So, we have made it to 2010. After the minor slump in the 2000s, Disney with Bob Iger at the helm put their focus on what would push Walt Disney World (and the rest of their parks) FORWARD. This decade would have one of the most ambitious expansions and developments not seen since the ’80s! Check out the timeline below to see how in just one short decade, Walt Disney World would evolve into a more complete and updated version of itself.
2011 – September – The luxury residential resort community Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort welcomes its first residents. Designed by Disney Imagineers, the community offers distinctive neighborhoods, expansive nature preserves and concierge-style resident services.
2012 – May 31 – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort opens with a new style of accommodations – Family Suites for parties of up to six people.
2012 – Dec. 6 – New Fantasyland opens at Magic Kingdom Park. The 26-acre expansion of the original land initially includes three new attractions and Be Our Guest Restaurant. Other phases of the new land include Seven Dwarfs Mine Train that opens May 28, 2014.
2013 – MagicBands and the My Disney Experience mobile app launch for all guests, bringing innovative new enhancements to help guests plan and experience Walt Disney World Resort.
2015 – Sept. 29 – Culminating a three-year reimagining of what was previously Downtown Disney, Disney Springs comes to life. The retail, dining and entertainment district will continue to grow, encompassing four “neighborhoods” all themed to Florida towns of the early 20th century.
2016 – April 12 – A 48,000-panel, five-megawatt Mickey-shaped solar array debuts near EPCOT. The facility is able to produce enough power equal to 1,000 residential rooftop systems.
2017 – May 27 – Pandora – The World of Avatar opens as an entirely new themed land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, featuring two attractions, dining, retail and instantly iconic floating mountains.
2018 – June 30 – Toy Story Land opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, allowing guests to play with their favorite toys in Andy’s backyard in three attractions.5 Decades of Magic at Walt Disney World
2019 – July 9 – Gran Destino Tower opens with 500-plus new guest rooms along with new dining and convention spaces, completing a multiyear transformation of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
2019 – Aug. 29 – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The 14-acre land invites guests to experience their own Star Wars stories like never before. One of the most ambitious and technologically advanced attractions created for a Disney park, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens Dec. 5 inside the land.
2019 – Sept. 29 – Disney Skyliner takes flight. This grand, state-of-the-art gondola system connects EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to four Disney Resort hotels.
2019 – Dec. 16 – Disney’s Riviera Resort opens, a Disney Vacation Club property inspired by Europe and imagined by Disney.
2019 – December – A new 270-acre, 57-megawatt solar facility goes online, generating enough renewable clean energy to operate two of Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks annually.5 Decades of Magic at Walt Disney World
Animal Kingdom receiving the addition of Pandora gave an entirely different and much-needed feel to the beloved park. Hollywood Studios, still stuck in the 90s, was and is now expanding their audience – not only with Toy Story but with Star Wars as well. The expansions would serve as a brilliant way to attract new fanbases and keep the parks fresh and new for returning guests.
Beginning the ’20s –
2020 – March 4 – Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the first ride-through attraction in a Disney park dedicated to Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
2021 – Oct. 1 – “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” will begin, saluting the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. The 18-month event will feature new experiences at all four theme parks and beyond, with shimmering EARidescent décor.5 Decades of Magic at Walt Disney World
And here we are! 50 years later and the people at Disney are still finding new and inventive ways to make the magic current and exciting. There is plenty more to come from not only Disney World but the rest of the Disney parks. And though Walts original dream for EPCOT has not exactly turned out the way he dreamed, the growth of our four beloved Disney parks makes a community and experience that cannot be soon forgotten.
Credit for Images/News/Quotes: Disney / Walt Disney World News
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