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Showing posts from March, 2013

Animal Kingdom Update: Avatar is Coming (PART 1)

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Good day Orlando Theme Park News Readers. Today we have a special weekend photo-update to share with you! We are going to take a look around the beautiful (but still in need of a lot of help!) Disney theme park dedicated to animals and nature in general - Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Let's see:

Animal Kingdom Update: Avatar is Coming (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Animal Kingdom photo-report (PART 1 can be found here).
Let's take a look at some of the wonderful animals that can be seen in the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction:

Animal Kingdom Update: Avatar is Coming (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Animal Kingdom photo-report (PART 2 can be found here).
Let's check out some more animals that can be seen roaming freely during the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction:

Pete's Silly Sideshow: M&G Times Change

Please, take note of the following advisory affecting Pete's Silly Sideshow, one of the newest meet-and-greets to open at the Magic Kingdom Park (in the Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland):
Beginning Sunday, April 7, 2013, Pete’s Silly Sideshow will open 45 minutes after the Magic Kingdom Park opens. The exception to this will be days when the park hosts Extra Magic Hours (EHM) in the morning and on peak days. The meet and greet location will continue to close one hour prior to park closing.
Thank you very much for your attention, and see you later with more news and updates.

The Disney Look... to the Past! (March 29-April 4)

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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: March 29-April 4
April 2, 2007 - Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor opens at Magic Kingdom Park In Disney•Pixar's "Monsters, Inc.," the energy providers for the creature-filled city of Monstropolis learn that laughter is ten times more powerful than a scream. So they've converted their scare floor into a 400-seat "laugh floor," and the monsters of stand-up are putting on a comedy show in hopes of collecting your chuckles. Mike Wazowski emcees this live, fully interactive experience, and Guests are invited to text in their jokes for possible use in the show. You might even get to chat with one of the talented brutes on the bill, or just end up o…

CONFIRMED: Pixar Parade & Show Closing at DHS

As we reported a couple of weeks ago, there were some strong rumors saying that both the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade and the Disney Channel Rocks! show at Disney's Hollywood Studios would be closing very soon. Well, here's the official advisory regarding this important update, released by Disney:
"We regularly and carefully review the entertainment offerings in our parks and make adjustments. As a result, the last performance of the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade and Disney Channel Rocks! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be Saturday, April 6, 2013. Although we are not adding a new parade at this time, we are always evaluating and refining our offerings and considering new ideas to build upon Disney stories."

While we definitely appreciate the efforts of all the Cast Members who were involved in bringing both of these shows to life every single day of the year, we have to say that we are really glad to see these two entertainment offerings disappearing. …

Islands of Adventure Update: Mystery Lagoon Project

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Just a few days ago, we visited Universal's Islands of Adventure, and while there is not a lot of work going on in the park (well, at least not as much as the work being done inside Universal Studios Florida!) there's still a lot to report. Let's first start by taking a look at the new automated ticket booth that was built a few weeks ago:

Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at KSC

2013 U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction Celebration on April 20 Features Exclusive Astronaut Meet-and-Greet Opportunity
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – KENNEDY SPACE CENTER –– Witness Curt Brown, Eileen Collins and Bonnie Dunbar, Ph.D. join an elite group of American space heroes as they are inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® on Saturday, April 20, 2013, during a star-studded ceremony at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. More than 30 legendary astronauts and space icons will be present at this event to welcome the new inductees. Special event ticket packages featuring meet-and-greet opportunities are available.
This year’s Astronaut Hall of Fame inductees, Brown, Collins and Dunbar, are being welcomed to the ranks of legendary space pioneers like Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Jim Lovell, Sally Ride and John Young – all distinguished members of the Hall of Fame. Earlier inductees represent the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz programs.  The addition…

Cabana Bay Beach Resort Update - March 25, 2013

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A few days ago, after visiting both parks of the Universal Orlando Resort, we got a glimpse of the progress that has been made in the past few months in the future location of Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Here you are a few photos (NOTE: sorry for the low quality of the pictures, but we were not able to stop, and the car had to move quickly due to traffic. Also, these photos were taken from the passenger's seat.):

