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Showing posts from August, 2013

Festival of the Lion King's New Theater: Update

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Construction continues in the future location of the brand-new theater of the very popular Festival of the Lion King show that currently continues to play without interruption at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park:

Walt Disney World: Refurbishments & News (Sept. '13)

Today we have quite a few reminders, news, and refurbishment updates from all four parks of the Walt Disney World Resorts (and from Downtown Disney). Make sure you are aware of what's happening:
- Magic Kingdom Park -
REFURBISHMENTS: Jungle Cruise: Closed August 19 - September 30, 2013. Reopening on October 1, 2013 Space Mountain: Closed September 3-5; September 10-12; September 23-26, 2013. Hundred Acre Goods shop: Closed September 4-6, 2013. Reopening on September 7, 2013.
- Epcot -
REFURBISHMENTS: Fountain View: Closed until September 3, 2013. Reopening on September 4, 2013. Temporary Chase Kiosk (at the American Adventure pavilion):  Reopens on September 4, 2013 Winnie The Pooh & Friends Meet-and-Greet (at the United Kingdom pavilion): Closed until October 4, 2013 (tentative date). In the meantime, characters will greet Guests near International Gateway from 1:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. daily. Please refer to the Epcot Times Guide for more specific times and details.

Did You Know That? - Walt Disney World Edition (13)

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Enjoy today's edition of "Did You Know That?" - Walt Disney World: _________________________________________________________________________
No. 13: The effect in the “Big Blue World” finale scene of The Seas With Nemo & Friends at Epcot makes the undersea movie characters appear as though they are swimming in the tank with real fish. It was developed at Walt Disney Imagineering’s Research and Development division. All of the “Finding Nemo” characters seen in the attraction were produced at Pixar Animation Studios by many of the original film’s animators. Altogether, more than 2,000 fish, sharks, rays, and dolphins call the 5.7-million-gallon aquarium at The Seas with Nemo & Friends home.
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Thank you very much for reading! We'll see you tomorrow with more interesting facts about Walt Disney World!
PHOTO: ©Disney. All rights reserved.

Magic Kingdom: Slow Season Approaching (PART 1)

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Welcome to the newest Magic Kingdom photo-report brought to you by Orlando Theme Park News!
The Magic Kingdom is definitely the park that constantly receives the most attention at the Walt Disney World Resort. Whether it is a new attraction, meet-an-greet, restaurant, snack bar, or simply new concrete throughout the various themed lands, there's is always something new to see. Let's take a look around together:

Magic Kingdom: Slow Season Approaching (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this Magic Kingdom photo-report (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Let's continue to take a look around Adventureland:

Magic Kingdom: Slow Season Approaching (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this Magic Kingdom photo-report (PART 2 can be found HERE).
It is time to keep on checking around the Magic Kingdom Park in search of something new to report...

Magic Kingdom: Slow Season Approaching (PART 4)

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Welcome to PART 4 of this Magic Kingdom photo-report (PART 3 can be found HERE).
It is time to continue taking a look around "it's a small world." Please, bear with us:

Magic Kingdom: Slow Season Approaching (PART 5)

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Welcome to PART 5 of this Magic Kingdom photo-report (PART 4 can be found HERE).
Here you are more pictures of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train:


Magic Kingdom: Slow Season Approaching (PART 6)

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Welcome to PART 6 of this Magic Kingdom photo-report (PART 5 can be found HERE).
The waterfalls outside Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid were working:


Fountain View Grand Reopening on September 4, 2013

The newest themed Starbucks location at the Walt Disney World Resort will open early next week.
In fact, the completely renovated Fountain View counter-service location (located in the Future World plaza at Epcot) will officially reopen on Wednesday, September 4, 2013. Not only the interior and exterior have been completely redesigned, but the food & beverage offerings will also be completely new (especially since Fountain View was an ice cream parlor before getting its most recent renovation). Pastries will be available, as well as... you guessed it: Starbucks Coffee. The whole place looks very futuristic and much more open than it did before. It will definitely be a great place to relax and enjoy coffee with friends and family members.
We plan on visiting Fountain View next week, so be on the lookout for photos in the coming few days!

Did You Know That? - Walt Disney World Edition (12)

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Enjoy today's edition of "Did You Know That?" - Walt Disney World: _________________________________________________________________________
No. 12: Liberty Square and Frontierland in Magic Kingdom Park are separated by a river dubbed the Little Mississippi. This waterway divides the Disney version of the eastern and western United States, just as the real Mississippi does.
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Thank you very much for reading! We'll see you tomorrow with more interesting facts about Walt Disney World!
PHOTO: ©Disney. All rights reserved.

CityWalk Update: Latin Quarter Gone (PART 1)

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Universal Orlando's CityWalk is going to be receiving quite a few additions in the next few months. That is why we are once again back from this entertainment district with new photos showing the progress that has been done around the place. Let us take a look around together, shall we? Enjoy:

CityWalk Update: Latin Quarter Gone (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Universal's CityWalk update (PART 1 can be found HERE).
We will now continue to take a look around the upper part of CityWalk (where the clubs are located):

Walt Disney World: New Bus Route Test (DAK-DTD)

A new bus route connecting Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Downtown Disney will be tested starting in September. Here you are more information regarding this test, which may become permanent soon:
From September 1 to October 31, 2013, as part of a limited-time test, Guests will be able to take Disney bus transportation directly from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park to the Downtown Disney area.
The service will operate from 3 p.m. until 1 a.m., providing Guests leaving Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park with convenient transportation to the unique shops, world-class restaurants and exciting entertainment at the Downtown Disney Area. Guests will be dropped off at the Downtown Disney West Side bus station, near Cirque du Soleil.
What do you think? Would this be a service you would use during your vacation? Share your comments with us.

Did You Know That? - Walt Disney World Edition (11)

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Enjoy today's edition of "Did You Know That?" - Walt Disney World: _________________________________________________________________________
No. 11: As you ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover in Magic Kingdom Park, you hear, “Paging Mr. Morrow. Mr. Tom Morrow. Please contact Mr. Johnson in the Control Tower to confirm your flight to the moon.” This is a reference to the extinct and fondly remembered Flight to the Moon and Mission to Mars attractions that occupied the space where Stitch’s Great Escape! now resides. Mr. Morrow and Mr. Johnson were the directors of the respective missions.
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Thank you very much for reading! We'll see you tomorrow with more interesting facts about Walt Disney World!
PHOTO: ©Disney. All rights reserved.

Grand Floridian Resort: DVC Expansion Update

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Today we have a few quick photos showing the progress that has been done in the area where the brand new Disney Vacation Club wing of the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will open to all Guests. Enjoy:

LEGOLAND: Police, Fire, and EMS Appreciation Days

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (August 27, 2013) –LEGOLAND® Florida is bringing back Police, Fire and EMS Appreciation Days to honor everyday heroes that work tirelessly to protect and serve cities across the country. Police officers, fire fighters and EMS employees will receive a free one-time single day admission to LEGOLAND Florida for use during the month of September 2013 with the opportunity to purchase up to four additional tickets for only $40 plus tax per adult/child/senior ticket. 
Our heroes can unwind with special family time and experience LEGOLAND Florida’s more than 50 rides, shows and attractions geared to families with children ages 2 to 12 and the newest expansion, The LEGO® World of Chima presented by Cartoon Network that features an interactive water ride, The Quest for CHI, and more.
This offer is valid for all police officers, fire fighters, and EMS employees working and serving in the United States. Active and retired personnel with identification are eligible. Eligible per…

Princess Fairytale Hall: Attraction Sign Unveiled

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Magic Kingdom's newest themed meet-and-greet will open very soon. In fact, work on the Princess Fairytale Hall is almost ready to wrap up, and a new sign for this new attraction has just been installed. Take a look:

Fun Spot America: Good Summer, New Candy Store

It looks like Fun Spot America's expansion has proven to be really popular! In fact, the Fun Spot family shared the following interesting update in their latest monthly newsletter, which is sent for free to all who subscribe:
The lazy, hazy days of summer were anything but lazy at Fun Spot. We have had a HUGE Summer. Our expanded Orlando grew in attendance in HUGE numbers. And our Kissimmee park saw double digit growth as well. But Summer isn't over yet! Here in Florida, September and October are a second summer for people to enjoy the heat, without the lines. Come visit us this Second Summer for fast lines, fast rides, and FUN!
In addition to that, a bran-new shop was recently opened near the front entrance of the park:
SWEET SPOT NOW OPEN! The Sweet Spot at Fun Spot America - Orlando is now OPEN! This self-contain Candy Shop, located at the front of the park, is filled with all types of "Goodies" from Candied Apples, handmade chocolates, Turtle-type candies, baked go…

Did You Know That? - Walt Disney World Edition (10)

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Enjoy today's edition of "Did You Know That?" - Walt Disney World: _________________________________________________________________________
No. 10: Aloha! Get into the swing with dance lessons most days at Disney’s Polynesian Resort at the Great Ceremonial House. Yes, you can learn how to dance like Lilo! Just don’t be late because you tried to give the fish that controls the weather a sandwich. With leis and grass skirts, you might even learn chants and dances from Hawaii or Tahiti. Check at the resort for dates and times.
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Thank you very much for reading! We'll see you tomorrow with more interesting facts about Walt Disney World!
PHOTO: ©Disney. All rights reserved.

