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Showing posts from January, 2012

Universal Studios Update - Despicable Me, etc. (Part 1)

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Hello, and welcome to another new photo-update. Today we will take a tour inside Universal Studios Florida, which is currently very busy building new attractions and experiences that we are certainly going to enjoy. As usual, let's start from the entrance of the park, and then we will visit all the areas of the park:

Universal Studios Update - Despicable Me, etc. (Part 2)

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Thank you for continuing to read this new photo-report (PART 1 can be found here).
Let's take another look at the current (sad) state of the former Amity Village:

Bands, Brew & BBQ Fest At SeaWorld - 2012 Lineup

It is that time of the year again! SeaWorld Orlando will be hosting their famous Bands, Brew & BBQ festival once again, and this year it will be double the fun, as they will host the event twice a week. Take a look:
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BANDS, BREW & BBQ FESTIVAL AT SEAWORLD ORLANDO - Now Includes Saturdays and Sundays, February 11 through March 4 -
SeaWorld Orlando’s Bands, Brew & BBQ festival is twice as fun this year when the park hosts rockin’ concerts Saturdays AND Sundays on Feb. 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, and March 3-4. That’s four weekends of smokin’ hot bands, sizzling BBQ from your favorite local restaurants and SeaWorld’s very own culinary team, plus a thirst-quenching beer garden and amazing atmosphere. Bands, Brew & BBQ is included with park admission.And the best way to experience this festival is with a Fun Card where you pay for a day’s admission and come back all year – with no blackout dates – to experien…

The Disney Look... to the Past! (Jan. 27 - Feb. 2)

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Here is the latest edition of this special weekly feature that gives us a glimpse of the Disney Company's past: _________________________________________________________________________

This Week in Disney History: Jan. 27 - Feb. 2


Jan. 30, 1998 “IllumiNations” debuts at Epcot
The original “IllumiNations” was the fourth nighttime show in Epcot’s history, surrounding Guests in a spectacular celebration of the countries in World Showcase. This 14-minute program choreographed water fountains, lighting effects, lasers and pyrotechnics to classical works of composers stretching from Beethoven to George Gershwin. After a successful eight-year run, followed by a special edition commemorating Walt Disney World’s 25th anniversary, the show was overhauled for the Millennium Celebration. “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” debuted in 1999, telling the story of planet Earth and its inhabitants through the phases of chaos, order and ultimately, meaning.

Three Astronauts Added To KSC's Hall of Fame

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The Kennedy Space Center will soon add three more astronauts to their "Astronauts Hall of Fame." They will be officially added to the list on May 5, 2012. Here you are additional information on this event:
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Three Space Shuttle Astronauts Selected for 2012 U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (January 25, 2012)Franklin R. Chang-D├Čaz, Kevin P. Chilton and Charles J. Precourt will join an elite group of American space heroes as they are inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® during a ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Saturday, May 5, 2012. They will be welcomed to the ranks of legendary space pioneers like Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Jim Lovell, Sally Ride and John Young – distinguished members of the Hall of Fame.

   This is the eleventh group of space shuttle astronauts named to the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. Earlier inductees re…

New Fantasyland - Major Skyway Update & More (1)

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Today's photo-update is going to show you that Disney is working at a much faster pace now in the Fantasyland area of the Magic Kingdom. Some areas that were previously being left alone (like the Skyway area) are now receiving a lot of attention. Let's take a look together. It is going to be interesting.
Before starting our virtual walk-through of the land, we'll take a quick glimpse at the work currently being done to remove the Dreamlights from Cinderella Castle:

New Fantasyland - Major Skyway Update & More (2)

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Welcome on part 2 of this new and exciting Fantasyland update (PART 1 can be found here).
Let us continue or tour of the area, by directing our attention to Maurice's Cottage:

Liberty Square Riverboat - Refurbishment Schedule

Please, be aware of the following refurbishment dates:

The Liberty Square Riverboat attraction, located in Liberty Square (Magic Kingdom), closed for a lengthy refurbishment just yesterday, January 28, 2012. The attraction is slated to reopen on February 4, 2012.
In addition to that, the attraction will close once again for a longer refurbishment starting from April 16, 2012. The attraction will reopen on May 20, 2012, just one week before Big Thunder Mountain reopens.

