Disney has been making headlines in the news in recent years, with a number of major blockbuster films, giant acquisitions, and long awaited additions to their massive theme parks in Florida and California. Ever the popular vacation getaway for families with kids of all ages, Walt Disney World Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim, California have been favorite travel destinations for generations. While anyone who’s been can surely name the popular sites like Space Mountain, Magic Kingdom, or Hollywood Studios, a sudden burst of highly-anticipated new Disney attractions are slated to hit parks on both coasts in the coming years.
The parent company of ABC, ESPN, and Pixar also owns Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm, two names any comic book or sci-fi nerd should instantly recognize. Marvel is behind some of the best superhero movies over the past 15 years, responsible for titles like Iron Man, Captain America, The Avengers, and the 2014 breakout hit Guardians of the Galaxy. Meanwhile, Lucasfilm is the studio that once owned the Star Wars franchise, which consisted of six films before Disney purchased the company and the Star Wars brand. The acquisition was huge news when it happened back in 2012, with Disney shelling out more than $4 billion.
Despite the huge costs of these acquisitions, Disney is expected to recoup their expenses innumerably. A new Guardians of the Galaxy film is set to release on May 5th, while two new Star Wars films are still to follow the massive acclaim earned from Episode VII: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. What’s more, Disney plans to capitalize on their smash hits with all-new attractions in their theme parks, offering guests an immersive experience into their favorite movies.
Most notably, Disneyland will be adding a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction in the Disney California Adventure Park this summer. It was big news when Disneyland announced they’d be shutting down the fan-favorite Tower of Terror ride (the one in Orlando still stands), but even bigger news followed when they announced an all-new attraction called “Mission: BREAKOUT!”
The new attraction will be the first in a line of Disneyland Guardians of the Galaxy rides, where guests can interact with their favorite characters from the film and enjoy its popular soundtrack. Tower of Terror fans shouldn’t be too dismayed—the new ride will still feature a free fall-style thrill that made the Tower famous.
Disneyland has also cleared out the Big Thunder Ranch area of the park to make way for a new Star Wars-themed land that will showcase rides, visual attractions and more. That one won’t be coming until 2019 (more on this new park below).
On the East Coast, Walt Disney World has big plans. The first and foremost is the Star Wars theme park to be added onto the existing park for 2019. An all new land ready to explore, this 14-acre addition will contain at least two new rides centered around the Millennium Falcon and a pivotal battle with First Order stormtroopers. Current Walt Disney World Star Wars attractions consist of a fireworks show dubbed “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” and “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far, Away,” a live entertainment show.
However, other new attractions are hitting the Florida park sooner. This year, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will debut “Pandora – The World of Avatar.” This newly-constructed land will include two attractions—The Na’vi River Journey is a water-based thrill ride taking guests through bioluminescent rainforests. The Avatar Flight of Passage will allow guests to soar over the park on the back of one of Avatar’s legendary flying Banshees. The new park will open in May of this year.
In addition to the Star Wars and Avatar attractions, Epcot will be adding an outdoor tequileria featuring craft margaritas and Mexican cuisine. Disney Springs will also be upping its dining and drinking venues, with new restaurants and bars planned to open throughout the year.
All these new Disney attractions can seem a bit overwhelming—you may even be wondering how you can try them all! Luckily, a timeshare resale or rental in the heart of the two Disney theme parks can help you check out all-new attractions every single year affordably. For those seeking the newest additions at Disneyland, check out the deals available at the Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian. Walt Disney World Orlando travelers have more options, with many Disney resorts encircling the theme park. Shop for deals at the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian for a luxurious experience, or at Disney’s BoardWalk Villas for a lakeside retreat.