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Walt Disney World Teases its Upcoming Attractions

April 19, 2016, 7:24 PM · Walt Disney World is promoting its line-up of new shows and attractions for this summer with a big press event at the resort this week. There's not much news coming out of the event, as Disney still isn't releasing firm opening dates for most of the big new attractions. And the planned public debut of the Rivers of Light show at Disney's Animal Kingdom — the keystone event for the press junket — isn't happening either. But Disney is releasing some interesting teases for the attractions.

First, we've got our first glimpse at some of the new ride video for the upcoming Soarin' Around the World show, which debuts at Shanghai Disneyland on June 16, then follows at Epcot and Disney California Adventure the next day. Epcot's Soarin' attraction also is getting a third theater for the show, in an attempt to reduce its often hours-plus wait.

Over in World Showcase, the old Maelstrom ride is becoming Frozen Ever After, a musical adventure featuring Anna, Elsa, and the whole gang from Arendelle. Academy Award-winning composers Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez talked about their roles in adapting Frozen into the new attraction.

Much of Disney's Hollywood Studios will remain a construction zone this summer, as work continues on Toy Story Land and the new Star Wars land. But DHS is getting an expansive new Star Wars-themed fireworks and projection mapping show this summer — Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. Show Director Michael Roddy explains:

Frozen Ever After and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular will open sometime in June.

Finally, Disney's Animal Kingdom will expand its hours into the evening... at some point starting Memorial Day weekend. When the sun sets, Animal Kingdom will entertain visitors with a new night version of the Kilimanjaro Safaris, a projection mapping show on the Tree of Life and, eventually, Rivers of Light — the big new show on the Discovery River in front of Expedition Everest. Here's a taste of the Tree of Life Awakens show:

And of Rivers of Light:

Update: Disney confirmed tonight that a Jungle Book-themed show will debut in Rivers of Light's place at Animal Kingdom, starting Memorial Day weekend. "Jungle Book: Alive with Magic" will run for the summer, suggesting that we won't see Rivers of Light until fall, if then.

More from the "Awaken Summer" Event:

Replies (17)

April 19, 2016 at 10:07 PM · Any word if Soarin's keeping it's musical score? I'd hate to see Jerry Goldsmith's work thrown away.

As for the Jungle Book, it will clearly be a last minute substitute for Rivers of Light, which does *not* bode well for the latter.

April 19, 2016 at 10:16 PM · Thanks for the update. IS the California Soain footage being taken away for good? I would be great if the theaters in DCA and WDW could be spilt with World and CA footage.
April 20, 2016 at 3:52 AM · I want to hear if Soarin' is going to address the issue of sudden scene jumps, from one location to another.

It was really my only complaint about the original show. And, I don't know how you could transition from one place in the other more smoothly, but I'm sure it could be done.

I guess if you were to smoothly go from one part in California to another, it might make it look like the state is only the size of Rhode Island. But if we're going all over the world, I don't think it really matters if you fly over the city of Hong Kong, then out over a herd of wildebeest crossing the Savanna. It would be a part of the charm and keeping in theme with Epcot's philosophies.

It's a small world, aft....never mind.

April 20, 2016 at 7:08 AM · It will probably go into the clouds/nighttime stars etc.. then pop out at the next destination
April 20, 2016 at 7:10 AM · Sigh.........
April 20, 2016 at 7:21 AM · Interesting that Jungle Book show is debuting first. It had better be a good show. Sounds like a last minute replacement. A lot of filler this summer.
April 20, 2016 at 8:37 AM · Soarin' Around the World's music will be based on the original score, performed by the London Studio Orchestra.
April 20, 2016 at 8:40 AM · Disney 2016: More of the same creatively-bankrupt bull.
April 20, 2016 at 10:05 AM · Jungle Book was never one of my favorite films and I wasn't interested in seeing the new one. But due to all the hype and now a make-shift AK show, I have to go see it. Stupid Disney making me see things I don't care about!! ;)
April 20, 2016 at 10:16 AM · Talked to friends at Disney and River of Light most likely won't debut until 2017. It's a technological disaster.

What happened to the additional track for Toy Story Midway Mania?

April 20, 2016 at 10:59 AM · What the hell is the London "Studio" Orchestra? ;^)
April 20, 2016 at 12:20 PM · So is The Frozen fireworks show at DHS gone then? Well, then again, I really only expected it to last about 3 years. It was a cute little show, and a nice way to end the evening, but I think we can all agree that if they had to pick between Frozen and Star Wars, Star Wars is the obvious choice.
April 20, 2016 at 12:28 PM · Robert - can you shed some light (see what I did there) on the night time Kilamonjaro Safari experience. I really can't quite wrap my head around the idea of giant LED screens around the perimeter creating a lingering sunset. I don't quite get it.
April 21, 2016 at 5:44 AM · Will Soarin get a story, transitions and actual movement? It's the most overhyped tech demo and I'm sure there is a ride in there somewhere but it needs 6 more years development.
What about some new rides for the oh so tired future world part of Epcot so Test track and Soarin get a break and there is more then 2 mediocre things to do?
April 21, 2016 at 8:38 AM · I don't understand it either Rob. I'd like to know how that affects the animals to essentially have daylight extended for another 3-5 hours every single night. Will that affect their activity during the day? Will they simply figure it out and go to sleep when they look up and see the stars instead of looking at the horizon and see the perpetual sunset? Lots of unanswered questions with that one.

This Jungle Book rumor is extremely perplexing, because I watched a periscope the other night of a live preview of Rivers of Light (sans rafts). I'm not sure who Disney was presenting it to (media, pass holders, execs, etc...), but it was billed as "Rivers of Light", and did not have any mention of Jungle Book. Perhaps they can run the show with the stationary effects (projections, fountains, and lights/fireworks), but don't want to debut it to the public until the raft effects are fully operational. I suppose it's possible Disney is quickly putting together a Jungle Book themed projection/fountain show to stem the tide while the rest of Rivers of Light are perfected. However, I just don't get how it's going to take Disney so long to get this show running the way they want, so much so that they're spending even more money putting together a temporary show to bridge the gap until Rivers of Light is ready.

April 23, 2016 at 3:21 AM · I am not sure where you get your information from but I just sat through a dry run of Rivers of Light two days ago, April 20. There are areas that need to be adjusted to sync with sound track and better projection clarity but overall a very good show. Mike A.
April 23, 2016 at 5:09 PM · Russell: I think the likelihood that Disney would do anything that negatively affect the animals to be slim to none. After seeing what happened at Sea World due to "Blackfish", it just isn't a risk worth taking.

If you are concerned/curious, why not ask Disney directly? If you go to the "Contact Us" page on their website, you can send a message using the "Email" icon. One of the pre-defined Subjects is "Animals, Recycling and the Environment".

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