Disney's Animal Kingdom's iconic Tree of Life will undergo extraordinary ÒawakeningsÓ throughout each evening as the animal spirits are brought to life by magical fireflies that reveal colorful stories of wonder and enchantment. Projections of nature scenes take on a magical quality as they appear to dramatically emanate from within the Tree of Life. (David Roark, photographer)

Top Five Walt Disney World Experiences Opening this Summer

On April 20th, Walt Disney World held a media event announcing more details about the new experiences coming this summer and beyond.  This summer will see a lot of cool things happening, and I’m listing my top five!  I’ll be in Orlando all summer, so I can’t wait to check these out!


5. Disney Springs Town Center Expansion– I love the changes to Downtown Disney, now known as Disney Springs.  A big step is happening May 15th.  The Town Center section is opening with 30 new shops and restaurants. There’s unique shops as well as well-known brands. Much more than you’d typically find in Disney Springs.

The stores and restaurants that excite me the most are Alex and Ani, Homecoming- Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar, D-Lux Burger, Kate Spade New York, and the Coca-Cola Store.  Check out the complete list of offerings at: http://wdwnews.com/releases/2016/02/29/disney-springs-continues-to-grow-and-add-even-more-exceptional-dining-and-retail-experiences/

Disney Spring Town Center


4. Frozen After After- Maelstrom at the Norway pavilion is getting a whole new storyline presenting  scenes with everyone’s favorite sister princesses, Elsa and Anna.  Those catchy earworms and loveable sidekicks will all be present.  I got a little worn out of Frozen, but I’ve caught myself singing For the First Time in Forever and Love is an Open Door a few times this week.  Take a voyage to celebrate Summer Snow Day in June!



3. Animal Kingdom’s Nighttime Experiences– Animal Kingdom hasn’t typically been open late in the past, but now it’s about to get illuminated with light and color.  The Tree of Life Awakens is similar to Celebrate the Magic where they illuminate images on the park icon.

In place of Rivers of Light, not ready yet due to technical issues, The Jungle Book Alive with Magic showcases the scenery and characters of shows with water screens and effects.  Attractions will also take on a new twist at night. Kilimanjaro Safaris will have new nighttime lighting.  Join the fun with street musicians and dancers at the Harambe Wildlife Party or Discovery Island Carnival.  Discover  Disney’s Animal Kingdom in a whole new light Memorial Day weekend.



2. Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire –  The thing that really excites me about this new stage show is that it has my favorite princess in it, Tiana!  It’ll take place on the Castle Stage.  Mickey and his friends will be joined on a musical journey with Rapunzel, Flynn, Elsa, Anna, Tiana, and Naveen. The concept art looks pleasing and the characters selected have some great music in their movies. The show premieres in June.



1. Soarin’ Around the World- Soarin’ Over California is an attraction near and dear to my heart. My family is from California and the beauty of the soundtrack and scenes, especially the Golden Gate Bridge, always makes me tear up.  The changes are bittersweet for me, but the good outweighs the bad.  When the attraction was first designed, it was actually supposed to be a new film every few years.

I am thrilled my favorite ride is getting so much love and new exciting elements!  The screen is being replaced and cameras are so much better now that sharpness will be incredible.  The whole globe provides so many great places to fly over.  Soarin’s current downfall is the horrible queue length to ride.  Now, there will be a third theater, meaning the capacity will be much higher.

I’m also looking forward to the new interactive queue.  The old one was neat, but it was sad to see a bunch of birds continually crashing into a wall when people didn’t play the game.  Departures take off from Epcot on June 17th.

Soarin Great Wall


There’s tons of new experiences coming this summer!  Comment below on your top five experiences that you are looking forward to premiering at Walt Disney World.


*None of my views represent the views of the Walt Disney Company

Olivia Reed
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Olivia Reed

Olivia, 19,is currently pursuing a Hospitality Management degree in Texas. But over the summer you may find her making magic at Walt Disney World! Some of her Disney favorites include Dinosaur, Dole Whips, UP, and the Polynesian Resort. Follow her on Instagram @oliviarosalindreed and Twitter @orreed.
Olivia Reed
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