Happy New Year and welcome back to Dateline Disney World! This week, we’re taking a look back at lsome of the news that happened in 2014.

This year, My Disney Experience and MyMagic+ became the standard at WDW.
This year, My Disney Experience and MyMagic+ became the standard at WDW.
The Pirate game in Adventureland opened to good reviews, but not too many crowds.
The Pirate game in Adventureland opened to good reviews, but not to big crowds.
Splash Mountain went under for its yearly refurb.
Splash Mountain went under another long yearly “refurb.”
The cronut arrived!
The cronut arrived at Walt Disney World. Yes, it’s delicious.
Spice Road Table opened in World Showcase, and hasn't been a huge success.
Spice Road Table opened in World Showcase. Though it has amazing views, you can almost always get a table here.
The Let the Memories Begin sign left the Magic Kingdom, and we have this awesome view again!
The Let the Memories Begin sign left the Magic Kingdom, and we have this awesome view again!
The Frozen sisters left their mark on the Norway pavilion, in more ways than one.
The Frozen sisters left their mark on the Norway pavilion, in more ways than one. A temporary meet and greet later gave way to the news that a Frozen themed ride is on the way to the pavilion.
We said goodbye to Mo'Rockin.
We said goodbye to Mo’Rockin.
Nikon overthrew Kodak as the main camera sponsor for the resort.
Nikon overthrew Kodak as the main camera sponsor for the resort.
The new bus depot opened at MK.
The new bus depot opened at MK.
There was another Flower and Garden Fest!
There was another Flower and Garden Fest which continues to blur the lines between Flower and Garden and Food and Wine.

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Casey's Corner saw lots of changes.
Casey’s Corner saw lots of changes as the bleachers have been replaced with tables.

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We lost the Polynesian's original lobby in favor or something wider and different in design.
We lost the Polynesian’s original lobby (above) in favor of a more modern open space.
Cosmic Ray's went to all indoor seating.
Cosmic Ray’s now features all indoor seating.
Festival of Fantasy made its debut!
Festival of Fantasy parade made its debut to rave reviews.

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The big hit of the parade is a fire breathing steampunk dragon.
Walls went up for the massive remodel of the Hub at MK.
Walls went up for the massive remodel of the Hub at the Magic Kingdom. The completed hub will offer more viewing space for castle shows, parades and fireworks.

The Hub got walled off in many spots for its big remodel.

MagicBands went on sale to the general public, no longer just WDW Resort guests.
MagicBands went on sale to the general public, no longer just WDW Resort guests.
Anna and Elsa created huge waits at the Princess Fairytale Hall.
Anna and Elsa created huge waits at the Princess Fairytale Hall.

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Disney closed Camp Minnie-Mickey to make way for Avatar.
Disney closed Camp Minnie-Mickey to make way for Avatar.
Star Wars Weekends was a massive event as always, leading into next year's, which should be even bigger with Episode VII coming.
Star Wars Weekends was a massive event as always, leading into next year’s, which should be even bigger with the debut of Episode VII coming.

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Disney had another 24 hour day, making for sunrise photos!
Disney had another 24 hour day, allowing for this rare sunrise photo!

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The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opened after several years of construction, finally completing New Fantasyland.
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opened after several years of construction, finally completing New Fantasyland.

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Starbucks opened a flagship location at Downtown Disney.
Starbucks opened a flagship location at Downtown Disney which serves wine!
DTD also started the transformation into Disney Springs.
Downtown Disney also started the transformation into Disney Springs.
Frozen Fun took over the Studios this summer.
Frozen Fun took over the Studios this summer.

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Diagon Alley opened at Universal continuing the next generation of theme parks one-upping each other.
Diagon Alley opened at Universal Orlando Resort, which was a frequent topic of conversation of Orlando tourists.
Astro Orbitor got a large refurb.
Astro Orbitor got a major refurb which resulted in the entire attraction being disassembled and rebuilt.
The beautiful New Harambe opened at Animal Kingdom.
The beautiful New Harambe (Lion King threater) opened at Animal Kingdom.

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Tiki Room got some TLC this year as well.
Tiki Room got some TLC this year as well.
We got new EPCOT Center merch!
We got fun new retro EPCOT Center merchandise!
Halloween came and went.
Halloween brought night after night of sellout crowds.
Another Food and Wine Festival was celebrated.
Another Food and Wine Festival was celebrated.

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Animal Kingdom turned into Construction Wall Kingdom as the park prepares for big changes.
Animal Kingdom turned into Construction Wall Kingdom as the park prepares for big changes, including a River of Light show, Night Kingdom, and Avatar Land.

