So much has been happening at Walt Disney World lately that it’s easy to look at the present and not think of the future in regards to the parks, but from what I can tell, the end of 2016 through 2017 is looking like another fabulous year filled with new sights and sounds- and attractions! From new lands to draw crowds to replacement shows, here’s what you can expect to see new at Walt Disney World in 2017!
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam! is replacing The Osborne Family Spectacle of lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning this winter holiday season and, from the very small details that Disney has released it looks to be a fun holiday spectacular beginning November 14, 2016 through the end of the year. The theme is this: Santa Claus is missing and elves Wayne & Lanny from “Prep & Landing” need to get him back to the north Pole and pronto. Bonus: you won’t have to attend a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom to see snow at WDW- there’s promises of snow at this show!
To really up the merriment there’s a Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Party. It will feature “holiday-inspired snacks, decadent desserts and specialty beverages in the courtyard of the Chinese Theater.” Beginning one hour before each performance of Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!, the party is $69 for adults, and $39 for children, including tax & gratuities.
Mark your calendar for November 24, 2016 if you have Elena of Avalor fans in your family- that’s the date the newly-instilled Disney Princess will make her meet and greet debut at Magic Kingdom. At Princess Fairytale Hall, guests can choose between meet and greet with Elena and Cinderella or a visit with Rapunzel and Tiana. FastPass+ reservations for dates that include Elena appearances are available now.
Pandora- The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom
There’s massive amounts of chatter that Pandora (an Avatar-inspired land based on the Disney film) will debut at the end of 2017. I, personally, can’t wait for its opening! The new land will be a massive draw to the park and will solidly nail down the fact that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is no longer just a day time park.
There’s no too much info on the land yet but we do know that the land will be an “awe-inspiring land envisioned by filmmaker James Cameron comes to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with floating mountains and bioluminescent rain forests.” I’ve also heard talk that the walkways will light up, the vegetation will respond when touched, and there’s a ride “Flight of Passage” that incorporates the movie’s flying banshees.
What I’m looking for to most? Na’vi River Journey. Guests will set out in canoes and “venture down a mysterious, sacred river hidden within the bioluminescent rainforest. The full beauty of Pandora reveals itself as the canoes pass by exotic glowing plants and amazing creatures. The journey culminates in an encounter with a Na’vi shaman, who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora and sends positive energy out into the forest through her music.”
Translation? Avatar beauty from top to bottom.
The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History
The Muppets will never of out of style, we can be sure of that! Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo, and Sam Eagle (remember him? Super patriotic!) join Town Crier, James Jefferson, at The Hall of Presidents at Magic Kingdom to tell historical tales- Muppet style. Topics include the Ride of Paul Revers and the signing of The Declaration of Independence. Already showing, The Muppets appear daily in Liberty Square, so check the Times Guide to make sure you catch the show.
Rivers of Light
There’s tons of speculation that 2017 is the year for “Rivers of Light” in Animal Kingdom. I had a chance in early spring to check out a preview and, man, was it beautiful. The theme is intense (maintaining peace and oneness with nature) and the music super catchy, too.
If the preview was only a fraction of what the show is racking up to be I know it will be one of my favorites in WDW.
What are you looking forward to most for Walt Disney World in 2017? Please let me know in the comment section below!