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Showing posts from November, 2011

Exclusive Busch Gardens Pin for Annual Passholders

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If you are a Busch Gardens Tampa Bay annual passholder and you like collecting pins from the area's theme parks, you will surely be interested in this exclusive new pin that has been just recently released at the park: _________________________________________________________________________

Exclusive Busch Gardens Pin just for Pass Members
When Kasi the cheetah came to Busch Gardens in March, he was a two-pound ball of fur in need of some special care. Today, Kasi and his yellow-lab companion, Mtani, are the park’s most popular pair! Celebrate this special friendship with a limited-edition collectible pin, available exclusively for Busch Gardens Pass members. The commemorative pin is available at souvenir locations throughout the park for $5.95 and a portion of the proceeds from this pin will be donated to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund.

WHERE TO PURCHASE THE PIN:
[This exclusive pin has been] available at Emporium, Emporium Kids, Cheetah Hunt Gift Sho…

Fantasyland Update: Carousel Refurb Starts (PART 1)

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The new Fantasyland area is continuing to receive more and more additions each and every week. During each and every one of our visit to the park, we find something new to report. This week, we have quite a few new things to report to you, starting from a good news: the refurbishment of Prince Charming's Royal Carousel has finally started. Let's take a look:

Fantasyland Update: Carousel Refurb Starts (PART 2)

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Thanks for joining us in this second part of our new Fantasyland update (for PART 1, click here). Let's continue our tour of the area by checking out the work being done in the Little Mermaid's area:

Typhoon Lagoon Closed Today Due to Weather

Due to a cold front (the first real cold front since February 2011!), Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will not operate today. Here you are some of the information you may need to know: _________________________________________________________________________
Advisory ~ Typhoon Lagoon Closed Due to Weather Nov. 30, 2011
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be closed Wednesday, November 30, due to cold weather. As a reminder, Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park is closed for refurbishment until Saturday, December 3, 2011 (the park will reopen on Sunday, December 4, 2011). Winter Summerland and Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf courses will continue to operate. _________________________________________________________________________
The cold front should be over by Friday, so there may be a possibility that the water park will remain closed on Thursday too, but we'll wait for an official confirmation.

Exclusive! Dumbo's New Base Showcases New Details

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Just a few weeks ago, we were the first to show you some pictures of the brand-new Dumbo ride base that is currently being installed in Storybook Circus. Today we've got some new pictures that will show you some new details about this attraction (which should open early next year), including the some familiar faces...
First of all, let's take a look at the current base of the older Dumbo attraction, which will be relocated (and completely refurbished) very soon in the new Storybook Circus area:

LEGOLAND Florida Announces New Waterpark

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Great news! LEGOLAND Florida's officials have finally announced that they will soon open the park's own waterpark later next year. Here you are some very interesting information about the project:
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LEGOLAND® Florida – Just Add Water! Central Florida’s Newest Theme Park Announces Water Park Details and Unveils All-New Premium Annual Pass

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (November, 28, 2011) – Just six weeks after its official grand opening, LEGOLAND® Florida today released details of its first expansion – LEGOLAND Water Park. Scheduled to open in time for summer 2012, the water park will feature a wave pool, Build-A-Raft lazy river, tube slides, body slides and an interactive water-play structure - DUPLO® Safari. “We’re very excited to share plans for this amazing new attraction,” said LEGOLAND Florida General Manager Adrian Jones. “True to our mission, the water park attraction has been designed for families with childre…

Splendid China Update - Still Nothing Happening

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If you have been among the very few Orlando visitors that had the opportunity of visiting Splendid China before it closed down its doors forever in December 2003, you will surely remember all the great miniatures and gorgeous gardens that the park showcased. Unfortunately, we have personally never had the pleasure to see the park when it was open (between 1993 and 2003). Despite that, all of a sudden, yesterday we decided to take a look at the place (only from outside, of course, since the entire park is walled-off as private property), just to see if anything at all had been done in the area after all these years, especially since more than a year ago, in May 2010, CFNews13 reported that a new sport complex was to be built in place of the now-closed Splendid China.
Then, what has changed since the park closed its doors on December 31, 2003? Hardly anything:

