Summer Fun At Walt Disney World

If you are looking for some place to take an end-of-summer vacation, look no further than Walt Disney World. With so much for the entire family to enjoy, there’s no better time to go than now! Here’s everything you need to know to experience a fun-filled time with your friends and family at Walt Disney World this summer courtesy of Disney:


This summer season, guests can discover a magical mix of new and unforgettable experiences throughout Walt Disney World Resort, with an all-new land and evening show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a dazzling new show at Magic Kingdom Park, epic entertainment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and world-class dining at Disney Springs.

Here are the exciting new ways guests can explore Walt Disney World Resort this summer:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Guests can travel to an otherworldly destination this summer: Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This new land gives guests the chance to explore a mystical world of bioluminescent rainforests, floating mountains and soaring Banshees. In collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment, Disney is bringing to life the fantasy world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s epic film AVATAR.

Guests can discover two main adventures. Avatar Flight of Passage sends guests flying above the jungles of Pandora on a Mountain Banshee, and Na’vi River Journey, is a family-friendly boat ride that sails down a sacred river hidden within a glowing rainforest for an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman.

Hungry adventurers can recharge at Satu’li Canteen, the main dining location in Pandora, or Pongu Pongu, a drink kiosk with a design as eclectic as its expat owner. Shoppers can stock up on Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more at Windtraders.

And after the sun sets, Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests can discover rich new experiences throughout the park, starting with the new nighttime show, Rivers of Light. This visually stunning after-dark experience celebrates the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans. It’s a dramatic visual blend of water, fire, light and imagery all choreographed to an original musical score.

Magic Kingdom Park

 Guests are being treated to one of the most elaborate fireworks displays ever created – a brand-new show called “Happily Ever After.” It features the latest in fireworks, pyrotechnics and projection technology, plus fresh animation, and a new musical score and theme song.

“Happily Ever After” takes guests on an inspiring journey filled with heart and humor, as Cinderella Castle itself becomes part of the story. Dazzling projections bring heartfelt Disney stories to life on and around the iconic castle. The 18-minute spectacle features moments from beloved Disney films such as “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” as well as modern blockbusters “Moana” and “Zootopia.”

“Happily Ever After” is presented nightly, with show times varying based on park hours.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

A new limited-time concert event debuted this summer. “The Music of Pixar LIVE! A Symphony of Characters” showcases memorable music from Pixar Animation Studios films, with appearances by beloved Disney•Pixar characters. A live orchestra provides the soundtrack for this 40-minute concert that is presented three times nightly at Theater of the Stars (following regular daily performances of “Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage”). The show also includes appearances by Woody, Jessie, Mike and Sulley, the Incredibles and more.

Day or night, new Star Wars experiences are immersing guests in the world of this iconic saga. Guests can now interact with BB-8, the loyal droid from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” as well as other Star Wars characters inside Star Wars Launch Bay. New authentic props from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” are also featured in Star Wars Launch Bay, and the new AWR Troopers from “Rogue One” now appear in the daytime stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.”

Disney’s Water Parks

Guests can cool off on a whitewater adventure aboard Miss Adventure Falls, a brand new family-style raft attraction at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. Guests are immersed in the story of Captain Mary Oceaneer, a treasure hunter who roamed the seven seas in search of undersea artifacts – until a rogue storm marooned her ship and treasures at Typhoon Lagoon.

At Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, the “Frozen” Summer Games return until August 13, 2017. Kristoff and Olaf are available for a special character greeting and photo opportunity, making Blizzard Beach the only place where guests can meet Kristoff at Walt Disney World Resort. During the friendly competition, guests are able to participate in ice-pail relays, a snowball toss and much more snowy fun.

Disney Springs

The culinary scene at Disney Springs continues to evolve with more exciting food and beverage locales, including The Polite Pig and Paddlefish, both open now.

