2018 Summer Fun At Walt Disney World

If you are looking for some place to take an exciting summer vacation, look no further than Walt Disney World. With so much for the entire family to enjoy, there’s no better time to go than now! Here’s everything you need to know to experience a fun-filled time with your friends and family at Walt Disney World this summer courtesy of Disney:


Starting Memorial Day Weekend, May 25 – 27, Walt Disney World Resort will launch an incredible summer for 2018 with guests being immersed in their favorite Disney films, entering the worlds of their beloved characters and experiencing exciting new attractions and entertainment.

Here are some of the highlights:

All four Walt Disney World theme parks – plus Disney Springs – will delight guests with new attractions and experiences for Summer 2018, with most of the festivities starting Memorial Day Weekend.

At Magic Kingdom, favorite Disney•Pixar super heroes will take over Tomorrowland – celebrating all things super. Guests will party with Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone from Disney•Pixar’s “The Incredibles” and upcoming “Incredibles 2.” And, for the first time ever, guests will get to see Edna Mode, the greatest superhero costume designer. These Supers will interact with guests throughout the land. And the festivities culminate with a “SUPER” dance party on the Rocket Tower Stage. “Incredibles 2” opens in theaters nationwide June 15, 2018.

Super Heroes take over the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot. Star-Lord and Gamora from the Guardians of the Galaxy will join an alien band, taking guests on a journey through the cosmos. The party will feature hits from Awesome Mixtapes 1 and 2 – fun and favorite tunes from the two movies’ soundtracks – building the anticipation for a new Epcot Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.

This summer, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is celebrating its 20th anniversary with two super new experiences: A “dino-tastic” celebration where Donald Duck takes over Dinoland U.S.A. with prehistoric elements in a new and exciting character celebration; UP! A Great Bird Adventure featuring Russell and Dug from the Disney•Pixar animated comedy-adventure film “UP” where the duo teams up to discover species of birds from around the world. In addition to all the new fun offerings, guests continue thrills on Pandora – The World of Avatar including Avatar – Flight of Passage, which has quickly become the top-rated attraction at Walt Disney World.

Summer 2018 also marks the first summer for new offerings at Disney Springs including “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire,” a Hyper-Reality Experience from Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID; and a host of new restaurants and bars have popped up to tempt any appetite. These include The Edison, a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant and bar; Maria & Enzo’s, an open and airy Italian trattoria featuring family-friendly dishes inspired by SicilyTerralina Crafted Italian, a new concept from James Beard award winner and “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano; and Wine Bar George, the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida, brought to Disney Springs by former California Grill manager and Master Sommelier George Miliotes (opening this spring).

Toy Story Land Opens

As summer gets into full swing, the capstone of Incredible Summer at Walt Disney World opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The ongoing reimagining of the park takes guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with Toy Story Land.

This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard. Guests will experience two new attractions, including Slinky Dog Dash, a family-friendly coaster which will send riders dipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops that Andy has created to stretch Slinky and his coils to the max. “Toy Story” pals also come to life in another fresh-from-the-box themed attraction — Alien Swirling Saucers. This Pizza Planet toy play set is loaded with aliens circling about in their flying saucers pulling along rocket ships full of guests. The new land also will encompass – Toy Story Mania! – which has been expanded to add a third track to the existing popular attraction. Woody’s Lunch Box will be a new quick-service kiosk serving tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats inside Toy Story Land.


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Will you be visiting Walt Disney World this summer?
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Exploring Pandora – The World Of Avatar At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

If you haven’t had a chance yet to check out the latest masterpiece in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Pandora – The World of Avatar, you are in for a real treat during your next Walt Disney World vacation. I’ll admit it…I have never seen the film and I’m not really a fan of the sci-fi/fantasy genre typically anyway, but I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this new land, even if I had no clue about the back story of what I was seeing. Walt Disney Imagineering, as always, does an extraordinary job of drawing guests in and immersing us in this intricate and magnificent world. Here’s everything you need to know about Pandora – The World of Avatar courtesy of Disney:


Pandora – The World of Avatar immerses guests in a mystical world of massive floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and breathtaking new experiences. Fun and adventure await in this entirely new land found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. Here guests explore an awesome alien landscape, encounter a larger-than-life Na’vi shaman and soar over Pandora on the back of a fearsome mountain banshee.