Reminder: Magic Kingdom Advisories for Dec. 2-3

As a reminder, there will be a lot of entertainment changes as well as operational adjustments on December 2 and 3, 2011 due to a special event. Here you are all the information you need to know to enjoy your day at the park: _________________________________________________________________________
Magic Kingdom Filming on December 2 and 3, 2011
On Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3, many activities will take place on Main Street, U.S.A. and in the Castle Hub at Magic Kingdom Park. The following Food & Beverage changes have been made:
The Main Street Bakery will open at 7 a.m. on December 2 and 3.The Main Street Coffee Express, available at Casey's Corner and Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, will open at 8 a.m. on December 2 and 7:30 a.m. on December 3. As a reminder, many entertainment changes have also been made to accommodate filming on both days:

Friday, December 2, 2011:
The Move it! Shake it! Celebrate it! Street Party will not perform The Dream Along with Mickey Castl…

Islands of Adventure: New Time Boards and More

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Universal's Islands of Adventure is receiving some interesting, minor additions that will surely help guests to keep up with the current wait times of all the attractions of the park. Le's take a look together at what's new in the park with our latest Islands of Adventure update:

A Few Universal Orlando Fun Facts

It is always very entertaining to know some fun facts about the parks we all know and love. Today, we bring you just a couple of fun facts regarding Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure. You  may have already heard these information (especially if you are a big fan of these parks), but we thought it would have been nice to share them with all our readers: _________________________________________________________________________
- Universal Studios Florida -

• Many of the structures and facades in Universal Studios are modeled after sets from famous movies and television shows, including “Pretty Woman,” “The Godfather” and “The Cosby Show.” • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit features three world’s first maneuvers – the Double Take (the world’s largest non-inverted loop), the Treble Clef (track built in the shape of the musical symbol) and the Jump Cut (a spiraling negative-gravity move). • The music-based Treble Clef maneuver on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit was firs…

International Drive Continues to Expand in 2012/2013

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Expansions, expansions, and more expansions. Central Florida's attractions will all be bigger in just a few more years. The new Fantasyland, Avatar Land, Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin, LEGOLAND's Waterpark, Despicable Me, TurtleTrek, Freshwater Oasis... All these new addition will come to Orlando by the end of 2013 (with the exception of Avatar Land).

This does not mean, though, that the only attractions to expand will be only major theme parks. Indeed, some attractions found along International Drive, one of the best tourist corridors in Central Florida, will soon undergo some major changes in the next two years. Here are some of the future projects, as well as some of the new restaurants and hotels that were recently opened: _________________________________________________________________________
Development Updates for the International Drive Resort Area This update reflects approximately $2 billion in new development and redevelopment between 2010 and 2012.
Coming Soon…

Despicable Me Construction Update - November 2011

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Today we want to share a few pictures of the current status of the work being done on the former Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast building, which will soon house the new Despicable Me Ride. Take a look:

Entertainment Changes for Dec. 2, 3 - Magic Kingdom

As every year, The Magic Kingdom will be filming during most of the day on December 2 and 3, 2011. This means that the park will be extremely crowded (especially Main Street U.S.A. and the Castle Hub) and some of the parades and shows will have to be cancelled for those two days. Here you are traditional information: _________________________________________________________________________
Due to a special event, there will be several entertainment changes during the following dates:
Friday, December 2, 2011 and Saturday, December 3, 2011:

The Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade will step off at 5 p.m. in Frontierland;NO Dream Along with Mickey Castle show (Friday, December 2 ONLY);NO Main Street Trolley Show;NO Move it , Shake it, Celebrate it! Street Party. _________________________________________________________________________
Would you like an advice? Choose to go to Epcot or Disney's Hollywood Studios during those two days instead!

Universal Studios - New York City... by Night (VIDEO)

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Do you miss coming to the parks and enjoying the quiet evenings while strolling trough the highly-themed streets that put you in another place and time? If you do, then you will certainly like this new video that we just uploaded. It is a quick walk-trough of the New York City area of Universal Orlando during the evening. Enjoy!:

Every month we post new videos from the parks on Orlando Theme Park News' You Tube channel, so make sure to check it out every once in a while! Thank you for viewing, and have a great rest of your day.

