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Trip the light fantastic with Walt Disney World’s new “Summer Nightastic!” program

Trip the light fantastic with Walt Disney World’s new “Summer Nightastic!” program

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Okay. I know. The news coming out of Orlando these days all seems to be about a certain boy wizard (As well it should be. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter really is spectacular. The next time you’re in O-Town, you should definitely make a point of swinging by Islands of Adventure and checking this new “land” out).

Hogwarts castle looms over the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal's Orlando Resort
HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2010 Universal Studios

But before Harry came to Central Florida, there was Mickey. And while Hogwarts may be currently dominating the headlines, just down the road, the Mouse is making some magic of his own.  Filling three of WDW’s theme parks with some after-dark excitement that Disney’s PR department likes to call “Summer Nightastic!”

The train float from Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade
Photo by Gene Duncan. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

This 10-weeks-plus program just got underway on June 6th with the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade. This Magic Kingdom classic – featuring 80 performers, 23 floats and more than half a million twinkling lights – hasn’t been seen inside of that theme park since 2001. But based on the enthusiastic response that Guests have given MSEP so far, this nearly 38 year-old parade remains a fan favorite.

Spectacular fireworks behind Cinderella's Castle in Walt Disney World's Summer Nighttastic
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Of course, what helps here is that the Main Street Electrical Parade has been paired with a brand-new pyrotechnic display, the “Summer Nightastic! Fireworks Spectacular.” Which fills the night skies over the Magic Kingdom with cannon balls and pixie dust as Captain Hook and his pirate crew attempt to lay siege to the Castle. Only to then be driven back by Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother and a host of famous Disney Fairies.

Tower of Terror at Disney Hollywood Studios lights up the night sky at Walt Disney World Florida
Photo by Garth Vaughan. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Meanwhile – over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – there’s darker magic at work. Especially inside of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, where – thanks to a new drop sequence as well as some enhanced special effects – the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is serving up a brand-new assortment of screams.

And if you survive your trip through the fifth dimension, then why not celebrate by dancing to the Fifth Dimension (or Pink. Or the Red Hot Chili Peppers) at DHS’s Rock n’ Glow Dance Party? Which will be held on Hollywood Boulevard 5 nights a week right in front of this theme park’s 122-foot-tall Sorcerer Mickey hat.

Disney Hollywood Studios Rock 'n Glow Dance Party
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Speaking of music, look for Epcot to turn up the volume during WDW’s “Summer Nightastic!”  with its “Sounds Like Summer” program. Which will turn World Showcase’s America Garden Theatre into THE place to be. Especially if you’re into rock music tribute bands.

Walt Disney World's Summer Nightastic offers "Sounds Like Summer" program with rock tribute bands
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The first group of the Summer –  a Bee Gees tribute band, Stayin’ Alive – will continue at that park through June 19th. They’ll then be followed by performers who pay tribute to the Eagles (June 20th – 26nd), Janet Jackson (June 27th – July 3rd), the Rolling Stones (July 4th – 10th), Bon Jovi (July 11th – 17th), U2 (July 18th – 24th) and Chicago (July 25th – 31st).

Captain EO logo
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Mind you, in addition to this amazing roster of rock music tribute bands, Epcot is also getting ready for the return of a real music legend. That’s right. “Captain EO” – featuring the late, great Michael Jackson – will soon be taking WDW Guests on a nostalgic trip back to the mid-1980s. Where they can first ooh & aah as Michael dances in 3D and then laugh at all the ridiculous hair styles you can spy on Jackson’s back-up dancers.

The Boo to You Halloween parade at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World begins September 14th
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Mind you, if you’re looking to trip the light fantastic during Disney World’s “Summer Nightastic!,” you really need to get a move on. This 10-week-plus program only runs through August 14th. And after that, look for things to get Harry … er … hairy … I mean scary, as the Magic Kingdom transforms itself into spook central for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Which will be held on select autumn nights between September 14th and November 1st.

Disney's Summer Nightastic logo
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

But Fall’s a long way off yet. And if you’re looking to get in on all of the after-dark fun that’s featured in WDW’s “Summer Nightastic!” program …  Well, I think I know an outfit that can help hook you up with some tickets.

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