The largest addition in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Pandora carries on the park’s tradition of celebrating the intrinsic value of nature, transformation through adventure and a personal call to action.

Based on Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron’s record-breaking box-office hit, AVATAR, the new land welcomes guests to the lush world of Pandora long after the human conflict with the Na’vi has ended. The dramatic daytime beauty of the land transforms to glow by night when bioluminescent flora and intricate nighttime experiences add a dreamlike quality to Pandora.

Pandora – The World of Avatar is a creative collaboration of Walt Disney Imagineering, Cameron and Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment.

“We are taking our guests on a journey to this world in an experience that’s as realistic and immersive as possible,” says Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering portfolio creative executive. “In the movie, the world of Pandora is a setting for the action and characters whose story we follow. Here, guests are the primary characters immersed in an extremely vivid, authentic experience.”

Guests to Disney’s Animal Kingdom cross the park’s Discovery River onto Pandora – The World of Avatar and continue along a winding rainforest path for their first glimpse of the land’s iconic “floating mountains.”

“When guests come across the bridge, they are transferred light-years away, to the Alpha-Centauri solar system and Pandora,” says Jon Landau, AVATAR producer, Lightstorm Entertainment. “It’s an otherworldly, fully themed experience.”

As guests explore the verdant terrain sprawling beneath mountains that appear to float in the sky, they see waterfalls cascading down the mountainside into meandering streams and pools, and they discover two thrilling new expeditions: Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey.

Avatar Flight of Passage launches each guest on an exhilarating, wind-in-your-face experience on a winged mountain banshee over the awe-inspiring world of Pandora. Guests will actually feel the banshee breathe beneath them as they soar through the forest and past floating mountains. What was a rite of passage for Na’vi in Cameron’s film becomes a multisensory experience for guests seeking the ultimate adventure – an encounter with the most feared predator of Pandora, the Great Leonopteryx.

On the family-friendly Na’vi River Journey, guests travel down a sacred river deep into a bioluminescent rainforest. Aboard reed boats, they float past exotic glowing plants and Pandoran creatures into the midst of a musical Na’vi ceremony. The mystical journey culminates in an encounter with the breathtakingly realistic Na’vi Shaman of Songs who is deeply connected with Pandora’s life force and sends positive energy into the forest through her music.

“This is an attraction that the entire family can enjoy,” Rohde says. “We put you into a magical experience that comes to life through the bioluminescence, the plant and animal activity and the shaman’s music. There’s a wonderful harmony in the entire glowing scene during this lyrical, uplifting journey that builds to a really beautiful crescendo.”

In addition to the bioluminescent plants of Pandora, with species names like Spiny Whip, Dapophet and Vein Pod, other wonders of the land include the creatures that guests encounter and, in some cases, interact with.

“The landscape will be alive with creatures,” Rohde says. “We’re bringing to life everything from the largest creature you might encounter to the most microscopic. Animals will appear out of the underbrush – big Pandoran animals will appear at the edge of the forest, and you’ll hear the very complicated calls they issue back and forth.”

The thriving Pandoran landscape reinforces messages intrinsic to Disney’s Animal Kingdom such as transformation through adventure and conservation and stewardship. A similar value system underlies the AVATAR film, Landau says, and he’s hopeful guests are inspired to find meaning in their expedition through Pandora.

The artful storytelling on Pandora continues as guests stop for sustenance at the land’s Satu’li Canteen (pronounced “Sa-too-lee”), a Quonset-hut-style building with a spacious dining area that pays tribute to the Na’vi and their culture with special décor. The menu at this fast-casual restaurant is inspired by the healthful bounty of Pandora – wholesome grains, fresh vegetables, and hearty proteins. Guests can also grab a drink at nearby Pongu Pongu, where a friendly expat serves out-of-this-world beverages including a bioluminescent frozen cocktail and indigenous beers. There’s even a sweet snack that guests won’t find elsewhere.

Windtraders is a shopper’s delight where guests can choose from Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more.

The creative team employed exhaustive research to develop the realistic appearance of Pandora, a fictional exoplanetary moon mined by humans in Cameron’s movie. Set a generation after a great conflict, the Na’vi and humans are at peace, and the land is experiencing a rebirth. Pandora now welcomes Disney guests as eco-tourists.

Since 2012, Walt Disney Imagineering and Lightstorm Entertainment have collaborated to imagine and create Pandora through the talents of a team of designers, artists, sculptors, structural engineers, robotic technicians and a host of other professionals. The team traveled to rainforests and tribal areas and worked with artisans, weavers and carvers, including Bali artisans who contributed works to Discovery Island when it opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998.

Authenticity and realism were drivers in the creation of Pandora, and the result truly is a world beyond belief.

“The attractions have very deliberate emotional moments crafted into them, the way a good story does, the way a good film does.” Rohde says. “It’s not as simple as just coming to a place that looks realistic. It’s a place that’s been deliberately imbued with the emotions of awe, of wonder, of respect, of harmony.”


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Have you explored Pandora – The World of Avatar yet?
Please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!

Avatar Flight Of Passage At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

On May 27, 2017, the long-awaited Avatar Flight of Passage attraction, affectionately referred to as “Soarin’ on Steroids,” opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. While the lines continue to be massive, it is absolutely worth the wait, as this experience is widely regarded as the best in all of Walt Disney World. Here’s everything you need to know about the new attraction courtesy of Disney:


Imagine straddling the back of a wing-flapping banshee, darting and swirling through the canyon updrafts, free as the wind. Below you: the otherworldly planet of Pandora – grand in its vastness, surreal in its bioluminescence.

Hold on tight! You can ride this beast. You can sense its banshee breath. That’s because you’re high-flying in an immersive new adventure, Avatar Flight of Passage, now open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

A shining star of the theme park’s all-new land, Pandora – The World of Avatar, this 3-D expedition transports travelers on a sweeping, simulated flight over Pandora’s colorful landscape. Guests soar around floating mountains, plunge through ancient caverns and skim across roaring oceans, culminating in a realistic encounter with the fiercest king of the air, the Great Leonopteryx that boasts a 45-foot wingspan.

“In Flight of Passage, the sensation of flying is really visceral, really believable,” said Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering portfolio creative executive. “Not only do you have the more obvious aspects of flying – the swooping and curving – but we’ve put in crosswind, air density and banking.”

Three Experiences Folded Into One

The journey begins in the queue as guests begin an uphill trek around a massive root structure, over a land bridge above waterfalls to an authentic totem garden. Meandering passageways lead to a cave-like structure where the great–winged banshees, or Ikran as the Na’vis call them, are celebrated in paintings and majestic totems. Next, guests enter an old, once abandoned RDA facility with a laboratory partially restored. Here, there are scientific experiments in progress with references to habitat restoration, the ecosystem, water purification and the connection of all living things.

Next stop is the genetic matching room where explorers are scanned and genetic material is sampled to connect them to personal avatars in preparation for a flight experience. Once matched, adventurers board link chairs, don flight visors and prepare for the flight.

Next stop: a mystical world like no other.

Flying on the back of a banshee represents an important rite of passage for the Na’vi and as visitors to the alien world, guests have a chance to be tested and guided through the wondrous journey. After entering a state-of-the-art theater, each guest straddles a single-seat simulator (like a motorcycle) that delivers a realistic sensation of riding a living creature. Guests experience the swift and graceful movements of flight and even feel the banshee breathing beneath them. The multi-sensory experience uses cutting-edge technology and intricate special effects like never before.

This heart-pounding adventure transports explorers through the alien world of Pandora, offering lifelike encounters – splashing whale-like creatures, blowing wind, roaring banshees, and a threatening encounter with a flying predator. The exhilarating 4-minute flight through the sci-fi world of bioluminescence and floating mountains is orchestrated to a complex musical score recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra.

“All of the mechanics behind it, all of the engineering, all the stuff that goes into the imagery is amazing,” said James Cameron, whose blockbuster film AVATAR inspired Disney’s new land. “You know, riding the Ikran is a thrill. You’re going to plunge. You’re going to dive. You’re going to swoop. It’s like dreaming with your eyes open.”


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Have you experienced Avatar Flight of Passage yet?
Please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!