Select McDonald's Now Offer LEGOLAND Discount

Today we have another LEGOLAND Florida deal to share with you, which will add up to the other offers that we already shared with our readers in another occasion. Here's the offer that was posted on LEGOLAND Florida's official Facebook page: _________________________________________________________________________
Kids Go Free with Adult Ticket to LEGOLAND Florida! Coupons available at participating Central Florida McDonald's. _________________________________________________________________________
Even though they do not specify all the locations that offer this special coupons, you can be sure to find them at some of the McDonald's along International Drive, Highway 192, and nearby Interstate 4.

Fun Spot's Waterpark: New Information and Park Map

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Great news! Thanks to an article published on Parksmania.it, we found out some very interesting news about Fun Spot Action Park's expansion. Indeed, today we bring you some very interesting information about the new waterpark that will soon be built in the currently empty piece of property that Fun Spot Attractions Inc. has purchased some time ago. Here's the article published on Splashtacular.com: _________________________________________________________________________

Fun Spot Attractions Moves into Waterparks with SplashTacular, Inc.
Orlando, Florida — Fun Spot Attractions Owner and President, John Arie recently made a crucial strategic decision for the company. Although the company’s locations in both Orlando and Kissimmee enjoyed excellent growth and profitability, he decided—along with his family and team—that the timing was perfect to take his family entertainment venue to the next level by adding a waterpark component to the Orlando location. His team was determine…

Downtown Disney General Update - November 2011

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Just a week ago we posted new photos of the recently-reopened Sunglass Icon shop at Downtown Disney. Today we'll be taking a look at the entire shopping district, to see all the other new additions.
Let's start with a look at the massive Cirque du Soleil (which is not new, though):

RUMOR - Kim Possible Testing Something New?

As you may already know, the Magic Kingdom will soon receive a brand-new scavenger hunt-type game, that will be sure to involve the whole family in trying to find clues and "saving the day". This new game is said to be an evolution of the already quite popular "Kim Possible's World Showcase Adventure" at Epcot. If so, though,  after the debut of the new game at the Magic Kingdom, will Kim Possible's game become a bit... obsolete? Maybe not. Indeed, there may be some changes in the works for Kim Possible's World Showcase Adventure.
Take a look at this bit of information that we recently found out: _________________________________________________________________________
Kim Possible Testing - November 29, 2011
Innoventions locations for Kim Possible missions will be temporarily closed on November 29, 2001. All World Showcase locations will be open. _________________________________________________________________________
Even though it doesn't reveal…

LEGOLAND Florida: New Additions Appear (PART 1)

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Good afternoon OTPN readers! Today, we have a very big LEGOLAND Florida update to share with you, and even though the park is only barely a month old, there are a lot of minor changes to report! Let's start by taking a look at the new signs that have been placed near the "WELCOME" sign in front of the park's entrance:

LEGOLAND Florida: New Additions Appear (PART 2)

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Welcome to part 2 of this new LEGOLAND Florida update. For PART 1, please click here.
Now, let's continue our tour of the park by taking a look at the new cover that has been installed on the theater that hosts "The Big Test" show:

LEGOLAND Florida: New Additions Appear (PART 3)

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Thanks for joining us in this final part of our new LEGOLAND Florida update. If you are looking for PART 2, please, CLICK HERE. Now, let's take a look at the current situation of the waterpark:

Fun Spot Reveals More Info of its Mega Expansion

Fun Spot Action Park will soon receive a major expansion that will completely change the way people perceive this great, minor attraction located along International Drive. Indeed, while we had already reported that the park was going to soon expand to become three times its current size, we still had very general ideas about what we could expect to see. Yesterday, Channel News 6confirmed some of the attractions that will be built: ________________________________________________________________________

Roller coasters, a water park and go-kart track are just some of the plans for an expansion at an Orlando theme park... The 10-acre expansion projects includes one wooden and one steel roller coaster, a water park complete with a lazy river and slides, and will double the number of rides.
Park managers hope it will bring in more guests while maintaining their small park atmosphere.

