Hello, and welcome to the final Dateline Disney World of 2016! This week, we’re taking a look at everything that happened over the course of the year at Walt Disney World.
Baymax started meeting and greeting at Epcot.
Captain EO was replaced by the Pixar Short Film Festival.
Pizza Planet did not make it through 2016.
Neither did these meet and greets in the back of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Star Wars fireworks were the nighttime story at DHS.
We visited the Skipper Canteen for the first time at the Magic Kingdom.
Pecos Bill Cafe dramatically changed its menu, shying away from the traditional burgers and chicken fingers.
Pandora kept growing at Animal Kingdom
As did the themed areas for Rivers of Light.
Frozen themed areas were still being constructed early in the year at Epcot.
Epcot celebrated another Flower and Garden Festival.
Epcot’s Amazing Topiary’s.
Walls went up at the old Pizza Planet at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and had lots of Muppet clues.
The Streets of America were visited for the last time.
Walls went up early in the year to prepare for the new Star Wars themed land coming to the park.
The Writer’s Stop didn’t survive 2016 either.
A final look at the Backlot Tour, which left to make room for both Star Wars and Toy Story lands.
More growth and detail at Pandora.
My Disney Experience saw a huge update that involved making Fastpasses at different parks and more than three a day.
Walls went up at Carousel of Progress.
Hard to believe it, but Disney Springs was very far from finished in the first half of 2016.
Details for Rivers of Light started to show, even if the show was delayed far past its targeted Memorial Day opening (STILL not open, though testing now).
Will 2017 Bring a end to this happy fellow?
We finally got to see the new Disney Springs.
Many restaurants and shops were added, making this area very popular.
Wild colors showed up at Carousel of Progress.
The new Frozen meet and greet opened at Epcot, moving the sisters from MK to their permanent home in World Showcase.
Shanghai Disneyland opened! Epcot added a preview center for it in the China pavilion.
Soarin’ Around the World opened, along with higher capacity due to a third theater being added.
Frozen Ever After opened in summer, replacing Maelstrom and has had huge waits ever since.
We got our first taste of Tiffins and the Nomad Lounge.
Animal Kingdom also extended its hours, and provides a jaw dropping nighttime atmosphere.
After an unfortunate incident in which a child was dragged into the Seven Seas Lagoon by an alligator and killed, many new warning signs for wildlife have been placed throughout the parks and hotels.
PizzeRizzo was announced and we all breathed a sigh of relief that the Muppets were safe at DHS.
Big Thunder Mountain was down for several months with a long refurbishment.
Haunted Mansion also got a well needed exterior refurbishment.
More shops and restaurants continued to open at Disney Springs.
With the Zika scare, all of the Orlando parks had mosquito prevention stations.
Halloween was celebrated at the Magic Kingdom.
Tomorrowland’s rocks are now blue. Do you like the new hue?
Pandora lost some scaffolding and keeps moving towards a summer 2017 opening.
Dinosaur went down for a VERY extensive refurbishment that took several months.
Epcot had its longest Food and Wine Festival yet.
The Streets of America facades got bulldozed.
As did the Backlot area.
In what is possibly the best addition to the parks this year, the Muppets took over Liberty Square with a hilarious and educational show about American history.
Carousel of Progress got an awesome new sign.
In a sign of the times, Stitch’s Great Escape now only operates in seasonal capacity mode.
The holidays arrived!
Swiss Family Treehouse reopened after a long refurbishment in tip-top shape.
DHS celebrated its first holiday season without the Osborne Lights, and it was certainly missed.
There was a Doctor Strange meet and greet for a few weeks. You wouldn’t know though, as it wasn’t advertised in any maps or times guides.
The resorts got decorated for the holiday season.
Holidays Around the World brought the season to Epcot.
Then the Death Star showed up to promote Rogue One.
Disney introduced another money making venture by offering Express Transportation between parks. Pay extra, get there quicker.
Rogue One took over Star Wars Launch Bay.
We got our first glimpse at Pandora theme up close.
After four years, the trails under the Tree of Life reopened to to guests – WITHOUT nets!
Where did the year go? What did you think of 2016 in the parks? Excited for what 2017 will bring? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading . . . we’ll see you again next year!
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