Confirmed: Spiderman to Close for Rehab on Feb. 8

A few days ago, Screamscape posted a rumor that indicated that "The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman" ride, located at Universal's Islands of Adventure, would temporarily close down for a short refurbishment on February 8, 2012. Just recently, Universal Orlando confirmed it. Here's the message they posted on Universal Orlando's official website: _________________________________________________________________________
Experience The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man Like Never Before

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man will close on February 8 as we finalize major, high-tech enhancements that will allow guests to experience all-new high definition animation and an entirely new level of detail. These details include everything from flames shooting from Hobgoblin’s pumpkins to the electricity arching through Electro’s body to the stitching on Spider-Man’s glove. More information and a re-opening date are coming soon.  ___________________________________________…

Yacht & Beach Club - Swimming Pool Refurbishment

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One section of one of the most beautiful swimming pools on Disney property is currently under refurbishment. This is all part of seasonal maintenance. Here you are some photos of the current status of the area:

Universal Orlando Starts Hiring Cast for New Parade

Universal Orlando just recently announced that Universal Studios Florida will receive a completely new parade later this spring, and it looks like they are not losing time! Indeed, the park is already starting to hire Team Members that will be part of the new Universal's Superstar Parade. Here you are additional information: _________________________________________________________________________
Universal Orlando Hiring Hundreds For New 
Universal's Superstar Parade

Holding Auditions February 4th – 7th For Skilled Dancers, Stilt Walkers, Drummers, Roller Skaters, Animated Character Performers and More
WHAT:
Universal Orlando Resort is now hiring hundreds of new full-time and part-time performers to help bring to life “Universal’s Superstar Parade” – an all-new daily parade featuring larger-than-life floats, state-of-the-art technology and high-energy performances – coming to Universal Studios Florida this spring. Opportunities are now available for a multitude of full-time, be…

Magic Kingdom Update - Big Thunder Rehab (Part 1)

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The Magic Kingdom is one of the most dynamic theme parks in the world. It is currently receiving the biggest expansion in the park's history (by the way, some great photos of Fantasyland's Expansion can be found here), some of the original attractions are being (or have already been) refreshed, and most of the facades of the themed areas are being refurbished.
Let's take a look at the current status of the work being done around the park:

Magic Kingdom Update - Big Thunder Rehab (Part 2)

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Welcome to part 2 of this new Magic Kingdom update (PART 1 can be found here).
Now, let's take a look at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad from the Riverboat, like we promised:

Iceploration Opening Very Soon at Busch Gardens

We just wanted to remind all our readers that one of the countless new attractions and shows that will debut this year around Central Florida will open very soon. Actually, it will open as soon as...next week! Here's the reminder that Busch Gardens posted on the park's official Facebook page: _________________________________________________________________________
Iceploration Opening Day... One week away from today! Here is a sneak peek, shared only with our loyal Facebook fans. _________________________________________________________________________
To make it clear, Iceploration will officially open to the public on February 2, 2012, and judging from the photo, the theming of the theater is going to be really nice! We look forward to this new show!

Disney Resorts Stop "USA Today" Room Delivery

Beginning from this coming Monday, the free delivery of USA Today newspapers directly in front of your room (this applied to Disney's Deluxe Resorts only) will be discontinued. Here's the official confirmation: _________________________________________________________________________
"USA Today" Resort Hotel Delivery To Stop Beginning Jan. 30, 2012
Starting January 30, 2012, delivery of complimentary newspapers to the doors of Guest rooms will be stopped* at the following resort hotels due to our commitment to the environment and in response to Guest demand: Walt Disney World Resort: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, and Disney’s Wilderness LodgeDisneyland Resort: Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel If desired, Guests will be able to pick up a compli…

Fantasyland Update (With Panoramic Photos) - Part 1

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Hello, and welcome to a brand-new Fantasyland update! As usual, we have lots of things to report. Let's start right away our update from the old Skyway area:

Fantasyland Update (With Panoramic Photos) - Part 2

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Here we are on part 2 of our new Fantasyland update (PART 1 can be found in the home page).

Let's continue to take a look around the Little Mermaid's area:

Fantasyland Update (With Panoramic Photos) - Part 3

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And here we are on the final part of our huge Fantasyland update (PART 1 and PART 2 are here).
Here you are finally some nice panoramic pictures of the entire Fantasyland area:

Universal Orlando Announces Many New Experiences

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Here's what we have been waiting for. Universal Orlando has finally revealed all the fantastic new additions that the park will welcome in 2012! Here's the official press release, containing more information:
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2012 IS THE YEAR TO BE AT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO!

