LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – How big is summer 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort? So big that only one word describes the attractions, shows, events and more awaiting summer guests to the Florida Vacation Kingdom: MONSTROUS.
Disney’s Monstrous Summer is bursting with good times for the entire family, whether it’s the first summer of fun in New Fantasyland or the nonstop thrills of a re-imagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet. Whether it’s the next surprise and delight experience of Limited Time Magic or all-new adventures letting guests play pirate in the Magic Kingdom or wilderness explorer in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The “Monstrous” lineup includes entertainment enhancements celebrating the June 21 release of the Disney-Pixar animated feature, “Monsters University.” Mike and Sulley are dropping in from MU to scare up monstrous surprises all summer long. Guests will find all-new collegiate settings for meeting their favorite aspiring scarers. On the Backlot at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests will find the Monsters University Student Union, complete with a view of the campus. Over at Magic Kingdom, the gang at the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor have been studying new jokes and are ready to graduate to new comedy bits in honor of their alma mater.
Throw in Star Wars Weekends, the grand reopening of California Grill, a new spa for Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and more and it adds up to a summer that’s exciting, thrilling, magical…Monstrous!
“With top-flight new experiences and classic favorites, Walt Disney World celebrates summer like never before,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “Summer season is always in-season for family vacations. For families and friends, our parks and resorts are poised to deliver memories to last a lifetime.”
Here’s a look around:
MONSTROUS FIRST SUMMER FOR….
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.
“Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection” – Epcot guests can journey through 400 years of African-American achievement and contribution at this just-opened exhibit at the American Adventure pavilion. Exhibits draw from an extensive collection of rare art, artifacts, documents and books amassed by philanthropists Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, who share a passion for African-American history. Included in Epcot admission.
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.
MONSTROUS SUMMER EVENTS
‘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.
MONSTROUSLY GOOD DEAL FOR FLORIDA RESIDENTS
Discover Disney - From now until early June, Florida residents can kick-start their summer – and score real savings with the Discover Disney ticket, offering three days of park-going fun for $119 (plus tax) for adults and children age three and up. The special Florida resident ticket can be purchased through June 3, 2013 for use any day (excluding block-out dates) from now through June 7, 2013.