Temporary Addition to Spiel of WDW Parking Trams

If you will be parking your car at any of the Walt Disney World parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom) in the next few months, you will notice that a new message has be temporarily added to the unloading spiel to assist Guests with the Main Entrance arrival process. Here's the new message:  
"Please take a moment to gather your belongings and have your park tickets ready. If you have a ticket from a previous vacation that is made of paper, please visit one of the ticket booths prior to entering the park to have your ticket updated.” 
Disney stated that this message will help reduce wait times in Guest Relations locations as Guests transition to new Radio-Frequency tickets (which are part of the currently ongoing Next-Generation project).

Did You Know That? - Walt Disney World Edition (9)

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Enjoy today's edition of "Did You Know That?" - Walt Disney World: _________________________________________________________________________
No. 9: One of the animal carvings on the Tree of Life is of David Greybeard, the first chimpanzee to approach primatologist Jane Goodall when she was in Gombe, Tanzania. It was placed there as a sign of appreciation for her support and guidance during the development of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
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Thank you very much for reading! We'll see you tomorrow with more interesting facts about Walt Disney World!
PHOTO: ©Disney. All rights reserved.

Dillon's Update: Quick Multiple Park Update (PART 1)

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Hello Readers! Dillon here reporting for Orlando Theme Parks News! I made a quick visit to several areas over the past week to the Contemporary Resort at Disney World, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Downtown Disney to get a few rides in and see what progress is being done. I know that some of the pictures are not zoomed in and the reason being is that I take pictures from my phone while out and about. I'm hoping to soon get a slim nice camera to take around with me soon but for now I hope you enjoy what I have to offer.
Downtown Disney
Here's a quick tip if you plan on visiting Downtown Disney while all the construction is going on.  Parking Lot Q is the place to park when visiting Downtown Disney.  No one really bothers to go in the very back except the cast members which park in the very back of the lot.  There is a lot of work going on already but so much still is to happen to Downtown Disney for the transformation to Disney …

Dillon's Updates: Quick Multiple Park Update (PART 2)

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Return to PART 1 of Dillon's Updates: Quick Multiple Park Update >
Hollywood Studios was pretty dead overall when we visited.  All wait times were under 30 minutes which was great for everyone visiting.  Follow us on as we jump over to Hollywood Studios.
Hollywood Studios
Tower of Terror - Inside the lobby, by far my favorite ride, theme and all, at Walt Disney World :

Dillon's Updates: Quick Multiple Park Update (PART 3)

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Go back to PART 2 of Dillon's Updates: Quick Multiple Park Update >
Universal Studios Florida
 Still waiting for Twirl 'N' Hurl to be added to this sign at the entrance of the park:

California Grill Starting to Accept Reservations TODAY

Please, note that dinner reservations for the newly reimagined California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort can be booked starting from today (Monday, August 26, 2013). The first available dinner will be for Monday, September 9, 2013. Reservations can be made by visiting www.disneyworld.com/dine or at any Guest Relations theme park location or Lobby Concierge. Guests can also call 407-WDW-DINE.
Located on the top floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the California Grill has been reimagined into a sleek, contemporary interpretation of mid-century modern California design, with warm oranges and yellow hues reminiscent of the 1950s. New at the restaurant are: A new menu featuring seasonal ingredients such as local prawns cooked in the wood-burning oven with charred lemon and savory meatballs with herbed orzo and the return of the popular flatbreads;An expanded sushi bar with a new omakase menu – 12 courses of pristine seafood with no menu, just chef’s choice;250 choices of wine inc…

Did You Know That? - Walt Disney World Edition (8)

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Enjoy today's edition of "Did You Know That?" - Walt Disney World: _________________________________________________________________________
No. 8: What’s the best and biggest ice cream sundae at the Walt Disney World Resort? Lots of Guests will tell you it’s The Kitchen Sink at the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop in Disney’s Beach Club Resort. The decadent dessert features eight scoops of ice cream (including vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and coffee), every topping in the house (angel food cake, bundt cake, brownies, peanut butter, hot fudge and more), and a whole can of whipped cream. The sundae serves four, and Cast Members will be happy to make adjustments and cater to your group’s taste.
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Thank you very much for reading! We'll see you tomorrow with more interesting facts about Walt Disney World!
PHOTO: ©Disney. All rights reserved.

