LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Apr. 21, 2016 — Walt Disney World Resort hosted hundreds of media representatives this week for a preview of the attractions, entertainment and dining that will make Disney experiences even more magical for guests this summer and beyond. The announcements ranged from a sneak peek of new theme park attractions such as Frozen Ever After and Soarin’ at Epcot, to a preview of the innovative nighttime experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, to expanded dining options at Disney Springs, and exciting new adventures on the high seas with Disney Cruise Line.
“Thanks to the imagination and hard work of Disney Cast Members, we’re awakening summer with spectacular new things to see and do throughout our theme parks, resorts and other Disney experiences,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney Theme Parks Unveil New Attractions, Experiences
At Epcot this June, Anna, Elsa and their latest-generation Audio-Animatronics co-stars will welcome guests aboard the new Frozen Ever After boat ride that sails into a “Frozen” world at the Norway Pavilion. Passengers on their way to Arendelle’s Winter in Summer Celebration for Queen Elsa visit the ice palace and hear beloved film tunes plus new lyrics by Oscar-winning “Let It Go” songwriters Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson. Also at Norway Pavilion, Anna and Elsa will greet guests in the new Royal Sommerhus, inspired by a cabin in the countryside of Norway.
Guests will reach new heights in Epcot’s Future World with the June 17 debut of Soarin’ Around the World. Showcasing jaw-dropping views of spectacular global landscapes and man-made wonders, the expanded attraction will feature a third theater, new digital screens and updated projection systems.
This June, for the first time In Magic Kingdom Park, modern Disney characters Tiana of “Princess and the Frog,” and Rapunzel of “Tangled,” co-star with Anna and Elsa of “Frozen,” and a host of classic characters in the new extravaganza “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire,” on the grand Cinderella Castle stage. Disney Parks will welcome its first princess inspired by diverse Latin cultures. Elena of Avalor will appear at Walt Disney World Resort later this summer in Magic Kingdom Park, following her television debut in a new animated series this summer on Disney Channel.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests will be captivated by “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” which will premiere this June with new themed fireworks, lasers and video projections of scenes from the complete saga, all set to the iconic score of the film series. The display joins the recently debuted live stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away,” featuring popular characters such as BB-8, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Darth Maul, as well as the new March of the First Order Stormtrooper procession led by Captain Phasma from the Star Wars Launch Bay.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Introduces First-Ever Evening Entertainment, Extended Park Hours
Beginning Memorial Day weekend, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will introduce guests to the magic of nature after dark. Guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom can enjoy more of the park with extended hours and enhanced entertainment by exploring Kilimanjaro Safaris as it transitions to a new nighttime adventure in the extended orange glow of a setting sun, rollicking aboard rafts on Kali River Rapids at twilight, or dancing and dining at the new Harambe Wildlife Parti and Discovery Island Carnivale.
The park’s iconic Tree of Life will awaken each night amid a lively celebration of Discovery Island music and dance. Through stunning visuals, animal spirits appear and enchanted fireflies reveal stories of wonder as the tree morphs to showcase the magic of nature. And for the summer, Discovery River becomes the stage for music and pageantry in a limited-engagement show inspired by Disney’s hit live-action film The Jungle Book. Jungle Book: Alive with Magic is a live show filled with music and special effects that celebrates the new film and the classic songs, now infused with an Indian influence. Nighttime will become even more magical with the premiere of the majestic nighttime jewel, “Rivers of Light,” currently in development with a premiere date to be announced soon.
New Flavors, Fun Debut at Disney Springs
With its one-of-a-kind shopping, dining and entertainment experiences, Disney Springs continues to double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore as it nears completion on the largest expansion in its history. Inspired by Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, this charming waterfront district, which includes The Landing, Marketplace and West Side, will debut its fourth neighborhood, Town Center, throughout the summer — adding more shops, dining venues and opportunities for guests to relax, refresh and reconnect with each other.
More than 30 new tenants will be coming to Disney Springs this summer, including retail shops and dining venues. In Town Center, prime retailers such as Anthropologie, LACOSTE, Under Armour, kate spade new york, Sephora and Oakley will soon join the shopping mix. While guests can browse Erwin Pearl for fashion jewelry or Havaianas for sandals at The Landing.
Home to world-class dining, Disney Springs is shaping up to be a culinary dream, with new and coming-soon choices such as Morimoto Asia; Tablas Frontera by Chef Rick Bayless; Homecoming – Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar by Chef Art Smith; STK Orlando, a modern steakhouse with the ambience of a sleek lounge; Sprinkles, the world’s first cupcake bakery; Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, a modern-day “pizza joint” with artisanal pies; and the reimagined, Planet Hollywood Observatory with new outdoor terrace and live entertainment.
At Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba,” the new B-Boys hip-hop, breakdancing group showcases a rare mix of rhythm, strength and “how-did-they-do-that?” moves. As part of the show’s ongoing evolution, the masterful Aerial Bamboo act joins recent additions of madcap clowns and a breathtaking “rolla bolla” juggling act.
Walt Disney World Theme Parks Enhance Dining Delights
Magic Kingdom Park guests can experience the bold flavors of “World Famous Jungle Cuisine” served by the wisecracking crew of the new Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen. It’s the first Disney full-service restaurant themed after a specific park attraction. And opening Memorial Day weekend, guests of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park can enjoy two new dining experiences: Tiffins signature restaurant featuring food from places that inspired the creation of the park, and offering waterfront views during lunch and dinner, and the Nomad Lounge featuring hand-crafted cocktails with African, Asian and South American-flavors.
Disney Cruise Line to Launch New Ships, Experiences
Transporting guests to a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars Day at Sea returns to Disney Cruise Line in early 2017 with 15 sailings. This day-long celebration in the Caribbean highlights the legendary adventures and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga. New in 2017, the Disney Fantasy special sailings will expand to both eastern and western Caribbean itineraries and nearly double in number to 15 cruises — up from eight in 2016.
Disney Cruise Line also unveiled its itineraries for Summer 2017, with new destinations in Alaska and Europe. For the first time, the Disney Wonder will take guests to Alaska’s Icy Strait Point and Hubbard Glacier, while the Disney Magic will make inaugural visits to Amsterdam, Netherlands and Portland, England (near Stonehenge). For the first time, the Disney Fantasy will sail from Port Canaveral on longer itineraries — new 10- and 11-night cruises to the southern Caribbean. Also in Summer 2017, Disney Cruise Line returns to Norway, the British Isles, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the Bahamas. The new itineraries follow Disney Cruise Line’s recent announcement of two additional cruise ships, which are scheduled to for completion in 2021 and 2023.