Happy 2018 Disney friends! And what an exciting year it’s shaping up to be at Walt Disney World. The year ahead is already guaranteed to be one of Walt Disney World’s best and to give you a taste of all of the excitement that awaits visitors over the next 12 months here are 18 fantastic reasons why Walt Disney World is the place to be in 2018.
1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi Memorabilia On Display at Star Wars Launch Bay – Fans of the latest film in the Star Wars franchise will not want to miss this display at Disney’s Hollywood Studios which includes props and models from The Last Jedi.
2. Star Wars Hyper-Reality Experience Now at Disney Springs – Star Wars fans won’t want to miss this newly opened experience by ILMxLAB and The VOID. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire transports guests deep into the Star Wars universe allowing you to join your friends walking freely throughout a multisensory experience. Visitors join one of four teams to go undercover as stormtroopers to capture Imperial intelligence vital to the Rebellion’s survival.
3. Two New Destinations Added to Star Tours – This much-loved attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take passengers to two new and exciting destinations: Crait, the site of the epic Star Wars: The Last Jedi battle and Batuu, the remote outpost that guests will get to explore when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens at the park in 2019.
4. Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary – Starting on January 3rd, the Walt Disney World Marathon will mark its 25th Anniversary. The race weekend will “run” from January 3–7. Races include a 5K, 10K and half-and-full marathons. Learn more about runDisney races here.
5. Epcot’s Festival of the Arts is Back for a Second Year Starting January 12th – The Epcot International Festival of the Arts will be back from January 12 – February 19th. This year’s event will offer even more seminars, workshops and classes. Topics covered include drawing animation, photography and floral arranging just to name a few! For a closer look at some of the classes on offer check out this article.
6. Exclusive After Hours Event Makes a Comeback at Magic Kingdom Park in Early 2018- Disney After Hours events return to Magic Kingdom on January 19, 26, and 30, February 8 and 15 and March 1 and 8. This special ticketed event takes place after the park closes and is only open to a limited number of guests which means you won’t have to wait in line to enjoy your favorite attractions. Check out this article for a closer look at Disney After Hours.
7. 8 New Dining Locations Will Be Opening at Disney Springs This Year – The Edison, Maria & Enzo’s, Enzo’s Hideaway, and Pizza Ponte are scheduled to open in early 2018. In addition, Terraline Crafted Italian, Wine Bar George, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill and Jaleo are set to make their debuts later in the year.
8. The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary – This year’s festival will run from February 28-May 28. The 90-day event brings with it a multitude of Disney character topiaries, tasty offerings at 15 Outdoor Kitchens, garden tours, the Garden Rocks music series, new kids’ activities, the Egg-Stravaganza scavenger hunt and much more. For a look at the Garden Rocks concert schedule click here.
9. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Celebrates It’s 20th Anniversary – Walt Disney World’s theme park dedicated to celebrating life in the animal kingdom will mark a milestone 20th anniversary on Earth Day, April 22, this year. Keep following alon with Disney Addicts to find out what special events Disney has planned to mark the occassion.
10. An “UP”-Inspired Show Will Debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom This Spring – That’s not all that’s happening at Animal Kingdom this year. A new show featuring Russell and Dug from Disney•Pixar’s film “UP” will replace the existing Flights of Wonder production. The new offering will focus on the amazing birds that call Animal Kingdom home.
11. Ring in St. Patrick’s Day the Irish Way at Raglan Road in Disney Springs – On March 17th, Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant will definitely be the place to celebrate all things, Irish. They will be offering live music, Irish dancing and so much more so mark your calendars.
12. Toy Story Land Opens in Summer 2018 – The newest land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will officially open this summer. Two new attractions will take center stage: Alien Swirling Saucers and the Slinky Dog Dash family coaster. Guests visiting earlier in the year should stop by Walt Disney presents where you can view a model and check out some of the attraction vehicle maquettes. Click here for more info.
13. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort Enhancements Will Debut This Summer – Caribbean Beach Resort is getting quite the facelift. Transformations are currently being made to the lobby and food court. A magnificent waterfront area featuring outdoor dining is also being added. For a closer look at the exciting changes check out this article.
14. Get Into The Halloween Spirit At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – Have those Halloween costumes at the ready and be prepared for some Spooktacular fun as Magic Kingdom celebrates the Halloween Season. This special ticketed event includes“Happy HalloWishes” fireworks, the “Boo-To-You Halloween Parade” and more.
15. Fall Will Be Unforgettable With The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Plan for a delcious fall with the return of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The 2018 event will feature many guest favorites – including global marketplaces, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, guest chef appearances, culinary demonstrations, beverage seminars and so much more.
16. Holiday Favorite Events Will Return – November will mark the return of another fantastic Christmas Season at Walt Disney World. This includes the 2018 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties at Magic Kingdom Park, the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, the Flurry of Fun celebration Disney’s Hollywood Studios as well as holiday shopping and entertainment at Disney Springs.
17. ESPN Wide World of Sports Will Expand – ESPN Wide World of Sports will open a new multi-use sports and entertainment venue in 2018. The new space will seat over 8,000 guests and can host six regulation basketball courts, six regulation volleyball courts or concert configurations. For cheer and dance events, it will accommodate performance and warm-up space and include a flexible design for one large competition space that can be set up for as many as four competition areas. Additional areas can be tailored for warm-up and practice, along with areas for judges and officials. There will be concessions throughout the building, and additional box office and entry to the complex.
18. Look For More Updates on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2019 – Slated to open in 2019, this entire land will allow guests to visit a remote trading port on the edge of wild space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life – and where guests will find themselves in the middle of the action. The lands will feature two major attractions that put guests in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Each attraction – and even the land itself – will offer guests the chance to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe like never before.
I think you’ll agree that its shaping up to be an extraordinary 2018! Keep following along with Disney Addicts and our sister site Chip and Co. for the latest in Walt Disney World news and updates.
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