What's New at Walt Disney World Summer 2017

Planning on visiting Walt Disney World this summer, we share all the new attractions, shows and new land coming this summer.

This summer season, guests can discover a magical mix of new and unforgettable experiences throughout Walt Disney World Resort, with an all-new land and evening show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a dazzling new show at Magic Kingdom Park, epic entertainment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and world-class dining at Disney Springs.

Here are the exciting new ways guests can explore Walt Disney World Resort this summer:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Guests can travel to an otherworldly destination this summer: Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When it opens May 27, this new land will give guests the chance to explore a mystical world of bioluminescent rainforests, floating mountains and soaring Banshees. In collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment, Disney is bringing to life the fantasy world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s epic film AVATAR.

Guests will discover two main adventures. Avatar Flight of Passage sends guests flying above the jungles of Pandora on a Mountain Banshee, and Na’vi River Journey, is a family-friendly boat ride that sails down a sacred river hidden within a glowing rainforest for an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman.

Hungry adventurers can recharge at Satu’li Canteen, the main dining location in Pandora, or Pongu Pongu, a drink kiosk with a design as eclectic as its expat owner. Shoppers can stock up on Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more at Windtraders.

And after the sun sets, Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests can discover rich new experiences throughout the park, starting with the new nighttime show, Rivers of Light. This visually stunning after-dark experience celebrates the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans. It’s a dramatic visual blend of water, fire, light and imagery all choreographed to an original musical score.

Magic Kingdom Park
Starting May 12, guests will be treated to one of the most elaborate fireworks displays ever created – a brand-new show called “Happily Ever After.” It will feature the latest in fireworks, pyrotechnics and projection technology, plus fresh animation, and a new musical score and theme song.

“Happily Ever After” will take guests on an inspiring journey filled with heart and humor, as Cinderella Castle itself becomes part of the story. Dazzling projections bring heartfelt Disney stories to life on and around the iconic castle. The 18-minute spectacle will feature moments from beloved Disney films such as “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” as well as modern blockbusters “Moana” and “Zootopia.”

“Happily Ever After” will be presented nightly, with show times varying based on park hours.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
A new limited-time concert event debuts May 26. “The Music of Pixar LIVE! A Symphony of Characters” will showcase memorable music from Pixar Animation Studios films, with appearances by beloved Disney•Pixar characters. A live orchestra provides the soundtrack for this 40-minute concert that will be presented three times nightly at Theater of the Stars (following regular daily performances of “Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage”). The show also will include appearances by Woody, Jessie, Mike and Sulley, the Incredibles and more.

Day or night, new Star Wars experiences are immersing guests in the world of this iconic saga. Guests can now interact with BB-8, the loyal droid from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” as well as other Star Wars characters inside Star Wars Launch Bay. New authentic props from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” are also featured in Star Wars Launch Bay, and the new AWR Troopers from “Rogue One” now appear in the daytime stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.”

Disney’s Water Parks
Guests can cool off on a whitewater adventure aboard Miss Adventure Falls, a brand new family-style raft attraction at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. Guests are immersed in the story of Captain Mary Oceaneer, a treasure hunter who roamed the seven seas in search of undersea artifacts – until a rogue storm marooned her ship and treasures at Typhoon Lagoon.

At Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, the “Frozen” Summer Games return from May 26 – Aug. 13. Kristoff and Olaf will be available for a special character greeting and photo opportunity, making Blizzard Beach the only place where guests can meet Kristoff at Walt Disney World Resort. During the friendly competition, guests will be able to participate in ice-pail relays, a snowball toss and much more snowy fun.

Disney Springs
The culinary scene at Disney Springs continues to evolve with more exciting food and beverage locales, including The Polite Pig and Paddlefish, both open now.

Featuring modern barbecue cuisine prepared in an open kitchen, The Polite Pig serves up Southern sides like mac-and-cheese and smoked corn and a hearty selection of craft beers and cocktails. There’s also a bourbon bar offering more than 50 selections. The Polite Pig is the newest concept from award-winning Orlando Chefs James and Julie Petrakis who own local favorite restaurants The Ravenous Pig and Swine & Sons.

