Happy New Year!
There’s no denying that 2017 has been a year of changes, some good and some not-so-good. But when it comes to Disney food news, we have to say this year has been FULL of updates!
And as we get ready to ring in the New Year with party hats, noisemakers, and a toast, we’re taking a few minutes to review some of the biggest Disney Food News stories of 2017!
Disney Tech: Mobile Order and Minnie Vans
Mobile Order allows guests to pre-order and pre-pay for their food at participating Counter Service Restaurants around Disney World, making Quick Service dining a breeze! You can even order your Dole Whip via Mobile Order!
The Minnie Vans transportation service, operated by Lyft, gives guests an inexpensive way to travel from select resort hotels to any location on Disney World property for $20 per ride! The vans carry their own britax car seats as well — an amazing benefit for those of us with car seat-age kiddos. Right now the service is available at the Deluxe Resort hotels but we’re hoping it expands!
Pandora – The World of Avatar Opens
After years of anticipation, Pandora – The World of Avatar opened in May at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
The wait times are still huge for Flight of Passage, but a visit to Pandora is always a must-do at the Animal Kingdom!
Alcohol Added to the Disney Dining Plan
This might be the biggest news ever for the Disney Dining Plan! This past summer we learned that for the first time ever alcohol would be included on the Disney Dining Plan!
This means that specialty beverages — including alcoholic drinks for guests 21-and-over, and milkshakes and other options for guests of any age — are available with the 2018 Disney Dining Plans. This change applies to both Quick Service and Table Service locations!
See our Disney Dining Plan FAQ here!
Restaurant Openings in 2017
This year was another big year of restaurant openings at Disney World – and we’re still waiting for more to open in 2018!
In the beginning of the year Geyser Point Bar & Grill opened at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. This new waterfront dining spot offers bar serving, table service, and quick service dining all with a gorgeous view of Bay Lake!
Roaring Fork at Wilderness Lodge reopened this summer after a refurbishment, and the resort also welcomed the Boulder Ridge Villas and Copper Creek Cabins this year as part of the Disney Vacation Club expansion at the resort!
Over at Disney’s Yacht Club we saw the introduction of the Ale and Compass dining concept that included The Market at Ale & Compass, the updated Ale & Compass Lounge, and the new Ale & Compass Restaurant, which replaced the Captain’s Grille.
Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios we were excited for the opening of Grand Avenue and the new Baseline Tap House! This new bar serves up California wines, beer, and cider along with specialty cocktails and small bites!
Disney Springs is still a hot spot for new restaurants with The Polite Pig opening in April and three new Italian restaurants PLUS The Edison opening this winter!
D23 Announcements and What’s Coming Soon to Disney Parks!
The D23 Expo this past summer was full of big announcements for the Disney Parks including a new Star Wars-themed hotel coming to Disney World, a Ratatouille ride coming to Epcot’s France pavilion, AND a Mission:SPACE restaurant coming to Future World!
Disney World is also building the Disney Skyliner transportation system that will connect Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century, Art of Animation, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
Speaking of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, the hotel is currently in the middle of a huge construction project, which resulted in the closure of the hotel’s restaurants and pool bar earlier this spring. A temporary dining tent is being used right now, but in the summer of 2018 the restaurants will re-open.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is also being updated. The hotel will add a new tower with 500 guest rooms and a rooftop restaurant! Floating gardens, new suites with concierge services, and an island oasis connected by bridges to the rest of the resort will complete the transformation.
The summer of 2018 is going to be big at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, because that’s when we can visit Toy Story Land! This all-new land will feature two new attractions – Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers – in addition to fan favorite Toy Story Mania. A new Quick Service restaurant, Woody’s Lunch Box, is also part of the new land.
Speaking of Pixar films, Paradise Pier out at Disney California Adventure is being re-themed as Pixar Pier! This updated area will feature four neighborhoods representing Pixar films and will result in the closure of Ariel’s Grotto and the Cove Bar.
And what’s a year without a few rumors? Our favorite this year is that FOUR Club 33 Lounges may be opening soon at Walt Disney World! According to the rumor each theme park will get its own Club 33 Lounge! We’re definitely keeping our ears open for more details!
And now, here are a few things that we’re looking forward to in 2018!
Six Things We Can’t Wait for in 2018!
Looking toward the New Year we’re really excited about several of the 2018 Festivals including the Epcot Festival of the Arts (expanded to seven days a week in 2018!), the 25th anniversary of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival, and (of course) the 2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!
And..that’s a wrap on 2017!
We’d love to hear from you! What Disney food story had the biggest impact on you this year? Leave us a comment and let us know.