Showing posts from April, 2012

"It's Tough to Be a Bug" Attraction Has Reopened

We have just been informed that the "It's Tough to Be a Bug" attraction found beneath the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom has been reopened after one of the faux tree branches fell from the tree: _________________________________________________________________________
It's Tough to be a Bug! Reopened to Guests on April 30, 2012
The "It's Tough to Be a Bug!" attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park has been reopened to Guests after the vicinity was inspected and netting installed over the attraction’s entrance and exit walkways. For the time being, the trails around the Tree of Life and the Kid's Discovery Club location will remain closed while we continue to inspect the area and make any necessary adjustments. [The vicinity around the Tree of Life closed because a small branch (weighing approximately five pounds) fell to the ground, away from Guests and Cast. In an abundance of caution, we closed some experiences in the imme…

SeaWorld's TurtleTrek - Photos and Videos (PART 1)

On Friday, April 27, 2012, the Orlando Theme Park News Team was cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening event of the new TurtleTrek attraction at SeaWorld Orlando. Before sharing with you the more than 70 photos that we took during that occasion, we have to say that we had a real blast, and we really thank a lot SeaWorld Orlando for inviting us.
Now, let's take a look around, and let's check out this new amazing attraction!:

SeaWorld's TurtleTrek - Photos and Videos (PART 2)

Thank you for continuing to read through this new TurtleTrek update (PART 1 is right here).

Let's continue our journey through the eyes of a sea turtle:

FASTPASS+ (or X-Pass) Tests Starting in May 2012

Hear ye, hear ye! The Walt Disney World Resort just revealed that the first official tests of the new X-Pass (now called also FASTPASS+) will start very, very soon. Actually, they will begin... in just two days! Indeed, the resort will start to contact at random some guests who booked a vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort between May 1 and May 15, 2012. Here you are some additonal information regarding these important tests: During the two-week test, Guests will be selected to participate prior to their arrival at the Magic Kingdom. Participants will select a FASTPASS® itinerary based on their preferences (attractions and time frame). Once selected, Guests will immediately receive their itinerary via e-mail.Guests will be given a Disney’s FASTPASS® card to use at select Magic Kingdom® Park attractions.Guests may review their itinerary by checking the email confirmation that was sent to them or by visiting City Hall or a participating Disney’s FASTPASS® kiosk located at FASTPASS® …

Busch Gardens Welcomes Mongoose Lemurs Twins

A new pair of Mongoose Lemurs were recently born at Busch Gardens Tampa bay. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
IT’S TWINS! - Busch Gardens Tampa’s Mongoose Lemurs Give Birth to Rare Pair of Babies
Tampa, Fla. (April 25, 2012) – Earlier this month, Busch Gardens witnessed an uncommon event: the birth of mongoose lemur twins. On Friday, April 6, the two babies were born to 17-year-old mother Rosalita and 18-year-old father Guillermo. Rosalita’s first baby – a male named Duggan – was also born at Busch Gardens and moved to another zoo for breeding.

Animal Kingdom: Extended Hours Tonight Until 8pm

Just a quick advisory for all those who are currently at Disney's Animal Kingdom (as well as for those planning to go to the park right now): _________________________________________________________________________
Disney's Animal Kingdom: Park Hours Extended Today April 29, 2012
Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park has extended operating hours for today, Sunday, April 29 until 8 p.m. (originally scheduled to close at 7 p.m.). _________________________________________________________________________
Thank you for your attention, and enjoy the rest of your evening!

Universal's Cinematic Spectacular - Photos & Video

As you know, Universal will debut an entirely new nighttime show on May 8, 2012, called "Universal's Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories. The Orlando Theme Park News Team was happy to be able to see the show on one of the special preview nights (April 26, 2012).

Let's take a look together at some photos we took. We will also conclude with a video of the entire show:

SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Stop Offering Plastic Bags

Since a few days, some of the SeaWorld Parks across the United States have completely abandoned the use of plastic bag, substituting them with bio-degradable bags. Here you are additional information: _________________________________________________________________________
SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Parks Say Good-bye to Plastic Bags
From Gift Bags to Beverage Cups, Theme Park Visits More Planet-Friendly
Orlando, Fla. – Paper or plastic? Soon there will be just one choice at the 10 theme parks of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment -- paper -- as the company eliminates plastic shopping bags within the next year. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment will be the largest theme park operator to make this commitment. Park gift shops will offer paper bags made from 100 percent recycled paper or guests can choose to purchase reusable bags.

“This is a significant change for our company, one we hope will provide a model for our industry overall,” said Jim Atchison, President and Chief Executive Of…

New "Test Track - Presented by Chevrolet" Renderings

The popular Test Track attraction has just closed at Epcot for a major refurbishment, and the ride is slated to reopen this fall with an entirely different look. Test Track - Presented by Chevrolet (that is the official, complete new name) will be an amazing experience. The people behind the official Disney Parks Blog (yes, it's them again!) have shared with us some more information and renderings of this renovated ride. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
New Renderings Depict a Reimagined Test Track at Epcot
Many of you have asked for an update on what’s going on at Test Track at Epcot, and we’re happy to announce that new renderings were just released by Walt Disney Imagineering this morning!

New Fantasyland: Disney Reveals More Opening Dates

Great news, Walt Disney World fans! The Disney Parks Blog just released a few new information regarding the opening dates of some of the other areas of the New Fantasyland. Here you are the tentative openings: The next phase of Storybook Circus, which includes the second half of the Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction and the Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station, will open in July 2012.Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Gaston’s Tavern, and Ariel’s Grotto will all open before the end of the year (2012).The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will debut in 2014. Sounds like a good plan, doesn't it? We are still a bit sad that we will have to wait almost two entire years before being able to experience the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride (some insiders have confirmed that the ride is slated to open during Spring of 2014. Now we are in Spring 2012, so it's 2 full years). Despite that, we are still excited.
What do you think? What are …

Universal Studios Update: New Despicable Me Posters

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to yet another Universal Studios Florida update. This time we have quite a few news to share with you, especially regarding some new props and posters that were just installed around the Despicable Me show-building. Let's take a look together:

Universal Studios Update: Despicable Me (PART 2)

Welcome to part 2 of this latest Universal Studios Florida update (PART 1 can be found at this link).
As usual, it is now time to take a look around our dear old Amity Village:

SeaWorld Orlando's TurtleTrek: Now Open

As we announced a few hours ago, the Orlando Theme Park News Team was invited to attend the grand opening celebration of SeaWorld Orlando's newest attraction/exhibit: TurtleTrek. We will soon share with you a lot of photos, and video-interviews. For now, take a look at the official press release that shares some additional information about this great new addition: _________________________________________________________________________
All-new attraction and incredible values and offers make SeaWorld Orlando a must-see for locals and residents
Orlando, FL (April 27, 2012) – SeaWorld Orlando’s new TurtleTrek – the only attraction of its kind in the world - plus amazing admission offers and values, makes the park a must-see for locals and residents.

New adventures at TurtleTrek:
TurtleTrek, SeaWorld Orlando’s newest attraction, comes to life with SeaWorld’s unique blend of up-close encounters with manatees and sea turtles and state-of-the ar…

OTPN Attends TurtleTrek's Grand Opening Today

The Orlando Theme Park News Team is currently at SeaWorld Orlando, as the park presents the new TurtleTrek attraction to both guests and the media. In the meantime, check out this official ad of TurtleTrek:

We will be back very soon with a large amount of photos and videos from this special event. Stay tuned!
VIDEO: © 2012 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

The Walt Disney World Resort Has a Lot in Store

The Walt Disney World Resort has just released some new information about some of the experiences and attractions that will open later this year (the New Fantasyland, Test Track - Presented by Chevrolet, Splitsville, and much, much more). We will soon post all the news that were sent out to the media.
Stay tuned, and have a great rest of your day!

Phineas & Ferb Preparing to Come to Epcot: VIDEO

The official Disney Parks Blog just posted a new video that gives you some small hints (nothing major) regarding the new "Agent P's World showcase Adventure" interactive game that will soon replace "Kim Possible's World Showcase Adventure." Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
‘Phineas and Ferb’ VIPs Tour Epcot as Imagineers Prep Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure
Hey, where’s Perry? He’s at Epcot!

While the new Epcot attraction, Disney Phineas & Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure, won’t open until later this summer, three big talents behind the hit Disney Channel and Disney XD animated series got a sneak peek on Wednesday – along with Agent P himself! Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh are co-creators of “Phineas and Ferb” and actor Vincent Martella gives voice to Phineas Flynn. The trio toured World Showcase as Walt Disney Imagineering revealed some of the new attraction’s secrets – and then s…

Tips on Seeing LEGOLAND Florida in One Single Day

LEGOLAND Florida is a very large theme park, and due to its size and its usually limited operating hours can sometimes make it a bit hard for families with a limited budget to get around the whole park in one single day. Just a few hours ago, LEGOLAND Florida posted an interesting post on their official blog regarding this subject, and they included some tips that you may find really helpful to schedule your day at the park: _________________________________________________________________________
Planning Your Trip To LEGOLAND® Florida?
Although LEGOLAND® Florida is still relatively young as a theme park, there are already some regular questions we get from first time visitors. One of these is “How much time do we need to see everything?” This is a great question, especially for people who are detailed planners. The answer will vary based on any number of factors: park operating hours, weather, age/number of kids, and Park attendance.

We've found that many families can experience…

Islands of Adventure - Quick Park Update (April 2012)

Hello, and welcome to a new, quick Islands of Adventure update. We have just a few news to share with you this time, as we went trough the park fairly quickly. Enjoy:

LEGOLAND Florida Continues to Expand Park Hours

It looks like LEGOLAND Florida is starting to listen to its fans. Indeed, the park has just announced that the operating hours of LEGOLAND Florida have been extended in certain days of the year. Here's their official announcement, as seen on their official Facebook page: _________________________________________________________________________
We listened and now we're adding more hours so you can experience the over 50 rides, shows and attractions that LEGOLAND Florida has to offer. Park hours for weekends in May, including the three day Memorial Day weekend, have been extended to 9AM to 7PM. Come play your part!  _________________________________________________________________________
We will now try to find the old calendar to see what has really changed. Stay tuned!

Updated Name: SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando and its nearby sister parks have received a new name just yesterday morning. Indeed, park officials have just announced that the whole resort (including some of the partner hotels in the area) will now be called "SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando." Here is the official announcement: _________________________________________________________________________

SeaWorld Orlando, its Parks and Official Hotels Now Make Up  SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando
SeaWorld’s new resort destination in Orlando helps stretch vacation dollars and maximize vacation fun
Orlando, FL (April 24, 2012) - SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, including three theme parks and seven official hotel partners, is now a full vacation experience offering money-saving travel values, exclusive benefits, a convenient location and unique sea-themed adventures found only at SeaWorld and its parks.

SeaWorld’s other parks in Orlando include Discovery Cove, an all-inclusive swim-with-dolphins reso…

Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue: Last Show Cancelled - April 27

Please, be aware of the following advisory for Friday, April 27, 2012: _________________________________________________________________________
9:30 p.m. Hoop-Dee-Doo Show Canceled for Friday, April 27, 2012
Please be advised that the 9:30 p.m. show of the Hoop-Dee-Doo has been cancelled for Friday, April 27, 2012.  The 5:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. shows will go on as usual. _________________________________________________________________________
Thank you for your attention. As usual, we will continue to keep you up-to-date.

New Information on SeaWorld Orlando's "Antarctica"

Fantastic news coming from SeaWorld Orlando regarding their new themed area: Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin. Take a look at what guests can expect to see in 2013, along with the first official picture of the vehicles that will be used in the brand-new dark ride included in this expansion!: _________________________________________________________________________
SeaWorld Orlando Reveals More Details About its 2013 Attraction, Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin
Orlando, FL – At Pow Wow in Los Angeles, one of the world’s top travel shows, SeaWorld Orlando designers and marketing execs revealed more details of the park’s 2013 new attraction and its largest-ever expansion, Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin. Details revealed included:
Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin will include a first-of-its-kind family adventure ride that utilizes new technology for an experience that can change from visit to visit. Designers also revealed that guests will be able to choose the level of thrill the…

Starbucks Coming to Walt Disney World, Disneyland

The Disney Parks Blog just unveiled a very important news for the U.S. Disney Parks. Indeed, it has been confirmed a rumor that was recently floating around: Starbucks is coming to the Disneyland resort in California and the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Here are more information about this partnership: _________________________________________________________________________
Starbucks Coming to Disney Parks
Today, we’re excited to officially announce plans to bring your favorite Starbucks drinks and food items to all of our theme parks at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. In June, the first of six planned Starbucks locations is scheduled to open at Disney California Adventure park. And more locations are planned at Disneyland park and Walt Disney World Resort (Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom). The Starbucks locations inside our parks will be designed to fit the theme of their surroundings. At Disney California Adv…

Fantasyland Expansion: A Gloomy Day (PART 1)

Yes, even though we are in the fantastic Sunshine State, we do have some sporadic days that are not-so-appealing. We have had a quite nasty weather pattern in the last couple of days, but as usual, the sun is back. When taking these photos, though, the sun was still hiding from us, hence the title of this week's update.
Anyway, let's dive right into the update, as we have almost 100 photos to see! We hope you enjoy:

Fantasyland Expansion: A Gloomy Day (PART 2)

Thank you for joining us in part 2 of this new Fantasyland update (PART 1 can be found at this link).
Lt's now take a look at the beautiful Little Mermaid lagoon (with Prince Eric's Castle):

Universal's Cinematic Spectacular: Tests Have Started

It has finally been announced on Universal Orlando's official Facebook page:
We wanted you to be the first to know, Florida fans. The first preview of Universal's Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories will be this evening! The new nighttime show, in the Universal Studios lagoon, highlights 100 years of the most fun, dramatic & awe-inspiring moments in film. While previews have begun, the show will only run on select nights until its official grand opening on May, 8.
We will visit the park very soon to bring you a complete video of this great new show! Stay tuned.

