What’s New at Disney for 2014

Lots of attention has been focused on Universal Orlando and the construction of Diagon Alley at Universal Studios, along with all the new eateries. However, not to be left behind, Walt Disney World has been cooking up plans of its own.

The two biggies are the opening of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the spring and the official roll out of  My Magic+.

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the culmination of the New Fantasyland and completes the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history. According to wdwnews.com: “The family-style coaster will feature first-of-its-kind ride vehicles mounted in cradle-like pivots that allow the vehicles to swing back and forth during the ride. Adding to the fun, the journey will be accompanied by beloved music from the film classic and there’s a cast of animated figures of Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs and playful forest critters.”

Walt Disney World Resort photo

Walt Disney World Resort photo

Also capping off the New Fantasyland will be the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, which will roll down Main Street USA and feature floats, colorful costumes and music from favorite Disney movies.

The all-encompassing wonder bracelet designed as an Open Sesame to everything at the parks, MyMagic+ has been undergoing testing over the past year. It serves as an admission ticket and room key, keeps track of your itinerary, and allows you to pay for purchases by storing your credit card information. And more.

As part of the transformation from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs, Starbucks will add two locations: a storefront at Downtown Disney West Side and a kiosk near the World of Disney at Downtown Disney Marketplace. Fit2Run will serve both recreational runners and athletes, and there will be various retail venues for women’s and girls’ fashions, electronics, home  design, and beauty care. With more than 150 stores planned within four interconnected neighborhoods, Disney Springs is on its way to becoming a premier shopping-dining-entertainment destination by the time it’s completed in 2016.

Opening early this year at the Moroccan Pavilion at Epcot, Spice Road Table will offer Moroccan small plates and specialty drinks with a view of the World Showcase Lagoon. “Souk” style shops will be included as well as a henna tattoo artist. It’s all in the style of of Morocco’s indigenous Berber tribes.

A new luxury resort will open in 2014. Various dining venues, a 14,000-square-foot spa, fitness center, three pools, and meeting and event space and business center will all be part of the Four Seasons Hotel and Resort within the Golden Oak residential community.

For sports fans, there will be professional soccer at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and the Orlando City Soccer Club will play its home games at Disney in the spring. Two races will be added in 2014 as part of runDisney. A 10K race will be added to the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend  and the Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

Finally, new cruise itineraries will be added to Disney Cruise Line. European routes, including the Greek Isles and Sicily, will be expanded and the newly revamped Disney Magic will set said out of San Juan for four Southern Caribbean Cruises. The Disney Wonder will head out to Alaska from Vancouver, while the Magic, Dream and Fantasy will head for the Bahamas, stopping at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private Island.


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