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Showing posts from October, 2013

Remember to 'Fall Back" This Sunday (Nov. 3, 2013)!

Yes, it's that time of the year once again here in the United States (and in a few other countries)!
Daylight saving time ends this Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 2 a.m. Before going to bed Saturday night, remember to “fall back” to standard time by setting all your clocks and watches back by one hour. While you’re adjusting them, remember to check your home smoke detector batteries, too.
Thank you for taking note of this. We shall see you again soon with a new Universal's CityWalk update.

"Midendhil Experience" Coming Soon to Orlando

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The first novel of a new fantasy saga called “The Land of Midendhil” was released just two days ago (Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013). This brand-new book series is part of a global project that "involves the production of a series of merchandising products, the creation of amusement parks and entertainment centers in Italy and the USA, and the involvement of the production company Endemol for everything related to Web and TV."
As we hinted on Twitter yesterday, a new entertainment center (that could possibly turn into a theme park) will soon be opening in Orlando. Take a look at one of the possible rides envisioned for this new park/area:

Animal Kingdom Park Hours Extended (Nov. 11, 2013)

If you are planning to visit Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park in the next few weeks, take note of this:
Please, be advised that the operating hours of Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park have been extended on Monday, November 11, 2013. The park will be closing at 6 p.m. instead that at 5 p.m. that day.
Thank you very much for your attention. We will see you in a few minutes with an interesting announcement.

Islands of Adventure: End of October Update (PART 1)

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It is amazing to think about the fact that it is almost November! Time flies when you have fun, doesn't it? Fortunately the weather here is still very sunny (as always) and warm (we are in the mid-to-upper 80's). This is a great time to check out Islands of Adventure, one of our favorite parks in Central Florida. Let's take a look:

Islands of Adventure: End of October Update (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Islands of Adventure photo-report (PART 1 can be found HERE).
If some of the rumors going around are true, this Tyrannosaurus Rex may soon have to find a new home:

Islands of Adventure: End of October Update (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this new Islands of Adventure photo-report (PART 2 can be found HERE).
Still in Jurassic park, the area surrounding the former Island Skipper Tours still sits unused:

WDW Restaurant Cancellation Policy Delayed

The new cancellation policy that was going to be introduced at all sit-down restaurants around the Walt Disney World Resort starting October 31, 2013 has been temporarily delayed. Here's the advisory from Disney:
"Please, be advised that the expansion of the cancellation policy to all Walt Disney World Resort table-service locations (including Operating Participant locations) has been temporarily delayed. Communication will be provided once the new start date has been determined. The cancellation policy remains in place for all table-service locations that are currently part of the policy."
Please, remember to check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for updates on this and other matters.

Falcon's Fury Arrives at Busch Gardens - Piece by Piece

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TAMPA, Florida (Oct. 29, 2013) – In June, Busch Gardens® Tampa announced that it would be taking thrills to new heights with Falcon’s Fury™, North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower, in spring 2014. The construction has been underway ever since then, and the Busch Gardens design and engineering team is almost ready to start putting the pieces together.

While smaller components of the 335-foot drop tower have been arriving from several countries in Europe, including Slovakia, Switzerland and Germany, the cylinder sections arrived last week. The vertical tower is comprised of nine sections, each up to 20 feet in diameter and weighing up to 95 tons, or 190,000 pounds.

Reminder: WDW Restaurants Cancellation Policy

Just a quick reminder regarding the new cancellation policy going into effect at the Walt Disney World Resort:
"To provide consistency across our operation, adjustments will be made to the Walt Disney World Resort cancellation policy beginning October 31, 2013. At that time, all table-service locations at Walt Disney World Resort (including Operating Participants) will begin using the cancellation policy already in place at select restaurants on property. Beginning October 31, 2013, when booking a reservation at any of these restaurants, Guests will be required to provide a credit card to hold a reservation. A charge of $10 per person will be applied if the cancellation isn't made at least one day in advance."
Thank you for your attention, and see you in a few minutes with some Busch Gardens Tampa news.

Coronado Springs: New Maya Grill, Laguna Bar Menus

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Note that since this past  Friday (October 25, 2013), Disney's Coronado Springs Resort started serving up some new offerings at the Maya Grill and the Laguna Bar. Take a look at the following new menus for more details:
- REVISED LAGUNA BAR MENU -

Epcot: New Flavors Coming to Club Cool Tomorrow

Beginning October 30, Guests can savor new Coca-Cola flavors from around the world at Club Cool at Epcot: Fanta Pineapple - With more than 90 distinct flavors available in more than 180 countries, Fanta made its European debut in the 1940s and was introduced to the USA in 1960. Fanta Pineapple is caffeine-free and features a sweet pineapple taste.Originally launched in Japan in 1992, VegitaBeta is a non-carbonated beverage with apricot and passion fruit flavors and is rich in beta-carotene that contributes to its unique yellowish-orange color.   Fanta (Melon Frosty) is the number one soft drink of Thailand. With a fun melon flavor, this carbonated beverage is beloved in Thailand's sunny, tropical climate. Originally created in 1998, Bibo is a fruit flavored line of juice drinks popular in South Africa. The brand features fun characters such as Johnny Orange, Taka Strawberry and Paolo Peach.A raspberry flavored cream soda, Sparberry launched in Africa in 1955. It is exclusively ava…

