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Showing posts from November, 2013

Arabian Nights Dinner Show Closing on January 1, 2014

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Arabian Nights, one of Central Florida's most well-known dinner-shows, will permanently close its doors on January 1, 2014. Here you are the official announcement, which was posted yesterday on Arabian Night's official Facebook page: ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Arabian Nights Dinner Attraction - Orlando, Florida



To our devoted fans and followers,
Arabian Nights has announced that it will be permanently closed as of January 1st, 2014. We'd like to thank you for your love and support over the past 25 years. Because of you, we have been able to share our passion for horses and quality entertainment with millions of guests.
Over the next month, we would like to keep our Facebook page a positive platform for sharing and celebrating our incredible show and performers, fans, employees, and horses that have truly made Arabian Nights a family.
Please keep the positive comments coming! And again, thank you, thank y…

Red Oven Pizza Bakery: Official Restaurant Description

As you may already know, the Universal Orlando Resort just welcomed a new eatery inside CityWalk:
Red Oven Pizza Bakery Now Open in CityWalk
Savor the crackle of the perfect crust, the aroma of market-fresh toppings, and the creamy goodness of pure buffalo mozzarella – at Red Oven Pizza. The combination of the highest quality ingredients, specialty bakers, and a traditional stone-lined oven ensures every slice is a taste of the Old World. This is real pizza, the way Italy intended. An expert chef can take an ordinary dish and make it extraordinary—which is exactly what you’ll find at Red Oven. Our ingredients, preparation technique, and cooking conditions are as close to authentic Italian pizza as you can find this side of the Atlantic. Choose from five white and five red pizzas, made with only the finest of ingredients, like San Marzano tomatoes, organic extra-virgin olive oil, buffalo mozzarella, 00 flour, and filtered water. Each pizza is hand-assembled—per your order—baked in our …

WDW: All-Star Resorts Pool Closures (Dec. 2013)

If you will be staying at one of the three All-Star Resorts (Walt Disney World) this December, note the following:
Disney's All-Star Resorts Pool closures in December 2013: Fantasia Pool: Closed December 3-5, 2013 for deck cleaning and caulking.Grand Slam Pool: Closed December 11-13, 2013 for deck cleaning and caulking. Guests from Disney's All-Star Movies Resort will be shuttled to the other pools during the Fantasia Pool closure only.
Thank you very much for your attention. See you soon with more news and updates. Stay tuned here on OTPN.

Animal Kingdom Update: A VERY BUSY day! (PART 1)

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Good evening Orlando Theme Park News Readers, and welcome to our newest Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park picture-update, which will mostly focus on the progress that has been done on the future site of the new theater housing the popular Festival of the Lion King show (some rumors say that the show itself might also receive some updates in the near future). Let's start by taking a look around the park, which was very busy today (Thursday, November 28, 2013):

Animal Kingdom Update: A VERY BUSY day! (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park photo-report (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Yes, it was a really busy day at the park today. Every attraction (or, the few ones currently offered) was packed:

All Disney Hotels to Soon Participate in MyMagic+ Test

If you plan on staying at any of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels next year, be aware of the following:
MyMagic+ eligibility is being extended to all resort reservations. Existing reservations for April 1, 2014 and beyond will be made eligible by end of day December 4, 2013 and all new resort reservations will be eligible from the time of booking.
These Guests will continue to be able to touch to enter their rooms, touch to enter the park, touch to pay at eligible locations and touch to redeem FastPass+ selections starting upon check-in and continuing through their departure.
Everybody will finally be able to be part of this highly-anticipated next-generation project. We are - slowly- getting there.

Walt Disney World: All Parks Are Turnstile-Free

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The Disney Parks Blog just announced yesterday that all the Walt Disney World Resort parks just reached a milestone connected to the MyMagic+ project. In fact, all the turnstile previously located at the entrance of each park are now gone: ________________________________________________________________________________________________
Magic Kingdom Park Makes Disney History As All Walt Disney World Parks Go Turnstile Free
Earlier today, Magic Kingdom Park reached a milestone in Disney history when the park’s final touch point entry system was unveiled at the park – a moment that signified that all Walt Disney World Resort park entrances are now turnstile free.

The first park to trade turnstiles for touch point entries was Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, which became the first turnstile-free park in late February. Similar replacements have taken place at parks across Walt Disney World property throughout the year, making it easier than ever for guests – especially large groups, or …

WDW Resorts: Pool Opening Delay (Nov. 28)

If you are currently staying at one of the hotels across the Walt Disney World Resort, you should note this:
Due to unexpected low temperatures, all resort pools across the Walt Disney World Resort will have a delayed opening today (Thursday, November 28). These areas will be available to Guests beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Yes, it is chilly this morning, but tomorrow it is going to be again a beautiful day! Thank you for your attention.

