Disney news

New Fireworks, Raven’s Debut, and Idol Returns—Plus More in News Briefs

By Courtney Potter

Magic Kingdom Park’s latest nighttime spectacular debuts on May 12, and American Idol comes to ABC … Read more, along with other news from around Disney, in this week’s news briefs!

Happily Ever After Debuts at Magic Kingdom on May 12—Watch It Live

There’s a brand-new nighttime spectacular on the horizon at Walt Disney World Resort, just in time for the summer season! Happily Ever After will be seen nightly above Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park, and it’s chock-full of amazing Disney magic—the latest in pyrotechnics, amazing original music (including a new theme song!), animation drawn specifically for the spectacular, and so much more.

Our pals at the Disney Parks Blog recently followed along as the Happily Ever After team readied the show for Magic Kingdom audiences; check out the video above for a very cool behind-the-scenes look at all the fun. And here’s some truly amazing news: You can watch the spectacular’s premiere this Friday night, May 12, right on your very own computer or mobile device! The show will be live-streaming on the Parks Blog at 8:55 p.m. ET… so don’t miss your chance to witness some Disney fireworks history.


Save the Date!
Be sure to mark these upcoming Disney events on your calendar:

D23 and Walt Disney Archives
May 12, 2017
Lunch with a Disney Legend: Marty Sklar in Florida
May 13, 2017
D23’s Magical Screening Series: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl On the Lot
May 13, 2017
D23’s Magical Screening Series: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in Florida
May 19, 2017
D23’s Behind-the-Scenes Experience: An Afternoon Adventure to Pandora with Joe Rohde in Florida
May 20, 2017
D23 Invites Members to be Among the First to Explore Pandora—The World of Avatar
June 3, 2017
D23’s Behind-the-Scenes Experience: A Return to Walt’s Birthplace in Florida
July 14-16, 2017
D23 Expo 2017
October 1, 2017
D23’s Fanniversary Celebrates 35 Years of Epcot
October 1, 2017
A Progressive Dinner Celebrating 35 Years of Epcot
October 3, 2017
D23’s Sip and Stroll
March 1–May 29, 2017
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
May 27, 2017
Pandora—The World of Avatar opening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
May 27, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy–Mission: BREAKOUT! opening at Disney California Adventure
August 31-November 13, 2017
Epcot Food & Wine Festival
Star Wars-Themed Lands Opening at Disneyland and Walt Disney World

May 26, 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens in theaters
June 16, 2017
Cars 3 opens in theaters
November 3, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok opens in theaters
November 22, 2017
Coco opens in theaters
December 15, 2017
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theaters
July 21, 2017
Disney’s Descendants 2 debuts on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Freeform, Lifetime and ABC (8 p.m. ET)
July 21, 2017
Raven’s Home debuts on Disney Channel (10 p.m. ET)

ABC logo

This Is American Idol… and It’s Coming to ABC!

Over the course of almost two decades, it launched music careers and thrilled audiences around the globe… and now, it’s coming to ABC! That’s right: American Idol is returning to television for the 2017–18 season; a host and judges will be announced at a later date.

American Idol on ABC… that has a nice ring to it,” said Ben Sherwood, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, and president, Disney|ABC. “Idol is an entertainment icon, and now it will air where it belongs, in ABC’s lineup of addictive fan favorites alongside Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor. America, get ready for the return of a bigger, bolder, and better-than-ever Idol.”

American Idol earned 67 Emmy® nominations and nine wins during its 15-season run, and the performers it discovered have won 14 Grammys®, two Golden Globes®, and even an Academy Award®! Stay tuned for more Idol-rific info as it becomes available…

Raven's Home

Raven’s Home to Debut on Disney Channel on July 21

We’re having a premonition… we see it now: Raven-Symoné is returning to her iconic role of Raven Baxter with a brand-new show, Raven’s Home, debuting on Disney Channel this very summer!

Raven’s Home, also featuring former That’s So Raven co-star Anneliese van der Pol, will premiere on Friday, July 21, at 10 p.m. EDT on Disney Channel—and will be available on the Disney Channel app, Video on Demand, and the Disney Channel YouTube soon after. (Wanna make a night of it? Check out Disney’s Descendants 2 earlier that same night!)

The new series features Raven and Chelsea (van der Pol) as single moms who come together to raise their children—Raven’s 11-year-old twins, Booker (Issac Ryan Brown) and Nia (Navia Robinson), and Chelsea’s 9-year-old son Levi (Jason Maybaum)—in one crazy-fun household that often includes the twins’ best friend and neighbor, Tess (Sky Katz). Raven still catches a peek of the future, but she’s not the only one in the family who does… Booker has the same ability! While Booker uses his newly found power to try and make sense of middle school and his new family life, Raven uses her power to help her be a better mom; a great fashion designer; and an awesome friend.

Telly Leung

Telly Leung Joins Aladdin on Broadway

With original star Adam Jacobs headlining the recently launched national tour of Disney Theatrical Productions’ hit Broadway musical Aladdin, it leaves room for a new “street rat” with a heart of gold… enter Telly Leung, a vet of the Great White Way with credits including Flower Drum Song, Rent, Wicked, and Pacific Overtures—as well as a turn as “Dalton Academy Warbler” Wes on FOX’s tune-filled show Glee.

Catch Telly in Aladdin in NYC beginning on June 13—and see Adam, along with the North American tour cast, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago now through September 10.

Star Wars MLB

Major League Baseball will “Feel the Force” This Summer!

Enjoy baseball? Do you also enjoy excellent sci-fi entertainment like Star Wars? Color you lucky! Just last week, during Star Wars Day (otherwise known as “May the Fourth be With You”), Major League Baseball announced a summer-long celebration of “a galaxy far, far away”…
From now through September, teams across the league host super-fun Star Wars Days/Nights that feature cool giveaways unique to each game, special events, costumed characters, and so much more. And start planning now: Fans are encouraged to cosplay as their Star Wars faves!

Tickets to these games—from L.A. to Pittsburgh and tons of cities in between—are on sale now, so lightspeed to StarWars.com for more information.


Get the Lowdown on Pandora – The World of Avatar from D23

Featuring some of the most beautiful, state-of-the-art Disney magic anywhere on the planet, Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom—opening later this month—is sure to delight kids and adults alike. Hoping to visit in the near future? Read up on D23’s recent Pandorian tìsop (that’s Na’vi for “journey”), including a look into the delicious dishes at Pandora’s restaurants, the totally unique flora and fauna, and the spectacular attractions.