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What’s New at Disney Parks: 2017

Exciting changes are coming to Disney Parks and resorts for 2017. From brand new lands to new attractions, re-opened classics, and refurbished resort rooms, explore what’s new at Disney Parks for 2017.

What's new at Disney Parks

What’s New at Disney Parks – Walt Disney World

Pandora – The World of Avatar, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Opening May 27, Pandora – The World of Avatar will bring park guests into the mystical, bioluminescent rain forests from the mind of James Cameron. Two main attractions inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom will give visitors the chance to explore the world by sea and air. In Avatar Flight of Passage, guests will fly above the jungles of Pandora on a Mountain Banshee while the Na’Vi River Journey sails down a sacred river through the rain forest (and it is family friendly!). New restaurants, including the Satu’li Canteen and Pongu Pongu kiosk, as well as souvenirs and gifts will also be available at opening.

What's New at Disney Parks: Rivers of Light hits the night in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Rivers of Light, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Opened this February with great anticipation, Disney’s Animal Kingdom‘s Rivers of Light is a new nighttime show that mixes water, fire, nature, and light, all set to an original score. The nighttime attraction celebrates nature and the connection between nature and humans throughout the world.

happily ever after fireworks show at the magic kingdom

Happily Ever After, Magic Kingdom Park

Promising to be the “most spectacular fireworks display in the park’s history,” don’t miss “Happily Ever After,” opening May 2017 at Magic Kingdom Park. More than 25 stories will come to life on and around Cinderella’s Castle itself as the night sky lights up with the sights and sounds of Disney’s magical storytelling.

Miss Adventure Falls debuting at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon this March

Miss Adventure Falls, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

Hop aboard a family-style raft for an epic journey on Miss Adventure Falls, the newest attraction at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park this March. The ride follows in Disney’s storytelling footsteps as park guests take part in the story of Captain Mary Oceaneer’s treasure hunting adventures at sea. With a run-time of two minutes, it will be one of the longest attractions at a Disney water park.


New Dining, Disney Springs

The shopping, entertainment, and dining mecca that is Disney Springs will get a slew of new restaurants in 2017 including The Edison, restaurant, bar & nighttime destination; The Polite Pig, sister to local Orlando favorite, the Ravenous Pig; and Wine Bar George, led by Orlando master sommelier George Miliotes.

RELATED: Top 10 Things to do with Kids while outside the Disney Theme Parks

What’s New at Disney Parks – Disneyland Anaheim Resort

Although no new lands are opening at the Disneyland Anaheim Resort this year, there are still plenty of changes in store for the West Coast park.

Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration

Lunar New Year Festival

For the first time ever, Disneyland resort celebrated the Lunar New Year with a park-wide extravaganza at Disney California Adventure. Read all about the fun and keep your finger’s crossed for a 2018 return.


Beauty & The Beast

To help celebrate the release of the live-action Beauty and the Beast film staring Emma Watson, Disneyland Park has upped their ante with a tribute to this “tale as old as time.” For a limited time, the Village Haus Restaurant in Fantasyland has been transformed into the Red Rose Taverne, serving up food inspired by the film in a French-provincial decorated atmosphere. Next door, a variety of souvenirs and collectibles based on the film will be for sale at the Royal Reception. Looking for a quick bite to eat? Maurice’s Treats is serving up “grey stuff” dipping sauces (it’s delicious!) for you to enjoy while watching the live retelling of the classic story at The Royal Theatre.

main street electrical parade is back at Disneyland through June 2017

Main Street Electrical Parade

Through August 20, 2017, guests will have the chance to see the return of the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade, which first hit Main Street, U.S.A. in 1972. This encore performance includes the original opening float as well as favorite characters and impressive displays twinkling over 600,000 individual lights. Reserved viewing areas and special dining packages are available for the nightly parade.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout

Starting May 27, 2017, guests to Disney California Adventure will have their chance to step inside a “Summer of Heroes” tribute to super heroes, including blasting off in Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, the brand-new attraction (taking the place of the Hollywood Tower of Terror) puts guests into the story line of this popular comic inspired by the film. After the thrilling ride, fans can also enjoy a Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! with Star-Lord as well as face-to-face encounters with Groot, the First Avenger, Captain America, and Spiderman. The Summer of Heroes offers a great lineup of limited time attractions including the Avengers Training Initiative, where Black Widow and Hawkeye see if young recruits can join the Avengers; a Heroic Encounter with Black Widow in armored Avengers vehicles; as well as specially themed merchandise and food that will be available throughout Hollywood Land.

rivers of america's new look in preparation for star wars land

Re-opening of Fantasmic, Rivers of America & Disneyland Railroad

Rivers of America and the Disneyland Railroad will re-open this summer to the delight of fans craving a nostalgic look at the park. These rides, as well as the popular show Fantasmic which will also return nightly, have been closed due to Star Wars Land construction. Although no specific details have been announced, the north bank of Rivers of America has likely experienced an updated look.


What’s New On-Board Disney Cruise Line

In addition to new itineraries mentioned below, many ships have new on-board offerings as well. On the Disney Fantasy families can enjoy new Star Wars and Marvel themed areas. On the Disney Dream, a new musical production of “Beauty and the Beast” will begin on November 6, 2017. Not to be left out of the musical fun, Disney Wonder will feature “Frozen, A Musical Spectacular.” This fall, Disney will unveil Marvel Day at Sea during select sailings out of New York. Ideal for your favorite super hero fan, this day will include entertainment, youth activities, special merchandise, and a special deck party.

Alaska. While Disney has been in the Alaska cruise scene for some time now, this year will mark the first time select itineraries will visit Icy Strait Point and the remarkable Hubbard Glacier. This same itinerary includes a visit to Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Europe. Over in Europe, Disney Magic will visit Amsterdam for the very first time. The Amsterdam visit is included in the sailing which departs from Copenhagen, Denmark, and sails to Dover, England with stops in Berlin, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Tallinn.

Caribbean. Families who love the Caribbean will be happy to learn that longer itineraries will be offered out of Port Canaveral. Disney will also return to Galveston, Texas as well this fall and offer seven-night cruises to the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

Other Destinations. Disney Magic will be sailing from New York up into Canada this fall and include Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and Bar Harbor, Maine, as new ports of call. Also this fall, Disney Cruise Line will return to San Diego and sail down to Mexico on 2-5 night sailings.

On the Horizon – Coming Soon to Disney Parks & Resorts 

star wars land artist rendering

Star Wars Land

The largest and likely the most anticipated expansion in Disney parks to date, Star Wars Lands will hit both coasts in 2019. Until then, fans can make the most of Star Wars-themed fun as the Season of the Force continues in the Disney Anaheim Resort and Walt Disney World.

toy story land in Disney's hollywood studios

Toy Story Land

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will also soon be opening Toy Story Land, likely quite similar to the Toy Story Land that already exists in Disneyland Paris. The land will “shrink” guests down to toy size and then allow them to play with their favorite characters, ride attractions, and more while enjoying Andy’s backyard. Toy Story Mania will feature an expanded track and two new rides will inhabit the land: a family-friendly coaster onboard Slinky’s back and a flying saucer spin with the alien friends who fear “The Claw!”

Disney Parks

Hotel Expansions

Disney Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will both be experiencing renovations and additions over the next two years. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will add a 15-story lakeside tower with an additional 500 rooms and services, as well as refurbishments to current rooms. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will add waterside dining and a marketplace. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will open Copper Creek Villas & Cabins, a Disney Vacation Club Resort, within the lodge. The lodge will also get a re-imagination to the Hidden Springs Pool, a new bar & grill, and an additional quick-service restaurant.


All images courtesy of Disney Parks unless otherwise noted.

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