Universal Orlando Resort to Offer More New Entertainment Experiences Across the Entire Destination than During Any Other Year in its History
Orlando, Fla. (Jan. 25, 2012) – This year, Universal Orlando Resort will debut more adventure, excitement, laughter and awe-inspiring moments than ever before – making 2012 an extraordinary year to be here. There will be something for everyone and every family. From a new Blue Man Group show and newly re-created experience inside one of Universal Orlando’s most popular attractions to a stunning parade, spectacular nighttime show and brand-new blockbuster attraction based on an incredibly popular film – Universal Orlan…

LEGOLAND Water Park: New Artworks & Photos (1)

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As part of the media, today we had the great pleasure of visiting the former Splash Island Water Park, which will soon become LEGOLAND Florida's Water Park. Here you are some photos of the current status of the water park, along with the official artworks that will give you a preview of how the various water slides and guest areas will look once the water park will open to the general public:

LEGOLAND Water Park: New Artworks & Photos (2)

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Let's see some more photos of LEGOLAND's new water park (PART 1 of this update can be found here):

Disney's Contemporary Resort Parking Restrictions

The Contemporary Resort will maintain its temporary parking restrictions throughout the rest of the month: _________________________________________________________________________
Disney's Contemporary Resort - Parking Restrictions Through Jan. 31
Due to limited capacity, the Guest parking lot at Disney's Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower will be restricted through January 31, 2012. Parking will be limited to the following guests: Contemporary Resort Guests with a valid Key to the World cardGuests attending a convention, meeting or special event at the resortGuests with confirmed dining, recreation or salon/health club reservations  _________________________________________________________________________
Disney has been extending these restrictions since last December. Hopefully everything will be back to normal after January 31, 2012, so that everybody will be able to park in the Resort's parking lot to enjoy a nice dinner.

Let's Dance - Featuring Burn the Floor 2012 (VIDEO)

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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has brought to the park once again their famous "Let's Dance - Featuring Burn the Floor" show, which takes place inside the Desert Grill, in the Timbuktu area of the park.
BGTNation shared with us a great video of the show. Enjoy:

The show has a lot of new songs this year, according to BGTNation, so, even if you had the opportunity to see it in the past few years, you should head back and see it, as it will look almost completely new to you.

To see photos and to read additional information about this show, please, visit BGTNation.net.

Rumor: New Magic Kingdom Parade in the Works?

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom i well-known worldwide for the quality of its attractions and show. It is a great theme park, where attention to details is really considered essential. Unfortunately, there's at least one thing that doesn't seem to match the quality of Disney's standards: the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade. Indeed, the number of floats of the parade is very, very limited, and most of them have been going up and down Main Street U.S.A., Liberty Square, and Frontierland since more than 15 years. It is time for a change.
On this subject, Screamscape reported an interesting rumor this morning. Check it out: __________________________________________________________________________
2013 - New Parade - Rumor - (1/23/12) According to a new rumor going around, Disney is making plans to launch a new deluxe daytime parade sometime in 2013… likely around the same time they are ready to open the majority of the Fantasyland expansion site. No word on the t…

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

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It is once again Monday, and this means that you will be able to read a new edition of our special feature: "The Disney Look... to the Past!" Enjoy:
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This Week in Disney History: January 20-26


Jan. 24, 2006 ― Disney announces the acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios From humble origins as a minor computer division of Lucasfilm, Pixar grew into the world’s premier computer animation studio, producing a string of critically acclaimed box office smashes entwining astonishing visuals and creative, engaging storytelling. But after a distribution arrangement between Disney and Pixar lapsed, leaving future relations in question, Disney CEO Bob Iger permanently fused the two animation giants in a $7.4 billion all-stock deal. After the acquisition, Disney•Pixar released “Cars,” “Ratatouille” and “Wall-E” — all Academy Award nominees or winners for Best Animated Feature. “Up” and “Toy Story 3” notched a…

Screamscape Reveals Possible Spiderman Rehab Date

This morning, Screamscape posted an interesting news that gives us a hint about a possible closure date of "The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman" ride at Islands of Adventure (the ride would close for a short rehab): _________________________________________________________________________
Screamscape sources report that the Adventures of Spider-Man will close for the final phase of the upgrade starting around February 8th or so. In addition to finishing up the installation of the new digital projection systems and new animation footage, I’ve been told that the front of the attration area will also get a bit of a rehab, including some new surfacing of the area in front of the ride entrance.  _________________________________________________________________________
We will have to wait until Wednesday, January 25, 2012 to have the official confirmation.

Epcot Update: Tutto Italia Rehab, Habit Heroes (1)

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Epcot is receiving a lot of attention lately, and it is only second to Magic Kingdom for the number of refurbishments taking place inside the park. Let's take a look around to see what is new and what has changed since our last update:

Epcot Update: Tutto Italia Rehab, Habit Heroes (2)

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Thank you for continuing to read this new Epcot update (for PART 1, click here).
We'll now move on to World Showcase:

Reminder: Dumbo Ride to Remain Closed Until March

Just a reminder for all those who missed this operational adjustment:
The new "Dumbo - The Flying Elephant" attraction located in the new Storybook Circus area in the Magic Kingdom park will not open on February 18, 2012 as it was first announced. The attraction is scheduled to open on March 12, 2012, and only one of the two Dumbo rides is anticipated to be operational.
Also, remember that the "Plaza Ice Cream Parlor" is scheduled to reopen on March 28, while Big Thunder Mountain Railroad's projected reopening date is May 28, 2012. Please, be mindful of all the attractions' closures, so that you don't have any surprises during your visit, and you can adjust your schedule accordingly.
Thank you for your attention. If you have any question, feel free to contact us.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride's Foundations Work Continue