CityWalk Update: Construction Continues (Nov. 2013)

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This afternoon we are going to take a quick look around Universal's CityWalk to see how the many construction projects are progressing (SIDE NOTE: these photos were taken a few days ago, and do not include the new Red Oven Pizza Bakery because we are going to post a separate update for that, which should include a review of the place. Stay tuned). Let's see:

What's New and What's Next on International Drive

Since we are only hearing bad news from the Walt Disney World Resort at this time, let's talk about something positive. International Drive continues to expand its offerings and has seemingly something new every month. let us take a look at what is new and what is coming soon to this busy entertainment area (from IDrivedistrict.com):
What's Making News on I-Drive in November 2013!
ORLANDO, FL (November 2013) - It's November and in addition to a late fall vacation with six of the world’s most famous theme parks (SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Aquatica - SeaWorld's Waterpark, Wet ‘n Wild, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure), great restaurants, dinner shows, shopping experiences, mega entertainment complexes, smaller family style attractions and spas...visitors enjoy the cooler weather that makes this a perfect time to vacation.
- Orlando in the news Orlando is named #1 among the top 50 destinations in the USA this year for meetings and corporate events, according to Cvent, …

"Norsk Kultur" Gallery Opened Today at Epcot

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The official Disney Parks Blog just announced that a new exhibit opened today in the Norway pavilion at Epcot: ________________________________________________________________________________________________
‘Frozen’-Inspired ‘Norsk Kultur’ Gallery Opens at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort
A new gallery, Norsk Kultur, opened its doors in the Norway pavilion at Epcot over the weekend. The gallery showcases a collection of artifacts and objects that inspired the world of Disney’s “Frozen.”

Blizzard Beach Closed on Wednesday and Thursday

Please, take note of the following advisory affecting Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park:
Please be advised that Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will be closed Wednesday, November 27, 2013 and Thursday November 28, 2013 due to forecasted low temperatures. As a reminder, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is also currently closed for refurbishment.
Thank you for your attention. We will continue to keep you up-to-date in regards to this and other advisories.

GATORLAND Photo-Gallery (PART 1)

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Most (if not all) of the visitors coming to the beautiful Central Florida are definitely aware of the existence of the Walt Disney World Resort, the Universal Orlando Resort, the SeaWorld Parks, and LEGOLAND Florida Resort. Sadly, a very small percentage of them actually takes the time to enjoy the REAL Florida, which includes the natural beauty (natural parks, botanical gardens, beaches, forests, springs, etc...) and the minor themed attractions like Gatorland. In fact, Gatorland may be rightly considered a smaller park, but it packs a lot of interesting exhibits, and it celebrates the wild side of Florida. 
This afternoon we want to share with you the pictures we took during our latest visit to Gatorland, hoping this will make you want to plan a visit to this great place. If you love nature and its plants and animals, you will enjoy taking a stroll in this park:

GATORLAND Photo-Gallery (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this special Gatorland photo-gallery (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Let's continue our tour of the park:

GATORLAND Photo-Gallery (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this special Gatorland photo-gallery (PART 2 can be found HERE).
As we continue our visit, we can see that Gatorland also has a nice aviary:

GATORLAND Photo-Gallery (PART 4)

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Welcome to PART 4 of this special Gatorland photo-gallery (PART 3 can be found HERE).
Gatorland's Screaming Gator Zipline has to be one of the best and most terrifying:


GATORLAND Photo-Gallery (PART 5)

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Welcome to PART 5 of this special Gatorland photo-gallery (PART 4 can be found HERE).
The Swamp Walk was one of our favorite areas of the park. You are in a real swamp (walking on a safe, raised walkway)and you can really admire the awe-inspiring natural wonders that many other people do not get to see:

SeaWorld Orlando to Announce "Deep Blue Sea" Discounts

Blue is the new black at SeaWorld Orlando. This Friday, SeaWorld will have its own version of Black Friday, but instead, it’s called Blue Friday, offering the best deals on the most exclusive park experiences. Details will be announced on Friday, November 29, 2013 at 12:01 a.m. and will be available through 11:59 p.m. ET on Cyber Monday, December 2, 2013. 
To take advantage of these amazing “Blue Friday” online exclusive offers, shoppers can sign up for email or follow SeaWorld on Facebook and Twitter for updates. Join the conversation on Twitter by using #BlueFriday.

America's Funniest Videos Voting at Hollywood Studios

If you will be visiting Disney's Hollywood Studios this coming Tuesday (Nov. 26), you might want to know that there will be an opportunity to participate in a special event that includes a free t-shirt (for all Guests that get chosen to participate):
On Tuesday, November 26, 2013 Disney's Hollywood Studios Guests will have the chance to vote for their favorite America's Funniest Home Video, which could potentially be featured on the national show to have a chance at becoming the $100,000 grand prize winner!
Guests will view and vote on five to six videos inside of Premiere Theater beginning at 10:30 a.m., followed by additional show times at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. (show times are subject to change.) Guests participating will need to be at least 8 years of age or older to vote and all Guests who vote will receive a free AFV t-shirt.
No other source is reporting that, so our Orlando Theme Park News Readers have the chance to be among the very first Guests to k…

The Disney Look... to the Past! (November 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: ________________________________________________________________________________________________
This Week in Disney History: November 22 - 28
Nov. 22, 1995 — Disney-Pixar releases “Toy Story” Sheriff Woody leads the playful residents of Andy’s room, encouraging plastic corrosion awareness and leading reconnaissance missions to find out about incoming toys. And Andy’s latest birthday present is about to change Woody’s comfortable world. Buzz Lightyear, a slick intergalactic space ranger, doesn’t quite understand that he’s a child’s plaything. But when a wild caper lands Woody and Buzz in the clutches of their sinister neighbor, Sid, both learn the power of friendship. At the release of “Toy Story,” Pixar Animation Studios was based in cramped offices in Richmond, C…

Blizzard Beach Closed Today Due to Weather

Even though today our high temperatures should reach the low 70's, Blizzard Beach will remain closed:
Please be advised that Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will be for the entire day today, November 24, 2013 due to forecasted low temperatures. As a reminder, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is currently closed for refurbishment. Also, Disney’s Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Courses will be open for normal business hours.
Please check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for any additional updates on this and other subjects.

