5 Exciting Refurbishments Coming Very Soon to Walt Disney World

There are plenty of changes taking place at Walt Disney World. Some, like Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land, are still years away. Others, such as Pandora – The World of Avatar, are closer, but still aren’t in the “very soon” category. Waiting can be hard. Here are five refurbishments and changes that you won’t have to wait too long for.

5. Tree of Life

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

There is a new nighttime show coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Rivers of Light will be unlike any of the other nighttime shows. It will feature water screens, floating lanterns, music, and more. The show will take place in the Discovery River Lagoon. The Tree of Life is going to be an important part of the show, hence the reason for refurbishment. The leaves on the tree are all being replaced. Fortunately, It’s Tough to Be a Bug! is still open, and the park’s icon is still a great backdrop for family photos. Rivers of Light is supposed to debut Spring, 2016.

4. Disney Springs

Downtown Disney has officially become Disney Springs, but that does not mean that the refurbishment is over! There are still plenty of construction walls up, and there is work to be done. Some of the offerings yet to come are the NBA Experience, Planet Hollywood Observatory, STK Orlando, and The Edison. Once the work is finished, there will be 150 shops and restaurants. Disney Springs will feature four lands instead of Downtown Disney’s three. The work is expected to be completed sometime in 2016.

3. Toy Story Midway Mania!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It is no secret that Toy Story Midway Mania! is one of the most popular rides at Walt Disney World. Lines form early, and the Wait Time will often reach two hours or more, even on days when the park isn’t all that busy. Disney is working on a solution, they are adding a new track to the ride. The work is currently underway, and the new track is expected to be finished sometime in 2016. The best part of all is that the ride is not expected to close during the refurbishment process.

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2. Soarin’


Like Toy Story Midway Mania!, lines grow long quickly at Soarin’. Also like Toy Story Midway Mania!, the solution is to expand the ride. A new theater is being added to Soarin’, which will increase capacity and cut down on Wait Times. Unlike Toy Story Midway Mania!, more is being done to the ride. With the new track there will be a new film. It will be called Soarin’ Around the World, and it will feature natural and man made wonders. Unfortunately, the ride will close on January 4, 2016. It is not expected to open again until Summer, 2016. The upgrade should be worth the wait.

1. Norway Pavilion


One of the most anticipated and controversial refurbishments is taking place at Epcot’s Norway Pavilion. In October, 2014, Maelstrom closed, and it was announced that the ride would be replaced by an attraction based on the movie Frozen. Fans of the movie were excited, while others complained that adding a movie-based attraction would change the feel of World Showcase. Love it or hate it, Frozen Ever After is on the way. The new ride will feature the same boats and track that were used by Maelstrom, and will take guests inside the fictional kingdom of Arendelle. There will be characters and music from the movie along the way. Another change coming to the Norway Pavilion is a meet and greet, featuring Anna and Elsa. The new ride and meet are greet and supposed to open Spring, 2016.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.