OTPN's Reviews: Disneyland Park in California

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Part of the Orlando Theme Park News Team was able to visit the Disneyland Resort in California during the past week. Today we are going to share with you our very own comments and opinions about one of the two parks of the Disneyland Resort: Walt's original Magic Kingdom, the Disneyland Park. Let's start:


Size. Disneyland Park is quite different from the other Magic Kingdom Parks. We have had the opportunity of visiting Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom (of course!) and Disneyland Park in Paris in the past as well, and one of the biggest differences between those two parks and Disneyland Park in California is... size. The park's entrance, the Main Street U.S.A., Adventureland, Fantasyland... all of those themed areas are definitely much smaller and compact in this park. Does that mean that the park is not as beautiful as the other Magic Kingdoms? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Actually, that is one of the many reasons why we fell in love with this park. 
While we love the openness an…

Walt Disney World Resort: Fall 2013 Refurbishments

Please, be aware of the following advisories impacting the Walt Disney World Resort:
Refurbishments continue at the Walt Disney World Resort. At the Magic Kingdom Park, the Jungle Cruise attraction is now closed through September 30, 2013, and will be reopening on October 1, 2013. At Epcot, Spaceship Earth will reopen this Wednesday (August 28, 2013) after a short refurbishment. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, Muppet*Vision 3D will be reopening on September 3. On that same day Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure will close for refurbishment until November 19, 2013.
Thank you very much as always for taking note of this, and have a great rest of your evening!

The Disney Look... to the Past! (August 23-29)

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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: Aug. 23 - 29
Aug. 24, 1956 - Omnibus opens at Disneyland Park The Main Street Vehicles have been a mainstay on Main Street, U.S.A. since Disneyland first opened its gates in 1955. Based on popular vehicles in the early 1900s, these horse-drawn and motorized vehicles not only transport Guests through town, but also help establish the era and story of Main Street, U.S.A. Summer of 1956 saw the introduction of the Omnibus, a double-decker bus painted in British racing green. Inspired by the big buses that toured New York's Fifth Avenue in the 1920s, the Omnibus seats up to 45 passengers. Today, Guests can sit on the upper level of the Omnibus to enjoy one of the …

"Prince Eric’s Village Market" Opens September 5, 2013

A brand-new healthy eatery will soon open at the Magic Kingdom Park, in the New Fantasyland area:
Prince Eric’s Village Market will be opening in New Fantasyland September 5, 2013. The new stand will provide Guests with “Healthy and Better for You” snack options and refreshing treats, including Odwalla lemonade and strawberry-flavored lemonade; plus fruits, vegetables and hummus with chips. Additional drink options including a nice selection of bottled juices, waters and teas will also be available for purchase. 
This new quick-service location will be located right in front of Under the Sea ~ Journey f the Little Mermaid.

Did You Know That? - Walt Disney World Edition (7)

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Enjoy today's edition of "Did You Know That?" - Walt Disney World: _________________________________________________________________________
No. 7: On the Dinosaur attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Dr. Helen Marsh and Dr. Grant Seeker use proprietary, cutting-edge technology to send you 65 million years into the past to experience the age of prehistoric beasts. While the good doctors are very secretive regarding the science that  makes this all work, eagle-eyed Guests will notice some of the ingredients needed to make this technological feat possible. As you board your time-rover vehicle, you see red, yellow and white pipes that have chemical equations written on them. The compounds listed are for ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise.
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Thank you very much for reading! We'll see you tomorrow with more interesting facts about Walt Disney World!
PHOTO: ©Disney. All rights reserved.

Did You Know That? - Walt Disney World Edition (6)

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Enjoy today's edition of "Did You Know That?" - Walt Disney World: _________________________________________________________________________
No. 6: If you enjoy people watching, don’t miss Club Cool at Epcot, where you can sample such Coca-Cola products from around the world as Smart Watermelon from China, Kinley Lemon from Israel and Mezzo Mix from Germany. The best part is watching unsuspecting Guests sipping Beverly from Italy, as most American palates are not used to the flavor of this bitter drink. The acidic taste of the clear soft drink causes some fun reactions from those not expecting its unique essence.
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Thank you very much for reading! We'll see you tomorrow with more interesting facts about Walt Disney World!
PHOTO: ©Disney. All rights reserved.

Dillon's Updates: Pirate's Cove Miniature Golf (PART 1)

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Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf (located along International Drive) is adding new holes and props for guest to enjoy while they play. Overall, Pirate’s Cove is one of the cleanest and friendliest mini-golf attractions to visit in Orlando. While the Pirate’s Cove is being renovated, the management blended the two different courses together so you can make your way around to the end.  Enjoy the pictures we took while we played through Pirate’s Cove.
Pirate keeping watch over the course:

Dillon's Updates: Pirate's Cove Miniature Golf (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this Pirate's Cove photo-report (PART 1 can be found HERE).

Let's now continue to take a look around this highly-themed miniature golf course with Dillon:

Did You Know That? - Walt Disney World Edition (5)

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Enjoy today's edition of "Did You Know That?" - Walt Disney World: _________________________________________________________________________
No. 5: If you prefer soup instead of salad, visit Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Several soups are featured each day. Their names and appearances might inspire you to feel adventurous, and trust us, each and every one — including the chicken corn porridge, the creamy carrot and ginger soup, and the coconut curry seafood soup — is delicious. The selection rotates daily, so you can try a different one each time you go.
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Thank you very much for reading! We'll see you tomorrow with more interesting facts about Walt Disney World!
PHOTO: ©Disney. All rights reserved.

Did You Know That? - Walt Disney World Edition (4)

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Enjoy today's edition of "Did You Know That?" - Walt Disney World: _________________________________________________________________________
No. 4: Although Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride closed in 1998, the star of the attraction has not been forgotten. Hardly! In fact, there are several homages throughout Magic Kingdom Park: J. Thaddeus Toad has a statue in the pet cemetery outside The Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square; on the site of the former attraction is a painting of Mr. Toad with Owl located in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh; and in the new Town Square Theater you can find a letter from Angus MacBadger of J. Thaddeus Toad Motors, Ltd., thanking Mr. M. Mouse for his purchase of a “Nifty Nineties” edition horseless carriage.
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Thank you very much for reading! We'll see you tomorrow with more interesting facts about Walt Disney World!
PHOTO: ©Disney. All rights reserved.

Islands of Adventure: Spider-Man Work (PART 1)

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Hello, and welcome to a new Islands of Adventure photo-report. Let us see what has been done in the park in the past few weeks, including the progress of the work being done in the Jurassic Park area. Let's start:

Islands of Adventure: Spider-Man Work (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Islands of Adventure photo-report (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Enjoy a few more miscellaneous photos of Seuss Landing:

Islands of Adventure: Spider-Man Work (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this new Islands of Adventure photo-report (PART 2 can be found HERE).
We'll continue by taking a look at some more behind-the-wall photos of the new JP midway games:

Did You Know That? - Walt Disney World Edition (3)

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Enjoy today's edition of "Did You Know That?" - Walt Disney World: _________________________________________________________________________
No. 3: Many Disney fans know that there is a five-legged goat in the Grand Canyon Concourse’s mosaic mural at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. But why five legs? That was an artistic decision by designer and Disney Legend Mary Blair as a symbolic suggestion that no man-made work of art is perfect. Did you know the mural has 1,800 one-square-foot tiles and took 18 months to construct?
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Thank you very much for reading! We'll see you tomorrow with more interesting facts about Walt Disney World!
PHOTO: ©Disney. All rights reserved.

SeaWorld Returns Green Sea Turtle to Cocoa Beach

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Orlando, Florida – A 360-pound green sea turtle was returned to the waters off Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach, Fla. on August 15, 2013. The SeaWorld Orlando Rescue Team also assisted in returning four of her eggs, which were a surprise addition.

Did You Know That? - Walt Disney World Edition (2)

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Enjoy today's edition of "Did You Know That?" - Walt Disney World: _________________________________________________________________________
No. 2: The best place to relax after a day of hustle and bustle is Chip ’n Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-long at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Unwind by roasting s’mores, singing campfire favorites and enjoying a Disney movie under the stars. While this experience happens nightly, the movies and times can vary, so check with the resort to find out which Disney classic will be featured and when.
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Thank you very much for reading! We'll see you tomorrow with more interesting facts about Walt Disney World!
PHOTO: ©Disney. All rights reserved.

Hollywood Studios Update: Still Waiting... (PART 1)

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"Waiting for what?", you may ask. Well, we are all waiting for something new and exciting to be announced for this park, aren't we? We are really starting to notice more and more that Disney's Hollywood Studios needs help. After a certain hour, there is very little to do in the park, as most of the offerings of the park are shows and/or thrill rides. Something needs to be done, and quickly. That being said, let us take a look at the current condition of what is already in the park. We hope you will enjoy the pictures:
(NOTE!: The links to PARTS 2, 3, and 4 may not work right away. You should refer to the main page in this case. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we will fix this as soon as possible).

Hollywood Studios Update: Still Waiting... (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Hollywood Studios photo-report (PART 1 can be found HERE).
We'll now take a look inside The Great Movie Ride: