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Showing posts from August, 2011

It Has Been A Busy Day...

As you may have noticed, today we have not posted anything new. The reason of this short pause is that we had really a very long, long day, so we didn't have even a few minutes to post a new update or news. We really apologize for this, but we hope you'll understand. Many of us live very busy lives, and if you have a website or a blog, you know how hard it is sometimes to take care of them (they usually take away many hours)...
Tomorrow we'll try to go back to our regular daily schedule, including some interesting photo-updates. Thanks for continuing to follow Orlando Theme Park News, and have a good night!
- The Orlando Theme Park News Staff.

Magic Kingdom General Update - Cosmic Ray's New Menu, More Interactive Elements, and More (PART 1)

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We are in the middle of an extremely busy week, therefore we apologize for the lateness of our photo-update.
Today, we are going to take a look around the Magic Kingdom, to check out all the work being done inside the park, and to see what has changed since last week's update (believe us, a lot of things change every single week over there...). Let's start right now:

Magic Kingdom General Update - Cosmic Ray's New Menu, More Interactive Elements, and More (PART 2)

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Welcome to part 2 of OTPN's latest Magic Kingdom update! To see PART 1, please, click on this link.
Now, let's continue our tour of the park, starting from Pecos Bill's Tall Tale Inn Cafe's facade, which is partially tarp-free:

Test Track Introduces Brand-New Ride Vehicles

Just yesterday, it was reported on another site that Test Track, one of Epcot's signature thrill rides, had just received a brand-new, great-looking vehicle. You can see a couple of pictures of it hereandhere, courtesy of Mr. Shawn Howard (the Twitter user that broke the news).
It is interesting to see them coming before the long-rumored refurbishment, that should be taking place early next year. Of course, we all know that Disney California Adventure is receiving a different version of Test Track, therefore it isn't hard to believe that the Walt Disney Company may have ordered two sets of cars: one for DCA's Radiator Springs Racers, and one for Epcot's Test Track.
Also, note the prominent General Motors logo placed in front of the car. This can only confirm that Disney's deal with the company is far from being done.
We'll keep you informed on the developments of this interesting news, and stay tuned for more pictures of the new vehicle, as we'll try to vi…

Busch Gardens' Animal Care Center Update

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Some very nice pictures of the new Animal Care Center have been posted on Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's official blog. Let's check them out, to get an idea of how extensive the building will be: _________________________________________________________________________
Animal Care Center Construction Underway Construction is well underway for the Animal Care Center at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
Busch Gardens will welcome guests to closely observe and even take part in the animal care experience when the park opens its new Animal Care Center this winter. From nutrition to treatments, X-rays to surgeries, much of Busch Gardens’ animal care will be conducted in guest view in this new state-of-the-art facility:

Introducing LEGOLAND Florida's Official Blog

Internet is increasingly becoming an incredibly powerful marketing tool, and theme parks know that. That's why  companies like Disney, Universal or SeaWorld joined Facebook, Twitter, started official blogs, and so on.
Talking about blogs, we all know that Disney has one, right? What about SeaWorld's Blog? Yes, we already know about that too. But, did you know that even LEGOLAND Florida has an official blog? You can find it right here. It was a surprise for us to discover that the park had a blog, as it wasn't announced anywhere on the internet. We just wanted to let you know that it existed, so that you can check it out very once in a while.
The blog itself looks a bit strange (the words are very tiny), but they post new pictures once or twice a month, so it will definitely be a good idea to keep an eye on it.

Universal Studios - Low Season Means Big Changes (1)

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Jimmy Neutron being replaced, Shrek 4D using a second theater, Universal 360 being removed, Fear Factor closed again, Fast Five cars moved... Now it is the best time to make changes in the parks. Crowds are extremely low, and this is going to get even better (or worse, for the parks) with the beginning of September.
Talking about this update, it is going to be one of the biggest since the site's conception, so be prepared. We've got a lot of things to talk about (we listed some of those things at the beginning of the post, to give you a preview), so let's start right away:

Universal Studios - Low Season Means Big Changes (2)

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Here we are with part 2 of this huge Universal Studios Florida Update (for PART 1, please, click here).
This is a quite rare sight:

