As the final event of Walt Disney World's Awaken Summer event, Disney hosted an "Around our World" presentation at the AMC Theatres at Disney Springs. Disney executives including Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek highlighted the upcoming offerings. Here is a brief snapshot of what was discussed.
As we have reported, Disney has been testing out "storymaker" experiences at various attractions and meet-and-greets. These experiences, which involve personalized elements will continue to roll-out to all guests. Look for more elements coming online through the summer.
The previously announced Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire show will debut at the Castle Forecourt Stage this June, replacing the recently closed Dream Along with Mickey. Disney describes the show as Mickey and his troupe of Merry Makers have been preparing to host a joyous festival and have ventured far and wide to invite friends from other lands to join their celebration. From the Land of the Bewitching Bayous, Goofy has invited Tiana, Naveen and Louis to add a little spice of New Orleans jazz to the party. From the Land of the Enchanted Woods, Donald Duck brings some new friends he met at the Snuggly Duckling, and Daisy introduces us to her special guests, Rapunzel and Flynn. Finally, Mickey shares a surprise with Minnie, as he has traveled to the Land of the Mystic Mountains to invite Olaf, Anna and Elsa, who contributes a blast of her icy magic. It all culminates in a grand dance, as the Merry Makers invite all their new friends to join in the fun on this special day in Magic Kingdom Park.
Also coming to Magic Kingdom this summer is Elena of Avalor from the upcoming Disney Junior series. She will also be meeting guests at Disney California Adventure, starting in the fall.
The spinoff of Sophia the First, brings us the first Disney Princess inspired by diverse Latin cultures. She is described as a bold, caring, funny and clever 16-year-old who is ascendant to the throne in the fairytale kingdom of Avalor.
While the press was given a sneak peek of the upcoming Frozen Ever After ride at Epcot earlier in the event, Disney also has Soarin' Around the World debuting this summer. Disney used this opportunity to reveal that the attraction will debut at Epcot and Disney California Adventure on June 17, just following its debut at Shanghai Disneyland. At Epcot, this will also mark the debut of the third theater which will offer additional capacity.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
While there are several new Star Wars experiences coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios this summer, everyone is eagerly anticipating the opening of the new 14-acre Star Wars Land which has recently broken ground. Imagineer Scott Trowbridge was on hand to preview the offering. While few new details were revealed, he reiterated that the land will contain two major attractions, a cantina, a sit-down restaurant, shopping, entertainment, and that everything will be a part of the Star Wars story.
Walt Disney Imagineering’s Kathy Mangum discussed new details about the Toy Story Land coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Two new attractions are being developed for the area. Slinky Dog Dash is a family coaster. The story is that Andy has built over his backyard using his Mega Coaster Play Kit while combining it with some of his other toys. She shared this concept video to give an idea of what the experience will be like.
The second new attraction being developed for Toy Story Land is Alien Swirling Saucers. This attraction is designed as a toy play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet. Aliens are flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with “The Claw.”
It was also announced that the third track of Toy Story Mania will open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Memorial Day Weekend in anticipation of the summer crowds.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
With most of this summer's offerings at Disney's Animal Kingdom were touched on the night before, Disney used this opportunity to preview Pandora - The World of Avatar, which is deep in construction. Imagineer Joe Rhode and Avatar's producer Jon Landau discussed the collaboration. They also previewed Disney Parks version of a Na'vi for the first time in a video clip.
There is always something in the works for Disney Parks around the globe. This is just a glimpse of what is in store for the future.