New Dining Locations, Fan-Favorite Sporting Events Add to the Magic for Walt Disney World Resort Guests in 2015
|Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort will feature 20 Bungalows on Seven Seas Lagoon and 360 Deluxe Studios, the largest at the Walt Disney World Resort. The Bungalows will be the first of this type of accommodation at Disney, sleep up to eight guests, and feature a plunge pool where guests can enjoy views of fireworks over Magic Kingdom Park. This resort will also be the first to have connecting Deluxe Studios. The first phase of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows is scheduled to open in 2015. (Disney)|
|LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The new
year 2015 lifts off with dozens of fun happenings, openings and
events at Walt Disney World Resort. Whether your Disney Side is
brought to life by being a foodie, sports fan, shopper or a Jedi,
some great vacation choices await Disney guests as the calendar
turns the pages into 2015.
Here’s a look at what to expect:
|All-New Disney Castaway Cay Challenge Adds Another Splash of Magic to 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend|
|The Walt Disney World Marathon
Weekend will take place Jan. 7-11, 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort.
All new is the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge, an ultimate running
adventure that combines one Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend race
event with a Castaway Cay 5K on Disney Cruise Lines’ private island
in the Bahamas during the 4-night Disney Dream cruise itinerary that
sets sail Jan. 12, 2015 from Port Canaveral, Fla. The final race of
Marathon Weekend is a 26.2-mile run through Walt Disney World theme
parks and is preceded by the runDisney Kids’ Races, Disney Family
Fun Run 5K and the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. Runners also
have an opportunity to conquer the Dopey Challenge, in which
participants run the 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon to complete
48.6 miles over four days. Or Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge that
combines Saturday’s half marathon with Sunday’s full marathon. More
details, including registration information and booking procedures,
are available now on runDisney.com
|New Name, New Adds to Disney’s Polynesian|
|As part of a sweeping re-imagining,
Disney’s Polynesian Resort has returned to its original, 1971
opening day name: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. But that’s not
the only news awaiting guests in 2015. Changes include a new food
and beverage experience opening for guests in 2015: Trader Sam’s
Grog Grotto – opening in the spring and based on the popular themed
lounge at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. Trader Sam’s will welcome
explorers to a mystical and tropical oasis featuring a lounge area
with handcrafted tiki cocktails served in souvenir mugs, paired with
Polynesia-inspired small plates. Other changes greeting Disney’s
Polynesian Village Resort guests: the recently opened Pineapple
Lanai kiosk, featuring the world-famous Dole Whip soft serve and
floats, and a menu makeover at Capt. Cook’s quick-service
restaurant. A new children’s activity center called Club Disney
welcomes guests ages 3-12 to play dress-up, create crafts and engage
in games, storytelling or movie nights. A completely renovated Nanea
Volcano feature pool area, a new children’s water play area and an
enlarged deck for poolside seating will be completed in 2015.
In addition, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows will feature 20 Disney Vacation Club bungalows on Seven Seas Lagoon and 360 Deluxe Studios. The Disney Vacation Club Bungalows will be the first of this type of accommodation at Disney, sleep up to eight guests, and feature a plunge pool where guests can enjoy views of fireworks over Magic Kingdom and Seven Seas Lagoon. This resort will also be the first to have connecting Deluxe Studios that will sleep up to five guests and have kitchenettes and enhanced storage space for convenience and comfort. The first phase of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows is scheduled to open in 2015.
|New for 2015: Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk|
The new year brings a
great new dining experience to Walt Disney World Resort when Trattoria
al Forno opens its doors at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. The
restaurant features Italian cuisine with authentic ingredients and
recipes from Italy’s various regions. The new restaurant showcases
Old World techniques, including handcrafted mozzarella made daily, a
variety of Neopolitan-style pizzas baked in wood-burning ovens, and
other classic favorites such as risotto, baked lasagna, chicken
Parmigiana with tagliatelle pasta and more. Trattoria al Forno
offers an extensive wine list with more than 60 offerings by the
bottle and more than 25 wines by the glass. Desserts such as
tiramisu and gelatos round out the menu. Trattoria al Forno is
located on Crescent Lake near Epcot in the heart of property.
|New Africa Marketplace Coming Spring 2015 to Disney’s Animal Kingdom|
|Imagine the colors, scents, savory
tastes and boundless activity of a village marketplace in Africa.
