There is a lot of construction going on at Walt Disney World with a lot of fantastic new additions to come. I have highlighted a few things that were already open on our recent trip.
1. Characters at Star Wars Launch Bay (replaced the Animation Studios).
Before I rave about how much fun this is, I will start with the fact that it is twice as big as I feel it needs to be. It ios a large Star Wars museum, and I do not go to Walt Disney World to go to a museum.
With that being said, the character experiences here are literally out of this world. Off to the right of the character meet and greets are two Jawas that are available to trade with you. I am 57 and thought this was fantastic. If I were young kid and a fan of the movies, I think I would have flipped. This is brilliant.
Chewbacca and Kylo Ren are available to take pictures with. Kylo Ren is sassy and will turn you to the dark side before you realize it. It reminded me of the elusive Gaston, who when available, is hilarious to interact with. We wanted to visit with Kylo everyday!
Storm troopers patrol the outside area. I tried to turn my husband in as a rebel, but instead they told me to keep walking. One of the best parts of meeting characters at the Disney Parks is the authenticity, these folks never leave character and they do a fantastic job.
Plus, near the exit into the ever present merchandise store, were many Disney Infinity consoles for the kids to play. That’s just smart marketing!
2. Your name.
Walt Disney World technology is terrific! At the end of It’s a Small World they gave us the following personal farewell:
We also had this at the end of the Haunted Mansion ride, and you were greeted by name at the beginning of the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. This personalized interaction, thanks to the Magic Bands, is once again, brilliant.
3. Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom!
This was not part of our evening party at Animal Kingdom, just the part of the show that is on the Tree of Life. Spirit animals danced across the tree in an amazing show of Disney technological prowess. It was stunning to watch. We cannot wait to go back for the full spectacle!
4. Disney/Pixar Short Film Festival in Epcot (replaced Michael Jackson’s Captain EO).
Disney/Pixar products award nominated shorts at least once a year. There were three playing at this theater when we visited, including my all time favorite:
I think this short is sheer brilliance, I love it so much I get teary eyed every time I see it.
5. New Characters:
You know I love Disney animated movies, and you know I cannot take enough character pictures to satisfy myself! Again, I am 57 and I do not care who knows how happy this makes me! Oh yeah, and we sang with Olaf, can you hear it, “In Summer!”
I am going to add an honorable mention to the new restaurant in Magic Kingdom, the Skipper Canteen. This is a beautiful new sit down restaurant, and we had a blast. The wait staff provide you with the same corny humor as the Jungle Cruise. Which we headed to afterwards and had the single funniest Captain, ever!