Finally there’s a Frozen ride! It’s a Summer Snow Day and you’re invited to travel up to the ice palace to meet both Elsa and Anna. Board the boat and prepare for a sing-a-long as you sail up the North Mountain—some of your favourite characters might even join you. When you reach the top, head over to the Royal Sommerhus, which is where Anna and Elsa spent much of their childhood. Now that Queen Elsa has learned to control her powers, she has reopened her summer house and is welcoming visitors. Yep, you can meet both the princesses in their new permanent home at Disney. Cue the Frozen fever!
Check it out: Norway Pavillion in Epcot starting this summer.
Animal Kingdom used to be the only park that wasn’t open at night. But not anymore! Now you can enjoy the Kilimanjaro Safari after dark. And it’s definitely worth keeping the kids up for. We suggest heading home from the rides in the early afternoon, taking a nice nap and then heading to Animal Kingdom for dinner. Then it’s time to go on safari—the best time is around 8:15 p.m. Keep your eyes peeled for animals hiding in the dark and make sure to listen because you’ll probably hear the baboons and hippos. The cooler temperatures at night mean the animals are much more active—even the notoriously lazy lions can be seen walking about. And don’t be surprised if a giraffe walks right by the jeep. It’s an amazing experience that you don’t want to miss.
Check it out: Animal Kingdom starting in late May.
Since Animal Kingdom is now a nighttime park, there’s a host of new attractions for you to check out. The Tree of Life that greets you when you enter the park now actually comes alive. Magical fireflies help each of the animals awaken and move around. And your little Disney fanatic will love watching some of their fave movies playing out on the tree, complete with music. Then you can head over to the Rivers of Light show, a magical light display that takes place on the water. Watch as dancing temple lotuses shoot water and project an amazing show featuring all the creatures that live in the Animal Kingdom. The show is best for older kids, as younger ones may get fidgety.
Check it out: Animal Kingdom starting in late May.
Your young padawan needs to check out the newest Star Wars show—A Galaxy Far, Far Away. Right in the center of Hollywood Studios, watch your favourite Star Wars movie moments on the big screen. But wait, here comes Chewbacca in the flesh—or more accurately, fur! R2-D2, Kylo Ren and even Darth Vader all come out to entertain and maybe convince you to go to the Dark Side. The show does feature some mini-fireworks, so it may be a bit scary for younger kids.
Check it out: Multiple times daily at Center Stage in Hollywood Studios.
The Star Wars fun isn’t over! The First Order stormtroopers are on patrol at Hollywood Studios. Don’t be surprised when they stop you and ask to see your ID. Do what they say and they'll send you on your way without any trouble. And keep your little Jedi strong by serving him a Padawan Limeade and a Han Solo Souvenir Kid’s meal. Then as an extra-special treat, let him stay up late for Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. This amazing fireworks show is a must-see. You can book a reserved viewing area for the show, which includes a Darth Vader cupcake. But the show is just as great in the general viewing area, too.
Check it out: Every night at Hollywood Studios, $69 per adult and $39 per child for the reserved show.
Joining Cinderella, Belle and Aurora is the newest princess on the block—Elena of Avalor. Elena is a 16-year-old princess from the fairytale kingdom of Avalor. When the evil sorceress attacks, Elena must save her people, with the help of some of her magical friends. Elena will be Disney’s first princess inspired by Latin cultures.
Check it out: Magic Kingdom starting in August.
You and the kids are probably going to want a break from the parks. So spend the morning in the pool and then head over to the newly renovated Disney Springs. Your first stop needs to be the amphicar ride—it looks like a car, but it’s actually a boat. Your skipper will take you for a sweet ride around the water. Then it’s time to shop—there are a ton of new stores that you will love (Kate Spade, Uniqlo, Anthropologie and more). And for the kids, there’s now a Marvel shop and a Star Wars one as well. In terms of entertainment, be sure to go bowling at Splitsville. Strike!Photo: Disney
Dude, Dory is joining Turtle Talk with Crush! If you haven’t been to the show, Crush (of Finding Nemo fame) interacts with kids and answers their questions. Dory used to stop by the show, but kids couldn’t talk to her. But now they can! So tell your kiddos to think of some good questions for the most forgetful fish around.
Check it out: Epcot starting in early May.
Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire is one of the iconic shows at Magic Kingdom. But some new friends are joining Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Daisy on stage. Mickey has an icy surprise for Minnie—he’s brought Anna, Elsa and Olaf for a visit. And the special guests don’t end there. Characters from The Princess and the Frog and Tangled also join the musical fun. Prepare yourself for thousands of enthusiastic kids singing “Let It Go.”
Check it out: Multiple times daily at the Cinderella Castle stage in Magic Kingdom, starting in June.
Happy, sad, happy, sad, EXCITED! Your kids will be feeling all the emotions when they meet Joy and Sadness from Inside Out. Before chatting with the characters, you step into Riley’s brain, making a stop at her long-term memory before heading to the Islands of Personality. Then it’s over to the console to chat with the Emotions.
Check it out: Daily at the Epcot Character Spot.