This week at Walt Disney World, a lot of big announcements were made, including one about the future of Epcot, confirmation of the opening window of Pandora: The World of Avatar, plus new information about an upcoming "destination" that is set to hit Star Tours next year.
Outside Walt Disney World, the first tickets for Universal's Volcano Bay go on sale, plus big holiday deals are revealed for SeaWorld Orlando as well as LEGOLAND Florida.
1. Epcot overhaul confirmed, but no details provided yet
During an event this past weekend, Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Bob Chapek confirmed that the rumored future overhaul of Epcot (similar to what we are seeing now with Disney's Hollywood Studios) is indeed in the works for the coming years. Though this plan is still in the conceptual phase, Chapek told event attendees that Imagineers are being encouraged to “dream big” in order to create new experiences that are both uniquely Disney and true to Epcot's original vision. Though details were scant, we'd imagine more about this plan will be revealed at next year's D23 Expo event.
2. Pandora: The World of Avatar to debut summer 2017
Disney also revealed this week that the brand new Pandora: The World of Avatar themed land at Disney's Animal Kingdom will be open in less than a year, with the resort committing to a summer 2017 release date for this new land. Additional details about this new land should be made available soon.
3. Star Tours to get Episode VIII new destination, Rogue One is officially left out
Ever since Disney added a new destination to Star Tours last year to celebrate the opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, many have been hoping that Disney would add more destinations based on subsequent films. And earlier this week it was confirmed that filming is now taking place for a new segment that will debut next year in advance of the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VIII. And though that is good news for next year, it looks like those hoping for a new destination based on the upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One will be disappointed.
4. MagicBand 2 to debut soon at Walt Disney World
This week Disney confirmed that the next generation of MagicBand, named MagicBand 2, is officially on its way to Walt Disney World. Though these new devices will be almost identical in function to the current MagicBands in use around the resort, they will sport a whole new look and a removable "Icon" that can be installed in keychains, lanyards, etc. Click here for more on these new MagicBands, and to learn when you can get your hands on one of these redesigned devices.
5. New D-Living store to open at Disney Springs Town Center
Disney has announced that a new store called D-Living is coming to the Town Center district of Disney Springs later this month that will sell seasonal home decor including furnishings, housewares, and décor. The store officially opens on November 23, just in time for the Black Friday shopping holiday.