Disney Season: Summer 2013

Filed in: Current & Upcoming Events, Disney Season

From Expanded Cruise Itineraries and Limited Time Magic,  To Splashy Water Thrills and Rejuvenating Retreats, Summer 2013 Turns Up the Heat with Vacation Fun at Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. — Summer 2013 sizzles with exciting new attractions, events and more awaiting guests at Walt Disney World Resort.

To kick off such a “monstrous” summer, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort will keep three theme parks open for 24 hours nonstop. Magic Kingdom Park in Florida and Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park in California will stay open from 6 a.m., May 24 to 6 a.m., May 25, 2013, local time* marking the beginning of a summer of fun inspired by the upcoming Disney•Pixar comedy adventure Monsters University.

During the 24-hour “All-Nighter” Magic Kingdom will feature a Monsters University theme where Mike and Sulley will be the Grand Marshals of the “Celebrate a Dream Come True” day parade – complete with pomp and circumstance – and make appearances in Tomorrowland. Guests also will find extra entertainment throughout the day and night, including characters in their pajamas in Town Square during the late night and early morning, and late-night dance parties in and around the courtyard of Cinderella Castle.

Here’s what else is in store for summer 2013:


New Fantasyland – From the lofty spires of Beast’s Castle to the fathoms-deep world of Ariel, New Fantasyland pours on its first summer of fun for Magic Kingdom guests. The new space doubles the size of Fantasyland and is the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history. Be Our Guest Restaurant features a lavish dining experience in an elegant ballroom inspired by Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” animated film classic. By day it’s “great food fast” for lunch while at night it’s full-service table dining featuring French-inspired cuisine. Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid puts guests in clamshells traveling with Ariel and friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves. Enchanted Tales with Belle takes guests to a far-off French village and right into the world of Belle, Lumiere and Madame Wardrobe — feeling transformed in the process.

Guests can refresh with a frothy LeFou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern. Meantime over at Storybook Circus, guests can take a spin on one of two Dumbos, dip and soar aboard The Barnstormer Featuring the Great Goofini or meet Disney characters at Pete’s Silly Sideshow. There’s more New Fantasyland to come as late 2013 sees the opening of Princess Fairytale Hall and all is on track for the spring 2014 opening of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a rollicking family coaster attraction.

Test Track Presented by Chevrolet -The re-imagined iconic attraction puts guests in the designer’s studio for an immersive experience as they create their own virtual concept vehicle before boarding a “SimCar” to race through a thrilling series of hills, hairpin turns and straightaways.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes – If bowling is right up your alley, come experience the hottest trend going by rolling over to Splitsville, at Downtown Disney West Side. The hip, retro-style emporium features 30 lanes across two levels, live entertainment, lively indoor and outdoor bars and upscale dining including sushi, filet mignon sliders and more.

Limited Time Magic – Magical experiences in all shapes and sizes that appear and disappear as the next special surprise debuts will continue with a weeklong Independence Day celebration highlighting the summer season – all part of Limited Time Magic at Disney Parks. Independence Week will be red, white and blue as Disney Parks celebrates America with a 4th of July Fireworks Party – for an entire week. Guests enjoy an extra dash of pixie dust each week in 2013. Limited Time Magic takes its inspiration from those special, but fleeting, moments when families spend time together with shared experiences.

Disney Junior – Live on Stage! - Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests get a real summer treat as Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First have been added to the onstage fun – joining the latest, most popular characters and stories from the Disney Junior line-up on television. Sofia the First as a series premiered earlier this year on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow experience – Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow gives Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests a chance to become immersed in the action and adventure of the four “Pirates of the Caribbean” films. Buccaneer wannabes journey deep into an eerie lost grotto, where they are put to the test to see if they have what it takes to sail with Captain Jack’s crew.


Senses, A Disney Spa At Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort – Joining later this summer its sister spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, the new Senses Spa at Saratoga Springs will be inspired by the healing properties of natural springs that have drawn people for centuries to Saratoga Springs in upstate New York. A completely redesigned space, Senses, A Disney Spa At Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, will feature 10 treatment rooms offering an array of services including water therapy, massage and facials. Senses will incorporate the springs, nature and the storyline of health in its design and theming. Call 407-WDW-SPAS.