Magic Kingdom Update: Whistling at Work (PART 1)

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Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to a new Magic Kingdom photo-report! Let's take a look around together to see how much progress has been done around the park since our last visit:

Magic Kingdom Update: Whistling at Work (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Magic Kingdom photo-update (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Going back to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, note the cutout of the ride vehicle in front of the faux mine:


Walt Disney World: Fireworks Test on October 30

If you will be staying at one of the Disney Resorts located along the Seven Seas Lagoon (Grand Floridian Resort, Polynesian Village, Contemporary Resort), you should be aware of the following advisory:
On Wednesday, October 30, 2013 the Magic Kingdom Park will be conducting internal fireworks testing from 11:30 p.m. until 12 a.m. (midnight). Random fireworks will be launched sporadically throughout the testing period, which should last approximately 12 minutes. In-room notices will not be needed in this instance.
Thank you very much for your attention. See you in just a few moments with a new Magic Kingdom update.

Cirque du Soleil Going Dark (November 3-6, 2013)

Please, take note of the following advisory affecting La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil (Downtown Disney):
There are no scheduled shows for La Nouba™ by Cirque du Soleil® from Sunday, November 3 through Wednesday, November 6, 2013. The next scheduled performances are Thursday, November 7, 2013.
Thank you for your attention. We shall see you later today with a few more updates. Stay tuned.

SeaWorld: Veterinarian Helps Green Sea Turtle

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Veterinarian surgically removes two fishing hooks from green sea turtle
Orlando, Fla. -- On October 25, 2013 a veterinarian performed surgery on a rescued sea turtle, removing two fishing hooks from its throat and cloaca with the assistance of SeaWorld Orlando’s Aquarium team. 
The sea turtle was found by the Sea Turtle Preservation Society - an organization committed to sea turtle education, research and rescue – who also assisted in the animal’s transport. The turtle, a juvenile weighing approximately 11 pounds, was rescued near Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The turtle arrived at SeaWorld Orlando on October 23 and underwent surgery this morning following x-rays and blood work evaluation. According to the veterinarian who performed the procedure, Dr. Stephen Cassle, both of the fishing hooks were successfully removed – one from its esophagus and one from the cloaca. The turtle is doing well following the procedure, and his health will continue to be monitored over the next several weeks by…

Disney Rewards Visa Discount at Walt Disney World

If you are a Disney Rewards Visa Member you can expect to receive new discounts at Walt Disney World:
To align benefits with other affinity group discounts, effective immediately, a 10 percent discount on food is available for Disney Rewards Visa Members at the following Walt Disney World locations: Boatwright’s Dining HallBomaCaptain’s GrilleESPN Sports ClubGrand Floridian CaféHollywood and VineKouzzina by Cat CoraOlivia’s CaféSanaaShutters at Old Port RoyaleThe Wave…of Contemporary FlavorsTrail’s EndTurf Club Bar & GrillWhispering CanyonArtist PointCitrico’sFlying Fish CaféJiko, The Cooking PlaceThe Brown Derby

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

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Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of the weekly feature known as "The Disney Look... to the Past!" Enjoy reading all of the following interesting facts about the Walt Disney Parks, Resorts, Movies, and more: _________________________________________________________________________
This Week in Disney History: October 25 - 31
October 25, 1994 - “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” debuts on video for the first time Premiered in 1937 at the Carthay Circle Theater in Hollywood, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” is an adaptation of the German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, telling the story of a beautiful princess who escapes the wrath of a wicked queen with help from seven diminutive miners. The film holds the title of being the very first full-length cel animated feature in the world and also the very first to debut as a part of the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. In 2001, the film was digitally restored on Disney DVD and included a making-of documentary and other …

Advisory: Blizzard Beach Having Technical Issues

Please, take note of this important advisory regarding Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park:
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park is currently open for Guests. However, due to a technical difficulty, some attractions are not operating (Summit Plummet and Slush Gusher). Our team is working to correct the issue and we apologize for any inconvenience. Downhill Double Dipper is now operating.
Thank you very much once again for your attention. Continue to stay tuned here on OTPN for more news.

Typhoon Lagoon Now Closed for Seasonal Rehab

Please, make sure you are aware of the following closure taking place at the Walt Disney World Resort: Beginning today (Sunday, October 27, 2013) through Saturday, December 21, 2013, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be temporarily closed for refurbishment as routine maintenance needs to be performed around the park (please note that dates are always subject to change). During this time, Guests may enjoy Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park as an alternative. At this time, there are no planned changes to the water park itself.
Thank you very much for your attention, and see you in a few minutes with another advisory.

LEGOLAND News: DUPLO Expansion Starts (PART 1)

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Hello Orlando Theme Park News Readers! This Sunday afternoon seems perfect to share with you our latest LEGOLAND Florida photo-update. There are quite a few things going on inside the park, so let's start:

LEGOLAND News: DUPLO Expansion Starts (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this LEGOLAND Florida photo-report (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Let's continue our tour of the park. Note that the Baby Care Center is still open in the meantime:

LEGOLAND News: DUPLO Expansion Starts (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this LEGOLAND Florida photo-report (PART 2 can be found HERE).
We have just a few more pictures of The World of Chima land that we want to share with you:

Hollywood Studios: Hollywood Junction Changes

Please, take note of the following advisory affecting Disney's Hollywood Studios in the next few days:
Additional Cast Members will soon be available at the FastPass+ kiosk area at Hollywood Junction (located right next to the Tip Board and the fountain, at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard) to assist Guests with MyMagic+ related questions. With the addition of these new Cast Members, the Guest Relations window located at Hollywood Junction, primarily used by Guests to make dining reservations, will close for good on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 after park close.
Guests looking to make dining reservations should call 407-WDW-DINE, use the My Disney Experience app on their mobile device, or visit Guest Relations located at the entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios.

