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 – 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.

Check for hotel availabilities in Anaheim



Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout

The brand new attraction at Disney California Adventure: Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! will have parents and kids rocking out to Star Lord’s awesome mix-tape of music while Rocket attempts to free the Guardians from the fortress of The Collector, Taneleer Tivan. This re-imagined thrill ride (formerly Hollywood Tower of Terror) is inspired by the films’ soundtracks and offers six ride experiences with different songs, drop sequences, and visual effects. After the thrilling ride, fans can enjoy a Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! with Star-Lord and Groot and then meet some of their favorite Super Heroes like Captain America, Spiderman, and other members of The Avengers. During the Summer of Heroes kids can join the Avengers Training Initiative, come up on stage with Black Widow and Hawkeye, and train to join forces with The Avengers. It is sure to be as popular an experience as the Jedi Training Academy over at Disneyland. Don’t miss a Heroic Encounter with Black Widow in an armored Avengers vehicles as she enters the backlot of Hollywood Land. A station with specialized testing equipment (mobile devices) is set up for kids and parents to test their abilities and see what kind of super hero powers they possess. A limited edition comic book is one of the rewards!  Specially themed merchandise and food will be available throughout Hollywood Land during this limited time #SummerofHeros. So #HeroUp!

Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout from Trekaroo on Vimeo.

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.


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.

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.

Look for current hotel deals nearby Walt Disney World

CHECK OUT IT: We’ve been to Pandora! Read all about the top 10 things you need to do while in this new land!

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 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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About the author

Katie Bodell is Trekaroo’s Blog Editor, a freelance writer, a happy wife to her best friend, and a mom to three sweet California girls. She loves the Bible, learning & research, musical theater, indy music, artsy films, languages, and diverse cultural encounters. Her husband is thankful that google can now answer all of her perpetual random questions.

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