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What Opened at Disney World and Universal in 2018

by Tad on December 31, 2018 Orlando

'Sup! Welcome to Tad's toadally awesome list of what opened at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and the other parks in 2018! You tad fans know I’ve been keeping tabs on all the attractions and experiences headed to the Orlando theme parks over the last few years, and I have no plans to stop! (You can see what opened in 2017 and previous years here.) This post is super hopful if you haven't been to the parks in a few years, and you've got a trip coming up! Use it alongside my post of what's opening in the parks in 2019 and beyond. You should toadally make a list of what you don't want to miss! Catch you in the parks!

Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios

What Opened at Disney World and Universal in 2018

Magic Kingdom

Hall of Presidents - What's Coming to Disney World and Universal in 2018 and Beyond

Donald Trump added to the Hall of Presidents — now open — The animatronic version of President Trump officially opened Dec. 19, 2017, at the Hall of Presidents. This attraction was under refurbishment for most of 2017. High-impact projection, sound lighting and other enhancements were added to the attraction.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party attraction overlays — Aug. 17 - Oct. 31 — Disney World announced four new experiences for this year's Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Interactive pirates will join you for a spooky sail on Pirates of the Caribbean, Mad Tea Party promises mystical color and lighting effects and Space Mountain will offer a transformative soundtrack and special effects. Oh, and you'll now be able to find your favorite Disney Junior pals for a dance party in Storybook Circus!

The Incredibles "SUPER" Dance Party — ended summer 2018 — Edna Mode will join Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and Frozone from Disney•Pixar's The Incredibles at a brand new DJ-hosted dance party on the Rocket Tower Stage in Tomorrowland.

Disney Springs

The Edison at Disney Springs - What's Coming to Disney World and Universal in 2018 and Beyond

Chicken Guy — now open — Coming from Chef Guy Fieri, partnered with Planet Hollywood's Robert Earl, this new quick-service spot focuses on all-natural chicken and delectable sauce. Welcome to Flavortown!

The Edison — now open — Resembling a 1920's electric company power plant, The Edison will feature food, cocktails, live entertainment, cabaret and music. It will feature distinct areas, with the Lab Performance room featuring entertainment such as palm readers, DJs and (ooh) contortionists. The Edison will be a sister restaurant to its Los Angeles location.

Terralina Crafted Italian — now open — Themed as an Italian home, this new restaurant serves authentic Italian meals and cocktails. Overseen by James Beard Award-winner and Top Chef Master Tony Mantuano, this restaurant replaces Portobello Country Italian Trattoria.

Wine Bar George  now open —  Master Sommelier George Miliotes returns to Disney (he helped open California Grill in 1995) with an intimate wine bar that resembles a winemaker's home estate. I'm a teenager and don't know what any of that means, but mom says it's fancy, so, cool. Yay, wine people.

Maria And Enzo's — now open — Located next to The Edison, this Italian restaurant will be designed as speakeasy feel, matching the feel of its neighbor. This table service and fast casual restaurant will be run by the Patina Group, operators of Morimoto at Disney Springs and Via Napoli at Epcot.

Enzo's Hideaway — now open — This small tavern is inspired by Roman aperitivo bars, located in the storied rum-runner tunnels that adjoin Maria & Enzo’s. Inspired by Florida’s true history of rum running, Enzo’s Hideaway will pour Prohibition-era cocktails at its Tunnel Bar and serve a casual menu of hearty Roman dishes, such as the city’s legendary Bucatini alla Carbonara and Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe.

Pizza Ponte now open — Located next to Maria And Enzo's, this fast-casual restaurant will serve pastry specialties such as Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts), Sfoglia di Riso (pastry with rice cream) and Tiramisu. Savory items include signature Triangolo (stuffed pizza bread) sandwiches, Porchetta (roast pork) and Pizza al Taglio, Sicilian-style pizza by the slice.

Disney Tails — now open — Disney's adorable line of pet toys and accessories has expanded into its own retail location so you can bring home some park-themed souvenirs for your furry friends. There's a Haunted Mansion collection, so we're already sold.

Lovepop now open — Stationary lovers, rejoice! If you're a fan of unique art, you'll Love(pop) this new location featuring intricate 3D paper art of all styles and designs.

