Latest Updates on Summer 2016 at Disney World

This morning Disney Parks Blog was certainly busy, announcing many opening dates that we have all been waiting for. A few weeks ago they launched their Awaken Summer press event and showcased some of the attractions and rides that were soon to debut in the parks. Many of these didn’t yet have concrete opening times. Now we do. (Tip: search the hashtag #awakensummer on whatever social media you prefer to see the latest updates from Disney.)

With all these dates thrown at us, it’s a lot to keep straight. If you’re planning on visiting the parks any time this summer you’ll need to know this information. So to help all of us, I’ve compiled a shortcut guide of the essential info. You can click on any of the links to go to the official press article for more details.

Disney World’s Awaken Summer: What You Need to Know

May 27th: Soarin’ over California opens back for a limited time. For three weeks you can see the old, original Soarin’ show before the new one begins. Strange, I know. Not sure what the reasoning for this was. I don’t mind being able to ride this again, but I feel like this will cause a lot of confusion with guests. FP will be available for this.

May 27th: Nighttime experiences begin at Animal Kingdom. Park hours from this point on have it closing at 11pm. This includes the projections on the Tree of Life, the option to do the safari after dark, a dance party in the Harambe section of Africa, and the Jungle Book show (see next)

May 27th: Tiffins Restaurant opens at Animal Kingdom. This is a waterfront restaurant that will be included in dining packages for The Jungle Book show. It’s a table service restaurant that will require advance reservations. Good luck with that. 😉

May 28th: “The Jungle Book:Alive with Magic” is set to begin this night. (all though it may soft open on the 27th but that’s unconfirmed) This show at Animal Kingdom is the filler for the delayed Rivers of Light show. Fast Passes can be booked for this show, as well as dining packages at your choice of Tusker House or Tiffins that guarantee you a seat (like they do for Fantasmic)

June 17th: The new version of Soarin’ opens at Epcot, called Soarin’ Around the World. Fast Passes would be a really excellent idea for this. And again, godspeed on trying to get them.

June 17th: The new Star Wars night time show begins, called Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular.This is being billed as the most elaborate fireworks display ever. Given how amazing the current Star Wars fireworks are, I fully expect this to be amazing.

June 17th: The brand new castle show, “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” is set to debut in Magic Kingdom. There will be multiple showtimes each day for this, however, expect it to be very popular for a while. I’d plan on getting there at least 30 minutes ahead of start time to get a good spot. (Much earlier on the first few days of opening.) If you don’t care about seeing it on opening day (like us crazy people who need to cover it as early as possible) then I suggest you wait a bit since it will be crazy packed.

June 21st: Frozen Ever After opens at Epcot’s Norway. This is the new ride that replaces Maelstrom and Anna and Elsa will move over here for Meet & Greets. Fast passes will be available for the ride. Note that Norway will open at 9am instead of the usual 11am for the rest of World Showcase. So it would be a good idea to go here as early as possible to see the Princesses.

Looks like this will be an exciting summer here at Disney World! This will be our first summer here. It’s all ready getting pretty hot. But given how great the last six months have been I can’t really complain. Hope to see you all here soon!







Serena Lyn
Hi there, I'm Serena and I created Living by Disney when I moved next door to Disney World in Orlando Florida. I don't work for Disney and don't represent the company, but after moving here I made it my job to share unbiased tips and strategies to help you get the most out of your Walt Disney World vacation!

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