Copyright 2011 by ClickOrlando.com. All rights reserved. _______________________________________________…

SeaWorld Orlando’s Rescue Team Releases Sea Turtle

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The SeaWorld Orlando Rescue Team has just recently released a huge Loggerhead Sea Turtle in it natural habitat, after having cared for the animal for more than eight months. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team Releases Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Animal care experts from SeaWorld Orlando released an adult loggerhead sea turtle [on the morning of November 21, 2011] at Lori Wilson Park just south of Cocoa Beach. The turtle was rescued on March 14, 2011 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station by park personal and brought to SeaWorld Orlando for treatment. The turtle is approximately 20 yrs. old, 150 lbs. and is 2 feet and 4 inches long.

Universal Orlando Introduces New Gift Cards

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Universal Orlando has just recently announced that they have introduced new gift cards that can be used in the entire Universal Orlando Resort. Here you are some additional information:
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UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT INTRODUCES ALL-NEW GIFT CARDS – ALLOWING YOU TO GIVE THE GIFT OF EXCITEMENT AND THRILLS
Give your loved ones the gift of action and adventure at Universal Orlando Resort with all-new gift cards that can be used seamlessly throughout the entire vacation destination. For the first time ever, these gift cards can be redeemed anywhere within Universal Orlando – from buying a ticket to the Blue Man Group at Universal CityWalk, to paying for an onsite hotel room, to selecting the perfect memento for your trip at a theme park gift shop. Available online or at the theme parks, these themed gift cards feature some of the most iconic characters and attractions found at Universal Orlando, including Shrek, Spiderman,…

A Look at Epcot's New Turnstile-Free Entrance

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As reported some days ago, Epcot is currently testing a new method of entering the park, one that does not involve turnstiles. It is a very effective method to access the park. Let's take a quick look at how it works:

Reminder: LEGOLAND Operating Hours for the Week

We just wanted to remind you that LEGOLAND Florida will have extended hours this week, as well as every weekend until December 31, 2011. Here you are all the information you need to know on this regard: _________________________________________________________________________
LEGOLAND Florida will be open until 6 p.m. all this week and through the weekend. The park is now open until 6 pm Friday - Sunday, November 11- December 25, 2011. LEGOLAND is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through December 14, 2011 (excluding November 22 and 23, 2011). Please find our park hours on our website, www.LEGOLAND.com. _________________________________________________________________________
The park is finally following a good trend, speaking about their operating hours. Now, they remain open until 6 p.m. every single weekend. This surely means that they are receiving more guests than they originally expected.

The Disney Look... to the Past! (Nov. 19-Dec. 2)

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And here we are, starting another week with a special, extended edition of "The Disney Look... to the Past!": _________________________________________________________________________

This Week in Disney History: November 19 - December 2

Nov. 19, 1971 — Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground opens What would be the coolest camping trip ever? For starters, how about if the campsite was in the middle of the Walt Disney World Resort? You could pitch a tent as the sun sets, then enjoy a campfire sing-a-long with Chip ‘n’ Dale, followed by a Disney movie under the stars. Fall asleep to the sound of crickets chirping, and in the morning, hop onto a boat bound for Magic Kingdom Park. Come back in the afternoon and explore a quiet trail on horseback, enjoying hundreds of acres of natural beauty. Of course, if “roughing it” isn’t in your vocabulary, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground also has fully paved sites for recreational vehicles, with cable TV c…

New "Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it" Music Debuts

One of our readers kindly contacted us, and shared with us a news about the "Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it" Street Party, which takes place daily at the Magic Kingdom. Here you are more info: _________________________________________________________________________
"MiSiCi" News -Not sure if you heard, but today they [introduced] a new version of Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it street party at Magic Kingdom... They used new music along with the old "pumpin' up the party now." I couldn't hear what song it was. Other than that, I am not sure if they did anything new during the rest of the show. An OTPN Reader (for privacy reasons, we cannot disclose the name of our reader). _________________________________________________________________________
First of all, we want to thank our reader for reporting this to us. Now, regarding this news, I have made some research about it, and it looks like the street party's opening music has indeed changed a…

Fantasyland Update - More Details Appear (PART 1)

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Welcome to a new Fantasyland update! Every time we go to check out the area, we get excited because we continuously find something new! Let's start this update from the Beauty and the Beast's area:

