Showing posts from December, 2011

Magic Kingdom Currently Closed for Capacity: Phase 3

The Magic Kingdom is currently closed for capacity. here you are more information: _________________________________________________________________________

Advisory ~ Dec. 31 10:35am - Magic Kingdom Currently at Phase 3
December 31, 10:35am – Magic Kingdom is at a Phase 3 closing. All other parks remain open.
Admission is allowed for:
• WDW Resort Guests*
• WDW Premier Passport, Annual & Premium Passholders
• Guests with Dining reservations
• Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, The Pirates League or Harmony Barber Shop (if applicable)
Guests not meeting the above criteria are told the Theme Park has reached capacity.
*Guests from the Swan, Dolphin or Shades of Green are considered part of this group in this instance. In addition, Guests from Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels arriving by bus are included (Best Western Lake Buena Vista, Buena Vista Palace, Doubletree Guest Suites, Hotel Royal Plaza, Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, The Hilton Lake Buena V…

Fantasyland Update - Storybook Circus Tents (PART 1)

The name of this new update may sound a bit too simplistic, but it actually sums up what we are going to be focused on in this update. Indeed, the tents found inside the new Storybook Circus land are currently receiving a brand-new cover, as you may already know, and Dumbo's main tent is also receiving a lot of attention. Let's start this new update right away:

Fantasyland Update - Storybook Circus Tents (PART 2)

Welcome to part 2 of this new Fantasyland update (PART 1 can be found here). Let's continue:

Update for Dec. 31, 2011: Park Closures Expected

December 31, 2011 - 11:25 a.m.: As of now, phased closing is occurring at the Magic Kingdom park. We will continue keep you abreast of any changes, as today it will be one of the busiest days of the year in the parks. All the other parks are currently at normal operation. Please, continue to check back here on Orlando Theme Park News often throughout the day for updates on theme park closures due to capacity.

Little Mermaid Area and More to Open Next Summer?

In a rumor posted on another site, we discovered that the official Disney fan club ("D23") has just posted an interesting article that states that the new Fantasyland will ope in phases (and we already knew that), starting from summer 2012, including... Under The Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid and the Beauty and the beast area. Take a look, and try to draw a conclusion from this piece of information: _________________________________________________________________________
"Over at Walt Disney World, the Fantasyland expansion—first announced at the 2009 D23 Expo, with an update given at the 2011 D23 Expo—will more than double the size of the area. The first phase opens in summer 2012 and will feature fresh attractions and richer experiences. Cruise by to check out Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, Be Our Guest restaurant, and more!" - D23, Zooming into 2012.   _________________________________________________________________________
If these two …

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Welcomes a Baby Giraffe

Busch Garden Tampa bay has just reported that a baby giraffe was recently born in the park. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
Busch Gardens Welcomes a Baby Giraffe 
TAMPA, Fla. (December 29, 2011) – Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed a new baby female reticulated giraffe on Tuesday, December 27, 2011. At 5 foot, 7 inches tall and weighing approximately 127 pounds, the newborn is the calf of father, Jafari and mother, Tesa, who has previously given birth to four other calves at Busch Gardens. This new addition brings the park’s reticulated giraffe population to 18. 

Disney Dining Plan - New Adjustments for 2012

Some positive adjustments will be introduced in 2012, regarding the Disney Dining Plan. Take a look:

Advisory~Changes to Disney Dining Plan Offerings in 2012
The following changes are being implemented effective Jan. 1, 2012: Most Walt Disney World Resort Theme Park, Resort hotel, Disney Water Park, EPSN Wide World of Sports Complex, and the Downtown Disney Area restaurant locations accept the Disney Dining Plan, including Operating Participants. Some of the Operating Participant restaurants that join the Disney Dining Plan in 2012 include Rainforest CafĂ© (at both Downtown Disney and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park), T-REX, House of Blues Restaurant, Bongo’s Cuban Cafe, Paradiso 37, Fulton’s Crab House and Portobello.The list of eligible snack items has expanded and includes a large variety of single-serving food and beverage items available at carts, kiosks, quick-service and select merchandise locations acro…

Disney's Hollywood Studios Update - (PART 1)

Welcome, welcome, welcome to an after-hour photo-update! That's right. We usually post our updates during the morning or early afternoon. But that's not the focus of this update, so let's move on. We will start this new Disney's Hollywood Studios update without losing time:

Disney's Hollywood Studios Update - (PART 2)