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Even though we will post a complete Fantasyland update in the next few days, we just wanted to share with our readers a very interesting news from the future site of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride. It looks like the cement is being poured. This means that work on the actual attraction's building has officially started! Take a look:

LEGOLAND Florida Tweaks Its Official Website

Just recently, LEGOLAND Florida has made some minor changes to the home page of the park's official website. Among the changes, we noticed the addition of an official park ad that advises guests to buy tickets from the website to save up to $7 (of course you can save even more by visiting LEGOLANDphotos.com). You will also notice the addition of a new button that invites you to check out the official park map of the site (which is NOT interactive yet, and it is in very low resolution unfortunately, but we are sure this will change soon). Lastly, the waterpark is now being advertised more heavily, as the opening date of this new addition is approaching very fast (Summer 2012).
You can check out LEGOLAND Florida's official website by clicking here.

SeaWorld Orlando's TurtleTrek Preview - Episode 1

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SeaWorld Orlando released a nice video just a few weeks ago. It give us a general overview of all the new details about the new TurtleTrek exhibit that they will share with us in the near future. Enjoy:

It definitely looks quite interesting, doesn't it? We can't wait to learn more about this and the other projects that SeaWorld Orlando has in store for us in 2012 and 2013.

Kali River Rapids to Close for Rehab Jan. 24 - Feb. 9

The Kali River Rapids attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom will close for a two-week refurbishment starting next week. Here you are the exact dates of this seasonal refurbishment: _________________________________________________________________________
Disney's Animal Kingdom - Kali River Rapids Refurbishment begins January 24, 2012
Kali River Rapids will be closed for its annual refurbishment Tuesday, January 24-Thursday, February 9. _________________________________________________________________________

All the other rides and attractions in the park will be open during Kali River Rapids' refurbishment.

Magic Kingdom's Parade Route Temporarily Changed

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This morning we have a very important advisory to share with you. Starting from tomorrow, January 22, 2012, the Magic Kingdom will have a shorter parade route (that will be reverted back to the original very soon):  _________________________________________________________________________
Modified Parade Route Begins Sunday, January 22, 2012
Due to pavement work in Frontierland, the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade will follow a modified route beginning Sunday, January 22, 2012. The parade will travel from Town Square down Main Street, U.S.A., make a full circle in front of Cinderella Castle and return back to Town Square.

The Main Street Electrical Parade will not be performed during pavement refurbishment, while the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It! Street Party will continue to perform as usual. _________________________________________________________________________
Here's the new, temporary parade route (that will be seen starting tomorrow in the new Times Guide):

SeaWorld Update - TurtleTrek and More (PART 1)

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Welcome to a new SeaWorld Orlando photo-report. Today we will check out the entire park, with a focus on the future site of TurtleTrek, the Dine With Shamu area, and more:

SeaWorld Update - TurtleTrek and More (PART 2)

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Hello, and thanks for continuing to enjoy this new SeaWorld update (PART 1 can be found here):

Fun Spot Annual Passholder's Special Discounts

All those who purchased a Fun Spot Annual Pass will be eligible to use some special discounts valid for the entire month of February 2012. Here you are additional information, from Fun Spot's official newsletter:
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Fun Spot Attractions News
Beginning February 1st. all annual pass holders may bring a friend or family member for 50% off the unlimited go kart armband. The special discount is valid for one friend per visit during the month of February 2012! Discounted armband is only valid at the park purchased.

The savings doesn't stop there! Also, beginning February 1st. your annual pass becomes your pass to savings at our snack bar. Enjoy 10% off any food or beverage purchased at our snack bar. This discount does not apply to any armbands or Fun-E-Cards.

Share the FUN, spread the LOVE and enjoy the HUGE savings February 1 - 29, 2012!!

Find Annual Pass Information Here >> _______________________________…

Disney's Hollywood Studios: "Rock the Night!" (Video)

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Yesterday, January 19, 2012, a special fireworks show took place at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It was called "Rock the Night!," and it featured live music and... fireworks, of course! Take a look at this amazing show:

LEGOLAND's GM Comments On President's Speech

Following the speech of the President of the United States - delivered yesterday, January 19, 2012 at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom park, - the General Manager of LEGOLAND Florida, Mr. Adrian Jones, made the following comments: _________________________________________________________________________
LEGOLAND Florida’s Response to President Obama’s  Tourism Executive Order
Attributed to Adrian Jones, General Manager - LEGOLAND Florida

“This development is a major game-changer for Florida. An improved visa process helps us roll out the welcome mat to our friends in Brazil and will result in record numbers of young families visiting Florida.