New Magic Kingdom Bus Loop Opening and Information

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The new bus loop that was under construction just outside the gates of the Magic Kingdom Park is almost ready to open.
Phase I of the Magic Kingdom Park third bus loop officially debuts tomorrow (Sunday, November 24, 2013). The existing load zones will shift to accommodate the opening of the new canopies and larger load zones/gates. During Phase II, scheduled to debut on December 15, 2013 the park-to-park buses will transition from the Transportation & Ticket Center (TTC) charter lot to the park bus loops. Here's a helpful map that will explain better the changes:


Yes, you will soon be able to go to the Transportation & Ticket Center, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park WITHOUT having to ride the monorail! That is definitely a fantastic improvement for those like us who dislike having to board two separate monorails (or a monorail and a bus) to get to another park. 
Of course, you will still be able to go to Epcot using the mo…

Disney Springs Project Status Update (November 2013)

Just a few updates on the ongoing Disney Springs project currently taking shape in the Downtown Disney area: Parking Entrance 3 is closed, and the section of Ring Road between Entrances 3 and 4 remains closed as work on the West Garage expands. Guests traveling in vehicles who wish to move between the east and west parking lots need to use Buena Vista Drive.Work on an outdoor food expansion at House of Blues is in progress. Event ticket sales have relocated to inside the House of Blues merchandise store and the existing ticket booth will change to become a quick service food location.Demolition of the former Cap’n Jack’s Restaurant has begun.Work on a new Starbucks location has begun in the former Wetzel's Pretzels location (West Side).Work on a new Starbucks location near World of Disney will begin soon.Work will begin soon in Keith’s Park (located between the LEGO Store and the T-REX Cafe) to change the flow of the walkways to support the Disney Springs expansion. We will make s…

Animal Kingdom: Kali River Rapids Rehab, Hours Change

Just some quick reminders for those who are planning to visit Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park in the near future:
- Kali River Rapids closes for refurbishments December 2, 2013 Kali River Rapids will be closed for it's annual refurbishment starting Monday, December 2, 2013 until Friday, December 13, 2013. The attraction will reopen to all Guests on Saturday, December 14, 2013. - Park Open Changed to 8 a.m. on February 18, 2014 Even though it may seem very early to share this advisory, you may want to know that Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park's opening time has been changed from 9 a.m. to 8 a.m. for Tuesday, February 18, 2014.
Thank you for taking note of these important advisories. Stay tuned here on Orlando Theme Park News for more updates.

Busch Gardens Announces Reimagined Land, "Pantopia"

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Busch Gardens Tampa announced today that one of the park's existing themed lands (Timbuktu) will be renamed "Pantopia" and completely reimagined to welcome the park's newest attractions opening spring 2014, Falcon's Fury: ________________________________________________________________________________________________
TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 22, 2013) – Busch Gardens® Tampa has announced that when it launches Falcon’s Fury™, North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower, in spring 2014, it will also unveil its newest land – Pantopia™.

Currently known as Timbuktu, the fully remodeled Pantopia™ will boast elaborately-jeweled theming and feature thrilling rides and attractions, sensational new food and beverage options, exciting entertainment, shopping, a renovated indoor theater and more.

WDW: Rescued Manatee Arrives at Epcot

A manatee that was rescued many years ago is now calling Epcot "home." Get acquainted with Lil Joe: The Seas with Nemo & Friends is now home to Lil Joe, a manatee who was first rescued in 1989 as an orphaned calf in Volusia County, Florida. Lil Joe joins Lou, another rescued manatee at The Seas. Guests can see Lil Joe and Lou when they visit The Seas with Nemo & Friends.
Walt Disney World Resort participates in the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership, which monitors the health and survival of manatees and determines which facility will care for rescued manatees.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends is a designated rehabilitation site for rescued manatees and serves as a temporary home until the manatee is well enough to return to its habitat. The Seas participates in the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other facilities and conservation groups.

LEGOLAND Florida Hotel Officially Announced

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Yes, LEGOLAND Florida has finally released the first official information, photos, and artworks regarding their brand-new themed hotel that will open right next to the park (overlooking the beautiful lake Eloise) in 2015. Take a look: ____________________________________________________________________________________
LEGOLAND Florida Announces LEGOLAND Hotel Opening in 2015
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (Nov. 21, 2013) – Today, LEGOLAND® Florida General Manager Adrian Jones officially announced the park’s much anticipated LEGOLAND Hotel will open in 2015. The announcement was made alongside community leaders with a ceremonial groundbreaking moment at the site where the hotel will be built, directly to the left of LEGOLAND Florida’s entrance, just steps from Lake Eloise.

“The opening of a LEGOLAND Hotel will transition LEGOLAND Florida from a single-day visit theme park to a multi-day resort destination,” said Jones. “This will serve as a catalyst for future economic development in Polk County.”

Hollywood Studios: MyMagic+ Service Center Expansion

One of the most original stores of Disney's Hollywood Studios has now closed to become a MyMagic+ Service Center:
The MyMagic+ service center at Disney’s Hollywood Studios expanded to include the entire Sid Cahuenga’s One-of-A-Kind location on November 17, 2013. As a result, the collectible memorabilia merchandise at Sid Cahuenga’s One-of-A-Kind was relocated to the AFI Showcase Shop (located at the exit of the Studio Backlot Tour attraction) to make way for the expanded service center.
As always, we want to thank you very much for your attention. See you in a few minutes with a new update.

Universal Studios Update: A Rainy Day (PART 1)

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Even though the dry season officially started more than a month ago here in Central Florida, there may still be some days that include sprinkles of rain here and there. That doesn't mean that we can't have fun in the parks, though! In fact, today we would like to share with you some photos taken inside Universal Studios Florida in the past few days. Unfortunately, due to the (light) rain, we had to stop taking pictures at one point. We hope you'll enjoy the pictures anyway:

Universal Studios Update: A Rainy Day (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Universal Studios Florida photo-report (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Here you are more photos of the many characters meeting Guests along the streets of Hollywood:

Kennedy Space Center: SpaceX Rocket Launch on Nov. 25

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – As the sun sets in the west, a Falcon 9 rocket will light up skies on the east coast during the dramatic SpaceX liftoff scheduled for Monday, November 25, 2013. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests may view the dusk launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area, or special areas at the Visitor Complex.
The rocket is scheduled to blast off from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5:37 p.m. EST, carrying an SES 8 satellite. 
Guests can experience the powerful sights and sounds of the rocket at special viewing available to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, located within Kennedy Space Center, for $20 plus the cost of admission. Admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is $50 plus tax for adults and $40 plus tax for children 3-11. Bus boarding for the Apollo/Saturn V Center begins at 3 p.m.
Located along the Banana River just a fe…

Polercoaster Ride Coming to Florida in 2016

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A brand-new ride is coming to Florida in less than two years. It is known as the "Polercoaster," and it is just one of the latest attractions created by the US Thrill Rides company. Here you are additional information on this new concept:
- THE POLERCOASTER™ -
Delivering high thrills in a small diameter footprint is a recipe for economic success. The vertical nature creates an amazing visual experience with potential for exceptional lighting options and signage that can provide ancillary revenue streams.
Operation is simple. Trains are boarded by guests. They are then driven to the top loading them with enormous potential energy. Gravity then takes over... aided by designers skilled in wringing every ounce of adrenaline out of that stored energy. Thoroughly exhilarated guests disembark at the bottom. The result is a guest experience sure to drive repeat visitation and word of mouth promotion.

Additionally, Polercoaster™ is an observation tower serviced by two glass elevators…

Theme Park Connection Store: Grand Re-Opening

One of the biggest theme park-related stores in Central Florida will host a special event in just a few days: ________________________________________________________________________________________________
Theme Park Connection's Grand Re-Opening Event
Orlando, FL - On Saturday, November 23, Theme Park Connection will be re-opening in a 15,000 sq. ft. sized facility in Orlando, Florida that will amaze anyone and soon should become one of the top ten places you have to visit while in Florida. With a big move that took over 20 semi-trucks to relocate, Theme Park Connection felt the re-opening should come with some even bigger surprises for their guests and that includes all the planned events for the opening day festivities listed below. Among them include an actual chance to win a FREE 3 Day Disney Cruise Line vacation for two, a FREE Hunger Games prop costume worn by Marvel and many other amazing giveaway door prizes and discounts.
The World's Largest Reseller of Disney items …

Epcot Update: Spice Road Construction (PART 1)

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Good morning Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Let's start this new day by taking a quick look around Epcot to check on the work being done around the World Showcase and what's new (if anything, of course) in Future World:

Epcot Update: Spice Road Construction (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Epcot photo-report (PART 1 can be found HERE).
Let's now continue to take a look around World Showcase. This is Japan:

U.S. Disney Parks Start Partnership with Nikon

MELVILLE, N.Y. – Nikon Inc. and Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts today announced a multi-year strategic alliance naming Nikon the official camera of Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Ca. Bringing together a global leader in imaging and the world’s leading family vacation destinations, this relationship continues the longstanding commitment to help guests capture every moment of their vacation.
“The alliance between Nikon and Disney allows us to connect with millions of passionate Disney guests who want to tell their stories through the capture of amazing imagery,” said Nobuyoshi Gokyu, president, Nikon Inc. “Through this agreement, Nikon will play an integral role in helping Disney guests to preserve and share every unforgettable moment.”
As the “Official Camera of Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts,” Nikon will have branded Picture Spots throughout the theme parks at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, providi…

Epcot: New "Spice Road Table" Restaurant Artwork

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The Walt Disney World Resort just released a new artwork depicting Epcot's newest restaurant - Spice Road Table - which will open soon in the Morocco pavilion of World Showcase. Take a look: ________________________________________________________________________________________________
Spice Road Table Coming to Morocco Pavilion at Epcot
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Spice Road Table is coming soon to Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort, offering a variety of Moroccan small plates and specialty drinks. Regional flavors from the Mediterranean are highlighted, along with a scenic view of the World Showcase lagoon in front of the Morocco pavilion.
FULL-SIZE

Perfect for “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” viewing or relaxing with a selection of Moroccan flavors and cocktails along World Showcase Lagoon, Spice Road Table is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds, say the restaurant’s designers. There’s an array of small plates: zesty harissa chicken drumettes; a Mediterranean omelet …

Quick Cabana Bay Beach Resort Update (November 2013)

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Work on Universal Orlando's newest hotel - Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort - continues at a very fast pace. Signage for this great new moderate resort has already been installed, and the buildings are starting to look great. Take a look:

Coronado Springs: New Pepper Market Dining Concept

If you are like us and love dining at the Pepper Market (located inside Disney's Coronado Springs Resort), you will be happy to know that a new dining concept for this quick-service restaurant was recently introduced More information:
"To align with other quick-service Food & Beverage locations throughout the Walt Disney World Resort and to better serve Guests, Pepper Market has fully transitioned into a self-service location. When entering into the restaurant, Guests will still receive a card to be stamped at each food kiosk they visit. However gratuity and table-side drink service will no longer be part of the dining experience.
New self-service beverage stations have been introduced along with the new Rapid Fill Mug Program, allowing Guests more flexibility in their beverage refill options by utilizing radio frequency identification technology. Additionally, new menu items were also added to several of the a la carte stations, including a made-to-order signature burge…

Universal Orlando: New Margaritaville Menu Debuts

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If you are a fan of CityWalk's Margaritaville restaurant, you might be happy to know that the entire menu has been completely refreshed. Here's a copy of the new menu (we apologize for the fact that the writing might appear quite small):

You can find a plain version of this same menu on the official website of Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Orlando.

Walt Disney World Merchandise Discount (Nov./Dec.)

It's that time of the year again! Starting from tomorrow, the Walt Disney World Resort will bring back its special "Bounceback Promotion" which offers Guests dining at select quick-service restaurants across property a 20% discount on some merchandise items. Continue to read to find out more information about this limited-time offer:
Guests who visit certain quick-service (QSR) locations in Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort theme parks starting from November 19, 2013 through January 6, 2014 will receive a coupon attached to their receipt. The coupon offers 20 percent off purchase at participating merchandise locations (see list below) during store opening and 1 p.m. between November 19, 2013 and January 7, 2014: Magic Kingdom: EmporiumEpcot: Mouse GearDisney’s Hollywood Studios: Mickey’s of Hollywood, Keystone ClothiersDisney’s Animal Kingdom: Island Mercantile, Disney OutfittersDowntown Disney: World of Disney Thank you for taking note of this. If you were …

Magic Kingdom Update: Seasonal Rehabs & More (PART 1)

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Hello Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Thank you for joining us in this new Magic Kingdom photo-tour. We will take a close look at all the themed lands of this wonderful place to see what is new and what has changed since our last visit. So, get ready (just sit down and relax), and enjoy this new Magic Kingdom update:

Magic Kingdom Update: Seasonal Rehabs & More (PART 2)

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

Magic Kingdom Update: Seasonal Rehabs & More (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of our latest Magic Kingdom photo-tour (PART 2 can be found HERE).
Here you are a few more behind-the-wall shots of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (from a different angle):

Aquatica Orlando Announces New Ticket Offer

Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark™, is offering incredible savings on single-day admission through December 31, 2013. Guests may purchase date-specific admission to Aquatica Orlando starting at only $19.00. Limited quantities of $19.00 tickets per day are available. By planning early, guests can take advantage of this great offer. 
Even in fall, the waters are always warm and comfortable at Aquatica Orlando. Open throughout the holidays, Aquatica Orlando sends guests through racing rides, glistening lagoons and winding rivers all kept at a warm 82 degrees. Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark, offers unique attractions that promise unlimited fun that will delight all ages and interests this holiday season. Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark, was recently named the #1 water park in Orlando on the Orlando Sentinel’s Annual Best Bets list, which is chosen by readers! The article highlights Aquatica Orlando’s side-by-side wave pools, sandy beaches, amazing animals and one-of-a-kind attractions.
ADDITI…

Universal Orlando: New Garage Structure Project

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The Universal Orlando Resort recently announced to its Team Members that work on the construction of a brand-new multi-level garage structure will begin soon behind Universal Studios Florida. Take a look:
"On Friday, November 22, construction will begin on the new, four-level Team Member parking structure in our main Team Member Parking lot, and a large portion of parking in the lot will be closed off to prepare the structure’s foundation."

Mickey's Backyard BBQ Changes (November 2013)

Some of our Readers may not be aware of this, but Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground offers a special all-you-can-eat dinner a few times a week known as Mickey's Backyard BBQ. Just a few days ago, the starting time of this special offering changed. Here you are additional information regarding this adjustment:
"Effective November 7, 2013, Mickey's Backyard BBQ transitioned to a new start time of 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and Saturday evenings. This all-you-care-to-enjoy dinner and entertainment experience is held on select nights in an open-air pavilion at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.
Guests driving to Mickey's Backyard BBQ should park in the main parking lot at the front of Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and take the internal bus system to Settlement Depot, allowing extra time for travel to the location. Guests traveling from Magic Kingdom Park may take watercraft to the marina at Disney's Fort Wildernes…

The Disney Look... to the Past! (November 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:
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This Week in Disney History: November 15 - 21
Nov. 18, 1928 - Mickey Mouse debuts in "Steamboat Willie" Although Mickey Mouse appeared in two prior cartoons, "Steamboat Willie" holds the title of being the first to showcase a synchronized soundtrack and the first to be publically distributed. During the 1920s, silent films were a popular form of on-screen entertainment. Dialogue was silently transmitted via muted gestures, miming and title cards but the concept of having sound to accompany a motion picture was an area of filmmaking that had just started to take form. After coming up with the idea for the character Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney knew that he needed something rev…