Fantasyland Update - More Details Appear (PART 2)

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In PART 1 of this update we had the opportunity of seeing the work being done around the Beauty and the Beast's realm and the Little Mermaid's Bay. Now, we'll continue out tour of the area by taking a look at the Storybook Circus section of the new Fantasyland:

Fun Spot's New Annual Passes Officially On Sale

Fun Spot has recently announced that they would officially start selling their first-ever annual passes on November 21, 2011. Well, today is the day. If you would like to buy one of the two annual passes they offer, or even if you just want to know more about this offer, read the following: _________________________________________________________________________
Fun Spot's Annual Pass Now on Sale! Receive a HUGE Value for 2012! 
You have a choice of two different passes. The Any Day Pass and the Week Day Pass.
The Any Day Pass is valid 7 days a week at both Fun Spot locations, Orlando and Kissimmee, with no black out dates. The first date of use for this pass is December 25, 2011 and is valid through December 31, 2012. All year for only $100, if purchased before December 25, 2011. Pass allows for unlimited Go-Karts and Rides. SkyCoaster is excluded. Pass may be picked up in park beginning December 5, 2011, but is not valid until December 25, 2011.

The Week Day Pass is valid Monda…

Yankees Baseball Player Visits LEGOLAND Florida

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A baseball player recently visited LEGOLAND Florida. Take a look: ________________________________________________________________________
Yankees Baseball player, Nick Swisher and Actress, JoAnna Garcia Swisher at LEGOLAND® Florida
New York Yankees outfielder, Nick Swisher and Actress, JoAnna Garcia Swisher spent a fun-filled day at the all-new family theme park, LEGOLAND® Florida.  During their day at the park, the couple took a stroll through Miniland USA, one of the park’s signature attractions where cities from across the US are recreated and built with millions of LEGO® bricks. Of course, the two took a moment to check out New York City.  The pair also enjoyed the afternoon experiencing all the park has to offer including some thrilling “pink-knuckle” rides. 
LEGOLAND Florida is an all-new family theme park just outside of Orlando, FL, which opened October 15, 2011.  LEGOLAND Florida provides interactive entertainment for families with children ages 2-12.
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What's Coming in 2012 and 2013 in Central Florida

With all the new attractions that have been announced in the past few months, we really need to sum it up and have a clearer view of what is coming to Orlando in the next couple of years! Here's the list of what we can look forward to see in Central Florida in 2012 and 2013:
What's Coming in 2012:
Fantasyland Expansion - Phase 1 (Magic Kingdom Park);LEGOLAND Waterpark (LEGOLAND Florida);New water play area in DUPLO Land (LEGOLAND Florida);Despicable Me Ride (Universal Studios Florida);Freshwater Oasis (Discovery Cove);The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman - Renovated (Islands of Adventures);TurtleTrek (SeaWorld Orlando);New Interactive Game (Magic Kingdom Park);Fantasyland Expansion - Phase 2 (Magic Kingdom Park);Iceploration Show (Busch Gardens Tampa Bay);New Animal Care Center (Busch Gardens Tampa Bay);What's Coming in 2013: ANTARCTICA - Empire of the Penguin (SeaWorld Orlando);Fantasyland Expansion - Phase 3 (Magic Kingdom Park);Start of the works on the new AVATARland (Dis…

The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats at Epcot - VIDEO

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As we have posted about a month ago, a new group of performers has replaced the Dragon Legend Acrobats at the China Pavilion, at Epcot. This new troupe of artists is called The Jeweled Dragons Acrobats (the name sounds similar, doesn't it?). Today, we want to share with you a short video of only one act of the show:

We noticed that this show really drew a lot of people. This means that acrobats are still very popular nowadays. We are really glad to see that Disney is continuing to replace entertainment offerings in the parks, instead of just cutting the show schedule. By the way, if you want to see the complete show of the former acrobatic group, The Dragon Legend Acrobats, CLICK HERE.