Cost and convenience historically are two of the biggest barriers in travel. By addressing the hassle factor and making the visa process less onerous, we’ve just substantially improved our chance of attracting additional guests.

As a brand new theme park that caters to young families this is of course very welcome news for LEGOLAND Florida. …

Fantasyland Expansion - Dumbo Relocates (PART 1)

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Good afternoon! Welcome to another Fantasyland Expansion update. As every week, we have got quite a few new details to share with you, both minor and major. Let's not lose any more time:

Fantasyland Expansion - Dumbo Relocates (PART 2)

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Here we are on part 2 of our latest Fantasyland Expansion update (PART 1 can be found here).
There's still more that we need to see:

Reminder: Theme Parks Impacted by Presidential Visit

Just as a reminder, today there will be quite a few adjustments that will take place at each of the four parks of the Walt Disney World Resort, due to an official visit made by the President of the United States and his family.
If you are planning to visit any of the parks, please, review their operating schedules: Magic Kingdom Information;Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom Information. Also, please keep in mind that there may be some delays when entering the Walt Disney World Resort. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

LEGOLAND Florida to Reveal More Info on Waterpark

Early next week, LEGOLAND Florida will announce additional details regarding the waterpark that is scheduled to open to the public early this coming summer. Among the various information that will be officially released, the park confirmed that some new renderings of the different park areas (including; Build-A-Raft, DUPLO Safari, Joker Soaker, and the big wave pool) will be made public. It will be very interesting to have a better idea of how the refurbished waterpark will look like!
We will continue to keep you up-to-date with the project, so stay tuned!

JAWS: On-Ride Videos in High Definition (Day/Night)

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After having enjoyed all those photos of the JAWS ride (you can find PART 1 and PART 2 here), it is now time to take a realistic virtual ride, thanks to the following HD videos that we recorded before the ride closed forever. We hope you enjoy these videos (be sure to check out all of them, as they are all different):
- DAYTIME RIDE-THROUGH OF JAWS -

Presidential Visit Affecting Also Epcot, DHS, DAK

The official visit of the President of the United States that will take place on Thursday, January 19, 2012 will not only affect the Magic Kingdom. Indeed, it will also affect Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom, but in a positive way.
Indeed, all three parks will have longer opening hours, thanks to the addition of the Extra Magic Hours (morning EMH for Disney's Animal Kingdom, and evening EMH for Epcot an Disney's Hollywood Studios). But, there's even something more to report. Indeed, a special fireworks show will take place at 7 p.m. at Disney's Hollywood Studios (something extremely rare), called "Rock The Night!," to help keep the crowds out of the Magic Kingdom park, so that the park is not forced to close due to capacity.
Here you are all the information you need to know:
1. MAGIC KINGDOM Extra Magic Hours: None Operating Hours: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Nighttime Fireworks Spectacular: 8 p.m.
2. EPCOT: Extra Magic Hours: 9 p.m. - 12…

Universal to Make Special Announcements on Jan. 25

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The Universal Orlando Resort will be revealing some very interesting news regarding all the new attractions and experiences coming this year to both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. with a webcast that will be accessible through their official Facebook page. 
Included in the announcement, they may reveal the official grand opening date for their new Despicable Me ride, the exact refurbishment dates for The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, as well as more information on the Hollywood Drive-In Golf, the mysterious new nighttime fountain show... and a surprise announcement of a possible new parade (please, notice that this is only a rumor, as of now).
It looks like 2012 will really be a busy year for the theme parks! The New Fantasyland will open at the Magic Kingdom, Test Track will receive a complete rehab, TurtleTrek will open at SeaWorld, and Universal will unveil multiple new attractions and shows coming this year and …

Presidential Visit Impacting Magic Kingdom on Jan. 19

The Magic Kingdom park will host an official Presidential visit on Thursday, January 19, 2012. For this reason, there will be some operational adjustments in the park. Here are additional information: _________________________________________________________________________
Magic Kingdom Park Adjustments on January 19, 2012 Main Street, U.S.A. will be closed to Guest traffic from Park opening to late afternoon. Upon arrival at the Magic Kingdom Park main entrance, Guests will be directed via an alternate route to enjoy other areas of Magic Kingdom Park. Main Street, U.S.A. will reopen later in the day.Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.Revised Times Guides will be available at all Parks and Resorts beginning Wednesday morning. A letter outlining detailed changes will be delivered to each Guest room as well as Channel 19 on in-room TVs will be updated.Baby Care Center and First Aid will be moved to a lounge located to the right of the entrance of Space …

Disney's Animal Kingdom General Update (PART 1)