Wilderness Explorers Comes to Disney’s Animal Kingdom - Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests are invited to become Wilderness Explorers and experience the park in engaging and challenging ways aimed at deepening their understanding of animals and the natural world we live in. Inspired by Russell, the wilderness explorer in the Disney-Pixar film “Up,” park guests can earn approximately 30 badges as they accomplish activities ranging from habitats and animal nutrition at Conservation Station to fossils and signaling in DinoLand U.S.A. Wilderness Explorers troop leaders are located throughout the park to enlist new explorers, distribute the “Wilderness Explorers Handbook,” which contains a map with all of the badge locations and requirements, and teach the wilderness explorers call – “the wilderness must be explored!”  Taking the official pledge, armed with their field guides and earning sticker badges along the way as they complete their challenges, guests can explore the park at their leisure. Aimed at guests 7-10, but fun for the entire family, Wilderness Explorers is self-guided and encourages more “up close and personal” time with the animal inhabitants of the park. Headquartered on Oasis Bridge, Wilderness Explorers is included in Disney’s Animal Kingdom admission.

New Meet-Up with Mickey, Minnie at Disney’s Animal Kingdom - Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse now welcome Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests to their new exploration headquarters, Adventurers Outpost, on Discovery Island. The all-new indoor retreat is the perfect spot for guests to meet the globetrotting duo as they get ready to set off on their next adventure.

A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas – “A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas” is a new interactive adventure inviting Magic Kingdom guests to set a course for swashbuckling fun with Captain Jack Sparrow. At the Enlistment Quarters (near the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction), adventurers sign on to join Captain Jack’s crew, choose one of five pirate “raids” (with accompanying treasure map) and set out on their journey to find the Treasures of the Seven Seas hidden around Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom. The mission is urgent, too. Ships of the British Royal Navy are fast approaching in their quest to rid Adventureland of pirates once and for all. If guests are successful in helping Captain Jack find the treasures, he can foil the Royal Navy. Guests plunge into the action armed only with their pirate map indicating the locations they will need to investigate and a magical talisman that they will tap against mystical objects marked with symbols hidden in the environment, triggering fantastic special effects and advancing the story. Guests of all ages are welcome as they join Captain Jack and fight off the Royal Navy, Captain Barbossa, headhunters, curses — and the greatest threat of all, Calypso, the sea goddess. Each raid lasts approximately 15-25 minutes. If they help Captain Jack succeed in all five missions, guests unlock the epic finale to their adventure and they will be welcomed as part of his new crew. If not, they face the wrath of the cruel sea…alone.

Disney Dining – Coming by summer’s end: a re-imagined California Grill crowning Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Guests will experience a beautiful new dining room, onstage kitchen and new dining choices – chef Brian Piasecki will keep the focus on creative, fresh, seasonal dishes and top-of-the-line sushi.  At Epcot, what says summer better than ice cream? In France, L’Artisan des Glaces, an artisan ice cream and sorbet shop, features 16 yummy flavors, all made in-house with fresh ingredients (with the option of adding a shot of liquor on top, for grown-up tastes). Guests to France also will find Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie, with delightful French sweets and savories, and Monsieur Paul for upscale dining that pays homage to celebrated chef Paul Bocuse.

Summer Latte, Anyone? More Starbucks Locations Coming to Disney Parks -Starbucks will be opening locations at Disney theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. A mainstay on Main Street U.S.A., the Main Street Bakery officially reopened at Magic Kingdom park in mid-June. Popular Disney-made treats are now joined by Starbucks drinks and food items. Starbucks favorites include coffee and espresso and Frappuccino-blended beverages, along with breakfast sandwiches and pastries. At Epcot, Starbucks products will be featured when the Fountain View location reopens for late summer. Each Starbucks location inside a Disney Park will reflect the theme of its surroundings.