That sensory scene is coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom with a
spring 2015 opening planned for Africa Marketplace – a new shopping
and dining option for park-goers in Harambe, the village anchoring
the Africa section of the park. One highlight of the new space will
be Harambe Marketplace, a new quick-service food and beverage
location offering street-inspired dishes from walk-up windows.
Guests will find plenty of shady places to relax and eat. For their
convenience, the new space also will open up a new pathway from
Africa to Bradley Falls and the Asia section of the park. Together
with the new Harambe Theatre housing “The Festival of the Lion
King,” the addition of Africa Marketplace will double the size of
the original Harambe Village. Paired with previously-announced
projects throughout the park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is undergoing
the largest expansion in its history.
|The Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic Returns to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for the Sixth Consecutive Season|
|Fans will get an up close and
personal look at some of the nation’s top pro soccer teams during
the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic Feb. 1, 2015 – March 1,
2015 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Entering its sixth year,
Disney’s premier four-week soccer event is designed to boost
interest in soccer throughout Central Florida and establish the area
as a prime training and competition destination for professional
soccer clubs. The event traditionally features eight pro teams –
including six Major League Soccer squads – competing in 16 games. In
2014, the Columbus Crew defeated the defending MLS Cup Champions,
Sporting Kansas City, to earn win the Disney Pro Soccer Classic
title. After the tournament schedule is released, tickets can be
purchased through Ticketmaster by visiting ticketmaster.com or
calling (800) 754-3000 or through the ESPN Wide World of Sports
Complex box office.
|Earn Your Crown Feb. 19-22 at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals|
|The Disney Princess Half Marathon
Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, one of
the largest women-specific half marathon weekends in the nation,
takes place Feb. 19-22, 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort. There are
races for all ages and levels, including runDisney Kids Races. For
those who think a half marathon is just a walk in the park, runners
can participate in the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge, which
includes a 19.3-mile adventure over two days – the Disney Enchanted
10K on Saturday followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon on
Sunday. Runners who complete the Princess Half Marathon in February
and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon presented by PANDORA Jewelry in
May at Disneyland Resort will earn a special pink version of the
runDisney Coast to Coast Race Challenge Medal. For an additional
challenge and cruise vacation, runners who immediately follow the
Princess Half Marathon Weekend race with a Disney cruise departing
Monday, Feb. 23, can run the Castaway Cay 5K on Disney’s private
island in the Bahamas to earn a specially designed Disney Castaway
Cay Challenge Finisher Medal. For more information, guests may visit
|New Starbucks Location Tapped for Disney’s Hollywood Studios|
|Disney’s Hollywood Studios welcomes
a Starbucks location in Feb. 2015. The new store, The Trolley Car
Café, will be themed to a classic trolley car along Hollywood
Boulevard and offer a unique experience for coffee lovers visiting
the park. Guests to the store also will be able to enjoy Disney
baked goods and Starbucks’ La Boulange pastry items at the store.
The Trolley Car Café will be the fourth location serving Starbucks
products at Walt Disney World Resort. Locations are already open at
Magic Kingdom and Epcot, as well as at Downtown Disney.
|Downtown Disney Continues its Transformation into Disney Springs with New Restaurants Opening in 2015|
|In 2015, Downtown Disney at Walt
Disney World Resort continues its multi-year transformation into
Disney Springs, a unique and vibrant shopping/dining/entertainment
destination to be set amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering
springs and waterfront charm.
The Landing is the first phase of Disney Springs and will be home to unique and memorable dining experiences such as STK (opening in 2015), Morimoto Asia (opening summer 2015) and The BOATHOUSE (opening spring 2015), plus a number of still-to-be-announced innovative restaurants and boutique shops.
