By David Sibila
From nighttime animal adventures, Frozen princess attractions, a galaxy of Star Wars offerings to celebrity chef restaurants and chic shopping, Walt Disney World awakens this summer with all-new blockbuster attractions and entertainment in Orlando. New details have been released about what and when guests can expect to experience all that's new across Walt Disney World this summer.
The power of the force awakens with even more galactic celebrations including an all new nighttime fireworks show featuring lasers, special effects and video projection themed to the entire Star Wars saga to debut in June.
The First Order seizes the park with its show of force in a procession of Stormtroopers led by Captain Phasma and guests can also encounter Kylo Ren inside the Star Wars Launch Bay.
Feel the full power of the force as a new live stage show, "Star Wars" A Galaxy Far, Far Away," blasts its way into your day. This celebration of the iconic Star Wars moments features movie vignettes and popular characters such as Chewbacca, BB-8, R2-D2, C-3PO, Kylo Ren, Darth Vader and Darth Maul.
New nightly entertainment begins Memorial Day Weekend, including a new nighttime show to be projected onto the park's Tree of Life, featuring dynamic visual effects and sounds, along with a new limited-engagement show on the Discovery River based on Disney's new feature film, "The Jungle Book."
The Kilimanjaro Safaris extends their tours into the night with enhanced sunset and moon glow lighting effects along the animal tour. The experience becomes entirely new at night as the animals become nocturnal along with the additions of hyenas and African wild dogs to the collection.
Coming later this summer, the Rivers of Light show will become the featured finale to a full day and night at Disney's Animal Kingdom with an all-new high tech water procession featuring dancing fountains and animal spirits transforming from oceans and jungles to constellations in the heavens.
The Norway Pavilion at Epcot becomes the new and home for Queen Elsa and Princess Anna. Guest will be transported in to the kingdom of Arendelle and visit Elsa's ice palace in a new boat ride attraction and then meet the royal sisters in a new Royal Sommerhus, modeled after a traditional Norwegian cabin.
Beginning on June 17, guests can take "flight" on a new Soarin' Around the World experience at The Land Pavilion. A third theater has also been added to the attraction taking even more guests on an aerial above many of the world's wonders.
Starting in early-May, guests can find Dory in the "Turtle Talk with Crush" attraction inside The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion in Future World.
The Cinderella Castle Stage gets a new show featuring classic Disney characters joined by more recent characters including Tiana of "Princess and the Frog," Rapunzel of "Tangled" and Anna and Elsa of "Frozen" co-star with Mickey Mouse and his clubhouse friends, Minnie Mouse, Donald, Daisy and Goofy in Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire.
More than 30 new shops and dining venues will be added to Disney Springs centered around the new Town Center, set to open on May 15. This new "neighborhood" joins the already existing areas - The Landing, Marketplace and West Side completing the full expansion of Disney's waterfront, dining and entertainment district.
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Written by David Sibila, Senior Manager of Content and Social Media for Visit Orlando. He's a TV producer turned content and social media strategist, hands-on dad and a casualty of four rescued pets.