Beginning tonight, Walt Disney World is celebrating the start of the summer season a bit early with their big annual press event, inviting media from all over the world to see what’s new across the resort.
Inside the Magic will be covering all the excitement beginning tonight and continuing through Friday morning. The vast majority of events are private, intended for the press to develop stories to share with their audiences – which is exactly what we intend to do!
Because of the private events, guests visiting the Magic Kingdom over the next couple of days will find some areas and attractions temporarily closed or roped off.
On Thursday, May 1 at 5pm, three attractions will close early: Ariel’s Grotto, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid. On Friday, May 2, The Barnstormer, Dumbo, Pete’s Silly Sideshow, and Tomorrowland Speedway won’t open until 11am and Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor won’t open until 1pm.
Here’s a quick teaser of what to expect from the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train:
Wednesday, April 30
“Rock Your Disney Side” Party
NIGHT: Disney has already announced another 24-hour day at the parks, this year calling it the “Rock Your Disney Side” party. But tonight a press event of the same name will take place, highlighting some of Walt Disney World’s newest offerings.
They’re encouraging press to use hashtag #RockYourDisneySide to share tonight’s entertainment, so don’t be surprised when it takes over your Twitter feed, featuring pictures from the Festival of Fantasy Parade, Frozen, Festival of the Lion King, and more.
Thursday, May 1
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and MyMagic+
MORNING: Disney will officially begin to roll out MyMagic+, describing to press the ins and outs of the new system, including FastPass+. We’ll have a chance to learn more about the development of MyMagic+ and its direction moving forward.
AFTERNOON: The highlight of the whole event is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which will be unveiled to press tomorrow. Throughout the day, we’ll be sharing all of the fun from within this brand new attraction including interviews and special footage captured within the ride itself.
NIGHT: The day concludes with a special party in Fantasyland during which Disney promises “some surprises” worth bringing cameras to capture.
Friday, May 2
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train dedication and a look ahead
MORNING: Though attention will be fixed firmly on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opening, Disney has much more to share. An “Around Our World” presentation early in the morning will feature a look ahead to “ever-evolving theme park offerings” at Walt Disney World, plus updates from Disney Vacation Club, Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise Line.
Following that, a small dedication ceremony will be held for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It’s not a “grand opening” and Disney has confirmed the ride will not officially open until later this month. (There is always the possibility of a unannounced soft opening at any time.)
Lastly, a panel discussion will wrap up the 3-day press event, summarizing all of the topics including MyMagic+, the Rock Your Disney Side summer, and the completion of New Fantasyland.
Specific times and locations have been omitted from this schedule intentionally, by request of Walt Disney World, as the events listed here are not open to the public, intended only for the press to share the details of Disney’s latest entertainment offerings.
Notably absent from the schedule is any mention of the 25th anniversary celebration of Disney’s Hollywood Studios tomorrow, May 1. Though it’s not part of the press schedule, we’ll still be covering its evening events.
So be sure to follow along here and on our social media channels to stay on top of all the fun through Friday afternoon!