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Today we present you a new Disney's Animal Kingdom update. Surprised, aren't you? Well, we rarely step into this theme park due to the fact there is really nothing to report (we are sorry to say this, but Disney's Animal Kingdom is currently the stalest theme park in Central Florida). Despite that, every now and then we go back, just to check that everything works correctly. Let's see:

Disney's Animal Kingdom General Update (PART 2)

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Hello, and thank you for sticking with us. Let's continue our tour of Disney's Animal Kingdom (PART 1 can be found here):

SeaWorld's Sky Tower Now Available Free of Charge

Thanks to a report from Screamscape, we found out a very good news: SeaWorld Orlando's Sky Tower attraction will finally be included in the ticket price, removing the $4 surcharge. From the park's website: _________________________________________________________________________
Sky Tower

Our 400-foot Sky Tower has stood as an icon for our park since we opened in 1974. Today the Sky Tower adds a dose of retro-cool to the day’s adventures. Get a seabird’s eye view of Orlando during this leisurely capsule ride, and take a load off as you plot the rest of your day in the park.

Starting January 12, 2012 the Sky Tower will be free to all guests. _________________________________________________________________________
This is really great to hear, as the park already offers a very limited amount of rides. Of course, this could only be a temporary adjustment, due to the fact that the Manatee Encounter exhibit, the Penguin Encounter area, and Journey to Atlantis are all closed for r…

The Disney Look... to the Past! (January 13-19)

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Enjoy this week's look into the past of the Walt Disney Company: _________________________________________________________________________
This Week in Disney History: January 13-19

Jan. 17, 1996 - Grand opening ceremony held at Disney's Vero Beach Resort Although it welcomed home its first Disney Vacation Club members Oct. 1, 1995, opening ceremonies were held on this day for the first resort to open outside of the Walt Disney World Resort. A two-hour drive southeast of Orlando, Fla., Disney's Vero Beach Resort is located on 71 acres of Florida's "Treasure Coast" along the Atlantic Ocean. The resort features a central inn and a collection of villas and standalone cottages, with an expanse of white, sandy beach and just outside the doors. Members can pamper themselves at The Spa at Vero Beach, or enjoy the romantic dining atmosphere of Sonya's, which Florida Trend magazine named among "Florida's 500 Best Places to Dine" with its collection of…

DTD Marketplace Bus Stops Rehab January 16-31

Please, be aware that the bus stops located at Downtown Disney (in the Marketplace section) will be closed for refurbishment starting from today, January 16, 2012, and will reopen in about two weeks: _________________________________________________________________________
Advisory ~ Downtown Disney Marketplace Bus Stops Closed for Refurbishment January 16-31, 2012
The bus loop at the Downtown Disney Marketplace will be temporarily closed for a scheduled refurbishment Monday, Jan. 16–Tuesday, Jan. 31. During this time, the Pleasure Island bus stops will be the single point of Disney bus service for the Downtown Disney Area. _________________________________________________________________________
This two-week refurbishment will probably allow Disney to make some seasonal maintenance work.

JAWS - The Ride Tribute: Ride Photos (PART 1)

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Hello, and welcome to a photo-tribute of one of the last original attractions of Universal Studios Florida: JAWS - The Ride. This attraction closed forever on Tuesday, January 3, 2012. Here you are some photos that will help you remember this great family ride:

JAWS - The Ride Tribute: Ride Photos (PART 2)

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So, let's continue our tour of JAWS - The Ride (PART 1 of this update can be found here).


Advisory: Buena Vista Drive Construction Update

Please, be aware of the following situation if you are planning on visiting the Walt Disney World Resort in the next few days, as this may cause some delays: _________________________________________________________________________
Advisory ~ Buena Vista Drive Construction - January 15-22, 2012
From January 15 to 22, lane closures will greatly limit left turns from Buena Vista Drive at the following intersections: January 15 and 16 – Team Disney entranceJanuary 17 and 18 – Downtown Disney (Parking 4 entrance near Disney Quest)January 19 and 22 – Typhoon Lagoon entrance If possible, it is recommended that drivers adjust their routes in order to make right turns at these intersections. Additionally, all Guests are encouraged to use caution while traveling along Buena Vista Drive, and should expect the possibility of traffic delays throughout the project.  _________________________________________________________________________
The nature of this work is unknown at the moment, but it is…

Blizzard Beach to Remain Closed Through Monday

Just as a quick reminder, Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park will remain closed for the entire day today: _________________________________________________________________________
Blizzard Beach Water Park Will Be Open Monday, Jan. 16, 2012
Please be advised that Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Parkwill be closed Sunday, January 15, 2012, due to forecasted low temperatures. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Parkwill be open Monday, January 16, 2012.

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is closed for refurbishment.
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It is still a bit too chilly to get in the water. The forecast for Monday, January 16, 2012 looks good though!

