Disney is always great about keeping things new & fresh in their parks. This always gives us a reason to visit over & over again. It looks like some of the major additions in 2017 will be Star Wars themed attractions in Hollywood Studios and Pandora – the World of Avatar in Animal Kingdom. Weather you visit every few years, once a week or once in a lifetime, Disney always has something to thrill and entertain everyone.
Disney’s official new attraction announcement for 2017 is as follows:
1) “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” Fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®
This “out of this world” fireworks spectacular, which returned a few weeks ago to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, uses the latest projections effects, lighting, lasers and pyrotechnics to light up the sky, Star Wars style.
2) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Inspired additions to Star Wars Launch Bay
Guests can celebrate the newest cinematic addition to Star Wars, courtesy of an assortment of props from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
3) MagicBand 2 Rolls Out
MagicBand 2, the next iteration of bands that offer the same helpful functions as the original bands, have just made their way to select Disney Parks merchandise locations and the Shop Disney Parks app. Stay tuned for more updates!
4) Exclusive New Star Wars Tour Now Available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
This seven-hour experience, led by a Star Wars “all-in-the-know” tour guide, allows guests to experience Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; get an insider’s tour and meet characters at Star Wars Launch Bay; screen “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi” and enjoy Star Wars-themed menu items at Backlot Express. The tour wraps at the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party, which includes reserved viewing for the show. Younglings ages 4-12 on the Guided Tour package can also train in the way of The Force in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. The price is $129 per Guest.
5) Disney After Hours Events Return January-March
Disney After Hours returns to Magic Kingdom® Park on Jan. 20, 27, Feb. 2, 9, 16, March 2 and 9, 2017. This 3-hour event takes place after the park closes and is only open to a limited number of Guests, which means much shorter lines at 25 attractions, character greetings and more. The cost is $119 per adult or child (tax not included).
6) More Dining to Debut at Disney Springs
Dozens of shopping and dining locations made their debut at Disney Springs in 2016 – and even more are set to open in 2017! Stay tuned for news and opening dates for Paddlefish, The Polite Pig, The Edison and Wine Bar George.
Planet Hollywood Observatory officially opened on January 27th and is now taking reservations.
7) Milestone Races for runDisney
It’s the 20th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. And to celebrate, they’ve made Donald Duck their mascot. Also, in anticipation of the release of “Beauty & The Beast” this spring, runDisney has themed this year’s Princess Half Marathon after the film.
8) First-Ever Epcot® International Festival of the Arts Begins January 13
Epcot will start 2017 off with a bang, offering a brand new art festival for guests to experience. This new offering will run weekends between Jan 13-Feb. 20, 2017 and will showcase visual, culinary and performing arts.
9) Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Begins March 1
This year’s spring festival will run March 1-May 29, 2017. Festival “firsts” include brand-new topiaries of Belle and Figment, two new outdoor kitchens (bringing the total to 15), and a “Cars” interactive play garden for kids in honor of the upcoming Disney•Pixar film, “Cars 3.”
10) New Garden Rocks Dining Packages to debut at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
During the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, dining packages will be available on select days at a number of Epcot restaurants, combining dinner and reserved seating for performances of the Garden Rocks Concert Series.
11) New Family Raft Ride at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Coming this spring, guests can enjoy a new family-style raft attraction at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. Planned to be one of the longest Disney water park attractions, this experience will immerse guests in the story of treasure hunter, Captain Mary Oceaneer. Guests will gently ascend in treasure rafts, only to plunge into a whitewater adventure where they may encounter some of Mary’s legendary treasure.
12) Boulder Ridge Cove, Geyser Point Bar & Grill Opening Summer 2017
Scheduled to open at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in summer 2017, Boulder Ridge Cove pool will feature an expanded sun deck and zero-depth-entry pool in what appears to have been an abandoned rock quarry. Geyser Point Bar & Grill, a new quick-service eatery, will be located in the heart of the feature pool area of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
13) Pandora – The World of AVATAR Opening May 27th 2017
This new land will open its doors at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park on May 27th 2017 with exciting new offerings – including AVATAR Flight of Passage, the Na’vi River Journey, the Satu’li Canteen Restaurant, Pongu Pongu drink location and Windtraders merchandise shop. Details on Pandora Opening HERE
Rivers of Light – The much anticipated Rivers of Light show is scheuled to being in Animal Kingdom Park opened on February 17th! It feels like I have been waiting for this for years. Oh wait, I have. Details on the Rivers of Light show HERE
14) Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Returns for a Record 75 Days
This year’s festival will kick off on August 31 and run through November 13 – for a record 75 days!
15) 35th Anniversary of Epcot
The second theme park to be built at the Walt Disney World Resort will mark its 35th anniversary on Oct. 1, 2017.
16) More Updates to Star Wars-Inspired Land
As we’ve previously shared, a Star Wars-inspired land is currently under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Measuring 14-acres, this new land will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life.
The entire Star Wars themed lands in both Disneyland & Disney World are set to open in 2019.
17) Return of Holiday Favorites
Stay tuned for updates on next year’s Candlelight Processional narrators, the return of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park, “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and more!
With so many new things happening around Walt Disney World, 2017 is a perfect time to visit.
On a more personal note, I did not see any announcement of the highly anticipated show, “Rivers of Light” in Animal Kingdom. This show was originally scheduled to open in the spring of 2016 and was temporary replaced by the “Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” show. I thoroughly enjoyed the Jungle Book show and it seemed only to wet my appetite for the new River’s of Light show. I will be watching for any new developments as far as this water show is concerned & I will be sure to share with all of my followers here and on Facebook.
Thank you for reading.
My name is Melissa and I am a Florida local; I am also a Travel Agent. I spend almost every weekend in the Disney Parks with my family. Do you have a topic you would like to know more about? Just ask in the comments below and I’m happy to blog by request and even visit a specific place in person.
If you are considering a Walt Disney World vacation in 2017, all of my booking and planning services are FREE and it all starts with a free quote. Contact me or visit my website today & fill out the quote form.
Melissa – Pixie Dust Adventures