10 Trends to Look out for at Walt Disney World in 2017By Amanda Kondolojy, Thursday, December 22, 2016 05:41
6. A re-re launch of Disney’s Animal Kingdom
One of the biggest failures of 2016 was that of the re-branding of Disney's Animal Kingodm as a full-day park. While guests might have been initially excited to experience this park after dark, the delay of Rivers of Light really torpedoed these plans, and fans just didn't show up for any of this park's other nighttime attractions, resulting in a return to regular hours this past fall. However, Disney will be trying to re-launch this park again next year, with (hopefully) the long-awaited debut of Rivers of Light in the first half of the year, and then the opening of the bioluminescent Pandora - The World of Avatar in the summer. While Disney's initial plans for nighttime operations at this park may have fallen through, hopefully their second attempt at nighttime operations at Disney's Animal Kingdom will go much smoother.
7. More Star Wars additions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Though we have several years to go before Star Wars Land opens at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney has wasted no time getting Star Wars into this park, and introducing new experiences for fans of this franchise. In 2016, Disney debuted Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular as well as Star Wars: A Galaxy Far Far Away, and even updated the latter towards the end of the year to include a segment based on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
While we're not expecting any new Star Wars-inspired shows in 2017, it has already been announced that Disney will be adding a new "destination" to Star Tours based on Star Wars: Episode VIII, and we'd imagine that new content will be added to the Star Wars Launch Bay (perhaps even a new character meet and greet) to support the release of this new film as well.
8. More upcharge experiences
The final weeks of 2016 saw a huge influx of new upcharge experiences, from $700 tents in Tomorrowland to expensive parade viewing parties with limited viewing area. And while regular guests may not appreciate all these little upcharges, Disney will likely continue to add "premium" options to the Walt Disney World experience in 2017 in an effort to further monetize the theme parks.
9. More incentives for annual passholders
Walt Disney World annual passholders may not make up a majority of daily guests at the resort, but it seems like Disney has gone out of its way to cater to this group in 2016, offering free goodies at Epcot Festivals, expanded discounts on merchandise and dining, and even a passholder-only entrance at the theme parks. And in 2017, Walt Disney World will likely be continuing this trend, as annual passhodlers will be more important than ever, especially if attendance continues to fall below expectations. For this reason, we'd expect annual passholders to get even more perks in 2017, which is definitely a good thing for some of Walt Disney World's most loyal guests.
10. Limited time deals will make an appearance again during “slow” seasons
And speaking of loyal guests, though Disney is looking to ensure annual passholders continue visiting the parks and is courting high-end guests with the expansion of upcharge premium add-ons, Disney will also be extending their hand towards the value-conscious guest next year as well. With so few new attractions opening, we'd expect that Disney will likely be once again offering some pretty deep discounts for on-property hotels during the late spring and early fall "slow" seasons.
Are you thinking about visiting Walt Disney World in 2017?