The Casual Runner

WDW NEW Must-Do’s – Summer 2016

Casual Runners know that while running is a part of our lives, it is not our entire lives. Better yet, as Casual Running allows us to be healthier and live more active lifestyles, it allows us to experience new and wonderful adventures. In this special series, we will look at fun Casual Adventurers that our Team takes on when we are away from our training, even if its only for a day or two!  Check out other installments in this series by clicking here.

The What: New Attractions Coming to Walt Disney World! 
The Where: Walt Disney World Resort, Florida 
The When: Summer 2016 and beyond!

Walt Disney World is bringing new attractions to their 4 Orlando theme parks this summer and we could not be more excited!  Here is our preview of what is to come.  Check back in July and we will update this article with our reviews of all the new comings and goings on.

Soarin Around the World – Epcot – June 17th, 2016

Starting Memorial Day Weekend, Soarin’ Over California opens back up after its long refurbishment including adding an extra theater.  This will hopefully cut down on the wait times that Soarin’ is known to have.  However, this limited engagement only runs thru June 16th, and then, starting on June 17th, guests will be able to enjoy the new film Soarin’ Around the World. Sneak peeks have already promised guests rides over Sydney Harbor and the Great Wall of China.  Casual Runner is definitely excited what else in store with the new film.

Frozen Ever After – Epcot – June 21st, 2016

Ever since Maelstrom closed back in the fall of 2014, guests at Epcot have been anxiously awaiting its replacement, Frozen Ever After.  This ride promises to take us on a journey thru Arendelle with Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and Kristoff on a Norwegian inspired boat ride.  Make sure to get your FP+ because this ride is sure to have long wait times!


Royal Sommerhus – Anna and Elsa Meet and Greet – Epcot – Summer 2016

Anna and Elsa are leaving Magic Kingdom and heading over to Epcot where they will meet and greet guests in their Royal Sommerhus.  No date has been announced to when this will start at Epcot, but you can see these two sisters thru June 16th, 2016.  

Rumors are once they leave Snow White and Sleeping Beauty will be joining Cinderella and Rapunzel.  With Epcot having a tiered FP+ system, we are not sure what tier this will end up in, but if it is going to be a tier 1 attraction along with Soarin’ and Frozen Ever After, our suggestion is to skip the FP+ on this.  Instead book a dinsing reservation no later than 8a.m. (on a non-extra magic hours day) at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, that way when you’re done eating you can head right over to their Meet and Greet and be one of the first people in line.

Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire – Magic Kingdom – June 17th, 2016

A new stage show is coming to the Magic Kingdom (and parents everywhere rejoiced!). Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy are going to bring their friends to the Magic Kingdom from the Land of the Bewitching Bayous, the Land of the Enchanted Woods and the Land of the Mystic Mountains. Are you sad that Anna and Elsa are heading over to Epcot?  Well you’re in luck…they will have a part in this show along with Olaf!  Rapunzel and Princess Tiana will also make their debut for the first time in a Castle show. We definitely suggest heading to the Hub an hour before show time to make sure you get an excellent spot for viewing!


Nighttime Experiences – Animal Kingdom – May 27th, 2016

With Animal Kingdom extending their hours to 11p.m. most nights throughout the summer they are promising to keep guests entertained with new nighttime attractions.  The Tree of Life will come to life at night with animal spirits.  Kilimanjaro Safari will now have nighttime rides promising new nocturnal encounters.  Harambe Wildlife Party and Discovery Island Carnivale will also be joining the nighttime line-up with music and dancing for the entire family to join in. Also make sure to ride Expedition Everest at night!


The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic – Animal Kingdom – May 28th, 2016

With the nighttime show Rivers of Light on hold Animal Kingdom is bringing another show that they promise to be just as spectacular.  The show takes place on the shores of Discovery River nightly at 9p.m. and 11p.m.  With limited seating make sure to get a FP+ reservation so you dance along to “The Bare Necessities.”  Another option instead of using a FP+ is to book a dining package at Tusker House or the new restaurant Tiffins.  This is a must do because this show is set to only show Memorial Day thru Labor Day.

Star Wars a Galactic Spectacular – Hollywood Studios – June 17th, 2016

We have thoroughly enjoyed Symphony in the Sky at Hollywood Studios these past few months and that’s why we couldn’t be more excited for this new Star Wars firework show.  Disney has promised to bring us the largest fireworks show that has even been displayed at Hollywood Studios along with projections, lighting and lasers.

IMG_1869Frozen Games – Blizzard Beach – May 27th, 2016

If you need a break from the theme parks this summer make sure to check out Disney’s Blizzard Beach to join in the Frozen Games hosted by Kristoff and Olaf.  Promised games include; Ice Pail Relays, A “Snowball” Toss, Ski Pole Limbo and Slide Races.  Guests can sign up to participate in these games at the entrance of the park daily.  These games will run thru August 21st.

There are other attractions that have come to the parks in recent months that should also be included so make sure you check out these attractions too…

Epcot – Turtle Talk with Crush now has Finding Dory Characters included in it, Inside Out Meet and Greet with Sadness and Joy, and DVC Lounge in the Imagination Pavilion.


Disney Hollywood Studios – Meet and Greet with Olaf, Meet and Greet with Minnie and Mickey Starring in Red Carpet Dreams, Star Wars a Galaxy Far, Far Away Stage Show, Kylo Ren Meet and Greet and Force Awakens overlays in Star Tours.

Disney Springs – New restaurants and shops have opened in the past month including a Sprinkles Cupcake ATM!


Check out other installments in our Casual Adventurer Series by clicking here.

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