"Conewiches" Now Available at Downtown Disney

Starting from today (Wednesday, March 27, 2013) the Marketplace Snacks (a snack booth located in the Marketplace area of Downtown Disney) will be offering new conewhiches as an addition to the current menu: Chili Cone Queso — beef & red kidney bean chili and cheese served in a savory bread coneMeatball Cone — turkey meatballs in marinara sauce with shredded provolone cheese These new conewhiches will replace the BBQ Pork and Coleslaw Hot Dog and the Philly Cheese Steak Hot Dog, formerly on the menu. Regular hot dogs and chili cheese dogs will remain on the menu. Marketplace Snacks is the first location at the Walt Disney World Resort to feature conewhiches (also available in Cars Land).
So, which conewich will you try? In any case, don't let Stitch steal your conewich (he's always hungry)!

Fun Spot America's Expansion Update - March 2013

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Mr. Brisson, Director of Marketing Fun Spot Attractions, was so kind to send us some very recent aerial photos of the Fun Spot America expansion area. Take a look at all the incredible progress that has been made!:

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Blizzard Beach to Remain Closed Through Tomorrow

As some of our Readers may know, Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park was closed today due to cool temperatures in the area (it is incredibly unusual for us to have less than 80 degrees at this time of the year). The Walt Disney World Resort just confirmed a few minutes ago that Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park will also be closed tomorrow (Thursday, March 28, 2013) due to forecasted low temperatures. With that being said, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be open for Guests to enjoy. Both will again be open starting from March 29.
Please, continue to check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for any additional updates on this.

Universal Studios Update: March 25, 2013 (PART 1)

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Hello, and welcome to Orlando Theme Park News' newest Universal Studios Florida photo-update! The expansion projects taking place inside this park are continuously showing that the resort is definitely not kidding... work in all areas is proceeding at a really fast pace! Let's take a look around and see it for yourself:

Universal Studios Update: March 25, 2013 (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this Universal Studios Florida photo-report (PART 1 can be found at this link).
We'll now leave the new Transformers area to take a look at some of the other areas of the park:

Universal Studios Update: March 25, 2013 (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this Universal Studios Florida photo-report (PART 2 can be found here).
Let's take a look at a few more photos of the new London area:

Universal Studios Update: March 25, 2013 (PART 4)

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Welcome to PART 4 of this Universal Studios Florida photo-report (PART 3 can be found at this link).
It's incredible to think that this area was formerly a fake midway...

Macaws Flying Outside the Flights of Wonder Theater

A minor but interesting update regarding one of Disney’s Animal Kingdom animal shows:
"The Flights of Wonder team is now training two pairs of macaws (scarlet and blue-throated) to fly outside the Flights of Wonder theater. Guests may see these flights from 8-9:30 a.m. and noon-1 p.m. During initial training, the birds will do short pre-show flights in the area in front of the Flights of Wonder theater, building up in frequency to several flights per day before shows. The flights also will build up in length, with the birds eventually flying from the area in front of the theater to a perch (yet to be built) near the drums across from Tamu Tamu Refreshments."
Sounds like something we'd like to see next time we visit to the park. Anything new at Animal Kingdom is great.

Quick Magic Kingdom Update - March 2013 (PART 1)

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Hello, and welcome to a new (and very quick) Magic Kingdom update. Let's take a look around the park:

Quick Magic Kingdom Update - March 2013 (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this quick Magic Kingdom update (PART 1 can be found here).

Let's continue to take a look at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride:

Typhoon Lagoon Closed Tomorrow Due to Weather

Please, take note of the following advisory affecting one of Walt Disney World's water parks tomorrow:
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday, March 26, 2013) due to forecasted low temperatures (highs will be in the mid-to-upper 60's, very unusual for Florida in March). Despite that, note also that Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park will remain open for Guests to enjoy.
Please check back frequently here on Orlando Theme Park News for any additional updates.

