12 New Disney World Attractions for 2016 (Slideshow)
May 10, 2016
Feel like you’ve already experience everything Disney World has to offer? Here are 12 new attractions to check out for 2016
Club Disney, Sunset Showcase, Hollywood Studios
With only a few weeks left in 2015, Disney World’s Hollywood Studios opened a new special event venue called Sunset Showcase. The main engagement here is Club Disney, which is basically what it sounds like: A Disney-themed dance club for kids. Playing the best of Radio Disney’s top 40, the club also features animation built into the walls, creating a visual experience for guests of all ages. The venue also has a seating area and snack station for when guests need to recharge (themselves and also their electronic devices) in between dances.
Club Villain, Hollywood Studios
The kids can’t have all the fun, right? Introducing Club Villain (which opened on January 16), an adults-only venue that features DJ-spun music and dancing, stage show numbers, and food. The upscale offerings include tender beef striploin, “Voodoo” wings with citrus gremolata, and spicy sautéed shrimp with sausage over polenta — and specialty themed cocktails join beer and wine on the drink list. Tickets for this package are $129, but guests must also purchase a separate ticket to Hollywood Studios.
Frozen Ever After, Epcot
Two-and-a-half years after its release, Frozen is still more popular than ever, and to commemorate that, Epcot is opening a new “Frozen Ever After” attraction in the Norway section of the park. The ride will guide guests via boat through the Kingdom of Arendelle, and combines classic storytelling with new technology for a musical experience the kids will surely love. Additional stops include the Winter in Summer Celebration, Elsa’s Ice Palace, and the North Mountain, before returning to the Bay of Arendelle. Afterward, guests can also meet Anna and Elsa at the Royal Summerhus for photos and autographs.
Longer Hours at Kilimanjaro Safaris, Animal Kingdom
Kilimanjaro Safaris, the open-air adventure tour through the home of real-live exotic animals, has been a staple of Animal Kingdom for a long time (since the park opened in 1998, actually) — and now for the first time it will stay open longer each day as well. Guests will be able to enjoy the environment into the evenings now, opening up a whole new way to view the Harambe Wildlife Reserve and its lions, elephants, hippopotami, and hyenas. The “Nocturnal Encounters” extended-hours experience is expected to open Memorial Day weekend.
New Restaurants, Disney Springs
Disney Springs will continue to expand in 2016, with a host of new shops (more on that later), as well as several new restaurants. As of now, the new eateries will include branches of STK (featuring 14,000 square feet of space over two floors), The Edison, Sprinkles, Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, and two new restaurant concepts by chefs Art Smith and Rick Bayless.
Rivers of Light, Animal Kingdom
Although its opening was previous delayed, it appears the new Animal Kingdom show, “Rivers of Light,” is on-track to open this summer. The attraction will apparently include live entertainers, enormous floating lanterns, and water screens displaying swirling animal imagery — all set on the Discovery River. The outdoor amphitheater will seat 2,500 people and is expected to open sometime this summer.
Skipper Canteen, Magic Kingdom
Opened in the final weeks of last year, 2016 will be the first full year for the unique Magic Kingdom restaurant, the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen (a.k.a. just the “Skipper Canteen”). Located in Adventureland, it offers diners a choice between three different rooms — the colonial-era Mess Hall, Dr. Albert Falls’ Jungle Room, and the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.) Room — for house-made arepas (with slow-cooked beef, black beans, tostones, and queso fresco), falafel, shu mai (fried dumplings stuffed with pork, shrimp, mung beans, and spices), and Dr. Falls’ signature grilled steak (asado-marinated strip loin). The Skipper Canteen is staffed by a crew of Jungle Cruise Skippers, who are known for their clever jokes.
Soarin’ Around the World, Epcot
Beginning on June 17, 2016, guests at Walt Disney World (and also Disney California Adventure and Shanghai Disneyland) will be able to experience a new interactive film, “Soarin’ Around the World.” A video update for the popular Soarin’ attraction, this one will take riders over popular worldwide landmarks like the Great Wall of China and Australia’s Sydney Opera House. Additionally, the Epcot attraction just added a third theater and new interactive queue.
Star Wars Launch Bay, Hollywood Studios
The Star Wars Launch Bay launched on December 1, 2015, which means 2016 will be its first full year. The attractions offers geeks and nerds alike the opportunity to explore Star Wars special exhibits, check out movie props, play games, and take photos of everything along the way. Take the opportunity to meet Chewbacca while you can, because word has it that Kylo Ren lurks around the bay as well, and you might end up wanting some backup. The attraction also features a screening room, which shows a short film celebrating the Star Wars saga, including behind-the-scenes footage and cast and crew interviews. Of course there’s also a gift shop here, called Launch Bay Cargo.
Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular, Hollywood Studios
This year, a new Star Wars-themed fireworks show called “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” debuted to much fanfare. The folks at Disney hope to top this in the late summer/early fall when they release “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away,” which will play out the iconic moments from the film and include appearances by Darth Maul, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, and Chewbacca. Additionally, Captain Phasma will lead the First Order Stormtroopers on a march from Star Wars Launch Bay to the site of the fireworks show, Center Stage, several times per day.
The Ganachery, Disney Springs
To simply say that Disney World has opened a new candy shop doesn’t do The Ganachery justice. At this store, guests can interact with expert chocolatiers and buy some of the most superb sweets in the entire park. Located in The Landing at Disney Springs, The Ganachery is the perfect place to buy a hand-packaged gift for the chocolate-lover in your life — especially if that chocolate-lover is you! Additional shops will include Edward Beiner, Lilly Pulitzer, L’Occitane en Procence, PANDORA, Tommy Bahama, UGG, Uniqlo, and Zara.
Tiffins, Animal Kingdom
Tiffins hasn’t opened yet (it will apparently be ready Memorial Day Weekend), but here’s what we know: Tiffins (named for the Indian lunchbox) will be a safari-themed table service restaurant, and will feature unique dishes like lobster popcorn, Thai curry soup, grilled octopus, frog legs tempura, black-eyed pea fritters, cheese and chicken liver pâté, lamb chops, pork tenderloin, miso-glazed black cod, pan-seared duck breast, and braised short rib. No word on prices (although as a specialty restaurant, they will probably be comparable to those at a place like neighboring Yak & Yeti), but you know The Daily Meal will be all over it when we get more information.