New "Garden Bridge" Coming to Universal Orlando

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As construction of the new Cabana Bay Beach Resort continues to show progress, more details get revealed. One of the new details that recently surfaced on other websites around the internet is the fact that the new hotel will receive a new bridge that will go over Hollywood Way and will connect its walkways. The great feature of this new bridge is the fact that it is going to be completely surrounded by grass and trees, even in the areas right above the road! Here you are additional information regarding this very interesting project, from Greenroofs.com: _________________________________________________________________________
Garden Bridge at Universal Studios Orlando
Project Name: Garden Bridge at Universal Studios OrlandoYear: Current (2013/2014)Owner: Universal StudiosLocation: Orlando, FL, USABuilding Type: CommercialType: IntensiveSystem: Single Source ProviderSize: 3000 sq.ft.Slope: 1%Access: Accessible, Open to PublicSubmitted by: Green Roof Service LLC Modern green roof techn…

The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Opening Soon

An all-new lounge is going to open in just a few days at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
We are talking about The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge, which will officially open to all Guests on Wednesday, October 30, 2013. This new hot spot is located on the patio of  the already existing The Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant and will serve Guests on a first-come, first-served basis. The location will serve small bites such as Duck Confit Tacos and Prince Edward Island Mussels in addition to a variety of specialty cocktails, beer and wine. If requested, Guests will also be able to order from The Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant menu. 
Regarding discounts, you will be happy to know that both the Tables in Wonderland discount and the Disney Visa Card discount are applicable; however, Disney Dining Plans will NOT accepted in this lounges. Also, as a reminder, reservations will not available for The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge.
The operating hours for this new lounge will be the following (for…

MagicBands to Be Used During Extra Magic Hours

The Walt Disney World Resort has officially stated that MagicBands will start to be used to admit Guests into the parks during Extra Magic Hours (and into the attractions themselves during evening Extra Magic Hours, when the parks were already previously open to the general public). Here you are some additional information:
"A pilot will take place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios October 25, 27 and November 2, 2013 in which MagicBands will be used to identify Walt Disney World Resort hotel Guests for Extra Magic Hours.
During the pilot, Cast Members will be stationed outside of the park entrance during Extra Magic Hours and will direct Guests wearing MagicBands to touch their MagicBands to a handheld device to verify that they are resort Guests (as you may already know, only resort Guests are being given MagicBands at the moment; that is why this is still considered a test). These Guests will then enter the park as they normally would. Additionally, during evening Extra Magic Hours…

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin - Eight Webisode

New Behind The Freeze Installment: “Life at the South Pole” and Exclusive Desktop Wallpapers
Orlando, Fla. (October 23, 2013) - Watch the newest installment of Behind The Freeze, where you’ll get a taste of the South Pole from Animal Expert Corey Oxman, who’s actually braved the harsh conditions on the continent of Antarctica. Since so few will ever get the opportunity to explore the land themselves, she showcases how we've re-created the realm at our newest attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. From little known facts about the international treaty to a hydroponic garden producing fresh herbs to places to enjoy the good cuisine from Expedition Café, this video will open your eyes to the Bottom of the World.

And, just released…you can now bring the beauty of SeaWorld’s Antarctica to your desktop with all-new penguin wallpapers available for download here.
Stay tuned to SeaWorldOrlando.com/Antarctica for more Behind The Freeze webisodes and cool content.
VIDEO: © 2013 SeaWor…

Universal Orlando: Meal Deal Ending on November 2nd

If you have been visiting the Universal Orlando Resort in the past few years, you might have heard that the parks currently offer the special "Universal's Meal Deal" (come on, how can you avoid those big advertisements posted all over the parks, especially next to the participating restaurants?). Guests taking advantage of the program can eat all day long in select quick-service restaurant at either one of the two Universal Orlando parks (or even both), paying one low price. Well, this deal is being replaced very soon. Here's the official announcement: _________________________________________________________________________
Meal Deal Program Set to End on Saturday, November 2, 2013
The Universal Meal Deal program is set to end on Saturday, November 2, 2013 and will be replaced with a new “Universal Dining Plan – Quick Service” dining option starting on Sunday, November 3, 2013. The new Universal Dining Plan – Quick Service offers guests a wide variety of choices at …

Animal Kingdom: New Theater Goes Green (PART 1)

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Good morning Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Today we are going to start with a new Disney's Animal Kingdom photo-reports. While not a lot is seemingly taking place in the park right now, some areas continue to receive some attention, and the park in general is looking great. Also, construction continues in the future site of the new Festival of the Lion King theater, being built behind the Africa themed section of the park. Let's see:

Animal Kingdom: New Theater Goes Green (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Disney's Animal Kingdom photo-report (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Let's continue out Kilimanjaro Safaris tour:

New Column for Orlando Theme Park News?

