Going to Walt Disney World soon? Don’t panic, but so many new things have been introduced in just the past week that you may need to rehash your vacation plans.
Ticket prices are up, restaurants are changing and fireworks are disappearing. All of that said, keep this in mind: exciting evening entertainment, dining options and beloved character appearances are going to make your next visit to Disney World extraordinary.
From princess breakfasts to international desserts, here’s what you may have missed while finalizing your trip:
Prepare for Disney to cost more than ever before.
The annual price hike kicked in at Walt Disney World earlier this month, affecting one-day tickets as well as multi-day passes. Be sure to buy tickets online before arriving at the park to save $20 as opposed to front-gate prices.
Get closer than ever to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
Guests can already hug Chewbacca and get face-to-face with Kylo Ren at the Star Wars Launch Bay inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but a new character will soon be rolling into town: Starting this spring, beloved droid BB-8 will have its own meet-and-greet at the park.
Take in two new evening shows.
If your favorite part of visiting Walt Disney World was the fireworks, brace yourself. By May 12, the Wishes nighttime spectacular will be gone, with a never-before-seen nighttime show, Happily Ever After, replacing it. Don’t let nostalgia get the best of you, as this technologically advanced spectacle is lined up to be pretty phenomenal.
Double down on the nighttime thrills while you’re in town, because after nearly a year of delays, Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is finally open, as well.
Dine anew at Walt Disney World Resorts.
Geyser Point Bar and Grill, the brand-new restaurant at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, just opened with a hearty menu of bison burgers, salmon BLTs and crispy fried oysters. Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jiko the Cooking Place has fully overhauled their menu, bringing in lamb tagine and elk loin entrees as well as a Tanzanian chocolate mousse. And though no dates have been announced, a first-ever “royal couples” character dining option is coming to Disney’s Boardwalk. Soon, guests can dine with Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, as well as Ariel and Eric of "The Little Mermaid" at Trattoria al Forno, just steps from the International Gateway entrance of Epcot.
Enjoy refreshed dining options at Disney Springs.
Two former Downtown Disney restaurants are getting a second life with full overhauls of their previous spaces. Paddlefish, the sea-faring restaurant inhabiting the former Fulton’s Crab House, offers chowders and build-your-own crab boils as well as a range of meats and steaks for ultimate surf-and-turf options. And the Planet Hollywood Observatory is now a fully reimagined take on the former restaurant, now featuring a Guy Fieri-designed menu and Stargazers Lounge, which specializes in local Floridian beers.