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Showing posts from January, 2013

A Glimpse of the Renovated California Grill Restaurant

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The official Disney Parks Blog just posted some renderings of the new look of the refurbished California Grill Restaurant, situated on top of Disney's Contemporary Resort. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________

Here’s a Look at the New California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World Resort
Just to whet your appetite, here are renderings of the new California Grill dining room and onstage kitchen, set to open in late summer. Designed by the Puccini Group in San Francisco, the spacious restaurant atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort will feature a wall of wines at the entrance and, of course, spectacular views from every table.

Typhoon Lagoon Closed on Feb. 1 Due to Weather

Please be advised that Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will continue to remain closed on Friday, February 1, 2013, due to forecasted low temperatures (highs in the 60s). The water park is expected to reopen the day after tomorrow ( Saturday, February 2, 2013). As a reminder, Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park is still closed for its seasonal refurbishment and will reopen on March 16, 2013. 
Please check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for the latest information.

Fun Spot Looking for Dancers for New TV Spot

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Fun Spot is looking for people who would like to be featured in their newest TV advertisement! Learn more:


Want to be in a Fun Spot TV commercial?
Be part of a MOB DANCE/GANGHAM STYLE-ISH

We are looking for lots of dancers. Adults & those over 12 years old. More rehearsal the larger the part. We already have the choreography, music and script. Rehearsal – Monday, 2/4 from 4-6 pm at Fun Spot Kissimmee – Just off Hwy 192, MM#9Taping – Wednesday, 2/6 from 3-6 pm at Fun Spot Kissimmee – Just off Hwy 192, MM#9 Each performer who participates in the commercial will receive a $35 Fun Spot pass to either of our Parks & a $40 SkyCoaster pass.Each performer will need to sign a waiver permitting us to use their image in our commercial. If a person is under 18, a parent or guardian will be required to sign the waiver. Want more information? Then contact Mr. Mark Brisson at mbrisson@fun-spot.com for an email copy of the music and script. Visit also www.FunSpotAttractions.com. It’s going to be…

Typhoon Lagoon Closed Tomorrow Due to Weather

Please, be aware of the fact that Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be closed tomorrow (Thursday, January 31, 2013) due to forecasted low temperatures, and it is expected to remain closed also on February 1. As a reminder, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park is also currently closed for its seasonal refurbishment. 
Please check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for any additional updates.

Universal Studios Update: Building Fast (PART 1)

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After having taken a small vacation, it is time to get back to work and bring you the latest news from the parks around the area. Today we will take a look around of the most amazing studios theme parks ever created, that is currently receiving a lot of fantastic additions that area going to completely change the look and feel of the park in the near future. We are referring to Universal Studios Florida. Let's start:

Universal Studios Update: Building Fast (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this Universal Studios Florida photo-report (PART 1 can be found here).
Time to go back to the Transformers building:

Universal Studios Update: Building Fast (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this Universal Studios Florida photo-update (PART 2 can be found here).
Let's now take a look around the renovated restrooms in the New York section of the park:

Universal Studios Update: Building Fast (PART 4)

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Welcome to PART 4 of this Universal Studios Florida picture-report (PART 3 can be found here).
We will now focus our attention on the future "Simpsons Land" (not an official name). Let's take a look from across the lagoon first, and then we will get nearer to the area:

Universal Studios Update: Building Fast (PART 5)

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Welcome to PART 5 of this Universal Studios Florida picture-report (PART 4 can be found here).
We'll now wrap up our update by focusing on some minor additions and improvements:

Epcot: New Instrument, Music Added to"Off Kilter"

The Walt Disney World Resort just announced that beginning later this month, the famous rock band “Off-Kilter” (that plays on the stage right next to the Canada pavilion at Epcot) will now feature a newly-introduced instrument called fiddle, commonly heard in both traditional and rock music from Canada. This instrument will replace the existing keyboard, and according to Disney, this will enable the group "to perform even more Canadian rock songs and traditional French-Canadian music."
Guests will hear the new musical selections in the upcoming months as the band will have to take the time to rehearse. We are positive that we will continue to love their music, no matter what!

Vote for Walt Disney World's 2014 Merchandise Logo

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Yes, it may sound a bit too early to think about this, but the Walt Disney World Resort (and the Disneyland Resort in California) is asking for your help in deciding which logo should be featured in the merchandise items that will become available to Guests next year (in 2014). Here you are the three original design styles, which have been created by the talented artists at Disney.

List of Touch-to-Pay Locations at Walt Disney World

As you certainly know, the Walt Disney World Resort is getting ready to officially welcome all the new features brought by the Next-Generation project, and this includes new - and seemingly quicker - ways to pay for merchandise, food, park tickets, and much more. For this reason, as we reported a few weeks ago, some new payment devices are now available for Guests to use around the Walt Disney World Resort. Here you are an updated list that includes all the locations that currently have these touch-to-pay devices:
Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, ESPN Wide World of Sports; Disney's All-Star Resorts, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Old Key West Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Resort, Dis…

The Disney Look... to the Past! (January 25-31)

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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: January 25-31
Jan. 25, 1961 - Walt Disney Pictures releases “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” Fed up with the single life in London, a clever dalmatian named Pongo takes his songwriting owner Roger for a walk in the park, where they intertwine with the charming Anita and her dalmatian, Perdita. Before long, their owners are married and the dogs have become proud parents of fifteen dalmatian pups. Unfortunately, fur aficionado Cruella De Vil would kill to have this litter, and she doesn’t take no for an answer. When the pups go missing, animals across England join forces to reunite Pongo and Perdita with their progeny - plus the 84 extra dalmatians they happened to …

"Polar Plunge" Returns to SeaWorld Orlando in 2013

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Aquatica to Host the 4th Annual Special Olympics Florida Polar Plunge
ORLANDO, Fla. -  Aquatica is pleased to be hosting the fourth annual Special Olympics Florida Polar Plunge® 2013 on Saturday, February 2.  Individuals and teams, alongside Special Olympics athletes, families, sponsors and community members will experience heart-warming and bone chilling-extremes as they take the plunge into the cold Aquatica wave pool to raise money for Special Olympics Florida.
Hundreds of “Plungers” are expected to participate in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Florida – and there’s still plenty of time to join in this unique, wacky event.  In addition to jumping into cold water for a good cause, a highlight of the annual event is the array of crazy costumes Plungers are encouraged to wear in the name of fun.
You can take the Plunge individually or with a team, and everyone who raises a minimum of $100 may Plunge. For just $100 in pledges, Plungers will receive admission to Aquatica, an All-D…

10th Anniversary of Space Shuttle Columbia at KSC

The Kennedy Space Center will host a very important special event on February 1, 2013:
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Ceremony On the 10th Anniversary of Space Shuttle Columbia
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (January 22, 2013) – The Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF) is holding a ceremony to honor the crew of space shuttle Columbia STS-107 in remembrance of the 10th anniversary of the Columbia disaster at 10 a.m. EDT on Feb. 1, 2013. The ceremony being held at the Space Mirror Memorial at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex celebrates and memorializes all astronauts who have sacrificed their lives for the nation and its space program.
Ceremony speakers include Thad Altman, AMF president and chief executive officer; Jon A. McBride, AMF Board of Directors chairman and former astronaut; Mick Ukleja, Ph.D., AMF Board of Trustees chairman; Evelyn Husband-Thompson, widow of Colonel Rick Husband, commander space shuttle Columbia STS-107; Eileen Colli…

Theme Park Fun: A "Seven Flags" Advertisement

Nope, you read the title correctly. Today we are going to share with you something unusual: an ad for a theme park that is not found in Central Florida, but that we think would be great if it was built here. It is called Seven Flags, and is actually airing an advertisement on TV. This was featured on Conan's show. Take a look:

Well, what can we say... We certainly would love to have such rides in any of the theme parks in our area.

VIDEO: TM & © 2013 Team Coco Digital LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Flower & Garden Festival: Featured HGTV Stars (2013)

The official Disney Parks Blog recently released the complete lineup of the HGTV stars that will be making appearances during this year's International Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot. Take a look:
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Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Brings Perennial Favorites, New Faces From HGTV
We are less than a month and a half away from the start of the 20th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival; and boy are we excited! For the third year in a row, the Festival is being presented by HGTV which, of course, means the stars of your favorite HGTV and DIY Network shows will once again be on hand to meet festivalgoers and give expert tips and tricks.
New to this year’s festival are HGTV and DIY superstars like Florida’s own David Bromstad (HGTV Design Star, ColorSplash, Design Star All-Stars); Egypt Sherrod, new host of HGTV’s Property Virgins; Sara Peterson, editor-in-chief of HGTV Magaz…

Long-Lost Disney Friends at WDW: Official Photos

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The Long-Lost Friends week officially ended today at the Magic Kingdom Park (you will remember that this special event is part of the new Limited Time Magic campaign that will run through the year). Here you are some official photos of some of the characters that appeared in the park during this special, limited time:

WDW: World Drive Roadwork (Jan. 28-31, 2013)

Please, take note of the following advisory regarding some road works that will be done on World Drive:

World Drive (between Seven Seas Drive and the entry to Disney's Contemporary Resort) will be closed for paving work nightly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., January 28-31, 2013. During the project, traffic needing to reach Disney's Contemporary Resort can do so from the north only. All traffic traveling around the Magic Kingdom Park during this time will be detoured on Seven Seas Drive and Floridian Way. All drivers are encouraged to use added caution when traveling through this area, and follow the direction of the flagmen and detour signs in place.
Thank you for your attention, and keep checking back here on Orlando Theme Park News for any additional advisory on this and other subjects. We will continue to keep you up-to-date as always.

SeaWorld Update: Antarctica, Atlantis, Etc. (PART 1)

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Good evening, and welcome to this latest SeaWorld Orlando update, brought to you by the Orlando Theme Park News Team (that seemingly never takes a vacation from posting updates)! This time we seriously have a ton of pictures to share with you (almost 200), so you can be sure that this update will keep you busy for a while. Are you ready to go? Well then, let's start right away:

SeaWorld Update: Antarctica, Atlantis, Etc. (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this brand-new SeaWorld Orlando update! PART 1 can be found here.

Let's continue to take a look at Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin from above:


SeaWorld Update: Antarctica, Atlantis, Etc. (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this brand-new SeaWorld Orlando update! PART 2 can be found at this link.

It is now time to get a sneak-peek of Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin from the ground:

SeaWorld Update: Antarctica, Atlantis, Etc. (PART 4)

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Welcome to PART 4 of this brand-new SeaWorld Orlando update! PART 3 can be found here.
Let's continue to take a look around Journey to Atlantis while it is closed for its seasonal refurbishment:

SeaWorld Update: Antarctica, Atlantis, Etc. (PART 5)

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Welcome to PART 5 of this brand-new SeaWorld Orlando update! PART 4 can be found here.
Continuing our tour of the park, we found out that the Dolphin Nursery has been closed fora refurbishment:

New French Boulangerie at Epcot: Operating Hours

Today, the Orlando Theme Park News Team would just like to bring out an interesting tip regarding the new bakery that opened just a few weeks ago in the France pavilion at Epcot.
This new (and very appreciated) eatery has an interesting operating schedule. Despite the fact that the rest of World Showcase opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m., the bakery does NOT follow that operating schedule. In fact, according to this week's Epcot Times Guide, the Boulangerie Les Halles (that's the official name of the bakery) opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m. Now, that is quite strange, as it means that Guests may be able to go to the boulangerie while the rest of World Showcase will still be closed. We think this will be a nice way to allow Guests to have another breakfast choice in the park in addition to Sunshine Seasons, but we also think that some Guests may feel a bit lost seeing that the rest of the World Showcase will actually open two hours later...
If you would like to see som…

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil: New Ticket Category

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Please, be aware of the fact that La Nouba™ by Cirque du Soleil® will make some important adjustments to pricing for performances beginning from last Tuesday (January 22, 2013). Here is the list of the new prices:

If you would like to compare these new prices with the older ones (to see if there has been any increase), CLICK HERE. You will notice that actually all prices are still the same (a price increase already took place on September 25, 2012), but a brand-new category has been added (the "Golden Circle").

Magic Kingdom Park Hours Extended: Jan. 26, 2013

If you are currently planning to visit the Magic Kingdom Park this coming Saturday, you will be glad to know that park hours have been extended for that day. In fact, as stated in one of the latest Walt Disney World Resort advisories, "in order to give Guests more time to enjoy our park, operating hours at Magic Kingdom Park have been extended until 11 p.m. on Saturday, January 26, 2013."
Yes, you'll have even more time to have fun in the park! That said, it looks like it will be busier than expected...

New Pirates-Themed Game Coming to Magic Kingdom

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Not surprisingly, the Disney Parks Blog just announced that another new interactive game is coming to the Walt Disney World Resort. This time, it is one more addition coming specifically to the Magic Kingdom Park.
According to this news, the official name of this new interactive quest will be "A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas." As you will rightly infer, the game will debut in Adventureland, where Guests will be able to choose their own pirates' adventures starting from this spring. Here's a great artist rendering about this:

In A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas, you will have to use a map to guide yourself around the land, and you will have to complete five different adventures. The official description of this game states that "the goal is to help locate different Treasures of the Seven Seas and fight off pirate enemies like the Royal Navy and Captain Barbossa, among others. If guests help Captain Jack succeed in all the missi…

Typhoon Lagoon Closed Today Due to Cool Weather

Please, take note of the fact that Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will remain closed today (Wednesday, January 23, 2013), due to forecasted low temperatures. As a reminder, Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park continues to be down for its seasonal refurbishment.
Please check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for any additional updates on this and other subjects.

Epcot Update: New Boulangerie & More (PART 1)

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Hello, and welcome to this latest Epcot photo-update. This week we have quite a few news to report from this beautiful theme park, so let us start from the very beginning (as we always do): the entrance.

Epcot Update: New Boulangerie & More (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this Epcot picture-update (PART 1 can be found right here).
Let's now take a look at The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion, where there are a few changes:

Epcot Update: New Boulangerie & More (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this Epcot photo-update (PART 2 can be found by clicking here).
We will continue our tour of the park from where we left off: the walkway to World Showcase:

Epcot Update: New Boulangerie & More (PART 4)

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Welcome to PART 4 of this Epcot photo-report (PART 3 can be found right here).
Let's now take a last look at he new Boulangerie:

SeaWorld Parks Hosting Hiring Event Tomorrow

Are you looking for a “splashy” job where you can meet amazing people and work in an incredible environment?
SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove and Aquatica are hiring for hundreds of seasonal jobs that can last through the summer and holiday season. All three Orlando parks are looking to fill a variety of positions, including lifeguards, culinary attendants, park quality hosts, games/vending hosts and prep cooks.
The pay range for these seasonal positions is $8.04-$9.50 per hour; applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Seasonal employees are eligible for a number of benefits, such as free entry to SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica, park tickets for friends and family and access to numerous team member events.
Those interested in applying must first apply online at seaworldjobs.com, and then attend a special hiring event on Wednesday, January 23, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at SeaWorld Orlando’s Human Resources Building, located at 6283 Sea Harbor Drive in Orlando, Fla.

The Disney Look... to the Past! (January 18-24)

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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: January 18-24
Jan. 21, 1977 - Walt Disney Pictures releases “Freaky Friday” Annabel Andrews is stressed out by junior high, electric typewriters and her overbearing mother. Annabel's mom, Ellen, is stressed out by constant errands, housework and her frustrating daughter. After an argument one Friday the 13th, both simultaneously declare that they'd like to be the other for a day. Their wish is instantly fulfilled, and the two suddenly realize they're living literally in the other person's shoes - and at the end of this madcap Friday, their new perspective results in a newfound appreciation for each other. Based on thebook by Mary Rodgers and direct…

Typhoon Lagoon Closed Today Due to Weather

Please, take note of the fact that Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will remain closed today (Tuesday, January 22, 2013), due to forecasted low temperatures. As a reminder, Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park continues to be down for its seasonal refurbishment.
Please check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for any additional updates.

New I-Drive Live Permits: Sea Life & Tussaud's (Part 1)

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Today we have a great deal of new information regarding the upcoming I-Drive Live project to share with you. As most of our readers know, we are incredibly excited about it because of the addition of a Sea Life Center, a Madame Tussaud's museum, the huge Orlando Eye, and multiple new shops, restaurants, attractions, hotels, and much more! This is definitely going to be a game changer for the already popular International Drive area.
Thanks to some new PowerPoint presentations and PDF files uploaded by godog7 on Slideshare, we now have a huge amount of photos, artworks, and plans showing the various attractions planned for the area. Let us first compare the newer look of the area with the former look (the plan has slightly changed for the better):

New I-Drive Live Permits: Sea Life & Tussaud's (Part 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new I-Drive Live update, where we examine some permits and notices of commencement to find out new information regarding this much-awaited addition coming to the International Drive area (CLICK HERE to go back to PART 1 of this update). Let's take a look around the terminal building:

New Mobile Site & Ticketing for SeaWorld Parks

The SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Company has just unveiled some brand-new mobile websites that will have some exclusive features. Read this latest press release to learn more about the subject: _________________________________________________________________________
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Launches New Mobile Websites and Ticketing for SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Parks
Orlando, Fla. – SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment launched new mobile websites for the three SeaWorld and two Busch Gardens parks last week, providing guests and fans with a convenient and easy way to plan their vacations and purchase and redeem tickets directly from their mobile devices.
SeaWorld and Busch Gardens are some of the first in the theme park industry to effectively use mobile sites with geo-location capabilities. When a guest is near one of the SeaWorld or Busch Gardens parks and connects to the website, the guest’s phone will immediately default to driving directions. However, if the gues…

New Songs Coming to The American Idol Experience

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The official Disney Parks Blog recently announced the addition of a few new songs to be included in the lineup of the songs available to Guests at the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios: _________________________________________________________________________

The American Idol Experience at Walt Disney World Resort Introduces New Songs for a New Season
Did you catch the premiere of the new season of “American Idol” last night? I always enjoy watching the audition episodes, as young people take the first bold step to pursuing their dreams.

I spoke to the team at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and they said they’re already seeing some familiar faces in the New York auditions. These Hollywood hopefuls got their start competing for a Dream Ticket at The American Idol Experience at the Walt Disney World Resort. In fact, last season, five contestants of the coveted Top 13 had been Dream Ticket recipients!

Magic Kingdom's Park Hours Extended This Evening

If you are currently enjoying your day inside the Magic Kingdom Park, you will certainly be happy to know that, according to an official advisory released by the Walt Disney World Resort, the park will be extending its operating hours this evening.In fact, the Magic Kingdom Park is now scheduled to be closing at 11 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. as originally scheduled. The Evening Extra Magic Hours will then have to shift an hour later and will therefore be from 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. (note that even Magic Kingdom's Evening Extra Magic Hours were cut...).
Thank you for taking note of this, and enjoy your evening! See you later with more news and updates.

"Re-Innovated" Habit Heroes: Photos of the Exterior

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The Habit Heroes exhibit has finally officially reopened at Epcot's INNOVENTIONS East. Much has changed, starting from the exterior of the exhibit. Let's take a look around, comparing the new look with the old:

LEGOLAND Florida: Information About New Hotel

The LEGOLAND Florida Resort is expanding, and this will certainly not come as a surprise. A new hotel complementing the theme park and water park has been in the works since LEGOLAND was first announced.
Today, thanks to a report made by Greg (owner of the unofficial LEGOLAND Florida fan site LEGOLANDphotos.com) we got to hear a few more pieces of information that may or may not be exciting. The positive side is that the location of this hotel has almost been confirmed to be the former animal area (it existed when the Cypress Gardens Adventure Park was still around). It is good news because it overlooks beautiful Lake Eloise. The not-so-good news is that it may be a bit smaller than LEGOLAND California's hotel (we usually get bigger versions of anything here in Central Florida). Here is Greg's post: _________________________________________________________________________
The wife attended another function tonight and Adrian was the speaker. Again, the worst kept secret is out…

Limited Time Magic: Long-Lost Friends Return

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One of the most awaited special offerings brought to Disney Parks with the new Limited Time Magic campaign will happen this coming week at the Walt Disney World Resort. In fact, many of the old and lesser-known characters will return to the Magic Kingdom Park for a week only. They will meet-and-greet with Guests, taking pictures with them (some rumors state that these characters may not sign autographs to keep the lines moving. They will definitely prove to be very popular!). Here you are additional information on the subject, from the official Disney Parks Blog: _________________________________________________________________________

Long-Lost Disney Friends Return for ‘Limited Time Magic’ at Walt Disney World Resort
When Nate shared a look back at Robin Hood and Friends visiting the Magic Kingdom Park back in 1979, many of you asked to see them again. Well, next week, you’ll have that chance and more as we continue “Limited Time Magic” at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Long-lost Dis…

Le Cellier Steakhouse: Operating Hours Change

Epcot's "Le Cellier Steakhouse" will soon change its operating hours. According to one of the latest advisories released by the Walt Disney World Resort, "Guests will enjoy continuous dining service for exquisite steaks and seafood specialties" from 12 noon to 9 p.m. (longer hours may be possible during certain nights of the week). "Lunch and dinner service in this cozy cellar of a Canadian château is two Disney Dining Plan Entitlements. Advance reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days in advance."
Thank you for taking note of this minor (but still very important) change. See you soon with more updates.

SeaWorld Orlando's "Epic Voyage" Campaign Debuts

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SeaWorld Orlando® Embarks on Epic Voyage New App and Experiential Marketing Tour Launch
Orlando, FL (January 18, 2013) –- SeaWorld Orlando kicks off its “Epic Voyage” campaign in New York City to launch Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, the park’s all-new, largest-ever attraction opening this spring. The campaign includes stops in seven cities and a new mobile app, both designed to give families a sneak peek into the new attraction’s thrilling and chilling adventure in ways as amazing as the continent itself.
SeaWorld Orlando’s new attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin will transport families into a rarely seen, icy world. They’ll feel the majestic grandeur of the South Pole and see it through the penguins’ eyes on an exhilarating, first-of-its-kind family ride. They’ll explore a massive penguin colony in an expanse that envelops them in cool extremes, both above and below the penguins’ icy world.  It’s a must-see, one-of-a-kind theme park experience only at SeaWorld in Orland…

Groupon Deal of the Day: Characters in Flight Offer

Have you ever wanted to try the "Characters in Flight" attraction at Downtown Disney? Well, now it is your chance to do so while saving some money. Here's the latest Groupon Deal: _________________________________________________________________________
Characters in Flight Balloon Ride for One or Two (Up to 44% Off)
From: $11| Value: $18 | Discount: 39% | You Save: $7 | Time left to buy: 4 days 1:07:20
In a Nutshell
Tethered gas balloon soars 400 ft. for a 360-degree scenic view of Central Florida and the Walt Disney World® Resort

The Fine Print
Expires May 31, 2013. Limit 10 per person. Limit 1 per visit. Valid only for option purchased. Must be 18 or older. See the rules that apply to all deals.
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Do you like this deal? Then CLICK HERE to buy tickets or just to learn a bit more about this great offer.

New Wilderness Explorers Game at Animal Kingdom

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A brand-new interactive game is coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park in the very near future. The official name of this interactive adventure will be "Wilderness Explorers," and it will not feature any screens or high-tech devices (unlike Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom or Agent P's World Showcase Adventure). It will actually be completely focused on plant, animals... all natural things, in a few words. Here you are additional information on the subject, directly from the official Disney Parks Blog: _________________________________________________________________________
Wilderness Explorers Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom This Spring 
Have you seen the Disney•Pixar film “Up”? If you recall, young Russell from the film is a dedicated Wilderness Explorer who can’t wait to earn badges by having all kinds of adventures while learning about the world. We’re happy to announce that the Wilderness Explorers adventure organization is coming to Disney’s Animal Kingd…

Typhoon Lagoon Closed Today Due to Weather

Please, take note of the fact that Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be closed today (Friday, January 18, 2013) due to forecasted low temperatures. As a reminder, Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park is also currently closed for its seasonal refurbishment.
Please check back here on Orlando Theme Park News throughout the day for any additional updates.

Latest WDW Permits: Mission Space Facade & More

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One of our readers (Dan, who we thank a lot) shared with us a link to some of the latest permits filed by the Walt Disney World Resort, and we were pleasantly surprised that especially one of them is finally addressing an issue that has existed for way too long: the refurbishment of the fading facade of MISSION: Space.
Here you are a quick look at the current state of part of the exterior facade, just to refresh your mind:

"Mickey Check" to Be Added to Table-Service Menus

As most of our Readers know, the Mickey Check is a new mark used at the Walt Disney World Resort  that makes it easier to identify nutritious choices that address family needs. Well, starting from yesterday (January 16, 2013) the Mickey Check is starting to be featured on kids’ menus at Table-Service restaurants throughout the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort for kids’ meals that meet Disney Nutrition Guidelines.
As a reminder, all Quick-Service locations introduced a selection of kids’ meals featuring the Mickey Check in November 2012. Guests should feel free to request an information card at the food & beverage locations or asking Cast Members who have access to a printer to print a reference sheet. To find more information about the Mickey Check and Disney Nutrition Guidelines just go to www.disneymickeycheck.com.

Universal Studios Update: Keep Working! (PART 1)

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Good evening Orlando Theme Park News Readers! It was another warm day here in Central Florida, and after having enjoyed some time staying outside and just resting, it is time to get back to "work" and post our latest photo-update. Today, we will head over to Universal Studios Florida. Let's see how work is progressing

Universal Studios Update: Keep Working! (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Universal Studios Florida photo-update (PART 1 can be found here).
Let's now continue our photo-tour of the park:

Universal Studios Update: Keep Working! (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this new Universal Studios Florida photo-update (PART 2 can be found here).
Let's now continue to take a look around the various areas of the park:

Universal Studios Update: Keep Working! (PART 4)

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Welcome to PART 4 of this new Universal Studios Florida photo-report (PART 3 can be found here).
It is time to check out the last few areas of the park that we left out:

Saratoga Springs Resort's Spa: Rehab Begins Today

Please, note that the Walt Disney World recently announced that the Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort will temporarily close for refurbishment starting from today (Wednesday, January 16, 2013), and will reopen this summer as Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.
This re-imagined, Disney owned and operated spa will offer a completely new menu of services that features signature treatments and experiences to help Guests relax, renew and imagine (including Disney touches like Magical Manicures and Princess Pedicures for younger Guests). It is important to note also that during this extensive refurbishment, Guests may make reservations for treatments at Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Additionally, some treatments and services are offered at the fitness centers and salons, which will remain open to Guests during the planned Spa downtime.
Here's a list of all the resort fitness centers on property, that offer massage therapies from…

Le Cellier Steakhouse to Start Offering All-Day Menu

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The official Disney Parks Blog recently announced that an interesting change would come to Epcot's Le Cellier Steakhouse, one of the busiest sit-down restaurants in the Walt Disney World Resort: _________________________________________________________________________
Canada’s Le Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot Goes to All-Day Menu
We’ll miss the burger, but now the lobster mac ‘n’ cheese is available for both lunch and dinner as popular Le Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot debuts an all-day menu beginning January 16.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay - Brand-New Park Logo

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As Screamscape recently reported, both Busch Gardens theme parks in the United States are now starting to use a brand-new logo that is said to better reflect their mission to entertain Guests and to focus on the natural world. We have to say that the "roller-coaster tree" definitely does look very sleek and contemporary, and it does a good job in making this mark easily recognizable while still keeping it simple:

- Former Busch Gardens Tampa Logo -



- New Busch Gardens Tampa Logo -



Notice also that the "Gardens" font has changed as well. The old logo used a different font for "Busch" and "Gardens." Now both words use the same font. Also, the prevailing color is now green, opposed to the red that used to be prevalent in all logos used by the park. One last thing: the park now seems to be referring to Busch Gardens Tampa, Fl. instead of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Fl. Another subtle change worth noticing.

So, what do you think? Do you like this new log…

Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage Rehab Extended

As you may know, the Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage show at Disney's Hollywood Studios recently closed for a routine refurbishment and was originally planned to reopen this past Sunday, January 13, 2013. Unfortunately, due to some issues that still have to be solved, the Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage show will be continuing its downtime this week. But don't worry, as the show is anticipated to reopen later this week.
In the meantime, make sure to take the advantage of meeting and greeting some of the stars of the show (including Belle, Beast, Lumière, Cogsworth, Mrs. Pott, and Chip) in front of the Theater of the Stars (while it's closed). Rumors say that their last day meeting with Guests will be tomorrow (Wednesday, January 16, 2013).
Thank you for taking notice of this, and have a great time in the parks! See you real soon!

The Disney Look... to the Past! (January 11-17)

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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: January 11-17
Jan. 13, 1930 - The first “Mickey Mouse” comic strip appears in newspapers Mickey Mouse had appeared in 14 animated shorts by 1929, but King Features Syndicate approached Walt Disney with a proposition that would help his newest star become known worldwide. They struck a deal for Mickey and his supporting cast to appear in a daily comic strip distributed to newspapers around the globe. The first strips were drawn by Disney Legend Ub Iwerks with inking by Win Smith, but both would leave the Disney Studios in early 1930. Walt then tapped Floyd Gottfredson, a new animator who was working on “Silly Symphony” shorts, to take over drawing the daily strip. …

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay: Sheikra Being Repainted

The slow season has finally arrived, and all Central Florida's theme parks are starting to close down select rides to be refurbished. Busch gardens Tampa Bay, for example, is currently taking care of one of their most popular roller coasters: the mighty Skeikra. The coaster is currently being completely repainted. Here you are some very interesting insider's information about this project, from the official Inside Busch Gardens blog: _________________________________________________________________________
SheiKra Painting Project: 5 Questions With an Insider
Most of us take on painting projects at our homes at some point of another. We’ll spend hours debating over paint swatches and use yards of masking tape to avoid painting the floor or ceiling. There’s no doubt that repainting the kitchen is an exhausting task, but what about painting a roller coaster the size of SheiKra? Bill Rothenberger, Rides Maintenance Manager at Busch Gardens, was able to crunch some numbers for wha…

Quick Universal's CityWalk Update: January 14, 2013

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The Orlando Theme Park News Team returned from a brief Universal Orlando Resort visit just a few hours ago, and therefore there are many photos that have to be posted. This evening we will share some of the news and changes that area taking place around Universal Orlando's CityWalk. Let's take a look around together:
First of all, we wanted to post some photos of a very busy CityWalk (taken on December 30, 2012), just for fun:

I-Drive Live Project Behind Schedule, Opening in 2014

I-Drive Live is one of the latest exciting projects taking place along International Drive. As you will certainly know (we have covered this subject ad nauseam), the project will include a beautiful new Madame Tussaud's wax museum, a Sea Life Aquarium, a gigantic observation wheel, multiple shops, restaurants, and much more.

Unfortunately, it looks like the project will be completed an year later than what was originally planned. In fact, one of the recent articles to appear on WFTV.com has given us some additional details on the status of the work being done in the future I-Drive Live area. Developer Chuck Whittall (he's part of Unicorp National Development, one of the companies behind this project) stated that construction will go vertical in the area starting from February and that the project is six months behind schedule due to the fact that "they are having a difficult time getting some large murals approved because they violate county code ordinances." Whitta…

Limited Time Magic: Week of January 14-20, 2013

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The Limited Time Magic campaign started on December 30, 2012 at the Walt Disney World Resort, and so far two special "limited-time" events have taken place. The first one has now ended, while the second one just started today! Take a look at this week's special offerings, from the official Disney Parks Blog: _________________________________________________________________________
‘Limited Time Magic’ Continues with a Winter Wonderland at Epcot’s Canada Pavilion at Walt Disney World Resort
It’s... time to share our next “Limited Time Magic” surprise at the Walt Disney World Resort. Our latest extra sprinkle of Pixie Dust begins on Monday at the Canada Pavilion in Epcot.

The forecast at Epcot this week is sunny with a chance of flurries. For one week only, January 14-20, there will be a magical Winter Wonderland location with falling snow where you and your family can meet and take photos with some of your favorite Disney characters. It’s an all new character greeting loc…

Disney's Visa Cardmemembers M&G Expands Hours

Starting from Monday (January 14, 2013), Disney’s Visa Cardmembers will be offered more time to spend with the characters at the reserved Cardmember Character Meet ‘N’ Greet at Epcot (Innoventions West) thanks to expanded hours. In fact, the meet-and-greet area will now be open daily from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.As a reminder, this special extra offering is available only Guests that have a valid Disney Rewards Visa Card, Disney’s Premier Visa CardAND/ORDisney’s Visa Debit Card. Cardmembers can stop by this private location to meet and pose with some of their favorite Disney Characters and receive a complimentary 5 x 7 photo. 
Disclaimer: The Character Meet ‘N’ Greet Photo Opportunity is offered at selected times at Epcot. Separate Theme Park admission required. Must present a valid Disney’s Visa Card for entry for up to 6 people per card (only one card may be used per visit). Operating time, days of the week, location and appearance of Characters may vary and are subject to change without not…

The Disney Look... to the Past! (January 4-10)

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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: January 4-10
Jan. 9, 1987 - Star Tours opens at Disneyland Park Combining the creative and technical wizardry of Disney and George Lucas, this first-of-its-kind motion simulator attraction was set in the thrilling universe of the classic “Star Wars” saga. Tomorrowland Guests climbed aboard a Starspeeder 3000 for a whirlwind tour of the Endor moon, but never arrive thanks to the antics of the robot captain. Instead, the Starspeeder ends up in a battle between Empire and Rebel forces, culminating in the destruction of the Death Star. The attraction was rebooted at Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2011 as Star Wars - The Adventures Continue, featurin…

"Legends of Chima Land" Coming to LEGOLAND?

As most of our readers know, we were the first to report that a new 4D show was going to be introduced at both LEGOLAND theme parks in the United States (LEGOLAND Florida and LEGOLAND California). That being said, we didn't think that the "Legends of Chima" theme could actually also be used for an entire new land at LEGOLAND Florida! In fact, take a look at this rumor posted by Screamscape:
Screamscape sources have confirmed that the entire new expansion coming to Legoland Florida in Summer 2013 will be themed to the new Chima line of toys instead of Pirate Shores.
In addition to that, here's a press release presenting the new 4D show (from LEGOLAND Windsor): _________________________________________________________________________

LEGO® Legends of Chima™ Comes to Life in a New 4D Movie Experience at the LEGOLAND Windor Resort®
A heroic new attraction is arriving at the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort in 2013 as LEGO® Legends of Chima™ is brought to life in an exclusive 4D mo…

Big Thunder Mountain: Queue News & More Changes

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As we mentioned in our Facebook and Twitter pages, some very important changes are coming to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad's queue. As it was announced last year, a brand-new interactive queue is currently being installed and tested. And we have some photos of the very first visible interactive elements that will soon trigger special effects that area still largely unknown to most people for now. Take a look: