Showing posts from February, 2013

Magic Kingdom Hours Extended Until 10 p.m. Tonight

Please, note that the Magic Kingdom Park will be extending its operating hours today, February 27, 2013. The park will now be closing at 10 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. as was originally scheduled. Enjoy the extra hour!

Fun Spot's Expansion: SkyCoaster Installation Video

Fun Spot America has definitely changed the skyscape of International Drive with the construction of a 250-foot tall SkyCoaster. Take a look at these excerpts taken from their latest press release regarding this new addition:

At 250 feet, this [SkyCoaster] will be the second tallest item on International Drive, below the Peabody Hotel at 400 feet, and the tenth tallest structure in Orlando. It is also the second largest SkyCoaster ride in the world, with the largest at 300 feet at the Fun Spot Park located in Kissimmee. All structures over 200 feet must be listed with the Federal Aviation Authority and have blinking lights on top to be visible to small aircraft.

The new ride is part of a $20 million expansion at Fun Spot America, which also includes two new roller coaster, new rides, new food court, and more landscape on 10 additional acres. All the rides will be open for the June 8th, Grand Re-opening of the park. While the SkyCoaster [was erected last] week, the ride will still have …

Guest Post: CityWalk Orlando's Restaurant Overview

This evening we are going to share once again with our readers another new Guest Post. As a reminder, Guests Posts are created by outside companies, and are NOT written by the OTPN Staff. Today's post gives us a general overview of some of the great restaurants of CityWalk Orlando. As usual, we hope you will enjoy it:
Orlando CityWalk Restaurants
Affectionately called The Entertainment Capital of Orlando, Universal CityWalk is the heart and soul of Orlando. It is just the right place to be to watch the latest movie or see a live concert, meet over coffee or mingle over cocktails, night out with friends or hang out with family.  Orlando CityWalk also offers a wide range of dining options from great to amazing. While themed Orlando CityWalk restaurants immerse the visitors in the worlds of music, sports and movies, the haute cuisine CityWalk restaurants take their guests on culinary tours to Italy, Caribbean, …

Magic Kingdom Update: February 2013 (PART 1)

Our last photo-update (that you can find here) covered the Fantasyland area of the Magic Kingdom Park. Today we will take a look at the other themed lands of the park in search of something new to report. Let's see:

Magic Kingdom Update: February 2013 (PART 2)

Welcome to PART 2 of this Magic Kingdom photo-report (PART 1 can be found right here).
Let's now take a look at the queue of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, which has been changed:

Magic Kingdom Update: February 2013 (PART 3)

Welcome to PART 3 of this Magic Kingdom photo-report (PART 2 can be found right here).

We'll now check out some of the new interactive props around the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad area:

Animal Kingdom: "Burudika" Show Times Change

If you are thinking about visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park tomorrow you should read this:
The set times for Burudika, the band which performs in Africa, have been adjusted for Wednesday, February 27, 2013, due to a park hours change. Burudika will perform at 1 p.m, 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:20 p.m. It is important to note that this change was made after the printing of this week's Times Guide.
Thank you for your attention and have a great rest of your evening. See you tomorrow with more updates!

Cabana Bay Resort Starts Accepting Reservations

Great news Universal Orlando Fans! The fourth on-site hotel that will open in 2014 right next to Universal's Islands of Adventure, Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, is now already accepting early reservations! Here's the announcement, along with some artworks (one of them is new; the others were released some time ago): _________________________________________________________________________
Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Now Accepting Reservations Universal Announces Room Rates, New Features for New 1,800 Room On-Site Hotel
ORLANDO, Fla. (February 26, 2013) – Guests can now book reservations for Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, the new, 1800-room hotel at Universal Orlando Resort that will feature value-priced guest rooms and moderately priced family suites. The hotel is scheduled to open in early 2014 - with reservations now being accepted for stays beginning on March 31, 2014.
The new hotel is the fourth hotel within Universal Orlando Resort and will evok…

New Operating Hours for the Cirque du Soleil Boutique

Please, note that the Cirque du Soleil Boutique located inside Downtown Disney has new operating hours:
Tuesday-Thursday: Noon-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday: Noon-Midnight 
In addition to that, remember that the Cirque du Soleil Boutique is closed on Sundays and Mondays, but it will be open on any occasion that "La Nouba" hosts extra performances on a Monday. Thank you for your attention.

Fantasyland News: Seven Dwarfs & Tangled (PART 1)

Even though the majority of the new attractions, food & beverage offerings, and other additions related to the New Fantasyland project are now available, there is still more that is taking place in this beautiful land. There are actually two new areas that will open soon (Tangled's restrooms, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride) and a new meet-and-greet (the Princess Fairytale Hall). Let's take a look around to see what has changed since our last visit:

Fantasyland News: Seven Dwarfs & Tangled (PART 2)

Welcome to PART 2 of our newest Fantasyland photo-report (PART 1 can be found at this link).

Let us continue our tour of the New Fantasyland, which includes details that never cease to amaze us:

Fantasyland News: Seven Dwarfs & Tangled (PART 3)

Welcome to PART 3 of our latest Fantasyland photo-update (PART 2 can be found at this link).
We will now continue to take a look around "Rapunzel's Village":

Flower & Garden Festival in 2013: Fun Facts

The 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is definitely going to be one of the most popular events of the year thanks to the many additions that are in store. As a reminder, the 2013 event will take place from March 6 to May 19. To prepare for this event, enjoy some very cool (and official!) festival facts: 30 million blooms blanket the park throughout the festival, which runs 75 colorful days.One dozen brand-new garden marketplaces surround the World Showcase Lagoon offering festival taste treats ranging from shrimp and grits with fresh Florida veggies to barbecue and brew. Each marketplace will feature a produce and  herb garden to represent the more than 50 marketplace beverage choices and more than 30 food items featured at the marketplaces.The festival’s front-entrance Party with Mickey & Friends topiary scene comprises six topiaries – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto and Goofy – and more than 15 varieties of flowers, plants, and other garden materials.The…

Fun Spot America Update: SkyCoaster News & More

The Creative Director of Fun Spot America, Mr. Tuten, has once again shared with us some of the latest official photos taken around the huge expansion plot of Fun Spot America. Take a look, and be prepared to be surprised by seeing how fast the SkyCoaster was installed! Enjoy: _________________________________________________________________________
We finished installing the 250’ SkyCoaster on Sunday and we were fortunate that it never rained, everything went smoothly. The SkyCoaster is up and the safety lights are on. There is some painting left to do, but not much. The SkyCoaster up-lighting is also installed, it will have a very intense green glow at night when connected. I've included a few shots from areas that the public can't access. We think this really changes the landscape of north I-Drive and will be a wonderful landmark to help promote the area.

Steam Room Refurbishment at the Grand Floridian

Please, take note of the following advisory regarding the Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort:
The steam rooms in the men’s and women’s lounges at Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort are scheduled for routine maintenance and will be out of service in the coming weeks. The women’s steam room will be out of service February 26-March 2, 2013. The men’s steam room will be out of service March 5-March 9, 2013. During the respective steam room refurbishments, day passes to the lounges will not be sold. February 26-March 2 (during the women's steam room refurbishment), only men's day passes will be sold. March 5-March 9 (during the men's steam room refurbishment), only women's day passes will be sold.
Thank you very much for your attention. See you in a little while with a new photo-update.

LEGOLAND's 2013 Expansion: Back to Pirates?

LEGOLAND Florida is not denying the fact that a new themed area will open later this year. After all, the current park maps all feature a quite big note that states: "NEW LAND OPENING 2013." In addition to that, the park's official Twitter page has been giving out hints regarding a possible announcement that should be coming very, very soon. That being said, the theme of this new area is still unknown, or at least until now.
Many sites speculated about the possibility of a new Splash Battle-type ride that was to be themed after pirates, but then things changed. LEGOLAND Florida's General Manager denied the fact that a pirates-themed land was considered for the park (he said that he knew nothing about that, even though permits for this expansion had been filed a few weeks before...). At this point, other fan sites thought that the new area might be themed after one of the newest LEGO themes, "Legends of Chima." That sounds very credible, especially since th…

Disney's Hollywood Studios: Private Events, Closures

Please, be aware of the following area and attraction closures that will happen at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the next few days in preparation of a few special events that will take place on February 26-28, 2013:
Several areas of Disney's Hollywood Studios will be affected by private events. Here's the detailed schedule:
Tuesday, February 26: The Great Movie Ride will close to park Guests at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, February 27:  The following areas will close at 5 p.m. to park Guests: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set AdventureStreets of AmericaThe Studio Backlot TourThursday, February 28:
Streets of America will close to park Guests at 6 p.m.
Thank you very much for taking note of this important advisory, and see you a little later with more updates.

the Disney Look... to the Past! (February 22-28)

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of the weekly feature known as "The Disney Look... to the Past!"
Enjoy reading all of the following interesting facts about the Walt Disney Parks, Resorts, Movies, and more:
This Week in Disney History: February 22-28
Feb. 28, 1996 - Disney acquires Gordo Cay in the Bahamas (now Castaway Cay) Located in the Great Abaco Islands chain in the northern Bahamas, Gorda Cay was first inhabited in 1784 by European settlers in exile from the American Revolution. Its connection to Disney began two centuries later, when the island was used a shooting location for the 1984 Touchtone Pictures film “Splash.” Just over a decade later, it was acquired by Disney to create a private paradise for Disney Cruise Line Guests. Opened in 1998, Castaway Cay is a cherished favorite of Bahamian and Caribbean itineraries with its white sand beaches, open-air barbeque dining, and an array of…

2013 Flower & Garden Festival: Marketplace Menus

As most of our Readers know, the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - presented by HGTV will take place between March 6 and May 19, 2013. This year there is a very special new offering: the addition of 13 booths (all part of the Garden Marketplace) that offer delectable specialties from around the world. Here you are the complete menus of the food and beverage offerings available at all these booths:

Fruits by the Glass – World Showcase Plaza
Watermelon Passion Fruit CocktailWild Berry Slush – Non AlcoholicSea Dog Blue Paw Wild Blueberry**New Planet™ 3R Raspberry Ale (Gluten Free)Florida Orange Groves, Mango Mama, Mango WineFlorida Orange Groves, Blueberry Blue, Blueberry WineDeLoach Vineyards Heritage Reserve ChardonnayDeLoach Vineyards Heritage Reserve Pinot Noir
Florida Fresh – World Showcase Promenade
Watermelon Salad with pickled Red Onions, Baby Arugula, Feta Cheese and Balsamic Reduction**Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage, Zellwood Corn, Tomat…

KSC Unveils Opening Date for Atlantis' New Exhibit

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Unveils Name, Logo and Opening Date for New $100 Million Home for Space Shuttle Atlantis
Ground-Breaking Exhibit, Opening June 29, a ‘Momentous’ Addition to Central Florida Destination
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex marked yet another major milestone today in the construction of its 90,000-square-foot, $100 million home for space shuttle Atlantis by announcing the official name and visual identity for the exhibit, as well as the grand opening date of June 29, 2013.

The exhibit not only will showcase Atlantis as if it were in space—raised 30 feet off the ground and rotated 43 degrees—but also will tell the compelling story of the entire shuttle program, including the thousands of people behind this incredible feat of engineering, its key role in the development of the International Space Station and the launch and repair of the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as how it paved the way for today’s new space progr…

FastPass+ Test at "Be Our Guest" Restaurant

Please, take note of the following FastPass+ test that will soon take place at the Magic Kingdom Park:
As part of testing being done in preparation of the full roll-out of MyMagic+, a FastPass+ test will take place at Be Our Guest Restaurant, the newest restaurant located at Magic Kingdom Park. Beginning from now, randomly selected Guests staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Wilderness Lodge and the Contemporary Resort will receive a FastPass+ card at the resort for a specified arrival window for lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant. The test itself will take place February 25-28, 2013. Guests will arrive at Be Our Guest Restaurant during the specified FastPass+ arrival window and experience an expedited order and payment process. This opportunity is available by invitation only.
Thank you for your attention, and stay tuned for more news, advisories, and photo-updates.

VIDEO: A Preview of Big Thunder Mountain's Queue

As we reported this past Thursday, the official Disney Parks Blog posted a nice video that gives us a short preview of some of the effects and features of the brand-new interactive queue of one of the most beloved Magic Kingdom attractions: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Here's the video and a few words from Disney: _________________________________________________________________________
First Look: An Imagineer Tour Through the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Interactive Queue at Magic Kingdom Park
Today we have an exciting update on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom Park to share with you: Walt Disney Imagineering just sent us a “first look” inside the new interactive queue that’s currently being added to the Frontierland attraction.

In the video, Project Manager Wyatt Winter and Creative Designer Pete Carsillo offer up a behind-the-scenes tour of the new queue, which builds on the attraction’s backstory of Barnabas T. Bullion, founder and president of Big Thunder Mi…

Animal Kingdom: More Character M&G Changes

More changes are taking place at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park regarding character meet-and-greets: As already reported, this spring, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will be relocated to an indoor venue on Discovery Island called Adventurers Outpost.Additionally this spring, Daisy Duck will join Donald Duck at Discovery Island Character Landing (also known as "the Boat Dock").In order for Donald and Daisy to begin their offering this spring, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger will be moving into the Camp Minnie-Mickey area. Sadly, Eeyore will no longer be making appearances at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, even though he will continue to appear at the Crystal Palace and will continue to be featured in the daily Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade at the Magic Kingdom Park. In addition to that, we also recently reported that Pocahontas has now started to meet Guests at Lower Bradley Falls, located along the walkway that connects Africa and Asia. Thank you again for taking…

SeaWorld Orlando Releases Loggerhead Turtle

SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team Returns Loggerhead Turtle
Feb. 20, 2013 -- This morning, SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team traveled to Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach, Fla., to return an adult loggerhead turtle into the ocean. The turtle earned the nickname, “Lazarus: The Presumed Dead Loggerhead” because he was reported to Brevard County Sheriff’s Office on August 7, 2012, as a possible dead body in the Indian River Lagoon. However, when officers arrived on the scene, they discovered a loggerhead sea turtle, instead.

Aquatica Offering $5.00 Tickets to Florida Residents

Wow, isn't that a shocking title for a new post? But that's absolutely true! For just three days, SeaWorld Orlando's Aquatica water park will be offering $5.00 tickets to Florida Residents and for up to 5 friends and/or relatives accompanying the Florida Resident. In fact, according to the official announcement from the water park's official Facebook page, Florida Residents can "join the fun and play the day away at Aquatica for just $5 on March 1, 2 or 3. A valid Florida ID can get you and up to five of your friends a single-day admission ticket at this incredible price. This limited-time offer is only available while supplies last."
For more information about this deal or to learn more about Aquatica, visit

Busch Gardens Update - February 2013 (PART 1)

Hello Orlando Theme Park News Readers, and welcome to our newest Busch Gardens photo-update! It has been about a year since our last visit to this absolutely spectacular park, so we found quite a few new additions and changes throughout the park that we can't wait to share with you. One of the biggest highlights of our trip to the park was the new Iceploration show, which was amazing. But we will talk about that a little later. For now, let us start our photo-tour of the park from the entrance of the park:
(Please, note that there will not be any pictures of animals as we will post a separate update for them)

Busch Gardens Update - February 2013 (PART 2)

Welcome to PART 2 of this new Busch Gardens Tampa update (PART 1 can be found here).
Let's continue our tour of the park by entering one of the most beautiful-looking lands of the park - Egypt:

Busch Gardens Update - February 2013 (PART 3)

Welcome to PART 3 of this new Busch Gardens Tampa update (PART 2 can be found here).
Let's continue our photo-tour of the park by looking at some more aerial photos taken from the SkyWay:

Busch Gardens Update - February 2013 (PART 4)

Welcome to PART 4 of this new Busch Gardens Tampa update (PART 3 can be found here).
Let's now take a look at some more photos of topiaries found around the park:

New Big Thunder Mountain Queue Info Coming Soon

You will agree with us on the fact that these past three days have been literally filled with announcements, new information about upcoming attractions, and much more. Think about the released opening date of SeaWorld's Antarctica, the "announcement of an announcement" regarding LEGOLAND Florida's future, the new Madagascar LIVE show coming to Busch Gardens Tampa, Aquatica's $5.00 Florida Resident tickets, the Fun Spot America expansion progress, Animal Kingdom's new indoor meet-and-greet (sigh!!), etc...
Well, even though this might not be seen as a big announcement, today the Walt Disney World Resort will continue to "keep the excitement going" by releasing more information about the new interactive queue that will soon debut inside the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction. In fact, the Resort posted the following tweet yesterday evening: Our Imagineers will showcase a new behind-the-scenes video on the @DisneyParks Blog tomorrow! Here's a…

LEGOLAND Florida to Make Big Announcement Soon

LEGOLAND Florida just posted a very exciting Tweet on the park's official Twitter PageBig announcement is coming soon Brick Fans!!! What could it be? Follow us to find out #connotwait #LEGOLANDFlorida
In addition to that, @daltonagency posted the following, along with a photo:
Big news coming soon from our client @LEGOLANDFlorida #cannotwait

We were trying to figure out what minifigure Mr. Adrian Jones (the park's General Manager, pictured above) is wearing to understand what the announcement could be about (he usually wears a minifigure that reflects the theme of the new ride/area that the park will receive when making announcements), but the photo is in really low resolution. That being said, there are strong rumors about a new "Legends of Chima" themed land coming to the park, so this could be the right time to announce that (especially since work already started in the park). As usual, let the speculation begin as we wait for the official announcement, which sh…

Animal Kingdom: New Indoor M&G to Open Soon

The official Disney Parks Blog just released more information regarding the new indoor meet & greet space being built inside Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park,  in the area formerly occupied by the Beastly Bazaar. Guests will be able to find only Mickey and Minnie there. Here you are additional information: _________________________________________________________________________
Meet Mickey and Minnie at the New Adventurers Outpost in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Are you ready for an adventure?
Starting this spring, Mickey and Minnie Mouse will invite you into their very own exploration headquarters at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The all-new Adventurers Outpost on Discovery Island is home base for your globetrotting Disney pals, where they meet friends old and new, as they get ready to set off on their next adventure. Adventurers Outpost is a gathering place, where explorers might come together to share tales from their expeditions around the world. This new, indoor retreat is the p…

When Pirates Stop Singing in the Caribbean Sea...

The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at the Magic Kingdom Park is a very complex attraction, and it is definitely one of the most visited theme park rides in the world. The Audio-Animatronics, although old, are still very impressive and continue to amaze Guests visiting the park.
Unfortunately, the ride frequently has to deal with issues and problems (due to the complexity of the attraction itself), and sometimes it can also create some quite amusing (or creepy situations). Want an example? The enjoy this video that we personally took at the beginning of January 2013. Notice how during the middle of our voyage we start hearing warning messages from some of the ride's operators. Then, all of a sudden...

Definitely a very unusual situation, wasn't it? Like we stated before, the ride may have frequent technical issues, but we personally never saw the entire ride's audio being shut down. That was especially surprising since the problem that the attraction was experiencing …

Kennedy Space Center: SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Offers Best Public Viewing of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch on March 1
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2013) – Watch the powerful sights and sounds of the thunderous roaring engines of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as it bursts into the sky on Friday, March 1, 2013. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests can enjoy a front row view along the NASA Causeway. The launch is scheduled for 10:10 a.m. ET from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
This flight will continue a series of missions to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract to deliver and return significant amounts of cargo aboard the Dragon spacecraft. The Dragon will carry 1,200 pounds of supplies for the space station crew and experiments being conducted aboard the laboratory. Upon arrival to the ISS, Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn will use a robotic arm to grapple the Dragon and attach i…

SeaWorld's Antarctica Officially Opens May 24, 2013

It is finally official! SeaWorld Orlando's newest attraction, the much-awaited "Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin" area, will open on May 24, 2013! Here you are the announcement, together with a couple of photos of the current status of the work (the area does look absolutely magnificent). Take a look and enjoy: _________________________________________________________________________
SeaWorld Orlando’s Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin to open May 24
ORLANDO, Fla. – Construction is on-schedule at SeaWorld Orlando’s new attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, and the park has announced May 24 as its grand opening date.
Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin – sure to be Orlando’s must-see new attraction - 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 t…

Caribbean Beach/Treehouse Villas: Wi-Fi & TV Outage

Please, take note of the following advisory regarding two Walt Disney World Resort hotels:
Cable television and Wi-Fi at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will be unavailable Wednesday, February 20th, from approximately 11-11:30 a.m. In addition to that, those same services will be unavailable in the Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort on Thursday, February 21st, from approximately 11-11:30 a.m. During those times, Telecom will make system updates to enhance the cable television picture quality. There will be on-site technicians available to monitor the system progress and provide support as needed. If Guests experience any issues with accessing the Internet or their in-room cable television after the designated downtime period, they should contact Walt Disney World Telecom at 407-827-9434 (or “56” from any Guest area house phone) to alert them of the issue.
Thank you for taking note of this. See you a little later with more news and updates.

Fun Spot America's Expansion Update: Feb. 2013

Fun Spot America's great expansion continue to amaze us. The size and scope of this project is really surprising, especially since many consider Fun Spot's parks as minor attractions. This expansion is going to change a lot of things, especially since theming elements and quality rides are all going to be included with this project.
Today we have a few photos of this expansion area that were sent to us by Mr. Patrick Tuten, the Creative Director of Fun Spot America. We hope you will enjoy them, along with the comment written by Mr. Tuten:

There’s a lot going on [around Fun Spot America], and I’ve included some photos of our progress. We’re in the process of implementing our Route 66 theming in the existing Go Kart area. We’ve added lots of themed signage and we’ve begun repainting the concrete.

Next-Gen Entry Available at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon

It's no longer a secret... Disney's Next-Gen project is now being unveiled in phases, and more and more new details are revealed every now and then. Today we have a minor (but still important) update on this project.
Since a few weeks ago, a quite large section of the main entrance of Disney's Typhoon Lagoon had been walled-off to allow the installation of the new turnstile-free RFID readers. These new "touch points" have been officially unveiled last Friday, and are now available to Resort Guests and all other Guests with RF-enabled tickets (including tickets sold at the water park itself). According to Disney, this is actually "the first of two phases of conversion at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. The second phase of work will begin [this] week."
Of course, we expect these enhancements to show up also in the main entrance area of Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park once it reopens on March 16, 2013. The water park is currently closed for sea…

Groupon Deal of the Day: Discount at Ripley's

Take a look at this Groupon deal, as it might allow you to save some money on your next trip to Ripley's!: _________________________________________________________________________

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum – Orlando Museum Visit for Two or Four (Up to 53% Off)
From: $17 | Value: $33.98 | Discount: 50% | You Save: $16.98 | Time left to buy: 2 days 7:20:00
In a Nutshell Robert Ripley made his name showcasing some of nature’s strangest phenomena, from optical illusions and two-headed animals to his trees capable of growing toilet paper during homecoming games. Study mysterious streamers with this Groupon.
The first thrill at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum begins in the parking lot. As visitors walk toward the front door, they are greeted with the seemingly precarious sight of a building that slopes into the ground, almost as if it were slipping into a Florida sinkhole. Fortunately, the illusion is all for show, but the wide-eyed stares continue once guests enter th…

Temporary Parade Route Change at Magic Kingdom

Please, take note of the following advisory regarding the Walt Disney World Resort:
Please, be aware that on February 18 and 19, 2013 the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade will step off in Frontierland at 3 p.m. instead of starting from Main Street U.S.A. due to taping of the "Live Kelly and Michael" show. the parade route will go back to normal starting from Wednesday, February 20, 2013.
Thank you for reading, and remember to stay tuned here on OTPN for additional news and advisories.

A Look Around the International Drive Area (PART 1)

The large International Drive area will receive many new additions in the next few years, the biggest one of them being I-Drive Live. Today we will take a quick look around just one small section of this busy tourist corridor, stopping at the intersection with Sand Lake Road. Let's see:

(NOTE: We apologize for the blurriness of certain photos, but we had to take them from the passenger's seat while driving around the area, as it would have taken hours to do such a tour walking).

A Look Around the International Drive Area (PART 2)

Welcome to PART 2 of this International Drive general photo-report (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Let's continue to take a look around the area, starting from the Holiday Inn Castle:

Splitsville's Operating Hours Change - February 2013

Please, take note of the following operating hours adjustment for the new Splitsville bowling alley, one of the latest entertainment offerings to open at Downtown Disney - West Side:
NEW Splitsville hours of operation:
> Sunday-Wednesday 10 a.m.-1 a.m.
> Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m.-2 a.m.

Additional Splitsville information:
Pricing (1.5 hours of bowling - about two games)
> $15 per person
> $20 per person during peak hours 4-10 p.m.

For additional information on Splitsville, visit or call (407) 938-7467.

The Disney Look... to the Past! (February 15-21)

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

This Week in Disney History: February 15-21
Feb. 16, 2000 - Disneyland Park kicks off its 45th anniversary celebration The original Magic Kingdom looked to the stars for inspiration behind an all-new parade and fireworks spectacular to celebrate a milestone year. The aptly named 45 Years of Magic Parade transformed Main Street, U.S.A. into a sight straight from “Fantasia 2000,” with giraffes, sea horses and blue whales mixing with Disney characters and more than 70 park Guests dancing in each performance. The “Believe ? There’s Magic in the Stars” fireworks spectacular replaced the long running “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks, featuring new pyrotechnic elements like shooting comets and starbur…

Magic Kingdom: Park Hours Extended Next Week

Please, take not of the following changes regarding Magic Kingdom's park hours:
The Magic Kingdom Park will be extending operating hours next week. Here you are adjusted closing times: Sunday, Feb. 17Magic Kingdom Park will now close at midnight, with Extra Magic Hours until 2 a.m.Monday, Feb. 18 – Tuesday, Feb. 19Magic Kingdom Park will now close at midnight.Wednesday, Feb. 20 – Saturday, Feb. 23Magic Kingdom Park will now close at 11 p.m. These next few days will certainly be very busy (even today there were many reports of crazy wait times and crowds in the parks), so be prepared if you will be going to any of the area's theme parks!

New "Land of Oz" Playground Opens at Epcot

A new temporary themed playground recently opened at Epcot. It will continue to remain open throughout this year's International Flower & Garden Festival (which will start really soon, by the way!), but it may be removed after the end of the event. We were at the park just yesterday, so we have some photos to share with you. Before doing that, though, let's take a look around Future World to see what's new:

AVATAR Land Construction Expected to Start Soon

We all know how difficult it has been for the Walt Disney World Resort to release more information regarding the quite mysterious "AVATAR Land" project that will be built inside Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. This week, Disney released the following update on this addition, which sounds reassuring:
AVATAR - Walt Disney Imagineers are currently in the design stage for AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide is joining forces with visionary filmmaker James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the world of AVATAR to life creating themed lands that will give Guests the opportunity to explore the mysterious universe of AVATAR first hand. With its emphasis on living in harmony with nature, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a natural fit for the AVATAR stories, which share the same philosophy. Construction is expected begin in 2013 and project of this size typically takes approximately five years to design and build.
According to this, …

Enter Sweepstakes to Win LEGOLAND Passes!

Would you like to be able to win some LEGOLAND Florida annual passes? Then check this out (SOURCE)!: _________________________________________________________________________

Prize Details A Family 4-pack of LEGOLAND Florida Annual Passes, good for 12 months admission to both LEGOLAND Florida and LEGOLAND Water Park, with free parking and discounts. Prize also includes being Buddy’s BFFs for the day at LEGOLAND Florida.
Contest Instructions We’re excited to launch the I Love LEGOLAND Florida Facebook Photo Contest. Simply print the PDF image of Buddy out and post a picture of him with you and/or your family for a chance to win the grand prize of a four (4) pack of Merlin Annual Pass USA passes and the title of Buddy’s BFF for the Day. Two (2) First Place winners will receive a four (4) pack 1-day Water Park Combo tickets to LEGOLAND Florida. Grand prize and runner-up prize winners will be judged based on creativity, originality & how well they represent the theme.
Here’s how it work…

Typhoon Lagoon Closed Feb. 16 & 17 Due to Weather

Please, notice the following advisory if you'll be visiting the Walt Disney World Resort in the next two days:

Be advised that Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be closed Saturday and Sunday, February 16 and 17, 2013  due to forecasted low temperatures. 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 any additional updates on this and other subjects.

Refurbished Disney Junior – Live on Stage! Opens

The Disney Junior – Live on Stage! show at Disney's Hollywood Studios officially reopened today with some minor additions. Here you are more information about it, from the official Disney Park Blog: _________________________________________________________________________

The New Disney Junior – Live on Stage! Opens Friday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Creative Entertainment team has been hard at work, getting the latest version of Disney Junior – Live on Stage! ready for its debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This update to the popular show, features new segments with Disney Junior hits “Doc McStuffins” and “Sofia the First,” along with returning stories from “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.”

LEGOLAND Florida Introduces PICK-A-DATE Tickets

LEGOLAND Florida is aware of the fact that many families have to save their money for years before being able to visit the park in the Central Florida area, and the park is therefore trying to introduce more and more discounts and offer to help families cope with the expenses linked to visiting their park.
In fact, as reported by Screamscape, LEGOLAND Florida has introduced the so-called "PICK-A-DATE tickets." These tickets can allow you to save as much as $15.00 on any given ticket (for adults and/or children). This means that a day at LEGOLAND Florida could cost as "little" as $64.00 for an adult, and $54.00 for a kid (and that's a really great price compared to the prices of the other major theme parks in the area), while a LEGOLAND Florida Park/LEGOLAND Water Park combo ticket could cost an adult $76.00, or $66.00 for a child. But, how does it work? You just need to select a specific, future date you want to visit the park(s), and before checking out you w…

Quick Updates: Magic Kingdom News (Feb. 14, 2013)

As most of our readers will certainly know, Orlando Theme Park News is now proud to be able to share live updates from the parks during most of our visits to the area's theme parks and attractions (our first live update occurred just a few days ago). This morning we would like to review together some of those photos (we didn't have our normal camera with us during that time as we were focusing on testing our new mobile device for the live update), reminding you that we posted them also on Facebook and Twitter. Let's take a look.

First of all, a crane was visible behind the beautiful Cinderella Castle:

20th Epcot Flower & Garden Festival: All the Info

20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 6-May 19 Debuts Illuminated Blooms and ‘Garden Marketplace’ Dining
‘The Land of Oz’ Garden and Playground Filled with Movie-Themed Fun for All
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Disney festival planners will boost floral fun and plant power to a whole new level during the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV March 6-May 19, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort.
Whimsical Disney topiary spectacles and sweeping garden landscapes set the colorful scene this year for new festival additions that include food-and-beverage Garden Marketplaces, a circus-like “Land of Oz” play area and nighttime illuminated gardens.
Debuting this year: Garden Marketplace culinary creations ranging from smokehouse barbecue and shrimp with grits and Zellwood corn to sweet “frushi” made with fresh fruits and coconut rice. Chefs are perfecting menus for marketplaces that will include Florida Fresh at World Showcase Promenade, Smokehouse …

The Disney Look... to the Past! (February 8-14)

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

This Week in Disney History: February 8-14
Feb. 8, 2001 - Disney California Adventure Park opens Filmmaking was beginning to boom in Los Angeles when Walt Disney moved there in 1923, but the city already had a multicultural style and architecture all its own. Buena Vista Street was inspired by this time in Walt’s life, and it serves as entryway to the Disneyland Resort’s second theme park - a celebration of the dreamers like Walt who changed the Golden State, and were changed by it. Hop a Red Car Trolley to Carthay Circle Theatre, a replica of the movie palace where “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” first premiered and hub to the park’s eight lands. Aviation-themed Condor Flats includes the b…

WDW: Sherberth Road Construction on February 14

Please, take note of the following advisory regarding one of the roads leading to the Walt Disney World Resort:
On Thursday, February 14, 2013, a road construction project along Sherberth Road near the Disney Sports Clubhouse is anticipated to cause traffic-related delays throughout the day. If possible, drivers are encouraged to use alternate routes or expect the possibility of experiencing delays when traveling through the area.
As suggested, you should plan ahead your trip if you will have to go through Sherberth Road on Thursday.

“Madagascar Live!” Coming to Busch Gardens Tampa

A brand-new show is coming to Busch gardens Tamp and SeaWorld San Diego this year, and it is based on a very popular animated series created by DreamWorks Animation: Madagascar. Here you are additional information:

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Launches “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation” at California and Florida Parks
-- New Live Show Debuts at Busch Gardens Tampa® and SeaWorld San Diego in 2013 --

Orlando, Fla. (February 12, 2013) – SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment today announced it will premiere “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation,” an original live musical show featuring the characters from DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: DWA) beloved Madagascar franchise, at two of the company’s parks this summer.
Celebrating the box office success of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which has grossed more than $740 million at the worldwide box office, Alex the Lion and friends will party while on v…

WDW: Nighttime Roadwork on Buena Vista Drive

Please, take note of the following advisory, especially if you will be visiting the Walt Disney World Resort in the next few weeks and will be staying at one of the Downtown Disney Partner Hotels:
Buena Vista Drive from Hotel Plaza Boulevard to State Road 535 will be repaved in both directions between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. nightly, Sunday through Thursday until Wednesday, February 27, 2013. During the project, Buena Vista Drive will not be closed, but traffic will detoured at various times based on the area being paved. Drivers are encouraged to use alternate routes during this project, or anticipate the possibility of delays.
Thank you for your attention, and stay tuned here on Orlando Theme Park News for more news and updates.