Walt Disney World | News Roundup: Monday, 13th January 2014

In this round-up we're covering what's happened over the past week in Walt Disney World. As usual, all these updates will be incorporated into the next version of The Independent Guide to Walt Disney World 2014. This week we have restaurant openings, ground breaking and much more.

Spice Road Table at Epcot


This new dining location opened up this week. It is a strange table service restaurant in which the food is largely pre-prepared and coming to your table in less than 5 minutes. The idea is that you don't order huge main courses but rather small sampler plates which are priced at about $10 each, according to reviews you'll need at least two of these plates to feel like you've eaten well. So far reviews have been overwhelmingly positive and it seems to be the perfect option for a light meal. There are 120 outdoor seats, and 60 indoors and the location is expected to be very popular for the nightly Illuminations fireworks.

Fastpass+ only Magic Kingdom


Following the test at Animal Kingdom park in December 2013 where traditional paper Fastpasses were removed and Fastpass+ became the only option, Magic Kingdom is to become the next park to transition to Fastpass+ only tomorrow (Tuesday, 14th January 2014). This means Fastpass+ will be the only option for both onsite Disney hotel guests, off-site hotel guests and annual pass holders. Guests who have not made reservations in advance can make them on the day at one of the many Disney kiosks. Paper Fastpasses are only available at Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios as of tomorrow for off-site guests and these parks are expected to transition over the next few months. Disney note guests will use Fastpass+ for all four parks by the end of January.


Off-site guests to test MyMagic+

During January 2014 selected off-site guests will be invited to test the whole suite of MyMagic+ experiences. This means Fastpass+ for all 4 Disney parks, the My Disney Experience app and eventually the MagicBands (though these will come at an extra charge). This will be offered to selected guests via email. Until now off-site guests have not been able to use any of these features except Fastpass+ at Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom.


Avatar construction begins at Animal Kingdom


The ceremonial groundbreaking of an AVATAR-inspired land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom took place on 8th January 2014. The multi-year and largest expansion in Disney’s Animal Kingdom history, the new land will invite Walt Disney World Resort guests to experience the wonders of Pandora when they fly with the banshees, encounter the Na’vi and explore a rich cultural environment with mountains that float and interactive plants that glow at night.