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16 Reasons 2016 Will Be An ‘Unforgettable’ Year at Walt Disney World Resort

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

With innovative attractions and entertainment set to debut at Walt Disney World Resort in 2016, plus new dining locations and inaugural sporting events on the horizon, the year 2016 is shaping up to be truly Unforgettable for our guests.

If you’re considering planning a Disney vacation in 2016, be sure to check out our 16 reasons why the new year should be the year for your visit!


  1. Experience The Newest Offerings, Like Jungle Skipper Canteen & More – The new year is the perfect time to explore the latest and greatest guest offerings that will debut in late 2015, including the Jungle Skipper Canteen restaurant at Magic Kingdom Park; Club Disney at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; and the Ganachery candy shop at Disney Springs.


  1. Wonder at the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Through January 3 – The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights will end its holiday run at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on January 3, 2016. Enjoy this holiday offering in its finale season while you can.

Star Wars Launch Bay at Disneyland Park

  1. Enjoy “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” Fireworks – Disney’s Hollywood Studios will debut its latest Star Wars-inspired experience with the addition of “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks, beginning December 18. (And don’t forget the newly launched Star Wars Launch Bay experiences, pictured above).


  1. runDisney Events – The 2016 runDisney racing season kicks off January 6-10 with the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. This will be the first of four racing weekends held at the resort in 2016. Visit the official runDisney site for more information.


  1. Experience Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Grown-up guests can party with the Disney Villains in a soiree led by Dr. Facilier at the new Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The fun starts January 16.


  1. Experience The Magic of Nature With “Rivers of Light” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Starting this spring, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will come alive at night with the new Rivers of Light show. This innovative show will feature entertainers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery in a performance that truly brings the animal kingdom to life at night.


  1. Explore The Kilimanjaro Safaris After Sunset – Kilimanjaro Safaris will expand operating hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, allowing guests to travel through the African savanna amid the orange glow of the setting sun. Look for it this spring at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


  1. Dine at Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – The park’s newest eatery will open its doors this spring to offer a menu inspired by the places the Imagineers traveled when developing the park.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

  1. Enjoy Springtime Events at Walt Disney World Resort – Dates have already been released for fun springtime events, including the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (March 2-May 30); and Raglan Road’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival (March 17).


  1. Experience Frozen Ever After at Epcot – The new “Frozen”-inspired attraction will open its doors in Epcot’s World Showcase this spring. In it, guests will be transported to the Winter in Summer Celebration where Queen Elsa creates a special day for the kingdom. Guests will also travel to Elsa’s Ice Palace, the ice-blue world of the North Mountain, and the Bay of Arendelle.


  1. Stop By The New Frozen Character Greeting Location at Epcot – Meet the royal sisters Anna and Elsa at Epcot at a new dedicated character greeting location starting in spring.


  1. Celebrate The Invictus Games at ESPN Wide World of SportsThe Invictus Games will come to the United States for the first time ever in 2016. The games celebrate our wounded servicemen and women from around the world competing in a variety of sports events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex May 8-12.

Walt Disney World Photo Gallery Disc

  1. Remember Magic Kingdom Park’s 45th Anniversary – Magic Kingdom Park, the first Disney park to open at Walt Disney World, will mark its 45th anniversary on October 1. Keep your eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more information.


  1. Share An Unforgettable Fall – A new year means the return of our favorite fall events, including The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties.

Disney characters dressed in their holiday finest parade down Main Street, U.S.A., at Magic Kingdom during "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade." The festive processional is one of the happy highlights of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, a night of holiday splendor with lively stage shows, a unique holiday parade, Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season nighttime fireworks, and snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A. The special-ticket event takes place on select nights in November and December in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Ryan Wendler, photographer)

  1. Celebrate The Holiday SeasonMickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties, and more. Keep watching the Disney Parks Blog for news and dates on our returning special events.


  1. Try New Dining Offerings at Disney Springs – Disney Springs will continue to grow in 2016, with plans to add new eateries like STK Orlando, plus the opening of Town Center, which will feature Zara, Lilly Pulitzer, UGG, UNIQLO and many others. Watch the Disney Parks Blog for more information and opening dates.


  • Wow so much to look forward to ! My family’s favorite upcoming attraction is Frozen Ever After. My girls are going to love it.

  • I have to say that I have just had one of the most amazing Disney Visits in a long time, and as a Florida Resident that is saying something. First, CLUB VILLAIN!!! WOW! It was amazing. The food, the drinks, the villains. Worth every penny! The interaction with the villains was just fantastic. This was not just a meet and greet it was interaction. The service was terrific. I have a gluten allergy and was asking about contents of some of the desserts; Damien went and got me a Gluten Free dessert plate and delivered it to my table!

    Then we got to try the new Skippers Canteen and it is one of my new favorite restaurants at MK. Again, food and service superb!

    And the new Hollywood fireworks are spectacular!!!! (I think I am running out of adjectives!!!)

  • I am interested in the Star Wars Launch Bay! How does this work. I see no fastpasses for this. Is it just a walk thru with photo ops? Looks great!!
    Did this replace Animation Studio?

  • SOOO excited to hear that 2016 will be the last season of Osborne Lights, my kids saw it on TV and were bummed when I told them they were ending this year. Christmas 2016 trip ON! We can’t wait to see it.

  • Do we get answers to our queries?

  • Club Villain is only available for 6 evenings? I’m planning to go in March and was hoping to do that for my birthday. I had read somewhere that you could only book 90 days in advance, meaning that March 5th should be available by now.

  • You mentioned Spring for several things. Are we talking literal Spring (end of March until end of June)? I ask because we have 6 month tickets which will run out at the end of May!

  • Can anyone tell me when in Spring 2016 these attractions will be finished? This is driving me craaazzy! We have a spring break trip booked for early March. Our break is the week of the 13th. I know spring is technically not until March 20th. It seems we will just miss everything. What are the chances any of the new things will be ready then? I know we will still get to enjoy the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. Frozen in Epcot and Animal Kingdom River of Light????? New Kilimanjaro Safari? I know last year at that time we were among the first to see the new afternoon parade. Generally we never seem to be so lucky.

  • Can’t wait for my visit in late Oct and part of November next year. Five years saving and it will be well worth it with so much new stuff to see and do. Look forward to it and to the updates on the Blog. Very excited!!

  • Wow, so much to look forward to! Do you know if there will be any special dining (dessert parties) for Symphony in the Stars? Also, any information as to when we can start booking the Jungle Skipper Canteen?

  • Christopher: Yes, the Flower & Garden Fest. runs from March 2 to May 30.

  • This post indicates that Symphony in the Stars will begin January 5. The post earlier today about the new Star Wars events at HS states that it “blasts off” December 18 (which makes sense with the movie release). Do you know which date is correct?

    • Michelle, you’re correct. The fireworks begin December 18.

  • I sincerely hope you have something cool lined up for the holidays at Hollywood Studios next year. I’ve waited literally years to see the Osbourne Lights and the year I plan to go you’re stopping them.

  • Any word on whether there will be a 2nd Annual One More Disney Day for Leap Day?

  • Hello! I thought the flower and garden festival had been extended to May 29th or 30th?

  • Jennifer, please toss us a bone – when can we make reservations for the Skipper Canteen? We hear it’s ready to begin serving almost any day now!

  • So exciting! And to think you didn’t even list soarin over the world (unless I missed it)

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