Work on New Magic Kingdom Bus Loop Have Begun

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Some months ago we reported that preliminary work was being done on the grassy plot right in front of the Contemporary Resort. That was just the beginning of a quite important project that will include the expansion of Magic Kingdom's already large bus loop. Here you are a few photos of the area we are talking about:

Entertainment Changes at DAK (March 25-April 7)

Please, take not of the fact that there will be several entertainment changes taking place at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park starting tomorrow (Monday, March 25, 2013) in preparation for spring break. Those changes include DiVine meeting Guests in the Oasis area and Viva Gaia returning to the park.
- Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe
March 25-27: Earlier show-times in the day: 8:45 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

- Burudika
March 25-27: Later show-times in the day: 4:20 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

- Viva Gaia Street Band!
March 24 - April 6: Returning to Discovery Island. Set times are: 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

- DJ Anaan
Beginning March 31: Schedule ending at 7 p.m.

- DiVine
March 11-13 and March 24 - April 6: Meet-and-greet location change to Oasis.

Thank you for taking note of these entertainment changes. Get ready for some very busy days in the parks!

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

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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: March 22-28
March 22, 1975 - Downtown Disney opens at the Walt Disney World Resort Originally opened as the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, Downtown Disney has expanded and grown into a fun-filled district with destination stores, world-class dining and entertainment. Wrapping around Lake Buena Vista, the district is divided into three sections. Downtown Disney Marketplace features the vast World of Disney souvenir store, plus favorite eateries like Earl of Sandwich and T-Rex Café. Pleasure Island, opened in 1989, includes riverboat-themed Fulton’s Crab House and grown-up favorites like Raglan Road Irish Pub. Downtown Disney West Side, opened in 1996, includes …

Winter Summerland: Advisory for March 25, 2013

Please note that the Winter course at Winter Summerland Miniature Golf (situated right next to the main entrance of Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park) will be closed Monday (March 25, 2013) until 3:00 p.m. The course will open to all Guests after 3:00 p.m. The Summer course will remain open all day for Guests to enjoy.
Please check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for any additional updates on this and other subjects.

Odyssey Pavilion Celebrates Epcot Center (PART 1)

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As we reported just a few days ago, the former Odyssey Restaurant (now the Odyssey pavilion, largely used for special events) is currently open to Annual Passholders to allow them to convert their paper tickets to the new RFID-enabled tickets (CLICK HERE for additional information about this). In addition to that, there is a small section inside the building that is dedicated to some of the technological advancements introduced at the Walt Disney World Resort (especially at Epcot). It is truly a great little museum-like space worth seeing:

Odyssey Pavilion Celebrates Epcot Center (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this photo-gallery of the Odyssey Pavilion at Epcot (PART 1 can be found here).
Let's continue to take a look at these very interesting technological innovations from the past:

Pirate's Town Presents "The Three Musketeers" Show

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The company behind the very popular and successful Pirate's Dinner Adventure and Treasure Tavern - two of the many themed dinner-shows in Orlando - is now introducing yet another show, themed after the three musketeers. Here you are additional information regarding this brand-new entertainment offering: _________________________________________________________________________

Pirates Dinner Adventure is proud to announce Pirates Town, a Dinner Theater Complex and a new show, The 3 Musketeers.
ORLANDO, Fla.– Pirates Dinner Adventure unveiled plans today to become the Dinner Theater Center of Orlando. The popular family attraction already houses two award-winning theaters; Pirate’s Dinner Adventure and Treasure Tavern Dinner Theatre.

At the end of March, a third and new option for family entertainment will be added to the playbill – The 3 Musketeers ~ Premiere Dinner Adventure. “Orlando needs new entertainment options for the many families that visit ‘ the city beautiful’ every year”…

Magic Kingdom General Update: March 2013 (PART 1)

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Hello, and welcome to a new Magic Kingdom photo-update! We will be very quick this time, as there will not be any photos of the Fantasyland area (don't worry, we'll go back to the park very soon). We hope you'll enjoy it:

Magic Kingdom General Update: March 2013 (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this brief Magic Kingdom general update (PART 1 can be found here).

