New Lands, Rides & Experiences Coming to Disney Parks

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Last weekend Bob Iger, the Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO, made some big announcements regarding the expansion of our favorite Disney parks. We’ve all been hearing rumor of a Star Wars Land coming to Walt Disney World as part of a Hollywood Studios makeover and now it’s official! What we didn’t anticipate was not only was there an official announcement for Hollywood Studios but Disneyland will also be expanding by 14 acres to fit their very own Star Wars Land!! We are all very excited about this announcement. Especially for Hollywood Studios who has been in need of a face lift for quite some time now.

That is not the only thing we have to be excited about. Other lands and updates on new rides and experiences were also announced. Such as Toy Story Land, also coming to Hollywood Studios and updates on Pandora- The World of AVATAR coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Here are the details.

Star Wars Enhancements & New Experiences

Star Tours will be updated to include a new adventure with locations and characters from the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Star Wars Launch Bay is an interactive experience that will also take guests into the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie with special exhibits and seek peeks behind the scenes. Meet and greet opportunities with new and favorite characters will be available. Special merchandise and food will be available for purchase. In Disney’s Hollywood Studios in this will be located at the Animation Courtyard and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park in California. At Disneyland, Star Wars Launch Bay will share a space with Super Hero HQ and will have meet and greet opportunities with your favorite super heroes like Captain America and Thor. Returning to Disneyland is Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries. Both experiences will be available later this year.

Jedi Training Academy is a favorite for a youngsters at Hollywood Studios. This experience is being reimagined with new characters and a new villain battle from the Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels.”

Season of the Force is a seasonal event that will start in early 2016. At Disneyland in Tomorrowland guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment, themed food and more. Space Mountain will be turned into Hyperspace Mountain where guests will join a X-Wing Starfighter battle. At Hollywood Studios, on weeknights, there will be a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.

Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida -- 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. (Disney Parks)

Toy Storyland at Hollywood Studios

Like I said, Hollywood Studios is getting a big makeover with the Star Wars expansion and also Toy Storyland! Toy Storyland will cover 11 acres and will be themed to look like Andy’s backyard. Guests will think they’ve been shrunk down to the size of Woody and Buzz being surrounded by toys such as building blocks, plastic buckets, shovels and toys Andy assembled himself using his imagination. There will be two new rides and an expansion of everyones favorite Hollywood Studios ride, Toy Story Mania.

Slinky Dog Roller Coaster is a family friendly ride that will zip, zoom, plunge and coast as it takes you on a toy filled adventure throughout the new land.

Alien Saucers will take you for a spin in a flying saucer with music, lights and sound effects while “The Claw” looms overhead.

“Rivers of Light” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 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. (Disney Parks)

After Dark at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Pandora- The World of AVATAR

This is the largest expansion in Animal Kingdom history. After dark, you will be immersed into the world of Pandora. The entire park will transform with new nighttime entertainment and experiences.

“Rivers of Light” is opening next spring and will be Animal Kingdoms first nighttime show. There will be a combination of live performers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. This show will come to life on the natural stage of Discovery River.

Kilimanjaro Safaris will be extended for nighttime adventures next spring. Take a safari as the sun goes down and discover two new species, African wild dogs and hyenas.

Pandora- The World of AVATAR is a new AVATAR themed land. There will be floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest and winged creatures called Banshees.

AVATAR Flight of Passage is the centerpiece of Pandora. In this ride you will soar over a vast alien world on a Banshee. This flying experience will give you a birds eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora.


Guests at EPCOT and Disney California Adventure will no longer be soaring over California. Next year Soarin’s video will be changed and the ride will then be known as “Soarin Around the World” instead of “Soarin Over California.”

Iron Man Unveiled for Hong Kong Disneyland

Set to open in 2016, Iron Man Experience will be the first Marvel attraction at any of the Disney Parks. Hong Kong Disneyland guests will have an opportunity to meet and take pictures with Iron Man himself. There will be a ride that will take guests soaring over the sky in Hong Kong. This adventure will start at the Stark Expo where guests will board the Iron Wing to take flight and battle Hydra along side our favorite Avenger, Iron Man.