Top 5 Things You Don’t Want to Miss at Walt Disney World this Spring and Summer

Spring is most definitely in the air at the Walt Disney World Resort! The 2016 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is in full bloom and the spring break crowds will be descending upon Orlando very, very soon. And if you're planning a visit this spring or summer we have a list of the top 5 things you don't want to miss.

What's on your must-do list for summer vacation?What's on your must-do list for summer vacation?

There's no doubt about it: there are some really exciting things happening at the Walt Disney World Resort. And while we have to wait years for a few of them (Star Wars Land, we're looking at you), there are a few events and attractions that you must experience this spring and summer.

5. Disney Springs: The "waterfront town" of Disney Springs is certainly positioning itself as the go-to spot for high-end shopping and fine dining. With the announcement of 30 new tenants coming Disney Springs it's easy to imagine spending a whole day enjoying the shopping and restaurants here. Starting May 15, a new slate of stores including kate spade new york, Vera Bradley, and the Coca-Cola Store will open in phases.

More stores and restaurants coming to Disney SpringsMore stores and restaurants coming to Disney Springs

You definitely won't go hungry while you're shopping at Disney Springs. In addition to the restaurants that opened last year (like Morimoto Asia and Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar), new eateries including D-Luxe Burger, Amorette's Patissiere, and Sprinkles are opening soon. We might be most excited about Sprinkles and its cupcake ATM!

4. Epcot Flower and Garden Festival: This spring you can enjoy the Flower and Garden Festival for a record 90 days! And while we love the topiaries around the park we also love visiting the Outdoor Kitchens and sampling all the fresh dishes (and drinks). This year there are two new Outdoor Kitchens: La Isla Fresca and Cider House! Our friends at the Disney Food Blog have the menus for all the Outdoor Kitchens at the Flower and Garden Festival.

But wait, there's more! When you're visiting the Flower and Garden Festival don't forget about the Garden Rocks concerts that happen every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the America Gardens Theater in the American Adventure pavilion. This year's artists include Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, The Guess Who, Gin Blossoms, and more. The shows are at 5:30, 6:45, and 8 p.m.

Dole Whip with coconut rum at Flower and Garden FestivalDole Whip with coconut rum at Flower and Garden Festival

3. Star Wars at Disney's Hollywood Studios: Sure, we still have to wait a while for the Star Wars-themed land, but in the meantime there are a few new experiences coming to the Studios this spring! A new live stage show 'Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away' debuts April 4 and the March of the First Order Stormtroopers led by Captain Phasma also begins this spring. In the summer guests can experience the all-new fireworks show, 'Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular' which includes fireworks, pyrotechnics, and projections.

Two new character meet-and-greets are also coming to the Studios this spring! Guests can meet Olaf at the Echo Lake area of the park while Mickey and Minnie will be meeting fans off Commissary Lane near the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant.

New 'Star Wars' fireworks show is coming to Disney's Hollywood StudiosNew 'Star Wars' fireworks show is coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios

2. Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire: A brand new stage show is coming to the Magic Kingdom in June and it stars Tiana and Rapunzel, marking the first time these two Disney princesses have starred in a show at the parks. In the show, Mickey and his group of Merry Makers are preparing to host a festival and have invited friends from other lands to the celebration.

Goofy is coming from the Land of Bewitching Bayous with his friends Tiana, Naveen, and Louis and they'll add some New Orleans jazz to the party. Donald Duck will arrive from the Land of the Enchanted Woods with Daisy Duck and their friends from the Snuggly Duckling, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider.

1. Disney's Animal Kingdom after Dark:
We are so excited about the changes coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom! The brand new Rivers of Light nighttime show debuts on Earth Day, April 22. The debut of this show means the Animal Kingdom will now be a nighttime destination for guests, which is so exciting. Rivers of Light features performers, floating lanterns, special effects, and imagery projected onto water screens and brings to life animal spirits.

Rivers of Light debuts April 22 at Disney's Animal KingdomRivers of Light debuts April 22 at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Each night the Tree of Life will also come to life with a music- and dance-filled celebration and guests will also be able to experience Kilimanjaro Safaris at night as the attraction is lit to look like sunset. And if that's not enough, each night the Village of Harambe will come to life with the new Harambe Wildlife Parti featuring entertainers, exotic food and drink, and more. We can't wait!

Those are just a few of the new experiences coming to Disney World this spring and summer, but don't forget: this summer also marks the opening of Frozen Ever After in Epcot's Norway pavilion and the reopening of Soarin' Around the World in The Land.

While planning your spring or summer visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, don't forget the new seasonal pricing for 1-day theme park tickets.

March 11-April 1 is "peak" season, which means a 1-day ticket to the Magic Kingdom is $124; April 3-May 26 is "regular" season; and May 27 through July 23 is again "peak" season. You can view the seasonal ticket calendar at the Walt Disney World Resort website.

What are you looking forward to experiencing this summer at the Walt Disney World Resort? Let us know in the comments.

Kristen K. wrote on Fri, 03/11/2016 - 13:17:

Kristen K.'s picture

I can't wait for Animal Kingdom After Dark!!! Woot!

Funhart56 wrote on Mon, 03/14/2016 - 18:22:

Funhart56's picture

Where will the Star Wars live stage show be?

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