The ceremonial groundbreaking for a new, “AVATAR”-inspired land took place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park in early January. This marks the beginning of the largest expansion since the park opened in 1998. The area — currently the site of Camp Minnie-Mickey and the former location of the popular Festival of the Lion King show — is being designed in a collabortion between Walt Disney Imagineering and James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment. When the project is complete, guests will be abe to explore first-hand the world of Pandora. Many of the elements coming to this new space in Animal Kingdom will help establish the park as a nighttime destination. A new evening spectacular is also being planned to extend the park’s offerings as well as a nighttime version of Kilimanjaro Safaris. We’re excited to see what’s in store for Animal Kingdom in the upcoming year!
Later this month, Disney Cruise Line will unveil exciting new enhancements and reimagined spaces onboard its pioneer cruise ship, the Disney Magic. After completing a month-long dry dock in Cadiz, Spain, we can anticipate the following highlights when the ship re-launches:
Make a Splash!
The upper deck pool areas of the Disney Magic have received a major makeover. Three-story thrill slide AquaDunk will wow with a near-vertical launch and a translucent tube extending out over the side of the ship. Interactive water playground AquaLab will feature the looping Twist ‘n Spout waterslide in addition to pop jets, bubblers, and geysers. The youngest cruisers can enjoy water play in the shaded and enclosed Nephews’ Splash Zone, themed after Donald Duck’s nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.
Cool Spaces for Kids and Tweens
Both the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab children’s programs have been re-themed to bring new stories and characters onboard. Activities for kids 3 – 12 will continue to include games, crafts, movies and characters within new play spaces such as Pixie Hollow, Toy Story, and Marvel’s Avengers Academy. It’s a Small World Nursery, a whimsical child care facility for cruisers ages 3 months to 3 years, replaces Flounder’s Reef.
Beat Street, the current adults-only nighttime entertainment district on the Disney Magic has been transformed into After Hours with three newly re-themed spaces to enjoy. Fathoms nightclub will offer live music, variety shows and a full bar. For a quieter spot to wind down, Keys piano bar offers a relaxed retreat. O’Gill’s Pub will be the perfect place to catch televised sports and enjoy a pint or two.
Vista Spa & Salon has been reinvented as Senses Spa & Salon expanding both its space and menu of treatments. An added barbershop for the men as well as a Smile Spa for teeth whitening services are among the new offerings.
The popular Animator’s Palate restaurant will present the brand new “Drawn to Magic” show in addition to the “Animation Magic” show originally found exclusively on the Disney Fantasy. In other dining news, Parrot Cay restaurant has been reinvented as the Rio-themed Carioca’s and Topsider Buffet has become Cabanas for buffet meals by day and table-service dining by night. The elegant, adults-only Palo restaurant was made over with a Venetian motif.
To complete the Disney Magic’s new look, staterooms and suites received a redesign focused on maximizing space for families. And finally, the ship’s grand atrium lobby has gotten a fresh palette of colors, new chandelier, and a stately staircase. For sneak peeks at these upcoming changes and more information about the Disney Magic’s relaunch, check out the following video: