I went to Disney World for the first time in 1984 when I was 6 years old. It was one of those spotlight family vacations that you remember all of your life. My parents had save up for awhile to take me and my siblings to Disney World and we just enjoyed every single second. I actually remember it pouring one day, but it was the summer so it was VERY hot outside… we just continued walking around and waiting in line for rides. We were soaking wet, but we were so happy! Disney… it’s a magical place.
My oldest sons William and Alexander experience Disney World for the very first time when they were 3 and 4 years old. My sons were (and still are) OBSESSED with Star Wars and Indiana Jones, so they walked throughout the Parks dressed from head to toe, every single day, in costume. To them… this was where their favorite characters lived. Every time we passed a Disney “staff” character, they acknowledged them in costume and made them truly feel like they “were” a Star Wars character or Indiana Jones himself. For them, that was the magic of Disney.
As our family has grown the magic of Disney has just expanded with our children. We took the 4 boys to Disney World right before we had our Victoria and they just had a blast on all the thrill rides and LOVED being old enough to stay up late and experience the fireworks and parade. Most recently we brought Victoria to Disney World in May by herself and experienced for the very first time many of the princess rides and attractions. Victoria became obsessed with 2 rides: Prince Charming Regal Carrousel and “It’s a Small World.” I can honestly say we rode those multiple, multiple times.
But for me… what never gets old for me is the MAGIC of Disney. It’s seeing the faces of my children when they enter a park. It’s watching them want to run to the entrance. It’s seeing their eyes light up. It’s watching their smile widen. That – for me – is the magic now… it’s seeing Disney through their eyes. We try to plan a trip to Disney World or Disneyland every 2 or 3 years. Since my husband and I enjoy the parks as much as they do, we really love to be able to experience a family trip. It’s VERY special to us.
While at the D23 Expo this year, I was really excited for one panel in particular – the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts panel. I couldn’t WAIT to hear from Join Bob Chapek the Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to get a behind-the-scenes peek at the magical experiences and entertainment coming to Disney’s parks and resorts around the world!!
Believe me… he did NOT disappoint with the awesomeness!!
Are you ready to hear about all the announcements!!!???
The BIGGEST ANNOUNCEMENT for me was all about STAR WARS!! As a mom of 4 boys, Star Wars has been part of my family hard-core for the last 10 years. My sons LOVE Star Wars and FINALLY got to try Star Wars Tours when we visited this past spring. For them, it was a dream come true.
Just wait until they hear about this…
Star Wars-themed lands are coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando and Disneyland park in Anaheim!!
Honestly… this is (for my family) the biggest news ever!! Each 14-acre land will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet with two signature attractions, including a customized secret mission on the Millennium Falcon and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.
I created this video from the presentation!! ALL STARS WARS NEWS!!
The Star-Wars themed lands are going to take time to build out, but in the meantime… you can experience some Star Wars love.
Check out what’s in store:
· Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.
· Star Wars Launch Bay – This interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. Also at Disneyland park, Star Wars Launch Bay will share the space with the reimagined Super Hero HQ, featuring opportunities to meet and take photos with super heroes like Captain America and Thor, as well as experience the returning Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries. Both experiences will be available for guests later this year.
· Jedi Training Academy — A favorite of younger fans is reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels.”
· Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both coasts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more. Guests also will be thrilled to climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction, in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.
For you Toy Story lovers… you’re going to go GA-GA over the Toy Story land that will be at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida!! If you have visited Cars Land at Disneyland… imagine that same inspiration, but under the Toy Story umbrella in Orlando!!!
The reimagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with Toy Story Land. This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard. Guests will think they’ve been shrunk to the size of Woody and Buzz as they are surrounded by oversized toys that Andy has assembled using his vivid imagination. Using toys like building blocks, plastic buckets and shovels, and game board pieces, Andy has designed the perfect setting for this land, which will include two new attractions for any Disney park and one expanded favorite.
· Family-friendly roller coaster – All on the back of Slinky Dog, this coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a fun, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land.
· Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers. The music, lighting and sound effects add to the flurry of action, while “The Claw” looms over.
· Toy Story Mania! – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds a third track to this popular attraction.
And then there’s AVATAR!!!!!! I had the chance to hear about this amazing World of AVATAR while at Social Media Moms in May, but I didn’t get to hear any details. I was just BLOWN AWAY by the love, the passion and the energy that is being put into (name officially released during panel!) After Dark at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Pandora – The World of AVATAR!!
As part of the largest expansion in the park’s history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will immerse guests into the world of Pandora, and the entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences, offering guests longer days than ever before to experience this one-of-a-kind theme park.
· “Rivers of Light” – Expected to open next spring, “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative experience unlike anything ever seen in a Disney park, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. “Rivers of Light” will magically come to life on the natural stage of Discovery River, delighting guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
· Kilimanjaro Safaris – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.
· Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests will journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land – a world that includes floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest and the winged creatures known as Banshees, giving guests a transformational experience they will never forget.
. AVATAR Flight of Passage – This E-ticket attraction, the centerpiece of Pandora, allows guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world. The spectacular flying experience will give guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage.
We are GIGANTIC Animal Kingdom fans, so this news is just INCREDIBLE for me and my family!!!!!
And… some additional cool announcements that were released during D23 Expo…
Soarin’ Around the World in Florida and California
Next year, guests at Epcot in Florida and Disney California Adventure in California will journey to far-flung lands and fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its U.S. debut.
This is probably my most favorite ride at Epcot. It relaxes me and makes me feel like there’s nothing wrong in the world. It’s a fabulous ride that makes you feel inspired to go out and visit California! It made me truly fall in love with the state and I LOVE that they are expanding this amazing ride. It’s truly an Epcot staple to visit… the line is ALWAYS worth it!!
Iron Man Unveiled for Hong Kong Disneyland
Iron Man landed at D23 EXPO today for a special appearance, and soon Hong Kong Disneyland guests will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with the Super Hero himself. Set to open in 2016, Iron Man Experience will be the first Marvel attraction at any Disney park, taking guests on an epic adventure over the streets and in the sky above Hong Kong. The adventure will begin at the new Stark Expo where guests board the Iron Wing to take flight and battle Hydra alongside fan-favorite Avenger, Iron Man.
And can I just say………. OMG, Stan LEE!!!! He was THERE TO HELP WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!
The WHOLE audience lost their cool!!
I mean, the WHOLE audience lost their cool!!
He was amazing to see and have there for this epic announcement!!
As you can see, there’s a TON in store for Disney lovers worldwide!! I was absolutely dazzled by all the announcements and all the awesomeness that is coming to the Disney Parks and Resorts. People wait a lifetime to head to Disney with their families and I love that Disney is constantly looking and finding ways to expand and create more and more new experiences for all fans.
And for my boys (husband included!)… STAR WARS IS CALLING YOUR NAME!!!