Written by Jennifer Jamieson – Magical Tripcations Travel Planner
Of course there is always so much to see and do at Disney World; however, this summer or early fall promises to bring some truly amazing new attractions, entertainment and more to all four parks! Disney has been releasing so much information on coming attractions, updates and new offerings that they are keeping our team of travel planners on our toes! So, we decided to highlight the best of what is to be unveiled during Awaken Summer 2016. Here’s our top 16 things you must do this summer at Disney World.
The Force is Strong at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
There’s so much in store for Star Wars fans this summer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! The force is definitely strong and will bring new shows and updated experiences to the park. Here’s a breakdown of what’s ahead for Awaken Summer 2016:
1. The new Star Wars Fireworks show – “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” is set to debut in June at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This new nightly show is the next generation of the current Star Wars inspired fireworks show and will be the biggest show ever to light up the skies over Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The show will combine fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects and video projections that will turn the skies over the Chinese Theater into multiple Star Wars destinations.
2. The Live Stage Show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” debuted April 4, 2016 and celebrates iconic moments for the Star Wars Saga with live vignettes featuring fan favorites BB-8, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Darth Vader and Darth Maul. Be sure to stop by center stage on Hollywood Boulevard and check the times guide for show times.
3. Don’t miss the March of the First Order Stormtrooper Procession led by Captain Phasma from Star Wars Launch Bay. Not sure about you, but we can’t decide if this is a scary or a galactically cool procession to watch! However, anytime that you can experience something straight out a movie has to be rated as galactically cool, right?
4. Also, you will want to stop by Star Wars Launch Bay where large-scale artifacts and encounters with characters including Kylo Ren are showcased. Don’t miss the chance to snap a photo with Chewbacca, too! Click here to learn more.
5. The re-imagined Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple experience also features new characters and is a not-to-be missed for the young Jedi. And at Star Tours – The Adventures Continue guests buckle up for an enhanced high-speed journey with new Star Wars: The Force Awakens characters and a visit to Jakku.
6. And, we’d be remiss to leave out one other exciting update at Disney Hollywood Studios. Toy Story Mania! is gaining an additional track which should put a positive spin on wait times and increase the number of available FastPasses. Stay tuned! We just love this attraction and are excited about the update!
Magical Moments to Debut at Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom is a very magical place and will be debuting a few new magical offerings this summer! Here are a few on our must-do/see list:
7. “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” is set to open in June at Magic Kingdom replacing the long-running “Dream Along with Mickey”. Mickey and friends will welcome favorite characters from some of Disney’s newest classics at Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage. Special appearances will feature Tiana & Naveen from “The Princess and the Frog”, Rapunzel & Flynn from “Tangled” and Anna and Elsa from “Frozen. The show will feature special effects, magical musical moments, and dazzling dance numbers. So be sure to check the times guide for daily show times.
8. Magic Kingdom has a new eatery in Adventureland! Book a table-service reservation at the new Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen inspired by the Jungle Cruise. Your hunger for adventure will be satisfied with the tropical cuisine offered at this exotic outpost.
9. Elena of Avalor, Disney’s first princess inspired by diverse Latin cultures, will debut in August at Magic Kingdom! La Princesa Elena will debut in the Disney Channel’s series “Elena of Avalor” this summer.
Enchanting Worlds to Open at Epcot
While Anna and Elsa will exit their home in Princess Fairytale Hall at Magic Kingdom, you will still be able to meet the adorable duo beginning this summer in the World Showcase in Epcot. The sisters will make their debut in the Norway Pavilion with a new meet and greet location and a new attraction!
10. Norway is being expanded to include the new Anna & Elsa meet and greet at the Royal Sommerhus Cabin in the Norway Pavilion. You’ll receive a royal welcome from Queen Elsa and Princess Anna, pose for a photo and receive a warm embrace before heading on your merry way.
11. Norway will also be home to Frozen Ever After, a new attraction where you will set sail on a boat through the world of Arendelle and be able to sing and celebrate during a very special “Summer Snow Day” with Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff & friends!
12. Another beloved attraction is set to re-open in Epcot on June 17, 2016 with the highly anticipated Soarin’ update. The ride has been closed recently for refurbishments so that a third theater could be added to the attraction but there’s more! Soarin’ will be renamed to Soarin’ Around the World and will take guests to new heights. When the new version debuts this summer, guests will take flight above The Great Wall of China, journey over the Great Pyramids of Egypt and be dazzled with the sights of man-made wonders. Click here for a sneak peek.
13. New friends will join Crush in the tank for Turtle Talk with Crush beginning in early May! Friends from “Finding Dory” will swim around with the coolest turtle on the planet and will entertain and delight dudes of all ages!
Amazing Nighttime Shows to Open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
There are so many exciting changes coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom which will include extended park hours. If you’ve ever visited this park, you are familiar that it closes much earlier than the other parks but later this spring/summer, Animal Kingdom will extend their hours to include some exciting new nighttime features:
14. Disney’s Animal Kingdom will explode with light after dark! You will be able to experience the magic of nature with “Rivers of Light”, a new nighttime show. Although we are awaiting confirmation on when this show will debut, we do know that it will feature entertainers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery in a performance that truly brings the animal kingdom to life at night. Click here for a sneak peek.
15. Kilimanjaro Safaris will expand operating hours, allowing guests to travel through the African savanna amid the orange glow of the setting sun. How magical to view these amazing animals at night!
16. Beginning Memorial Day Weekend, the new restaurant Tiffins will feature food from places the Imagineers visited when developing Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. You will be able to explore a global culinary expedition at this restaurant inspired by exploration and adventure. We are super excited to nosh on the world of flavors offered on this menu!
Summer or early fall are great times to visit Disney World and we would love to help you experience a Magical Tripcation. Now is the time to start planning your vacation as there are many Disney discounts to explore and our travel planners can find the best option for you! Best news? Our planning services are free when you book your Disney World package through us.
Your travel planner can find the right fit for your budget, do all the planning leg work for you and come up with a seamless vacation plan tailored for your friends and family. Contact your travel planner today and let’s get busy planning your getaway to the most magical place on Earth! Click here to learn more about using a Magical Tripcations Travel Planner.