A few days ago, one of our Readers (Robert) contacted the Orlando Theme Park News Team to share an interesting idea with us, which would involve a new weekly column. Here's part of the message he sent us: _________________________________________________________________________
Hello OTPN Team!  I hope your day is going well. I am a true fan of your page and I would like to offer up an idea for a weekly column. I think it would be great if you did an "Ask OTPN" column. Readers could send in their questions and then they could be answered... questions on anything from hotels to pools to dining.   _________________________________________________________________________
We would like to hear your opinion on this idea. How does it sound to you? Would you like to see one or more questions answered each week? Is it something that would personally appeal to you? Feel free to let us know.

DVC Villas Now Open at the Grand Floridian Resort

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The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Welcomes Disney Vacation Club Members to a Piece of Victorian Grandeur
CELEBRATION, Fla. (October 23, 2013) – Disney Vacation Club welcomes its 12th resort to its portfolio of vacation destinations with the opening of The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, located within walking distance of a monorail ride to Magic Kingdom Park. The resort – reminiscent of the golden age of a bygone Victorian era  - resides alongside the picturesque shores of Seven Seas Lagoon, steps away from the myriad world-class dining and recreation offerings available at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the flagship Walt Disney World resort experience.

The new resort features a variety of villa accommodations that sleep anywhere from five to nine guests, all designed to bring families closer and create memories that last a lifetime. The resort is the first Disney Vacation Club property to feature deluxe studios that sleep up to fi…

Downtown Disney: Reminder About Ongoing Projects

Today we just wanted to remind our Readers about the projects currently taking place at Downtown Disney: Disney Quest Lobby - Temporarily closed for refurbishment since Monday, September 16, 2013. The lobby is projected to reopen Tuesday, November 19, 2013.Snow White Room at World of Disney - World of Disney temporarily closed the Snow White room on September 3, 2013. During this refurbishment, construction walls will be visible within the store, including the Carnival room.Parking Garage - This involves the closing of parking lots H, I, J and KPleasure Island Bypass Bridge - The bridge will connect Paradiso 37 with Characters in Flight.Sidewalk connecting Marketplace and Saratoga SpringsRe-Imagining of Pleasure Island - Construction Walls on Pleasure Island (Paradiso 37, Raglan Road, Fuego by Sosa Cigars and the Pleasure Island boat dock are all currently open)West Side Fields behind Cirque du Soleil - Construction Walls around area. Thank you very much for your attention. See you in…

The Beauty of Nature: LEGOLAND's Cypress Gardens

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LEGOLAND Florida has inherited one of the most beautiful gardens in the world: the Cypress Gardens. During our latest visit to the park, we checked out this magnificent place, and we couldn't help but be amazed by the beauty and charm of the trees, plants, and flower that populate these wonderful gardens. Take a look and enjoy:

Key to the World Cards to Officially Retire Soon

As many of our Readers will know, the Walt Disney World Resort will soon completely get rid of the so-called "Key to the World" cards that have been given out to Guests staying at any of the Disney Resorts in the past (the new Magic Bands will be used in place of those cards). An upcoming test reveals that those will soon disappear:
"As part of the test-and-adjust process for MyMagic+, some testing related to the elimination of Key to the World cards is scheduled in the coming days. Beginning October 27, select Guests will use a MagicBand only for touch to enter room, touch to enter park, FastPass+ and touch-to-pay (Keys to the World will NOT be issued)."
Will you personally miss the "Keys to the World?" We are sure that many of you have been collecting them since your first stay at a Disney Resort. They were a great keepsake especially since the vacation dates were printed on it (that's something that will not be done on the Magic Bands, or at least…

Nothing Taller: "Scream Peek" at Aquatica's New Slide

Aquatica Orlando just released a new "scream peek" video a few minutes ago. It shows what could be the loading area of the brand-new water slide that is currently being built in the park. Let's take a look, shall we?:
Orlando, Florida (Tuesday, October 22, 2013) – Something tall is coming to Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark™, and it’s guaranteed to send guests screaming all the way down. Designers just released this video as a tease of things to come. Stay tuned for more information about Aquatica Orlando’s new attraction – the tallest water thrill ride of its type in Orlando. Join the conversation using #NothingTaller.

Even though the video doesn't give out a lot of information regarding this new addition, you can definitely see that this new water slide will definitely be exciting right from the start! What do you think? Ready to try it?
VIDEO: © 2013 SeaWorld® Parks & Entertainment, INC. All Rights Reserved.

SeaWorld Orlando: Hiring Event on October 30, 2013

Are you looking for a 'splashy' job where you can meet amazing people and work in an incredible environment?
SeaWorld Orlando®, Discovery Cove® and Aquatica SeaWorld’s Waterpark™ are hiring for approximately 200 jobs which can last through the holiday season.  All three Orlando parks are looking to fill a variety of positions, including lifeguards, food service attendants, park operations hosts, games/vending hosts, photographers, prep cooks and more. The pay range for these positions is $8.15-$9.78 per hour; applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Employees are eligible for a number of benefits, such as free entry to SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica SeaWorld’s Waterpark, park tickets for friends and family and access to numerous team member events.
Those interested in applying must first apply online at seaworldjobs.com and then attend a special hiring event on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at SeaWorld Orlando’s Human Resources Building, located at …

Islands of Adventure Update: Games Ready (PART 1)

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We really dislike the title of this update (unfortunately we have to keep it short to make it fit on one single line), but it gives you a clear hint regarding the new Jurassic Park midway games. In fact, work on them has been going on for a few months now, and it looks like they are finally ready to open, as most of the props and structures have just been installed. That being said, let's start this update by first taking a look at other areas of the park:

Islands of Adventure Update: Games Ready (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Islands of Adventure photo-report (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Let's continue to take a look around Marvel Superhero Island with the help of these characters...