Rumor About Universal's New Nighttime Spectacular

Just yesterday,Screamscape posted a very interesting rumor about one of the possible features of Universal Studios Florida's new nighttime show, which is rumored to debut either at the end of this year, or later in 2012: _________________________________________________________________________
While it’s too early to say much, there is a new rumor going around claiming that the new lagoon show may include some good old fashioned stunts in it once again, as a throwback to the old Dynamite Nights Stunt Spectacular show that ran at the park for the first decade or so.
Also it is worth pointing out that while the floating barges are indeed the old ones from the Universal 360 show, they have been modified and extended since then, which includes the addition of that new large rectangular hole in the center for “something”. _________________________________________________________________________
In our opinion, having back some human interaction in the show would be big step forw…

Downtown Disney: The Refurbished Sunglass Icon

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Downtown Disney has just opened three new stores. Let's check out one of them, the Sunglass Icon:

Information On the 2012 Flower & Garden Festival

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It may seem a little too early, but Walt Disney World is already starting to think about next year's Flower & Garden Festival! The following article provides an overview of what we can expect to see in 2012: _________________________________________________________________________

Preview of the 19th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (March 7-May 20, 2012)
Colorful New Gardens, Popular Gardening Workshops and Whimsical Fun in Store

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – A little gardening magic will go a long way when an eight-foot-tall floralSorcerer Mickey topiary holds court at the entrance to the 19th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 7-May 20 at Walt Disney World Resort. Standing atop a 12-foot-tall floral mountain cliff and towering above the park’s front-entrance topiary bed, Mickey will direct a riot of color in the manicured shapes of dancing broomsticks, buckets, mushrooms, hippos, alligators and elephants straight from the classic Disney film, …

Baby Manatee Rescued by SeaWorld's Experts

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Yesterday we reported how SeaWorld's Animal Care experts were helping a pilot whale to be again free to swim normally, despite her having a bad case of scoliosis. Today, we are once again talking about SeaWorld's efforts to save one of the most peaceful Florida native species: a baby manatee. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
Animal Care Experts from SeaWorld & FWC Rescue Baby Manatee

(November 16, 2011) -- Animal care experts from SeaWorld Orlando and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) rescued an orphaned female baby manatee at Sebastian Inlet today due to unknown causes. The calf is between three and six months old, weighs approximately 109 pounds, and is 4 feet, 3 inches long.

Groupon Deal of the Day: 50% Off Florida Ecosafaris

Groupon has got an interesting deal today. It offers a 57% discount on an adventurous day at Florida Ecosafaris, home to the fun Cypress Canopy Cycle. Take a look at this deal: _________________________________________________________________________

Florida EcoSafaris – South and East OsceolaCoach Safari or Cypress Canopy Cycle Tour for One or Two (Up to 57% Off)
From $16 | Value: $32 | Discount 50% | You Save: $16 | Time Left to Buy | 2 days 17:21:09
In a Nutshell Guides open up region's nine ecosystems & countless animals from tours on 5-foot-high open-air coach or pedal-powered treetop cable system Despite conservation groups' efforts to protect wildlife, most species continue to take off their helmets and kneepads the moment their moms aren't looking. See the animals without totally embarrassing them with today's Groupon to Florida EcoSafaris in St. Cloud. Choose from the following options:
For $16, you get a two-hour Coach Safari for one (up to a $32 val…

Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista - Nov. 2011 Update

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Work is proceeding very fast in the site of the future Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista, a brand-new hotel that will open at the end of 2012. Today we will be sharing with you just a few pictures that show the progress that has been made in the past few weeks:
These first few pictures were taken about a week ago:

Disney Parks Receive Four "Thea" Awards in 2011

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This past year we have seen quite a few new attractions and shows introduced in the parks, both here in Florida and in California. Some of these were considered outstanding by the Themed Entertainment Association, and therefore received the prestigious"Thea Award." Of course, attractions were not the only ones to won Thea Awards; indeed, one of Walt Disney's best-known Imagineer, Joe Rohde, won one too:
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TEA Honors Disney with Thea Awards
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) recently announced recipients of its 18th annual Thea Awards, and Disney Theme Parks and Resorts received four honors, including a lifetime achievement award for Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde. The awards, which will be presented at a gala in March, recognize and honor excellence in the creation of extraordinary experiences, attractions, exhibits and places. Rohde will receive the Buzz Price Thea A…

SeaWorld's Animal Rescue Team Helps Pilot Whale

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SeaWorld's very own Animal Rescue Team has recently helped a stranded pilot whale to allow her to swim normally, despite the curvature of her spine. Take a look:
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SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team Uses Special Orthopedic Equipment to Care for Once-Stranded Pilot Whale

SeaWorld Orlando is using a custom orthopedic brace to care for once-stranded pilot whale.  The whale has scoliosis – or curvature of the spine – that prevents her from swimming normally.