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The Backlot Tour closed at Studios, bringing with it rumors of Toy Story Playland.
The Backlot Tour closed at the Disney Studios park, bringing with it rumors of a new Toy Story Playland to be built here.
Memento Mori replaced the Yankee Trader and became the official shop for Haunted Mansion merchandise.
Memento Mori replaced the Yankee Trader and became the official shop for Haunted Mansion merchandise.

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We took one last ride on Maelstrom, with it now closed to bring Frozen to the Norway pavilion.
We took one last ride on Maelstrom, with it now closed to bring Frozen to the Norway pavilion.

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Work started on bringing Starbucks to DHS.
Work started on bringing Starbucks to DHS.
It was announced that the Hat is going away in 2015!
It was announced that the Hat is FINALLY going away in 2015!

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Christmas arrived.
Christmas arrived.
Christmas at MK looked different this year, with these new decorations on Main Street USA.
Christmas at MK looked different this year, with these new decorations on Main Street USA.
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The Jingle Cruise returned with major enhancements.
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Christmas had a Frozen theme this year.

 

Frozen also made its way into the Contemporary's Holiday display.
Frozen also made its way into the Contemporary’s Holiday display.
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The Animal Kingdom Lodge tree was a stunning as always.

 

The Osborne Lights twinkled again.
The Osborne Lights twinkled again.

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The Peace on Earth tag lost Walter Cronkite, but gained some new cool bursts and lasers.
The Peace on Earth tag lost Walter Cronkite, but gained some new cool bursts and lasers.

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Frozen also found its place in the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.
Frozen also found its place in the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.

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It’s amazing to think how much can happen and change in a year. I really am looking forward to covering 2015 for you as there are lots of expected projects to check in on. I hope you’ll tune in every week to follow along.

Please leave us your thoughts about 2014 at Disney World in the comments below.

Happy New Year!

  • D Ray

    Thank you for the excellent photos!

    Lots of great things happened (and are happening) at Disney World in 2014, and there are lots of great things to be excited about in the future (e.g. Avatar land) .

    I had a fantastic vacation at Disney World in September. The customer service was, in my view, back up to historical Disney World standards, and the resort seems to be on the right track in terms of maintenance.

    So, I am overall very positive about where the resort is, and where it is headed.

    However, I am truly saddened by the removal of the Polynesian’s lobby atrium waterfall. To me that waterfall was the heart and soul of the resort. More than any other physical element at the Polynesian, the atrium waterfall is what made it unique and special. It set the atmosphere from the second you entered the lobby on arrival, and was a wonderful, unique element that you experienced every time you visited the great ceremonial house. Really awful move by Disney to remove it.

    • martinjbell1986

      Agreed, went in December and Cast members had outstanding customer service.

  • Dan Heaton

    Loved the photos! I’m really hoping that the changes in 2015 that are announced are more exciting than what we had this year. I did love hearing that the hat would be removed, but losing Maelstrom for Frozen was sad given the state of Future World at EPCOT.

    Here’s to a better 2015 at the World!

  • RickNacino

    thanks Cory, great pics as always! looking forward to all the new coverage this year

  • Larry Parker

    Does anyone know when the remodel of the Hub at the Magic Kingdom will be completed?

    • Larry Parker

      Just heard back from Disney World. They predict a March completion date.

  • robbiem

    Great photos. For those of us far away across the seas it’s great to see what’s going on in our favourite places

  • NycKmo

    Who better than you to bring us closer to the magic through these outstanding photos. What a great year! Despite controversies that come with changes throughout the resort, there’s no denying how beautiful WDW is. A particular favorite shot is the castle from the 24 hour party. It doesn’t get any more stunning than that luminescence right there. As always thanks for sharing, and we all look forward to more beautiful captures from you this year!

  • kindagoofy

    Thank you for the excellent review with stunning pictures. Happy New Year and here’s to a pictorial 2015!

  • Happy New Year Cory and THANK YOU for your always amazing coverage of the parks. No one does it better than you.

    Looking forward to seeing what 2015 brings. While I often criticize some of the boneheaded decisions that the overly budget minded TDO folks make from time to time, I am quite optimistic that George Kalogridis will continue to push for positive changes at the resort.

    While there haven’t been many “WOW” projects at WDW on the scale of a Wizarding World for quite some time, I do think that that some of the big projects on the horizon will secure Disney’s place at the top of the theme park heap. Though, it would be wise for them to keep an eye on Universal’s spectacular rise in popularity.

    Competition is a good thing for the fans.

  • KCmike

    Here’s hoping it doesn’t take several years for a 2 minute Avatar meets the Dwarves Mine Coaster ride.

  • ahecht

    No mention of the new Peter Pan queue?