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Showing posts from March, 2014

An Evening at Hollywood Studios: MagicBands Sale Begins

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Welcome to our newest Disney's Hollywood Studios photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Before starting, we would like to let you know that his is going to be a very short update for two simple reasons. First of all, we got to the park quite late (it was about 6:00 p.m.) and we therefore didn't have a lot of time to spend there, especially since we don't like taking photos when it's too dark. In addition to that, there really is very, very little going on in this park. That being said, join us as we take a look around and enjoy an evening stroll in the park:

The Disney Look... to the Past! (March 28-April 3)

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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!:

Universal Orlando's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Now Open

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ORLANDO, Fla. (March 31, 2014) – Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort officially welcomes its first guests today.  This brand-new value and moderately-priced property is the fourth on-site hotel at Universal Orlando Resort and evokes the classic, retro-feel of iconic beach resorts from the 1950s and 60’s. Located on-site at Universal Orlando Resort, the new hotel is a destination within itself – featuring a stunning design with bold colors, retro-inspired architecture and sweeping vistas that transport guests back to a time of relaxation and endless family fun.

MyMagic+ News: MagicBands Now Available to All Guests

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All Walt Disney World Resort day Guests are able to join MyMagic+ testing starting TODAY (Monday, March 31, 2014) and MagicBands are now officially available for sale. This enables day Guests opportunity to make FastPass+ selections 30 days in advance of their trip and can purchase MagicBands to link to their plans in My Disney Experience. MagicBands are available for purchase at 18 merchandise locations across theme parks and Downtown Disney for $12.95 plus tax. Continue reading for additional information.

Magic Kingdom General News: End of March 2014 (Part 1)

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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. This time we will skip Fantasyland (we'll have a separate update for that), but we will 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 General News: End of March 2014 (Part 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of our newest Magic Kingdom photo-update, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! PART 1 of this photo-report can be found by clicking on this link.

In part 1 we took a look around the central hub, Liberty Square, and Frontierland. Now we will focus our attention on Adventureland and Tomorrowland. Enjoy:

UCF Hosting "Universal Knights" Today (March 30)

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UCF’s Student Government Association is hosting “Universal Knights,” a special in-park event at Islands of Adventure for UCF students with tickets. The event takes place today (Sunday, March 30, 2014) from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Since this is a private event, all Guests who are students at UCF are required to have an event ticket and wristband in order to be admitted to the event. All free tickets have already been distributed on campus. Additional event tickets are available for student purchase on the day of the event from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Walt Disney World Resort Parking Prices Increase (2014)

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If you are usually among those who have to pay when parking in one of the lots of the Disney theme parks (or use valet elsewhere), you should take note of the following price adjustment:

"Effective TODAY (Sunday, March 30, 2014), the cost of self-parking at our theme parks and the cost of valet parking at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels and Downtown Disney will be adjusted." Continue reading for additional information on this subject, including the new prices.

Hollywood Studios: Star Wars Character Dining Experiences

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Starting Sunday, May 4 and ending Sunday, June 15, 2014, Guests will have the opportunity start their day with the “Star Wars” Dine-In Galactic Breakfast! at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, which will include classic “Star Wars” movie characters and scenes from the films.
The dinner experience at Hollywood and Vine has been transformed into Jedi Mickey’s “Star Wars” Dine at Hollywood and Vine where Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Chip and Dale have all come together to celebrate the greatest saga ever told.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes Private Event (April 2, 2014)

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If you plan on visiting Downtown Disney in the next few days, take note of the following:

"Splitsville Luxury Lanes will be hosting a private event from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 2 on the 2nd floor. Dining will be available for Guests in the first floor dining and bar areas, and the Outdoor Patio. A full menu will still be available. The entire venue is expected to reopen to all Guests at 10:30 p.m."

SeaWorld Update: "Sea of Surprises" Begins (PART 1)

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SeaWorld's Sea of Surprises event started just a few days ago, and the entire park is now filled with entertainers, new experiences, new banners, and much more. There are even more new additions coming in the next few months, but we will have to wait to learn more about them. For now, let us take a look around SeaWorld Orlando, which is the flagship park of the company. We will see what is new and we will also check on the progress of the work being done on the Shamu Stadium and the rest of the park. Enjoy the photos!:

SeaWorld Update: "Sea of Surprises" Begins (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of our newest SeaWorld Orlando photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! PART 1 can be found by clicking on this link.

Today we are checking out SeaWorld Orlando, which is full of Guests enjoying two separate special events - the "Just for Kids" festival and the longer "Sea of Surprises." Let's continue to take a look around the park:

SeaWorld Update: "Sea of Surprises" Begins (PART 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of our newest SeaWorld Orlando photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! PART 2 of this update can be found clicking here.