Welcome to the second part of this new Disney's Hollywood Studios update (for PART 1, click here).
Let's ride the long (and boring) Studio Tram Tour:

LEGOLAND Nears to Capacity and Extends Hours

An important advisory for all those who are (or, those who were) planning to visit LEGOLAND Florida today: _________________________________________________________________________
Good morning fans! LEGOLAND Florida is nearing capacity. Please plan accordingly...
Hours Extended! Rides at LEGOLAND Florida will be open until 8 p.m. tonight (12/29/11). Fireworks at 7 p.m. _________________________________________________________________________
LEGOLAND already reached capacity yesterday, so we recommend you to visit other theme parks in Central Florida, as once LEGOLAND closes its doors due to capacity, it will NOT reopen until tomorrow.

Advisory: WDW's Parades Stepping Off Earlier Today

Just a quick advisory for today that will affect the parades of Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom: _________________________________________________________________________
Advisory ~ DHS, DAK: Parade Step-off Times Moved Earlier - December 29, 2011
Disney's Hollywood Studios:
The Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun! parade will step off 15 minutes early at 2:45 p.m. (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Dec. 29, 30, 31, 2011).
Disney's Animal Kingdom: Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade will step off 15 minutes early at 3:30 p.m. (only Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011).  _________________________________________________________________________
Stay tuned as we continue to keep you up-to-date with the status of the parks throughout the day.

One More Disney Day - Disney's New Campaign

The Walt Disney World Resort always has an annual campaign to celebrate. In the past few years, we had "The Year of a Million Dreams," "What Will You Celebrate?," "Let the Memories Begin!," and many more.
In 2012, it looks like there will be yet another new campaign that will involve all four parks (as usual, of course), called "One More Disney Day," which, according to many insistent rumors that you can easily find around the web, would involve the opening of the Magic Kingdom park (Florida) and the Disneyland park (California)... for 24 hours straight! Only for one day.
Here's the video-teaser that Disney released just a few days ago (on December 23, 2011):

In the past couple of days, Disney has dropped in some more hints that seem to confirm this rumor. Both parks are indeed expected to remain open all day and all night on leap day, that is, February 29, 2012.

What's your opinion on this? By the way, the official announcement will be…

Blizzard Beach to Remain Closed on Dec. 29, 2011

Disney's Blizzard Beach water park will remain closed tomorrow too, due to cold weather: _________________________________________________________________________

Advisory ~ Blizzard Beach Water Park Closed Thursday, December 29, 2011, Due to Forecasted Low Temperatures
Please be advised that Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Parkwill be closed Thursday, December 29, 2011, due to forecasted low temperatures.

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is closed for refurbishment. _________________________________________________________________________
Blizzard Beach may reopen tomorrow, but we highly recommend that you continue to check back here on Orlando Theme Park News as we keep you up-to-date on this matter.

A Preview of Shanghai Disneyland's Storybook Castle

As you will surely know, earlier this year the Walt Disney Parks & Resorts division of the Walt Disney Company announced the start of the work on the future site of Shanghai Disneyland. It will be a truly out-of-the-ordinary Magic Kingdom, as all the lands will be located in different areas of the parks (the land of the future, for example, will be located in the west side of the park, instead than in the east side).
One of the major changes that the park will showcase is the castle itself, which will be the largest Disney castle ever created, and it will sit in the middle of a huge forest (that will correspond to the Central Hub of the park). Just recently (August 2011), Disney released a new virtual tour of the castle, that can be found HERE. Let's take a look together at some of the images seen in that video:

LEGOLAND Florida Closed Due to Capacity

Please, be mindful that LEGOLAND Florida is now CLOSED due to capacity: _________________________________________________________________________
In order to ensure guests of LEGOLAND Florida have an enjoyable day with their families, the park is no longer admitting additional guests. The park will open tomorrow at 9:30 am. _________________________________________________________________________
The parks are really busy today! Only a few are still open to the general public!

Magic Kingdom - Phase 2 Closure (Dec. 28, 2011)

Please note that the Magic Kingdom has reached capacity, and it is therefore closed to some guests: _________________________________________________________________________
Advisory ~ Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal KingdomCurrently at Phase 2 - Dec. 28, 2011
December 28, 12:50pm – Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom are at a Phase 2 closing. Epcot remains open
Admission is allowed for: WDW Resort Guests*WDW Premier Passport, Annual & Premium PassholdersGuests with Park Hopper® tickets re-entering or crossing over from another WDW Theme Park.Guests with Dining reservationsMagic Kingdom Guests with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or The Pirates League (if applicable) Guests not meeting the above criteria are told the Theme Park has reached capacity.
*Guests from the Swan, Dolphin or Shades of Green are considered part of this group in this instance. In addition, Guests from Hotel Plaza Boul…

Disney's Blizzard Beach Closed Today Due to Weather

Blizzard Beach water park will be closed today due to weather:

Advisory ~ Blizzard Beach Water Park Closed Wednesday, December 28, 2011, Due to Forecasted Low Temperatures
Please be advised that Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Parkwill be closed Wednesday, 12/28/11, due to forecasted low temperatures.

