New Experiences to Debut during Awaken Summer Event at Walt Disney World Resort

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tree of life night

Disney is dubbing this summer the “Awaken Summer” campaign, and they have just announced that there really are plenty of things “awakening” at the Walt Disney World Resort this summer!!  While the biggest and most exciting additions and changes are at Animal Kingdom this summer, there are also many other new and exciting things happening at all the other parks as well. Here is a breakdown of the new and exciting experiences and attractions for this summer at Walt Disney World:

Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest thrills adventurers as it lurches forward and backward through the icy peaks of the Himalayas. At night, the majestic mountain challenges trekkers to an evening ride revealing breathtaking views of Disney's Animal Kingdom canopied by starlight. (Chloe Rice, photographer)
Expedition Everest thrills adventurers as it lurches forward and backward through the icy peaks of the Himalayas. At night, the majestic mountain challenges trekkers to an evening ride revealing breathtaking views of Disney’s Animal Kingdom canopied by starlight. (Chloe Rice, photographer)

Guests can enjoy a plethora of new experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom starting Memorial Day Weekend. The Tree of Life will begin its nighttime awakenings after the sun goes down. The park will also host two new parties, Harambe Wildlife Parti and Discovery Island Carnivale, as well as the new “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” water show, which will bring the tale of Baloo and Mowgli to Discovery River each night.

Also beginning Memorial Day Weekend, guests will be able to enjoy many of the park’s existing attractions in the evening hours for the very first time. Kilimanjaro Safaris will be open for guests to get a glimpse of the savanna’s animal occupants as the sun goes down, and of course guests can rediscover favorites like Expedition Everest and Primeval Whirl in the dark. The park hours have already been extended, which means FastPass+ plans can be made now in the MyDisneyExperience App.

Two new F&B locations, Tiffins restaurant and Nomad Lounge, will also open their doors on Memorial Day Weekend. (Reservations and dining packages haven’t been released yet, but as soon as they are we’ll post an update).

Blizzard Beach Water Park

winter games

Guests can also cool off in a whole new way at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park this Memorial Day Weekend, with the start of the Frozen Games. In this experience, Olaf and Kristoff will host daily winter-themed activities for guests of all ages, including Snowball Toss, Ski Pole Limbo and more. All activities are complimentary, but guests must sign up at the park entrance to participate.

Magic Kingdom


Starting in June, Magic Kingdom Park will debut a brand-new stage show called “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” this June. In the show, Mickey and his band of Merry Makers are preparing to host a joyous festival and invite friends like Tiana, Naveen and Louis (from “Princess and the Frog”); Rapunzel and Flynn (from “Tangled”); and Olaf, Anna and Elsa (from “Frozen”); along for some fun.

Hollywood Studios

star wars foreworks

In June, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will make theme park history when it launches the most elaborate nighttime spectacular the park has ever seen with the new “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks show. This new nightly show will combine fireworks and pyrotechnics with video projections that will turn the surrounding buildings into familiar Star Wars destinations. The show will end with a tower of fire and spotlight beams that create massive lightsabers in the sky.



And of course, Epcot will debut three exciting additions in June. Soarin’ Around the World, a new version of the popular attraction located in The Land pavilion, will take guests on a journey to far-flung lands, over some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders. And the Norway pavilion will open Frozen Ever After, the first attraction inspired by the film “Frozen” that will transport guests on an icy adventure through the Kingdom of Arendelle. Guests can also stop at the nearby Royal Sommerhus to see the sisters themselves.

Which one of these new experiences are you most excited for this summer?

If you’d like to plan a trip to experience the Awaken Summer event at WDW this year, then contact me today to take advantage of my FREE vacation planning services! I specialize in Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Aulani resort in Hawaii, as well as Adventures by Disney. Contact me today at for a free quote, or you can find me on my Facebook page here.

Chip and Co Past Writers and Friends