Our 5 Most Anticipated Experiences at Walt Disney World in the Coming Year
by: guide4wdw – Collin
The Disney Parks are always changing. some great ideas are lost, favorite attractions replaced, and new favorite experiences created. Imagineering has been the driving force making these decisions a reality, and honestly they have never disappointed with the results. However, it’s hard not to want to play a little unofficial Imagineering. So, with this article we’re going to look at a few of the things we know are coming in the next year, as well as some additions that we know may never truly become a reality (no matter how much we wish they would). At the end of the article, be sure to tell us what you’re looking forward to in the parks or that one idea you’ve always wanted Imagineering to develop into a reality!
Avatar Land (Pandora)
While this one may surprise some people, I’m honestly looking forward to what Imagineering can do with the elaborate scenery the Avatar story sets up. We already know that the plants are going to “come alive” and the animatronics look truly amazing. From Pandora’s first announcement I was honestly skeptical, but as new details and lighting fixtures debut within guests view at Animal Kingdom, my skepticism has all but disappeared. It appears that this is going to be something so unique and so elaborate at the same time that guests will be truly amazed even if they are not a fan of the film franchise. The boundaries of Imagineering are seemingly endless these days with technological advancements and new developments bringing so many unique aspects of the parks “to life.” Of course, we won’t know until the land officially debuts (expected to be this summer if not earlier), but I truly believe it will be an environment that will be like nothing we’ve ever experienced before in a Disney Park.
The Walt Disney World Resorts have always helped create so many memories with family and friends over the years for not only me, but guests all across the country. There’s really something special about the experience you get from all of the resort tiers. The atmosphere is inviting, the experience is unique, and there’s just something magical about that “Disney Bubble.” When you stay at a Disney resort one of the things I recommend is that you take a few hours or even just a few minutes to sit back and truly take in the atmosphere of your resort. It can be one of the most enjoyable things you do on your vacation. I don’t really know if it’s the Florida air or just the joy of being in a place that we all enjoy so much, but when you just relax, sit on a balcony and take in the view, or just wonder around and talk with friends and family there’s an unexplainable joy that arises from the simplest of experiences. So, it goes without saying that I’m looking forward to “what’s next.” With rumors swirling of new Disney Vacation Club Resort Additions, the new elements debuting at Wilderness Lodge, and even the simple enjoyment of seeing what Disney will create next is incredibly exciting. Who knows what’s next, but I can guarantee you I’m looking forward to whatever develops!
(photo: Old Key West Balcony)
Epcot’s Inevitable Transformation
Epcot Center has always been and probably will always be my favorite Disney park. It features a little bit of everything that makes a Disney park so unique. It has history (RIP Horizons…), it has attractions, and it has that special educational element that makes learning genuinely entertaining. Trust me, I understand how cheesy that may sound, but in many ways it really is an educational opportunity if you recognize it as that or not. However, at Epcot, you’re not learning in a classroom, you’re learning through your experiences. Walt Disney once described it best, “Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tragic waste of our greatest national resource – the minds of our children.” Now, don’t get me wrong, as a son of a teacher and a brother of another educator I truly appreciate the role teachers play in the lives of children each and every day. They’re a parent away from home, a vital role in the development of children, and a source of inspiration for kids across the world.
While we can debate what Walt truly meant by that quote, in my honest opinion I think it can be applied to so many different situations. People tend to underestimate the capabilities of children. Their imaginations are endless and the ability to retain that imagination is what brings so many developments to life. By taking kids and even adults to a place like Epcot, they get to (in the words of Journey into Imagination) let their imagination run free. We get to explore things first hand and learn to appreciate various countries, technological advancements, and the science of the world around us.
Epcot has always stayed true to that vision, but in all honesty, it does need a bit of attention. Disney is starting to recognize this and has already informed guest that changes are on the horizon, but one particular element has peaked my interest. Disney has actually stated that they intend to stay true to the original vision of Epcot above all else. For me, that’s certainly intriguing. What are they going to change? Are old elements of the park going to be given new life (wonders of life, Journey into Imagination, or even Innoventions)? Are we going to see something completely new? The possibilities seem endless!
Hollywood Studios Announcements
For years Hollywood Studios was a favorite park of mine, but recently that has slowly changed. At this point they’ve removed so much of the “original” park that it’s a mere shell of what it once was. The theming is scattered, the attractions are limited, and the construction is everywhere. And, while all of those elements are true, it took the drastic changes for me to recognize how beautiful the park is at night. In the past, unless we were going to Fantasmic or The Osborne family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (sadly gone), we typically wrapped up our favorite shows late in the afternoon and moved on to some other destination. Today, we typically hit the park in the afternoon and stay until dark. I was honestly shocked when I took a minute to just look around at night. The street displays a completely different ensemble of lights and colors. However, with all that being said (both good and bad), the grand expectations for the studios in the future are certainly intriguing. I can’t wait to see what Disney has planned for both of the expansions and I honestly believe we’ll get some new details on that within the year and a few surprises along the way! Just like Pandora, Star Wars Land is going to be a game changer, and Toy Story Land will blow away expectations (don’t quote me on this, but I’m predicting Al’s Toy Barn… it’s a long shot but it does seem to possibly be in the concept art).
The Hidden Gems I Never Knew Existed
While new attractions are great and new resorts and dining experiences are even better, the one thing I look forward to more that anything each year is the ability to uncover something within the parks that I never knew existed in the past. There are so many hidden details that often go completely overlooked. There’s a vast history behind every attraction, every resort, and every element of the Disney Parks. Discovering those “hidden gems” are what I look forward to more that anything else. And now, with the ability to share these things with all of you guys and girls across the internet, it truly gives me something to look forward to each and every day.
If I had to pick one thing about Disney that I enjoy the most, it would be that moment that I get share one little detail with someone and see that “I get it” moment on their face. It’s something that’s hard to explain, but when I can share something as simple as a detail on Main Street with someone and see that amazement on their face, there’s nothing quite like it. They just “get it” and those of you reading this probably know just what that feels like. It’s one of the best feelings in life and something you get to experience very few times.
So, as you can see, there’s a lot to look forward to this year. I don’t know exactly what to expect, but with Disney I’m sure there will be some wonderful surprises along the way! There’s certainly going to be a lot of new things to experience and we’ll be here to share a little bit of that magic with you each and every day. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to our posts over on the right, friend/follow us on Facebook (Collin Kendall or Guide4WDW.com), Twitter (@guide4disney), and Instagram (@guide4disney) for the latest updates on our Disney journey. We’ve got a lot of things possibly in the works for this year, and we’d love to have you along for the ride! Until our next post, enjoy the parks!