One of the things I love most about Disney vacations is that Walt Disney World typically isn’t the same place twice! Things are constantly changing, and for many of us who don’t live nearby or don’t have the chance to visit very frequently, there’s a good chance that something new and exciting has opened in the time between our trips!
In the past, I’ve typically travelled to Disney World once or twice a year, however as my current time between visits has now been longer than usual, I’ve found my list of new attractions, resorts, restaurants, and more has grown bigger than ever! This means that I have a LOT to look forward to on my next magical vacation, and I’d like to share some of the exciting things I’m dreaming about with you!
Let’s start with the newest member of the Disney Vacation Club family, Disney’s Riviera Resort! Inspired by the charm and elegance of the Mediterranean, this resort began welcoming guests in December 2019 and has quickly become a highly sought-after home away from home!
The villas look absolutely stunning, effortlessly combining chic décor and smart design with pops of Disney magic, and I personally cannot wait to see the remarkable artwork that’s found in the rooms, as well as throughout the property!
There are also two refreshing pools and a splash pad for little ones where the influence of European splendor continues.
What I might be most excited to try at the Riviera Resort, however, is the food! Topolino’s Terrace has made it to the top of my Disney dining wish list, as I have heard nothing but rave reviews from visitors who have experienced the culinary creations on the menu for both breakfast and dinner. There’s also Bar Riva, Primo Piatto, and Le Petite Café to check out, and I’ve heard great things about all of them!
Conveniently located right on the Riviera property, there is also a Skyliner station, and this is another item on my must-try list for my next trip! I had been anxiously awaiting the opening of the Skyliner system after watching the construction progress on previous visits. I’m eager to take in the beautiful bird’s eye view while gliding in the air along the way to Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and other nearby Disney resorts on the route!
Speaking of Hollywood Studios, two new attractions have opened in the park since my last visit, and I am chomping at the bit to experience them first-hand! Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opened in early 2020 and takes guests on a whimsical and charming animated adventure! In all honesty, I have tried to avoid all spoilers for this ride, so I’m not sure of what will lie ahead once I get the chance to check it out, but if Mickey and Minnie are involved, I have no doubt that I am in for a magical surprise!
Another new ride I have tried to avoid seeing too many photos and videos of before I have the chance to see it with my own eyes is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in Galaxy’s Edge. I was lucky enough to visit Batuu on its opening day in 2019, and since then, this otherworldly adventure with state-of-the-art systems unlike any used before has been getting high praise from visitors who have joined Rey, BB-8, and more in the fight against the First Order.
Over at Epcot, there are many new projects underway, and I can’t help but be excited by what the future holds for this park!
The Epcot Experience, presented by Walt Disney Imagineering, has been showcasing the transformation plans that are underway, and with the new enhancements at the park entryway, as well as Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, things are definitely off to a great start!
The Magic Kingdom is also decked out for the 50th-anniversary celebrations. So many of us cherish that moment of seeing the Castle at the end of Main Street U.S.A. when entering the park, and now that Cinderella Castle has undergone a storybook makeover, I can’t wait to take a million new photos of the golden spires shimmering in the sunshine on my next visit!
Though I have already stayed there a few times in the past, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa is one of my personal favorites! Over the past couple of years, the resort has been undergoing a massive refurbishment to refresh the villas, and based on the photos I’ve been seeing showing the new color scheme, furnishings, and décor, they look brighter and more beautiful than ever!
One of my favorite things about staying at Saratoga Springs has always been the close proximity to Disney Springs, and with new eateries to check out, I definitely plan to spend some time here on my next visit! I must admit, I have quite a sweet tooth, so tops on my snack list for the next time I’m at Disney Springs is Gideon’s Bakehouse. The cookies are made from scratch, are known for being nearly half a pound in size, and look oh-so-heavenly! City Works Eatery & Pour House is another new dining location that recently opened, and though the lunch and dinner menus both look great, it’s the weekend brunch that has really caught my eye. With cleverly-named options such as Jon Bun Jovi (a jumbo cinnamon roll), Easy Like Sunday Morning (breakfast flatbread), and The Boss (strip steak with eggs and potato casserole), I can’t wait to check out this restaurant!
A new Cirque du Soleil show is going to be debuting soon at Disney Springs as well! Drawn to Life is expected to open on November 18th, 2021, and will combine the amazing artistry of Disney animation with the spectacular acrobatic feats and skills of Cirque du Soleil’s performers. As the first collaboration between Walt Disney Imagineering, Cirque du Soleil, and Walt Disney Animation Studios, the show is sure to be a dazzling display of creativity at its finest!
While these are some of the new additions to Disney World that I’ve been looking forward to experiencing for the first time, I’m also excited to revisit some long-time favorites. Hearing the deep, chilling voice of the Ghost Host at the Haunted Mansion, taking that first bite into the cheesy goodness of pizza from Via Napoli in Epcot, and throwing my arms in the air as the train speeds backward down the tracks of Expedition Everest are just a few of the must-have moments I savor on each trip I take.
As you can see, between the new must-try experiences and beloved favorites, I can’t wait to get back to my happy place! I’ll be sure to keep you updated on anything new I try on future trips, and I look forward to the exciting experiences that lay ahead!