Islands of Adventure Update: Games Ready (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this new Islands of Adventure photo-report (PART 2 can be found HERE).
It's time to say goodbye to Mickey continue to take a look around the amazing Jurassic Park themed area:

Magic Kingdom: Talking Mickey Officially Debuts

Mickey Mouse is now having some very fun and entertaining conversations with Guests visiting him at the Town Square Theater! In fact, as confirmed by the official Disney Parks Blog, Mickey will be talking directly to Guests starting from today (October 21, 2013). Here you are some frequently asked questions about this change:
Is this the “Talking Mickey?” Mickey has been talking since he made his debut in the sound cartoon, “Steamboat Willie.” This experience, unique to Town Square Theater, enables Guests to have a conversation with Mickey Mouse.
Will Mickey be talking at other parks/locations? Mickey Mouse usually saves his voice for shows and parades. This experience with Mickey Mouse is unique to Town Square Theater.
Are any other characters going to be talking? At the Walt Disney World Resort, we are continually looking for new ways to enhance the Guest experience. This opportunity is unique to meeting Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater. Elsewhere, Guests may have conversations wit…

Reminder: Valet Parking Now Available at Downtown

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As we reported a few days ago, valet parking is temporarily coming back to the Downtown Disney area to ease the parking issues that are currently plaguing the area due to construction linked to the Disney Springs Project. Here you are some reminders about this service, along with some maps showing the location of this service:
As a temporary added benefit for Guests through the holiday period (that is, through the end of the year), Downtown Disney will offer valet parking service beginning today (Monday, October 21, 2013).
Valet Parking Details: Valet parking service is available daily, 4 p.m.-2 a.m.Vehicle drop-off is at the porte-cochere in front of Cirque du Soleil. Guests should enter through Downtown Disney Entrance 4.Cost of the service is $15, collected at the time of vehicle pick-up. Gratuity is accepted.When Guests are ready to leave, they can signal the valet via text message or phone call, or they can go directly to the valet podium at the Cirque du Soleil porte-cochere.

Downtown Disney: Food Trucks Opening Date Set

The new food trucks that are coming to Downtown Disney here at the Walt Disney World Resort will be debuting very soon. The Disney Parks Blog officially announced that they will open in the first few days of November: _________________________________________________________________________

Dates Set to Roll Out Food Trucks at Downtown Disney
Starting early November, Disney will roll out four fun new Disney Food Trucks at Downtown Disney, open Wednesday through Sunday, parked at Downtown Disney West Side near Cirque du Soleil and House of Blues. Superstar Catering, “Favorite of the Stars of Disney’s Hollywood Studios,” features delectable variations on hearty meatballs: a spinach and feta beef meatball sandwich; turkey sausage and golden raisin meatballs on polenta; and a lamb meatball flatbread with tzatziki. And meatball sliders for kids. The truck’s design is stainless steel with teal, tan and orange accents – think sleek, retro, 1930s Art Deco diner.Namaste Café, “Tasty Exploration…

Magic Kingdom Park: Mine Train Update (PART 1)

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We are feeling quite generous today, that is why we are publishing yet another photo-report (that's something very unusual, especially on a Sunday evening!). This time we are going to take a quick look around certain areas of the Magic Kingdom Park, with a  focus on both Fantasyland and Adventureland. Let's start from Fantasyland:

Magic Kingdom Park: Mine Train Update (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Magic Kingdom photo-update (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Let's continue our virtual tour of the Magic Kingdom Park by leaving the Fantasyland Forest:

LEGOLAND Florida: A Look Back in Time

As you may remember, Central Florida's newest theme park (LEGOLAND Florida) held its Grand Opening  event on October 15, 2011. This means that the park has already be open for two years, and it has grown quite a lot since then. Here is a quick recap of some of the additions, expansions, and new offerings that are now available in the park and that were not available on opening day, from the official LEGOLAND Florida Blog: LEGOLAND® Water Park - Opened just 8 short months after the park opening, this “park within a park” expansion provides gallons of fun for the whole family, from DUPLO® Splash Safari to Splash Out to the Build-a-Raft River!LEGO® Star Wars™ Miniland Model Display – In this expansion of Miniland USA, guests can enjoy seven of the most famous scenes from the six live-action Star Wars movies, as well as a scene from the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars™ all made out of 1.5 million LEGO bricks built in 1:20 scale. Guests will be further immersed into the Star …

Universal Studios: Construction Update (PART 1)

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Today we have a special weekend update covering Universal Studios Florida, which is constantly receiving something new, be it a minor addition or a new themed land. Let us take a look around and see what's new:

Universal Studios: Construction Update (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Universal Studios Florida photo-report (PART 1 can be found HERE).
We will continue our journey through the park by completing our tour of Springfield:

Kennedy Space Center: Bus Tours Resumed

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex officially resumed offering Kennedy Space Center Bus Tours to the Apollo/Saturn V Center. The bus tours, which had been suspended due to the government shutdown, have been made available once again to Visitor Complex guests starting this past Friday (October 18, 2013).
The Visitor Complex, including the new Space Shuttle Atlantis, Astronaut Encounter, Angry Birds Space Encounter, Shuttle Launch Experience, and U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, remained open for visitors during the shutdown, and will continue to operate daily (regular operating hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily).
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is not funded through appropriated or taxpayer funds. Operation, maintenance and development are funded through revenue generated by ticket, food and merchandise sales.