As we stated before, this morning we are checking out the beautiful SeaWorld Orlando, which is currently hosting two separate special events at once - the popular "Just for Kids" festival and the "Sea of Surprises." Let us continue to take a look around the park:

SeaWorld Update: "Sea of Surprises" Begins (PART 4)

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Welcome to PART 4 of our newest SeaWorld Orlando photo-update, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! PART 3 can be found by clicking on this link.

SeaWorld Orlando is really busy this time of the year, with Guests enjoying two separate special events taking place in the park at the same time - the "Just for Kids" festival and the longer "Sea of Surprises." Let's continue to take a look around the park:

Disney's BoardWalk Resort: New Live Music and Karaoke

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Live band, professional backup singers, costumes and props — it's all here — get ready to play, sing and dance at Tom Casey's Let's Get Rockin!
Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's BoardWalk Resort is hosting a new live interactive band experience that lets you step into the spotlight and sing and play the night away. Choose from vocals, guitar, bass, drums or keyboard, and jam with the band or your best friends every Thursday night from 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

Aquatica Waterpark: Ihu’s Breakaway Falls Topped Off

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ORLANDO, Fla.  (March 27, 2014) – Early this morning, Aquatica Orlando “raised the roof” and topped off its newest attraction, Ihu’s Breakaway Falls. The more than 53,000-pound, 1,000 sq. foot roof structure was installed through the night using a 550-ton crane.  With the signature Aquatica roof installed, the height of Ihu’s Breakaway Falls is just over 105 feet. Ihu’s Breakaway Falls is the tallest, steepest, and only multi-drop tower slide of its kind in Orlando. With slides nearly 80 feet tall, thrill seekers will face their fears and each other.

Disney Vacation Club News: New Smart TV App, Newsletter

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Disney Vacation Club is introducing some new features that will interest both members (a completely new newsletter) and non-members (a new Smart TV app). First of all, in partnership with Digital Marketing, Disney Vacation Club is participating in the test launch of Disney’s first Smart TV app that enables Guests to explore Disney vacations through their smart TVs. The app is available now through March 31, 2014 on AT&T U-verse and is also scheduled to be launched soon on Samsung and LG platforms.

Magic Kingdom Park Hours Extended (March 26-27, 2014)

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Here is an important advisory regarding the operating hours of the Magic Kingdom Park:

"In order to ensure that Guests have the best possible experience, the Magic Kingdom Park will be extending operating hours on the following days:
- Wednesday, March 26, 2014: Park close has changed from 12:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
- Thursday, March 27, 2014: Park close has been changed from 12:00 a.m. to 1:00a.m."

Islands of Adventure Update: The Colors of Spring (PART 1)

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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 various areas that are currently under construction. As always, we will focus primarily on the future King Kong area and the new train station, but we will also take a general look around the rest of the park. So, let us start this virtual tour of the park. There's quite a lot to cover, but we will try to be as brief as possible (without missing anything, of course):

Islands of Adventure Update: The Colors of Spring (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of our newest Islands of Adventure photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! PART 1 of this same photo-report can be found by clicking here.

In part 1, we took a look around the Port of Entry, Marvel's Superhero Island, and Toon lagoon. Now we will explore Jurassic Park and then we'll check out the rest of the park to see what's new:

Animal Kingdom Park Hours Extended (March 27-28, 2014)

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The parks have been really busy in the past few days (blame Spring Break), but it looks like there are even busier times ahead. In fact, just a few hours ago, it was announced that, due to anticipated high attendance, Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park will be extending its operating hours for both Thursday, (March 27, 2014) and Friday (March 28, 2014). On Thursday, the park will open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. On Friday, the park will open at 9 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Continue to read for additional information:

Disney's Blizzard Beach Closed Today Due to Weather

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Please be advised that Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will be closed today (Wednesday, March 26, 2014) due to forecasted low temperatures. On the other hand, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will operate as normal.
Also, as a reminder, Disney’s Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Courses will continue to be open for normal business hours. Please check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for any additional updates.

Fantasyland Update: Mine Ride Looking Colorful (PART 1)

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The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (and all of Fantasyland) is looking great. While it is still not open at this time, the new plants and trees that have been planted all around the area are truly great, and this makes us even happier to have this addition coming to the Magic Kingdom Park.
So, let us start to take a look around this new attraction, as well as the rest of the Fantasyland Forest. We hope you will enjoy the pictures (and remember to post your comments at the end of this update):

Fantasyland Update: Mine Ride Looking Colorful (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of our newest Fantasyland photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! PART 1 of this same update can be found by clicking on this link.
In part 1 we took a look around the "old" Fantasyland and we started to wander around the Fantasyland Forest. Now we will continue to enjoy walking around the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the rest of Fantasyland:

Falcon's Fury Webisode 3: The Treasures of Pantopia

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Busch Gardens Tampa has released the latest webisode that shows us the progress that has been done on the construction of the park's newest thrill ride - Falcon's Fury - as well as some of the great new food and beverage offerings, and shopping opportunities that will be available around Pantopia, the completely refurbished and re-imagined land that was formerly known as Timbuktu. Among the things you will see there will also be Pantopia’s new signature food item! Enjoy the video (and the virtual food!):

Magic Kingdom Park Hours Extended Until 1 A.M. Tonight

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Just a quick update regarding the operating hours of the Magic Kingdom Park:

"In order to ensure that Guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort have the best possible experience, the Magic Kingdom Park will be extending operating hours TONIGHT, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. The park will now be closing at 1:00 a.m. instead of 12:00 a.m. as originally scheduled."

Walt Disney World Resort: DAS Card Validity Extended

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If you are a Walt Disney World Resort Annual Passholder who needs to request the DAS (Disability Access Service) card while visiting the parks, make sure to take note of this very important (and very positive) change:

"Starting Friday, March 28, 2014 a Disability Access Service (DAS) card with a photo is valid for the Guest's length of stay up to 60 days, based on the ticket entitlements held by the Guest."

CityWalk Update: Starbucks and Cold Stone Open (PART 1)

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Welcome to our newest photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! This evening we are going to take a look around Universal's CityWalk to see how the work is progressing in all the areas that are currently under construction.

So, without further ado, let's start. As always, we really hope you will enjoy the pictures (and we invite you to post your comments at the end of this update!):

CityWalk Update: Starbucks and Cold Stone Open (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of our latest CityWalk photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! PART 1 of this same update can be found by clicking on this link.
In part 1, we checked out the Hollywood Drive-In Golf area, the new Starbucks and Cold Stone Creamery locations, the AMC Theaters area, and more. Now we will complete our virtual tour of CityWalk. Enjoy:

"Kouzzina" by Cat Cora Closing This Fall at the BoardWalk

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The last day of operation of Kouzzina by Cat Cora (a table-service retsaurant located at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort) will be Tuesday, September 30, 2014. Guests can continue to book reservations for the location through September 30, 2014 by visiting www.disneyworld.com online or by calling 407-WDW-DISNEY.
Later this fall, a new restaurant concept will open at the location. More details will be coming soon.

Disney Springs Project News: March 23-29 Update

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This afternoon we are going to share with you a few updates regarding the major project that revolves around Downtown Disney. There is really a lot that is going to change soon, and some of the stores, restaurants, and attractions that are soon going to be replaced have already been closed down (the latest one of them to close was Pollo Campero).
Continue reading to see what exactly is going on in the various sections of Downtown Disney this week, as well as what is going to take place in the coming months:

Orlando Eye Update: End of March 2014 (PART 1)

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Welcome to our newest photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Today we are going to take a look around the Orlando Eye complex to check out on the progress being done in this area that is currently under construction.

So, without further ado, let us embark on this virtual tour. We hope you will enjoy the pictures (as usual, feel free to post your comments at the end of this update!):

Orlando Eye Update: End of March 2014 (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of our newest Orlando Eye construction update, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! PART 1 can be found by clicking on this link.

In part 1 we started to take a look around this very large area that will soon include many major attractions, restaurants, and shops. Now we will continue to check out the status of this project:

The Disney Look... to the Past! (March 21-27)

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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!:

FastPass+ Testing for Off-Site WDW Guests Starting Now

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The testing of the new FastPass+ service continues to take place daily at the Walt Disney World Resort. While the service seems to be ready, there are still a few minor issues and/or tests that may need to be done, but it looks like we are getting there.

In fact, Cast Members across the property are being told that the new FastPass+ service may become available to all Guests as soon as the first few weeks of April. But there's more...

CityWalk Orlando: 2014 Grad Bash Event Impacts

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Here you are an important advisory affecting some entertainment venues at Universal's CityWalk:

Please be advised that CityWalk's Rising Star, Bob Marley–A Tribute To Freedom, Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, Pat O'Brien's, and Red Coconut Club will be closed for an exclusive pre-party event from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Grad Bash event nights and will reopen for regular guests at 8:30 p.m. This event will take place on April 4, 11, 25, and May 2, 2014."

Polynesian Village Resort: Capt. Cook's Closing April 9

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Beginning April 9, 2014, Capt. Cook's (a quick-service restaurant located at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort) will be temporarily relocated, and the newly refurbished location is expected to reopen this summer. In the interim, Guests will be able to visit Capt. Cook's as a temporary quick-service dining location in the Great Ceremonial House (the lobby area of the resort). Capt. Cook's will have modified operating hours and menu items in its temporary location. Thank you very much for your attention. We will share any additional updates on this project in the future.