Guests can also step aboard Paddlefish, Disney Springs’ iconic 1800’s paddleboat that’s been reimagined into a modern yacht experience. Paddlefish offers guests a delectable menu of fresh seafood, steaks and chops for lunch and dinner, as well as a delectable Sunday brunch. A new rooftop lounge serves up a late-night menu as well as fantastic views of the water and Disney Springs.

Disney Resort Hotels
Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort opens as the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort on July 17. Inspired by the legendary mining and railroad history of the Pacific Northwest, guests will come “home” to rustic elegance with these new studios, villas and waterfront cabins.

At Disney’s BoardWalk, there’s an enchanting new dining experience at Trattoria al Forno, the Bon Voyage Breakfast, featuring beloved Disney characters including Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel and Prince Eric. Guests can make reservations by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dining or by calling 407-WDW-DINE. Cost is $34 for adults and $20 for children.

What are you most excited for this summer at Walt Disney World? 

Annmarie John


  1. It always amazes me how fast Disney Springs grows. We make it a point to go once a year and it's astonishing! New good food there? Awesome. We never seem to have to wait to eat, which is nice. I guess that's because of the large variety.
    Ah, I can't wait for the Star Wars stuff. You know that! Rogue One troopers? Count me in! And Animal Kingdom seems to be enticing us to finally go again.

  2. Wow there's so much new at Disney this year. I have never managed to make it to Disneyland but it's something I'd love to do one day x

  3. It's been a long time since I last went to Disney. I'd love to take the kids in the family here, I'm sure they're going to love it. I love that they have something special for each season and these are definitely something to look forward to!

  4. We are going back again in August and can't wait for the new Avatar stuff. It's going to be awesome.

  5. This makes me so excited! We are going in January and I had no idea they added a bunch of new things! My daughter is going to love it!

  6. I've never been to Disney World, but it seems would be a great time. I love how many new things they have added.

  7. I know I am one of the rare people that have never been here. Maybe someday with the grandkids when I have some. It looks so magical!

  8. Wow this looks so amazing! I never knew about this place but I definitely would love to try it!

  9. There's so many amazing things to do! We were just there last month and I hope we can make it back soon. We love Disney!

  10. This looks so magical! I bet you can feel like in a real fairy tale there!

  11. There are so many amazing places at Walt Disney World and I have seen they have some amazing new things coming out as well. I will definitely have to be making a trip out there sometime soon.

  12. This is pretty amazing! I love that there's a new feature that's all about Avatar. I loved that movie and it would be nice to see how Disney would showcase that in their theme parks. The Animal Kingdom is something to look forward to as well.

  13. victoria heckstallApril 24, 2017 at 8:06 PM

    I always wanted to visit there. I really want to experience this kind of place. I wish someday I can go there. Its really a great place.

  14. There are some great new attractions. I am always up for a water park so the new family ride sounds great x x

  15. That is so exciting and amazing! There are many new things that are adding, I should really visit :)

  16. I visited WDW last month and enjoyed Flower and Garden festival at Epcot as well as Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom!

  17. Great posts on the new parts of the Disney and info on the old parts as well. I did not they had the Avatar ride and Beauty and the Beast performance. My kids will love it.

  18. Mannnn now I almost want to go this summer! I love the idea of a new show at Magic Kingdom, and we cannot WAIT For the new Avatar attractions! Thanks for keeping me informed about what's new at Disney!

  19. I want to visit so badly but we are saving up for this trip when the kids are a bit older! Some great new things! I hope they're still around when I go!

  20. I would love to visit Disney Springs one day. So far I have been to Disneyland HK and Tokyo and I have enjoyed both my travels there.

  21. These photos make me exciting.I'd love to visit Disney World one day.Sure,my kid will be really excited!

  22. Not a huge Disney Park fan, but I love the movies. They do an excellent job at marketing and creating excitement and hype.

  23. We are too far away from your Disney but we are closer to Disneyland Paris and we are planning to visit there next year again!

  24. Disneyland is indeed a great place for everyone especially for kids and kids-at-heart. And personally not my favorite place because of too much crowd. I rather spend my free time travelling or spend time at the machelin restaurant.


[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=https://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=https://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)