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

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Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of the weekly feature known as "The Disney Look... to the Past!"
Enjoy reading all of the following interesting facts about the Walt Disney Parks, Resorts, Movies, and more:
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This Week in Disney History: Oct 18 - 24
October 25, 1971 - The Walt Disney World Resort is officially dedicated in Florida On October 25, 1971 thousands gathered on Main Street, U.S.A to be a part of the special dedication ceremony held in honor of the great Walt Disney. Roy O. Disney took to the podium, leading this special ceremony with the reading of the dedication he had written for his business partner and beloved younger brother. Roy played a pivotal role in the production and completion of Walt Disney World, which up until its opening had been referred to as The Florida Project. Roy had been preparing to retire but set aside these plans in order to lead Walt Disney Productions, mainta…

Reminder: Cap'n Jack's Marina now Closed (DTD)

Just a quick reminder regarding the closure of the Cap’n Jack’s Marina at Downtown Disney:
"As the expansion of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs continues, project work may have an effect on some existing locations. The last day of operation for Cap’n Jack’s Marina was Thursday, October 17, 2013. As an alternative, Guests can take the complimentary Watercraft transportation from Downtown Disney Area to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort (Riverside) to rent boats for use in the Sassagoula River.
Thank you for your attention. See you in a few minutes with our special weekly feature.

"Glow with the Show" Debuts at Fantasmic! - VIDEO

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As previously announced by the Walt Disney World Resort, the new "Glow with the Show" ears officially debuted at Disney's Hollywood Studios on October 15, 2013, with the 7:30 p.m. Fantasmic! show. Today we will see how these new devices work. Let's see first of all where they're selling these interactive ears:

Disney Springs Project Updates: Valet Coming Back

This evening we have a new Disney Springs project update for our Readers. As you will notice, some businesses are going to move in other locations while older offerings are coming back. Here you are additional information:
Cap’n Jack Marina – last day October 17, 2013 As a reminder, the last day of operation for Cap’n Jack’s Marina is October 17, 2013. As an alternate, Guests can enjoy the marina at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort via Disney bus or watercraft transportation.
Wetzel’s Pretzels – last day October 19, 2013 The last day of operation for Wetzel’s Pretzels at Downtown Disney West Side is October 19, 2013. Two new kiosks—one for Wetzel’s Pretzels and one for Häagen-Dazs—will open later this year near DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park. Starbucks will open at Downtown Disney West Side in spring 2014 in the current Wetzel’s Pretzels location. Construction walls will go up beginning Oct. 20 as work on the transformation begins. An additional Starbucks kiosk will open near Wo…

CityWalk Update: The Demolition Continues (PART 1)

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Universal Orlando's CityWalk continues to receive a lot of attention. Today we have a lot to report, as work on the former Endangered Species Store is speeding up, the new Pizzeria continues to take shape, and the new rumored Spanish restaurant also continues to grow in size. Let's start right away, from CityWalk's entrance:

CityWalk Update: The Demolition Continues (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Universal's CityWalk photo-update (PART 1 can be found HERE).
We will now continue to take a look around this ever-changing entertainment district:

The Orlando International Airport is Going to Expand

Great news coming from the Orlando International Airport! This already gorgeous airport located in the heart of Central Florida is going to get even bigger and more modern according to the airport's official Facebook page: _________________________________________________________________________

"The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) Board voted to approve a $1.1 billion Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) today. The wheels are now in motion to nearly double Orlando International Airport’s (MCO) passenger capacity. 
The airport was originally designed to accommodate 24 million travelers annually, but the approved expansion plans will increase the capacity of MCO's current terminal to 45 million passengers per year. The CIP includes construction of the South Airport APM Complex, which will support future multi-modal travel connections, including All Aboard Florida, and provide a direct connection to the 2,400 space South Terminal parking garage; improvements to Airside…

SeaWorld Caring for Orphaned Manatee Calf

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Orlando, Fla. – An orphaned manatee calf was rescued today from the beaches of Cape Canaveral Air Base in Brevard County, Fla., by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The estimated two-month-old male was spotted on the beach by turtle nesting surveyors near a turtle mound.

The nearly 90-pound calf was transported by the FWC to SeaWorld Orlando, where the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team and veterinary staff performed a complete health exam, took blood samples and began providing an antibiotic treatment. The calf will receive around-the-clock care, including regular tube feedings, and his health will continue to be monitored.

