5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Happy New Year! What is the best way to celebrate the start of a new year? Go to Walt Disney World of course! Here are eight reasons to go to Walt Disney World in 2018:
1. Toy Story Land
In this new land “you are a toy” just like the beloved Toy Story characters. Imagineers have been hard at work since this new addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios was announced on August 15, 2015 at the D23 Expo, and construction on the land began on April 3, 2016.
This new expansion of Disney’s Hollywood Studios is going to fill 11 acres! Toy Story Land will include new attractions such as Slinky Dog Dash (Slinky Dog themed roller coaster) and Alien Swirling Saucers (attraction based around The Claw). In addition, Toy Story Land will feature a new walk-up quick-service window that will serve soda floats and other tasty food. Once Toy Story Land opens, a new entrance for the expanded Toy Story Midway Mania will be opened.
I am really looking forward to this new expansion of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and I’m hoping that some new Toy Story characters will be available to for meet and greets!
2. New dining at Disney Springs
Two new restaurants will open in Disney Springs in 2018: Jaleo and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill.
Jaleo will open on the West Side of Disney Springs. This new restaurant will feature a menu filled with the delights of Mexican cuisine, with items such as tapas, paella, sangria and more. Yum! Jaleo will be a table service restaurant with a grab-and-go storefront available on the first floor.
Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill is set to open in Town Center of Disney Springs. This menu will consist of California-Asian inspired cuisine. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill will be a table service restaurant.
3. New transportation
A new mode of transportation has recently debuted at Walt Disney World– Minnie Vans. These vans were tested at select locations throughout Walt Disney World earlier this year, and have since become available to all guests visiting the resorts and theme parks.
With this new mode of transportation, it will be easier than ever before for guests to make early morning breakfast reservations without worrying about waiting around for buses or driving themselves around a location they are unfamiliar with. Guests are also pleased with their location at the Magic Kingdom bus stop instead of at the Transportation and Ticket Center which gives this service a huge advantage for guests arriving or leaving the park.
However, the Minnie Vans are not a free transportation service. The current one-way price to use this van service is $20, and they can only be used on Disney property.
4. Resort upgrades
There are currently many resorts at Walt Disney World that are undergoing refurbishments. These resorts include Disney’s Pop Century, Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, and Port Orleans.
Disney’s Pop Century is going to have an entire room renovation refurbishment. All the rooms at this resort will be converted to a fresh-new design by 2018. The refurbishments of the 80s and 90s buildings are complete. The refurbishment of the 70s building is still being worked on. All refurbishments of Disney’s Pop Century are scheduled to be done in May of 2018. Additionally, rooms at the Port Orleans Resorts are undergoing renovations that are anticipated to be completed in early 2018.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs have been under refurbishment for over a year. At Disney’s Caribbean Beach refurbishments include updates to Old Port Royale, the addition of Skyliners, and a new section called Disney’s Riviera Resort, part of DVC (Disney Vacation Club). The refurbishments at these resorts are expected to be completed in 2018 as well.
5. 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon
The 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will take place during the weekend of January 7, 2018 with a variety of races. If you can’t make this year’s race yourself you can still volunteer or be a spectator to cheer runners on, and be sure to congratulate them when you see them wearing medals in the parks following the races!
The 25th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Celebration, will occur on January 7, 2018. This marathon is a magical 26.2 mile course journey through all four theme parks and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The Walt Disney World Half Marathon is also part of this marathon weekend. This marathon will be held on January 6, 2018. The half marathon is a 13.1-mile run through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. You can learn more about runDisney events here.
6. Attraction updates
The Hall of Presidents has been undergoing refurbishments since January 17, 2017, though the show recently re-opened just before the holidays with the edition of President Trump. Along with the current president’s speaking role, the entire attraction has been revamped with a new narration and show.
Some other rides are undergoing refurbishment beginning early in January of 2018. These include Kali River Rapids which will be closed from January 2, 2018 to February 10, 2018, Liberty Square Riverboat will be closed starting January 8, 2018, and Splash Mountain will be closed from January 8, 2018 to February 1, 2018. While these refurbishments are not going to result in noticeable changes to the attractions, they’ll all have a fresh coat of paint and be show-ready for guests early in the New Year!
7. Pandora – The World of Avatar
Pandora – The World of Avatar opened on May 27, 2017. Pandora is a truly magical experience that really transports guests to another world.
Since opening in May, it has been a very popular place to visit. This summer, Flight of Passage, my favorite ride in Pandora, often had long waits of 120-minutes. It was initially nearly impossible to adopt a banshee of your very own, at least without a lengthy line to wait in. Next year, the crowd should be smaller since it has been open for some time now. If you did not get a chance to experience the magic this year, 2018 would be the perfect time to visit the newest land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
8. Cost efficiency compared to years to come
You should visit Walt Disney World in 2018 because it’s only going to get more expensive. Prices to visit Walt Disney World will only increase as time goes on. This is due to the addition of new sections of the parks, such as Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2019 (Yay, Star Wars!) As a result we expect 2018 for be significantly cheaper than 2019, so if you are unsure of which year you’d like to visit and budget is the first priority 2018 may be the better time to go. (If you’re waiting for Star Wars though, we totally understand).
Even with rising prices, Disney is still a great value for a vacation, as many aspects of the trip can be packaged and budgeted for. Once you’ve paid for your room and tickets, most of your vacation is taken care of. The only thing left to worry about is food, souvenirs, and (mostly free with park admission) entertainment. The Disney Dining Plan in 2018 can offer a greater value as well as one alcoholic beverage per 21+ guest will be included with each meal on the new plan!
Do you have a trip planned for 2018? Let us know what you’re looking forward to most and be sure to share this post with anyone planning a trip in the coming year!