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The 17 New Attractions, Shops and Restaurants Coming to Walt Disney World by 2017 (November 2014 Edition)

10. Rivers of Light 

Avatar

Status: Confirmed
 

Opening in: TBC

Disney is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the offerings at Disney's Animal Kingdom, which has often been accused of being a "half-day park". The resort's fourth theme park has always closed earlier than the resort's other parks, partly because of the need to protect its animal residents from excessive noise. However, Disney is now working to install a new night-time show, and will begin opening the park until late.

The show will be hosted around and above the Discovery River and will feature live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. Rumored to be named "Rivers of Light", it is also expected to include the illumination of the iconic Tree of Life. That will involve replacing all 100,000+ artificial leaves on the tree with new ones that light up.

Although no opening date has been specified, barges containing props and equipment for the show have already been spied on the river. The Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom has also been completely walled off, as well as several area around the park as construction continues on show structures and props.

9. Patina Group Restaurant  

Tutto Italia

Status: Rumored
 

Opening in: 2015 (TBC)

The Patina Restaurant Group, which operates the Via Napoli, Tutto Italia and Tutto Gusto restaurants at Epcot's Italy Pavilion, is expected to open a yet-to-be-named Italian restaurant as part of Disney Springs. It appears that it will be located in the space that was formerly occupied by Pleasure Island's 8Trax and Mannequin's clubs. A work permit filed with Orange County suggests that it will consist of "two floors, a new dining area and cast and guest restrooms". There have been no recent updates about this project, but rumors continue to swirl about this potential new dining location.

8. The Edison

The Edison

Status: Rumored
 

Opening in: TBC

Another rumored resident in Disney Springs is The Edison. This would be based on the original nightclub in Los Angeles, which opened in 2007. It is housed in the Higgins Building basement, a former power plant, and features a post-industrial steampunk theme. This project has still not been officially announced.

7. The Observatory at Planet Hollywood 

Planet Hollywood

Status: Rumored 


Opening in: TBC

The popular Planet Hollywood restaurant in Downtown Disney is rumored to be set for an extensive makeover to become "The Observatory". However, it is expected to offer a similar menu and to continue to feature a host of movie memorabilia. This rumored re-theming has yet to be officially announced.

6. Kilimanjaro Safaris - late-night version

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Status: Confirmed
 

Opening in: TBC

Kilimanjaro Safaris, one of the most popular attractions at Disney's Animal Kingdom, is about to become two attractions in one. A new night-time version of the safari will be launched on an unspecified date, and is expected to feature an updated storyline and a focus on animals that are largely noctural. Thus far, Disney has remained mum on when this new version of this attraction will debut, or what new animals it might feature.

5. Avatar "mess hall" restaurant  

Avatar

Status: Rumored
 

Opening in: 2017

While it features some stunning eye-candy, much of the original Avatar movie is set in a fairly grim army base. And that could provide the setting for Pandora - The World of Avatar's quick-service dining location. No word yet on if there'll be a more upscale restaurant, too. No dining experiences have been officially announced for this new area, but hopefully we’ll hear something official in the near future. 

4. The Hangar 

The Hangar

Status: Confirmed


 Opening in: 2015

Concept artwork shows a new restaurant with an aviation theme, to be located close to Paradiso 37 in Disney Springs. Little is known about the restaurant, which is expected to open as part of the second phase of Disney Springs in late 2015.

3. The BOATHOUSE

The BOATHOUSE

Status: Confirmed
 

Opening in: Early 2015

Disney recently released new details about The BOATHOUSE (including its all-caps name) and have confirmed that this establishment will be more than just your run of the mill dining establishment. Within its walls, The BOATHOUSE will have three different bars, three different dining rooms, and will also be the launching point for several small water cruises around Disney Springs, including an Italian-style dessert cruise. Read more about The BOATHOUSE here.

2. Amphicars

Amphicars

Status: Confirmed


Opening in: Early 2015

When The BOATHOUSE was dated and detailed a few weeks ago, we were also able to learn quite a bit more about the Amphicars that were rumored for Disney Springs. We now know that these vehicles will launch from The BOATHOUSE and can be used for guests to take a guided tour around Disney Springs. We don’t know how much these Amphicars will cost to rent or how these vehicles will be managed, but we do know that these Amphicars will be appearing for hire in Spring 2015, when The BOATHOUSE opens along with the first phase of Disney Springs.

1. Avatar boat ride

Avatar

Status: Confirmed
 

Opening in: 2017

Housed partially on the ground floor of the same building that will host the flying attraction, and partially outside, will be a "C-Ticket" boat ride. Speculation suggests that Disney will employ advanced audio-animatronics to bring to life the inhabitants of Pandora as guests travel around the circuit.

The attraction will be a water-based dark ride through the planet's beautiful jungles at night, when bioluminescent plants begin to glow. This boat ride will be only the second dark ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom (after the fast-paced, thrilling Dinosaur) and will offer a much-needed family ride to the park's roster as well. Construction on the show building for this ride has yet to begin, but the walled-off area around where this attraction has been growing in recent weeks, enveloping new sections of the park. 

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