Journey Into Narnia To Close September 10, 2011

It was just announced yesterday on the Touring Plans Blog that the infamous "Journey Into Narnia: Prince Caspian" show at Disney's Hollywood Studios would close for good on September 10, 2011.
This is a really great news, as the "attraction" was extremely boring and a real waste of space. If you have never seen it, you didn't lose anything, but here's the official description of this attractions, to get a general idea of what was included in this walk-through attraction: _________________________________________________________________________
Journey Into Narnia: Prince Caspian
Walk through the portal and see what rich enchantment the Disney Imagineers have created, working side-by-side with the filmmakers themselves to produce this extraordinary three-dimensional extension of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

You'll be drawn into the fantasy before you enter the soundstage…
Your journey begins in the queue where you can test your knowled…

Pirates of the Caribbeans - New Sound Effects Added

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As lovers of this fantastic, classic Disney attractions, we couldn't avoid to share with you the introduction of this small but interesting addition. Indeed, while visiting the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride, we noticed that there was something different. In the battle scene, where the pirate's ship is trying to take over the Spanish fort, the fake cannons now make much louder, more realistic noises.

We know that is very difficult to explain this by words, therefore we took a new on-ride video of the attraction.
- THE CURRENT ATTRACTION -

You will notice some of these new sound effects cannons after the "2:29" section of the video (we apologize for the fact that many parts of the video are blurry, but most of the attraction takes place in the dark. Thank you for understanding.):

Characters In Flight Introduces New Live Webcam

As reported on another Disney fan site, the Aerophile Company has installed a new camera just in front of one of their most recent creations: the "Characters In Flight" attraction at Downtown Disney, right here in Florida.
From the camera, you can get a live view of the attraction, as well as a view of the Saratoga Springs Resort in the background. This new webcam can also be useful for guests to check the current weather here in Orlando. CLICK HERE to go to the official Aerophile webcam page.

Baby Elephant Joins the Herd at Animal Kingdom

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A new baby elephant has joined the rest of of the herd, earlier this week. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
New Baby Elephant Takes Center Stage at Disney's Animal Kingdom
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Aug. 25, 2011 – The elephant herd at Disney’s Animal Kingdom got just a little larger with the birth of a baby calf. Weighing 311 pounds, the male African elephant was welcomed into the group by his mother Vasha, 10 herd members and a team of animal care professionals assisting with the birth. The 25-year-old mother delivered the herd’s sixth offspring after gaining more than 800 pounds during a 22-month gestation.This latest addition, which has yet to be named, is the second calf for Vasha, who gave birth to a female calf, Kianga, in 2004. With support from the animal care team, the newborn, whose first tentative steps are becoming stronger and more confident, is now successfully nursing from his mother.Vasha has been getting to k…

Coco Key Water Resort Offers 50% Off Deal Today

Groupon is offering 50% off a one-day admission ticket for two people to Coco Key Water Resort, Orlando's newest waterpark/resort. The deal will be available only for the next 15 hours. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
CoCo Key Water Park – Orlando
$10 for Water-Park Passes for Two ($19.90 Value)

Highlights: 54,000-sq.-ft. water park; Slides, inner tubes, water cannons, aquatic playground; Fun day out for family.
Water parks pay homage to the way water naturally covers solid earth and the way mushrooms left to grow uninhibited naturally become sprinklers. Get outdoors with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get day passes for two people to CoCo Key Water Park (a $19.90 value).
With more than 54,000 square feet of pools, tube slides, and mounted water cannons, CoCo Key Water Park entertains visitors of all ages with a varied assortment of brightly colored aquatic attractions. Under the vigilant watch of a large lifeguard staff, water f…

Photo-Update: A Cloudy Day at Fun Spot U.S.A.