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is currently closed for refurbishment. _________________________________________________________________________
Based on the projected forecast, it looks like Blizzard Beach will remain closed tomorrow too, but check back here on Orlando Theme Park News as we keep you up-to-date on the subject.

Islands of Adventure Update: Coke Machines & More

Good afternoon (or good evening, depending where you live), and welcome to a new Islands of Adventure update! We have a few new interesting news from the park (they are minor, of course, but still good to know). Let's start:

Update for Dec. 27, 2011: No Park Closures Expected

December 27, 1:30 p.m. – As of now, no phased closing is anticipated in any of the Central Florida theme parks; however, we will keep you abreast of any changes, should they occur. All parks are currently at normal operation. Please, continue to check back here on Orlando Theme Park News often throughout the week for updates on any eventual theme park closures due to capacity (continue to keep an eye on our sidebar gadget).

Penguin Encounter to Close on January 3, 2012

Thanks to a report on Screamscape, we are now aware of the fact that SeaWorld has already confirmed the closing date of the Penguin Encounter attraction, and of some of its nearby areas. Here you are additional information from SeaWorld's official website:
_________________________________________________________________________ Penguin Encounter
Beginning January 3, 2012, Penguin Encounter, Friends of the Wild, and Antarctic Market Restaurant are closed while we create an all-new adventure to open spring, 2013.
A fantastic new indoor area (Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin) will open in its place in 2013.

In addition to that, Journey to Atlantis will be closed for refurbishment from January 2 to January 24, 2012 for annual maintenance, while Wild Arctic will be briefly closed "for conversion from THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience" from January 2 to January 6, 2012.

The Disney Look to the Past! (Dec. 23 - Jan. 5)

Today we have a special edition of our weekly feature to share with you! We hope you will enjoy it:

This Week in Disney History: December 23, 2011-January 5, 2012

Dec. 25, 1950 — Disney airs its first television show Sponsored by Coca-Cola and airing at 4 p.m. on NBC, “One Hour in Wonderland” was the first television program produced by Walt Disney. Starring as the host of a Christmas party on the Studios lot, Walt Disney used the show as a promotional vehicle for the upcoming “Alice in Wonderland” (1951), sharing a first look at the film and introducing the voice of the title character, 12-year-old Kathryn Beaumont, who wore the dress she modeled in reference films for the animators. Also appearing was Bobby Driscoll, who later starred with Beaumont in “Peter Pan” (1953), plus performances by ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and the jazz band Firehouse Five Plus Two, which was composed of Walt Disney Studios…

Update for Dec. 26, 2011: No Park Closures Expected

December 26, 12:30 p.m. – As of now, no phased closing is anticipated in any of the Central Florida theme parks; however, we will keep you abreast of any changes, should they occur. All parks are currently at normal operation. Please, continue to check back here on Orlando Theme Park News often throughout the week for updates on any eventual theme park closures due to capacity (keep a close eye on our new sidebar gadget).

Closure Status Gadget Added for the Busy Week

Since this is one of the most crowded times of the year, it is normal that some parks like Magic Kingdom or Islands of Adventure have to briefly close to the public due to capacity. For that reason, we will have a temporary gadget on our sidebar that will keep you up-to-date with what happens in the following week (it will be automatically removed after January 3, 2012).
Here's the status as of now (December 26, 2011, as of 8:30 a.m.):
December 26, 8:30am – No Phase Closings at this time. All parks are currently at normal operation.
We'll try to be as accurate as possible, but remember to always double-check at the parking entrance of the theme park you would like to visit in these next few days. Due to anticipated park attendance, please continue to check back here on OTPN often throughout the week for updates on theme park phase closing conditions. 