Hollywood Studios Operating Hours Extended Tonight

Please, take note of the following advisory if you plan on visiting Disney's Hollywood Studios this evening:
"In order to ensure our Guests have the best possible experience, Disney's Hollywood Studios will be extending operating hours TONIGHT, Wednesday, October 16, 2013. The park will now be closing at 8:30 p.m. instead of 7:30 p.m. as originally scheduled. There will also be a second Fantasmic! show at 9:00 p.m. in addition to the 7:30 p.m. show already scheduled.
Thank you for your attention, and see you in just a few minutes with a few more news and updates.

Hollywood Studios Update: Lookin' Around (PART 1)

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Welcome to a brand-new Disney's Hollywood Studios photo-report! Today we will take a look around the park in general to see if there is something new to report. Are you ready? Then, let's start right away:


Hollywood Studios Update: Lookin' Around (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this Disney's Hollywood Studios photo-update (PART 1 can be found HERE).

Let's continue our tour of the park. It is time to take a look around the Star Tours 2 area:


Hollywood Studios Update: Lookin' Around (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this Disney's Hollywood Studios photo-update (PART 2 can be found HERE).

We are now heading to the Pixar Place area of the park (which is one of the most popular areas):


DiVine Meeting Guests In Two Spots Every Day

Just a small reminder regarding DiVine, one of Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park's original characters:
DiVine now greets Guests every day of the week in two different locations throughout the day. She will preform sets in the morning hours at the Oasis and in Africa in the afternoon hours. See set times below:  9:30 a.m. - Oasis10:20 a.m. - Oasis11:10 a.m. - Oasis12:30 p.m. - Africa1:20 p.m. - Africa2:10 p.m. - Africa  As always, make sure to take a close look at the weekly Times Guide for additional information on this matter.

More AVATAR Land News: Preview Video

The official Disney Parks Blog continues to we the appetite of the Disney Fans who can't wait to see the new AVATAR Land coming to life inside Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park in 2017. In fact, they have just released a very interesting video which includes more artworks and some truly breathtaking views of the land:

So, what do you think? Remember to check out our last post about AVATAR Land to leave some comments!
VIDEO: ©Disney. All rights reserved.

WDW: "Glow with the Show” Ears Ready to Debut

Get ready! The "Glow with the Show" Ears are coming to the Walt Disney World Resort... tomorrow!
These amazing color-changing Mickey Ear Hats will interact with shows and experiences at various Disney Parks here in Florida, and - as we previously stated - will make their Walt Disney World debut with Fantasmic! on October 15, 2013 – the same date as the nighttime spectacular’s 15th anniversary at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
Guests will be able to purchase “Glow with the Show” Ear Hats for $25 each, at the following locations: Fantasmic! cartTheater of the Star cartBeverly SunsetOnce Upon a TimeMickey’s of HollywoodHead to Toe “Glow with the Show” Ears will also be coming to Magic Kingdom Park starting October 19, 2013 (they will interact with both "Wishes" and "Celebrate the Magic". They will be sold at the following locations: ChapeauEmporiumTip Board CartGlow with the Show Carts (2) Note that the "Glow with the Show" ears have three different mo…

SeaWorld: Five Manatees Moved in Three Days

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ORLANDO, Florida (October 14, 2013) – One rehabilitated manatee from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and two from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium have returned to Florida, and new manatees in need of tender loving care are now receiving attention from the animal experts at the two Ohio facilities. The moves, which occurred October 11 thru October 13, are part of both zoos’ participation in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Program. 
With the help of DHL, the world’s leading logistics provider, the “Sea Cow Shuffle” began on Friday, October 11, when “Woodstock” (Cincinnati) and “Pixie” and “Wheezy” (Columbus) were driven to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to board a DHL flight to Florida accompanied by an animal care specialist and veterinarian from the zoos. The animals will remain under the care of manatee experts at Miami Seaquarium, SeaWorld Orlando and Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, until winter when they will potentiall…

Kennedy Space Center: New Annual Pass Program

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (October 2013) – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has begun offering a new three-tiered annual pass program that allows guests to customize their experience at the must-see Central Florida destination.
“This new annual pass structure offers expanded value and the ability for guests to select the level that best fits their needs and expectations,” said John Clifford, senior sales and marketing director of the Visitor Complex. “...It is a great time to purchase an annual pass to experience all there is to see and do at the Visitor Complex, including one-of-a-kind attractions such as the new Space Shuttle Atlantis and Angry Birds Space Encounter.”
The new tiered annual pass structure and benefits are as follows:
Tier 1: Discovery Pass, $75 plus tax for adults, $60 plus tax for children ages 3-11 Unlimited admission for one year10 percent off admission tickets for up to six guests per visitA Discovery Pass lanyardThe Visitor Complex newsletter

AVATAR Land: Personal Observations and Comments

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After yesterday's big reveal of the very first artworks and photos depicting the sights and some of the attractions that will be included in AVATAR Land (opening in 2017 at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park), we thought it would be interesting to share some of our comments and opinions about this project. Before starting, though, it is essential that our Readers understand that the following include personal observations on the concept art released and the land in general, and it will not include comments on the AVATAR movie.


