What Will be Exploding on Disney this Year?
There always seems to be something new and exciting opening at the Walt Disney World Resort. This massive 30,500 acre park has currently developed on 7,000 of its acreage, leaving plenty of room for growth. This year brings new attractions, a revamped land, and a new hotel to the resort. Here is a glimpse at what’s new for Disney World in 2012.
Gentlemen, start your engines
Epcot’s wildly popular Test Track will be re-imagined in 2012 to include the Chevrolet Design Center, a place where guests can become automotive designers and create their own custom concept vehicles. Guests then get to ride their “Simcar” on the thrilling Test Track and move to the post-show where they will be scored on how well their own custom concept did. Test Track is scheduled to close in April 2012 and reopen in the fall as not just a ride but an experience!
Scheduled to open January 16th, Richard Petty Driving Experience will add a new circuit to its repertoire, the “Exotic Driving Experience.” Here, car enthusiasts will be able to able to drive such as the Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera, and Porsche 997S alongside a professional driving instructor as they take six glorious laps around a one-mile circuit. Prices start at $199. Those more comfortable in the passenger seat can opt to take a two-lap thrill ride with a professional driver behind the wheel for $99.
Fantasyland, bigger and better than ever
In 2012 the Magic Kingdom will begin the largest expansion project in the park’s 40-year history with a brand new Fantasyland. Upon completion in 2014, the size of Fantasyland will nearly be doubled. Expected to open in late 2012 are Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid, a ride which takes guests on musical journey through classic movie scenes and is reminiscent of the popular new ride which opened in Disney California Adventure, and the castle of Beast which will feature the Be Our Guest Restaurant. During the day, the restaurant is going to serve “great food fast” but at night it will transform into an elegant full table service dining experience. Further expansion of Fantasyland will include Princess Fairytale Hall, a Disney princess meet and greet, a second circling carousel for Dumbo the Flying Elephant; a transformation of the Barnstormer into The Great Goofini, a roller coaster which takes riders on a “Goofy” flight above the circus; and The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train which takes riders into the Dwarfs’ diamond mine in state of the art train cars that swing back and forth in response to every twist and turn of track.
Newly Imagineered Lodging
Opening this May, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will be the 25th lodging option onsite. The hotel celebrates Disney animation with nearly 2000 rooms, 1,120 of them suites, themed after “The Lion King,” “Cars,” “Finding Nemo,” and “The Little Mermaid.” Animated scenes will be on building exteriors as well as inside rooms. Giant characters from the animated films will be display in courtyard areas and the resort itself will be topped by a 35-foot-tall model of King Triton.
Starting this spring, guests staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort will have the chance to stay in one of 512 new Royal Guest Rooms. The rooms will feature swirling fireworks above the beds, custom linens and special treasures left behind by the stars of “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “The Princess and the Frog.” Staying in one of these rooms will give guests the chance to feel like animated royalty, once again elevating the experience with a little Disney Magic.
Have plans for a Disney trip stirring? Better start searching for cheap flights!