General Magic Kingdom Update - Miscellaneous News

The Magic Kingdom continues to evolve as refurbishments are completed and new attractions are built. Today we'll take a look around all the lands of the park but Fantasyland (we already had a major update about the new Fantasyland just a few days ago. Here's the link to it.):

SeaWorld Trying to Save a Manatee

SeaWorld Orlando's Rescue Team is currently trying to save a manatee that was off the coast of Florida, but that was then taken by the currents up toward the north. Here you are the latest information, from SeaWorld's official Facebook page: _________________________________________________________________________
SeaWorld Orlando's rescue team, along with members of Sea2Shore and 25 members of the U.S. Coast Guard, had been trying to rescue Glades, a wayward manatee who was originally spotted via satellite off the NE Coast of Florida. After spending 3 1/2 days on the Maria Bray, a 146-foot, 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard Buoy Tender, they were unable to rescue her as the conditions were too tough at sea -- 4-5-foot waves, not safe to launch a smaller vessel to rescue her. They ended up along the NW coast of S. Carolina, an 18-hour trip back to Jacksonville and then another 2 1/2 hours back to Orlando for the SeaWorld folks. The organizations will re-group shortly to figure out…

New Show to Debut on Disney's Newest Cruise Ship

The Disney Fantasy, the newest ship of the Disney Cruise Line, will have a brand-new show for all its guests (when the ship will debut), called "Wishes." It will look absolutely great. How can we say so? Well, here you are some interesting concepts that you will be able to see. From the official Disney Parks Blog:
New Show ‘Wishes’ Debuting on Disney Fantasy

“Wishes” takes guests on a musical journey with three best friends visiting Disneyland Resort to celebrate their high school graduation.

Disney Working on Another Artwork for Fantasyland

The new Fantasyland will start opening in phases later next year, so work on the area are certainly speeding up. The Walt Disney World Resort is already working on another major artwork that will be possibly be placed inside the new "Be Our Guest" restaurant. It is currently located in the backstage of Disney's Hollywood Studios, and it can be briefly seen from the Studio Backlot Tour. Take a look (sorry for the blurry pictures, but the tram continue to move through each scene):

Parking Restrictions for Select Disney Resorts

Please, make sure that you are aware of the following parking restrictions if you are planning on visiting one of the hotels inside the Walt Disney World Resort (and planning to use your car): _________________________________________________________________________
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels - Parking Restrictions
Due to the busy season, please note the following resorts will have restrictions for the Guest parking lots: Disney's BoardWalk Resort (Dec. 31)Disney's Contemporary Resort (Now-Jan. 1)Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground (Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1)Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 30-31)Disney's Polynesian Resort (Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 30-31)Disney's Wilderness Lodge (Dec. 31)Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts (Dec. 25 and 31) These parking lots will be restricted to only those staying at the resort, attending a convention event at the resort or with dining, recreation or spa reservations. ______…

SeaWorld Orlando Update - Dine With Shamu News

This evening we have a quick SeaWorld update, which includes some minor news regarding the "Dine With Shamu" area. Let's dive right into this new update (no pun intended):

The Magic, The Memories and You! Adjustment

A minor change will take place today and tomorrow at the Magic Kingdom: _________________________________________________________________________
Magic Kingdom Entertainment Changes for December 23 - 24, 2011
On December 22-24, 2011, The Magic, The Memories and You! projection show will take place at 9:45 p.m. and 10:40 p.m. (Currently advertised as 9:45 p.m. and 10:35 p.m. in this week’s Times Guide. The unadvertised 7:45 p.m. show has been cancelled). _________________________________________________________________________
Thank you for your attention.

Universal Studios: Aquatic Show Coming Soon (Part 1)

Even thought it may seem a bit late to post a photo-update, the OTPN Team is pleased to share with you a new picture tour of Universal Studios Florida, where a lot of things are going on all at once. Let's take a look:

Universal Studios: Aquatic Show Coming Soon (Part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of this new Universal Studios update (PART 1 can be found here). Let's continue...
It is now time to check the work that has been done on the former barges for the Universal 360 show:

A Taste of Hollywood To Go Available Through Dec. 31

Disney's Hollywood Studios will offer a special "on-the-go" meal for guests who want to see Fantasmic! and have dinner at the same time. It is called "A Taste of Hollywood To Go." Here are additional information: _________________________________________________________________________
Disney's Hollywood Studios - Booking A Taste of Hollywod To Go
The new A Taste of Hollywood To Go – A Fantasmic! Dining Experience is available now through December 31, 2011 and lets Guests enjoy an affordable picnic plus reserved seating for the first or second Fantasmic! show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Booking information:Guests should to pre-order the meal by calling 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) before noon or, if it is after noon (12 p.m.) the day Guests want to pick up the meal, Guests may check for availability at Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner.Guests may pre-order (with a credit card guarantee) the meals by calling  407-WDW-DINE by noon on the day they would like to p…

CityWalk Update: The Hard Rock Cafe' Changes Color

Universal's CityWalk had a lot of surprising changes in the past two weeks! One of the biggest changes is, of course, related to the Hard Rock Cafe', which has just been completely repainted, and it looks great. Let's get started by taking a look around this entertainment district:

Disney's Hollywood Studios to Close at 9:00 p.m.

