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Awaken Summer: Big changes coming to Disney parks

With new attractions popping up at the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, things are heating up in Central Florida. It's time to Awaken Summer and discover a vacation unlike any other in Kissimmee!

Magic Kingdom:

The Disney Princesses at Walt Disney World Resort will be welcoming a new addition to their group of heroines following her television debut on Disney Channel - 16-year-old Elena of Avalor. Inspired by Latin culture, this brave and bold princess saves her kingdom from an evil sorceress and must now learn how to rule over the land. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the princess beginning August 2016.

Epcot:

Chillllll! The Frozen Ever After attraction will be opening in the Norway Pavilion June 2, 2016. The boat tour will take guests, joined by Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Kristoff and Olaf, all the way up the North Mountain to Elsa's ice palace. And afterwards, guests will have the opportunity to meet the sisters in the Royal Sommerhus.

And in Future World, guests will celebrate debut of the new Soarin’ Around the World attraction June 17. Now with a third Epcot theater, plus new digital screens and projection systems, the expanded attraction takes guests on an exhilarating “flight” above spectacular global landscapes and man-made wonders.

Animal Kingdom:

Starting on Memorial Day weekend, Animal Kingdom will introduce that magic of nature after dark with its new extended park hours and new experiences. Watch the park's iconic Tree of Life awaken throughout the evening via hi-tech projections of nature and animal scenes.

Photo Credit: David Roark

Sing along with The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, a limited-engagement show inspired by Disney's live-action film The Jungle Book.

Encounter the nighttime behavior of the wildlife at the Kilimanjaro Safari after Dark and keep an eye out for two new species: African wild dogs and hyenas!

Photo Credit: Todd Anderson

Gaze in awe as a dramatic dance of water and light summon animal spirit-signifying the ancient believe that when animals passed from one world to another they danced in the sky and became beautiful rivers of light. Rivers of Light is still in developmental stage and an opening date has yet to be announced.

Breathe easy and know that Pandora: World of Avatar is still in the works at Animal Kingdom, projected to open sometime in 2017 (we've been waiting so longggg!). The attraction will feature a lifesize Naavi and lifelike animatronics. Disney will be updating us throughout the coming year in regards to the progress of the project (so let's be patient a little while longer!).

Hollywood Studios:

The next generation of Star Wars-themed fireworks shows, “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” will premiere this June with new themed fireworks, lasers, special effects and video projections of iconic characters and scenes from the complete saga, all set to the unforgettable score of the film series.

The live stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” debuted April 4, celebrating moments from the Star Wars saga with live vignettes featuring popular characters such as BB-8, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Darth Maul.

Photo Credit: Walt Disney World

Click here to begin planning your Kissimmee summer vacation today!

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