Groupon Deal of the Day: 50% Discount at Old Town

Today, Groupon has posted a very good discount for one of Kissimmee's best minor attractions: Old Town.
You can get a ticket that grants unlimited access to all the rides and attractions (excluding the go-karts, laser tag, and bumper cars), for just $17. Here you are additional information: _________________________________________________________________________

Old Town – Kissimmee$17 for All-Day Amusement-Park Outing (Up to $34.95 Value)
$17 | Value: $35 | Discount: 51% | You Save: $18 | Time Left to Buy: 1 day 5:41 IN A NUTSHELL:
Indulge children both inner and outer with today's Groupon: for $17, you get a super-saver all-you-can-ride wristband for one day of unlimited access to all rides plus a one-time tour through the new AMPventure Experience adventure course at Old Town in Kissimmee (up to a $34.95 value).
Old Town outfits its amusement park with a retro vibe and 14 rides and roller coasters for burning off the human body's excess screams of delight. The brand-ne…

Enchanted Grove Becomes The Cheshire Cafe' - Photos

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Many changes are coming soon to the Magic Kingdom. We're currently looking forward to the opening of the new Fantasyland expansion, as well as the debut of a new interactive game. Of course, there are also other minor changes that are being applied in some areas of the park. One of those is the complete renovation of the "Enchanted Grove," a very nice snack point located just next to the Mad Tea Party attraction.
Indeed, Imagineers have completely changed the theme of the building. From a generic "fantasy" theme, they've now transformed it into the place where the Cheshire cat hangs out. This change is very appropriate, as the Cheshire cat, as you certainly know, is one of the most important characters of Walt Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" movie. Now, the theming of the area as a whole is much more cohesive.
Let's take a look at some pictures of the renovated building:

Universal Orlando - "It's All About Being Green"

Universal Orlando is becoming much more careful to the environment, especially since they recently introduced new recycling bins around the parks, as well as at the exit of each of the parks (Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure). Learn more about how Universal is currently being "green":   _________________________________________________________________________
What Universal Orlando is Doing to Stay Green
• We have over 2,100 recycling locations throughout our resort with more on the way! • We have biodiesel-fueled vehicles, including boats. • We utilize environmentally-preferred cleaning products and collect and recycle shrink wrap across property.
DID YOU KNOW? - Fast facts about Universal Orlando’s 2011 efforts to support a sustainable environment
• Recycled over 169 tons of plastic bottles, 20 tons of aluminium cans, 837 tons of cardboard, 547 tons of yard waste, and 2,500 pallets • Replaced air compressors in three attractions with high e…

SeaWorld Orlando: TurtleTrek Update & More (Part 1)

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SeaWorld Orlando is currently receiving a lot of attention from all the medias, due to the recent announcement regarding the new TurtleTrek and Antarctica attractions. Today, we will take a look at the entire park, to see how work is proceeding in the various areas, and what's new in general: 

SeaWorld Orlando: TurtleTrek Update & More (Part 2)

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Thanks for joining us in part 2 of this new SeaWorld Orlando update (for PART 1, click here). Let's continue to check out the rest of the park, to see what's new:

Disney Stops Offering Tennis Lessons on Property

The Walt Disney World Resort has recently decided to stop offering tennis lessons: _________________________________________________________________________
All Resorts - Tennis Lesson Offerings Update

We regularly evaluate our Guest offerings and have decided to end our business relationship with Michael Dublin Tennis Academy. We look forward to sharing details of our new tennis lesson offerings at Walt Disney World Resort soon. Guests can still enjoy hard and clay tennis courts at resort hotels and Disney Vacation Club properties across the Walt Disney World Resort, and may call 407-827-1306 for tennis questions or lesson inquiries.  _________________________________________________________________________
It is important to underline that this does not mean that Guests will not be able to play tennis in the resorts. The only thing that will not be available anymore is practice lessons to play tennis.