Disney's Hollywood Studios will extend its operating hours today:
Hollywood Studios - Park Hours Extended December 21, 2011
Disney's Hollywood Studios has extended operating hours for today, Wednesday, December 21, until 9 p.m.
The park was supposed to close at 8:00 p.m. tonight.

Magic Kingdom Park Hours Extended Today

Just a very quick update for today: __________________________________________________________________________
Magic Kingdom - Park Hours Extended on December 21 to Midnight
Magic Kingdom has extended operating hours for today, Wednesday, December 21, until midnight (originally scheduled to close at 11 p.m.).
Yes, it's going to be another busy day today. Be prepared to face some quite large crowds if you go to the parks.

Aggro Circus Show to Return to Islands of Adventure

The seasonal show that has been introduced at Islands of Adventure in 2010 will return to the park very soon. Indeed, even though Universal removed all the props of the show from the Toon Lagoon theater in September of this same year, it looks like they are not done with the show; at least not yet. All the props used in the show (including the circular cage for the motorcycles' act) have returned, meaning that the show will make a comeback sometime this year or next year. If it does return this year, there should be daily shows between December 25 and January 1. If it doesn't, it will surely return in March/April 2012, when the next wave of guests will occur. Stay tuned as we keep you informed.

Fantasyland Update: Belle's Village & More (PART 1)

Welcome to a major Fantasyland Update! Last week we checked out only Storybook Circus, and we saw that a lot of additional details and changes had been introduced in the area. Today we will take a look at all the other areas of Fantasyland, which also have a lot of different new changes that will surely interest you. To begin, let's check out the work being done on the Skyway:

Fantasyland Update: Belle's Village & More (PART 2)

Welcome to part 2 of this new Fantasyland update (for PART 1, click here).
Let's continue the update by checking out Maurice's Cottage:

Fantasyland Update: Belle's Village & More (PART 3)

And here we are on part 3 of this new Fantasyland update (for PART 2, click here).
Let's check out the rest of this land of Fantasy:

Disney's Hollywood Studios to Close at 9 p.m. Tonight

Even though it is a bit too late, we would like to let you know that Disney's Hollywood Studios will remain open for an additional hour this evening. Here you are more information:

Today's Park Hours Extended at Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios has extended operating hours for today, Tuesday, December 20, until 9 p.m.
Slow close after 9 p.m.:
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Toy Story Midway Mania!
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
The Great Movie Ride

Magic Kingdom Park Hours Extended to 1 a.m. Today

The Magic Kingdom will remain open for an additional hour tonight: _________________________________________________________________________
Magic Kingdom - Park Hours Extended on December 20 to 1 a.m.
Magic Kingdom has extended operating hours for Tuesday, December 20 until 1 a.m. An additional The Magic, The Memories and You! projection show will take place at 9:45 p.m. _________________________________________________________________________
The park was scheduled to close at 12:00 a.m. this evening. It looks like it is going to be very busy, so if you head to the park, bring with you a lot of... patience!

Busch Garden's App Extends to Android Phones

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's application for iPhones and iPads is now also available for Android phones. Here you are additional information about this useful application: _________________________________________________________________________
Interactive Application Puts the Park in Your Hands! 
Tampa, Fla. (Dec. 19, 2011) – Over the summer, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay put the park in guests’ hands with the launch of its first-ever interactive iPhone application. In response to popular demand, the free app is now available in the Android Market as well. The Busch Gardens app utilizes GPS technology to guide guests through the park. The free app is designed to make guests’ experience even better by giving them park details at their fingertips and helping them get the most out of their day.  The interactive map shows guests where they are located in the park and allows them to highlight the quickest real-time route to their next dest…

One Republic Music Video Recorded at Disney Parks

As part of the "Let the Memories Begin" campaign, a very famous music band has recently re-recorded one of their music videos at two Disney Parks in the United States. Take a look, and enjoy the music! (a big thanks to a poster on for bringing up this video):

The music is very nice, isn't it? But, did you notice something interesting about the video's visuals? All the full-screen segments of it were recorded at the Walt Disney World Resort, while all of the segments where guests and Disney characters were holding a canvas were recorded at the Disneyland Resort (but the very last scene).
The "Good Life" music video is subject to the copyright of the One Republic group. All rights reserved.

Hollywood Studios to Close at 9:00 p.m. Tonight

A new advisory regarding Disney's Hollywood Studios was posted just a few minutes ago: _________________________________________________________________________
Disney's Hollywood Studios Extends Close Time to 9:00 p.m. Dec. 19
Disney’s Hollywood Studios will close tonight (Monday, Dec. 19) at 21:00 (9 p.m.). Please ensure [that everyone is] aware of the change and sharing the correct park hours since this change is not reflected in the  Times Guide. _________________________________________________________________________
The park today was scheduled to close at 8:00 p.m., and will therefore remain open for an additional hour.

I-ZONE Panini Coming to LEGOLAND Florida

As you may know, LEGOLAND Florida was to have another restaurant inside the Imagination area, which was going to be called "Fried Chicken Co." Unfortunately, the quick service restaurant never opened. Today, though, after a bit more than two months since the park officially opened to the public, we found out that the new restaurant will open soon under a new name: "I-Zone Panini". It will surely sell fresh sandwiches and... panini, of course. Here you are some photos:

Large Hot Air Balloon Company Comes to Orlando

Well, it is actually the largest Hot Air Balloon company in thew United States! That's right, we finally have yet another way to take a panoramic view of all the fantastic places to see in Central Florida, both natural and man-made. This company provides flights daily. Here's a short description of what you will be able to see:
"The flight is approximately one hour and we will ascend anywhere from tree tops to several thousand feet. Once you're airborne your pilot will point out the spectacular sites of this area, from the theme parks to the Orange groves and forests, to swamps absolutely untouched for thousands of years. Our flying area has many wonderful things to see."

Ah, the great outdoors! It would be a great experience, there's no doubt on that! But, what makes the balloons different from the one of the other companies (other than they are the biggest in the U.S.), you may ask. Well, the company's official website gives us some reasons why they…

The Disney Look... to the Past! (December 16-22)

As every week, let's start with our great feature, called "The Disney Look... to the Past!" Enjoy:

This Week in Disney History: December 16-22

Dec. 16, 1977 — Walt Disney Pictures releases “Pete’s Dragon” What would you do if your best friend was a flying, fire-breathing and occasionally invisible dragon? If you’re young orphan Pete, you use your dragon Elliot’s help to get away from your no-good foster family. But having a dragon doesn’t exactly make life easy, since the superstitious residents of Passamaquoddy, a quaint Maine fishing village, generally think Pete and his dragon are bad news. Luckily, Pete and Elliot make the acquaintance of Nora and Lampie, who welcome them into their lighthouse home. But they’ll have to steer clear of Doc Terminus, a traveling salesman who’s well-versed in the medicinal properties of dragon. Blending live action with animation, “Pete’s Dragon” was nomin…

New, Minor Enhancement at Universal Orlando

Small details play a major role in all the best theme parks in the world, and Universal Orlando is certainly aware of that. Indeed, in the past few years there have been quite a few minor enhancements that have made some of the two parks' areas even better. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
On-Stage Enhancements at Universal Orlando
We are always on the lookout for ways to make the show even better, and this year we took some steps to make sure our guests enjoyed a high-quality entertainment experience. Marvel Super Hero Island debuted new character costumes and upgraded vehicles. We updated music recordings at Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue, and enhanced the street entertainment program at Universal Studios. Our on-stage venues got some facelifts, too, from scenic lighting in Port of Entryand Marvel Super Hero Island, to a repaired and repainted Brown Derby Hat Shop in Universal Studios Florida. We even added subtle touches like…

Storybook Circus: The Great Scaffolding Appears

Welcome to a new Storybook Circus update! Today we have quite a few news to share with you, therefore we will start right away by taking a look at the humongous scaffolding that has gone up all around the future home of Dumbo's interactive queue:

