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Disney Season Summer 2010:
From Dazzling Lights that Fill the Night to Splashing-Good Water Thrills, Summer 2010 Sizzles with Vacation Fun at Walt Disney World Resort
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Summer sun and summer fun. At Walt Disney World Resort, they go together like fairytales and fireworks, flying elephants and Fantasyland … Mickey and Minnie!
Here's a look at what's in store:
'Main Street Electrical Parade' headlines 'Summer Nightastic!'
As Disney Parks continues "What Will You Celebrate?" the Florida Vacation Kingdom is planning a summer when guests can celebrate the return of one of the most-beloved Disney entertainment productions of all time, the "Main Street Electrical Parade." Last seen at Walt Disney World Resort in 2001, this "crown jewel of summer" will light up the streets of Magic Kingdom to headline a season of after-dark excitement in summer 2010.
Beginning June 6 and continuing through Aug. 14, "Summer Nightastic!" will light up the night with shimmering, shining Disney magic in Walt Disney World theme parks.
Showcasing floats and characters appearing at Walt Disney World Resort for the first time, Disney's "Main Street Electrical Parade" returns with its joyous sights and sounds. Direct from Disneyland Resort, the cherished parade will be led by Tinker Bell waving from the basket of a magical balloon aboard a new float. Pinocchio and Snow White join the parade this summer aboard bright new floats. Disney's "Main Street Electrical Parade" is set for its summer-long nighttime premiere June 6 at Magic Kingdom.
The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios welcomes "drop-ins" this summer with even more pulse-racing surprises. New lighting effects created especially for "Summer Nightastic!" will bring unexpected frights to guests who step into that infamous service elevator … if they dare.
- "Summer Nightastic!" also means music! In the courtyard of Rock ‘n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith at Disney's Hollywood Studios, "Rock N' Glow Dance Party" will have guests wanting to "trip the light fantastic" to sizzling summer sounds being spun by DJs. And at Epcot, the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series returns (June 12-July 31) with bands playing musical tributes to artists who filled summers gone by with musical magic.
What could be more summery than fireworks on a star-studded night? Magic Kingdom will treat guests to "Summer Nightastic Fireworks Spectacular," filling the night sky with vivid colors and brilliant visual effects while whimsical music fills the air.
Water fun-galore, special events in store
But when the sun comes up, the fun doesn't stop. The season is filled with special events and is also the time for cooling fun at a water park or on a sandy resort beach.
Here's a sampling of Disney fun for May-August 2010 ...
On the calendar, summer doesn't arrive until June 21. On the thermometer, however, it's already summer-like by May in central Florida with average daytime highs in the upper 80s. In June, July and August, average highs are in the low 90s.
So what's a guest to do to make vacation a splash?
Walt Disney World Resort features more than 50 themed pools – and sometimes sandy beaches – at more than 20 resort hotels. The pools are a perfect place to make a splash mid-day, taking a break from the theme parks during the historically busiest time at the parks. (Resort reservations are available at 407/W-DISNEY, online at Disneyworld.com or through a travel agent.)
But all the fun isn't IN the water; there's also plenty of recreation ON the water of the 850 acres of lake surface at Walt Disney World Resort.
Eleven marinas across the property rent a navy's worth of watercraft – more than 500 Sea Raycers, canopy boats, float boats, jet boats, sailboats, rowing boats, pedal boats and canoes.
There's also water skiing, bass fishing excursions and surf lessons.
Surf lessons in central Florida? Right! Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park is home to a two-and-one-half-acre wave-making lagoon with surfing-size waves. By advance reservation (407/WDW-PLAY), guests can participate in a 2½-hour learn-to-surf program that takes place prior to Typhoon Lagoon opening on designated mornings.
Summer wouldn't be summer without the splashy fun of Disney's Typhoon Lagoon or Disney's Blizzard Beach, two of the most popular water parks in the world. When the sun heats up, the fun begins at both water parks. From the speediest speed slide to the laziest stream perfect for inner-tubing, Disney's water parks have it all.
Greeting guests this summer are new premium spaces aimed at letting guests luxuriate on their water parks day. Six "Polar Patios" at Blizzard Beach and six "Beachcomber Shacks" at Typhoon Lagoon take relaxation to a new level.
Each space includes upgraded furniture, towels, waiter service, private locker, all-day drink mugs, a cooler with ice and bottled water. Pricing depends on date and time of visit. Callers to 407/WDW-PLAY can get pricing, reservations and more information.
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (through May 16) – The curtain rose March 3, but there is still time to catch the final weeks of the 17th annual flower fest. Future World and World Showcase are floral fantasylands as guests roam amid 30 million blooms adorned in artful flower beds, lush rose gardens and floating islands of flowers plus expertly crafted bonsai trees and whimsical topiaries.
For gardening aficionados, there's a supporting cast of celebrity guest speakers, hands-on seminars and innovative planting demonstrations and exhibits. Gardening tools and other products may be purchased to help guests grow and maintain the perfect garden.
And what better way to finish off the day than live music from bands from the 1960s and 1970s during the Flower Power Concert Series. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the festival, the "way-back" memories pour from America Gardens Theatre, adjacent to The American Adventure pavilion.
More information about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is available by calling 407/W-DISNEY(934-7639) or by visiting www.disneyworld.com/flowerfestival.
Most festival activities, including gardening programs and exhibits, are included in regular Epcot admission.
Star Wars Weekends (each Friday-Sunday May 21-June 13, 2010) – "The Force" returns to Walt Disney World Resort as Disney's Hollywood Studios becomes "Star Wars Central" for guests of all ages during the annual sci-fi fan-fest.
The power of the Force and magic of Disney combine as plenty of out-of-this-world characters – including Wookiees, droids, Ewoks, bounty hunters and Jedi – roam the streets of the theme park. Also featured in special meet-and-greet opportunities are characters from the animated film and TV series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."
Jedi Training Academy, one of the interactive entertainment experiences at the theme park, takes place on the main stage and allows young guests to learn from a Jedi Master before testing their newly acquired skills in a battle with Darth Vader.
Also featured: the chance for fans to purchase one-of-a-kind Star Wars memorabilia, Star Wars games, special Star Wars parades, star conversations and autograph sessions with famous Star Wars actors (celebrity lineup will be announced at a later date).
Event activities are included in theme park admission. For more information and future updates, guests may go online to starwars.com or disneyworld.com.
The ESPN RISE Games (July 14-27, 2010) – This multisport event at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex features elite and competitive sports competitions, anchored by the AAU Boys Basketball Super Showcase, the Under Armour All-America Softball game and elite high school football event Gridiron Kings. The nearly two-week event also features youth competitions in sports including baseball, basketball, field hockey, track & field and soccer. For more information, visit www.espnrisegames.com.