Let's continue to take a close look at the (extremely beautiful) exterior of Splash Mountain:

WDW Annual Passes Conversion Begins Today

Just a reminder for all our Readers that are currently Walt Disney World Passholders:
Beginning from today (March 20, 2013), all new and renewal Annual Pass purchases will be issued on RF-enabled cards. In Addition to that, between March 20 and May 19, all Passholders may visit the Odyssey Center at Epcot to convert their existing theme park Annual Passes to new RF-enabled cards during regular park hours. To do so, they must simply bring their current Pass along with a photo ID. This location does not include the conversion of Passes exclusively for water park or Disney Quest admission. These Passes can be converted at the water parks or Disney Quest.
The new Pass cards function like the current paper Passes and Passholders can use them to get FASTPASS tickets from the FASTPASS machines in our theme parks, as well as to obtain Passholder benefits (photo ID still required). For those who choose not to convert their paper ticket, existing Passes will still be accepted as valid forms of…

Sheryl Crow and Her Family Visit SeaWorld Orlando

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SeaWorld Orlando recently sent us a couple of photos of Sheryl Crow and her family spending a nice day in the park prior to her performance during the park’s Bands, Brew & BBQ Festival. Take a look:
Sheryl Crow and Sea Lion: Clyde, a California sea lion, lets Sheryl Crow know that all he wants to do is have some fun, too. Crow met Clyde before performing live at SeaWorld Orlando March 17 for the park’s annual Bands, Brew & BBQ festival, which featured a variety of craft brews, barbecue selections and chart-topping country and rock performances.

Things to Do at the Kennedy Space Center This Spring

Families Can Enjoy the Top Five Things to do at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex During Spring Break
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (March 20, 2013) – KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is offering an out-of-this-world Spring Break experience for guests, including the top five things for kids to do during the spring holiday:
1. Play Angry Birds Space – Angry Birds™ Space Encounter, opening March 22, is the first comprehensive, interactive Angry Birds attraction in the United States. Angry Birds Space Encounter brings to life the space adventures of the Angry Birds as they follow their kidnapped eggs into an inter-galactic wormhole. Along the way, the birds gear up with heroic superpowers as they come face-to-face with Space Pigs.
At the new Visitor Complex attraction, guests enter the encounter through a vortex of images and sounds from Angry Birds Space, creating the illusion of being inside the wormhole that transports the Angry Birds into a strange space universe. …

SeaWorld Update: Icy Land Almost Ready (PART 1)

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Hello, and welcome to Orlando Theme Park News' latest photo-report. This time we will take you around SeaWorld Orlando to see what is new and how work is progressing in the future Antarctica themed area:

SeaWorld Update: Icy Land Almost Ready (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this SeaWorld Orlando photo-report (PART 1 can be found here).

Let's now take a look around Journey to Atlantis, which recently reopened after its seasonal refurbishment:

SeaWorld Update: Icy Land Almost Ready (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this SeaWorld Orlando photo-report (PART 2 can be found here).
Let's continue take a look around SeaWorld's huge Sky Tower:

Hollywood Studios: Parade and Show Closing Soon

The rumors circulating around many of the various Walt Disney World Resort fan boards have been officially  confirmed: both the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade and the Disney Channel Rocks! show at Disney's Hollywood Studios will be closing very soon. In fact, according to the latest Walt Disney World Resort advisory, both entertainment offerings will cease to be available after April 6, 2013. As a result, the park's Times Guide for the week starting on Sunday, April 7, 2013 will no longer feature these offerings.
Now, what does this mean? Will this mean the end of that hideous hat placed in front of the Great Movie Ride? Is there something more behind these sudden closures? Is a new parade and/or show in the works?

LEGOLAND Florida's Expansion Officially Announced

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LEGOLAND Florida has finally made an official announcement regarding the new land that will open this year!: _________________________________________________________________________
LEGOLAND® Florida Announces Major Park Expansion Opening Summer 2013 - The World of Chima Presented by Cartoon Network
Winter Haven, Fla. (March 19, 2013) – A powerful new energy source is coming to Central Florida. Already the largest LEGOLAND® park in the world, LEGOLAND® Florida is thrilled to announce another major park expansion coming summer 2013 adding to the park’s already exciting line up of more than 50 rides, shows and attractions designed specifically for families with children ages 2 to 12. Based on the new product line, LEGO® Legends of Chima, LEGOLAND Florida will bring this fantastical world to life with The World of Chima presented by Cartoon Network. Families will embark on a journey in search of a mystical energy source through a highly-interactive water ride experience, the Quest for CH…

Construction on Third MK Bus Loop Officially Started

We just wanted to let our Readers know that construction work for the third bus loop at the Magic Kingdom Park begun today (Monday, March 18, 2013). According to Disney, "the third bus loop will accommodate more buses and load zones [and will] enhance our transportation operation and make way for new types of buses." The new types of buses include the new double buses that were seen around the Walt Disney World Resort last year.
Also, "construction work will take place during the day and drivers may notice more trucks in the area. As in any construction area, drivers should observe posted signs as well as follow the direction of flagmen in the area." Thank you very much for taking note of this advisory, and drive carefully, especially in that busy area!

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin - Sixth Webisode

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A few days ago, SeaWorld Orlando released the fifth installment of their exciting video-previews of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, the fantastic new land that will open on May 24. Take a look: _________________________________________________________________________
SeaWorld Orlando Releases Latest Behind The Freeze Video Creating Antarctica: Storytelling through the Ice
SeaWorld Creative Director Brian Morrow takes you on an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how SeaWorld Orlando’s new attraction -- Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin – is shaping up … literally!  In this Behind The Freeze video, find out how our design teams are creating a frozen realm in sunny Orlando and telling an incredible story of adventure through the eyes of a special penguin hero named Puck.

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin opens May 24 at SeaWorld Orlando. And if you can’t wait that long, you can interact virtually with penguins on our new Antarctica app available for iPhones, iPads and Android phones.…

Kids' Discovery Clubs Operating Times Change (DAK)

Please, take note of the following advisory regarding Kids' Discovery Clubs at Disney's Animal Kingdom:
Be aware of the fact that the closing time of the Kids’ Discovery Clubs at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park has been adjusted. The Kids’ Discovery Clubs located in Africa, Asia, Camp Minnie-Mickey, and Dinoland will close at the same time as the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek. Since all of these experiences are outdoors, it is necessary from an operational standpoint to close them once the sun begins to set. The Conservation Station Kids’ Discovery Club will close at the same time as Conservation Station. The Tree of Life Kids’ Discovery Club will remain closed at this time. Each location is still scheduled to open at 10 a.m.
Thank you very much for your attention. See you soon with more news, rumors, and updates.

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

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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: _________________________________________________________________________
This Week in Disney History: March 15-21
March 17, 1929 - The animated short “Plane Crazy” premieres “Steamboat Willie” was the first Mickey Mouse short released in theatres, but it wasn’t the first one produced. That honor goes to “Plane Crazy,” which Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks hustled to make after the studio lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to the series’ distributor. Originally developed as a silent film, the six-minute short finds Mickey Mouse emulating the exploits of aviator Charles Lindbergh, while misguidedly trying to gain the affection of Minnie Mouse. A screening on May 15, 1928 failed to attract a distributor, as would the second Mickey short produced, “The Galloping Gau…

Atlas Rocket Launch on March 19, 2013 at KSC

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Offers Best Public Viewing of Atlas V Rocket Launch on March 19, 2013
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Experience the powerful sights and sounds of the thunderous roaring engines of a 191-foot-tall Atlas V rocket as it launches into the sky on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests may view the launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area, or a special area at the Visitor Complex. The rocket will blast off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with a launch window from 5:21 to 6:01 p.m. ET.
Special launch viewing areas for guests and live launch commentary from mission control are included in admission to the Visitor Complex. Guests should arrive before 3:30 p.m. to ensure transportation to the Apollo/Saturn V Center.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket will launch the U.S. military's second Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite, or SBIRS GEO 2, for…

Downtown Disney's Expansion Officially Announced

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All the rumors that have been floating around for months have finally been confirmed: the Downtown Disney District will receive a major expansion that will include a name change. Here's the official announcement: _________________________________________________________________________
Disney Unveils Vision for Disney Springs
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., March 14, 2013 – Walt Disney World Resort today announced the multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, a unique destination that will treat guests to significantly more shopping, dining and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm.