Universal Studios Update - JAWS No More (PART 1)

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Hello, and welcome to a completely new Universal Studios update. This week we have quite a few interesting news to report, especially about the new nighttime water show (which will debut very soon ta the park) and the now-closed JAWS ride. Let's take a stroll around the park:

Universal Studios Update - JAWS No More (PART 2)

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Here we are on part 2 of this new Universal Studios update (PART 1 can be found here).
Let's continue our update by taking a look at the former Amity Village:

Groupon Deal of the Day: Old Town Discount

Groupon has a very good deal today for all those who are planning to visit Old Town: _________________________________________________________________________

- Old Town - $17 for an All-You-Can-Ride Wristband and AMPventure Experience Tour
$17 | Value: $35 | Discount: 51% | You Save: $18 | Time Left to Buy: 1 day 9:23:00 | Over 270 bought In a Nutshell
Indulge children both inner and outer with today's Groupon: for $17, you get an AMPventure 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). Today's Groupon does not include access to the go-karts, laser tag, or bumper cars. 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-new Pepsi-sponsored AMPventure Experience boosts thrills with an adventure course encompassing a four-…

Animal Care Center at Busch Gardens - VIDEO

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Just yesterday, we posted a press release of the new Animal Care Center, which will open on January 23, 2012. Today, our friends over at BGTNation.net posted a new video, showing us the interior areas of this brand-new animal care center, as well as a brief presentation of this new addition by Jack Hanna. Enjoy:

A big thanks again to BGTNation.net for posting this interesting video!

Parking Lot Restrictions Continue at the Contemporary

The parking lot of Disney's Contemporary Resort will continue to be restricted to some guests until Jan. 20: __________________________________________________________________________
EXTENDED: Walt Disney World Resort Hotels - Parking Restrictions
Please note Disney's Contemporary Resort will continue to have restrictions for the Guest parking lot now through Friday, January 20. During this time, the parking lot will be restricted only to those staying at the resort, attending a convention event at the resort or with dining, recreation or spa reservations.
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All guests who want to visit the resort (without reservations) will be able to do so after January 21, 2012.

Animal Care Center Opens Jan. 23 at Busch Gardens

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The new Animal Care Center will open very soon at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. It will offer you the great opportunity of going behind-the-scenes to see how the park cares for the animals. Here are more information: _________________________________________________________________________
ANIMAL CARE BECOMES PART OF THE GUEST EXPERIENCE AT BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA BAY  New State-of-the-Art Facility Educates Guests, Offers One-Of-A-Kind Access To Park’s World-Class Animal Care
TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 12, 2012) – Busch Gardens welcomes guests to closely observe and even take part in the animal care experience when the Tampa park opens its new Animal Care Center on Jan. 23, 2012. 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.  “We are proud of the care we provide our animals,” said Mike Boos, vice president of zoological operations. “We welcome the opportunity to share our level of care with our …

8 p.m. Spirirt of Aloha Dinner Show Cancelled Tonight

A brief cold snap has arrived here in Orlando. For this reason, the second showing of the "Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show," which takes places nightly at the Polynesian Resort, has been cancelled once again: _________________________________________________________________________
Polynesian Resort - 8:00pm Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show Cancelled for January 13, 2012
Due to expected inclement weather conditions, the 8 p.m. Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show on Friday, January 13 has been cancelled. The dinner show is held in an outdoor venue, and when the weather becomes colder as the sun sets, the overall Guest experience is not in keeping with the quality of Disney entertainment that we want to provide our Guests. We apologize for any inconvenience and will be happy to assist in booking alternate dining arrangements for you. _________________________________________________________________________
As a reminder, also Disney's Blizzard Beach water park will be closed d…

"Mor Thiam" Leaving Animal Kingdom After Jan. 28

One of the few entertainment groups that Disney's Animal Kingdom currently offers will leave the park after their final performance on January 28, 2012: __________________________________________________________________________
Animal Kingdom - Mor Thiam Final Performance on January 28, 2012
At the Walt Disney World® Resort, we regularly evaluate our offerings and make appropriate adjustments based on creative and operational needs. To meet recent creative and operational needs at the park, Mor Thiam will have his final performance at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. Our sincerest thanks to Mor Thiam for enhancing the Guest experience in Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park since 2003. __________________________________________________________________________
Disney's Animal Kingdom certainly needs to add something new, not only take away shows and other existing entertainment offerings. We hope the Mor Thiam group will find another place…

Penguin Encounter - NOW CLOSED (Photos)

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Before starting this new, special update, we just want to make sure that our readers know that this is not a tribute to the former Penguin Encounter attraction. As you will see later in this update, it will just show you the current status of the Penguin Plaza and of the the Penguin Encounter attraction's exterior (but, do not worry. We will post a true tribute to this attraction in the next few weeks).
Let us, therefore, take a look around the walled-off area that was formerly called "The Penguin Plaza":

Blizzard Beach Closed Due To Weather Jan. 13 and 14

Disney's Blizzard Beach will be closed due to cold weather on Friday and Saturday of this current week: _________________________________________________________________________
Blizzard Beach Water Park Closed January 13 & 14, 2012 Due to Forecasted Low Temperatures
Please be advised that Disney’s Blizzard BeachWater Parkwill be closed Friday, January 13, 2012, and Saturday, January 14, 2012, due to forecasted low temperatures.

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is closed for refurbishment. _________________________________________________________________________
The water park is schedule to reopen on Sunday January 15, 2012.

In-Depth Look at the New Art of Animation Resort

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The Disney Parks Blog recently posted an interesting video that shows some interesting new details about Walt Disney World's newest resort: Disney's Art of Animation. Take a look:

To tell you the truth, we are generally not fans of the theming and the overall look of the Disney Value Resorts in general (except the Hotel Cheyenne at Disneyland Paris, which is great), but it looks like this one will be really great for families, and the theming inside the rooms will be pretty extensive, always keeping in mind that it is a Value Resort! What do you personally think? Would you like to stay at the resort once it opens?

Universal Ready To Unveil A Whole New Experience

The Universal Pictures Company has just recently announced that they will have a lot of events going on in the parks during 2012, due to the centennial of the company (which was born in 1912). A new press release
was published just yesterday, and it included the following information about the company's theme parks:
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Theme Park Celebrations
Universal’s Parks and Resorts will help highlight the campaign with centennial specific content and merchandise throughout both the Orlando and Hollywood locations. The Orlando resort will soon announce a specially themed entertainment experience that will celebrate Universal’s heritage. At the iconic Hollywood park, the world-famous Studio Tour features expert guides that will take guests on a tour through 100 years of moviemaking history on the Universal Studios production backlot. Tours are conducted daily, visiting TV and movie sets ranging from the early Universal Stu…

General Magic Kingdom Update: Tarps Galore (Part 1)

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After having posted a two-part Fantasyland update, it is time to check out the rest of the Magic Kingdom, to see all the refurbishments and additions that we all need to know about. Let's take a look around the other five lands of the park. We will start exactly from the first "land" we find when entering the area: the MK parking lot:

General Magic Kingdom Update: Tarps Galore (Part 2)

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Welcome to part 2 of this new Magic Kingdom update (PART 1 can be found here). Let's continue...
... by checking out Adventureland:

General Magic Kingdom Update: Tarps Galore (Part 3)

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Welcome to the final part of this new Magic Kingdom update (for PART 2, please, click on this link). We've something more to see around the park.
The last land that we can find in the park (going clockwise) is Tomorrowland:

Camp Minnie-Mickey Opens One Hour Later Again

We just wanted to let you know that the Camp Minnie-Mickey area of Disney's Animal Kingdom will now open one hour later than the rest of the park for at least the rest of the current week (it will open at 10 a.m.).
This is a quite unusual pattern, as the area already opened at 10 a.m. during part of last week (you can review the advisory here). The reasons why the area opens later has not been disclosed.

The Disney Look... to the Past! (January 6-12)

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Hello, and welcome to a new edition of "The Disney Look... to the Past!"

We hope you will enjoy this week's look into the history of the Walt Disney World, Lands, and Company: _________________________________________________________________________

This Week in Disney History: January 6-12

Jan. 7, 1992 – “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Located in the Animation Courtyard, “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” recreates favorite scenes from the 1989 animated film, combining live performances with colorful puppets, movie clips and spectacular in-house special effects. The 15-minute stage show features many of the film’s songs, including “Part of Your World,” the Academy Award-winning “Under the Sea” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” sung by the larger-than-life sea witch Ursula, who stands 12 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Also this week in 2008, the Broadway version of “The Little Mermaid” officially debuted at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in Ne…

2011: A Good Year for Fun Spot Attractions

This past year has been a very successful year for one of the most important minor attractions chain in Central Florida, Fun Spot Attractions. Indeed, they claim that 2011 has been the busiest year on record for them. But, read more information about their past year (and about their near future) in this following article, from the official Fun Spot Attractions Blog: _________________________________________________________________________
Last year was a HUGE year for Fun Spot Attractions as it was our busiest year on record. We used to use a slogan that said “More Tracks, More Rides, More FUN!” For 2011 we would need to add “More People!” So what is ahead for 2012? Well it won’t be the end of the world (though it may feel like it when you soar from our 300 foot SkyCoaster ride). For us it will be a year we build our new expanded Orlando park adding roller coaster, water rides, thrill rides, a restaurant and more... We [recently] tried a new ride at our Kissimmee park called AREA 51.…