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Summer nights will enchant theme park guests when glittering light magic, high adventure, dance fever, thrills and chills set the after-dark scene. From June 6 through Aug. 14, “Summer Nightastic!” lights up the entertainment experience at the Vacation Kingdom with a megawatt parade, a fireworks extravaganza, a rockin’ dance party, concerts and other surprises.

 Not just the Magic Kingdom 

Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot all present special events designed to add summertime energy to the after-dark theme-park experience. At Magic Kingdom, thousands of tiny lights illuminate the return of the beloved “Main Street Electrical Parade,” and the elaborate new “Summer Nightastic! Fireworks Spectacular” paints the night sky more brightly than ever.

“There’s a special energy in the parks at night,” says Chris Oyen, show director for the “Summer Nightastic! Fireworks Spectacular.” “It’s all about the magic and the sense of adventure and mystery that nighttime possesses in the Magic Kingdom.”

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror adds new effects – and a summer-only drop sequence – to the mix for guests daring to step into the attraction’s infamous service elevator for a ride into the “fifth dimension.” And on Hollywood Boulevard, in the shadow of the 122-foot-tall Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat icon, guests are invited to the Rock n’ Glow Dance Party, where a DJ and live rock band keep popular tunes coming five nights a week.

At Epcot, live “Sounds Like Summer” tribute-band concerts rock guests each evening from June 12 to July 31 with familiar tunes ranging from “Hotel California” to “Stayin’ Alive.”

The multi-park festivities promise a veritable Cinderella-coach-full of sensory surprises for all who visit during the 10-week-plus summer celebration.

 Main Street Electrical Parade 

“Main Street Electrical Parade” – This classic pageant of illuminated floats goes all the way back to 1972, when it first debuted at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. With 23 floats, more than half a million tiny colorful lights, 80 performers, synthesizer music based on “Baroque Hoedown,” and Disney theme songs woven in, the parade returns to Walt Disney World Resort for the first time since 2001. A nostalgia trip for many, this “crown jewel of summer” kicks off the season with lighting effects, floats and characters new to Walt Disney World Resort.

  1. Tinker Bell waves her magic wand from the basket of a dazzling balloon float. The Tinker Bell float alone generates more than “25,000 points of light,” says Paul Chychota, the parade’s production manager.
  2. Pinocchio and the boys from the classic film’s Pleasure Island sequence join the parade in Magic Kingdom this year, and Snow White appears with the Seven Dwarfs on a Diamond Mine float glittering with colorful gems.
  3. Ten thousand strobes of “pixie-dust” light the parade trail as a treasury of classic Disney stories comes to life. Floats feature enhanced effects and, though the music stays true to the original parade, the score’s dynamics soar to greater heights thanks to state-of-the-art technology, Chychota says.

Beloved floats like the “Honor America” finale display – featuring the American flag and giant American eagle – return, along with costumed characters like Alice in Wonderland, Mickey Mouse and Goofy.

 Summer Nightastic! Fireworks Spectacular 

“Summer Nightastic! Fireworks Spectacular” – Magic Kingdom presents more after-dark magic when the sky explodes with vivid color and visual effects that tell a thrilling story headlined by fairies and pirates. “With this show, we’re making the skies come alive – we’re not just going to immerse you, we’re going to surprise you, too,” says show director Oyen

  • The summer fireworks are accompanied by a whimsical score of classic Disney tunes and theme music from the hit film “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.”
  • The Fairy Godmother from “Cinderella” and other famous fairies star in the fireworks spectacular
  • The fireworks perimeter around Magic Kingdom will expand by 25 percent for the summer show. No matter where you are in the park, you’ll be surrounded by the spectacle.
  • Pirate Alert: Captain Hook and his band of buccaneers burst onto the scene to seize the park’s Cinderella Castle. Disney’s creative entertainment team designed fireworks that tell the story, including a skull-and-crossbones display and other visual effects convincing enough to make you believe the castle is under siege.
“We’re constantly innovating, pushing ourselves to be more creative with the kind of pictures we paint in the sky – we’re trying to make the skies come to life and dance,” Oyen says.

 Sounds Like Summer Concert Series 

“Sounds Like Summer” – Blasts from the past are in store at Epcot, where the curtain rises on popular rock-band tributes June 12 at the park’s America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase. Each evening through July 31 at 5:45, 7 and 8:15 p.m., “Sounds Like Summer” tribute-band concerts drum up lots of nostalgia with hot tunes and cool riffs, from “Satisfaction” to “Saturday in the Park.” The lineup (subject to change):

  • June 12-19: Stayin' Alive – A Tribute to The Bee Gees
  • June 20-26: Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles
  • June 27-July 3: Karin Lawson – A Tribute to Janet Jackson
  • July 4-10: Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones Tribute Band
  • July 11-17: Slippery When Wet – The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
  • July 18-24: 2U– A Tribute to U2
  • July 25-31: Beginnings – A Tribute to Chicago
 Disney Hollywood Studio Changes 

New Frights at Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – If you think you’ve been to the “fifth dimension” and survived The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, think again. Surprise enhancements to this headline attraction are programmed to deliver even greater levels of special-effects frights just for the “Summer Nightastic!” celebration.

Rock ‘n Glow Dance Party – Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests are invited to trip the light fantastic at a rockin’ dance party every Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday. A DJ and a special engagement rock band play sizzling summer sounds beginning three hours before park closing on Hollywood Boulevard. Watch for popular Disney characters to step into the dance party spotlight.

 The No Pixie-Dust Zone 

So here is my 30 second summary of the summer event.

The main street electrical parade, while was a blast from the past was not actually from the past...well...kinda. The floats that make up the parade have all been updated since its inception. While they "look" somewhat similar, they "behave" differently. What I mean, is that the floars have alot more lighting effects than it did 10 years ago. I am all for change because change is always good but dont tell me thats its from 1972. With that out of the way, if you have never seen the parade before, you will definitely want to check it out.

Summer Nightastic! Fireworks Spectacular is nothing more than the Pirate and Princess Party event fireworks with some minor tweaks to the "story". If you have seen the fireworks from that event, then move on there is nothing to see here. I have never seen this fireworks show and thought it was really good, especially when pirates take over the castle. Very Cool.

The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror had some very cool upgrades and it will be intresting if the keep them and I hope they do. Everybody I talked to loved it as well. The read about the exact upgades, use you mouse to highlight the following text to read about.

Ok, so maybe a little longer than 30 seconds but overall, I enjoyed the additions that Summer Nightastic brought us especially the Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror upgrades. It was really cool to sit with my daughter and watch the Main Street Electrical parade and to share a memory from my childhood as well. After all, isnt that what disney is all about?

 Quick Info 
  • Dates: June 6 - Aug. 14
  • Main Street Electrical Parade and the Summer Nightastic! Fireworks Spectacular (from Pirate and Princess Party) return to the Magic Kingdom.
  • New special effects added to he Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n Glow Dance Party com the Disney Studios.
  • Epcot gets its annual “Sounds Like Summer” concert series with pretty much the same line up as last year which is good. We saw the Bon Jovi edition and it was surprisingly good.


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