Disney hit us with a lot of exciting news the past few weeks with attraction opening dates, new shows and new deals coming out soon. It’s no secret that Universal has been doing a great job recently of poaching many visitors away from Disney with their big Harry Potter expansion so Disney is really stepping up their game to try and keep visitors on site and away from Universal.
The announcements made last week are not on the level of a Harry Potter land expansion but will all be nice additions and value-adds for your Disney vacation.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Opening Date Set
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was dedicated officially last week with construction coming to a finish earlier last month. The official opening date will be May 28th with many sneak previews coming over the next few weeks. The mine train is the final piece of the major Fantasyland expansion which has taken place over the past two years.
Fastpass+ now appears to be available for the Mine Train for dates after May 28th so if you have a vacation coming up you may want to make your Fastpass+ reservations now before they run out.
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a very mild coaster ride, similar to the Goofy Barnstormer but with much more detailed theming and more of a storyline. You can watch a POV ridethrough of the video below (warning: spoilers)
New Nightime Show for Animal Kingdom
Rumors have been building for a time now that Animal Kingdom will get a nighttime show. Disney just confirmed those last week when they announced the Rivers of Light Nighttime Spectacular coming to Animal Kingdom.
The Disney Parks blog describes Rivers of light “to be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. The show will magically come to life on the broad, natural stage of the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest, delighting our guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.”
No opening date has been announced yet for the Rivers of Light.
Harambe Nights Celebration of the Lion King
Animal Kingdom will be celebrating the Lion King with the new Harambe Nights Celebration this summer. This special ticketed event runs for 10 dates this summer and includes a special showing of an all new Lion King Show, drinks, appetizers plus an after party.
From the Disney Parks Blog:
“It all begins with a Welcome Reception in the park’s Harambe Village, including mouth-watering appetizers and African-inspired wine and beer. Then it’s time for the ‘mane’ event! Take your seat inside the newly built Harambe Theatre for an unforgettable performance of “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild.”
Each show will include a special celebrity narrator similar to the Candlelight Processional, list of current narrators below:
- June 7 – Viola Davis: “The Help,” “Ender’s Game”
- June 14 – TBD
- June 21 – Montego Glover: “The Following,” “Memphis”
- June 28 – David Alan Grier: “Porgy & Bess,” “In Living Color”
- July 5 – Michael Beach: “ER,” “Third Watch,” “Sons of Anarchy”
- July 12 – Harry Lennix: “The Blacklist,” “The Five Heartbeats”
- July 19 – Joe Morton: “Scandal,” “American Gangster,” “The Good Wife”
- July 26 – Alfre Woodard: “Desperate Housewives,” “Miss Evers Boys”
- August 2 – Brian Stokes Mitchell: “Ragtime,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “Glee”
- August 9 – Patina Miller: “Pippin,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”
“After the show, the celebration continues with the Harambe Nights Street Party, filled with music, characters, and live performers, encouraging everyone to join in and “Go wild!”
Ticket prices are a little steep – $119 for adults, $79 for ages 3-9, plus tax. Tickets with premium floor seating are $134 for adults, $94 for ages 3-9, plus tax. Capacity is limited, so you’ll want to go ahead and get your tickets by visiting Disneyworld.com/HarambeNights or calling 407-939-1319.
Theme park admission is not required for this event but you will be limited to the show area only, if you want to explore the rest of the park earlier in the day you will need to purchase admission.