Anyway, back to parks. Here's a run down on what we can expect from the Disney parks this year.
These are 16 things we know are happening in the parks this year.
1. Diamond Celebration: Last year, Disneyland kicked off its 60th anniversary party. The actual birthday was July 17, but the party started on Memorial Day Weekend. In true Disney fashion, the celebration is set to last until September 5, 2016. So you still have plenty of time to see Sleeping Beauty Castle decked out in Diamond Celebration banners.
2. Tea Time at Steakhouse 55: Tucked into the lovely elegance of the Disneyland Hotel, will be a new afternoon treat. Starting January 22, Steakhouse 55 is serving afternoon tea from noon to 3 pm. Guests can choose from a wide assortment of tea, and nosh on scones, tea sandwiches, and desserts. The three tea party options are Classic Tea Party ($50), Premium Tea Party ($65), and Kids Tea Party ($35). Gluten free and vegan options will also be available for guests.
3. Frozen Stage Musical: Much to the dismay of many fans, Aladdin has recently been ousted from Hyperion Theater in favor of Anna and Elsa. The new musical is set to hit the stage this summer. Like it or not (in my case, not), Frozen is here to stay for a long time.
4. River Bell Terrace: Starting in February, this former counter service eatery is upgrading to table service. The menu will feature Southern barbecue favorites like ribs, chicken, and even sustainable fish.
5. Rancho Del Zocalo Restaurante: On February 2, guests will be able to eat breakfast at this Frontierland restaurant. Be on the lookout for Mickey pancakes, a few favorites from the old River Bell menu, and Mexican inspired dishes. Breakfast will be served until 11:30 am.
WALT DISNEY WORLD
6. Frozen Ever After: Get out your tissues, because here comes a reminder that Maelstrom is no more. Fans of the old Norway pavilion will forever lament its loss. Especially since it was replaced by Frozen. The all new Frozen area of the Norway pavilion is due to launch this year, with the ride as its centerpiece. Frozen Ever After appears to be a classic dark ride that will take guests into Arendelle during the Winter in Summer Celebration. Outside the attraction, a new Frozen area is giving Norway a facelift and will provide a new home for Anna and Elsa meet and greets.
7. Rivers of Lights: A new light show is coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and will take place on Discovery River, between the Asia area and Discovery Island. The show combines live performances with lasers, floating lights, and water screens. The recent audition call for performers described the show with Bollywood style dancing. All I know is, if Joe Rhode is involved, it’s gunna be great!
8. Tiffins: Another new addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom this year is Tiffins. As a signature restaurant, TIffin’s menu draws inspiration from the exoctic locations presented in Animal Kingdom. Guests can enjoy waterfront views from indoor and outdoor tables. I’m super pumped for this, since I’m already a huge fan of the dining at Animal Kingdom park and Lodge.
9. Club Villain: And you thought Halloween ended! This January, guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios can dine and dance with their favorite villains. The special ticket event, led by Dr. Facilier, features a New Orleans inspired menu. Tickets for this event are $99 per person and can be reserved 180 days in advance.
10. California Grill: This signature restaurant, located at the top of the Contemporary Resort, will start offering Sunday brunch in February! Your four course meal begins with house-made pastries, like scones and biscuits, followed by a open kitchen buffet of tasting size appetizers like deviled eggs and sushi, then a plated entree (the lobster benedict is on my must-try list!), and finally dessert with macaroons and truffles. Guests can also choose from a variety of cocktails and mocktails. The prix fixe menu charges $80 for adults and $48 for children.
11. The Edison: Another new restaurant coming to Disney Springs (The Boathouse, Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar, and Morimoto Asia opened last year), The Edison is obviously based on an electric company in the 1920s. It’s gunna be a cool, steampunk-y lounge that I’m sure will be a huge hit with millennials!
12. Soarin’ Around the World: Soarin’ Over California is getting reimagined this year. The attraction’s video is being expanded to include natural and manmade wonders from all over the world, not just California. Incidentally, Disney’s California Adventure, where this ride originated, is getting the same update. This doesn’t really make sense to me. California Adventure and Soarin’ both celebrate the state’s beauty and history. That’s all well and good for the west coast. But a video featuring the whole world is much better suited to Epcot. Either way, the new attraction video launches sometime this spring.
13. Celebration Hotel: Tokyo Disney guests will soon have a new hotel to stay in! The new Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel is inspired by the magic and imagination of Tokyo Disney and DisneySea.
14. Year of Wishes: Tokyo Disney will celebrate DisneySea’s fifteenth anniversary with a Year of Wishes, starting April 15, 2016 and running through March, 2017. Crystals will decorate the park, to symbolize the wishes. Guests can enjoy a new show in Mediterranean Harbor, called Crystal Wishes Journey, and the popular show, Big Band Beat, will get its first ever update with new music and costumes.
HONG KONG DISNEYLAND
15. Iron Man Experience: The excitement begins in Tomorrowland at the New Stark Expo. Guests will board the Iron Wing for a short flight to visit the Stark Tower in Hong Kong, but on the way, they must help Iron Man battle the evil forces of Hydra. This brand new 3D motion simulator attraction, will be the first on Disney property to feature a Marvel character. Iron Man Experience is expected to open sometime this year, as part of the year long Happily Ever After celebration marking the resort’s tenth anniversary.
This brand spanking new park is set to open this spring. The conventional hub and spoke park layout is gone in favor of free flowing gardens. What would be called the hub, is instead called the Gardens of Imagination. Another area is called the Garden of 12 Friends, where Disney characters will represent the twelve Chinese zodiac. Other areas include Fantasyland, Treasure Cove, Adventure Isle, and Tomorrowland.
Yeesh, that's a lot going on at the Disney parks! I think I'm most excited about Tiffins! I love Animal Kingdom and I love food!
Now it's time to hear from you! What are you most pumped for this year? Let us know!
Photo Credits: Sleeping Beauty Castle; Tiffins; Celebration Hotel; Iron Man Experience; Shanghai Disneyland