Additional Shows of "La Nouba" on March 24, 2014

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Just a quick advisory regarding one of Downtown Disney's major attractions:

"Please note that there will be additional shows for La Nouba™ by Cirque du Soleil® on Monday, March 24, 2014. Performances are at 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m."

Thank you for taking note of this. See you later with more news and updates.

First "Breakaway Box" Installed at Ihu's Breakaway Falls

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The first of three “breakaway boxes” was recently installed at Ihu Breakaway Falls™ - the tallest, steepest and only multi-drop tower slide of its kind in the southern United States – opening at Aquatica Orlando May 9, 2014.
Riders will step into the breakaway boxes and watch each other fall one-by-one as the floor underneath them disappears. They’ll never know who’s going to breakaway first – and the anticipation of who drops next is part of the wild ride!


Universal Studios Update: London Walls Moved (PART 1)

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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 behind walls and under construction. As always, we will focus primarily on the London Embankment, but we will also take a general look around the rest of the park. We hope you will enjoy the pictures (as we usually do, we'd like to remind you that we love reading your comments, so feel free to share your thoughts with us!):

Universal Studios Update: London Walls Moved (PART 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of our newest Universal Studios Florida photo-Update, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! PART 1 can be found by clicking here.

In part 1, we took a look around Production Central, Hollywood, and Springfield. Now we will move on to the London Embankment and the rest of the park. Enjoy!:

Kennedy Space Center: Atlas V Rocket Launch (March 25)

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests can experience the breathtaking sights and sounds of the launch of an Atlas V rocket as it lifts off on Tuesday, March 25. Visitors may enjoy the closest possible public viewing area. Launch viewing is included in daily admission. The rocket will blast off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with the launch scheduled for 2:48 p.m. EST. Admission tickets may be purchased at www.KennedySpaceCenter.com or by calling 877-313-2610.

Hollywood Studios: Muppet*Vision 3D Pre-Show Update

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To celebrate the new Muppet film “Muppets Most Wanted” opening in theaters soon, Walt Disney Imagineering will install a new version of the pre-show video in Muppet*Vision 3-D this week.

The new version of the pre-show video for the Muppet*Vision 3-D extravaganza will be essentially the existing video but with a “pirate broadcast” interruption from Constantine, the evil villain from the film. There will be no change to the timing or length of the current pre-show video.

ESPN Wide World of Sports: PlayStation Pavilion Closing

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Just a quick advisory affecting the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex:

"The contract with Sony PlayStation will end on March 31, 2014. As a result the PlayStation Pavilion will close to make way for a new experience. We appreciate the many years of their continued partnership. At the Walt Disney World Resort, we regularly evaluate our offerings and make appropriate changes based on operational needs."

SeaWorld's "Sea of Surprises" Celebration Officially Starts

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Orlando, Fla. (March 21, 2014) – Today SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ launched a multi-park celebration to commemorate a key event in the company’s history: the opening of the original SeaWorld® in March 1964 on Mission Bay in San Diego. SeaWorld Orlando opened nine years later, on December 15, 1973. SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration features a Sea of Surprises™ throughout an 18-month celebration highlighting the most memorable SeaWorld experiences in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio.

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: Wi-Fi and Door Lock Test

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Please be aware of an upcoming test of the Wi-Fi and Door Lock systems:

A test will take place in all areas of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa on Tuesday, March 25, and Wednesday, March 26, 2014 from approximately 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. During this time, there may be a loss of Wi-Fi and in-room TV service. Guests arriving on March 25 or 26 may also experience intermittent door lock connectivity.

"Maleficent" Sneak Peek Coming Soon to Hollywood Studios

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The Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort will be showing a longer trailer of one of the upcoming Disney movies that many look forward to see. Here you are more information:

"The thrilling final trailer for “Maleficent” has just been released, and starting April 18, 2014 a special extended sneak peek will be playing daily at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the ABC Sound Studio (formerly housing "Sounds Dangerous Starring Drew Carey") through mid-June."

Universal Studios Hollywood PHOTO-GALLERY (Part 1)

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Back in AUGUST 2013, some members of the Orlando Theme Park News Team were able to travel to Southern California to visit some of the area's attractions and places that are famous around the world, including Universal Studios Hollywood. While we were definitely impressed with the Studio Tour (we'll have a separate photo-gallery for that), the park itself was very underwhelming in our opinion. Having been to Universal Studios Florida very often (once a week), we noticed very few original attractions there.

Universal Studios Hollywood PHOTO-GALLERY (Part 2)

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Welcome to PART 2 of our new UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD photo-gallery, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! PART 1 can be found by clicking here.



Let's continue to take a look around the park to check out all the themed areas:

Universal Studios Hollywood PHOTO-GALLERY (Part 3)

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Welcome to PART 3 of our new UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD photo-gallery, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! PART 2 can be found by clicking here.



Let's continue to take a look around the park to check out all the themed areas and rides: