As another year comes to a close, many are remembering the events of 2012 and looking ahead to the new year with hope and expectation. It is easy to forget the wonderful events throughout the year until we take time to stop and reflect. With this in mind, I thought it would be fitting to reflect on some of the Disney happenings of 2012.
The year began with the opening of the Exotic Driving Experience at the Walt Disney World Speedway. Who can resist a chance to ride along or drive a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi or Porsche? And now a new exotic is available for this experience – the Aston Martin Virage.
Disney delighted us with One More Disney Day – we no longer had to imagine what it would be like to spend 24 hours in a Disney park. Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom Park celebrated the leap year with a wonderful 24-hour celebration. Say it with me, “I took the leap and didn’t sleep!”
Disney set sail on the maiden voyage of the Disney Fantasy! A brand new ship was added to the Disney Cruise Line fleet. Where else can you become a detective in a game starring the Muppets? New experiences and adventure await!!
Disneyland Paris celebrated 20 years! April, 2012 began a year of extended hours, Disney Magic on Parade!, Disney’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Train, and Disney Dreams! – a new nighttime spectacular. Yet another great reason to go to Paris. Bon Anniversaire!
Sing it with me, “In The Big Blue Pool.” Wait. What?! Oh, yeah, that’s right! The Finding Nemo Family Suites debuted at the Art of Animation Resort. A whole new chapter of storybook rooms began. Come enjoy your transformation to the size of a fish and splash away with Nemo, Crush, and jellyfish. Surprises await you!
Cars Land opened at Disney California Adventure Park!! Guests can now explore new dining and shopping options, as well as four new attractions – Radiator Springs Racers, Luigi’s Flying Tires, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and the Red Car Trolley. Ka-Chow!
A new World of Disney store opened in Disney Village at Disneyland Paris. Finally, a large selection of souvenirs in one location! You will also find a series of murals, bas-reliefs showing Disney characters and the Eiffel Tower, and a rotating domed roof (with Tinker Bell on top). Bienvenue!
Sharky and Bones from Jake and the Never Land Pirates performed concerts at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World. Guests were able to “Talk Like a Pirate” and “Roll Up the Map.”
The Little Mermaid section at Art of Animation opened. Now guests that prefer a Standard Room can stay at the Art of Animation Resort. Don’t you wish you could be “part of that world?!”
In celebration of the Disney film “Secret of the Wings,” a new ice skating rink opened in the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort. Unfortunately, it is only available for a limited time – it will disappear in January 2013.
Be Our Guest opened its doors and the New Fantasyland previews began. Guests were able to have dinner in the ornate Ballroom or eerie West Wing of Beast’s castle. In addition, guests were able to enjoy all of Storybook Circus, as well as Enchanted Tales with Belle, Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, and Gaston’s Tavern. LeFou’s Brew anyone?
This year is definitely going out with a bang! New Fantasyland had its grand opening, Test Track reopened, Splitsville opened in Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World, and the Senses Spa opened at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Guests can design a virtual custom concept vehicle and see how their design compares in Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power at Test Track. The new Senses Spa is a luxurious new addition to the Walt Disney World Resort, and includes organic and vegan products. If that were not enough, guests can dine on sushi while bowling at Splitsville. How awesome is that?! Roll in. Rock out.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of all the wonderful Disney events for 2012. In looking forward to 2013, Disney has promised to delight us each week with Limited Time Magic. I cannot wait to see what Disney has in store, and welcome 2013 with open arms, hope and expectation!
What were some of your favorite Disney happenings in 2012?