Living in the beautiful state of Florida definitely has it’s perks. Our gorgeous weather, beaches, parks, and having the happiest place on earth in our backyard, makes Florida one of the best places to live. Being a Florida resident also gives us special discounts and offers when visiting Walt Disney World Resort. And we have the opportunity to hop on over to the parks when new attractions open.
There is so much new to see this summer at Walt Disney World® Theme Parks! I had the opportunity to head to EPCOT earlier this week to interview a few Disney cast members to find out what is in store for us this summer. Some of these additions have already begun! Here is an overview of all the new amazing things at Walt Disney World® Theme Parks this summer:
photo credit: WDWNEWS
A new live stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” debuted on April 4th. This show celebrates moments from the Star Wars Saga with our favorite characters like BB-8, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and MORE! This show is in full swing and guests are loving it.
That’s not all! Beginning June 17th, Experience epic Star Wars™ adventures at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® Symphony In The Stars: A Galactic Spectacular. The sounds of John Williams’ majestic Star Wars themes fill the air as the sights of twinkling lights fill the sky. Gather your favorite Jedi, Jawas, Wookiees, droids and Ewoks to hear classic Star Wars music along with stirring new themes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Cast member Michael Roddy explained that those unfamiliar with Star Wars will love this show just as much as those die hard Star Wars fans. The music, lights, and fireworks will amaze all.
Photo Credit: WDWNEWS
NEW at DISNEY SPRINGS
As a little girl, my parents would take me to “Lake Buena Vista”. That is what we called the area where Disney Springs is now located. I moved to Florida when I was 6, so that was a very, very, long time ago! There was a mini playground that I would play on while my parents enjoyed a show at the stage nearby or would have a bite to eat while I played. Over the years, this shopping area has grown, changed, and blossomed. Now I love taking my children there.
Disney Springs recently added dozens of new retail and dining options. Plus, more shops and restaurants are due to open this summer. Among them, Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine will open this summer. The chef Art Smith may sound familiar to you. Why? Not only was he featured on “Iron Chef America,” “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters”, but he was one of Oprah’s chefs for years. Impressive. You know that this restaurant will have some delicious southern cuisine. I spotted my favorite on the menu: shrimp and grits! A few other notable restaurants that are opening this summer are STK Orlando and Frontera Cocina.
photo credit: disney parks
I have also heard amazing things about D-Luxe Burger that is now open! Our family is heading down to check out their amazing burgers and shakes this summer. It’s on the top of my list. And, we will have to check out the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM Machine.
If you love to shop, you won’t be disappointed. New notable additions are: Anthropologie, LACOSTE, Under Armour, kate spade new york, Sephora, and Oakley. But that is not all. Disney Springs also boasts plenty of entertainment for the whole family. Go bowling, catch a movie, listen to live music, take a hot air balloon rides. And there is my fave, Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba”. And with a brand new parking garage added with SMART technology, you’re in for a great time and no hassle parking!
Frozen Ever After Boat Ride To Open in Norway at EPCOT
I saved my favorite for last. I am a HUGE fan of the movie FROZEN. I have been waiting the new FROZEN attraction at EPCOT since I heard the first press announcement. I was able to go “behind the wall” and get a sneak peek at what is coming. I was not able to take photos just yet. But I can tell you that you are in for a TREAT! The architecture will take you back to Norway. The cabin that you will enter to meet Anna and Elsa is actually a replica of a house in Norway. The attraction developers went over to Norway for inspiration. The mountain backdrop is also a replica of a mountain in Norway. I just love that they put so much thought into the design and architecture.
As I mentioned, there will be a special meeting place to meet and greet both Anna and Elsa. The location will make for some amazing photos for sure!
The boat ride and meet and greet is set to open June 21, 2016! My girls can’t wait!!!
- Frozen Ever After is the first Frozen-themed attraction and the Royal Sommerhus is Elsa’s and Anna’s permanent meet and greet at Disney Parks.
- Guests will witness Elsa’s ice magic on Frozen Ever After.
- Composers Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez created new lyrics to the cherished Frozen film songs.
- All of the original voice talent from the film returned and recorded dialogue and songs for the attraction
- WDI traveled to Norway to research architecture, décor and artifacts; guests will find their inspiration in the Royal Sommerhus.
- The design of Royal Sommerhus and the surrounding area is modeled after a traditional Norwegian cabin in Trondheim.
NEW at ANIMAL KINGDOM:
I am SO excited about the new evening happenings at Animal Kingdom! The Tree of Life began it’s nighttime awakenings after the sun goes down! Also, many of the rides will be open in the evening. I’m excited to check out Kilimanjaro Safaris after dark so I can see what the animals are doing after the sun goes down.
Get excited! And be sure to head over to the parks for all the new additions this summer. It’s going to be an AMAZING SUMMER! Find out more HERE.
Are you a Florida resident?? Find out about Florida Resident Tickets and Perks too.
Disclosure: I was provided with admission to the parks to help facilitate this post. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are 100% my own.