I personally attended the What’s New, What’s Next conference hosted February 10, 2010 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The Mouse crew is busy at work. 2010 marks the largest expansion plan for the Magic Kingdom in Disney history. New ships, return of old favorites, construction in Fantasyland, island make-over, sports partnerships, and new destinations are all on the horizon.
Disney Main Street Electrical Parade returns.
Long-time Disney goers fondly remember the Disney Main Street Electrical Parade that lit up the streets of the Magic Kingdom after dark. This light-filled musical paraded last graced the streets of the Magic Kingdom in 2001. Now a new generation will get the opportunity to enjoy the show. On Wednesday, February 10, 2010, president of Walt Disney World Resort, Meg Crofton announced, “After the sun goes down, our Walt Disney World parks will light up the night with ‘Summer Nightastic!'”
The old familiar will have a new look, though, as new characters such as Pinocchio and Snow White on new floats have been added to the spectacular parade.
Joining the light show will also be The Twighlight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney Hollywood Studios which will welcome guests with new lighting effects and the addition of a new drop sequence this summer.
The MagicKingdom expands Fantasyland.
Get ready fans of Disney Princesses, Fantasyland will be exploding with fairy tale adventures, beginning construction in 2010. Disney princesses Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Aurora, Ariel, and Belle will take center stage in their own theme-crafted villages.
Young princesses in training will be able to celebrate Princess Aurora’s sweet 16 birthday or sing along with Ariel and friends. Young princes can train to be one of Cinderella’s royal knights or take a trip to Beast’s castle. Families will enjoy the new dining experience of Gaston’s Tavern outside of Belle’s village.
The Disney Cruise Line adds two new ships to its fleet.
Two new ships, the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy have been added to the Disney Cruise Line. The Disney Dream will depart in 2011 and the Disney Fantasy will set sail in 2012. The Disney Dream plans include new children’s spaces, family entertainment, and a proposed water coaster ride.
Both ships are two decks taller than their older counterparts the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, which will double capacity for the newer ships.
In addition to the new ship additions, the Disney Cruise line is adding new sailing locations including a five-month season of Northern European and Mediterranean cruises, and Alaska.
Disney Sports joins ESPN to create the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
ESPN and Disney aim to create an immersive sports experience for athletes and fans with the re-launching of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. New additions include a welcome center, digital center, ESPN Wide World of Sport Grill, and live action sports for young and old.
The new complex includes innovative features such as 56 high-definition robotic and handheld cameras capturing action throughout the 220-acre sport campus that can later be edited for display on 40 video screens and two “jumbotrons” in the complex offering fans a personalized sports experience.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will re-launch in February 2010.
Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, gets a make-over.
Guests have been enjoying Disney’s private island experience for many seasons and the island is now getting ready for some extra enhancements in 2010. Additions include an expanded family beach area, a floating water platform complete with two twisting water slides, a new teen retreat, and 20 new private rental cabanas.
Sources: What’s New, What’s Next conference hosted February 10, 2010 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (personally attended) and wdwnews.com