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Showing posts from November, 2012

Universal Studios Update: Full of Projects (PART 1)

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A very warm welcome to our Orlando Theme Park News Readers to another very large Universal Studios Florida photo-report! Due to the fact that so much is going on in this park, our Universal Studios updates are becoming increasingly larger, and it looks like they are surpassing the size of our Fantasyland updates (by the way, do you remember when the New Fantasyland area was only a bare area, with nothing on it? We do!).
For this reason, let's not lose any time, and let us start to take a look around to see what is happening here:

Universal Studios Update: Full of Projects (PART 2)

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Welcome to part 2 of this Universal Studios photo-report (PART 1 can be found at this link).
Let's continue to take a look at the construction of the new Transformers showbuilding:

Universal Studios Update: Full of Projects (PART 3)

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Welcome to part 3 of this Universal Studios photo-update (PART 2 can be found at this link).
This small area before the new waterfront looks more spacious now, but we are not sure why:

Universal Studios Update: Full of Projects (PART 4)

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Welcome to part 4 of this Universal Studios picture-update (PART 3 can be found at this link).
Let's go back to the waterfront adjacent to the Simpsons area:

U.S. Navy Jets to Fly Over Magic Kingdom on Dec. 1

Just a minor update regarding the special events happening on December 1, 2012 at the Magic Kingdom Park due to some filming taking place along Main Street U.S.A. and near the Cinderella Castle Hub: _________________________________________________________________________

There will be a flyover of  Magic Kingdom Park by U.S. Navy jets on Saturday, December 1, 2012. U.S. Navy jets will pass over Magic Kingdom Park at approximately 11:15 a.m. Guests may hear and/or see the jets as they pass overhead during that time. As this is part of a live filming, the timing of the flyover may be subject to change. _________________________________________________________________________
Want an advice? Try to visit another theme park on December 1, as the Magic Kingdom will certainly be very busy, especially for the first part of the day (until 5 p.m.). Also, keep in mind that some shows and parades will be cancelled for that day. You can learn more about the show schedule by clicking here.

SeaWorld Launches Its Very First Mobile Game

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SeaWorld has just announced that a new ocean-themed mobile game is now available in the App Store, and it has a theme based on one of SeaWorld Orlando's newest attractions: Turtle Trek. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________

SeaWorld Launches First Mobile Game: Ocean-Themed, of Course! SeaWorld’s “Turtle Trek” Free Mobile Game App - Proceeds from In-App Purchases Help Conservation

ORLANDO, FL – November 29, 2012 – SeaWorld® announced today the company’s first mobile game, Turtle Trek™ now available from the App Store℠.
Turtle Trek is a free game download for the iPhone and iPad. Players guide an adventuresome sea turtle on a quest across the beach and into the water to find friends.  They help the plucky sea turtle navigate through the perilous seascape and conquer a variety of challenges, some dangerous and some light-hearted.
With help from friendly characters such as Shamu the killer whale and Nyah the green sea turtle, players col…

Magic Kingdom Projects: Rapunzel's Tower Now Up

Today we have an interesting news to share here on Orlando Theme Park News!
Even though we will not be able to get to the park today due to a very busy schedule, we wanted to report to our readers that one of our sources shared a great news regarding one of the minor projects currently happening at the Magic Kingdom Park. In fact, we have just been told that Rapunzel's Tower can now be seen towering over the new Tangled-themed area that is currently under construction in the park (between "It's A Small World" and the entrance to Liberty Square)! According to this report, this miniature tower is quite tall and has ivy growing around it. There are no signs of Rapunzel's hair... yet. 
As we stated on our Facebook page, we are planning on going back to the park very soon to take photos of it.
EDIT: Here's a link to one of the first photos of the new tower, taken by Twitter user "DibaDisney."

Old Dixie Stampede Building Completely Demolished

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As we reported a few days ago, the former Dixie Stampede building located along I-4 is currently being demolished (learn more by clicking here). Let's take a look at the current status of the work:

Magic Kingdom: Entertainment Changes This Week

Due to some live taping happening at the Magic Kingdom Park, some of the usual parades and shows that take place around Main Street U.S.A. and the Cinderella Castle Hub will be delayed or cancelled both this coming Friday and Saturday. Here you are additional information on this important advisory: _________________________________________________________________________ Magic Kingdom - Filming on November 30 and December 1, 2012
Filming will take place at Magic Kingdom Park on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1, during regular park hours. Park Guests who wish to do so may observe or even participate in the filming throughout the Main Street, U.S.A. and Castle forecourt areas on these days. Due to the nature of television production, filming may include many run-throughs of the same songs or parade segments in order to capture just the right elements for the broadcast.
Entertainment Changes for November 30 and December 1 : Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade at 5 p.m. (step-off…

The Latest Epcot Park Map - November 2012

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As we promised a few days ago, here you are the newest park map of Epcot, which includes the addition of Test Track's new ride description, the introduction of Bistro De Paris' new name, "Monsieur Paul," the new location of the flags representing the nations of World Showcase, and more. Here's the cover of the map (FULL-SIZE):

The map itself (FULL-SIZE):

SeaWorld's 2013 Bands, Brew, & BBQ Festival News

SeaWorld Orlando has released the names of some of the many bands that will be featured during next year's Bands, Brew, & BBQ Festival: _________________________________________________________________________
SeaWorld Orlando Announces Acts for Bands, Brew, & BBQ Festival Featuring live concerts by some of the biggest names in music
ORLANDO, Fla. (November 27, 2012) – SeaWorld Orlando announces an exciting concert lineup for its Bands, Brew & BBQ Festival, Saturdays and Sundays, February 9 – March 17. This year’s event will be bigger and better with two additional weekends of authentic sizzling BBQ and concerts.
The 2013 Bands, Brew & BBQ concert lineup includes:
Saturday, February 9            Chris Young with Jerrod Niemann Sunday, February 10             Merle Haggard Saturday, February 16          The Beach Boys Sunday, February 17             Styx Saturday, February 23          Big & Rich Sunday, February 24            Third Eye Blind Saturday, March 2����…

Behind The Scenes of New Jack Sparrow Attraction

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The official Disney Parks Blog has just released an interesting behind-the-scenes video of the new "Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow" walk-through attraction that recently soft-opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios (the attraction is slated to officially debut on December 6, 2012). Take a look and enjoy: _________________________________________________________________________
Imagineers Talk Working with Johnny Depp on The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
I absolutely love the “Pirates of Caribbean” film franchise, which is why I’m super excited to experience The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction, which will [soon] grand open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios...
The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow is a walk-through attraction that will allow guests to follow in the footsteps of Jack Sparrow to see if they have what it takes to join his rowdy and daring pirate crew. Walt Disney Imagineering just shared this amazing video with us, in which Imag…

Orlando Theme Park News Has A New Look

As most of our readers have certainly noticed, Orlando Theme Park News has just received a major refurbishment, which is only one of the many steps we are taking to make OTPN a better-looking website. We are aware of the fact that some may notice only a few differences from the previous layout of the site, but many of the changes have taken place behind the scenes or are simply less noticeable. Some of the things our readers have most definitely noticed are the wider header and footer, the new background picture and the various new images and logos that have been added here and there, all around the homepage.
As we stated at the beginning, this is just the beginning. More changes will come in the following months, but in the meantime we would love to hear from you what you think about this new look and if you are experiencing any issues. We thank you in advance for your support, and we hope to receive a lot of feedback!
- The Orlando Theme Park News Staff.

Universal's CityWalk Update: Blue Man, P!Q, & More

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Good evening dear OTPN Readers, and welcome to a brand-new Universal's CityWalk photo-report. Today we will take another look around this entertainment district located in the heart of the Universal Orlando Resort. Let's see what is new and what has changed since our last visit:

Epcot's 20th Flower & Garden Festival: More News

The Walt Disney World Resort has finally released a lot more information about the upcoming 20th International Flower & Garden Festival that will soon take place at Epcot. Here's what's in store for us: _________________________________________________________________________

20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 6-May 19 Celebrates with New Blooms, Food, Music, and ‘Oz’ Playground
The Village People and Tommy Roe Among Acts to Rock Flower Power Stage
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – A blooming bounty of festival firsts will welcome Disney guests to the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV March 6-May 19, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort.

First, the news: Epcot chefs will cook up first-time festival food and beverage fun, with special cooking stations offering exclusive-to-the-festival bites along the park’s World Showcase promenade.A new circus-like “Land of Oz Play Area,” based on the Disney fantastical film adventure “Oz: Th…

More Agent P Effects Around Epcot's World Showcase

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Agent P's World Showcase Adventure is going to expand very soon. The official Disney Parks Blog has officially stated that new effects and props are in the process of being added to some of the many "missions" available in three World Showcase pavilions. Here you are additional information: _________________________________________________________________________
Agent P Expands His Mission Through World Showcase at Epcot
Have you joined forces with Agent P at Epcot yet? The interactive game, Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure, debuted earlier this summer, but today we’re happy to announce that Agent P has added new elements to his adventures in the United Kingdom, Mexico and Japan Pavilions.

"The Fried Chicken Co." Now Open at LEGOLAND

LEGOLAND Florida has recently officially announced that the park's newest quick service restaurant located in the LEGO City area of the park - "The Fried Chicken Co." - is now open for all park guests. This is the news taken directly from LEGOLAND Florida's Facebook page:
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Hi friends! Our newest sit-down restaurant is now open in LEGO City! The Fried Chicken Company across from Ford Driving School features delicious fried chicken, chicken sandwiches and wraps, so be sure to stop in for yummy food a great retro-inspired LEGO decor! _________________________________________________________________________

We will get back to the park very soon to check out this new addition! In the meantime, we will soon post a photo-update that includes pictures taken in the park a few days ago, when the restaurant was close to its official opening day. We will post that soon, so stay tuned!

Country Bear Jamboree: Before & After Rehab (Video)

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The original Country Bear Jamboree attraction at the Magic Kingdom Park was recently closed for a long refurbishment. After a few months, it reopened with a few important changes, including some cuts of dialogues and a song or two, and the complete rehab of the bears's fur and clothes. Here is your chance to compare the new version of the show with the original one. The following video portrays the new version:


This second video shows the old (and original version). Notice how the video length is different, and take a close look at the various bears. You will notice some of the differences:

Now, after having been able to see both versions of the show at the same time, which one do you prefer? Do you agree on the fact that the show was a bit too long and boring, so a few minor cuts were needed? Or do you think the show should have been left completely intact and only refreshed by refurbishing the Audio-Animatronics and making the sound clearer? Share your comments with us. We want…

Blizzard Beach Closed Tomorrow Due to Weather

Please be advised that Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will remain closed for the entire day tomorrow (Sunday, November 25, 2012) due to forecasted low temperatures (HIGH:70; LOW:47). Please check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for any additional updates on the subject.

New Magic Kingdom Park Map - November 2012

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Magic Kingdom's newest park map showcases some nice changes, including the addition of other areas of the New Fantasyland. Take a closer look at it, thanks to these scans (FULL SIZE):

Epcot's "Bistro De Paris" to Reopen with New Name

If you have picked up one of the newest park maps of Epcot, you have surely noticed some new additions, like the fact that the December 6, 2012 grand reopening of Test Track is now officially acknowledged, or that the flags representing the various World Showcase pavilions have been moved to the right of the country's name.
Of all the changes in the park map, one definitely stands out the most. In fact one of the restaurants in the France pavilion of the park is soon going to reopen with a new name. We are referring to the former Bistro de Paris, an upscale French restaurant that was closed some months ago to be completely renovated. The new name of the restaurant will be "Monsieur Paul", which means Mister Paul, of course. Now, what has changed inside the restaurant itself? It looks like we will find out very soon, as the restaurant is slated to reopen early next month. We will continue to keep you up-to-date.
Also, we will soon post a scan of this new Epcot map, so yo…

Bye Bye, Dixie Stampede Building, Hello Shops

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Not many of our readers may know this, but Orlando was once home of Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede, a lively dinner show that definitely had a very patriotic feeling. The Orlando version of the show debuted in June of 2003, but then closed in January 2008 after after the company had been offered a considerable amount of money for the space formerly occupied by the dinner show. After that deal, an flea market briefly opened, but then closed almost immediately due to multiple issues. After years of being vacant, the demolition of that large building started in November 2012 (that is, now!). So, now that you have a bit of a background information, check out the current status of the demolition (NOTE: these photos were taken a few days ago):


More Information on 2013 Flower & Garden Festival

The Walt Disney World Resort recently released some basic information regarding next year's International Flower & Garden Festival, which will be held - as always - at Epcot. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Promises Floral Fantasy and Topiary Triumphs from March 6 – May 19, 2013
The Fab Five are having a party, and everyone’s invited to join the fun during the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 6-May 19, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort. Colorful, whimsical topiaries of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck will welcome topiary Daisy to their Epcot front-entrance celebratory barbecue. The 14-foot-tall topiary Goofy will bobble an anniversary cake while Donald and Daisy play badminton, Mickey fires up the grill, Pluto swipes a link of hot dogs and Minnie chills out on a colorful blanket of blossoms.
And that’s just the festival…

The Disney Look... to the Past! (November 16-29)