Featuring modern barbecue cuisine prepared in an open kitchen, The Polite Pig serves up Southern sides like mac-and-cheese and smoked corn and a hearty selection of craft beers and cocktails. There’s also a bourbon bar offering more than 50 selections. The Polite Pig is the newest concept from award-winning Orlando Chefs James and Julie Petrakis who own local favorite restaurants The Ravenous Pig and Swine & Sons.

Guests can also step aboard Paddlefish, Disney Springs’ iconic 1800’s paddleboat that’s been reimagined into a modern yacht experience. Paddlefish offers guests a delectable menu of fresh seafood, steaks and chops for lunch and dinner, as well as a delectable Sunday brunch. A new rooftop lounge serves up a late-night menu as well as fantastic views of the water and Disney Springs.

Disney Resort Hotels

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort is now open as the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort. Inspired by the legendary mining and railroad history of the Pacific Northwest, guests can come “home” to rustic elegance with these new studios, villas and waterfront cabins.

At Disney’s BoardWalk, there’s an enchanting new dining experience at Trattoria al Forno, the Bon Voyage Breakfast, featuring beloved Disney characters including Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel and Prince Eric. Guests can make reservations by clicking here or by calling 407-WDW-DINE. Cost is $34 for adults and $20 for children.


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Will you be visiting Walt Disney World before summer is over?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!

The Music Of Pixar Live! A Symphony Of Characters At Disney’s Hollywood Studios

If you’ve visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios lately, you know that with so many attractions closed and all of the construction going on, Disney is looking for ways to keep guests happy and entertained while in the park. Just for the summer, Disney is offering a brand new show that Pixar fans are sure to enjoy – “The Music of Pixar Live! A Symphony of Characters.” This 40 minute concert is presented three times nightly at Theater of the Stars, following the regular daily performances of “Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage.” Here’s everything you need to know courtesy of Disney:


Beloved characters and soundtracks from Pixar Animation Studios’ films take center stage all summer long with “The Music of Pixar Live! A Symphony of Characters” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

From now through August 27, 2017, “The Music of Pixar Live! A Symphony of Characters,” inside Theater of the Stars, treats families to a celebration of the music, animation and characters of Pixar films. Featuring fun character moments and brilliant animated scenes on large video screens, a full orchestra performs selections of the stirring soundtracks from films such as “Toy Story,” “Up,” “Finding Nemo,” “Finding Dory,” “The Incredibles” and “Cars.”

From the moment arriving guests are greeted by Green Army Men until the closing finale of You’ve Got a Friend in Me, in which the audience is encouraged to sing along, it’s a Pixar celebration like no other.

Throughout the show, beloved Pixar characters add moments of comedy and fun before their featured segment. As an example, Mike and Sulley take the stage to collect laughs as Mike tries stand-up before the “Monsters, Inc.” segment comes on-screen. Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear unwrap the “Toy Story” segment and “Up” is fronted by a special appearance of Carl Fredricksen and Dug. Can’t forget Dory (though she might!) – appearing before the “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory” segment.

Showtimes vary for “The Music of Pixar Live! – A Symphony of Characters” so be sure to pick up a Times Guide when entering the park!


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Will you be checking out “The Music Of Pixar Live” this summer?
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D23 Expo 2017: A First Look At What’s On The Horizon At Walt Disney World

What an incredible weekend filled with exciting announcements out of the D23 Expo 2017! If you’ve been following along with Zeek, Rachel, and I on Behind The Magic Podcast, you know we’ve been speculating for months about what we would hear at the convention this time around. We talked at length about several of the rumors including a Mickey Mouse attraction coming to Hollywood Studios, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ratatouille coming to Epcot, Tron at Magic Kingdom, a new Star Wars Themed Resort, and even the new Disney Skyliner. Zeek and Rachel were lucky enough to be at D23 this weekend to get all of the latest information live! Here’s everything that is confirmed so far courtesy of Disney


WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT OVERALL:

Several projects and updates were announced for Walt Disney World Resort including a new line-up of attractions at Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, new resort hotel experiences and concepts, and two new transportation options.

DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS:

  • Star Wars-themed land update – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the name of the new Star Wars-themed land opening in 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, after the opening of the land at Disneyland Resort. Guests will encounter several characters, including:
    • BB-8
    • Chewbacca
    • Rex
    • Kylo Ren
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway –  In this game-changing attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will feature an original story that will take guests on a journey inside the world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts using new technologies that turn the flat cartoon world into an incredible dimensional display. Located inside the Chinese Theatre, this new attraction will replace The Great Movie Ride, which will close Aug. 13, 2017. Opening for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be announced at a later date.
  • Toy Story Land – Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is scheduled to open summer 2018.

EPCOT:

In preparation for the park’s 35th anniversary, Epcot will continue to evolve to make it more timeless, more relevant, more family and more Disney, while staying true to its original vision beginning with several newly revealed offerings.

  • “Guardians of the Galaxy” – Epcot will have a brand new E-ticket attraction within Future World based on the rockin’ and action-packed world of Guardians of the Galaxy. This is the next step in how guests can encounter these characters at Walt Disney World Resort. To make way for this new adventure, Ellen’s Energy Adventure inside Universe of Energy will close Aug. 13, 2017. The new attraction will open by the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in 2021.
  • “Ratatouille” – Within World Showcase, in an all-new space in the France pavilion, a new “Ratatouille”-inspired attraction will take guests on a dazzling chase across a kitchen with the sights, sounds and smells of Gusteau’s Parisian restaurant. Patterned after the number one family attraction at Disneyland Paris, the new attraction will open by the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in 2021.
  • China pavilion – To showcase the splendor and majesty of China, an updated film will be added using a next-generation digital camera system to film a brand new, seamless Circle-Vision show for the
    China pavilion.
  • Mission: SPACE – In addition to an updated Orange Mission, a brand new Green Mission will take guests on a stunning tour around the Earth, with younger cadets joining the adventure for the very first time. Mission: SPACE will reopen this August.
  • New restaurant – Adjacent to Mission: SPACE, a new table-service restaurant will invite guests to travel high above the Earth for an unforgettable dining experience. The new restaurant will be managed by Patina Restaurant Group and an opening will be announced at a later date.

MAGIC KINGDOM PARK:

  • “Tron”-themed attraction – The highest rated attraction at Shanghai Disneyland is coming to Tomorrowland in a new area near Space Mountain. Opening will be announced at a later date.
  • Live entertainment theater – Based on the iconic Willis Theater in the 1920s Kansas City where Walt lived after he left Marceline, this new addition to Magic Kingdom Park will be located off of Main Street U.S.A. and will be an entirely new venue for world class entertainment. Opening will be announced at a later date.

RESORTS:

  • Disney Riviera Resort – The proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property will be located near Epcot with a rooftop restaurant that has unbelievable views of nighttime spectaculars at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Opening will be announced at a later date.
  • Immersive Star Wars-themed hotel – An immersive Star Wars-themed hotel will be the most experiential concept ever. Dedicated entirely to the galaxy of Star Wars, guests will have a one-of-a-kind experience where a luxury resort meets a multi-day adventure in a galaxy far, far away. Opening will be announced at a later date.

TRANSPORTATION:

  • Disney Skyliner – This new transportation system will give guests a bird’s-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort. Disney Skyliner will connect Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to four resorts – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, as well as the proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property, Disney Riviera Resort. Opening date for Disney Skyliner will be announced at a later time.
  • Minnie Van service – Starting later this month, the Minnie Van service is a whimsical, point-to-point transportation service that will help guests get around Walt Disney World Resort in a jiffy. Guests can arrange their own private Disney vehicle right from their smartphone, and a Disney Cast Member will drive them wherever they want to go around Walt Disney World.

501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Which announcement are you most excited about?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!

