Disney Theme Parks New Attractions

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If a trip to Disneyland or Disney World is on your list for spring break or summer vacation, you’ll find old favorites plus plenty of new events and attractions for the whole family. 

On the West Coast, the Disney Food & Wine Festival, at the California Adventure theme park, is expanding to six weeks, taking place this year from March 2 to April 12. There’ll be a variety of cuisine inspired by the Golden State, dinners featuring specially selected parings of beer and wine, and demonstrations by celebrity chefs. Kids ages 3 to 11 can take part in Jr. Chef, a hands-on cooking experience. Visitors to Downtown Disney will find a new, multi-sensory attraction in “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire.”

Another spring highlight, beginning April 13, is Pixar Fest. At Disneyland, the Play Parade will include characters and floats from beloved movies like “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Up.” In the evening, “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” will feature music from the films and fireworks, capped by a flyover above Sleeping Beauty Castle by Buzz Lightyear. At California Adventure, the Paint the Night Parade will spotlight Pixar characters and a rotating series of short films will be screened in Hollywood Land. June 23 is opening day for Pixar Pier, a reimagined land featuring four neighborhoods that represent different stories from the movies, as well as an “Incredibles” themed roller coaster ride. 

At Disney World, the big new attraction is the highly anticipated Toy Story Land, which opens June 30 on 11 acres at Disney Hollywood Studios. The entire “land” has been created as a celebration of toys of all kinds. Adults and children alike can join in the fun in Andy’s backyard with Woody, Buzz and the rest of the “Toy Story” characters, go for a thrilling ride on the Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster and take a spin on Alien Swirling Saucers, then head inside Andy’s room to play games in a carnival-themed arcade. 

Disney World is celebrating two special anniversaries in 2018. Animal Kingdom turns 20, and to mark the occasion, a new family-friendly show, “A Great Bird Adventure,” debuts on April 22. It features wilderness explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug from Pixar’s “Up.” At Epcot, it’s the 25th anniversary of the International Flower & Garden Festival, which takes place through May 28, with Disney-character topiaries, 15 outdoor kitchens, garden tours, new children’s activities, concerts, a scavenger hunt and more. 

Finally, fans of Disney Springs, the shopping, dining and entertainment complex at Disney World, will be able to choose from eight new dining options, including The Edison, a 1920s-themed restaurant, bar and lounge built in what was once a power plant. It will feature a family-friendly lunch menu but in the late evening, serve up fine food, handcrafted cocktails and dazzling nightlife. Maria & Enzo’s, in the art deco Disney Springs Air Terminal, will showcase the food of southern Italy.

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