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Hello, and welcome to this special latest edition of the weekly feature known as "The Disney Look... to the Past!" Enjoy reading the following interesting facts about the Walt Disney Parks, Resorts, Movies, and more:
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This Week in Disney History: November 16-29
Nov. 17, 1989 - Walt Disney Pictures releases "The Little Mermaid" Many point to this adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's tale about a mermaid princess who longed to be part of the human world as the start of the "Disney Renaissance," when Walt Disney Animation Studios produced a decade-long string of films that were its most celebrated works since the passing of its founder. It was the second pairing of directors Ron Clements and John Musker, who had previously worked on "The Great Mouse Detective" (1986) and would later oversee "Aladdin" (1992) and "The Princess and the Frog" (2009). Lyri…

Guest Post: Save Money at Orlando Theme Parks

Today we wanted to share with our readers the very first Guest Post to ever appear on our website. Guests Posts are created by outside companies, and are NOT written by the OTPN Staff. We are receiving multiple inquires on the subject, so we decided to go ahead and publish some of them. This first one could interest quite a few of our readers, as it discusses some very basic ways of saving money while visiting the many theme parks here in Central Florida. We hope you will enjoy it: _________________________________________________________________________
How to Save Money at Orlando Theme Parks
A family vacation must be affordable and at the same time you want to make sure you have a good time. See these excellent suggestions regarding budget-friendly family vacations to Orlando. You and your family will enjoy the time and have lots of fun in this beautiful vacation spot without having to spend too much money.
- Best Months to Visit
The months of April, May and October are a perfect ti…

LEGOLAND Florida: Star Wars Miniland (PART 1)

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As you well know, LEGOLAND Florida's Star Wars Miniland officially opened only a few days ago. For this reason, we want to share with you an extensive photo-gallery documenting the entire area  which is quite spectacular despite its very limited square footage. We hope you will enjoy it!:

LEGOLAND Florida: Star Wars Miniland (PART 2)

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Welcome to part 2 of this Star Wars Miniland photo-gallery (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Before continuing our tour of the area, we need to make a stop and say hello to Darth Vader and R2-D2:

Orlando Theme Park News: "Blogspot" is Gone

Today we have got some exciting news for our readers!
As you know, Orlando Theme Park News was started back in 2009, and it has always been rightly considered a blog. The domain that accompanied our blog was www.orlandoparksnews.blogspot.com, and this definitely didn't allow us to expand our presence in the internet, due to the nature of the domain.
Well, from today (Wednesday, November 21, 2012), the official domain of Orlando Theme Park News will change! We can now be reached at www.orlandoparksnews.com.
This is only the first of a series of changes that will take place in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Celebrate The Magic! - New Projection Show (VIDEO)

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As you know, a new and improved projection show recently debuted at the Magic Kingdom Park, called "Celebrate The Magic!". It is very similar to its predecessor ("The Magic, The Memories, and You!"), but this time the show does not feature photos of Guests, and we have to say that we consider that an improvement, as the pictures shown on Cinderella Castle were not clearly visible. In some instances, they were not visible at all. "Celebrate The Magic" actually celebrates (as the name correctly implies) the characters that distinguish the great storytelling techniques that only Disney can use.
But, instead of describing the whole show to you, we think it is better if you see it firsthand. Enjoy the video!:



So, after having seen the show, what do you personally think about it? Do you find this an improvement over the former "The Magic, The Memories, and You!" show (in case you need to refresh your memory, you can find our video of that show by CLI…

Fort Wilderness Parking Lot: Temporary Closure

Please,  take note of this advisory regarding the parking lot of the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground: _________________________________________________________________________
Fort Wilderness Parking Lot Closure (November 2012)
Due to limited capacity, Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will hard close Nov. 23-24. The Guest parking lot will be restricted to only those Guests staying at the resort or with dining or recreation reservations. _________________________________________________________________________
Thank you for your attention. It looks like this coming weekend is going to be a really busy one!

Big Thunder Mountain Receives New Story & Queue

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The official Disney Parks Blog revealed something very interesting just yesterday. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will soon receive new interactive elements in the queue area. Yes, I am aware that most of us (crazy Disney fans!) already knew this, but something more will be added along these new enhancements. Indeed, a  new backstory has been introduced to justify these new additions. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
Walt Disney Imagineers Unveil the Backstory of Barnabas T. Bullion, Founder and President of Big Thunder Mining Company
Last week, we shared an image of a portrait that’s a part of a new project our Walt Disney Imagineers are currently working on – and today we’re happy to reveal the identity of that man and share details on the role he’ll play in the enhanced storyline of a certain Magic Kingdom Park attraction, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

SeaWorld Orlando Announces Acts for "Just for Kids"

SeaWorld Orlando has just revealed the official list of the artists that will appear during next year's Just for Kids Festival, which will take place in January and February. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
SeaWorld Orlando Announces Acts for "Just For Kids" Featuring performances by kids’ favorite entertainers and more
ORLANDO, Fla. – SeaWorld Orlando announces an amazing concert line-up for its Just For Kids festival, Saturdays January 12 – February 2. The 2013 Just For Kids concert lineup includes: Saturday, January 12    Imagination MoversSaturday, January 19    Laurie Berkner – Solo PerformanceSaturday, January 26    Choo-Choo Soul with GenevieveSaturday, February 2    Kratt Brothers Live Featuring the stars of Wild Kratts Concerts are included with park admission, with show times at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at SeaWorld’s Nautilus Theater. For more details about Just For Kids, visit www.SeaWorldOrlando.com ______…

Universal Studios: Simpsons Project Begins (PART 1)

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Since Universal Studios Florida is seemingly still not happy with all the major projects taking place all around the parks and the rest of the Universal Orlando Resort, another very important project has been given the green light, and work has already started. As we stated multiple times in the past few months, we are entering into a golden decade for the Universal Orlando Resort. There are an incredible number of new attractions, restaurants, stores, and even a brand-new hotel under construction... all at once! Since so much is going on, we needed to bring you a larger-than-usual photo-report. We hope this will not bother you. ;-)
Let's start this update now. We hope you will enjoy it!

Universal Studios: Simpsons Project Begins (PART 2)

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Thank you for reading this new Universal Studios update. This is part 2 (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Let's get back to the Transformers construction site:

Universal Studios: Simpsons Project Begins (PART 3)

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Thank you for reading this new Universal Studios update. This is part 3 (PART 2 can be found HERE).
Now, let's continue to take a look around... It looks some kind of lasers or projectors have been installed on top of Lombard's Seafood Grille (we are not sure if these were there in the past):

Universal Studios: Simpsons Project Begins (PART 4)

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Thank you for reading this new Universal Studios update. This is part 4 (PART 3 can be found HERE).
Let's continue with a  few more photos of the Transformers Ride building from across the lagoon:

Universal Studios: Simpsons Project Begins (PART 5)

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Thank you for reading this new Universal Studios update. This is part 5 (PART 4 can be found HERE).

We will now take a look at the huge building in the former Amity area from the other side of the lagoon:

Reminder: New Fantasyland Now Open to All Guests

After more than three years of patiently waiting for this to happen...
The time has finally arrived. The New Fantasyland is now officially in soft-opening status for all Guests. This means that you have a 99.9% chance of previewing all the Fantasyland Forest's attractions, dining areas, and more! Be aware that the park may be busier than usual due to this special occasion.
If you have already experienced the New Fantasyland, consider sharing your thought and opinions with us!

Senses - New Disney Spa Opening at Grand Floridian

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The official Disney Parks Blog recently announced the opening of a new spa inside the Grand Floridian Resort, which promises to be one of the best (and costliest) experiences. Here are additional information: _________________________________________________________________________

Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
A soothing escape into a world of pampering and relaxation is just steps away from Disney theme park fun at the newly re-imagined Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. The fully remodeled spa, now owned and operated by Disney, is set to open December 17 [2012].
I recently had a chance to duck in for a sneak peek and our Imagineers did a splendid job of blending Grand Floridian turn-of-the-century elegance with modern touches – plus a dash of Disney whimsy. Here are some of the highlights:

Blizzard Beach Closed Tomorrow Due to Weather

Please be advised that Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will be closed tomorrow (Monday, November 19, 2012) due to forecasted low temperatures. That is very strange, as tomorrow temperatures will be around the mid-70's, and that has been the trend for the past week, even though the water park was not closed in the past few days... Anyway, we recommend you continue to check back here on OTPN for any additional updates.

The Disney Look... to the Past! (November 9-15)

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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:
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This Week in Disney History: November 9-15
Nov. 14, 2007 - Yak and Yeti Restaurant opens at Disney's Animal Kingdom If you need a hearty meal before scaling the heights of Expedition Everest, or perhaps if you could use some refreshments afterward, drop in to the town of Anandapur at the Yak and Yeti Restaurant to experience the local Pan-Asian cuisine. According to legend, the merchant Arjun turned his large home into an enclave for travelers passing through the Himalayas, and the multiple dining rooms are furnished with mismatched artifacts and decor that he amassed during his journeys through Southeast Asia. The full-service lunch and dinner menu includes specialties like roast duck wi…

Save at Fun Spot Attractions During Black Friday

Fun Spot's attractions are offering a great deal for this year's Black Friday event. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________

Huge Black Friday Savings From Fun Spot Attractions
On Black Friday, and only Black Friday, November 23, Fun Spot Attractions is offering a HUGE deal. Fun Spot is offering their 2013 Annual Pass for 50% off. A great value for the normal retail value of $119.95 becomes huge when it is on sale for only $59.95.
Fun Spot with a 5 acre park off International Drive, that will expand to 15 acres in 2013, and a 9 acre park on Highway 192 in Kissimmee, was named in 2012 as the Best Family Entertainment Center in the USA by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). All Black Friday sales are on line only at www.FunSpotAttractions.com.Only 500 Annual Passes per park will be issued on Black Friday. Limit 6 passes per purchase. Sale goes from Thursday Midnight – Friday Midnight.Customer cho…

Islands of Adventure Update: Evening Shots (PART 1)

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Hello Orlando Theme Park News Readers! It is a nice Saturday afternoon, and despite the fact that we usually have a smaller number of readers checking out our website during the weekends, we want to reward those who follow us daily. For this reason, we hope you will enjoy this new Islands of Adventure update:

Islands of Adventure Update: Evening Shots (PART 2)

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Welcome to part 2 of this new Islands of Adventure photo-update (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Let's continue to take a look around the future home of the train that will connect Islands of Adventure with its sister park, Universal Studios Florida:

Islands of Adventure Update: Evening Shots (PART 3)

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Welcome to part 3 of our new Islands of Adventure photo-report (PART 2 can be found HERE).
We will now continue to take a nighttime tour of Toon Lagoon:

New Themed Dessert to Debut at Hollywood Studios

With the grand opening of the new "Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow" walk-through on December 6, a new dessert will be introduced at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Here you are additional information, from Disney: _________________________________________________________________________
When The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow opens, there will be more than the swashbucklin’ experience at the park. Expect to find a treasure map, a doubloon, pearls and more in a treasure chest dreamed up by the park’s Bakery team. Imagine a chocolate cupcake topped with chocolate butter cream and edible pearls. The treat is set in a keepsake treasure box fit for pirates and pirate princesses, and surrounded by a key, map, doubloon and “barnacles.” All of the edible pirate booty calls to mind the “Pirates of the Caribbean” and completes the adventurous experience. The dessert will cost $8.99 plus tax, and Guests will be able to purchase it at Starring Rolls and Studio Catering Company. ________…

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin - Third Webisode

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SeaWorld Orlando has officially released the third installment of their exciting video-previews of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, the fantastic new land that will open next Spring. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________

SeaWorld Orlando releases Third Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin Video - Behind the Freeze: Ride Experience 
Orlando, Fla. (Nov. 16, 2012) – The third installment of Behind The Freeze is now live and available for you to upload to your site or link to. The third Behind The Freeze focuses on the incredible vehicle that will transport you and your family to the icy wonders of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. SeaWorld’s Creative Director Brian Morrow shares details about the cars, technological marvels, and the ride, a theme park “first.” Each car is a mobile simulator, with movements that allow guests to become one with the storyline as they follow a young penguin’s adventures. For the first time in any theme park, th…

Lo-Q Express System Officially Introduced at USF

You may remember from some of our latest Islands of Adventure updates that Universal was testing another kind of ride reservation system, known as Lo-Q. It basically includes having a small, round device where Guests enter the desired ride time for maximum one ride at a time, and then come back to the attraction at the appointed time (it is very similar to Disney's FASTPASS system, minus the paper tickets). Now, after having successfully tested the system at Universal Islands of Adventure, it has been decided to officially add this system to all the rides of Universal Studios Florida (with the exception of Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit). Read the official statement from the Universal Orlando Resort: _________________________________________________________________________
Ride Reservation System Debuts at Universal Studios Florida
The Universal Ride Reservation System provides guests with an interactive pager to make reservations, one at a time, for Express-accessible attractions thro…

Fun Spot Wins Award During 2013 IAAPA Convention

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Fun Spot has won a great award during this year's IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) convention that took place in the Orange County Convention Center here in sunny Orlando, Florida. Here is the official press release that was sent to us directly by Fun Spot: _________________________________________________________________________
IAAPA Names Local Fun Spot the Best in the USA
On Wednesday, November 14, 2012, at the Brass Ring Awards portion of the IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) the locally owned and operated Fun Spot Action Park, located just off International Drive was named the “Best Family Entertainment Center in the USA”.

Owner and CEO, John Arie, Sr declared, “I am thrilled. I have been in this business since the 1960s and to receive this honor is something I want to share with my family and my Fun Spot family.” Arie added, “We weren't named the best in Orlando, or Florida, but they named us the bes…

A Small Piece of the Land of Oz Coming to Epcot

Before you get too excited, we want to make sure you understand that the title may sound a bit misleading. A small section of the Land of Oz (from the homonymous movie coming out next year) is indeed coming to Epcot in 2013, but only as part of the International Flower & Garden Festival (it is expected to be placed in the former "Brave" themed playground, right across from the Imagination pavilion). From the Disney Park Blog: _________________________________________________________________________
2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Will Whisk Children to the Land of Oz
Have you seen the previews for the upcoming Walt Disney Studios’ film “Oz The Great and Powerful”? I have and this movie sure looks amazing!
In case you aren’t yet familiar, the film tells the back story of Oz The Great and Powerful. Here’s the synopsis: When Oscar Diggs, a small-time magician, is hurled away from Kansas to the Land of Oz, he thinks fame and fortune are his for the taki…

Fantasyland: Tangled Area Partially Open (PART 1)

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Good afternoon (or good morning/good evening/good night, depending on where you live!) everyone, and welcome to this very special Fantasyland photo-report! Why is it special? Because we personally thought we would have never had to put together another update focused on one land alone, since the New Fantasyland is now (unofficially) open. That said, there is so much going on in this area of the park that we needed to post a five-part update. We are definitely sure you will enjoy it. Let's start:

Fantasyland: Tangled Area Partially Open (PART 2)

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Thank you for continuing to read this new update (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Let us continue to take an over-the-walls look around this new (and beautiful) Tangled themed area:

Fantasyland: Tangled Area Partially Open (PART 3)

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Thank you for continuing to read this new photo-report (PART 2 can be found HERE).
We will now quick look around the New Fantasyland:

Fantasyland: Tangled Area Partially Open (PART 4)

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Thank you for continuing to read this new photo-update (PART 3 can be found HERE).
Work on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride are proceeding at a faster pace:

Fantasyland: Tangled Area Partially Open (PART 5)

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Thank you for continuing to read this new update (PART 4 can be found HERE).
Let's go back to Storybook Circus:

Nice Article on New Transformers: The Ride at USF

The "Best of Orlando" website just recently shared with us a link to one of their newest articles on the Transformers ride coming to Universal Studios Florida in 2013, which was recently officially announced.
The article goes in depth taking a look at the status of the park before the announcement was made, the reasons behind this addition, the challenges the park had to face (and is still facing) to build that immense showbuilding, and much more. It includes some interesting facts that were not mentioned anywhere else. We definitely recommend you taking a look at it, especially since it looks like it was written directly by famous theme park connoisseur Jim Hill.

Atmosphere Entertainment Coming to Fantasyland

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Great news coming from the New Fantasyland. Some new characters will make daily appearances around the forest, greeting guests and interacting with them in multiple ways. Read more from the Disney Parks Blog: _________________________________________________________________________
Interactive Atmosphere Entertainment Adds to the Experience of New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park
At Disney Parks, we produce hundreds of different live entertainment experiences for our guests every day, from intimate character greetings to astounding nighttime spectaculars. Some of my favorite entertainment in the parks is what we refer to as “atmosphere.” Rather than big shows for a mass audience, these are the little surprises you come across when you least expect them.

“With the opening of New Fantasyland, we’re excited to introduce several new atmosphere groups that will become part of the storytelling experience you’ll find there,” said Creative Director Reed Jones. “They’re going to bring the nei…

Free Wireless Internet at Disney's Animal Kingdom

After all the other Disney Theme Parks here in Central Florida (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney's Hollywood Studios) received the complementary wireless internet service earlier this year, it has been officially announced that Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park has been the next park to go "on-line." 
Guests with wireless-enabled devices (laptops, I-Pads, I-Pods, I-Phones, tablets, Android Phones, Smart Phones, etc...) can now connect to the complimentary network by locating the network (called Disney – Guest), selecting it to connect and then accepting the terms and conditions. Once you do that, you will automatically connect to the network in locations where the Disney – Guest Wi-Fi network is available.
Please, note that certain areas of the park may experience slow speeds on the network or may not be enabled at this time. Additional areas in the park will come online later over the coming weeks. It has also been confirmed that complimentary Wi-Fi is also planne…

SeaWorld Orlando Unveils Antarctica Ride Vehicle

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This morning, SeaWorld Orlando finally revealed to the public the beautiful ride vehicle that will take Guests in a fantastic journey through a glacial environmental. Take a look at this official press release: _________________________________________________________________________

SeaWorld Orlando Unveils Ride Car for 2013 Attraction
Orlando, FL (November 13, 2012) – At the world’s largest theme park convention – the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ Expo 2012 - SeaWorld Orlando execs revealed the vehicle that will take guests on a first-of-its-kind ride to the frozen south in the park’s 2013 attraction and all-new realm, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.
“There’s nothing else like this in the world,” said Brian Morrow, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment creative director. “Next year, this is the vehicle that will take families on an epic adventure and allow them to experience and interact with the thrills, wonders and dangers of Antarctica, all through…

Help Madame Tussauds Orlando With A New Survey

Madame Tussauds will open a new location in Central Florida next year, specifically in the I-Drive Live area currently under construction along International Drive, and we all knew that. Now, Merlin Entertainment (the company that owns these great wax museums) is asking for your help. You can give them your own opinion regarding the celebrities, people, and fictional characters that you would like to see included in the attraction. To do so, you just need to participate in this very brief survey:
CLICK HERE TO BE REDIRECTED TO THE OFFICIAL MADAME TUSSAUDS SURVEY >
This is your chance to decide which wax figures you may be able to see int this future attraction! In addition to that, the company will give out two free tickets to a Merlin attraction (not yet specified) to the first 400 people that will take the survey, so hurry! A thank you to Orlando Attractions Magazine for reporting this.

Epcot Update: A Quick Look Around the Park

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Hello, and welcome to our new, brief Epcot photo-report. We will take a look at both Future World and World Showcase to see what has changed and what has not. We certainly hope you will enjoy the photos (NOTE: The following photos were taken a few days ago, so some of the rehab projects may look different as of today):

WDW Refurbishments Calendar (Nov.-Dec. 2012)

To help our readers with their upcoming trips to the Walt Disney World Resort, we put together this calendar that includes all the rides, shows, restaurants, and shops that are currently scheduled to close for refurbishment during the months of November and December 2012. Here it is: MAGIC KINGDOMNo closures currently scheduled.New Fantasyland: OFFICIALLY OPENS DECEMBER 6, 2012EPCOTTest Track: SOFT OPENS DEC. 1; OFFICIALLY OPENS DEC. 6, 2012Inside Track: REOPENS DECEMBER 6, 2012Bistro de Paris: REOPENS DECEMBER 10, 2012Souvenirs de France: REOPENS NOVEMBER 16, 2012DISNEY'S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOSLights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show: REOPENS NOVEMBER 15, 2012Studio Backlot Tour: REOPENS NOVEMBER 17, 2012American Film Institute Showcase: REOPENS NOVEMBER 17, 2012American Film Institute Showcase Shop: REOPENS NOVEMBER 17, 2012The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow: OFFICIALLY OPENS DECEMBER 6, 2012 DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM THEME PARKNo closures currently scheduled.DISNEY'S TYPHOON …

More Information on New "Celebrate the Magic" Show

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The official Disney Parks Blog has recently released new images and information regarding "Celebrate the Magic," the new nighttime projection show that will take place every evening in front of the great Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom Park, starting from tomorrow evening. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
It’s Time to ‘Celebrate the Magic’ at Magic Kingdom Park
Back in August, we told you about “Celebrate the Magic,” a new nighttime projection show coming to Magic Kingdom Park. Well, our Creative Entertainment team has been working around the clock to get everything ready, and now it’s almost show time!
“Celebrate the Magic” pays tribute to the artistry and imagination of Disney stories, from beloved classics to contemporary favorites. As the show begins, Tinker Bell appears to fly around Cinderella Castle, weaving in and out of the turrets. She splashes pixie dust on the castle, transforming it into a spectacular …

Universal Orlando Seeing Increase in Film Production

Universal Orlando is once again seeing a quite important increase in the number of films, animated movies, and live shows produced on site, specifically at Universal Studios Florida. That's a great news, as the park was initially conceived to be also a movie production facility (hence the huge number of soundstages present in the backstage areas, which have mostly been used for special events only up until a couple of years ago). Here's the official news coming from the Universal Orlando Resort: _________________________________________________________________________
Updates from the Universal Studios Florida Production Group 
Our backlot and soundstages have seen an uptick in activity ever since the state of Florida adopted the Entertainment Industry Financial Incentive Program in July, 2010. Designed to bring more film, television, and digital media production to our state, the program has directly benefited our Universal  Studios Florida Production Group (USFPG).
Programs …