Festival of the Lion King: Theater Closure Confirmed

As you know, a brand-new theater for the extremely popular Festival of the Lion King show is currently under construction inside Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park (we posted a new photo-update on this subject just a few hours ago), and many were wondering when the old theater would close and if there would be a large gap between the closing of the old facility and the opening of the new venue. Unfortunately, quite some time will pass before we will be able to experience again this great show. In fact, the latest issue of the "Mickey Monitor" (the newsletter that Walt Disney World Annual Passholders receive four times a year) officially made the following announcement:
"Catch [the Festival of the Lion King show] before January 5, 2014! It's your last chance to see Festival of the Lion King for six months."
So, if you will be visiting the Walt Disney World Resort between January and June 2014, you will have to keep in mind that the Festival of the Lion King

Animal Kingdom: New Lion King Theater Update

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Hello OTPN Readers! This afternoon we are bringing you another quick Disney's Animal Kingdom update that will mostly focus on the brand-new Festival of the Lion King theater currently under construction in the African section of the park. So, gather your personal belongings, sit back, relax, and enjoy the virtual tour!:

Journey of the Little Mermaid: Operating Hours News

Do you plan to visit the Magic Kingdom Park next Wednesday? Then you might want to read the following:
On Wednesday, November 20, 2013, Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid (located in the Fantasyland Forest themed area of the Magic Kingdom Park) will be closing at 7 p.m. for routine maintenance (as a reminder, the rest of the park will be closing at 9 p.m.). The ride should be operating regularly the following day (Nov. 21).
Thank you very much for your attention. See you again here on OTPN for more news, rumors, and updates.

New Handheld Device Used During Extra Magic Hours

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Do you remember when we expressed our disappointment regarding the fact that more and more money are being spent for the new MyMagic+ project? Well, this is another quite major expensive addition that has definitely required Disney to spend additional thousands of dollars, as hundreds of new handheld devices were recently bought and will soon be used to scan MagicBands during Extra Magic Hours:
"Starting Sunday, November 17, handheld devices will be used to identify Walt Disney World Resort hotel Guests for Extra Magic Hours at all Walt Disney World theme parks. For Magic Kingdom Park, this is effective with the evening EMH Monday, November 18, 2013 and the morning EMH Thursday, November 21, 2013.

Cast Members will be stationed outside of the park entrance during Extra Magic Hours and will ask Guests wearing MagicBands to touch their MagicBands to a handheld device to verify that they are resort Guests. These Guests will then enter the park as they normally would.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Testing Tiered FastPass+

Please, note that a different kind of FastPass+ test will begin this Sunday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios:
As part of Disney's test-and-adjust process for MyMagic+, an alternate FastPass+ selection process will be tested at Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning November 17, 2013. This approach is designed to enable more Guests to secure their most preferred experience. Guests will choose from two groups of experiences.
Guests will select one experience from the first group. Currently, the first group includes: Toy Story Midway Mania!Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring AerosmithFantasmic!Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage. Guests will select two experiences from the second group. Currently, the second group includes: The Twilight Zone Tower of TerrorStar Tours – The Adventures ContinueThe Great Movie RideMuppet*Vision 3DDisney Junior – Live on Stage!Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!Voyage of the Little MermaidThe American Idol ExperienceLights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show.

WDW: Restaurant Cancellation Policy Starts Nov. 19

After a short delay, a new cancellation policy is now being introduced across the Walt Disney World Resort:
"To provide consistency across our operation, adjustments will be made to the cancellation policy beginning November 19, 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 November 19, when booking a reservation at any table-service restaurant, Guests will be required to provide a credit card to hold the 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 cooperation. Let us know how you feel about this new cancellation policy in the comments.

Busch Gardens: "Nat Geo WILD" Special Event

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TAMPA, Florida – Later this month, Nat Geo WILD will debut a never-before-seen race between two of the National Football League’s fastest athletes and nature’s fastest land mammal in the premiere of “Man v. Cheetah,” filmed at Busch Gardens® Tampa. Premiering Friday, Nov. 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Nat Geo WILD, “Man v. Cheetah” will kick off the Fourth Annual Big Cat Week for Nat Geo WILD, the network’s most-watched week.

Running back Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans and Chicago Bears' wide receiver Devin Hester raced two of Busch Gardens’ fastest cheetahs, Jenna and Nave, earlier this year in the park’s Cheetah Run habitat. For the challenge, Busch Gardens and Nat Geo WILD partnered to build a walled enclosure in Busch Gardens’ Cheetah habitat so the athletes and the cheetahs could run side-by-side safely.

Pop Century Resort: MagicBand Test Begins Today

Please, make sure to take note of the following advisory affecting Disney's Pop Century Resort:
"As part of our test-and-adjust process for MyMagic+, Guests arriving at Disney’s Pop Century Resort beginning November 14, 2013 will be issued only a MagicBand for use throughout their stay at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Guests will continue to engage in MyMagic+ testing in the same way that all other resort Guests do. Upon check in, Guests will receive their MagicBands if they did not receive them at home after customizing them in advance using My Disney Experience.
Front Desk can provide an RF-enabled Key to the World card if a Guest requests it instead of a MagicBand. The RF-enabled Key to the World card functions the same way a MagicBand does at touch points. Guests with RF-enabled Key to the World cards will touch to enter their resort room and theme parks and water parks (with valid theme park admission), touch to pay (optional) and touch to redeem FastPass+ selections (P…

Islands of Adventure News: JP Games Open (PART 1)

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Welcome to a new Islands of Adventure photo-report! Now that the new Jurassic Park midway games are open, it may look like nothing else is going on in that area of the park, but that is not true according to many rumors. Let's now take a long, detailed look around the entire park to see exactly what is going on in all the themed areas:

Islands of Adventure News: JP Games Open (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this Islands of Adventure update (PART 1 can be found HERE).
We will now continue to check out Seuss Landing:

Islands of Adventure News: JP Games Open (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this Islands of Adventure update (PART 2 can be found HERE).
Here you are a few more photos of the future train station located inside the park:

Islands of Adventure News: JP Games Open (PART 4)

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Welcome to PART 4 of this Islands of Adventure update (PART 3 can be found HERE).
We'll now spend some time taking a look around one of our favorite islands of the park - Toon Lagoon:

Blizzard Beach Closed Today Due to Weather

Please, make sure to take note of the following advisory affecting Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park:
Please be advised that Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will be closed TODAY (Wednesday, November 13, 2013) due to forecasted low temperatures. Disney’s Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Courses open normal business hours.
Thank you again for your attention. We will see you soon with a new photo-update. Stay tuned here on OTPN!

BoardWalk Resort: Parking Advisory (Nov. 13-14)

Please, make sure to take note of the following advisory affecting Disney's BoardWalk Resort:
On Wednesday, November 13 and Thursday, November 14, 2013 the parking lot at Disney's BoardWalk Resort will be restricted to registered Guests, event Guests, and those with dining or recreation reservations.
Thank you very much for your attention, and see you in just a few minutes with more advisories and news.

Ihu's Breakaway Falls Coming to Aquatica in 2014

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The name of Aquatica's new slide (coming in 2014) was announced just this morning, along with the release of a few more information regarding this project and another "scream peek" video of this very exciting waterslide: _________________________________________________________________________
Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark Designers Reveal More about New Water Thrill Ride Coming in 2014
Orlando, Fla. (November 11, 2013) -  Get ready to brave a watery free-fall at Aquatica Orlando’s all-new water thrill slide coming in 2014 – Ihu’s Breakaway Falls. The drop slide will be the tallest, steepest and only multi-slide ride of its kind in Orlando. The slide is named after Ihu, Aquatica Orlando’s colorful gecko, who searches for the biggest thrills, steepest hills and the coolest spills in the waterpark.
Check out the latest video designers released revealing more clues about Ihu’s Breakaway Falls here:

Join the Twitter conversation using #NothingTaller. For more information, v…

Walt Disney World Hotels: New Pool Hours Reminder

Just as a reminder, pool hours across the Walt Disney World Resort have recently changed. 
The feature pools in all the Disney Resorts (the major pools, which are usually free-form pools), will open with lifeguards on duty from 9 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. every day. These hours also reflect the pool deck. The smaller pools (which usually have a rectangular shape, with some exceptions) and pool deck will remain open 24 hours. This change took place starting Sunday, November 3, 2013.
If a Guest will be found utilizing a pool, spa, kiddie pool or aquatic playground on a guarded pool deck outside of posted operating hours, Cast Members will approach the Guest, inform him/her that the pool is closed and ask the Guest to exit the pool, spa, kiddie pool or aquatic playground. It is for your own safety.
Check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for more updates and advisories from the parks and resorts.

CityWalk Update: New Pizzeria Almost Ready to Open

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Hello Orlando Theme Park News Readers! This afternoon we are taking you around Universal Orlando's entertainment district, CityWalk. There are quite a few projects taking place there, so let's check on all of them:

Animal Kingdom: Food & Beverage Changes

Two quick service locations located at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park will soon receive a new menu. In fact, a few changes are coming to Camp Minnie-Mickey’s Campfire Treats and DinoLand U.S.A.’s Trilo-Bites:
Campfire Treats: Friday, November 8, 2013 was the last day soft-serve ice-cream, floats, worms ‘n’ dirt sundae, and strawberry shortcake were served. Saturday, November 9, jalapeno and Mickey pretzels started being offered.
Trilo-Bites: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 will be the last day frozen carbonated beverages will be served. Friday, November 15, the following enhancements will be offered to Guests: floats, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry shakes, and house-made waffle bowl sundaes. 
What do you think about these adjustments? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with us.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment: New "AnimalVision"

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(Orlando, Fla.) – For nearly five decades SeaWorld® has connected guests to the natural world through innovative animal habitats and inspiring shows. With the launch of AnimalVision™, 24/7, on-habitat cameras stream footage to customized interactive websites, allowing visitors to create a connection right from the comfort of their own home at www.AnimalVision.com .
Fans can now enjoy the antics of penguins racing through the water or waddling around in their new 30-degree habitat at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, SeaWorld Orlando’s newest attraction. Combining innovative ride technology and up-close animal encounters, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin takes guests on an epic voyage to the bottom of the world where they can get up-close to a colony of nearly 250 penguins.
In addition, fans can tune in to see a school of stingrays gliding past their screen from Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark® in San Antonio, and check out sea turtles, some of the most graceful animals, from SeaWorl…

Animal Kingdom: New Entertainment Testing

Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park will soon be testing a new entertainment offering:
"Entertainment will be testing a new act on Saturday, November 16, 2013. on the Asia stage. Ann Yao will take the place of Chakranadi for this one day with set times at: 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m. Playing a long, horizontal instrument called the Zheng, this ancient Chinese music offers the sound of the ancient East."
Thank you for your attention. We will share more news and updates in the next few minutes. Stay tuned.

Fantasyland Update: Seven Dwarfs Still at Work

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Yes, the work that is being done in the most popular themed land of the Magic Kingdom Park is proceeding very quickly now, and the brand-new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will be opening very soon. We can't believe that time is almost here, especially since we have been following this project since the area where this new mountain now stands was just dirt and trees. Anyway, let's now take a quick look around to see what is new since our last visit:

KSC: Special Event Featuring Bill Nye the Science Guy

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests can enjoy viewing the thrilling and historic launch of a massive United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvoultioN (MAVEN) orbiter on Monday, Nov. 18. The rocket will lift off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with a launch window from 1:28 p.m. to 3:28 p.m. EST.
Launch viewing is included in regular Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex admission and features live mission control commentary. Visitor Complex guests may view the launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area, or specially designated areas at the Visitor Complex. Guests may bring blankets and compact “umbrella-style” folding chairs that are carried in shoulder bags. Space will be available on a first come, first serve basis.
The MAVEN mission will explore the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind. Scientists w…

The Disney Look... to the Past! (November 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: _________________________________________________________________________
This Week in Disney History: November 8 - 14
Nov. 14, 1995 - Disney Magic is announced as the name of the first Disney Cruise Line ship Since 1998, Disney Cruise Line has been blending modern amenities with the grandeur of classic ocean liners, offering Guests the ability to enjoy a Disney Vacation out on the open seas. On this day in 1995, Disney Cruise Line announced that they would be welcoming their very first ship, Disney Magic, to what would become a majestic fleet of four. The 84,000-ton flagship cruise liner was constructed in the legendary Fincantieri shipyards in Italy and set sail on its 14-day maiden voyage in 1998. Today the ship boasts 11 expansive decks with a total length of 9…

Splitsville: Advisory Regarding Upcoming Special Event

If you plan on visiting Splitsville next Tuesday (November 12), take note of the following advisory:
Splitsville Luxury Lanes (located in the West Side section of Downtown Disney) will be hosting a private event from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 on the 2nd floor. Limited dining seats are available for Guests on the first floor dining, outside patios, and in the bar area, but bowling will only be offered on the first floor during this time. A full menu will still be available. The entire venue is expected to reopen to all Guests at 9:00 p.m.
Thank you very much once again for your attention. We will see you later today with more news and updates.

WDW Parks: Hours Extended, Cut (Nov./Dec. 2013)

Here you are just a couple of updates on the operating hours of two of Walt Disney World's theme parks: Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park: opening time has been changed from 9 a.m. to 8 a.m. for Sunday, November 24, 2013. Disney's Hollywood Studios: closing time has been changed from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. for Wednesday, December 11, 2013. The previously scheduled 6:30 p.m. Fantasmic! show will no longer be offered. Thank you for your attention. We plan on posting a new (quick) photo-update later tonight. See you real soon!

Universal Studios Update: Store Expansion (PART 1)

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Before we start this latest update, let us apologize about the fact that we promised a new Universal's CityWalk photo-report today. In fact, we had in mind to post them first, but then we thought it would be better to first share our Universal Studios Florida pictures, as they show some new details that you are definitely going to appreciate. So, without further ado, let us start this new virtual tour of Universal Studios Florida:

Universal Studios Update: Store Expansion (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of this new Universal Studios Florida photo-update (PART 1 can be found HERE).
We will now continue to take a look around the beautifully-themed New York City section of the park:

Universal Studios Update: Store Expansion (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of this new Universal Studios Florida photo-update (PART 2 can be found HERE).
We will now focus our attention on the beautiful London waterfront, which is currently under construction:

Universal Studios Update: Store Expansion (PART 4)

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Welcome to PART 4 of this new Universal Studios Florida photo-update (PART 3 can be found HERE).
Fear factor LIVE! is closed (thankfully):

Splitsville: Temporary Closure for Special Event

Please, be sure to take note of the following advisory affecting Splitsville at Downtown Disney:
Splitsville Luxury Lanes (located at Downtown Disney - West Side) will be closed to the general public to host a private event from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Monday, November 11, 2013. The entire venue is expected to reopen to all Guests at 9:00 p.m. More advisories will be released in case changes should occur.
Thank you very much for your attention. See you later today for a new Universal's CityWalk photo-report!

Animal Kingdom Lodge: More Animals Are Born

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As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the gorgeous Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge participates in several Species Survival Plans (SSP). Species Survival Plans are programs in which species are cooperatively managed within AZA zoos and aquariums to maintain healthy and genetically diverse populations. 
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge actively breeds 12 species of birds and mammals as part of the SSP program. Just this year, the resort has had 16 babies born, including an Abyssinian ground hornbill family, which hatched a chick back in July. Their grey crowned cranes also had a chick this month. This means nearly a dozen of these endangered crane chicks have hatched there since the resort opened to Guests.

They also have had several antelope calves born this year: two bontebok, a Thomson’s gazelle and six nyala antelope. The resort has also had three red river hog piglets, a giraffe calf and a Hartmann’s mountain zebra foal born this year. The foal is the first H…