As you may be aware, Disney is hosting a national “media event” this week. All of the disseminated information has been posted to the Disney Parks Blog. I will quickly summarize it and then link to the appropriate post.
The new version of the “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks show will begin in June as expected. There is no official start date. The fireworks should be daily this summer. You may remember that they are only showing on four nights each week for the first four weeks in May. More details here: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/new-star-wars-themed-experiences-shift-into-light-speed-this-summer/. The show in its current state is pretty spectacular and these improvements should only enhance the experience.
Also at Studios, Disney released a short concept video of the Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster and announced the name of the new Mad-Tea-Party-esque spinning ride, Alien Swirling Saucers here: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/first-look-toy-story-land-attractions-at-disneys-hollywood-studios/. That should give All Star Sports a run for its money on the acronym front. New Meet and Greet characters are expected to include Rex, Wheezy and the Little Green Aliens, in addition to Woody, Jessie, and Buzz. No opening time frame was announced (and with Rivers of Light debuting in Two-Thousand-Whatever who can blame them), but it shouldn’t take Disney all that long to install two carnival rides.
Also at Studios, the third track at Toy Story Mania is expected to open Memorial Day Weekend.
A preview of Alice Through the Looking Glass will appear at One Man’s Dream starting May 6th, replacing the current Jungle Book preview: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/preview-scenes-from-disneys-alice-through-the-looking-glass-for-a-limited-time-starting-may-6/.
Soarin’ Around the World will debut at Epcot on June 17th. FastPass+ will be available from April 21st, so be sure to log in at midnight if you’re looking at switching away from that previously booked Living with the Land FP+. Disney Parks Blog has more details and a short clip here: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/soarin-around-the-world-takes-flight-at-disney-parks-this-summer/. I would probably skip the clip – I regret spoiling it.
Frozen Ever After will officially debut in June, which is later than expected. No precise date is available, but the same details were reiterated here: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/frozen-ever-after-attraction-set-to-open-at-epcot-in-june/.
As previously mentioned, the characters from Finding Dory will appear in Turtle Talk with Crush at Epcot in early May: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/finding-dory-characters-to-debut-at-turtle-talk-with-crush-in-may/.
Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire, the Cinderella Castle stage show at Magic Kingdom, will debut in June as expected: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/mickeys-royal-friendship-faire-set-to-open-in-june-2016-at-magic-kingdom-park/.
In addition to yesterday’s announcement that a Jungle Book show will appear at Animal Kingdom in lieu of Rivers of Light, Tiffins, the new signature restaurant attached to Pizzafari, will open Memorial Day Weekend: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/new-tiffins-restaurant-at-disneys-animal-kingdom-opens-memorial-day-weekend/.
Disney also reasserted that the Town Center section of Disney Springs will begin opening May 15th: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/disney-springs-to-open-more-than-30-new-shops-dining-spots-throughout-the-summer/.
Disney has a new princess, Elena of Avalor, who will be meeting in Magic Kingdom beginning this summer. Historically, Disney has installed this kind of meet and greet where Merida currently resides, but we will see: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/elena-of-avalor-disneys-first-princess-inspired-by-diverse-latin-cultures-to-debut-at-walt-disney-world-in-august/.