D23 Expo 2017: A First Look At Star Wars Land

We’re already getting our initial bit of news out of the D23 Expo 2017…a first look at Star Wars Land! Check out what we know so far and these incredible sneak peek pics courtesy of Disney


During a special preview of D23 Expo 2017, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek unveiled a first look at the epic, richly detailed model of the Star Wars-themed lands under development at Disneyland park in Anaheim, California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. This stunning exhibition, on display in Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ “A Galaxy of Stories” pavilion at D23 Expo, is yet another example of the breathtaking new worlds, immersive storytelling and transformational guest experiences that set Disney apart.

“To say we are excited for the Star Wars-themed lands to open in 2019 is an understatement,” Chapek said. “All along, we have said this will be game-changing, and through the model we can begin to see how truly epic these immersive new worlds will be.”

Chapek plans to share exciting new details about the project during the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Hall D23 Presentation on Saturday. The model will remain on display at the pavilion throughout the weekend to give visitors an up-close look at what’s to come on this never-before seen planet. In addition, the pavilion will display models, artwork and media that provide a first-ever look at some of the locations, starships, creatures, and droids that guests will encounter when they visit this new planet.

At D23 Expo 2015, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced the Star Wars project to the delight of thousands of fans in attendance. The jaw-dropping new lands will open with two anchor attractions – one that gives guests the chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and one that puts guests right in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Representing the largest single-themed land expansion at 14 acres each, the Star Wars-themed lands will open in 2019.

However, guests don’t need to wait until 2019 to be immersed in the Star Wars galaxy. From special character encounters to fan-favorite attractions like Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, and interactive entertainment like Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, guests of all ages can experience Star Wars stories at Disney parks and resorts around the world. Click here to learn more about the Star Wars experiences currently being offered in Walt Disney World!


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Which new Star Wars Land attraction are you most excited about?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!

Disney Movie Magic Nighttime Spectacular At Disney’s Hollywood Studios

If you’re looking for an exciting way to end a night at Walt Disney World, look no further than new nighttime projection show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios…”Disney Movie Magic.” Here’s everything you need to know, courtesy of Disney:


Star-struck guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios this summer have a front-row seat for movie classics in the all-new entertainment experience “Disney Movie Magic.”  The nightly 10-minute performance bathes the park’s iconic Chinese Theater in breathtaking projection-mapping technology that brings to life scores of classic movie moments from the Disney family of film studios.

Chimney sweeps from “Mary Poppins” “step in time” over the rooftops of London.  A playful Captain Jack swash-buckles his way across the high seas of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” “Tron: Legacy” Lightcycles speed through The Grid.  And Lumiere from “Beauty and the Beast” invites you to be his guest.

These and other cinematic gems that have lit up silver screens around the world play across the facade of the theater in the fast-paced “Disney Movie Magic” – from Disney classics like “Mary Poppins” to contemporary blockbusters such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and this summer’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”

Set to searchlights painting the skies and a musical score composed and arranged by Michael Patti (Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, StarBright Holidays), “Disney Movie Magic” puts guests right in the middle of beloved Disney films. All genres are represented including musicals, romance, comedy, classics, fantasy, sci-fi, animation and adventure.

“For generations these films have touched our lives,” said Michael Roddy, Show Director, Disney Parks Live Entertainment. “They represent our childhood, our dreams, our fantasies and our mythology. We have laughed and cried, loved and been thrilled. ‘Disney Movie Magic’ celebrates those films and the films to come.”

“Disney Movie Magic” begins, fittingly, with Walt Disney himself. The red-carpet footage featuring Walt is from the 1964 premiere of “Mary Poppins,” which took place at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

What unspools from there is pure movie magic – from “The Jungle Book” to “Beauty and the Beast,” from “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” to “Cinderella,” from “Swiss Family Robinson” to “The Love Bug.” With the front of the theater a dramatic canvas, decades of movie moments play out across the ten-minute run time of “Disney Movie Magic.”

“Disney Movie Magic” is presented nightly this summer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in addition to regular performances of “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular.”


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Have you seen Disney Movie Magic yet? What did you think?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!