Ger ready for a huge Disney Summer. Every park has something new and exciting to offer visitors this summer. TravelingMom was able to get a sneak peek last month and we were on pins and needles waiting for opening announcements. It is with true excitement that we can finally share the details of what is sure to be an amazing summer awakening at Disney.


Explore the Kilamanjaro Safari after sunset at Animal Kingdom this summer. photo credit: Allison Taylor Research TravelingMom

There have been many changes in Disney Parks over the last year. We said goodbye to Maelstrom at Epcot, Dream Along with Mickey at Magic Kingdom and many attractions at Hollywood Studios. Disney Parks always strive to replace what once was with something new and fresh. For the first time in forever, we are seeing Disney roll out many new and exciting attractions, shows and dining venues at once.  I want to share with you everything you can expect at the Disney Parks beginning May 27 and rolling out through June.

Magic Kingdom

“Dream Along with Mickey” was a fun show that ran eight times a day on the castle forecourt stage. We waved goodbye to this show in April, and we will be seeing a new show beginning June 17.  “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” celebrates the unique stories of the citizens who make up this magical kingdom and the wonderful things that can happen when we try new things, go to new places and get to know new friends.  I cannot wait to see new friends like Tiana and Rapunzel join Mickey and Minnie in this all new day time show.

Disney Summer

Star Wars Launch Bay at Hollywood Studios credit: Jenn Greene Tween ‘N Teen TravelingMom



Hollywood Studios

This park is undergoing the most changes with the addition of Toy Story and Star Wars Lands. We will be seeing an entirely new park in the coming years. While we await those changes we can embrace all of the new additions, such as Star Wars Launch Bay and the daily march of Captain Phasma and her Stormtroopers.

Beginning June 17 the all new “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” firework show will debut. The current show is already amazing. After seeing the preview for this in May, I cannot wait to see the new show in its entirety.

This elaborate show will combine fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects and video projections that will turn the park’s Chinese Theater and other buildings into the twin suns of Tatooine, a field of battle droids, and other Star Wars destinations. Featuring music from throughout the film franchise, it will be punctuated with a tower of fire and spotlight beams, creating a massive lightsaber in the sky.


The beloved Epcot attraction Maelstrom closed in 2014 to make way for an all new area based on the hit film Frozen. I will admit I took this one hard; I have been riding Maelstrom since I was a child. We soon learned that a new attraction and meet and greet area would be coming to the Norway Pavillion. Disney was really good at keeping details and opening dates a secret.

The two new Frozen experiences, Frozen Ever After and the Royal Sommerhus, will officially open their doors June 21, 2016. The attraction will be a boat ride through Arrendelle with Queen Elsa. I really hope we will be seeing a few Maelstrom trolls in this attraction.

The dynamic sisters will move from Magic Kingdom to their new meet and greet at Royal Summerhus. The Norway pavilion will open at 9 a.m., unlike the rest of the World Showcase which opens at 11 a.m. You can begin making fast pass selections for both of these new additions May 21.

Disney summer

Anna and Elsa will be featured in an all new attraction in Epcot photo credit: Jennifer Greene Tween ‘N Teen TravelingMom

A brand new edition of Soarin’ will debut on June 17. Soarin’ is one of my family’s favorite attractions at Disney. You are hang-gliding above mountains and oceans all the while seeing and smelling the things around you.

Soarin’ has been closed at Epcot for a few months and will return in its original format on May 27 where you can enjoy farewell flights until the new show debuts on June 17.  Soarin’ Over California will continue to show at Disney California Adventure Park until June 15. Don’t miss your chance to see the original shows before they are gone for good at the end of June.

Animal Kingdom

Prepare for a new park, a park that will be coming to life at night. This is the change that personally excites me the most. Animal Kingdom is already an amazing park and now it will be open at night to explore. I checked the times guide and the park is open until 11 p.m. almost all summer. If you have never seen Animal Kingdom at night you are in for such a treat; it’s our favorite time to be there.

Beginning May 27, animal spirits will be brought to life each night by magical fireflies that reveal colorful stories of wonder and enchantment along with other amazing sights at the tree.  The Tree of Life is so grand, and the focal point of the park; to see it lit up at night is awe inspiring.

After sunset you can take a ride on the Kilimanjaro Safari. Some wildlife is nocturnal and you will see behaviors you don’t see during the day tours.

Among the new experiences, the village of Harambe in Africa will become the place to enjoy “Wildlife Parti” and the spirited community of Discovery Island will come together to celebrate their love of the natural world with the Discover Island Carnivale. And lastly, a new nighttime show will debut May 28, The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic live show will feature music from the live action film and more.

If you have yet to ride Expedition Everest at night, get ready for an awesome and wild experience.

Holy cow that is a lot of news from Disney Parks! This summer promises to be the biggest one yet with all of the new offerings.


What are you most excited for as we Awaken Summer at Disney Parks?