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After having checked out Old Town earlier this week, it is time to take a look around Fun Spot U.S.A., to see what's new since the grand-opening of their great Power Trip Coaster:


Special Offer Extended at Emeril's Orlando

A special offer is being extended at the famous Emeril's Orlando restaurant. It includes a free appetizer or dessert with the purchase of an entrée. Here you are additional information: _________________________________________________________________________
Emeril’s Orlando Extends Special Discount to Park Guests
From now through December 30, Emeril’s Orlando is offering a free appetizer or dessert with purchase of a lunch entrée to park guests. Simply present your Universal Orlando Theme Park ticket to your Emeril’s Orlando server. To make a reservation, please visit emerils.com or call: 407-224-2424.
Emeril’s Orlando at CityWalk • HOURS: Lunch Hours: Daily 11:30am–3:00pm Dinner Hours: Sun.–Thu., 5:00pm–10:00pm; Fri.–Sat., 5:00pm–10:30pm
Offer expires December 30, 2011. Limit one offer per table. Not valid with other discounts or promotions. Guests do not need to relinquish possession of their park ticket to receive this offer. _____________________________________________________…

Minor Changes On Magic Kingdom's Times Guide

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Yesterday, while visiting the Magic Kingdom, we noticed that some minor adjustments have been done on Magic Kingdom's Times Guide, which will make it easier for guests to avoid missing something. Let's take a look together at what has changed.
Here you are next week's times guide:

Special Discounts at Adventure Island This Fall

This fall, it is going to be much cheaper for students to have fun under the sun! Indeed, Adventure Island (Busch Gardens' water park) is preparing some really good deal for students (this includes kids and young adults who attend an elementary, middle, high school, or college). Here you are some additional information: _________________________________________________________________________
MAKE A SPLASH THIS FALL AT ADVENTURE ISLAND Enjoy Special Student Discounts, Weekend Hours for Plenty More Fun in the Sun
TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 25, 2011) — Fall is an affordable time to visit Adventure Island Tampa Bay. Busch Gardens’ water park is offering a special $24.99 single-day admission ticket to students of all ages. And there’s still plenty of time to play, including Labor Day and every weekend through Oct. 30. 
DEALS: Student tickets – for students from elementary to high school – are available for only $24.99 beginning Sept. 10 through the end of the 2011 season. Tickets are available at…

Behind the Scenes of The Indiana Jones Stunt Show

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This week, a very nice video has been posted on the Disney Parks Blog. It takes us behind-the-scenes of one of Disney's Hollywood Studios biggest stunt shows, the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. Enjoy!:

Go Behind the Scenes at The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular... was dedicated Aug. 25, 1989, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you aren’t familiar, this 30-minute stunt show recreates some of the most thrilling and heart-pounding moments from the Indiana Jones films right before your eyes...




The first time I saw the show, I thought it was pretty good. I still do like it, but I seriously think it would be much better if they added more special effects. One example is the explosion at the end of the show, which honestly pales compared to the fantastic firework finale of The Eight Voyage of Sindbad at Universal's Islands of Adventure (another great stunt show).

LEGOLAND Florida Introduces New Orlando Shuttle

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A very good news for all the guests that will want to visit LEGOLAND Florida. Indeed, the park has just announced that they will introduce a new shuttle that will conveniently depart at 9 a.m. from the Orlando Premium Outlets of Vineland Avenue, and will return at the same place after the park closes. Here you are additional information: _________________________________________________________________________
All Aboard the LEGOLAND® Florida shuttle Central Florida’s Newest Theme Park Partners with Annett Bus Lines  and Orlando Premium Outlets® 
Winter Haven, FL (August 25, 2011) – Leave the hassle of transportation to the experts and begin your LEGOLAND® Florida experience before you leave Orlando with the LEGOLAND Shuttle.   In partnership with Annett Bus Lines and Orlando Premium Outlets® - Vineland Ave, guests can arrive in style to Central Florida’s newest theme park for a special preview price of $5 roundtrip, per person. The LEGOLAND Shuttle lets families enjoy their time togethe…

Animal Kingdom Update - August 2011 (PART 1)

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Welcome to a new Disney's Animal Kingdom update. It has been a long time since our last visit to the park, so it is time to see if there's something new that is worth reporting. The first obvious recent addition is a new "Let the Memories Begin" banner in front of the park's entrance. It was added a few months ago:

Animal Kingdom Update - August 2011 (PART 2)

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Thanks for staying with us! Let's continue where we left (To see PART 1, please, click on the link): As we always say, this lagoon could host a spectacular nighttime show, but it still has nothing (but it does provide a great view of the park's icon):

ADVISORY: Blizzard Beach Will Not Open Tomorrow

A very strange and unexpected advisory has been posted today by the Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park will remain closed tomorrow (Friday, August 26, 2011). Read more: _________________________________________________________________________
Blizzard Beach Water Park Will Be Closed Friday, August 26, 2011
We apologize for the inconvenience as Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will not be operating Friday, August 26, 2011. However, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Winter Summerland and Fantasia Gardens miniature golf courses will remain operational for Guest enjoyment, weather permitting.
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This is quite unusual... The announcement was just posted a few hours ago, so it must mean that there's something very important going on inside the park (possibly a critical issue on some of the water slides). We'll let you know in case more information should emerge.

Busch Gardens Welcomes a New Baby Antelope

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Two days ago, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay had the pleasure to welcome a brand-new member of the Eland Antelope family! Take a look at some information and pictures of this new calf: _________________________________________________________________________
BUSCH GARDENS WELCOMES NEW BABY ELAND ANTELOPE 50-pound little girl will grow to be nearly 1,000 pounds – the largest of the antelope species
TAMPA, Fla. (August 23, 2011) – Yesterday, the newest addition to Busch Gardens’ Serengeti Plain was born: a female eland calf. Weighing in at 50 pounds, this girl will not stay little for long. Eland are the largest of the antelope species, with adult females weighing around 1,000 lbs.
Even with their bulky stature, eland antelope have a great adaptation: they can jump 8-10 feet straight up in the air from a standing position. Both males and females characteristically have thick, spiral horns, which can reach lengths of 3-4 feet. But to protect the mother, the calf doesn’t have horns at birth; her f…

It Is Going To Be Windy Today...

Just an advisory for all the guests and visitors who are visiting the Central Florida area:
Today and tomorrow, the weather is expected to be a bit unstable, due to the approaching hurricane Irene. It is important to remember that it will be quite windy, and the rain chances will go up to 50% or 60% in the next few days, so it would be wise to take an umbrella or poncho with you, if you don't have one handy. Even though the hurricane has caused flooding and a lot of damages in the Caribbean Islands (and we are really sad about that), the storm is NOT expected to cause any significant damage in Florida, other than causing beach erosion in some areas. We hope the storm doesn't affect your vacation. Please, keep on checking back in case there are further announcements. Have a great rest of your stay!

Old Town Update: New Zip-Line Debuts and More

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It has been a while since we have checked out old Town, so it is time to take a look around, to see what has been done in the past few weeks. Indeed, as you may already know, the park is in the middle of a major change of pace. Before, it was an old, sleepy amusement park that seemed to have no clear goals. Now, the park has started to introduce new attractions, stores, events, and more, all focused to make families want to return, again and again. Let's see:
NOTE: It was very cloudy, so we apologize for the dark pictures. 

Arnold Palmer to Take Over WDW's Golf Courses

A major change has been announced just today. All of Walt Disney World's signature golf courses (Disney’s Palm and Magnolia, Lake Buena Vista, Osprey Ridge and Oak Trail golf courses) will be managed by a third-party company, starting on September 25, 2011. Read more about this important news: _________________________________________________________________________
Golf Announcement
    Walt Disney World Resort and Arnold Palmer Golf Management have signed a 20-year strategic alliance to create even more magic for Disney golfers.      Beginning Sept. 25, Arnold Palmer Golf Management will operate, manage, maintain and help promote all five Disney courses including Disney’s Palm and Magnolia, Lake Buena Vista, Osprey Ridge and Oak Trail golf courses. As part of this long-term alliance agreement, golf legend Arnold Palmer and his associated design team will be actively engaged in strategic development and design innovations.      Future enhancements include plans to add unique…

Old Town Introduces "Pirates and Parrots Nights"

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Do you remember when Walt Disney World hosted the famous "Pirates and Princess Parties?" Well, Old Town has prepared a special event that goes along those lines... without princesses, of course. Starting this year, Old Town will host the "Pirates and Parrots" parties, that will take place the 16, 17, and 18 of September. Here you are additional information on the event, from Old Town's official website:

It is interesting to see how Old Town is really striving to get families come back to their park. We think that they're going in the right direction, and we hope they will continue to improve, just like they are doing now. Stay tuned for a new Old Town update, coming soon!

