If you ever thought about taking a first trip to Walt Disney World, or better yet, going back, there’s never been a better time. So many great things are happening in the parks and there’s so much more yet to come. I never need a reason to visit Walt Disney World. It’s my happy place and I love the magic I get to share with my family. In case you are trying to convince your spouse, mother, sister, brother, or yourself that you really need to go on a trip to Walt Disney World next year, here are 18 reasons to visit in 2018.
- Toy Story Land is opening! Get ready to join Andy and all his friends is a brand-new area at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There will be a family roller coaster called Slinky Dog Dash and an Alien Swirling Saucers attraction. The land is scheduled to open the summer of 2018. Although an exact date hasn’t been released yet, it would make sense to have the land open on May 1, 2018, the 29th anniversary of the original Disney-MGM Studios. Although we’re hearing the target data may be close to July… who knows?! It’s anyones guess!
- Great experiences are on the way! Huge announcements were made at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California July 14-16th. So many amazing attractions and experiences are coming to the Disney parks over the next several years. Expect to see a Tron rollercoaster and new theater debut at Magic Kingdom as well as several new attractions (Ratatouille and Guardians of the Galaxy themed) open in Epcot. When new attractions are created, sometimes old things are removed or changed. With these major developments, you can bet more and more people will be flocking to the Walt Disney World Resort. Spring and Fall of 2018 might be the last time for a while to visit without navigating major crowds, plus, you’ll get to see some of your favorite attractions in case they disappear.
- Epcot has a new dessert party! The Frozen Ever After Dessert Party replaced the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party this summer. Desserts and beverages are Frozen themed with delicious treats such as Olaf’s Warm Double Chocolate S’mores Pudding Cake, Anna’s Blue Velvet Cupcakes, and Sven’s Fresh Fruits & Berries. After IllumiNations, guests can ride Frozen Ever After in Norway, without having to use a FastPass! This is a great new way to celebrate a special occasion and get an extra FastPass at the same time.
- Disney Springs will have eight new dining locations for your 2018 enjoyment! First, Terralina Crafted Italian will replace Portobello Country Italian Trattoria in The Landing near Paddlefish by the fall of 2017. The Edison will open on New Years Eve – Dec 31, 2017 after much anticipation. We expect Mario & Enzo’s Ristorante, Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar, and Pizza Ponte to open at the start of the year. Wine Bar George will open in 2018 and will feature over 100 wine selections and shareable plates. The Edison will have American cuisine, craft drinks, and live entertainment. In 2018, Jaleo will open on the West Side and deliver a menu with a Spanish flair. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill will also open sometime in 2018 in Town Center. That’s a lot of good eatin’ coming your way!
- Pandora- The World of AVATAR just opened on May 27, 2017. It’s been a popular place this summer with lines for Flight of Passage often at a 120-minute wait. It’s also been nearly impossible to adopt a banshee of your very own. Next year, the masses should die down to a more manageable level as the novelty wears off a little. If you didn’t get there this year, 2018 would be the perfect time to experience the newest land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
- There is a new transportation option to make your trip even more personalized. Disney just unveiled Minnie Vans that can transport guests to various places around Disney property. The vans are in testing phase at select locations right now, so when you visit in 2018, they will most likely be all over the Walt Disney World Resort. Sounds like 2018 is a great time to make early morning breakfast reservations without worrying about how to get there! (Note: This is not a free transportation service. The current one-way price is $20.)
- A parade replacement? This may be more hope than what will actually happen, but Magic Kingdom has been without a nighttime parade since the fall of 2016. Although nothing was revealed at D23, Disney always makes surprise announcements throughout the year. Here’s to hoping that by 2018, there is a new nighttime parade at Magic Kingdom. (Fingers crossed with a sprinkle of Pixie Dust!)
- It’s a cost-effective decision. You should visit in 2018 because it’s only going to get more expensive. Even with discounts that seem to happen at certain times each year, prices will only increase as time goes on. If you go in 2018 it will be cheaper than if you wait for 2019 or beyond!
- Lots of refurbishments will be completed. Mission: SPACE added a new mission to “soar around Earth” as well as a new kid-friendly Green Mission, in 2017. Hall of Presidents, just reopened this week. Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, and the Liberty Square Riverboat are all getting updates early this year – plus a new UP themed show is on its way to Animal Kingdom!
- There’s always something new to see. This is true even if you visit Walt Disney World every year. It’s impossible to see everything each time you visit. On top of that, Disney is always releasing new or limited time events. 2017 saw the replacement of Wishes with Happily Ever After. The Magic Kingdom also welcomed The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History and iCan the SHOWBOT. Disney’s Hollywood Studios debuted Disney Movie Magic and a new meet and greet with Star Lord baby Groot. There’s always something new to see and do.
- Special occasions don’t happen all the time, and when they do, you want to celebrate them in a way you will never forget. Whether it is a birthday milestone, graduation, anniversary, or a goal you have met such as weight loss, beating cancer, or getting your black belt in karate- there is no better place to celebrate than at Disney World.
- There are extraordinary annual events such as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Both parties offer meet and greets with rare characters (the Christmas Party has been known to have all seven dwarfs at once!) and specialty merchandise and desserts. If you haven’t taken part in one of these exciting special events, you might want to go in 2018.
- You never know when your favorite attraction might go bye-bye. Stitch’s Great Escape and La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil will be gone forever by year’s end. Not to mention, the Great Movie Ride and Ellen’s Energy Adventure at Epcot closed in 2017 with only a short notice before their end dates. The point is, there’s rarely a warning and you never know when something you really like might be gone for good.
- Many resorts are being upgraded! Disney’s Pop Century is currently undergoing an entire room renovation refurbishment. By May2018, all rooms will be converted to a fresh-new design. (About half the resort is done now.) Disney’s Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs have been involved in refurbishments for months with completion expected in 2019. That gives you at least three resorts with a fresh facelift for your enjoyment!
- It’s the best bang for your buck. A trip to Walt Disney World is really the ultimate vacation spot. Once you’ve paid for your room and tickets, the main part of your vacation is taken care of. The only thing left to worry about is your food and souvenirs. Where else can you go where all your entertainment is included?
- The return of a new event. The Epcot International Festival of the Arts was a huge success in 2017 and is returning in 2018 featuring Broadway performers, incredible artists, lots of workshops and amazing food.
- 2019 is going to be insane! When the new Star Wars Land (recently named Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge) opens, the parks are expected to be crowded. Extremely crowded. A lot more crowded than usual. If crowds aren’t your thing, plan a visit for 2018, then wait a few years before you return.
- You need to go in 2018 because of the magical feeling you get from being at Disney World. Anyone who has ever visited knows the feeling when you walk through the gates and see Cinderella Castle for the first or fiftieth time. It’s the feeling of pure happiness. Your heart will thank you.
With 18 reasons to visit Walt Disney World in 2018, do you really need any more? Disney is constantly adding and renovating and this is only the tip of what 2018 will bring. In fact, 2017 saw many additions throughout the year including The Music of Pixar Live!- featuring a live symphony playing all of your favorite Pixar songs. What reason do you have for visiting? With all the new restaurants in Disney Springs, attractions being added to the theme parks, and resort upgrades, you may need more than a week!
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by Kimberly Masimore