So it’s a new year. A lot of us won’t get to see Disney until our arrival date—I know I haven’t been to WDW since Sept. ’08. So, because of this, I thought I’d blog about everything new and exciting that’s waiting for us down at our new home!
Barack Obama has finally joined the Hall of Presidents! The attraction has been completely redone, including a new movie with a new narrator (Morgan Freeman) and all-new staging.
Tinker Bell and her fairy friends now pose and sign autographs at the Toontown Hall of Fame.
The seven-month $12 million refurbishment has made Space Mountain more exciting with a darker, quieter track and faster swoops and drops; a more colorful view of space; and an optional souvenir photo.
The Tomorrowland Transit Authority has new audio narration.
Donald Duck is among the Disney characters who shake their tail feathers at the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party.
New characters have been added to the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade.
Princess Tiana has now officially joined the princesses and now greets and signs autographs with Prince Naveen in Liberty Square.
The Pirates League makeover salon transforms adults and children into swashbucklin’ pirates.
Say goodbye to the long-empty Tomorrowland Skyway Station as it has been demolished & removed.
Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure is a new high-tech scavenger hunt around the ‘world’.
Living with the Land is reopened in 2009 after a refurbishment.
Test Track now features a post-show area displaying a Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle that appeared in Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.
Remy from Disney’s Ratatouille now appears as a small audio-animatronics creature at Chefs de France.
At the Japan pavilion the Tin Toy exhibit has been replaced by Timeless Beauty: World Heritage Sites of Japan.
Mexico’s new La Cava del Tequila offers 70 varieties and a ‘tequila ambassador’ to teach the history of the drink.
Kidcot children’s arts-and-crafts stations in Future World have been removed.
DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
The American Idol Experience lets you compete for a chance at ‘stardom’.
A street show High School Musical 3: Right Here! Right Now! features songs from HMS3.
Luxo Jr. (Pixar’s hopping desk lamp) performs in Pixar Place.
Fantasmic is now only performing a few nights a week.
The indoor ABC Commissary no longer serves breakfast. Instead outdoor Fairfax Fare food court will.
The Sounds Dangerous sound-effects show is only open seasonally.
The ambient sound inside Once Upon a Time gift shop is now the actual radio broadcast of the 1937 premiere of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Kids can now draw and color at the new arts and craft area near the exit of Rock n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith.
The colorful chicken coop featured in Hannah Montana: The Movie is now a prop on the Studio Backlot Tour.
The Coca-Cola bottle in front of the Studio Backlot Tour has been replaced so now it opens to spray mist.
The hot air balloon outside of MuppetVision 3-D and Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat have been repainted.
DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM
At Festival of the Lion King host Timon’s eyes now blink and move.
Two male giraffes were born at AK in Oct. ’09.
Amphibian widows at Conservation Station now display unusual frogs, newts, salamanders, and toads.
Summer guests can now meet Goofy at Blizzard Beach and Lilo and Stitch at Typhoon Lagoon.
Characters In Flight takes guests on a 400 ft hot-air balloon ride above the West Side.
The Virgin Megastore and Starabilias memorabilia shop is now closed.
Although the Pleasure Island’s club scene was closed in 2008, their new restaurant and bar, Paradiso 37, features ‘street cuisine’ from North, South, and Central America and nightly entertainment.
SPORTS AND REC
The ESPN Wide World of Sports complex is installing large video screens at many of its venues.
Disney has introduced two new tours: Epcot’s Nature-Inspired Design and Holiday DeLites.
The Richard Petty Driving Experience has lowered the minimum age for it’s ride-along program to 14.
The Pirate & Pals Fireworks Voyage, formerly the Magical Fireworks Voyage, is now open to all guests, not just those booking Disney’s Grand Gatherings.
Two foot races are no more: Disney’s Race for the Taste during Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 13K… the Wine & Dine Half Marathon will pass through multiple theme parks and end at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival. It will be held Oct. 1 & 2.
Rooms at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort have undergone an extensive renovation that includes flat-screen TV's and all-new furnishings and carpet.
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort has redone some rooms in a pirate theme; all others have a subtle 'Finding Nemo' decor.
Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground have added archery lessons as well as bicycle abd surrey rentals.
The Downtown Disney Holiday Inn is scheduled to reopen this year.
Three new Disney Vacation Club properties opened in 2009: Bay Tower Lake at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Treehouse Villas at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort.
A Four Seasons hotel, golf course, and vacation-home complex is being built on the site of the former Eagle Pines golf course.
First announced for 2009, a luxurt pet resort is now promised for 2010-2011.
Kouzzina is opening at the BoardWalk Resort (replacing Spoodles).
The Wave at the Contemporary Resort (replacing Concourse Steakhouse).
Sanaa at the new Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Effective Feb. 7, 2010: Cinderella's Royal Table will feature Cinderella in the lobby and other Disney princesses mingling with guests in the dining room.
Walt Disney World no longer sells all-beef hot dogs. They will now be a mixture of chicken and beef.
Disney is experimenting with a centralized Fastpass distribution system where guests can pick up multiple Fastpasses at one location.
A new handheld device delivers audio descriptions of visual images at 33 attractions for use by the blind; the same device has captions for hearing-impaired guests.
You can now order over 500+ theme-park merchandise items online at DisneyStore.com.
A new mobile website mdisneyworld.com offers a handy overview of the resort.
MK's Totally Tomorrowland Christmas show has replaced Twas the Night Before Christmas.
At Epcot, Lights of Winter has been removed and gospel choir D'Vine Voices has been added.