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Disney World confirms opening dates for new attractions

May 20, 2016, 9:14 AM · The Walt Disney World Resort this morning confirmed specific public opening dates for its line-up of new shows and attraction updates at its theme parks this summer.

On May 27, the new Tree of Life nighttime project show will debut at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and the original "Over California" version of Soarin' will return at Epcot for a limited run.

On May 28, The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, the replacement show for Rivers of Light, will begin its run on the Discovery River at Animal Kingdom.

On June 17, Soarin' Around the World will debut at Epcot, replacing the original version, the Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire show will debut on the Magic Kingdom castle stage, and the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks and projection light show will open at Disney's Hollywood Studios

And on June 21, the Frozen Ever After ride and the adjacent Royal Sommerhus meet-and-greet with Anna & Elsa will open at Epcot. To accommodate the expected crowds, the Norway (Arendelle) pavilion will open at 9am instead with the rest of the World Showcase pavilions at 11am. Disney will offer Fastpass+ for the ride (an overlay of the old Maelstrom attraction), but not for the meet and greet.

To help you plan your late-spring trips, here's what else is opening at major theme parks around the world in the next month or so:

May 26 (Media preview) - Cobra's Curse, Busch Gardens Tampa

May 27 - Frozen – Live at the Hyperion, Disney California Adventure

June 10 - Mako, SeaWorld Orlando

June 11 - GhostRider, Knott's Berry Farm

June 16 - Shanghai Disneyland

June 23 (Media preview) - Skull Island: Reign of Kong, Universal's Islands of Adventure

For more attraction opening dates (and links to reviews):

Replies (12)

May 20, 2016 at 10:04 AM · Any mention of when fas pass will be available for the frozen ride?
May 20, 2016 at 11:36 AM · Disney fans are going to be mighty angry if the Frozen ride doesn't match up to what we're seeing in Shanghai. It doesn't have to be as awesome as Shanghai's Pirates ride, but it can't be underwhelming like the Little Mermaid ride.
May 20, 2016 at 12:11 PM · Think there's any chance of Disney doing a soft launch for the Frozen ride in the days before? (We leave four days before it opens. We didn't plan our trip to ride this or anything dumb like that, but just wondering if they ever do soft launches generally?)
May 20, 2016 at 2:56 PM · The new Frozen Ride will probably be just the Maelstrom with new scenery. As for the Little Mermaid, I don't think it is underwhelming at all.
May 20, 2016 at 4:00 PM · Fast passes start May 21st
May 20, 2016 at 11:27 PM · As long as the kids like it, the Frozen ride will be a hit.
May 21, 2016 at 4:59 AM · The quality of the Frozen ride will be dependent on the quality of the animatronics. Maelstrom was always a moderately amusing boat ride. Whether or not it becomes something with re-ride-ability will entirely be based on how well the characters are brought to life.

As we've seen with the 7 Dwarfs Mine, Disney can do some pretty amazing things these days. It'll be interesting to see how much they invest in this one.

Then we just have to wait for the overlay of Zootopia onto the Italy exhibit.

May 21, 2016 at 10:41 AM · Any word on soft openings for Kong?
May 21, 2016 at 10:44 AM · If the Frozen ride doesn't keep the polar bear it will be a failure.
May 21, 2016 at 2:38 PM · I'm sure Frozen's gonna be a decent ride. But I still wish they would've built it in Fantasyland instead, where it would've been a better fit. I find it ironic because Fantasyland has Small World which would be a better fit in World Showcase and vice-versa with Frozen. Then again, taking Small World out of MK would probably be considered blasphemy. Regardless, I'm still looking forward to Frozen. Just don't go in expecting anything big or grand. Speaking of which...

I agree with another previous anonymous poster who said that Little Mermaid isn't underwhelming. I grew up watching The Little Mermaid, and always wanted it to become a Fantasyland-style dark ride like Snow White, Peter Pan or Mr. Toad. And I ended up getting exactly what I wanted! (Well, not exactly, I did want a bigger climax with Ursula, but everything else is pretty much how I wanted it.) I really don't understand why people talk about it like it was supposed to be this big E-ticket. I don't remember it being advertised that way; if memory serves correct, the marketing for this ride was more along the lines of "hey, we made a Little Mermaid ride that follows the same story from the movie and we think you'll like it!" I also find it kind of weird that we praise the three aforementioned Fantasyland dark rides despite the fact that they have the same concept and style of Little Mermaid, but with inferior special effects. I still love those rides and hope they will be around for all eternity, but you can't deny that their effects are very outdated (Mr. Toad didn't even have the decency to put in actual AAs). Little Mermaid, on the other hand, has some of the best special effects I've ever seen on a theme park attraction. Is the ride perfect? No. Is it one of my personal favorites? No. Do I still enjoy it every time I ride it? Absolutely. Do I think it deserves a lot more love than it gets? Absolutely.

May 22, 2016 at 9:23 AM · Little mermaid is worse then the Finding Nemo ride at Epcot at least in that one you feel like you are underwater instead of a department store with blue floors cheap plastic manquins on metal rods.
May 23, 2016 at 11:43 AM · Hype for GhostRider!

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