With a lot of announcements coming from Disney these past few days, I wanted to sort through it all and tell you what is and isn’t coming to Walt Disney World this summer.
Hollywood Studios is clearly in a transition phase. Walls are up, blocking off 1/3rd of the park, as construction breaks ground for Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land. Let’s take a look at what we can expect this summer.
Third track for Toy Story Midway Mania (Memorial Day Weekend) – This will open Memorial Day Weekend and should increase capacity for the park’s most popular ride.
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular (June) – This is the all new Star Wars fireworks spectacular that will utilize projection technology, pyrotechnics, and a new fireworks launch site.
Other offerings such as the Star Wars Launch Bay, Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show, and new Jedi Training show are already available.
What isn’t coming
Toy Story Land – Despite all of the hype and articles written about this new land, it’s still years away from opening. The space that this land is rumored to be located hasn’t even been cleared yet.
Star Wars Land – Like Toy Story Land, Star Wars Land is still years away. We’ve seen some demolition of buildings that we think is where Star Wars Land is going to go, but we’re still a ways out from the completion of said demolition.
Don’t plan on either of these lands being open for at least the next couple of years, and don’t be disappointed when you get to Hollywood Studios and it still only has a few hours worth of things to do.
Extended Hours (May 27th) – Animal Kingdom will be extending its hours and bringing quite a lot to the table, and as a result hours are being extended until 11pm.
The Tree of Life Awakens (Memorial Day Weekend) – This will be a projection show on the Tree of Life that brings the animals on the Tree to life. It will be shown multiple times per night and only viewable from in front of the Tree.
Kilimanjaro Safaris after Dark (Memorial Day Weekend) – As it gets dark around the rest of Animal Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safaris is stuck in a never ending sunset. This will allow you to see animals at night and even some new additions like Wild Dogs and Hyenas.
The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic (Memorial Day Weekend) – This is the stand-in show for Rivers of Light. Nobody knows what this will entail outside of a new show, “filled with music and special effects that celebrates the new film and the classic songs, now infused with an Indian influence.”
Harambe Wildlife Parti (Memorial Day Weekend) – One of two new entertainment acts.
Discovery Island Carnivale (Memorial Day Weekend) – The second of two new entertainment acts.
Tiffins Signature Restaurant (Memorial Day Weekend) – The new signature restaurant located near Pizzafari. Check out the latest construction progress.
Nighttime attractions (Memorial Day Weekend) – Most attractions will be open long into the night for guests to enjoy.
What isn’t coming
Pandora – The World of Avatar – This new land is still under construction, and won’t open until 2017.
Rivers of Light – Rivers of Light has been delayed through the summer months. Unfortunately, the Disney Parks Blog had to walk back the original opening date of…today. This show looks like it has the potential to be a good one, but putting ‘The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic’ in as an interim show while they work out the issues with Rivers of Light isn’t the first impression Disney wanted to make this summer.
Soarin’ Around the World (June 17th) – The new show and theater will be online June 17th. This is a day after Shanghai Disneyland gets the exclusive premier. Rumor is that we could see Soarin’ reopen before the June 17th date with the old film and then cut over to the new one on the 17th. We’re keeping an eye on this.
Frozen Ever After and Royal Summerhus (June) – Frozen Ever After is the boat ride that replaced Maelstrom and Royal Summerhus is the meet & greet opportunity with Anna and Elsa. Both are located in the Norway pavilion and will open this June.
Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire (June) – This is the Castle Stage show that we told you was going to open in June before all of the #AwakenSummer “media” had the story. The stage is currently stripped and undergoing construction for the new show.
Elena of Avalor (August) – This new princess will start meeting at the Magic Kingdom following her Disney Channel debut. Disney wanted to let you know that she is the first princess inspired by Latin cultures, so I will too.
I think that just about covers what’s going on this summer. What are you most looking forward to or most disappointed in? Let us know in the comments below or on social media!