The Art of Disney Presents Greg McCullough Nov. 3, 2018 - Jan. 1, 2019 — In the former location of Little Miss Matched, one of our favorite artists is setting up shop with his beautifully unique collection of Disney art. You can even catch him for autographs, meet-and-greets and live painting daily from 1:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (except Mondays.)

What's Coming - Wolfgang

Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill — now open — A modern concept inspired by laid-back California dining.

Ralph Breaks VR Hyper Reality Experience — opening Nov. 21, 2018 — This multi-sensory experience will immerse guests in the world of Ralph Breaks the Internet. Teams of four will break the internet with Wreck-It-Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz disguised as characters from the film "Netizens." Guests will need to be at least 48 inches tall and 10 years old.

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Slinky Dog Dash at Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Land — now open — An 11-acre land has risen up around Toy Story Mania, offering a Buzz-sized perspective on Andy's backyard. Look for oversized building blocks and game board pieces. There are two new attractions, Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers. For more information, check out our full guide to Toy Story Land!

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Explorers Meet UP! A Great Bird Adventure — now open — Russell and Dug help guests discover species of birds from around the world in their newest adventure at the Caravan Theater in Anandapur Village.

A "Dino-Tastic" Celebration for Donald Duck — now open — Donald Duck, LaunchPad and Scrooge McDuck take over Dinoland, U.S.A. for a fun, new character celebration. Rumor has it, this will be a permanent fixture at Animal Kingdom!

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

H2O Glow Nights — ended Summer 2018 — Woody, Buzz and Jessie throw a party on the beach complete with dancing, party games, character meet-and-greets and access to all of the attractions after hours.

ESPN Wide World of Sports 

Multi-use sports and entertainment venue — now open — This one-of-a-kind venue will accommodate 8,000 fans and has the ability to be configured for events such as volleyball, basketball and concerts. A large number of cheerleading competitions are held at Disney World, and the ESPN complex hosts the Cheerleading World Championships each April. Lily, the resident jumper, will certainly enjoy this.

Universal Studios Florida

Roundup - Fast and Furious

Fast & Furious: Supercharged — now open — Based on the popular film franchise, the new Fast & Furious: Supercharged puts guests in the middle of the action, where they'll explore the headquarters of Dom Toretto's underground racing world and be part of a high-speed chase with some of the films' stars. This will be similar to Fast & Furious: Supercharged that opened at Universal Studios Hollywood.  Check out the video here. Fast & Furious at Universal Studios Florida will be located in the San Francisco area of the park.

Universal Orlando Cinematic Celebration

Cinematic Celebration — now open — Universal's new music, water and light show features some of the park's favorite films and characters takes place on the Studios Lagoon with wow-ing water visuals and exciting pyro. Catch all of your favorites, including Minions, Harry Potter, Fast & Furious, Jurassic World and more.

Universal Orlando Resort

Universal's Aventura Hotel — now open — This tower hotel will offer views of all three Universal Orlando theme parks and will embody a sleek, modern design. Its 600 rooms will offer warm-toned decor. Want to know more? Read Mommy frog's more in-depth Universal's Aventura Overview.

SeaWorld Orlando

Infinity Falls — now open — Just when you think you know raft rides, SeaWorld changes the rules. This new ride will take you through the remains of an ancient civilization, past fountains, and waterfalls. World class rapids will spin and soak you, but that's nothing compared to the end. Your raft will enter a lift and be elevated to the top of Infnifty Falls. From there, you'll plunge down the tallest drop of its kind into the churning  water below. The journey ends at Harmony Village, where you'll be informed and inspired to spread the message of conservation.

Aquatica Orlando

Ray Rush — now open — At nearly 60 feet tall, this new raft ride will send families  on three exciting thrills as they slide, splash and soar like never before. Riders will be launched at 33 feet per second with water jets designed to propel rafts into the first of several enclosed tube sections. Next, riders will swirl into a colossal translucent sphere which spins the raft around the slide walls before entering another enclosed tube section. Finally, riders will drop into an open-air halfpipe that resembles the shape of a manta ray. Rafts will soar back and forth on the wings of the manta before entering the final enclosed tube section that ends with a splash.

I hope you've toadally dug my list of what opened at Disney World and Universal in 2018! Don't froget, you can see what's coming to the parks. Hop on over to our When to Visit Orlando page for more planning tips, part of our Orlando Planning Timeline!

Related: Best Time To Visit Disney World

Stay cool!

Keep hopping, Tad!
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