Change is constant at Walt Disney World, and for this winter's update on all of the big changes happening around the resort we take a look at an exciting addition at Disney Springs with interesting implications for the future, some new developments at the Magic Kingdom, plus CEO Bob Iger confirms that Disney is planning to build more hotels at Walt Disney World sometime in the near future.
13. Tomorrowland gets a makeover
While it wasn't ever officially announced, over the past few weeks Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom has been getting a quiet makeover, with the iconic red rocks at the front of this land getting a metallic blue new sheen and attractions like the Carousel of Progress getting new exterior paint and signage. Even Space Mountain has gotten some subtle upgrades in the form of new lighting and a cleaned up outside. And while not confirmed, these Tomorrowland upgrades are likely also going to pave the way for for what is strongly rumored to be a Wreck-It Ralph virtual reality attraction, currently said to be targeting a late 2017 or early 2018 opening. We've got a lot more information about this rumored new attraction here.
12. Drones now officially flying overhead at Walt Disney World
Though Disney patented special drone technology known as "Flixels" for some time, in late 2016 the resort was granted permission from the FAA to fly drones over its own airspace. Not even a week after this approval was first announced, Disney announced a limited-time offering that would see drones forming a giant Christmas Tree over Disney Springs during the Christmas season. Though not technically a show, this entertainment offering will be a crucial test for this new technology, and should pave the way for more sophisticated use of drones around the resort in the near future.
11. Marvel slowly creeps into Walt Disney World
Five years ago the thought of Marvel characters in Walt Disney World seemed unthinkable, thanks to the iron-clad licensing deal Marvel signed with Universal back in the 1990s when Marvel Super Hero Island was being developed for Islands of Adventure. However, fast-forward to today, and guests can find Doctor Strange at Disney's Hollywood Studios, as well references in the parks to characters like Daredevil and Spider-Man. And of course, we would be remiss not to mention the rumor about a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction either coming to Epcot or Disney's Hollywood Studios sometime in the next five years.
Though Disney is certainly starting small with Marvel at Walt Disney World (and certainly working within legal constraints), it looks like characters from this Universe will be a big part of the resort's future moving forward, in as much of a capacity as they can be under the terms of the current legal contract.
10. More hotels confirmed for Walt Disney World
During a recent earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger hinted that more hotels could be on the way soon for Walt Disney World, saying "We also have other kinds of expansion opportunities, like hotels, for instance." Iger continued to say, "Not only do we have the property, but we've seen such high occupancy rates in Orlando and California, we believe it would be smart for us to build more hotels out ... at both sites."
While we don't know when or where more hotels are going be built at Walt Disney World, it looks like more expansions are coming...and soon!