Disney Announces Ambiguous Dates for Summer Offerings

Disney Announces Ambiguous Dates for Summer Offerings

Over the past few days, Disney has revealed their plans for the coming summer season to the blogging elite. Awaken Summer as they are calling it not only refers to new Star Wars offerings at Hollywood Studios but new additions all around the resort. While most of these announcements might sound familiar, mostly because we knew almost everything that is on the way and some new attractions still haven’t been given firm opening dates, let's try to break down what you can expect to awaken this summer.

Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire has been narrowed down to June from its original summer slot. The stage show replaces Dream Along with Mickey on the Magic Kingdom's castle stage once it is finished its refurbishment. The show will feature new characters, songs, and costumes.

A Disney Junior star will be making their meet and greet debut at the Magic Kingdom. Elena of Avalor is Disney's first Latin princess. Her series will debut this summer and you can begin meeting her this August.

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‘Rivers of Light’ To Debut April 22 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

April 22nd will start a new beginning for Disney's Animal Kingdom. That will be the day 'Rivers of Light' debuts at the park and new nighttime elements of the park will begin to emerge. It's all in preparation for the 2017 launch of Pandora: The World of Avatar.

The show looks beautiful. Plenty of water screens showcase animal images while lanterns float along the river. Not a Disney character to be seen either. Sorry Anna & Elsa, this is one show Disney can't shoehorn you into. If you're as excited for this new show as I am check out this new preview video.

Is This How Disney Will Use Drones In Their Nighttime Shows?

Is This How Disney Will Use Drones In Their Nighttime Shows?

A while back Disney filed patents to implement drones into their nighttime shows. Diagrams showed drones carrying large, presumably cloth, characters that would be illuminated and appear to dance in the night sky. 

Disney has also been testing floating lanterns using drone technology. The first application of this should be in Animal Kingdom's Rivers of Light show coming this year. A video recently posted by Guinness World Records shows yet another potential application of drone technology that Disney could take advantage on in their nighttime shows.

The video shows dozens of drones flying together autonomously to create shapes, patters and changing colors. It is pretty amazing to watch. Considering this video is more of a glorified tech demo, one could only imagine what a Disney Imagineer could do with this tech. 

Drones are a very hot topic regarding safety and security. This technology could only be used when winds are mild and far away from guest areas. That leaves Animal Kingdom's rivers, Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon and even the Magic Kingdom's Seven Seas Lagoon as potential options to display such a show. Epcot has been rumored to receive a replacement to IllumiNations in the coming years, that could be our first look at this technology fully realized in the parks. Check back often to see the latest on this topic.

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Top 5 Things to Look Forward to in 2016

Top 5 Things to Look Forward to in 2016

2015 is a distant memory now. Onward and upward into 2016. Nearly every year for the foreseeable future will bring a noteworthy addition to the Orlando theme parks. Here are some good reasons to be excited to visit in 2016.

#5 Disney Springs expands
The transformation from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs wasn't an easy or a short one but the long nightmare is soon to be over. 2015 saw great additions like The Hangar Bar, Morimoto Asia and the Ganachery. 

2016 will see the opening of the Town Center area of the expansion. It will bring with it loads of new shops like Pandora, Lilly Pulitzer, Edison, Sprinkles, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza and many more. 2016 will be a great time to check out Disney Springs as most of the walls will be down and plenty of new storefronts will be open for business.

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Pandora – The World of Avatar Debuts at D23

There are two types of people in this world. Those who are looking forward to the new Avatar themed land coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom in 2017, and those who would rather see the whole park burn to the ground before they see seven-foot tall blue aliens walking about. If you fall into the latter category you can stop reading now or continue and possibly become a little more optimistic on this incredible new land.

D23 this year marks the first time the land has been officially titled. Pandora – The World of Avatar has floated around for a while but now it is 100% confirmed. This is also the first time we've been able to see a full model of the land. Complete with floating mountains. As you can see in the photos above, the land will be lush with greenery. So much so that it's hard to see what exactly is under all that foliage in the model. The floating mountains look absolutely massive and should really help you feel like you are on another planet.

What we do know is the name of the e-ticket attraction going into the space. Avatar: Flight of Passage is the Banshee flying ride that will let guests soar over Pandora. A family friendly cruise through the bioluminescent forests of the planet will also be a highlight of the land. 

Because of Pandora, the rest of Animal Kingdom is getting some upgrades to help make it an all-day park. There are new details on the Rivers of Light nighttime show. More specifically that there will be live performers in the show. They could be taking a queue from Tokyo DisneySea's water parades. The Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris are still going forward so it appears that tests studying the nighttime shows affects on the animals have proven positive. There will also be two new species added to the safari. African wild dogs and hyenas.