Anchored by a signature water tower and grand entry, Disney Springs will boast four interconnected outdoor neighborhoods and will be home to everything from shopping boutiques to flagship stores to great new restaurants and entertainment venues. With a planned completion in 2016, Disney Springs expects to double the number of venues to more than 150.
|22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: A Spring Tradition March 4-May 17, 2015|
|Spring will bloom in a big way with
bountiful blossoms, colorful Disney topiaries, gardening seminars
and flavors of the season when the 22nd Epcot International Flower &
Garden Festival runs March 4 to May 17, 2015, at Walt Disney World
Dozens of Disney character topiaries, from Chip and Dale to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, will rule the festival kingdom in the park’s Future World and World Showcase, and popular Outdoor Kitchens will return with refreshing beverages and tantalizing tastes from the garden and grill.
Home and garden seminars, children’s play gardens and other popular festival features will return for the 75-day event. At the Festival Center, interactive gardening workshops will set the stage for outdoor do-it-yourself inspiration, and guest speakers will cover the latest in outdoor trends and home and garden topics.
Guests can try new food and beverage tastes from Outdoor Kitchen menus and pose for selfies among whimsical topiaries, multiple themed gardens and children’s play areas. Disney-crafted “flower towers,” herb gardens and beds of multi-colored blooms will add to the floral splendor of the park’s landscape. On the park’s Future World lakes, more than 200 mini-gardens will be set afloat.
Hundreds of butterflies of several species will dazzle guests at the festival’s screened butterfly house. As the sun begins to set, illuminated gardens will brighten the evening and cast a magical glow across the park.
For more information about the 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639). As the festival nears, more details will be available at epcotinspring.com. Festival events are included in regular Epcot admission.
|Take Me Out to the Ball Game: Atlanta Braves Return to Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for the 18th Season|
|The Atlanta Braves are back at ESPN
Wide World of Sports for spring training and will take on some of
baseball’s marquee teams. The Braves’ 18-game schedule includes
showdowns with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees,
Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and Detroit Tigers. The 2015
season which runs from early March to early April will mark the 18th
consecutive year the Braves have held their spring training at ESPN
Wide World of Sports Complex. Guests will be treated to unique
game-day entertainment and additional fan experiences, including
character appearances and an exclusive on-field spectator
experience. Information on the Braves’ Spring Training season, group
tickets and mini-packs is available by calling (407) 939-GAME (4263)
and online at espnwwos.com/atlantabraves. As the Braves’ spring
training schedule is released, individual game tickets are available
through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000 or visiting
ticketmaster.com, as well as at the sports complex box office.
|Star Wars Weekends Returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios May 15-June 14, 2015|
|The Force returns to Disney’s
Hollywood Studios on May 15, 2015 as Star Wars Weekends combines the
fun and adventure of the Star Wars film franchise with the magic of
Disney Parks. The 2015 event will feature Star Wars characters
roaming the theme park for meet-and-greet opportunities, star
conversations with Star Wars celebrities, a Star Wars motorcade
through the park, interactive activities, exclusive merchandise and
more. Star Wars Weekends will be held every weekend (Friday,
Saturday and Sunday) from May 15-June 14:
Weekend I: May 15-17, 2015 Weekend II: May 22-24, 2015 Weekend III: May 29-31, 2015 Weekend IV: June 5-7, 2015 Weekend V: June 12-14, 2015
For more information visit disneyworld.com/starwars.
|Make Magic on the Field and Off at Disney Spring Training|
|Disney Spring Training at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will give teams a head start in 2015 as more than 400 high school and college teams from across the country will travel to Walt Disney World to begin training for their upcoming season in baseball, golf, lacrosse, rugby, softball, tennis and track & field. Schools will have an opportunity to take their teams to the next level with a customizable schedule full of on-field practices, scrimmages and an opportunity to participate in a one-hour speed and agility clinic with renowned former US Olympic track & field coach Brooks Johnson and NFL performance trainer Tom Shaw.|
For information about any of the new happenings, openings and events at Walt Disney World Resort, contact Academy Travel at 609-978-0740 for more information.
Travel is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner