Hope everyone is looking forward to/enjoying/enjoyed their Spring Break! I know the parks have been packed full of Guests these past couple of weeks and they'll get even busier as Easter approaches, so if you're going to be here soon, make sure you do your homework and come prepared with FastPasses and Dining Reservations. (Or, you could cheat and have one of the fabulous agents at Kingdom Konsultants take care of all of those details for you. Don't worry... you can still tell your family how you slaved over making these plans for them. I won't tell!)
So today I need to talk to ya'll about this upcoming summer. I know... summer in Florida. Temps well into the nineties and high tourist season? No thanks, amirite? Well, this summer, you may want to make an exception. Wanna know why??? How about THREE reasons why?!?
1. New Stuff... New Stuff Everywhere!
We can't talk about this summer without talking about all of the AMAZING new things that will be available to Guests to view, taste, experience and enjoy! Let's start with in the parks:
- On May 12th, a brand new fireworks show, "Happily Ever After", will replace the beloved "Wishes" and bring all new magic to Cinderella's Castle! The show will feature music and scenes from classic films like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, and newer Disney hits like Moana and Zootopia. Disney Imagineers are working hard to combine the wonders of Disney pyrotechnics with the magic of the technology of projection mapping on the Castle, to make something truly remarkable. I am sure they will not let us down!
- If you haven't been to the park recently, new to you will also be the morning rope drop show, which now takes place in front of the Castle. This allows early birds to spend some time on Main Street, instead of crowded in front of the train station. The show has also been changed, since the characters no longer arrive via train. Also new to you will be the new version of the pre-fireworks Castle projection show. "Once Upon a Time" replaces the "Celebrate The Magic" show. There's all new music and incredible visual effects to check out. Oh, and for all of you grown ups who ever wished that they could have a little wine with their all-day tour of Fantasyland, Disney has introduced the sale of alcoholic beverages in all of The Magic Kingdom's full service restaurants! Cheers!
- This park doesn't have any major news coming out of it just yet, but if you haven't been in a while, you'll find a couple of newbies in the park, including the Frozen Ever After ride in the Norway Pavilion, along with a new Anna and Elsa meet and greet area, plus Soarin' was given an overhaul and features a new "round the world" version of the attraction's film.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
- The Studios will be hosting a brand new, "limited time" offering, called "The Music of Pixar LIVE! A Symphony of Characters". The show begins on May 26th and will take place in the same theater as Beauty and the Beast, (presumably after the B&B shows are done for the day). The show will feature a live orchestra, film clips, and character appearances.
- Star Wars fans, this IS the droid you've been looking for! BB-8 is now making meet and greet
appearances in the Star Wars Launch Bay.
- If you haven't visited the Studios in a while, also new to you will be the counter service location, themed to everyone's favorite smart-talkin'-New Yorker-rat, Rizzo, Pizzerizzo!
- This is really where most of the action is happening! This summer, Animal Kingdom will welcome Guests into the world of Avatar, as they explore an entirely new land, Pandora! The land will feature two new rides: Na'vi River Journey, a slow-moving boat ride through the bio-luminescent forests of Pandora, and Avatar: Flight of Passage. While no details have been released about how this attraction will actually work, it is said to use similar technology to Soarin', allowing Guests to feel like they are really riding with a flying Banshee. Aside form the two rides, the land will get two new restaurants, Satu'li Canteen and Pongo Pongo. While the later seems to be more of a snack bar, serving unique drinks and snacks, (including sweet pineapple cream cheese egg rolls!), the Canteen will be a counter service option and will offer healthful and exciting food items that are unique to Pandora. They will also be introducing a brand new technology, allowing Guests to pre-order their meals through the Disney app, and then just press a button on your phone to let them know you have arrived at the restaurant and are ready to pick up your order. Pretty amazing! And we can't ignore the fact that Pandora itself is going to be amazing. The land is fully immersive to the film and is capped with floating mountains and literally illuminated with bio-luminescent plants and flower. It will be a sight to behold. I guess I should watch Avatar, huh?
- Also brand new is the nighttime multi-medium show, Rivers of Light. This show incorporates lights, lanterns, performers, puppets, floats, projections and an incredible score, to paint a beautiful picture of the planet we live on.
- Doc McStuffins from Disney Junior is now greeting Guests at Rafiki's Planet Watch, just outside of the veterinary clinic. Stop on by if it's time for your check up!
- If you haven't visited Animal Kingdom in a while, also new to you may be the addition of nighttime safaris, giving Guests a chance to see some of the more nocturnal animals be active. And don't miss the gorgeous projection show on the Tree of Life, if you're in the park after dark!
And Everywhere Else In The World!
- Typhoon Lagoon just launched a brand new family raft ride, called Miss Adventure Falls.
- There are lots of new eats at Disney Springs, including Planet Hollywood Observatory and Paddlefish.
- Disney has announced that Cirque Du Soleil fan-favorite, La Nouba, will be ending it's 20 year run in Disney Springs at the end of 2017, so this summer may be your last chance to see it!
- Also closing at Disney Springs is Disney's indoor, interactive playground, Disney Quest. You'll have to get there before July 3rd, if you want one last game! (It is making way for the new NBA Experience.)
- If new dining experiences are more your "thing", you will want to book the Highway in the Sky
- And if you're looking for a new place to stay, check out the new Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Wilderness Lodge. If you REALLY want to treat your family, there are even private, waterfront luxury cabins to rent!
- It may not be Disney, but I can't NOT mention that Universal's brand new water park, Volcano Bay will be opening this summer too, and that place looks amazing!
2. The Deals!
Disney has just recently announced their new Summer deals and there are some great ones this year! Enjoy 25% off your Disney Resort room! Want to make things easy-peasy and book a package? There are some great 3 and 4 night packages available, which include your Resort stay, park tickets and you can even throw in a dining package. Or if you just need tickets, there are sweet specials on a 4 Park Magic Ticket and more. All YOU have to do is contact the crew at Kingdom Konsultant Travel and they can give you the low down on all of the deals! (Why haven't you called or emailed yet????)
3. Ummmm..... It's Disney.
In my opinion, ANY Disney is better than NO Disney! Yes, Summer is hot. Yes, it is crowded. but it's also a great time of year to get a chance to experience all of the water rides, along with the water parks, and your resort's pool!
No, I don't recommend Summer if you're a first time park Guest who doesn't like lines and heat, but if you're someone who doesn't mind some pre-planning, but at the same time, having flexibility with your days, you'll do just fine. So, don't be scared of a summer visit. You can definitely get a lot of vacation in and have a BLAST!
Until next time, Gang.... have a magical week!
- Jenn aka "Tink"