What’s new at Disney World in Florida?

The late Walt Disney took pride in his imagination and innovation, and his successors try to live up to that legacy. This is why you can expect to find something new at Disney World every year. If you’re planning to visit Orlando, Central Florida, and Disney World this summer, read on and check out the new additions to the famous theme park.

The first thing that might grab your attention this summer is the reopening of the Presidents’ Room. There will be a new addition, President Barrack Obama whose Audio-Animatronics replica will join those of the previous 43 presidents. This high-tech journey through American history has been part of Disney World since its opening in 1971 and Disney imagineers are hard at work adding new elements (besides President Obama) to the current spectacle.

Are you ready to join the League of Pirates? Well, starting at the end of June, you can try your luck at Adventureland where a League of Pirates “recruiting office” will be set up. Recruits will get a pirate name, beard, eye patch, scarves, earrings, and even gold teeth. Once you take the Pirate Oath, you will be sent on an adventure to Adventureland. Pirate League packages start at $ 49.95 plus tax.

Speaking of pirates, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort now offers pirate-themed accommodations. Over 300 rooms now have ship-themed beds and pirate décor.

This year (2009) there is also a new dining option at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It’s a picnic in the open-air park. The “take out” meal includes sandwiches or chicken and includes sides, dessert, and a bottle of water for each guest. A meal for three costs $ 24.99. Picnic meals can be ordered near the park entrance and picked up (within two hours at the Kusafiri Cafe and Bakery located in the park).

At the end of the day’s activities, you can also park at a party. Cast members like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Goofy gather near the entrance to Disney’s Kindom each night when the park closes. It’s called the Adventurers Celebration Gathering and it’s a street party where guests join in the conga line dancing while the Disney characters drum to the beat of their safari vehicle.

Another new view in the skies over Disney World is Characters in Flight. This is a captive hot air balloon decorated with images of Disney characters such as Tinkerbell, Dumbo and Peter Pan. The red and yellow balloon reaches heights of 400 feet above Downtown Disney, providing guests with panoramic views. Tickets for the hot air balloon ride are $ 16 for ages 10 and over and $ 10 for children ages 3 to 9. The balloon gondola can hold 30 people at a time and the trip takes six minutes. Tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis.

When you land after your hot air balloon ride, you might also want to check out a new restaurant in Downtown Disney. Located on Pleasure Island, Paradiso 37 offers cuisine from 37 different countries in North, Central and South America. The new restaurant is open from 11:00 am until late at night and also offers evening entertainment. When you visit Disney World, take a look at the new features and make your visit a little different from last time.

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