EXCLUSIVE! - Pictures of Double Dumbo's New Base

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As you may know, just a few hours ago, the Disney Parks Blog has released a picture that confirmed that one of the centerpieces of the new Double Dumbo attraction has already been delivered on site. Here's the photo, copyright of the Disney Parks Blog:
Photo Copyright of the Walt Disney World Resort. All rights reserved.

Unfortunately, they didn't show how the base look like.
But we can! Here you are a couple of exclusive pictures we took just yesterday:

The Disney Look... to the Past! (November 12-18)

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Enjoy this week's edition of "The Disney Look... to the Past!" Let's take a glimpse of the past: _________________________________________________________________________

This Week in Disney History: November 12-18



Nov. 17, 1989 - Walt Disney Pictures releases “The Little Mermaid”
“I don’t know where, I don’t know how, but I know something’s starting right now.” Indeed, “The Little Mermaid” started a string of blockbusters from the Walt Disney Animation Studios, which had struggled to find traction in the two decades following Walt Disney’s passing. The original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen had been considered for a Disney adaptation in the late 1930s, and was picked up by the writer-director team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Princess and the Frog”) during the mid 1980s. This marked the first Disney collaboration between the Broadway songwriting team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, whose score and the song “Under the Sea” won Academy Awar…

LEGOLAND Florida Open Until 6 pm Every Weekend

Another great news comes from LEGOLAND Florida. It really looks like the park is finally (slowly) changing its operating hours. From now on, until December 25, 2011, the park will close one hour later every weekend!:
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LEGOLAND Florida - Operating Hours

LEGOLAND is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through December 14, 2011 (excluding November 22 and 23). Now Open until 6 pm Friday - Sunday, November 11- December 25
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This is surely a positive step taken by the park. Closing at 5 pm doesn't really work. True, one extra hour doesn't seem that much, but we can assure you that it can make a huge difference, especially for first-time guests. Now we should focus (again) on the unusual Tuesday/Wednesday closures...

The Fantasyland Forest Starts to Appear - Nov. 2011

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Work on Magic Kingdom's biggest-ever expansion are proceeding really fast, and this means that they have to start working on the landscaping of the area. For this reason, a new set of trees (very probably oaks, even though we were so busy taking pictures that we didn't even stop to check) has been planted right in front of Beauty and the Beast's area. Let's take a look at them:

Epcot Testing Again New Entry Procedures (Nov. 2011)

Epcot has just started to test again a new entry system that will allow guests to enter the park more quickly:
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Epcot - Main Entrance Test November 13-27, 2011
As part of a test, a round sticker featuring Mickey Mouse will be affixed to selected Guests' existing ticket (including Key to the World cards and annual passes), [which will allow] Guests to tap [their own] tickets at designated locations at the Epcot main entrance to provide easier and faster access to the park.
This entry system could give Guests the ability to enter the park as a group, without separating from members of the party who have strollers or wheelchairs.
The actual technologies [being tested] may or may not end up in [the] parks.
Guests who do not wish to participate can proceed to the regular turnstiles to enter the park. _________________________________________________________________________
This sounds like a very interesting tes…

Vote for The Best New Attraction of 2011

Our friends over at L.A. Times Fun Land have started a very interesting poll, that asks which has been the "Best new U.S. theme park ride or attraction of 2011." For Florida, they have the grand-opening of LEGOLAND Florida, Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Star Tours 2 at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and One Ocean, SeaWorld Orlando's new show. It is great to see that LEGOLAND Florida is taking the lead in the poll, but they still needs some votes.
Here you are the TOP 5 of the poll:
Legoland Florida theme park debut 20.14%  (2,178 votes)
Barnstormer giant swing at Dollywood (Tennessee) 18.93%  (2,047 votes)
Black Diamond indoor coaster at Knoebels (Pennsylvania) 16.69%  (1,805 votes)
Bombora family coaster at Lagoon (Utah) 13.76%  (1,488 votes)
Untamed euro-fighter dive coaster at Canobie Lake Park (New Hampshire) 9.36%  (1,012 votes)