New Summer Line of Disney Parks Cosmetics – In time for summer, fairy tale legends and secrets come to life with the captivating new Unlock the Spell collection from Beautifully Disney, Disney Parks’ line of cosmetics and beauty products. The new-for-summer collection — inspired by the spellbound Tiana, Belle and Rapunzel — is rich in lush colors: soft, pretty yellow, rosy golds, and punchy purples. Unlock the Spell will make its debut at Trend-D at Downtown Disney.

Disney Cruise Line Returns to Europe with New Destinations this Summer  - This summer, Disney Cruise Line returns to Europe with an expanded menu of Mediterranean cruises aboard the Disney Magic including new destinations such as Venice and the Greek Isles. In addition, the Disney Wonder will once again sail to Alaska, inviting families to explore the grandeur of America’s 49th state with a wide variety of port adventures. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.

 Drew Brees Debuts Passing Academy at ESPN Wide World of Sports – New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will host the Drew Brees Passing Academy and Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The prestigious four-day football academy is open to all skill levels, but is expected to attract some of the most highly-ranked high school players in America from June 27-30. It will involve elite-level instruction from Brees and other marquee NFL players and coaches. The athletes also will have the unique opportunity to immediately put what they have learned to the test by taking part in three days of intensely-competitive 7-on-7 competition. Teams can sign up for the academy at http://www.ksaevents.net/drewbreesacademy.html


‘Star Wars’ Weekends Returns to the Disney Galaxy in May and June - Star Wars Weekends, the Force-filled fun-fest that takes place annually at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, returns to the Walt Disney World Resort galaxy every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 17-June 9, 2013. Among the features: a special Star Wars-themed parade, appearances by Star Wars celebrities, special additions to Jedi Training Academy, a Star Wars-themed talk show, behind-the-scenes presentations, limited-edition merchandise, a nightly dance celebration and more.

Downtown Disney Revs Up for Car Masters Weekend June 15-16 -Car Masters Weekend, now in its third year, is the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day as Downtown Disney West Side hosts a classic car show with a modern twist June 15-16, 2013. Featuring all things “Cars,” the event showcases more than 150 classic, muscle and exotic cars; a chance for guests to meet “Cars 2″ stars Lightning McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissile; and special appearances by automotive designer Chip Foose and Disney-Pixar “Cars” filmmaker Jay Ward. Completing the car-nucopia of events, fans may purchase tickets for a ”Cars” & “Cars 2″ movie marathon at AMC Downtown Disney 24, “test drive” Ridemakerz “Cars” models, and enjoy caricatures, themed food and beverage, live entertainment and more. Entertainment subject to change.

AAU National Championship Returns to ESPN Wide World of Sports – The nation’s top high school basketball, baseball, volleyball and track and field athletes will compete in Amateur Athletic Union’s National Championships at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex throughout the summer. Known as a breeding ground for future star athletes (LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Maya Moore, Florence Griffith-Joyner, etc.), the event attracts NCAA coaches from top athletic programs, making it the premier collegiate recruiting event in the nation. Competition begins June 17 with AAU Summer Baseball and continues through August. For more information on AAU events, visit http://espnwwos.disney.go.com/events/more/aau-national-events/landing/


Disney’s Water Parks Add Fun To a Walt Disney World Vacation – Walt Disney World Resort guests can cool off during this summer in a tropical getaway or in a ski resort-themed water park. At Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon guests can snorkel with sharks, stingrays and tropical fish in a coral reef, plunge down rushing rapids, sunbathe on the sandy beach and glide down a lazy river. A melting ski resort where a freak snowstorm hit Florida, Disney’s Blizzard Beach is home to some of the most thrilling water rides in the United States, while also offering guests a tranquil river to float down or a great place to sunbathe on the beach. For the most up-to-date park hours, please visit disneyworld.com/waterparks.


* Hours of operation: 6 a.m. on 5/24/13 to 6 a.m. on 5/25/13; subject to capacity restrictions. Only select attractions, entertainment and services will be available. Valid theme park admission required. Subject to restrictions and change without notice.