What's New at Disney World in 2016

Look for unexpected surprises and delights this year and next!

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Disney World
Walt Disney World News / Matt Stroshane

One thing is always constant at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida... that's change. Here's what's new and what's back by popular demand...

Before you Go Information

In case you missed it, Disney World quietly raised their ticket prices again on October 4, 2015. The bad news is a one day ticket now costs $105 for the Magic Kingdom! The good news is the more days you buy, the less it costs you per day — stay 10 days and get in the parks for only $36.50 per day (Park Hopper fees are additional). Also, it will cost you $2 more to park — from $15 to $17 a day!

New 2016 Dates Announced

New dates for some of Disney World's most popular events have been announced. Why not make plans now to attend?

Coming Up in 2016

If you haven't been to Disney World in a while you'll be surprised at all the new attractions and major theme park makeovers, but the best may be yet to come in 2016. Just imagine...

  • One of Disney World's biggest transformations has been Downtown Disney morphing into Disney Springs. Even more new eateries and shops are set to open at the waterfront entertainment and shopping district in 2016
  • Explore the Galaxy at the newly opened Star Wars Launch Bay located in the Animation Courtyard of Disney's Hollywood Studios. Also, new fireworks Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular set to Star Wars music will light up the sky over Disney's Hollywood Studios.
  • In the Spring, 2016, a spectacular evening light show, Rivers of Light will debut at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
  • Frozen fan will be delighted with the planned Frozen Ever After attraction set to open during the Spring of 2016 at Epcot's Norway Pavilion.
  •  The popular ride Soarin' just closed January 4, 2016. It is leaving the skies of California behind and will reopen sometime the summer of 2016 with a new name, Soarin' Around the World, and feature some of the world's most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders.
  • A change that hasn't been popular at all with Star Wars' fans is the elimination of Disney's Star Wars Weekends. The popular event usually held in May is dropping off the galactic radar as Disney plans to break ground on its Star Wars Land themed area in early 2016. It is reported that the planned expansion at Disney's Hollywood Studios will cover about 14 acres.
  • Due to its popularity, Night of Joy will be expanding and changing venues. Previously held exclusively at Disney's Magic Kingdom, the event's concerts will move to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex where Christian songsters will perform on indoor and outdoor concert stages. The event will also include admission to the Magic Kingdom for fun and fellowship among concert-goers.
  • Disney's Festival of the Masters will again be canceled in 2016 due to the construction going on at the previous Downtown Disney.

Attraction Updates

Just in case you missed these changes:

  • The Festival of the Lion King show reopened mid-summer 2014 at an all-new theater in the Africa section of the Animal Kingdom.​
  • A completely reimagined Test Track returned to Epcot in the fall of 2012.
  • America's Bowling Alley, Splitsville, opened in Downtown Disney in the fall of 2012.
  • Star Tours re-opened May 20, 2011, to rave reviews. Its experience has been enhanced and now provides over 50 ride combinations, so riders will likely see something new every time they ride.
  • Cinderella's Golden Carrousel now has a new "princely" name!
  • The Main Street Electrical Parade will be staying on at Disney's Magic Kingdom indefinitely.
  • In July 2011, the classic musical spectacular "Captain EO" returned to Epcot. Captain EO, featuring Michael Jackson, replaced "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience." Captain EO was shown for the last time December 6, 2015.
  • Rapunzel, along with Flynn Rider from the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures animated feature "Tangled," are now greeting guests of all ages in a new interactive "play and greet" offering in Fairytale Garden in Fantasyland at Disney's Magic Kingdom.
  • Fantasy becomes a reality at Disney's Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland. Loyal subjects big and small can visit either Cinderella or Rapunzel and their princes's friends in their royal chambers where guests can get autographs and photos!

Important Past Year's Changes

  • Disney World began testing MyMagic+ early in 2014 with Walt Disney World Resort guests. MyMagic+ will be making the guest experience easier — from vacation planning with MyDisneyExperience.com to theme park visits made easier with MagicBands and FastPass+.
  • While the magical transformation at the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland opened in late 2012, and it has been completed with the opening of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train which rolled out in spring 2015.
  • April 2014 began Anna and Elsa's move from Epcot to Disney's Magic Kingdom. The princesses from Disney's popular "Frozen" will appear together on a daily basis at Disney's new Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland. Cinderella and Rapunzel will continue their royal meet and greets there as well. This is a FastPass+ attraction.
  • Disney World opened its one-of-a-kind pet facility that will provide pet hospitality services including boarding, grooming and doggy day camp with amenities such as luxury suites with television and raised bedding. Your pet can participate in activities that will feature nature walks and playgroups, plus pampering services will range from ice cream treats to bedtime stories. The luxury pet resort is operated by Best Friends Pet Care.
  • If you haven't experienced the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland in the last year, the newly imagined land features an expanded "Dumbo the Flying Elephant," ride (now there are two Dumbos), as well as the air-conditioned, indoor, interactive area that serves the double attraction with a circus theme. Also, open is the Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid, Enchanted Tales with Belle and Ariel's Grotto; and, the Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station will cool you off in the summer heat.
  • A 900-acre luxury resort Four Seasons hotel, developed along the northeast border of Disney World property opened in the summer of 2014. Anchored by the hotel, the development will also include an 18-hole championship golf course, single- and multi-family vacation homes and fractional ownership vacation homes.
Was this page helpful?