Nothing every stays the same, and that includes the rides, shows and even the restaurants at Disney World. Some restaurants close and others open periodically. The same holds true for shows and events.

That’s why it’s important for visitors to any theme park in Orlando to make sure they’re reading up-to-date info about the restaurants and attractions. That’s why we’ve started putting a revision date at the top of our articles, so you’ll know just how up to date our info is!

So, what’s new…or going to be new… at Disney World?

There are a lot of plans underway but how long it will take them to be fully implemented depends on a lot of factors. Several restaurants and a couple of stage shows opened in 2016, and the Magic Kingdom’s evening parade, the Main Street Electrical Parade, came to an end on October 9.

By the end of 2017, the following restaurants, rides and attractions should be ready at Disney World to delight yet more generations of visitors.

Animal Kingdom

River of Lights Animal Kingdom

New for 2017 Is the “Rivers of Light,” an evening show which will be staged in the center of the Discovery River. It’s still under construction at the time of this writing. This show has to be built carefully, as the animals that live in the animal kingdom must not be disturbed.

“Pandora, The World of AVATAR” will be opening in summer. PANDORA is an imaginary land, and guests will go on a journey “down a sacred river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest.” It’s going to have spectacular visuals and be inspiring as well as fun. The “E-ticket” attraction of Pandora will be a zip-line type ride called AVATAR Flight of Passage.

Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Mania

New in Hollywood Studios, opening near Toy Story Mania, is the 11-acre Toy Story Land, featuring the iconic characters from the series of movies featuring Woody the Cowboy, Buzz Lightyear, Rex, Slinky, Hamm, and more in Andy’s backyards. Rides will include a roller coaster in the shape of Slinky Dog, and an Aliens flying saucer.

Toy Story Land New at Disney World

 Star Wars-Land

This is what everyone’s been waiting for! It’s still under construction but will hopefully be completed by the end of the year. Guests will be transported to a brand-new world, where they’ll be able to interact with aliens, fly at the helm of the Millennium Falcon, and take part in a climactic battle against the Empire!


Disney Springs

The NBA Experience

There’s no firm date for the opening of The NBA Experience, which is taking over from DisneyQuest, which will be closing on July 3, 2017. The NBA Experience will have a restaurant, a store, and “hands on” activities that that will enable guests of all ages to feel like they’re participating in an NBA game.


A new shop opening in Disney Springs is Kiehl’s. Here, guests will find skin-care and hair care products, all with natural ingredients.


Disney Springs is Disney World’s shopping and dining center, and there will be five restaurants opening in 2017.

“The Edison” is going to be an “Industrial Gothic” restaurant and bar. In other words guests will be entering a building reminiscent of a 1920s electric power plant. In addition to the food, there will be live entertainment at night. If you’ve been to “The Edison” in Los Angeles, then you’ll know what to expect here – including contortionists and palm readers! The Lab is the performance space. There’s also going to be The Ember Parlour, the Telegraph Lounge, The Patent Office, The Tesla Lounge, The Radio Room, and a Waterfront Patio! Steampunk fans will delight in this restaurant. “The Edison” is due to open in Spring 2017.

“The Paddlefish,” opened recently, is a fine dining restaurant in the shape of a paddle boat. It has taken over from the Fulton’s Crab House that used to occupy the space. The best thing about “The Paddlefish” is the rooftop lounge so guests can enjoy the fresh air and people watch.

Paddlefish Disney Springs

“Planet Hollywood Observatory” has also recently opened. (Or rather, re-opened. It’s a renovated version of the Planet Hollywood restaurant that used to be in this space). “Plant Hollywood Observatory” is a four-story restaurant chock full of movie memorabilia, as you might expect since it’s part of the Planet Hollywood chain. On the first floor is the Stargazers Lounge. Two of the floors have a bar as well as a restaurant. The celebrity chef in charge is Guy Fieri, who will be presiding over a variety of menu items including specialty hamburgers and sandwiches.

Local Orlando-ites love the food at “The Ravenous Pig,” a restaurant owned and operated by celebrity chefs James and Julie Petrakis.  “The Polite Pig” will bring the same delicious local cuisine here, serving lunch and dinner. All drinks will be on tap – beers, wines and cocktails! The flavors of the food, imparted by wood-fire smoked, are unique to Orlando.  “The Polite Pig” is due to open in Spring 2017.

Guests with a sophisticated palate will find a home at “Wine Bar George.” It’s helmed by master sommelier George Miliotes. This Intime wine bar is furnished in oak wood paneling and subdued lighting. There will be more than 100 wine selections available, to complement the hors d’oeuvre and appetizers available. “Wine Bar George” is due to open in Fall 2017.