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Walt Disney World announces “Summer Nightastic!”

Tonight at the “What’s New, What’s Next” presentation for the media, Walt Disney World resort made some exciting announcements about what will be coming to the resort this summer. The big news is that Disney’s “Main Street Electrical Parade” will light up the streets of Magic Kingdom and headline a season of after-dark excitement they’re calling “Summer Nightastic!”

“After the sun goes down, our Walt Disney World parks will light up the night with ‘Summer Nightastic!’, ” announced Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort, at a media event Wednesday.

If that sounds familiar it’s because Disneyland tried a similar promotion last summer. The park was crowded all summer, but the promotion itself was a bit of bust. Themed summer promotions are a grand Disneyland tradition, and I’m curious to see how it will work in Florida.

Summer Nightastic isn’t the only thing coming from Disneyland. We’re also getting their electrical parade floats. This includes the newly constructed Pinocchio float and the new Tinker Bell float. After her first DVD came out, Tink replaced the Blue Fairy at the parade’s lead.

Here’s a look at what the summer will bring:

  • With floats and characters appearing for the first time at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s “Main Street Electrical Parade” returns with its joyous sights and sounds. Direct from Disneyland and marking its first engagement in Florida since 2001, 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 in early June at Magic Kingdom.
  • The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror welcomes “drop-ins” this summer with even more pulse-racing surprises. New lighting effects and the addition of a new drop sequence, created especially for “Summer Nightastic!”, will bring unexpected frights to guests who step into that infamous service elevator. If they dare.
  • What could be more summery than fireworks on a star-studded night? Magic Kingdom will treat guests to a special summer fireworks spectacular. The night sky will explode in vivid colors and brilliant visual effects as whimsical music fills the air. The new show is as yet, unnamed. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments.
  • Other fun! The return of the Sounds Like Summer concert series to Epcot and extended evening hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom several times a week add up to summer fun as only Disney can do – at all four Walt Disney World theme parks.

Don’t forget that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open this spring at Universal Orlando. So this announcement should been seen as Disney’s attempt to keep people on their property instead of at Hogwarts. Will an old friend of a parade and new fireworks be enough? That remains to be seen.

Update: Some things not mentioned tonight surprised me: Star Wars Weekends, Star Tours 2.0, anything new for EPCOT, and finishing Pop Century. Oh yeah, and Captain EO. Does that mean we don’t get the show here? Seriously. EPCOT needs a new country pavilion and they gotta do something with Future World.