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What’s New at Florida’s Disney World?

What’s New at Florida’s Disney World?

The late Walt Disney took pride in imagination and innovation, and his successors are trying to live up to that legacy. That’s why you can expect to find something new at Disney World each year. If you are planning a visit to Orlando, Central Florida and Disney World this summer, then read on and find out about some new additions to the famed theme park.

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

Are you ready to join the Pirates League? Well, beginning in late June you will be able to get your chance in Adventureland where a “recruiting office” for the Pirates League 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 out on an adventure in Adventureland. Pirates League packages start at $49.95 plus tax.

Speaking of pirates, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort now offers pirate-themed accommodations. More than 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 is Picnic in the Park al fresco dining. The “take-out” meal includes sandwiches or chicken and includes side dishes, dessert and bottled water for each guest. A meal for three costs $24.99. The picnic meals can be ordered near the park entrance and picked up (within two hours at the Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery located within the park).

At the close of the day’s activities you can also take park in a party. Cast members, such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy, gather near the entrance of Disney’s Kindom each evening as the park closes. It’s called the Adventurers’ Celebration Gathering and it is a street party where guest join in conga line dancing as the Disney characters drum out the beat from their safari vehicle.

Another new sight in the skies over Disney World is Characters in Flight. This is a tethered hot air balloon that is 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 a panoramic view. Tickets for the balloon ride are $16 for age 10 and up, and $10 for children between 3 and 9. The balloon’s gondola holds 30 people at a time and the duration of the trip is six minutes. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

When you touch down from your balloon ride you might also want to check out a new restaurant in Downtown Disney. Located on Pleasure Island, Paradiso 37 features the cuisine of 37 different countries of North, Central and South America. The new restaurant is open from 11:00 AM till the late night and also features nightly entertainment. When you visit Disney World take a look at the new features and make your visit a bit different from the last time.