Complementary Wi-Fi Added to More Disney Resorts

The new complementary Wi-Fi service that was recently included in selected Disney Resorts has already expanded to two more hotels: the Port Orleans (only Riverside) and the Caribbean Beach resorts. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
UPDATE - Port Orleans and Caribbean Beach Resorts Added to Complimentary Wi-Fi Now in Public Areas
As part of our efforts to continuously improve the Guest experience, we are pleased to announce that complimentary wireless internet (Wi-Fi) is now available in public areas (in addition to Guest rooms) at [two additional] Walt Disney World Resorts:
Port Orleans - Riverside BoatwrightsRiverside Mill food courtArcadeCaribbean Beach ShuttersOld Port Royale Food CourtGoombay GamesCalypso Trading PostStraw Market (CBR)  _________________________________________________________________________
To view the complete list of all the Disney Resort that currently have free wireless internet service, please, refer to thi…

Embassy Suites LBV - Construction Update

Here you are a brief photo-update where we check out the work being done in the future site of the Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista, one of the new hotels that will open in Central Florida in 2012:

SeaWorld Announces New Partnership with Coca-Cola

We have some major news to share with you today. The SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Company has just announced that they have abandoned their previous partnership with the PepsiCo Company, and have decided to "jump the ship" and sign a partnership with the Coca-Cola Company. Here's the official announcement, as seen on the official SeaWorld Parks Blog: __________________________________________________________________________

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Announces The Coca-Cola Company As New Official Sponsor
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment announced today a 10-year agreement with The Coca-Cola Company that makes Coca-Cola® the “Official Refreshment Beverage” of our parks beginning January 1, 2012.
The new agreement includes product offerings, consumer promotions and sponsorship opportunities designed to maximize marketing collaboration and activation. Coca-Cola fountain beverages will be made available to park guests throughout the company’s 10 parks includ…

Disney's Animal Kingdom's New Parade Route Debuts

Today we want to share with you a news that you might have already heard on other websites some time ago (we were waiting for the official confirmation, which we received just yesterday): Animal Kingdom's parade, "Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade," will now have a different parade route. In fact, previously the parade stepped off from a corner right next to the entrance to the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Now, the parade will step off from Discovery Island, and it will make the entire loop around the Tree of Life.
To better understand this change, let's compare the former parade route with the new one.
"The parade begins at the gate between the entrance to Kilimanjaro Safaris and Tusker House Restaurant. It travels through Africa, over the bridge into Discovery Island circling the Tree of Life passing Creature Comforts, Pizzafari, Island Mercantile, Disney Outfitters, and Beastly Bazaar before going over the bridge into Asia. Turning past …

"Sounds Dangerous" to Finally Retire in May 2012

There have been countless rumors here and there stating that the infamous "Sounds Dangerous - Starring Drew Carey" attraction is going to close soon in the near future. Finally, this very week we have the official confirmation that the attraction is going to close for good and will be completely removed from the park map: _________________________________________________________________________
Sounds Dangerous - Starring Drew Carey
Sounds Dangerous is still listed in the Disney’s Hollywood Studios guide map. It will be officially removed in the Star Wars Weekends version that arrives in May 2012. Please do not reference Sounds Dangerous when giving directions. The venue for the show should be referred to as the ABC Sound Studio, not the Sounds Dangerous Theater. The “Special Hours” section of the Times Guide will continue to list Sounds Dangerous as “temporarily closed” [until May 2012]. _________________________________________________________________________

We certainl…

Groupon Deal: Up to 55% Off "Titanic The Experience"

Groupon is offering a good deal for the "Titanic - The Experience" attraction this week. It offers not only a discount for the attraction per se; it also gives you the opportunity of having a good discount on the Titanic Dinner Event, which is one of Orlando's newest dinner shows. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________

Titanic The Experience – Titanic Dinner Event
Admission for One or Two to Titanic Dinner Event (Up to 55% Off)
| From: $12 | Value: $23| Discount: 48% | You Save: $11 | Time Left to Buy: 1 day 17:00:05 | In a Nutshell History tends to repeat itself, which means there’s a good chance you’ll get run over by another war elephant. Admire what history has taught us thus far with today’s Groupon to Titanic The Experience. Choose between the following options:
For $12, you get one ticket to Titanic The Experience (up to a $23.60 value).For $59, you two tickets to the Titanic Dinner Event and a prix fixe dinner at 7:45 …

Main Street Electrical Parade Temporary Suspension

Today we want to share with you an important advisory about the Magic Kingdom's nighttime parade, the Main Street Electrical Parade, which will temporarily go dark in the middle of January 2012.
Starting from Friday, January 20, 2012, the Main Street Electrical Parade will not perform until Friday, February 10, 2012 (just to make it clear, the parade will be back on Saturday, February 11, 2012, and will perform at 7 p.m.). The reason why the parade will not perform were not disclosed, but there are rumors floating around that state that there will be concrete work in Frontierland, right at the end of the parade route.
We will continue to keep you informed on the subject.

