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What To Look Forward to in WDW in 2014

by Rod Wheaton on December 31, 2013


By Matt Mauney

Orlando Sentinel


Every year, there’s plenty to look forward to at Walt Disney World, but 2014 will be especially magical at Walt Disney World parks.

Here are a few of the things to look forward to in the coming year.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – The latest roller coaster at Disney World will open in 2014. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is scheduled to open in the spring at the new Fantasyland in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. The ride will complete the ballyhooed Fantasyland expansion.

Festival of Fantasy Parade – Another addition to look forward to at Fantasyland this year is the Festival of Fantasy Parade. Disney’s latest parade will debut this spring and will highlight the stories of “Sleeping Beauty,” “Dumbo,” “Pinocchio,” “Peter Pan,” “Tangled” and “Brave,” among others. The Festival of Fantasy Parade replaces the “Celebrate a Dream Come True” parade, which ended its daily run on Dec. 20. The final performance is scheduled for Jan. 1-4. The “Move it, Shake It, Celebrate It” and “Main Street Electrical Parade” will continue throughout the transition.

MyMagic+ – After delays in development, Disney’s MyMagic+ is set to launch in full in 2014. The billion-dollar technology project allows guests to book rides times, unlock the door to their resort rooms and pay for food and merchandise at the parks, among other features, while wearing the MyMagic+ wristbands.

New Disney Princesses – Anna and Elsa, two of the main characters in Disney’s 2013 animated film “Frozen,” are expected to be inaugurated as official Disney princesses in 2014. Anna, who was voiced by Kristen Bell in the film, will join the Disney Princess franchise as the 12th princess, while her older sister Elsa, the Snow Queen, will become the 13th princess. The official date of the two additions has not been announced.

Downtown Disney expansion – A new parking deck is being built as part of the multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs. Downtown Disney has offered guests a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences for more than 30 years. Disney Springs is inspired by the turn-of-the-century lakeside towns that dotted the Florida landscape. The expansion/renovations will feature a new Town Center and three additional neighborhoods — The Landing, Marketplace and West Side. When complete, Disney Springs will feature more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment venues. The expansion is happening in phases and is scheduled to be completed in 2016, but guests can look forwarded to the new parking deck and other progress in 2014.

All your favorite annual events – As always, Walt Disney World will feature its annual events and festivals, including the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, the International Food and Wine Festival, the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend and Star Wars Weekends, among many others.

Outside the parks – There is also plenty to look forward to outside of the parks and resorts in 2014. When it comes to new movies, “Maleficent” is one of the most anticipated films coming this summer. The film is the untold story of one of Disney’s most iconic villains, Maleficent, the antagonist in the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty.” Maleficent will be played by Angelina Jolie.

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