Posts

Showing posts from December, 2013

REMINDER: Why You Should Avoid the Parks Today

Image
Yes, the day is almost over, but there may be some people (mostly locals) who might be wondering if it would be a good idea to visit the theme parks here in Central Florida in the next few hours. If you have not been following us in the past 7 to 8 hours, you might have missed the fact that they are extremely full, and that many people are most likely not enjoying their visit a lot. If you still need something else to be discouraged from going, continue reading, as we are going to share with you some photos we took a few years back. You'll find them interesting...:

Current Walt Disney World Wait Times (Updated 6:25 P.M.)

Image
Let's have some fun, shall we?

If you make the jump to read the rest of this post, you will find the (crazy!) current wait times of the most popular rides and attractions located in the four Walt Disney World theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom). Also, if you are currently visiting Orlando and have any photos of the crowds in the parks, feel free to share them with us!

Magic Kingdom Now at Phase 3.5 Closure (11:50 a.m.)

Image
December 31, 11:35 a.m. - At this time, Magic Kingdom is currently at a Phase 3.5 Status.

This is a new phased status. Guests who have pre-purchased a Magic Kingdom 1 Day park ticket will be advised that the Magic Kingdom Park is full and they are welcome to visit another park. These Guests must exchange their ticket at park entry with Guest Relations prior to entering another Theme Park.

Magic Kingdom Now at Phase 3 Closure (11:20 a.m.)

Image
As of 11:20 a.m., the Magic Kingdom Park is currently closed to all Guests, except the following: WDW Resort Guests;WDW Premier Passport, Annual & Premium Passholders;Guests with Park Hopper® tickets re-entering or crossing over from another Park;Guests with Dining reservations;Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (located in Fantasyland) or The Pirates League (located in Adventureland). The only difference between a Phase 2 and a Phase 3 status is that Guests with Park Hopper tickets re-entering or crossing over from another Walt Disney World Theme Park will be temporarily be directed to Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, or Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

Magic Kingdom Park Closed for Capacity (Phase 2)

Image
As of 11:00 a.m., the Magic Kingdom Park is currently closed to all Guests, except the following: WDW Resort Guests*;WDW Premier Passport, Annual & Premium Passholders;Guests with Park Hopper® tickets re-entering or crossing over from another Park;Guests with Dining reservations;Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (located in Fantasyland) or The Pirates League (located in Adventureland). (*Guests from the Swan, Dolphin or Shades of Green are considered part of this group in this instance. In addition, Guests from Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels arriving by bus are included - Best Western Lake Buena Vista, Buena Vista Palace, Doubletree Guest Suites, Hotel Royal Plaza, Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, The Hilton Lake Buena Vista -. Also included are Golden Oak residents as well as registered Guests of Golden Oak residents).

Animal Kingdom Update: Closing Out 2013 (PART 1)

Image
Welcome to our newest photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Today we are going to take a look around Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park to check out on the progress being done in the future site of the new Festival of the Lion King theater. That said, we will also take a general look around some other areas of the park. So, without further ado, let us embark on this virtual tour of the park. We hope you will enjoy the pictures (remember to post your comments at the end of this update!):

Animal Kingdom Update: Closing Out 2013 (PART 2)

Image
Welcome to PART 2 of our newest Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park photo-update (PART 1 of this same photo-report can be found at THIS LINK)!
In part 1 we have taken a look around the entrance of the park, the Oasis, Camp Minnie-Mickey, and the first section of Africa. Now, it is time to enjoy the sights of the rest of the Africa section, Rafiki's Planet Watch, and Asia. We hope you will enjoy the rest of this photo-update:

Typhoon Lagoon Closed Tomorrow Due to Weather

Image
Please, take note of the following Walt Disney World Resort advisory:

"Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday, December 31, 2013) due to forecasted low temperatures."

Please continue to check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for additional updates.

Universal Orlando Welcoming Telemundo’s “La Voz Kids”

Image
As you might have already heard, the Universal Orlando Resort will welcome “La Voz Kids,” the highest rated Sunday reality show in Telemundo’s history. Here you are additional information:

"Telemundo proudly announces the return of its highly-rated singing competition “La Voz Kids” for a second season, to be produced next year from Universal Orlando Resort, home to some of the most popular attractions ever created. 

Update: Magic Kingdom Has Reopened to All Guests

Image
As of 1:15 p.m. (December 30, 2013) all four Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks are operating as normal, including the Magic Kingdom Park (which was previously at phase 2 closing due to capacity).

Due to anticipated park attendance, we highly suggest that you continue to check back here on Orlando Theme Park News throughout the rest of the week for  additional updates.

Magic Kingdom Currently Closed for Capacity (Phase 2)

Image
As of 11:50 a.m., the Magic Kingdom Park is currently closed to all Guests, except the following: WDW Resort Guests*;WDW Premier Passport, Annual & Premium Passholders;Guests with Park Hopper® tickets re-entering or crossing over from another Park;Guests with Dining reservations;Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (located in Fantasyland) or The Pirates League (located in Adventureland). (*Guests from the Swan, Dolphin or Shades of Green are considered part of this group in this instance. In addition, Guests from Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels arriving by bus are included - Best Western Lake Buena Vista, Buena Vista Palace, Doubletree Guest Suites, Hotel Royal Plaza, Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, The Hilton Lake Buena Vista -. Also included are Golden Oak residents as well as registered Guests of Golden Oak residents).

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Update: Water Starts Flowing

Image
Welcome to our newest photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Today we are going to take a look around only one of the themed areas of the Magic Kingdom Park: Fantasyland. As we usually do, we will focus primarily on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but we will also take a general look around the rest of the land. So, without further ado, let us embark on this virtual tour of the happiest land of all (as a reminder, we'd love to hear your comments on this subject. Feel free to leave them at the end of this update!):

The Disney Look... to the Past! (December 27-January 2)

Image
Hello Orlando Theme Park News Readers, and welcome to the newest edition of the weekly feature known as "The Disney Look... to the Past!"

As always, we hope you will enjoy reading all of the following interesting facts about the Walt Disney Parks, Resorts, Movies, and more. If you have any questions about this material, feel free to contact us or leave a message at the end of this post. Thank you!:

Three New Services for Disney Vacation Club Members

Image
If you are a Disney Vacation Club Member, you should take note of the following enhancements that were recently added for your benefit:

The Walt Disney World Resort recently added a new Member Education Team, Live Chat, and dedicated Spanish phone option, all designed to enhance the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Member experience. Continue reading to learn more.

A Look Back: International Food & Film Festival Restaurant

Image
Good afternoon, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Today we are going to take a quick trip back in time to take a look around the former International Food & Film Festival (a quick-service restaurant located in the World Expo area of Universal Studios Florida), which was replaced earlier this year by Fast Food Boulevard, a Simpsons-themed restaurant. Let's see just how different this restaurant looked when compared to its new (and much better!) version:

Kennedy Space Center: Twilight SpaceX Rocket Launch

Image
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – A Falcon 9 rocket will light up skies on the east coast during a dramatic SpaceX liftoff scheduled for Friday, January 3, 2014. 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 targeted to blast off from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5:50 p.m. EST, carrying a Thaicom 6 telecommunications satellite. The launch window closes at 6:57 p.m.

SeaWorld Caring for Manatee Rescued from Jacksonville

Image
Yesterday morning, a male manatee that was rescued by SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team in Jacksonville was tube fed water to help with dehydration. He was given a complete visual assessment and blood analysis by one of the park’s senior veterinarians. He seems stronger and more active now, and the skin lesions on his muzzle and pectoral flippers are consistent with cold stress, but it appears he was rescued early enough to make a full recovery. This manatee is also slightly underweight at 770 pounds, and his blood results reflect mild inflammation.

Downtown Disney Update: "Wall Land" (PART 1)

Image
Hello Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Welcome to our newest Downtown Disney/Disney Springs photo-report! Today we are going to take a look around all of the three themed sections of this entertainment district to check out on the progress being done in the construction zones.

So, without further ado, let us start this virtual tour. As always, we hope you will enjoy the pictures, and we definitely welcome your opinions (leave them in the "comments" section):

Downtown Disney Update: "Wall Land" (PART 2)

Image
Welcome to PART 2 of our newest Downtown Disney/Disney Springs photo-update (PART 1 can be found HERE).

In part 1 we took a quick look around the West Side section, Pleasure Island, and the beginning of the Marketplace. We will now check out the rest of this area (including the new parking garage currently being built in front of the AMC Theaters). Please, continue to enjoy this update:

A Note About Our Photo-Updates

Image
Dear Orlando Theme Park News Readers,
We would like to take the time to apologize for the low quality of some of our pictures. As many of you know, we have a new correspondent that is helping us to bring you even more photo-updates, but he is using a not-so-great camera. We want to assure you that we are working on this issue. We don't want to go against our promise of "bringing you the best and latest photo-updates." You can expect better pictures starting from January 2014 from our correspondent.

Disney's Polynesian Resort: DVC Construction Update

Image
Welcome to a very quick Disney's Polynesian Resort newest photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! This particular Disney deluxe resort is receiving a lot of attention. The hotel will soon receive a major Disney Vacation Club expansion, a refurbished lobby area, a new name (Disney's Polynesian Village Resort), and much more. Let's take a quick look at the work being done in the future Disney Vacation Club section of the resort:

Universal's CityWalk Update: A Bright Future Ahead

Image
Here we are again with another new photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers!
Today we are going to check out once again Universal's CityWalk to see what's new since the last time we visited (last week...). So, without losing any more time, let us start to walk around this great entertainment center, which is definitely going to receive some amazing new restaurants and stores in the next few months. We hope you will enjoy the pictures:

New Features Coming to OTPN Early Next Year

Image
Starting from January 1, 2014, we will make a few minor changes to Orlando Theme Park News. We will announce them at a later date, but in the meantime we just wanted you to be aware of the fact that you can already subscribe to our brand-new OTPN Newsletter by using our subscription gadget located on our sidebar. This free newsletter will be sent weekly (starting from January 5, 2014) and will keep you up-to-date with all that's happening in the Central Florida theme parks and attractions. Thanks for following us, and we hope you'll enjoy the new additions!

Magic Kingdom Update: Mornings Are Better (PART 1)

Image
Welcome to our newest photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers!

Today we are going to take a look around the Magic Kingdom Park to check out on the progress being done in the various areas that are currently under construction. As usual, we will focus primarily on the construction of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but we will also take a general look around the rest of the park. So, let's start. We hope you will enjoy the pictures:

Magic Kingdom Update: Mornings Are Better (PART 2)

Image
Welcome to PART 2 of our new Magic Kingdom Park photo-update (PART 1 can be found HERE)!
In part 1 we took a quick look around Main Street U.S.A. and we also shared with you a quite extensive number of pictures of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, currently still under construction. Let's now take some time to enjoy the rest of the park (including the Fantasyland Forest):

LEGOLAND Florida's Operating Hours (Dec. 26-31, 2013)

Image
Due to the fact that all of the Central Florida theme parks will be busy for the next few days, the operating hours of most of the attractions in this area have been extended. This, of course, also includes LEGOLAND Florida. Here you are the park's operating hours for Dec. 26-31, 2013:
DECEMBER 26, 27, 28: The park opens at 9:30 a.m. and closes at 8:00 p.m.DECEMBER 29, 30, 31: The park opens at 9:30 a.m. and closes at 7:00 p.m. Starting from January 1, 2014, the park hours will revert back to 10:00 a.m-6:00 p.m.

The Disney Look... to the Past! (December 20-26)

Image
Hello Orlando Theme Park News Readers, and welcome to the newest edition of the weekly feature known as "The Disney Look... to the Past!"

As always, we hope you will enjoy reading all of the following interesting facts about the Walt Disney Parks, Resorts, Movies, and more. If you have any questions about this material, feel free to contact us or leave a message at the end of this post. Thank you!:

UPDATE: All WDW Parks Back Open to All Guests

Image
As of 3:00 p.m. (December 25, 2013) all four Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks are operating as normal, including the Magic Kingdom Park (which was previously at phase 2 closing due to capacity).

Due to anticipated park attendance, we highly suggest that you continue to check back here on Orlando Theme Park News throughout the rest of the week for  additional updates.

Islands of Adventure Update: Workin' with Crowds (PART 1)

Image
Welcome to our newest photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers!

Today we are going to take a look around Islands of Adventure to check out on the progress being done in the area that will soon include a new train station, as well as to take a look around Jurassic Park and the other themed sections of this wonderful park. As always, we welcome your comments and we hope you will enjoy the pictures:

Islands of Adventure Update: Working with Crowds (PART 2)

Image
Welcome to PART 2 of our newest Universal's Islands of Adventure photo-report (PART 1 can be found at this LINK)!
In part 1 we took a look at Port of Entry, Seuss Landing, and the Lost Continent (with its nearby train station). Now we will continue to check out the area around the train station, Jurassic Park (to see if there was something new to report) and more. Enjoy the rest of this photo-update:

Magic Kingdom Currently Closed for Capacity (Phase 2)

Image
As of 1:25 p.m., the Magic Kingdom Park is currently closed to all Guests, except the following: WDW Resort Guests*;WDW Premier Passport, Annual & Premium Passholders;Guests with Park Hopper® tickets re-entering or crossing over from another Park;Guests with Dining reservations;Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (located in Fantasyland) or The Pirates League (located in Adventureland). (*Guests from the Swan, Dolphin or Shades of Green are considered part of this group in this instance. In addition, Guests from Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels arriving by bus are included - Best Western Lake Buena Vista, Buena Vista Palace, Doubletree Guest Suites, Hotel Royal Plaza, Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, The Hilton Lake Buena Vista -. Also included are Golden Oak residents as well as registered Guests of Golden Oak residents).

Animal Kingdom Lodge: Extended Hours for "The Mara"

Image
If you are currently staying at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, you should note the following:

The Mara (a quick-service restaurant that serves African stew, pitas, half-chicken dinners, as well as American favorites like burgers and flatbreads) will be extending their operating hours through December 31, 2013 and will be open from 7 a.m. until 1:30 a.m. During this time they will offer a limited menu between 11:30 p.m. (the restaurant's usual closing time) and 1:30 a.m.

Hollywood Studios Update: New Coffee Stands

Image
Welcome to our newest photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Today we are going to take a look around Disney's Hollywood Studios, where very little is happening at the moment (and that's very sad, as this park feels really stale). Let us start this photo-tour of the park (it is going to be a quick one, don't worry). As always, we hope you will enjoy the pictures (and, of course, your comments and opinions are always appreciated! Feel free to share your thoughts at the end of this update):

Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit: A Highlight of 2013

Image
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – The June 29 opening of the $100 million Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex was a 2013 tourism industry highlight, garnering international media attention and praise from visitors who came to Central Florida to see the iconic spacecraft in its new home. The new attraction was the most significant addition to the Visitor Complex since Shuttle Launch Experience in 2007, bolstering attendance to the unique destination where guests can explore like they’re at a museum, learn like they’re at a science center, and have fun like they’re at a theme park.

Magic Kingdom: "Be Our Guest" Test Reminders

Image
Certain Guests staying at select Walt Disney World resorts have been invited on the day of their check-in to participate in a test at Be Our Guest Restaurant (located in the Magic Kingdom Park). They will be able to select a FastPass+ arrival window as well as select their meal ahead of time. Once they have arrived, they can head straight to the table of their choosing (the Be Our Guest Restaurant lunch website on mobile devices). All resorts are currently participating in the test, with the exception of Disney's All-Star Resort, which will begin in mid-January.

Universal Studios Update: Warm and Sunny (PART 1)

Image
Welcome to our newest photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Today we are going to take a look around Universal Studios Florida to check out on the progress being done in the various areas that are currently under construction. The very warm and sunny weather (typical of Florida) has definitely helped in making our visit even more pleasant. So, without further ado, let us embark on this virtual tour of the park. We hope you will enjoy the pictures (don't forget to post your comments at the end of this photo-report!):

Universal Studios Update: Warm and Sunny (PART 2)

Image
Welcome to PART 2 of our new Universal Studios Florida photo-update (PART 1 can be found at this LINK).
In part 1, we took a look around Hollywood, Springfield, World Expo, and London. Let's now continue to take a look around the rest of the park (we have more photos of the London waterfront to share with you):


Universal Studios Update: Warm and Sunny (PART 3)

Image
Welcome to PART 3 of our new Universal Studios Florida photo-update (PART 2 can be found at this LINK).
In part 2, we continued to take a look around the London waterfront. We have a few more photos of this area to share with you, as well as some photos of the San Francisco and New York City themed areas of the park. Enjoy!:


Additional Cirque du Soleil Shows on December 30, 2013

Image
Are you planning to see a Cirque du Soleil show in the next few days? Then, you should take note of the following additional performances taking place next Monday:

"There will be additional shows for La Nouba™ by Cirque du Soleil® on Monday, December 30, 2013 . Performances are at 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m."


Downtown Disney Food Trucks Visiting Hollywood Studios

Image
Two of the new Downtown Disney Food Trucks will be spending a few days at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Both the Superstar Catering and World Showplace of Flavors food trucks will be there for LUNCH ONLY starting from tomorrow (Tuesday, December 24, 2013) until Saturday, January 4, 2014. They will be driving back to Downtown Disney to join Namaste Cafe and Fantasy Fare food trucks in the evening (from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m.).


CityWalk Construction Update: The End of 2013 (PART 1)

Image
Welcome to our newest photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Today we are going to take a look around Universal's CityWalk to check out on the progress being done in the various areas that are currently under construction, and that will soon house new restaurants or retail stores. Please, note that these photos were taken a couple of days ago, so some construction areas might look different today. So, without further ado, let us start (as always, remember to post your comments and opinions at the end of this photo-report!):

CityWalk Construction Update: The End of 2013 (PART 2)

Image
Welcome to PART 2 of our newest CityWalk Orlando photo-report (PART 1 of this same update can be found HERE)!
In PART 1 we took a look at the work being done on the former Endangered Species Store and on the second floor of CityWalk. We will now continue to take a general look around, beginning with the new Antojitos restaurant:


Magic Kingdom: Park Hours Extended on December 31

Image
If you plan on visiting the Magic Kingdom Park before the end of the year (definitely not something we would recommend), make sure to note the following advisory:

"In order to ensure that Walt Disney World Resort Guests have the best possible experience, the Magic Kingdom Park will be extending operating hours on Tuesday, December 31, 2013. The park will now be closing at 2:00 a.m. instead of 1:00 a.m. as originally scheduled."

Blizzard Beach Closed for Refurbishment Starting Today

Image
Please, note that beginning today (Sunday, December 22, 2013) Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park will be temporarily closed for refurbishment. The park is expected to reopen in March 2014. Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is now open once again to all Guests.

On a related note, also keep in mind that Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf will operate as normal during the water park refurbishment.

Busch Gardens Releases Webisode 2 of Falcon's Fury

Image
Busch Gardens Tampa released just a few days ago a new video showing the progress being done on the future site of Falcon's Fury, the newest attraction (a massive drop tower ride) to open in the park. Here's the description of the video:
"Falcon's Fury will be the tallest freestanding drop tower in North America, and it's going vertical in the heart of Busch Gardens Tampa. At 100 ft., it's less than 1/3 finished, but you'll start to see it above the treetops in a matter of days!..."

Magic Kingdom Update: Gettin' Busy (PART 1)

Image
Welcome to our newest photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Today we are going to take a look around the Magic Kingdom Park to check out on the progress being done in the various areas that are currently under construction. As always, we will focus primarily on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but we will also take a general look around the rest of the park. So, without further ado, let us embark on this virtual tour of the park. We hope you will enjoy the pictures (remember to post your comments at the end of this update!):

Magic Kingdom Update: Gettin' Busy (PART 2)

Image
Welcome to PART 2 of our newest Magic Kingdom Park photo-report (PART 1 can be found at the following LINK).
In part 1 we took a look around Main Street U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, and Fantasyland. Now we will continue our tour around Fantasyland, with some more photos of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train:


Star Wars Weekends: 2014 Dates Announced

Image
Star Wars Weekends will be held at Disney's Hollywood Studios on the following dates in 2014:
Weekend I: May 16 – 18, 2014Weekend II: May 23 – 25, 2014Weekend III: May 30 – June 1, 2014Weekend IV: June 6 – 8, 2014

SeaWorld Parks Respond to Blackfish-Related Attacks

Image
The very controversial "Blackfish" movie is causing a lot of issues. Some are starting to think that the SeaWorld Parks mistreat their animals and that they do not care about their well-being.

Today, SeaWorld finally released an official answer to those accusations, and they did so because they want to show people that they believe all those facts (presented on "Blackfish") to be baseless. Here is the letter that they shared with all their Guests (as seen on SeaWorld.com):

Islands of Adventure Update: Train Station Work (PART 1)

Image
Welcome to our newest photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Today we are going to take a look around Islands of Adventure to check out the park in general. As of now, there is only one visible area that is receiving a lot of work (the new train station by Hogsmeade), but something else should soon start to be built in this park (rumors, rumors...). So, without further ado, let us start our journey. We hope you will enjoy the pictures (remember to post your comments at the end of this update!):