New Show to be Announced Soon at Busch Gardens

A brand-new show will soon replace Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy at the Moroccan Palace. The announcement will take place on September 8, 2011. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
Tampa, Fla. (Aug. 24, 2011) – For more than five decades, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has set the industry’s standard for delivering unforgettable entertainment experiences. On Thursday, Sept. 8, Busch Gardens’ Park President Jim Dean will reveal the next world-class show set to take the stage at the Moroccan Palace in early 2012. Renderings, costumes and even the show’s signature song will be released at this [media-only] event.
Busch Gardens has invited its most loyal fans to be part of this park event via email and Facebook. After the announcement, the guests will meet the newest stars from the all-new show and enjoy a larger-than-life celebratory cake in the Palace lobby. _________________________________________________________________________
It is very sad…

Hidden Gems: The Art of Disney Animation Queue

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After reading the title, some of you may say that the Disney Animation exhibit at Disney's Hollywood Studios is very well known among the park's guests. We agree with that, but there's a hidden area in the queue that can be rightfully considered a hidden gem. Why? Because it contains some very interesting pieces of art that show some of the scenes of Disney's most famous animated movies. In addition to that, those artworks show some of the Disney characters in a very different form. Let's check out the area to understand what we mean:

I-Walk Orlando Becomes I-Drive Live

The great I-Walk Orlando project has evolved quite a bit since its conception. First, the Merlin Entertainment Company (that also owns LEGOLAND Florida) announced that this new area would have had a big Ferris Wheel, a Madame Tussauds museum, and some shops. just recently, they also added that they would build a new Sea Life Aquarium, along with at least two themed hotel.
Just yesterday, though, the entire project changed name. take a look at this news, posted on Screamscape: _________________________________________________________________________
Orlando Eye/ Madame Tussauds /I-Drive Live - (8/23/11) BlooLoop reports that the Orlando Eye project has come to terms with Universal and will change the entire overall project name from the objectionable "I-Walk Orlando" to "I-Drive Live". The article also confirms that Merlin will run the Orlando Eye giant wheel as well as a Madame Tussauds and SeaLife Aquarium attraction. Other projects, restaurants, stores and ev…

Hidden Gems: Lombard's Seafood Grille

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This week we'll start post two new articles that will focus on some quite enjoyable places in the theme parks... that are frequently overlooked. In this update, we'll take a look inside one of Universal Studios Florida's signature restaurants:
- Lombard's Seafood Grille -
This restaurant can be defined as a "hidden gem" also due to its location, that is right on the park's lagoon:

Advisory: Monitoring Hurricane Irene

It is the Hurricane season here in the Caribbeans (between June and November), therefore we are closely monitoring any activity in the Atlantic Ocean. This week, the authorities have named the very first hurricane of the season (the others were just tropical storms): Hurricane Irene. The parks are always concerned with the safety of both their guests and cast members.
The Walt Disney World Resort has issued this important advisory for this week: _________________________________________________________________________
Advisory ~ Monitoring Hurricane Irene
The Walt Disney World Resort is closely monitoring the progress and path of Hurricane Irene and is currently operating as normal. We will continue to monitor the weather and provide updates as needed. Guests are encouraged to monitor local TV, radio and Internet news for the latest weather information. _________________________________________________________________________
If you're staying here in Florida during this week,…

Epcot Update: Work in Canada, Japan & More (Part 1)

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Epcot inspires every year millions of people, with it celebration of the future and of the various countries that make up the world we currently live in. It is a fantastic place to have fun (and learn) with the whole family. It is truly an amazing theme park.
After having shared with you our love for this spectacular theme park, it is time for us to start this huge update (it is already very long, so we don't want to make it even longer!). This week, we have a lot of news from two different countries of World Showcase, as well as minor news from some of the pavilions found in the Future World area of the park. Let's start!

Epcot Update: Work in Canada, Japan & More (Part 2)

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Navigation: | PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 |
Thanks for joining us on part 2 of this new Epcot update. Let's continue our tour of Future World:

Epcot Update: Work in Canada, Japan & More (Part 3)

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Navigation: | PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 |
Welcome to the final page of our new Epcot update! Let's continue to check out World Showcase:

The Disney Look... to the Past! (August 20-26)

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A new week ha just began! This means that it is time for a new edition of "The Disney Look... to the Past!" Let's see what has happened this week... in the past: _________________________________________________________________________
This Week in Disney History: Aug. 20-26

Aug. 24, 1942 - The animated film "Saludos Amigos" premieres in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil The sixth feature film in The Walt Disney Animated Classics series, "Saludos Amigos," follows new and favorite Disney characters on their adventures throughout South America. José Carioca (known as Zé Carioca in Brazil), a suave and exotic parrot, joins Donald Duck in the finale of the film, "Aquarela do Brasil." José introduces Donald to the beauty of Brazil and encourages him to shake a tail feather through a festive introduction to samba. Although it was not released in the United States until February 1943, the film debuted in Rio de Janeiro as a part of the Good Neighbor P…

LEGOLAND Florida Brings LEGO Animals in the Park

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LEGOLAND Florida is just 54 days away from its grand-opening day, and work is proceeding really fast, to make everything look great for the big day (October 15, 2011). Many of the park's LEGO models have already been installed 9like most of the Miniland U.S.A. models), but there are a few that are still being brought into the park, to place them in their rightful spot.
In this new park map, which was released by the park just a few days ago, you can see some of the many LEGO animals that guests will be able to see. Let's see if you can find some of them (click on the map for the full size):



Now, LEGOLAND Florida has recently posted a couple of pictures of some of these LEGO animals on their official Facebook page. Let's take a look together. You'll be surprised how life-like they look! We'll begin with a very friendly family of lions, that will be "meeting" guests in the Land of Adventure:

New Bowling Alley Coming to ESPN's Sport Complex

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Many months ago, we heard an interesting rumor about a brand-new, huge bowling alley that was going to be built inside the then-called "Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex" (It is now the "ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex"). It was supposed to have an incredible number of lanes, 100 (can you believe that?), and it was to be open for both the general public and for competitions.
Some days ago, another site (the Epcyclopedia) found a very interesting PDF file (that you can download right here), that shows that the ESPN Wide World of Sports is actually going to be expanded, with new soccer fields, new parking spaces... and an incredible bowling alley, just like it was rumored. This comes as a great surprise, though, as many of us thought the project was cancelled due to the new "Splitsville" bowling currently being built in the former location of the Virgin Megastore.
Here's a section of the PDF, that shows the new fields and the new bowling alle…

Magic Kingdom Update - Interactive Elements Abound

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Even though we're still in the middle of the D23 Expo, we found it nice to post a Magic Kingdom update, just to make your "Disney-focused weekend" even more interesting. This week, we'll see some additional, minor work on some of Magic Kingdom's buildings, as they are prepared to house some special effects for the new interactive game, which should be coming very soon to the park.
Let's take a look around the park, as usual starting from the very beginning - the entrance:

Information on the 2011 Disney Dining Plan Promotion

As part of a promotion, the "Disney Dining Plan" will be included for selected guests who will visit the Walt Disney World Resort between August 28 and September 24, 2011. Here you are some information that you need to keep in mind, if you're planning on visiting the resort during that period: _________________________________________________________________________
2011 Disney Dining Plan Promotion
The Disney Dining Plan is being offered as an incentive to Guests who book a Magic Your Way™ package for their visit between August 28 and September 24, 2011...
Guests who stay at Deluxe, Deluxe Villa and Moderate Resorts receive the Magic Your Way™ Disney Dining Plan throughout their stay. Guests who stay at a Value Resort receive the Quick Service Restaurant Dine Plan, with the popular option to upgrade to the Magic Your Way™ Disney Dining Plan.

Disney Dining Plan Tips:
Take a break from the parks during the heat of the day and enjoy lunch at one of the unique dining lo…

"Fantasy Faire Experience" Announced for Disneyland

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Even though Walt Disney World fans were left very disappointed from yesterday's "Disney Parks & Resorts" presentation at the D23 Expo, we can at least say that Disneyland California's fans were not left without any new announcement. Indeed, Disneyland Park will soon receive a completely new, small themed area in Fantasyland, where some shows related to many of the most famous Disney princesses will be presented throughout the day. Take a look, from the official Disney Parks Blog:

New Fantasy Faire Experience Coming to Disneyland Park

Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride: On-Ride Video

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Today's "big" event that was to include some great new announcements about Walt Disney World's future was not... exciting. At all. We didn't even get a hint about anything coming in the next few years. Fortunately, they gave out some additional information about some  areas of the new Fantasyland expansion at the Magic Kingdom. Here you are for example a new on-ride video of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride. Take a look:

Looks really exciting, doesn't it? We are really looking forward to this great family coaster! Of course, while we were expecting much more from the D23 Expo, we also know that the event is not done yet, therefore there is still a bit of hope... We'll see.

D23 Updates on our Facebook page

If you haven't do so already, remember to check out OTPN's official Facebook page, to read news and see some photos of the D23 event, courtesy of great sites who are attending the event, like Inside the Magic, Discussion Kingdom, and many more!
Also, stay tuned for this afternoon, as some interesting new projects for the Walt Disney World Resort may be announced!

"Something Silver" to Replace "Magic Masters"

Another new store will soon open in the West Side of Downtown Disney. The "Magic Masters" shop will soon close to make way for a new jewelry store, called "Something Silver" Here you are some more information: _________________________________________________________________________

Downtown Disney Plans - Something Silver Coming This Fall -
A new operating participant will soon be moving into the current Magic Masters location at Downtown Disney West Side. Magic Masters will be closing at the end of September, the natural end of the store’s contract. It has been a pleasure to be the home of this store for many years and we wish them the best in their future endeavors. Something Silver will soon open in place of Magic Masters. At Something Silver, Guests will marvel at magnificent pieces of jewelry from one of the country’s finest sterling silver sellers. Guests will find fashionable accessories alongside a collection of timeless, everyday basics. Over 50 na…

Primeval Whirl Update - The Long Rehab Continues

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Primeval Whirl, Disney's Animal Kingdom's wild mouse coaster, has been closed for a very long time, due to a terrible accident, where a cast member died while performing some maintenance work while the ride was closed for a scheduled refurbishment. As of today, very few things have changed. Actually, there are no visible changes on the ride's look. Most of the work is being done "behind the scenes," as Disney wants to make the ride safer. Today, we'll take a general look around the area:  

LEGOLAND Florida Introduces Field Trips for Schools

Education is a very important piece of our lives, and LEGOLAND Florida knows that. For this reason, they want to invite schools to take their students to LEGOLAND, where they can learn... having fun! Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________ Laying the Foundation for Education at LEGOLAND® FloridaCentral Florida’s Newest Theme Park Takes Teaching out of the Classroom

Winter Haven, FL (August 17, 2011)– What does 50 million LEGO® bricks plus an exciting educational curriculum equal? An educational field trip to LEGOLAND® Florida! When LEGOLAND Florida opens its gates on October 15, the fun is just beginning with 50 rides, shows and attractions. From learning about how structures are made and what makes them strong in Tall Towers to Amazing Machines where students build their own amazing machine equipped with gears, levers, pulleys and motors, teachers can find just the right program to match what they’re learning about in the classroom. “By sh…

Monorail Coral Officially Returns to Service

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Monorail Coral is finally back with its original color! Indeed, the monorail train (that was previously called the "TRONORAIL," due to the huge advertisement of the homonymous movie, that covered the whole train) has been down for refurbishment for some weeks, to remove the "Tron" advertisement .

Now, it is finally back in its original state. Take a look at some photos:

Disneyland Hotel Receives "Four Diamonds" Award

Today we got an important out-of-loop update, coming from Disneyland Resort in California. Indeed, one the three hotels on property has received the prestigious four diamonds award from AAA. Here you are some additional information: _________________________________________________________________________
Disneyland Hotel Receives AAA Four Diamonds Award

AAA has awarded the Disneyland Hotel its prestigious 2012 Four Diamond award, making it the second property at the Disneyland Resort to receive such a high rating. “This is tremendous news, especially for the 1,000 Cast Members who work at the Disneyland Hotel and create magical experiences for our Guests,” said Tony Bruno, vice president of resort hotels and Downtown Disney. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is also a Four Diamond award winner, as is its Napa Rose restaurant. According to the Auto Club, only 4 percent of the 31,000 hotel properties it reviews nationally earn the award. Earlier this summer, th…

Universal Studios Update - A Tour of the Park

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Today it will be a very important day at Universal Studios Florida. Indeed, starting today, August 18, 2011, "Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast" will be closed for good. The building that housed the attraction will be renovated, and a new ride based on the "Despicable me" franchise will open in its place, promising to be a much better experience (actually, anything would be better than Jimmy Neutron's ride....)
Today, we are going to take a general look around the park, and we'll see for the very last time Jimmy Neutron:

Rumor Hints to Extensive Use of RFID Technology

Screamscape has posted a very interesting rumor this morning. According to it, all Walt Disney World resort guests who will stay on property may soon not need the "Key to the World" card anymore. To enter the park, buy in the shops, use the Photopass and Fastpass systems they would just need to wear... a band. Read more: _________________________________________________________________________
General [Walt Disney World] Resort News - (8/17/11) A very interesting news story involving some NextGen Disney Tech that we might expect to see announced as early as this weekend can be found at DizFanatic today. According to the article, Disney is testing some new and very colorful RFID encoded wristbands that they are hoping to have guests begin wearing in the parks.  You can pick the color of your plain band, or even spend a little extra to buy a band with your favorite characters on them, but it’s what inside that counts. The RFID bands are thought to serve not only as your …

New Popcorn Cart Offers Multiple Flavors at Universal

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Whenever you go to a movie theater and you want to eat a snack, what comes up to your mind? Why, popcorn, of course! They are very popular at many Orlando theme parks too.
Well, as we reported some weeks ago, Universal Studios has just built a new cart which sells popcorn. That's not a big deal, you may say. But, what about a cart that sells multiple flavors? Now, that sounds a bit more interesting, right? Read more about this new, minor addition that may lead to some additional changes in the future of theme park snacks: _________________________________________________________________________
Enhanced Cart at Universal Studios Florida  Offers New Popcorn Flavors
The recently-refurbished refreshment stand next to the Universal Studios Store in USF now serves three different flavors of popcorn: Traditional, Cheddar Cheese, and Caramel. The traditional popcorn can be served in a paper popcorn bucket for $3.19 (plus tax), or in the Universal Orlando refillable Souvenir Bucket for $4.…

LEGOLAND Florida Introduces a Newsletter

A minor news has been released by LEGOLAND Florida just this morning.
The official Facebook page of the park has introduced a new link to subscribe to a newsletter, which will keep people up-to-date with all the news and events from the park, including the pre-opening dates that will be only available for annual passholders, special discounts, and much more.
Here's what the park has posted:
"Hi friends! Some of you may have noticed that we have a new tab on our menu here on Facebook. Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter using the Newsletter tab to receive the latest news and special offers from LEGOLAND Florida"
To subscribe to LEGOLAND Florida's official newsletter, CLICK HERE.

Fantasyland Update - Dumbo's Circus and More

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Our weekly Fantasyland update is finally here! This week, we're going to see some more movement in the Storybook Circus area, as well as some new details in the Little Mermaid and the Beauty and the Beast's areas. The only section of the land that seems to have received no work at all, at least in the past few weeks, is the almost completely demolished Fantasyland Skyway.
Let's take a look together at Fantasyland, and we'll start as always from...
- The Fantasyland Skyway -

Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy to Close in September

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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has finally officially stated with a press release that their new "Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy Show" will close early next month. In their press release, Busch Gardens also confirmed that they already have some plans for the theater's future:
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DON’T MISS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO SEE 
CIRQUE DREAMS JUNGLE FANTASY
The award-winning cirque show closes its curtains for the last time over Labor Day weekend at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Tampa, Fla. (August 15, 2011) - After 971 shows, the limited-engagement show Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy is coming to end at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The final show will be September 5 at the Moroccan Palace Theater. The groundbreaking theatrical, acrobatic and musical adventure opened December 3, 2010. For the past eight months Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy has resided in Busch Gardens’ majestic Moroccan Palace, performing multiple shows daily. Cirque Dreams…