Top 5 Things to Look Forward to in 2016

Top 5 Things to Look Forward to in 2016

2015 is a distant memory now. Onward and upward into 2016. Nearly every year for the foreseeable future will bring a noteworthy addition to the Orlando theme parks. Here are some good reasons to be excited to visit in 2016.

#5 Disney Springs expands
The transformation from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs wasn't an easy or a short one but the long nightmare is soon to be over. 2015 saw great additions like The Hangar Bar, Morimoto Asia and the Ganachery. 

2016 will see the opening of the Town Center area of the expansion. It will bring with it loads of new shops like Pandora, Lilly Pulitzer, Edison, Sprinkles, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza and many more. 2016 will be a great time to check out Disney Springs as most of the walls will be down and plenty of new storefronts will be open for business.

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Tokyo Disney Offers Details On New Expansions

Back in 2014, The Oriental Land Company revealed plans for new expansions in both their Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea parks. The over $4 billion project was clearly going to be ambitions in size from the price tag alone. Now we know some more details of what guests will soon experience. 

The headliner of these new announcements is the new port in Tokyo DisneySea: Scandinavia. Tokyo Disney will be using this new themed port as a backdoor to introduce Frozen. I know most people out there are well over Frozen but when Tokyo DisneySea does something they do it right. The concept art (above) alone looks incredible and I can't wait to see the details that go into the new area.

Over in Tokyo Disneyland, their expansions will borrow heavily from the New Fantasyland attractions in Disney World. Specifically the Beast's castle across the stone bridge (pictured above) as seen at the Be Our Guest Restaurant. It has not been confirmed if the space will simply be a restaurant or something more. And Alice in Wonderland (pictured above) . An Alice in Wonderland area did not actually make its way into New Fantasyland, but concepts for one were detailed before final plans went into place and it seems as though the OLC liked the ideas enough to put it in their park.

Like everything at the Tokyo Disney Resort I'm sure it will all be outstanding once completed. That completion date isn't all that far off. The new lands should be open around the Spring of 2018.  That is awfully fast when you consider construction hasn't even started yet. If only Disney World could make things move that fast (looking at you Avatar Land/Disney Springs parking garage).

Expansions Coming to Soarin' and Toy Story Mania

Rumors have been popping up for the last few months regarding even more expansions at Walt Disney World. Today those rumors were proven fact as Disney has announced expansions for Soarin' at Epcot and Toy Story Midway Mania at Hollywood Studios.

Midway Mania will receive an additional track which will occupy the adjacent Soundstage 1 that used to house Wandering Oaken's Trading Post.

Soarin' will add a third theater and in the process also update the screens and projection systems. Those updates are much needed as the quality of the film has degraded over time. That will presumably prepare the attraction for the rumored new film, "Soarin' Over the World".

Both updates are scheduled to be completed by late 2016. If Disney handles the construction right the downtime of these attractions should be minimal. In the case of Midway Mania, an extended downtime will not be tolerated as the park is already very sparse on attractions due to recent closures.

New Marketplace Coming to Africa in Animal Kingdom

Even more new things are coming to Animal Kingdom. If you can't wait until 2017's World of Pandora, 2015 will see a large expansion to the Africa district of the Animal Kingdom.

The Harambe Market will be located right behind the Mombasa Marketplace the new area will be called the Africa Marketplace. The new expansion will feature new quick service restaurant locations that will feature a variety of options at walk-up windows. New merchandise will also be brought to the area. The expansion will also provide an alternate path to Asia when it opens in Spring of 2015.

via: Orlando Theme Park News

Tokyo Disney Resort Expansions Announced

The Tokyo Disney Resort and Oriental Land Company have announced major changes coming to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. The $4.5 billion dollar project is expected to start opening in 2017 and will see a New Fantasyland in Tokyo Disneyland and new port in Tokyo DisneySea as well as overall improvements to resort infastructure.

Tokyo Disneyland

Aerial view of expansion sites

Changes in Tokyo Disneyland include a huge expansion to Fantasyland which include eating into some of Tomorrowland's territory. it's a small world will also be moved to a new location in Fantasyland.

There are not definite confirmations on attractions going into the land but rumors suggest Alice in Wonderland featuring heavily. Many themes from the Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland will come into play as well such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.


Tokyo DisneySea

Plans for DisneySea are equally as vague. Over in that park lands are referred to as "ports" and the new port could be Frozen themed. Anna and Elsa still might end up in New Fantasyland as plans are still up in the air or at least underwraps. 

Tokyo DisneySea is widely considered to be the best theme park in the world so anything new that goes in there is sure to exceed expectations.

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are high on my bucket list and at least to me represent the pinnacle of Disney theme parks and theme parks in general. Whatever the final product of these expansions are it is sure to be spectacular.