What to expect at Disney World in 2016 – PREP119

There are a lot of exciting changes coming to Disney World in 2016, including a new nighttime show, all new attractions, completely redone popular attractions, and lots of construction.

I have details on all of that, plus a quick tip of the day.

These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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Changes coming to Disney World in 2016

  • Magic Kingdom - Skipper Canteen now open (Table Service location, reservations not open yet but can walk up)
  • Epcot - Flower and Garden Festival much longer this year, Soarin’ Around the World opening (long closure, new one will be digital with new movie, new theater), Anna/Elsa meet and greet and new Frozen Ever After ride opening by summer
  • Hollywood Studios - Star Wars Weekends going away, Star Wars Launch Bay now open (character meets, exhibits, short film, merchandise), Jedi Training and Star Tours updated, Symphony in the Stars fireworks scheduled nightly, Osborne Lights going away to make way for Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land construction beginning, third track for Toy Story Mania opening
  • Animal Kingdom - Rivers of Light opening spring 2016, Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris (African wild dogs and hyenas) coming in spring, new Table Service restaurant called Tiffins (indoor/outdoor seating, serving lunch and dinner), Pandora construction continues
  • Disney Springs - construction finally wrapping up in 2016, DisneyQuest is closing (NBA Experience is coming), Pleasure Island area now called The Landing, Town Center area completely new
  • Resorts: Wilderness Lodge having extensive construction until 2017, Poly refurb finally wrapping up, several resort pool refurbishments listed on the monthly dashboards

Quick tip of the day

Not sure which park you'll be in each day of your trip? When your FastPass+ window opens up, snag Magic Kingdom FastPass+ reservations for each day of your trip since they are the most difficult to get. When you figure out where you'll be, you can cancel the FP+ you don't need.

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Do you know when the NBA expirence is opening? We are going in the beginning of September and hope to go.

Kirstin Dirks


I have been using your blog to help plan my honeymoon this June! This is also our first time ever to Disney world though we frequent Disneyland about once a year. My husband is a huge Disney fan and I wanted to surprise him with a magic kingdom tour. How would you compare the Keys to the Kingdom tour vs the Marciline tour? What are the pros and cons for each? Thanks!


hello from NYC!
my kids are 5.5 and 3.5- our boy is the younger of the two and very active. we’re thinking of going in march… we would love the option of cooking in our room- what would you suggest the best resort would be?
thanks! this website is AMAZING!!!


Question: we are going for the first time in May! So excited, my oldest son LOVES Indiana Jones I read somewhere that there might be possibly closers on this attraction. Have you heard anything like that regarding that attraction? We are going end of May. Thank you in advance.

Kay Mead

Hi Shannon & Heather, Love the website, podcasts & all you do to make happy holidays for folks. We are coming to Florida from the UK in July for our 8th visit & will be staying offsite. This visit, we wish to treat ourselves to the Keys to the Kingdom tour but are concerned about MK transportation to get us to City Hall in time for the early start. We are therefore considering booking an early breakfast at the Contemporary Resort then walking over to take any stress away. If it is possible to do this (the 180 day window… Read more »


Great info, I have listened to all of your podcasts!

Can you tell me if there an easy way to get notified when the Skipper Canteen starts taking reservations? I am planning a trip in April, and want to make sure we can eat dinner there by reservation (if they are taking them by then). Having to try to make a reservation there every day is the only way I can tell if they are taking reservations, and that process is becoming tedious.

Thanks for your help!!

Courtney Barden

I read on another site that reservations are not going to be accepted at this restaurant. That this is a trial to see how a table service restaurant does at Disney World with walk up service only.


We were able to get right in and had no problems. It’s a great place to eat and have break during the day. The rooms are all different and we really enjoyed the whole experience.


With all the changes at HS, for a non-Star Wars family, does it become a half day park?


Thanks for the great info! I’m planning my family’s first trip to disney world this summer!!! They are 4 &7 and won’t be able to stay up for all the night time shows. We’re already skipping Fantasmic. Which do you think is can’t miss: Illuminations or Rivers of light? I’ve never seen either! Thanks for your help!


I’m also curious on your thoughts for this. My kids will be 8 and 5.5 when we go this fall. I was figuring to skip Illuminations and try for Fantasmic & Wishes. Now with the Rivers of Light starting I figure this may shake up the plan…..

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