Complementary Internet Access in Many Disney Hotels

Great news for all those guests who need to access internet when staying at a Walt Disney World hotel for business reasons or just to send some pictures of their vacation to their family members. Indeed, complementary internet access will now be available in many public areas of numerous Disney Deluxe and Moderate hotels. Here you are more information about this addition:
Complimentary Wi-Fi Now in Public Areas
As part of our efforts to continuously improve the Guest experience, we are pleased to announce that complimentary wireless internet (Wi-Fi) is now available in public areas at many Walt Disney World Resorts in addition to Guest rooms as follows:

Common for ALL:
• Porte Cochere
• Main Lobby
• Bus stops
• Guest rooms
• Feature Pool (one pool at each; specified for some resorts below)

• Arcade
• The Boardwalk (from ESPN to Atlantic Dance… NOT inside the locations on The Boardwalk)
• Conference…

Coke Freestyle Machine Debuts at Islands of Adventure

Universal's Islands of Adventure has just received a new "Coke Freestyle" machine, which serves many (unusual) flavors of some of the most widely-consumed Coca Cola products. Take a look:
Coke Freestyle Machine Now at IOA, Too!
Islands of Adventure guests can now pick from more than 100 flavors of Coca-Cola products with the addition of Coca-Cola Freestyle machines at Oasis Coolers in The Lost Continent.
Coca-Cola Freestyle Machines debuted at Universal Studios Florida last year at Richter’s Burgers.
The machines feature traditional Coke products as well as rare flavors, such as Orange CokeSprite with Peach, and Fanta Raspberry. Stop by and check ‘em out!

As you can see from the above image, the Oasis Coolers is (or was) a snack point that is rarely used, which is located right next to the Mystic Fountain in the Lost Contin…

A Look at Walt Disney World's New Story Rooms

Disney's Port Orleans Resort is one of the first Walt Disney World hotels to receive the new "Disney Story Rooms," which are highly-themed guestrooms that are sure to delight guests with all the hidden details that will make them feel like they are actually inside the story. Take a look, from the Disney Parks Blog:
Take a Peek Inside Disney Story Rooms at Walt Disney World Resort
I love starting the week off with a video update on one of our exciting new projects. This week, it’s a look inside the Disney Story Rooms offered here at Walt Disney World Resort.

As you can see in this video, the existing Pirate Rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort are a great place for tired scalawags to rest their heads. Royal Guest Rooms, which are scheduled to open in February at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, include nods to some of Disney’s most beloved princesses. These rooms start at $189 per night and are already available for booking. The next phase in Disney Story Roo…

Just For Kids! - SeaWorld's New Seasonal Event

SeaWorld Orlando will debut a brand-new seasonal event in 2012, and it will be all about kids. Indeed, the "Just For Kids!" event will include a lot of entertainment offerings that have a focus on the younger guests of the park. Here you are some additional information about this event, as seen on the park's official website: _________________________________________________________________________
JuSt FoR KidS!

Bring your little ones to sing, dance and play the day away at SeaWorld’s Just For Kids festival. Have breakfast with everyone’s favorite furry friends from Sesame Street. Experience live shows from artists like Choo Choo Soul and Max & Ruby live. Try out our kid-sized rides. Meet adorable animals. And soak up all the fun, music treats and more. It’s a festival that’s Just For Kids, and only at SeaWorld.

Enjoy Just for Kids Saturdays January 14 - February 4. January 14 - LazyTown Live on StageJanuary 21 - Max & Ruby's Musical PlaydateJanuary 28 - Do…

What's New and What's Next at Walt Disney World

The Walt Disney World Resort is one of the most dynamic destinations in the world, as it always changes. New adventures are added each year, so that guests can find something completely new each and every time they visit. Let's take a look at what has been added to the resort in the past five years, as well as what new attractions we will be able to see in the next few years: _________________________________________________________________________
Exciting Projects Crisscross Walt Disney World Resort
“What’s New” Since 2007

“Let the Memories Begin” (January 2011) – As part of the new “Let the Memories Begin,” Disney guests become the stars of a nightly spectacular when photos taken in the park during the day become larger-than-life projections on Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort or “it’s a small world” at Disneyland Resort. This groundbreaking new experience celebrates the family vacation memories created in Disney theme parks every day.
And Disney guests will be seen …