Disney Springs will feature an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands. From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, guests will be able to explore a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences and discover options unlike any other currently available in Central Florida.

LEGOLAND's 2013 Expansion: Park Cutting Corners?

As you may have read on our official Twitter page, LEGOLAND Florida has revealed that the park will officially unveil some of the details regarding the park's 2013 expansion (which is rumored to involve characters from the new "Legends of Chima" LEGO series) on March 19, 2013. Unfortunately, a recent Screamscape update is reporting something quite negative. It looks like the new area may consist of only one single ride. No restaurants, merchandise locations, or other minor attractions could be included. Here's Screamscape post: _________________________________________________________________________
2013 - New Land / Legends of Chima - (3/14/13) Legoland Florida has sent word that they will make their announcement regarding the park’s new expansion on March 19th. With that said… I’m hearing that the plans for the new land have been shrunk back quite a bit since the early plans with the pirate theme were first leaked months ago. While the park will get the same Lege…

Cirque du Soleil Going Dark on March 19, 2013

Please, take note of the following advisory impacting the Cirque du Soleil show at Downtown Disney: 
Be aware of the fact that there are no scheduled shows for La Nouba™ by Cirque du Soleil® on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. The next scheduled performances will take place beginning from Wednesday, March 20, 2013.
Thank you for taking the time to read this short advisory, and see you in a little bit for some more updates.

I-Drive LIVE Project Photo-Update (March 13, 2013)

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The exciting I-Drive Live projects is moving at a very slow pace, but we are finally starting to see progress. Here you are a very quick photo-update of the area that will house this future entertainment complex:

Typhoon lagoon Closed March 14 Due to Weather

Please, take note of the following advisory affecting the Walt Disney World Resort tomorrow:
Be advised that Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be closed tomorrow (Thursday, March 14, 2013), due to forecasted low temperatures. The water park is expected to reopen on March 15 (temperatures will be higher). Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park is still closed for its annual refurbishment and will reopen on March 16.
Please, remember to check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for any additional news and updates.

Fantasyland Update: Tangled Area Now Open (PART 1)

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As Walt Disney World Fans, we may all feel a little down because of the fact that today we didn't hear the official announcement of Downtown Disney's future (blame the rain, which has stopped now), but we can all agree that waiting a few more days is not going to hurt anyone (we have waited so many years anyway...). In the meantime, we hope you will enjoy our new Fantasyland photo-report, which includes many pictures of the new Tangled themed area and much more. Take your time viewing them, as there are more than 150! Let's start right away:

Fantasyland Update: Tangled Area Now Open (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Fantasyland photo-report (PART 1 can be found right here).
Here you are some more photos of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride's track:

Fantasyland Update: Tangled Area Now Open (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this new Fantasyland photo-update (PART 2 can be found at this link).
Here you are now an extensive photo-gallery of the new Tangled themed area that recently opened:

Fantasyland Update: Tangled Area Now Open (PART 4)

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Welcome to PART 4 of this new Fantasyland photo-report (PART 3 can be found right here).
A few more photos of the Tangled themed area:

Fantasyland Update: Tangled Area Now Open (PART 5)

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Welcome to PART 5 of this new Fantasyland picture-report (PART 4 can be found right here).
We have even more photos of this great new Tangled themed area:

Downtown Disney's Expansion Announcement Today

Today may end up being a grand day for the Downtown Disney District here in Central Florida.
Indeed, according to WDWMagic (an unofficial Walt Disney World Resort fan site), the official plans for the major expansion project that will involve all three districts of Downtown Disney will be unveiled later this morning. Rumors point to new multi-level garages, many new retail stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, and attractions. In addition to that, a name change is also expected for the whole area ("Disney Springs" is one of the names that have been going around the fan communities for months). Will all of this be announced? Is there more in store (no pun intended) for Guests? We are about to find out.
Stay tuned here on Orlando Theme Park News and on the Disney Parks Blog for the announcement!
UPDATE -It looks like today's announcement had to be delayed due to weather. We'll keep you informed.

