall in World Nature. This self-guided exploration trail will take you through the natural water cycle – from the skies to oceans and all the way back again. Just like Moana, you’re encouraged to become a protector and friend to our natural resources.
When CommuniCore Hall opens in World Celebration later this year, it will be the center of festival programming throughout the park. In new renderings released today, you can see this will be home to a new character greeting location called Mickey & Friends. You’ll be able to meet Mickey Mouse and some of his best pals in this colorful space.
CommuniCore Hall will also be the home of a dynamic exhibition space that will transform with each festival throughout the year, as you can see here in one possibility imagined for EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. Playing with light, shapes and reflections, the architecture of this building was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering to celebrate the legacy of EPCOT and the original CommuniCore buildings.
Commemorating Disney100 at Walt Disney World
EPCOT will host the Disney100 celebration at Walt Disney World Resort to commemorate this monumental milestone later this year. As well as all the new attractions and experiences I’ve mentioned, there will be even more magic.
As we honor the legacy of Disney storytelling and unforgettable characters that have entertained and inspired people of all ages for a century, now is the time to relive those beloved Disney memories and delight in making new memories with friends and family in our theme parks. Enjoy all-new experiences as we celebrate this momentous anniversary and the culmination of the EPCOT transformation – from meeting Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their platinum attire to snapping a selfie with a platinum sculpture of the one who started it all and watching Spaceship Earth illuminate the evenings with a special lighting design.
Plus, a new nighttime spectacular will debut at EPCOT later this year, inviting everyone to gather around World Showcase Lagoon for a show that will unite us through commonalities of the heart in a dazzling display of fireworks, lasers, music and light. Featuring an original composition along with select songs from the Disney songbook, this new spectacular will remind us that we’re more alike than different, connecting our hearts together as one.
Celebrating 25 Years of Innovation & Conservation at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
We can’t wait to celebrate 25 years of magic at Disney’s Animal Kingdom next month on Earth Day! Since it opened on April 22, 1998, this one-of-a-kind theme park has offered awe-inspiring animal encounters, thrilling attractions and larger-than-life musical stage shows. Since 1995, with support from The Walt Disney Company and guests, the Disney Conservation Fund has directed $120 million to support nonprofit organizations working with communities to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet. Additionally, the Disney Conservation team leads best-in-class scientific programs to conserve wildlife in Disney’s backyard and beyond, connects people to build a network for nature, and cares for the planet through everyday actions.
In April, there will be new ways to join in the celebration for Earth Day and this milestone, including new sweet and savory treats, specialty merchandise and limited-time character sightings in the park. There will be more surprises on April 22, when the park officially turns 25. Stay tuned to Disney Parks Blog for more details coming soon.
Summer House on the Lake Opens Later This Year at Disney Springs
A stunning new restaurant will open at Disney Springs in late 2023. Summer House on the Lake embodies a breezy, beach house vibe that will pair perfectly with the sweeping views of Lake Buena Vista.
You’ll be able to enjoy a California-inspired menu featuring simple, sustainable ingredients – from pizza and pasta to fresh salads and sandwiches. Plus, you can savor the restaurant’s exclusive Summer House Rosé along with a selection of wine, beer, handcrafted cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. Just imagine sipping your favorite drink on one of three expansive outdoor patios with a lake view. Those of us with a sweet tooth will be delighted to hear about The Cookie Jar, a dessert-focused market within this space serving up freshly baked cookies and house-made pastries.
Corkcicle Opening First-Ever Retail Location at Disney Springs
Just announced today, Corkcicle is coming to Disney Springs! A local Orlando business, Corkcicle creates innovative, obsession-worthy, high-performing insulated drinkware, coolers and accessories in a variety of gorgeous colors that elevate every sip and bring delight to everyday moments. This kiosk will be Corkcicle’s first-ever retail location and will open later this spring.
Tiara-topped Water Tower Coming Soon to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom
Construction on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure continues to take shape, and later this summer, a tiara-topped water tower emblazoned with the Tiana’s Foods logo will make its way to Magic Kingdom. Read more here to learn new details about the attraction’s queue and Tiana’s next chapter in her story as she continues to grow her business with Tiana’s Foods.
Disney Parks guests will get to experience Princess Tiana’s story like never before following the attraction’s debut at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort in 2024, and what a party it will be! The story will pick up where the film left off as guests join Princess Tiana and jazz-loving alligator Louis on an adventure down the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind celebration during Mardi Gras season where everyone is welcome. Along the way, guests will encounter familiar faces, make new friends and travel through the bayou to original music inspired by songs from the film. Lots of memorable fun in store!
TRON Lightcycle / Run Launches April 4, 2023
You may have heard that one of the fastest coasters at any Disney park is launching soon in Magic Kingdom. Starting April 4, you’ll be able to race across the Grid in TRON Lightcycle / Run presented by Enterprise. As members of Team Blue, this will be your chance to board a high-speed Lightcycle and compete against a fierce group of Programs known as Team Orange.
If you’re a merch fan like I am, you can gear up for the Grid with racing-inspired apparel, collectible pins, must-have toys and light-up accessories inspired by the TRON films and the attraction itself. I can’t wait to rock that Flynn’s Arcade shirt while riding a Lightcycle.
Check out the video below to learn more about all the Disney Thrills!