LEGOLAND Florida Wins Urban Forest Award

Great news coming from Central Florida's newest theme park! Indeed, the park has recently announced that a new award was presented to the management team, due to the park's way of dealing with the natural environment. Here's the official video of the ceremony, together with a quick description of the video: _________________________________________________________________________

LEGOLAND Florida Wins Urban Forest Outstanding Project Award

Showing its commitment to conservation and stewardship of the historic botanical gardens it inherited, LEGOLAND Florida was awarded the Outstanding Project award from the Florida Urban Forestry Council.

As usual, great job, LEGOLAND Florida! It is always very important to care for the Earth we live in.

Video: Copyright of LEGOLAND Florida. ©2012 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved.

Notice: Areas Around Tree of Life Temporarily Closed

Due to the tree branches that were scattered around the Tree of Life during the recent thunderstorms, the entire area all around the tree has been temporarily closed to guests. Here you are additional information: _________________________________________________________________________
Animal Kingdom - Experiences Around Tree of Life to remain closed
Some experiences in the immediate vicinity of the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park are currently closed while we inspect the tree and complete any necessary maintenance, as a small branch (weighing approximately five pounds) fell to the ground, away from Guests and Cast. The trails around the Tree of Life will be temporarily closed, as well as the "It's Tough to be a Bug" attraction and the Kid's Discovery Club location. At this time we do not have a reopening date. _________________________________________________________________________
We will continue to keep you up-to-date with the situation.…

Universal Studios Update: Gru's House details (Part 1)

Good afternoon! Welcome to one of our latest photo-updates. This time we have to take a look around Universal Studios Florida, which is receiving a lot of new additions, which are nod doubt worth reporting. Let's start from the entrance of the park, which is also receiving some attention:

Universal Studios Update: Gru's House details (Part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of this new Universal Studios update (PART 1 can be found here).
Here's now an update of the barges that will soon be used for Universal's Cinematic Spectacular:

Universal Orlando: Nighttime Show, Express News

Universal Orlando just released some new information regarding their new nighttime show, which will debut on May 8. Indeed, it looks like public performance tests will begin soon. Here's the news (from Universal): _________________________________________________________________________
Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular Rehearsals Starting Soon
As we approach the May 8, 2012 grand opening for Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular, we will continue to conduct rehearsals and will also be previewing the show for guests on select nights. [We will soon release] specific dates and times when guest previews will begin. _________________________________________________________________________
In addition to that, Universal revealed that the resort is planning on expanding the existing Express service by adding a device (known as Lo-Q) that will tell guests when they can come back to the specific attraction they plan to visit, without having to wait in line at all, it seems. Here you are some …

Art of Animation Resort: A Few Preview Pictures

The Walt Disney World Resort recently released some very nice photos of the various themed elements and characters that guests will be able to see in the "Finding Nemo" area of the new Disney's Art of Animation Resort, which will start opening in phases starting from May 31, 2012. Let's take a look:

Epcot: The VISION House to Open on April 22, 2012

Good news! It looks like Innoventions' newest exhibit (the VISION House) will open tomorrow. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
The VISION House Opens on April 22, 2012
On April 22, celebrate Earth Day at the opening of the VISION House in Innoventions East. This innovative green home exhibit is designed to present green living ideas in a fun and informative manner. Guests will have the opportunity to learn about the benefits of green initiatives and how they can implement those ideas into their own home. After being guided through the VISION House, Guests can play the “Build your VISION House” game. This fast moving discovery game allows Guests to challenge their knowledge on environmentally friendly decisions for the home. The VISION House will have presentations and entertainment at their exhibit throughout the day.
 Presentations: 10 a.m. - VISION Tales11 a.m. - It's SUN-day1 p.m. - Will it Break? A tough glass for the…

Groupon Deal of the Day: Old Town Armband Offer

Groupon is again offering a good deal to buy Old Town AMPventure armbands. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
Old Town – Amusement-Park Outing for Up to Four (Up to 55% Off)
From: $12 | Value: $25 | Discount: 52% | You Save: $13 | Time Left to Buy: 1 day 15:59:18

Choose from Three Options:
$12 for one AMPventure wristband (a $24.95 value)$23 for two AMPventure wristbands (a $49.90 value)$45 for four AMPventure wristbands (a $99.80 value) Wristbands-wearers gain all-day access to the three Pepsi AMPventure attractions—the zipline, rock wall, and ropes course—along with unlimited rides on the ferris wheel, Flying Dutchman, Super Shot, Tilt-A-Whirl, and Windstorm Coaster.

Typhoon Lagoon Closed Tomorrow Due to Weather

Please, take notice of this important advisory for tomorrow, April 21, 2012 :

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park Closed Saturday, April 21, 2012, Due to Forecasted Inclement Weather

Please be advised that Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be closed Saturday, April 21, due to forecasted inclement weather (thunderstorms).  Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park will be open regular operating hours.

Thank you very much for your attention.

As usual, we recommend to check back here on OTPN for all the latest news and updates from the parks.

Universal's CityWalk: Boardwalk Construction Update

As we reported on our last Universal's CityWalk update, this entertainment district is receiving dome pretty major work, which will definitely improve the look and feel of the area. Among the additions there will be a couple of new boardwalk areas, rumored new shops, restaurants, and more. And that doesn't even include the other additions that the area recently received (new LED lights in the AMC Theaters area, the new Mini-Golf course, the refurbishment of the Hard Rock Cafe' facade, etc...).
But, let's take a look at how work is proceeding in the area. Enjoy:

Fantasia Mini Golf Courses Closing Early on April 26

Please, be aware of the following advisory for Thursday, April 26, 2012 :

Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Courses Closing at 4:00 p.m.  on April 26, 2012 for Private Event
Please be advised that both courses at Disney’s Fantasia Gardens will close at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, 2012 for a private event. Both courses will be open on Friday morning, April 27th, at their regular time.   _________________________________________________________________________
Please, be sure to check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for any eventual new update.

Kasi the Cheetah Receives His First Check-Up at BGT

Kasi, Busch Gardens' favorite cheetah, has recently received a preventive check-up in the park's new Animal Care Center facility, which opened earlier this year. Take a look: _____________________________________________________________________________
Busch Gardens Tampa’s Famous Cheetah Cub Visits the Animal Care Center for His First Annual Exam
TAMPA, Fla. (April 19, 2012) – Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s famous cheetah cub, Kasi, visited the park’s new Animal Care Center today for his one-year check-up.

Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue: Last Show Cancelled - April 20

Please, be aware of the following advisory for tomorrow, April 20, 2012: _________________________________________________________________________
Hoop Dee Doo - 9:30 p.m. Show Cancelled for Friday, April 20, 2012
Please be advised that the 9:30 p.m. show of the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue has been cancelled for Friday, April 20, 2012. The 5:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. shows will go on as usual. _________________________________________________________________________
Thank you for your attention, as always. We will continue to keep you up-to-date.

The Orange Bird is Back at the Magic Kingdom Park!

Great news! As it was announced a few days ago, the famous Orange Bird is back in Adventureland, at the Magic Kingdom park! Read the official announcement below, courtesy of the Disney Parks Blog: _________________________________________________________________________
Historic Orange Bird Returns to Adventureland at Magic Kingdom
Well, isn’t this a surprise? Early this morning, D23 representatives announced the return of the historic Orange Bird character live in Adventureland before a small group of D23 members. In case you aren’t familiar, Orange Bird was a character who was developed specifically for Magic Kingdom Park in the 1970s. This cheerful bird originally greeted families at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland, where guests could also enjoy citrus drinks and buy Orange Bird gifts. At one time, the character even had his own record, which was released in 1971 to feature “The Orange Bird Song” – a tune penned by the Sherman Brothers (composers of the songs in “Mary Poppin…

Liberty Square Riverboat Rehab (April-May 2012)

Here's just a quick advisory for those that are planing to visit the Magic Kingdom park in the next few weeks: _________________________________________________________________________
Magic Kingdom Park- Liberty Square Riverboat Refurbishment  
As part of the refurbishment of the Liberty Square Riverboat, the boat has been moved from out of the park and into dry dock at Central Shops on the night of Monday, April 16.
The Liberty Square Riverboat will once again set sail for Guests starting May 21, 2012.  _________________________________________________________________________
Thank you for your attention. Stay tuned for a new photo-update, coming very soon!

Updated Monorail Narration: Epcot Route's VIDEO

As you may have heard from our official Facebook page or from other Walt Disney World-focused sites, an updated narration has been introduced in the Walt Disney World Monorail system. For this reason, we visited the Resort a few days ago and we recorded the entire narration of the Epcot monorail (which departs from the Transportation & Ticket Center). Take a look... and hear!:

As you may have heard, the narration seems to be almost exactly the same, but the person's voice is different. We have heard multiple comments from some our followers on YouTube, and we have to say that we are surprised to see such different responses. Some like it, some hate it, but it looks like there's no general consensus on the subject... Of course, we want to hear your opinion too! Feel free to share your comments!

In addition to that, we will soon also post a video that partially shows the updated narration on the Express monorail (that links the Magic Kingdom park to the Transportation &…

Universal Orlando's Florida Residents Offers - 2012

The Universal Orlando Resort just announced a couple of new deals for Florida Residents. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
Florida Residents: This is Your "Year to be Here" at Universal Orlando
Florida Residents Enjoy an Exclusive Third Day FREE this Spring – Offering Special Value  As They Experience the Brand-New Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular and Universal’s Superstar Parade
ORLANDO, Fla. (April 17, 2012) – Universal Orlando Resort is unveiling an exclusive Florida residents offer, just in time for guests to experience the next round of new entertainment being created at Universal Orlando during 2012.

Universal Orlando’s new Third Day Free offer gives Florida residents a 2-day, 2-park ticket plus a third day free for only $99 – giving them more value and more time to enjoy everything Universal Orlando has to offer – including the newly re-launched, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man attraction. They will also be amon…

Epcot Update: Morocco Work Completed and More

Hello, and welcome to this quick Epcot update. Let's take a look around to see what's happening in here:

LEGOLAND Florida Rumors: What May Be Planned

Our friends over at have posted an interesting update on their site that seems to hint to some of the projects that the park is planning to reveal in the next few years. Take a look:
A couple of things I've heard lately. Don't take as gospel... Legoland has been trying to buy the Admiral's Inn/Parkview hotel and the deal recently went though. I suppose keeping an eye out of the property on would tell the tale (when it gets updated.)They're looking to expand Coastersaurus and add a 2nd train. Cost of the add-on is to be around 1 million. I suppose it would be pretty easy to expand it back into the area where the Starliner used to run.They want to expand the Pirates Cove area and add more pirate-like attractions. Sounds exciting... I hope they add the pirate-ship water battle ride like they have in California.Star Wars Miniland is still on the radar. Finally, I hea…

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

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of the weekly feature known as "The Disney Look... to the Past!"
Enjoy reading all of the following interesting facts about the Walt Disney Parks, Resorts, Movies, and more: _________________________________________________________________________
This Week in Disney History: April 13-19
April 16, 2001 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge opens at the Walt Disney World Resort Jambo! After your day exploring Disney’s Animal Kingdom or experiencing all the adventures of Walt Disney World, come home to the resort that offers a true taste of Africa. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge boasts its own 43-acre nature preserve, home to 33 species and approximately 200 individual hoofed animals and birds, greeting Guests from right outside their balconies. African culture exudes from the architecture, including the 60- to 80-year- old “King’s Door” located just inside the entrance to Jambo House, plus its collection of authentic African art and it…

"Orlando's Salute to the Seas" - Book Review by OTPN

About a month ago, the Orlando Theme Park News team received a copy of the newest edition of Kelly Monaghan's newest book, "SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, & Aquatica - Orlando's Salute to the Seas."
As a person very familiar with the theme parks in the area, I have to say that I was more than pleased reading this book. It provides all the necessary information that readers need to know regarding all of the SeaWorld Parks in the Central Florida area: SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove, Aquatica, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and Adventure Island, while also sharing some well-thought personal comments regarding some of the shows and attractions offered at each park.

The book is divided into seven different sections. Let's take a general look at each of them:
Dive Right In! - This section  provides a good amount of general information about the Central Florida area, including a couple of maps, the weather to expect when visiting, directions to reach the parks from the Orlan…

SeaWorld Orlando: April 2012 Update (PART 1)

Hello, and welcome to this extended SeaWorld Orlando photo-report! Enjoy:

SeaWorld Orlando: April 2012 Update (PART 2)

Thank you for continuing to read this new SeaWorld update! (PART 1 can be found here).
Let's now take a look at the progress being made in the future Antarctica area:

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay: Viva la Música 2012

Busch Gardens will present yet another festival starting tomorrow. Here you are more information: _________________________________________________________________________
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Heats Up with Latin Artists and Traditional Cuisine During VIVA LA MÚSICA
TAMPA, Fla. (April 10, 2012) – Join the fiesta at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay every Sunday, April 15 through May 6, during Viva la Música. Viva la Música features food, drink, music and fun for the entire family, bringing together live salsa and merengue performances from award-winning Latin artists, authentic arts and crafts, and regional Latin cuisine.

Florida’s oldest restaurant, The Columbia, will be serving two signature items from its award-winning Spanish/Cuban menu: The Original “1905” Salad and Paella de Pollo. Local favorite La Teresita, whose authentic cuisine and great prices attract fans nationwide, will offer a selection of its traditional Latin fare. You’ll also enjoy authentic dishes by Busch Gardens’ culina…

VIDEOS: Casey Jr. Water Features & New Fantasyland

Today we have two interesting Magic Kingdom videos to share with you.

The first video shows some preliminary tests being done in the area where the new Casey Jr. Splash 'n' Soak Station will be built. You will notice that water is squirting from the ground, meaning that some of the water features have a already been installed, while the themed elements may still need to be placed:

This next post from the official Disney Parks Blog shows a great time-lapse video of all the work that has been done until now in the Fantasyland expansion area (the following post, including the video, is subject to the copyright of the Walt Disney World Resort. All rights reserved.):

Universal Orlando's 2012 Summer Concert Series

Universal Orlando just released some new information regarding this year's Summer Concert Series event: _________________________________________________________________________
Universal Orlando Resort's 2012 Summer Concert Series Kicks Off 
with a Live Performance by the Sensational Cast of Nickelodeon's Hit Show “Victorious”
Summer Concert Series to Feature Six Nights of Electrifying Live Performances, Including Legendary Classic Rock Band, ZZ Top, and Multi-Platinum Rockers 3 Doors Down
ORLANDO, Fla. (April 10, 2012) – This June, Universal Orlando Resort’s 2012 Summer Concert Series will feature a diverse lineup of powerhouse performers, beginning with some of the biggest names in the music business. Orlando’s hottest summer event will kick off with live concerts by the talented cast of Nickelodeon’s hit TV series, “Victorious,” on Sat., June 9, and rock bands ZZ Top and 3 Doors Down on Sat., June 16.  Additional performing acts will be announced at a later date.

Cast of …

Magic Kingdom Update: Robo-Newz is Back! (Part 1)

Good morning, and welcome to Orlando Theme Park News' latest Magic Kingdom photo-report! This week we have quite a few new photos that show a great-looking Main Street U.S.A., as well as some of the other areas of the park that are currently "under the knife," as they are being refurbished. Enjoy the pictures!:

Magic Kingdom Update: Robo-Newz is Back! (Part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of this new Magic kingdom update (PART 1 can be found here).
Let's now move over to other lands of the park:

Test Track's Closing Date Revealed & More Surprises

Test Track will soon be closing for a long refurbishment, and the official closing date has finally been announced to the public, along with some unexpected (but very much appreciated!) surprises... Take a look:
Epcot - Test Track Refurbishment Starts April 16, 2012
Disney and General Motors have renewed their long-term business relationship with a new multi-year strategic alliance agreement that includes a partnership to develop a re-imagined, design-centric Test Track experience.  The current GM Test Track at Epcot will close for refurbishment on April 16, 2012, with an anticipated opening of Test Track Presented by Chevrolet scheduled for fall 2012.
The re-imagined Future World attraction will transform into the sleek “Chevrolet Design Studio at Epcot” with interactive design and styling workstations where Guests will be able to create their own custom concept vehicles. Also included will be a “SimCar” ride v…

SeaWorld Orlando's TurtleTrek Preview - Episode 5

The Inside SeaWorld official website recently uploaded the latest preview video that gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the attraction and everything that revolves around it. In this episode, SeaWorld focuses on the conservation side, showing how they take care of the Sea Turtles: _________________________________________________________________________
SeaWorld Orlando's TurtleTrek Webisode No. 5: Turtle Conservation
Take an insider's look at how SeaWorld Orlando returns a rehabilitated sea turtle back into its natural environment.  Learn from turtle expert, Dan Conklin, what this sub-adult loggerhead suffered from and how SeaWorld prepared it for its return and how you, too, can help save turtles.

For 45 years, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has helped animals in need -- ill, injured and orphaned.  More than 20,000 animals have been rescued by our experts. SeaWorld’s animal rescue team is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To help protect this threatened species, m…

No Late-Night Mail Pick-Up at WDW on April 17, 2012

Please, take notice of this advisory for next week: _________________________________________________________________________
Advisory: No Late-Day Mail Pick-Up on Tax Night (April 17, 2012)
On Tuesday, April 17, Walt Disney World Mail Services will follow their normal pick-up schedule. Any tax returns needing to be postmarked on April 17 should be taken directly to a post office to ensure timely delivery. _________________________________________________________________________
Thank you for your attention.

FASTPASS Testing at the Carousel of Progress?

Of all the attractions found in the Magic Kingdom Park, the Carousel of Progress is certainly one of those that do not need FASTPASS, and I think we can all agree on that. During our last visit to the park, which took place last Sunday, we did notice an unusual thing, though. In fact, it looks like the attraction was offering a temporary FASTPASS service. You don't believe my words? Well, then take a look for yourself!:

OT: Discussion Kingdom & Disney Project Closing

Today we have a sad news to share with you. Our friends over at have decided that they would no longer keep the site (along with their newer website) on-line. Here is their official announcement, as seen on DK: _________________________________________________________________________
Discussion Kingdom & Disney Projects Officially Close April 16, 2012
I'm here to report that both the Discussion Kingdom forums and will official close their virtual gates on Monday, April 16, 2012. The DisneyProjects twitter account will continue to report the latest Disney news right from the parks (it's important to know that it will not run forever, but enjoy the reporting for the time being). I also welcome you to follow me personally on twitter at Exprcoofto.
[...] We are sad to say this is no April Fool's joke. Myself (along with other members of the team) no longer have the time to commit to running these two fantastic web…

New Info (and Photos) Regarding "Dine with Shamu"

If you have been following our site for a while, you may know that the "Dine with Shamu" dining experience has been closed to the public since the tragic accident that struck SeaWorld Orlando in February 2010. Well, today we have some additional information and photos regarding the changes that have been done in the area, which is not walled-off any longer. Let's take a close look at what has changed:

Work on New I-Drive Live Complex to Start Soon

After having waited for an entire year, we finally have some very important news regarding the great I-Drive Live Orlando project (for more information on this planned addition, including artworks, click on this link). 
According to an article on the Orlando Sentinel (reported by our friends over at Screamscape), new restaurants owners have signed a deal with one of the proprietors of the land. Among these restaurants there would be Chuy's Tex Mex-style restaurant, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. In addition to that, there have been some talks with the Darden Company (which owns restaurants like Olive Garden, Red lobsters, etc..), even though, as the Orlando Sentinel's article states, the company has "not made any commitments."
Probably the most important piece of information from the article reveals that "both I-Shops and I-Drive Live are scheduled to open during the summer of 2013, with construction on I-Drive Live starting wi…

Fantasyland Update: Seven Dwarfs at Work (PART 1)

Hello, and welcome to our new Fantasyland Expansion update! We have lots and lots of news to report, especially from the SkyWay, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride, and more! Let's start this update:

Fantasyland Update: Seven Dwarfs at Work (PART 2)

Thank you for continuing to read this new Fantasyland update (PART 1 can be found here)
Let's now check out the Little Mermaid's area:

Portofino Bay's Harbor Nights Primavera on April 27

A special event will take place on April 27, 2012 at Universal's Portofino Bay Hotel: _________________________________________________________________________
Harbor Nights Primavera at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel Set For April 27  Featuring Wines, Gourmet Food Samples, Live Music by Johnny Cool and the Mobster Swing Band
On Friday, April 27, experience Harbor Nights Primavera - a wine tasting, gourmet food and music event at the Italian-themed Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, featuring select wines and sparkling wines, gourmet food samples, dessert station, and live music by Johnny Cool and the Mobster Swing Band. General admission tickets are $45 in advance or $55 at the door. Reserved seating is available for $75 and includes general admission ticket, reserved seating, private wine station and passed hors d’oeuvres (available online only). Harbor Nights Primavera is for guests age 21 and older. For more information, log onto _______________________________…

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

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of the weekly feature known as "The Disney Look... to the Past!"
Enjoy reading all of the following interesting facts about the Walt Disney Parks, Resorts, Movies, and more:

This Week in Disney History: April 6-12
April 10, 1992– Walt Disney Pictures releases “Newsies” Extra, extra! Read all about it! It’s turn of the 20th century New York City, and the Pulitzer and Hearst newspapers are raising their prices, making it even tougher on the young newsboys who sell them on the streets to scratch out a living. Among them is Jack Kelly (Christian Bale), who decides he’s not going to take it. Lining up support from rival newsboy groups across the city, and with help from reporter Bryan Denton (Bill Pullman), he organizes a strike and galvanizes thousands of child workers against the rich publishers. Based on the real Newsboys Strike of 1899, “Newsies” also sta…

OTPN Advisory: Newsletter Delivery Temporarily Off

To all our readers:
The Orlando Theme Park News team would like to announce that the delivery of the official OTPN newsletter will have to be temporarily stopped due to an increasing number of important activities that have to be completed first. Indeed, the team is now incredibly busy with many other things that do not allow the effective completion of this task. We sincerely apologize for this, but we look forward to sending out again our official newsletter in the near future (as soon as we can find some additional time to do so).
Once again, we are sorry for this sad but necessary change. Thank you for your patience.