1. First of all, let's discuss about the OPENING DATE. We all know that the Walt Disney Company really likes to take plenty of time to build new rides and themed lands (we are especially referring to the New Fantasyland), so it not surprising to hear that AVATAR Land is scheduled to open in the first few months of 2017. That is more than three (3) whole years if we start counting from today. That being said, if the land is going to look exactly like …

Pleasure Island Watercraft Dock Closing Temporarily

Please, take note of the following advisory impacting Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney:
The Downtown Disney Pleasure Island watercraft dock will temporarily close beginning Monday, October 14, 2013 as work on the Pleasure Island bypass walkway is completed. During this time, watercraft transportation service for Downtown Disney Guests will only be available between the West Side and Marketplace docks. Resort watercraft routes are not affected (watercraft transportation will still be available to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort via the Marketplace dock and to Disney’s Old Key West ResortDisney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, and Treehouse Villas from the West Side dock.).

The Pleasure Island boat dock is expected to return to normal operation in early November.
Thank you for your attention. We'll see you tomorrow with a thorough discussion regarding the recently-released new concept art and drawings of Animal Kingdom's AVATAR Land. Stay tuned!

Animal Kingdom: New AVATAR Concept Art Finally Released, New Nighttime Entertainment Announced

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Great news from the official Disney Parks Blog! The first concept art for AVATAR Land, the new themed area that is currently planned to open in the future at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park have finally been released! In addition to that, a new nighttime entertainment has also been announced for the park. Take a look!: _________________________________________________________________________
First Look: AVATAR to Come to Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
From the moment AVATAR was released, people were captivated by the mythical world of Pandora. When we announced that we’d be working with James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment to bring this world to life in our parks, we felt certain that this partnership and combination of talent and imagination would produce an experience unlike any other ever created.

Our combined team has taken huge steps forward in “imagineering” Pandora as a real place for our guests to see, hear and touch. At the first-ever D23 Expo in Japan, we share…

Animal Kingdom: Harambe Closing Earlier on Oct.13

Please, take note of the following advisory regarding Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park:
Due to an event in the Africa section of the park on October 13, 2013, Harambe (the Africa section of the park) will be closing at 5 p.m, while the remainder of the park will remain open until 6 p.m. Note that this means:  Dawa bar will close at 5 p.m.Kilimanjaro Safaris will close at 5 p.m.Pangani Forest Exploration Trail will close at 5 p.m.Tamu Tamu Refreshments will close at 5 p.m.Tusker House will close at 6 p.m.  Bradley Falls will close at 5 p.m.  As always, thank you very much for your attention, and we hope you will have a great rest of your evening.

Magic Kingdom Update: Fantasy Mountain (PART 1)

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Good morning Orlando Theme Park News Readers! This morning we are back with another exciting Magic Kingdom photo-report, which covers most of the themed areas of the park but focuses especially on Fantasyland (where the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is being built). While trying to come up with an original title for this update (we always do that to differentiate them from one another), we thought about giving the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train a new name: "Fantasy Mountain." How does it sound? We think it would work well, especially since all the other mountains in the park have the word "mountain" attached to it. Anyway, let's start:
NOTE: Please, note that some of the photos may appear to be lower in quality due to the fact that a different camera was used in this update. We apologize about this and we sincerely hope you will enjoy this update.
Our first stop will be the Magic Kingdom's bus station, where work on the new bus shelters continues:

Magic Kingdom Update: Fantasy Mountain (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this Magic Kingdom photo-update (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Let's continue our tour of Fantasyland by checking out the work being done on the Pinocchio Village Haus:

Magic Kingdom Update: Fantasy Mountain (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this Magic Kingdom photo-update (PART 2 can be found HERE).
Let's now take a general look around the Fantasyland Forest and Storybook Circus:

Disability Access Service Now In Use at WDW

Just a reminder for all our Readers who may need to use the new Disability Access Service at Walt Disney World:
As you know, the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts have just launched a new program designed for Guests who are unable to tolerate extended waits at attractions due to a disability. The new program allows Guest with Disabilities to avoid standing in line by providing scheduled return times. This new program will continue to serve Guests who truly need it while helping control abuse in the current program that was, unfortunately, widespread, and growing at an alarming rate.
The new Disability Access Service (DAS) Card officially replaced the Guest Assistance Card on October 9, 2013. Guests at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort can request a Disability Access Service Card at Guest Relations. DAS Cardholders will receive a return time for attractions based on the current wait time.
For more information on the new Disability Access Service, CLICK HERE or VISI…

Groupon Deal of the Day: Gatorland Zipline Offer

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Groupon is once again offering a great deal on one of Central Florida's most popular minor attractions: Gatorland. This offer allows up to four people to ride the park's zipline for half the regular price! Take a look:
Gatorland - Orlando
From $35 | Value $69.99 | Discount 50% | You Save $34.99 | Limited time remaining! | Over 680 bought
In a Nutshell 110-acre theme park houses thousands of crocodiles and alligators under a zipline adventure that soars above lush habitats. Zipline Ride and Gatorland Visit offer valid for one, two, or four Guests (Up to 52% Off).

Choose from Three Options $35 for a Screamin' Gator Zipline ride for one, including park admission (up to a $69.99 value)$69 for a Screamin' Gator Zipline ride for two, including park admission (up to a $139.98 value)$135 for a Screamin' Gator Zipline ride for four, including park admission (up to a $279.96 value) Screamin' Gator Zipline excursions rocket thrill-seekers up to 30 miles per hour across five …