Islands of Adventure Update: Dudley Reopens (PART 1)

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Welcome to a new Islands of Adventure photo-update! Let's take a look around this wonderfully-themed park to see what is new and what has changed in the past few weeks:

Islands of Adventure Update: Dudley Reopens (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Islands of Adventure photo-report (PART 1 can be found here).

Dudley Do Right's Ripsaw Falls recently reopened after having received its seasonal refurbishment:

Islands of Adventure Update: Dudley Reopens (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this new Islands of Adventure photo-report (PART 2 can be found here).
More pictures of the work being done in the future train station area, from Sindbad's Theater:

Islands of Adventure Update: Dudley Reopens (PART 4)

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Welcome to PART 4 of this new Islands of Adventure photo-report (PART 3 can be found here).
Marvel Superhero Island at night is quite spectacular:

AT&T Expands 4G Network Inside Universal Orlando

Do you remember when we reported the installation of some extended section of walls on top of some of the ride's buildings inside both Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure? Here's the reason why they were added: to prepare for an expansion of AT&T's 4G network. Here you are more information: _________________________________________________________________________

AT&T Expands 4G Network in Universal Orlando’s Theme Parks
The nation’s largest 4G network just got larger for Universal Orlando theme park guests and Team Members. AT&T has activated three new 4G mobile Internet cell sites at key locations across our Theme Parks and CityWalk that will enhance coverage and provide speeds up to four times faster than 3G. The 4G expansion is part of AT&T’s continuing network investment to support the growing demand for mobile devices, apps, and faster mobile Internet speeds. The three locations are creating a virtual data superhighway. …

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

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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: March 8-14
March 13, 2005 - Crush ‘n’ Gusher opens at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water slides tend to be a downhill proposition, but if you’d like to try defying gravity, grab a raft and venture inside the abandoned tropical fruit processing center near the shores of Hideaway Bay. Climb the steps towards one of three 400-foot slides: the Banana Blaster, Coconut Crusher, or Pineapple Plunger, and hang on tight. Torrents of white water will send you shooting up roller coaster-like inclines, over sudden drops and through hairpin turns en route to a splashdown finale. This family friendly “water coaster” is the only ride of its kind in Central Florida, with water jets th…

DiVine Meeting Guests in the Oasis (March 11-13)

If you have been frequently at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, you may have encountered DiVine a few times. She's an out-of-the-ordinary, original character that can only be seen there. She could be defined as a "walking plant" (in fact, she's completely covered by foliage and fruits!). Well, DiVine will be greeting Guests in the Oasis area of the park between March 11 and 13, 2013. For the rest of the week, she will be in the Bradley Falls area by Africa.
Thank you for taking note of this small (but still important) advisory. See you later with more news and updates.

Magic Kingdom: Tangled Area Opens (PHOTOS)

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The new Tangled themed are finally opened to the public this past week. Here you are just a few photos of this very eye-pleasing restroom area, found in the Fantasyland area of the Magic Kingdom Park:

Did You Remember to 'Spring Forward' This Morning?

Here we are again! All our Readers living in the United States (and a few other countries) should have already changed their clocks this morning at 2 a.m., setting them forward one hour. As it happens every year, if you are currently staying at a Disney Resort, a voice mail should have been delivered to your room as a reminder (for the campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, letters are usually delivered to the sites).
Remember also to change the batteries of your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors! Thanks for your attention.

Fun Spot America's Expansion Progress (March 9)

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Mr. Brisson - the Director of Marketing for all Fun Spot Attractions - just shared with us another photo showing the progress of the major expansion work being done on the plot behind Fun Spot America:

He also added the following information:
White Lightning is the name of our Wood Roller Coaster (GCI builder)... Freedom Flyer is the name of the steel suspension coaster (Chance-Vekoma build), and we have not named the 250 ft arched SkyCoaster. [As a reminder,] our Grand Re-Opening is Saturday, June 8, 2013. More details will follow.
We'll get back to the park in the next few weeks to check out the progress of the work in person. Stay tuned.
PHOTO: Copyright © 2013 Fun Spot Attractions. All Rights Reserved.

Splitsville Introduces More Changes to Its Prices

Please, take note of the following changes that were recently applied on the pricing structure of Splitsville, the new bowling alley that debuted just a few months ago in the West Side area of Downtown Disney:
Bowling pricing (includes shoe rental):

Monday-Friday
  $15 per person | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  $20 per person | 4-close

Friday-Sunday
$20 per person | All day

Bowling time (based on number of bowlers in party):
1-3 bowlers | 1 hour4 bowlers | 1 hour, 15 minutes5 bowlers | 1 hour, 30 minutes6-8 bowlers | 1 hour, 45 minutes Billiards pricing:
$10 per hour, per table

Thank you for your attention. Stay tuned for additional news and advisories on this and other subjects.

LEGOLAND Update: New Restaurant & More (PART 1)

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Just like most of the other theme parks and attractions in Central Florida, LEGOLAND Florida is busy building new attractions, restaurants, and many other additions that will certainly attract both new and repeat Guests.
Let's take a look together at what is taking place in the park (for photos of the new themed land, click HERE):

LEGOLAND Update: New Restaurant & More (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this large LEGOLAND Florida photo-report (PART 1 can be found here)!

Let us continue our tour of the park, heading toward the LEGO Kingdoms area of the park:

LEGOLAND Update: New Restaurant & More (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this large LEGOLAND Florida photo-update (PART 2 can be found here)!
We will now take a close look at this new restaurant, called "The Fried Chicken Co.":


New Festival of the Lion King Theater: Work Start Soon

Many Walt Disney World fan sites have been hinting at some rumors involving the construction of a brand-new theater for the extremely popular "Festival of the lion King" show at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Just recently, WDWMagic even confirmed that work should start very soon. And that is absolutely correct. In fact, one of our official Walt Disney World sources provided an exact date of the start of the work on this new theater.
Work is scheduled to take place in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park beginning from Monday, March 11, 2013. The plot of land that was chosen for this project is located behind the Tusker House Restaurant and the DAWA Bar (CLICK HERE for a mapof the area). You can rest assured that both the restaurant and the bar will continue to operate during this construction project, as no public areas should be affected. By the way, the check-in location for the Wild Africa Trek was also recently moved for this same reason.
D…

Orlando Public Road Renamed "Fun Spot Way"

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An interesting news was reported to us by Mr. Brisson, Director of Marketing for Fun Spot Attractions:
[On] March 6, 2013 saw the fruition of months of Fun Spot Attractions working with the City of Orlando to change the name of one small access road off International Drive. At the February 4th, Board of City Commissioner meeting it was resolved to change “Touchstone Road” to “Fun Spot Way”. This 2/10 of a mile road that connects International Drive (at Festival Bay) and Grand National Drive will become the main entrance for the expanded Fun Spot America that opens on June 1st with two new roller coasters, a new SkyCoaster, an improved multi-level go-kart track, and many new thrill rides. Below are photos showing the new road signs:

Angry Birds Attraction Opening March 22 at KSC

Kennedy Space Center's newest themed attraction (themed after the incredibly famous Angry Birds franchise) will open before the end of March. Here you are the official press release that includes additional information: _________________________________________________________________________
Kennedy Space Center Welcomes Angry Birds™ Space Encounter
Attraction is the First of its Kind in the United States
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (March 6, 2013) – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has partnered with Rovio Entertainment, creator of the globally successful Angry Birds™  franchise including Angry Birds Space, to bring the casual puzzle game to life. The new Angry Birds™ Space Encounter, set to open at the Visitor Complex at 11 a.m. on March 22, is the first comprehensive, interactive Angry Birds attraction in the United States designed for people of all ages.
The grand opening of Angry Birds Space Encounter will feature an appearance by NASA astronaut Donald Pettit, Ph.D., who pr…

Universal Studios: Invasion of Transformers (PART 1)

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Our last visit to Universal Studios Florida on March 5 was definitely full of surprises and important news that we want to share with you. From Transformers meeting Guests, to the great facades of the new Simpsons themed area, there's surely something that's going to please each and every one of our Readers. Let's take a look around: