The Year in Review: Top Disney News Stories of 2017

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!

Ready to ring in the New Year!

Ready to ring in the New Year!

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!

Let’s go!

Disney Tech: Mobile Order and Minnie Vans

This year Disney introduced two exciting enhancements that we absolutely love – Mobile Order and Minnie Vans!

Sign directing to Regular and Mobile Order

Sign directing to Regular and Mobile Order

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!

See a full list of restaurants offering Mobile Order here!

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!

Minnie Van

Minnie Van

Pandora – The World of Avatar Opens

After years of anticipation, Pandora – The World of Avatar opened in May at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Pandora at Night

Pandora at Night

Pandora Wait Times...once you actually get into Pandora...on opening day

Pandora Wait Times…once you actually get into Pandora…on opening day

Pandora is home to two attractions — Avatar Flight of Passage and the Na’vi River Journey, the Quick Service restaurant Satu’li Canteen, and a bar — Pongu Pongu.

Night Blossom and Moara Margarita at Pongu Pongu

Night Blossom and Moara Margarita at Pongu Pongu

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!

Brown Derby Lounge Margarita Flight

Brown Derby Lounge Margarita Flight

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!

Bison Cheeseburger and Waffle Fries at Geyser Point Bar and Grill

Bison Cheeseburger and Waffle Fries at Geyser Point Bar and Grill

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.

Maine Lobster Roll at Ale & Compass Restaurant

Maine Lobster Roll at Ale & Compass Restaurant

Choza de Margarita finally opened in Epcot this fall and we were very excited to get to check out the new outdoor margarita bar!

Margaritas at Choza de Margarita

Margaritas at Choza de Margarita

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!

Create Your Own Beer Flight

Create Your Own Beer Flight

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!

The Edison

The Edison

Pizza Ponte opened just before Christmas (check out the full review here!) and we’re eagerly awaiting the opening of Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante and Enzo’s Hideaway.

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!

Star Wars-themed hotel artwork

Star Wars-themed hotel artwork

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!

Caribbean Beach Resort Station ©Disney

Caribbean Beach Resort Station ©Disney

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.

Caribbean Beach Resort Concept Art ©Disney

Caribbean Beach Resort Concept Art ©Disney

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.

Artist's Rendering of the New Tower at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort © Disney

Artist’s Rendering of the New Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort © Disney

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.

Toy Story Land ©Disney

Toy Story Land ©Disney

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.

Pixar Pier concept art ©Disney

Pixar Pier concept art ©Disney

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!

Club 33 inside entrance

Club 33 inside entrance

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!

Dark Chocolate S’mores

Dark Chocolate S’mores

We’re also really excited to see Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios next summer and check out the all-new Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure!

And..that’s a wrap on 2017!

Going to Disney World in 2018? Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney Fun!

The 2018 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, is now available for Pre-Order!

2017 DFB Guide to WDW Dining Cover March 6

With more than 650 pages, the 2018 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 20+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With mini-reviews of every single restaurant, bar, lounge, kiosk and more; an entire chapter on the best snacks in Disney World; full Disney Dining Plan analysis (and how to get FREE dining); and a full chapter on discounts and deals; you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet. Click here to pre-order your copy of the 2018 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining E-book with code WDW2018 to save 25% today!

But there’s MORE! Just like all DFB pre-order deals — when you pre-order your DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book, 2018 Edition today for 25% off the cover price, you’ll also get our fully updated 2017 Edition immediately for FREE immediately, so you can start planning TODAY!

Use code WDW2018 at check-out for a 25% off the cover price, AND get the 2017 edition for free!

Our guides are backed by a 100% money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose. :-)

ready-to-shop-button

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.

Comments

  1. Dylan Talerico says

    Happy New Year! I really appreciate all that you do for the Disney Food Blog, keep up the great work! Can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *