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So, 2012 is coming to a close and you’re probably now asking, “Well, what is happening at Walt Disney World in 2013?” It’s going to be nearly impossible to top all the changes and additions we had in 2012 at the Vacation Kingdom of the World, but there will be a steady diet of exciting offerings coming in 2013:
Princess Fairytale Hall
Disney princesses including Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, Jasmine, Tiana and Rapunzel will have a new home for meeting their loyal subjects when Princess Fairytale Hall opens in 2013 in the shadows of Cinderella Castle. The castle-like entrance will feature walls of stone and stained glass windows leading to a large, high-ceilinged room where portraits of the princesses adorn the walls. When summoned, Magic Kingdom guests will proceed to elegantly furnished chambers to meet the princesses.
Limited Time Magic
Disney Parks guests will get an extra dash of pixie dust in 2013 with Limited Time Magic. Themed weekly surprises and special offers will surprise and delight Disney Parks guests with 52 weeks of the unexpected. Plans include everything from dance parties, new festivals and character meet and greets to culinary treats, special entertainment and commemorative keepsakes. The bicoastal offering — created to remind guests about the importance of family vacation time together — is full of unique, magical, memory-filled experiences – all available for a limited time only. Special experiences include Valentine’s week with enchanting dinners, or photo shoots with famous Disney character couples; a patriotic salute during July 4th week with red, white and blue lights adorning castles on both coasts and limited edition souvenirs; or the popular Dapper Dans barbershop quartet swapping their old-time melodies for surprise renditions of today’s boy band hits. Each Limited Time Magic offering will have a varying length from a day to a week to a season adding to the element of surprise.
The Kinsey Collection at the American Adventure
The American story of determination, courage, hope, struggle and inspiration will be told through more than 40 pieces of art, artifacts, books sculptures and documents on display at Epcot. The American Adventure Pavilion will be home to the Kinsey’s personal treasures of African-American art and history, amassed from their travels to 90 countries with some works dating to the 17th century. The Kinsey Collection is the intersection where art and history meet, a virtual history book opened wide, giving voice to untold stories of accomplishment and contribution. After previews during African-American Heritage Month in February, the Kinsey Collection is scheduled to open in March 2013. The Kinsey Collection, at the American Heritage Gallery, will be included in Epcot admission.
Disney Senses Spa Opens at Grand Floridian, Coming to Saratoga Springs
If the new year means a new you, the just-opened Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort welcomes Walt Disney World Resort guests to renew and rejuvenate in 2013. The newly-remodeled spa, owned and operated by Disney, blends Grand Floridian Victorian elegance with modern touches – plus a dash of Disney whimsy.
All the senses are engaged in an ultimate relaxation experience – flavorful and soothing elixirs, color variations in lighting and Disney orchestral music harmonize with the treatment selected. Spa-goers walk through the new Victorian-style entryway and indulge in the spa’s relax, renew, or imagine themes aimed at creating a custom experience. The centerpiece of the spa’s lobby is an original mural reflecting old Florida landscape and nature. Glass mosaic tiles in the Jacuzzi rooms further enhance the elegance and sophistication of the spa.
Fifteen treatment rooms offer pampering services such as water therapy, sugar exfoliation body treatment, rejuvenating citrus facial, a restorative hand and foot ritual with Chinese Jasmine oils, plus a Princess Pedicure or Magical Manicure for youngsters ages 4-12. Lounges, whirlpools and treatment rooms all provide rejuvenation through the healing nature of Florida citrus and botanicals.
The new menu of services also includes a signature 80-minute Grand Floridian treatment featuring a special aromatherapy massage.
Guests can book a spa appointment at the new Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort by calling 407-WDW-SPAS (407-939-7727) or learn more by visiting www.disneyworld.com/spas
All of the spas, salons and fitness centers will be owned and operated by Disney beginning Jan.16, 2013. On that same day the spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort will temporarily close for renovation and reopen in the summer as Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.
“Sophia the First” and “Doc McStuffins” join Disney Junior – Live on Stage
Disney Junior – Live on Stage! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney California Adventure is periodically updated to feature the latest, most popular characters and stories from the Disney Junior line-up on television. In 2013, the top-rated “Doc McStuffins” and “Sofia the First” join the show. The new version of Disney Junior – Live on Stage! debuts at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in mid-February and comes to Disney California Adventure one month later, in March 2013. “Sofia the First” as a regular series premieres Friday, Jan. 11, on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.
Starbucks comes to Magic Kingdom and Epcot
Starbucks will be opening locations at Disney theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. The first two Walt Disney World locations will open in 2013. At Magic Kingdom, Main Street Bakery will close for refurbishment in January 2013. When it reopens in early summer, Main Street Bakery will keep its name and theming and continue to serve Disney favorites like cookies, brownies and seasonal cupcakes, in addition to Starbucks signature beverages and other menu items. At Epcot, Fountain View will temporarily close in March 2013. When Fountain View reopens in midsummer, it will serve Starbucks products. Each Starbucks location inside a Disney Park will reflect the theme of its surroundings. At Magic Kingdom Park for example, Cast Members will wear a costume consistent with the early 20th century look and feel of Main Street, U.S.A. At Future World in Epcot, the new Starbucks location and Cast Member costumes will be designed to match the park’s futuristic theme.
California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort gets a major makeover and will be closed from February 2, 2013 until late-summer 2013. Chef Brian Piasecki also is tweaking the menu, but the focus will remain on fresh, seasonal creations.
Upstairs at the France pavilion, Bistro de Paris has reopened with a new name and a completely refurbished dining room and new menu. Still haute French but a bit more casual, with a nod to famed chef Paul Bocuse in the décor and the name – Monsieur Paul. In the meantime, Boulangerie Patisserie bakery is a brand-new building at the back of the pavilion, opening in January 2013.
Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa now offers a private dining experience in The Chef’s Domain for up to 10 guests. Available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, cost is $155 per person plus tax (includes gratuity) for six courses.
Other 2013 additions Disney has not confirmed at this time include The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Tapaz (a waterside restaurant to be constructed in the Morocco pavilion at Epcot), and a rather large refurbishment project for the Jungle Cruise. We’ll have more on these projects as they become available.