Hello, and welcome to a special edition of Dateline Disney World! This week, we’re looking back at 2015 to review all changes and happenings that took place at WDW. What were the hits and misses of the year for you?
The lobby of the Polynesian saw some controversial changes. The huge central waterfall was removed to make way for more lobby area.
This view of the Hub vanished to make way for its remodel.
Starbucks opened on Hollywood Blvd at the Studios.
It was announced that this guy would be coming down.
Walt and Mickey were put in a box for a few months while the hub was remodeled.
A Haunted Mansion themed gift shop opened in the Magic Kingdom, which excited fans.
A Sunglass Hut opened in Magic Kingdom, which didn’t excite fans.
Progress continued on the Hub.
Animal Kingdom’s entrance area got a complete makeover.
Down came the Hat!
New animal carvings were added to the Tree of Life area.
A safety railing was added to the Magic Kingdom train station.
Flower and Garden looked beautiful as always.
The Hub renovation opened up new park-like areas for guests to sit and relax.
The statuettes from the Hub also made their way into the new section.
We got closer to a clean view of the Chinese Theater.
The Legend of Jack Sparrow thankfully closed.
The Backlot Tour closed too.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto opened, impressing fans with its great attention to detail and fancy tiki drinks!
The Orange Bird moved to a new location in Adventureland.
Lots of refurbishments took place in Magic Kingdom this year.
New spires of Cinderella Castle started to be added.
The Magic of Disney Animation closed at the Studios.
Mulch, Sweat, and Shears played their last show at WDW.
Under the Sea got the same lighting enhancements DCA’s version got.
Captain EO closed for a Tomorrowland preview.
Construction started which will add Frozen to Epcot’s Norway.
Disney hosted another 24 hour party.
The stunning Harambe Market opened, with lots of great theming and food.
Pirates went down for refurbishment for the entire summer.
Frozen Fun took over the Studios again.
Great Movie Ride got a new sponsor.
Starbucks opened at Animal Kingdom, meaning there is now a Starbucks at all four WDW parks, and two more in Downtown Disney/Disney Springs.
Selfie sticks were banned, and the fans celebrated.
Pandora jewelry made its way onto Main Street.
With the Hub remodel came these nice new trees.
Captain EO came back!
Summertime was busy.
This was one of the many cool merchandise options that were made available this year.
Halloween came and went . . . and made a ton of money for Disney.
We celebrated 20 years of the Food and Wine Festival.
Work continued on Disney Springs towards its 2016 completion date.
We finally got our clean shot of the Chinese Theater!
The new turrets at Magic Kingdom were finished and look great.
Pirates came back from refurbishment looking good, but still suffering from many operational issues that cause the ride to break down frequently.
The holidays returned to the Magic Kingdom.
The Hub remodel is almost 100% finished!
The Osborne Lights danced for the final time this holiday season, making way for Star Wars Land.
Captain EO closed again, this time for a Disney/Pixar short film festival, with shorts that can be found on Netflix.
Someone tried to climb the pavilion at Mexico. . . so the lawyers had signs installed to let everyone know that you shouldn’t be climbing the buildings.
Arendelle continues to grow and will open next year.
A cute culture exhibit opened in Japan at Epcot.
Star Wars Launch Bay opened, along with the new Jedi Training, Path of the Jedi movie, and a new scene was added to Star Tours from The Force Awakens.
The Skipper Canteen was built and opened in Adventureland.
We celebrated Holidays Around the World at Epcot.
Avatar at Animal Kingdom keeps getting bigger and is still scheduled to open in 2017. Yes, it seems like it has been under construction for decades.
The entrance way to Animal Kingdom is now completely redone.
Rivers of Light construction continued, with the first performance scheduled for Spring 2016.
Disney finally acknowledged Avatar’s presence in Animal Kingdom with one construction wall mural.
2015 was a crazy year, and things continue to change at Walt Disney World. We’ll be there to cover all of 2016 and can’t wait to see what the future brings. What were your favorite and least favorite changes this year? What do you hope for in 2016? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!
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