So, What’s New?

Posted On January 27, 2013

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Disney World is always changing, and there have been some changes even since our 2011 visit (and more at Universal Orlando since our 2007?-ish visit). Here’s a list of what is new and what’s still in the pipeline. To make it easy to see what’s really changed, I’ve bolded new rides.

New to Disney World:

  • NextGen: MyMagic+ and FastPass+ (see my earlier post for more information)
  • Photopass+ (ride photos now included!)
  • Celebrate the Magic (Magic Kingdom–castle projection show that replaces The Magic, The Memories, and You)
  • Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom (Magic Kingdom–interactive game)
  • A Pirate’s Adventure (Adventureland–interactive game)
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle (New Fantasyland–a fancy meet and greet)
  • Be Our Guest (New Fantasyland–hybrid counter service lunch and table service dinner restaurant)
  • Gaston’s Tavern (New Fantasyland–counter service restaurant featuring the pork shank, close cousin to the turkey leg)
  • Under the Sea (New Fantasyland–omnimover dark ride about the Little Mermaid cloned from DCA)
  • Dumbo 2.0 (Storybook Circus–now with 2 spinners and an interactive queue)
  • Casey Jr. Splash and Soak (Storybook Circus–water play area)
  • Meet Daisy Fortuna, the Mysterious Donaldo, the Great Goofini, and Minnie Magnifique (Storybook Circus)
  • Test Track 2.0 (Epcot–Test Track re-done with a virtual design theme; you can now design your own car)
  • Monsieur Paul (France Pavilion–replaces Bistro de Paris)
  • France Bakery (France Pavilion–expanded)
  • Tutto Italia (Italy Pavilion–renovated and refurbished)
  • Tutto Gusto (Italy Pavilion–new wine bar)
  • Phineas and Ferb adventure (World Showcase–replaces Kim Possible game)
  • The Adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow (DHS–walk through with projections that replaces Narnia walk through)
  • Disney Jr. Stage Show (DHS–updated to keep TV characters fresh)
  • Wilderness Explorers Game (AK–interactive game)
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris (AK–zebras added and poacher storyline completely removed)
  • Lockers at Kali River Rapids (AK–I’m really excited about this, actually)
  • Mickey and Minnie move out of their Camp at AK to the former location of the Beastly Bazaar (read: your wait to meet them is now air-conditioned).
  • Rapunzel-themed bathrooms on the site of the old Fantasyland Skyway Station
  • Big Thunder Mountain interactive queue (MK–apparently you’re rushed through this part, but it has some nice effects)

New to Universal Orlando:

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (Wizarding World of Harry Potter–thrill ride)
  • Dragon Challenge (WWoHP–re-themed duelling dragons coaster)
  • Flight of the Hippogriff (WWoHP–re-themed kiddie coaster)
  • Ollivander’s (WWoHP–choose a wand show)
  • 3 Broomsticks (WWoHP–counter service breakfast)
  • Despicable Me (US–3-D simulator replacing Jimmy Neutron’s Blast)
  • Rip Ride Rocket (US–Roller coaster with a pick-your-own soundtrack option)
  • Simpsons Ride (US–simulator replacing Back to the Future)
  • Cinematic Spectacular (US–nighttime lights show)

Upcoming in Walt Disney World:

  • Princess Fairytale Hall (2013–Fantasyland–Meet and Greets with princesses replacing Snow White’s Scary Adventures)
  • Peter Pan interactive queue (now under construction–the old Peter Pan bathrooms are closed as of 3/8)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean interactive queue
  • Seven Dwarves Mine Train (2014–New Fantasyland–Coaster with cars that swing)
  • Refurbished Epcot Character Spot
  • Spice Road Table (small plates and drinks restaurant in Morocco right on the World Showcase lagoon)
  • Festival of the Lion King (moving to Africa in preparation for Avatarland–construction walls are up)
  • Disney Springs (2016–refurbishment of Downtown Disney to include two parking garages, possibly direct I-4 access, many more retail and dining locations; I’ll believe it when I see vertical construction)
  • Starbucks coffee at Main Street Bakery and Fountainview Cafe
  • New restrooms between US and Japan pavilions
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade (Spring 2014)–new daytime parade for the Magic Kingdom

Upcoming in Universal Orlando:

  • Transformers (Summer 2013–ride; gift shop open as of 3/5)
  • Gringotts Bank Coaster (2014/5? US–coaster, replacing Jaws)
  • Hogwarts Express (2014/5? US & IoA–train ride that connects the parks)
  • Simpsons land (Summer 2013–new food options; a spinner)

Rumored for Disney World:

  • Avatarland (2015? AK–this project has been announced, but no specifics; I’ll move it to upcoming when they break ground)
  • Cars Land (?? DHS)
  • Expansion of Pixar Place (?? DHS)
  • Starbucks coffee in DHS and AK

Rumored for Universal Orlando:

  • Jurassic Park Expansion (2014? to coincide with Jurassic Park 4?)
  • Kidzone refurbishment
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