Posts

Showing posts from October, 2014

Animal Kingdom: Affection Section Reopens November 11

Image
The Affection Section petting area at Rafiki’s Planet Watch will reopen to Guests on November 11, 2014. At the Affection Section, Guests can meet and interact with a wide variety of breeds. As a reminder, other offerings available at Rafiki’s Planet Watch include, including Gi-Tar Dan, the Out of the Wild merchandise location, as well as the popular Chip & Dale meet and greet. Guests visiting Animal Kingdom are encouraged to explore all that this area has to offer.

"B’net Al Houwariyate" Debuts at Epcot's Morocco Pavilion

Image
At Epcot's Morocco pavilion, Guests can now discover new entertainment from B’net Al Houwariyate (Bih-NET Ahl Who-WAH-ree-at), an internationally acclaimed ensemble from Marrakesh who sing, dance, and play traditional instruments as they perform a captivating repertoire. Through their music, Guests will experience Morocco in a “journey across musical styles,” from rural Berber chants to popular Chaabi, or Andalucian music.

Islands of Adventure Update: Quiet Fall Morning (PART 1)

Image
Enjoying the slow season in the Central Florida area is one of the best things one could possibly do. The weather is fantastic (mid-80s, cooler evening), the theme parks are less crowded that usual, wait times are lower, and people are - in general - more relaxed when visiting the area. Today you will get a taste of what a typical October morning looks like at one of the busiest parks in the world: Islands of Adventure. Enjoy this tour:

Islands of Adventure Update: Quiet Fall Morning (PART 2)

Image
Welcome to PART 2 of our newest Islands of Adventure photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! PART 1 can be found by clicking here. In the previous part of this update we checked out the Port of Entry, Marvel Superhero Island (where there's very little - if anything - taking place), Toon Lagoon, the new King Kong land, and part of Jurassic Park. Let's now continue to focus on this area, and then we will move on to the rest of the park:

"Big Hero 6" MagicBands Available at Hollywood Studios

Image
Guests visiting Disney's Hollywood Studios can now purchase a limited release "Big Hero 6" graphic MagicBand in select merchandise locations (locations include: The Dark Room, Stage 1 Company Store, Mickey's Of Hollywood). In order to purchase this retail MagicBand, Guests must present one of the following for the MagicBand to be linked to at the time of purchase: valid theme park admission, Memory Maker card, or another active MagicBand.

Magic Kingdom Park Hours Extended Today (Oct. 29)

Image
In order to ensure that Guests have the best possible experience, the Magic Kingdom Park will be extending operating hours today, Wednesday, October 29.  Park close has been changed from 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. In addition to that, there will be a second Main Street Electrical Parade showing at 11:00 p.m. As always, we invite you to check back here on Orlando Theme Park News for any additional updates and advisories.

SeaWorld Parks Hiring More Seasonal Team Members

Image
SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica are hiring for jobs which can last through the holiday and spring seasons. All three Orlando parks are looking to fill a variety of positions, including food service attendants, park operations hosts, line cooks, and more. The starting pay rate for these positions is $9.00 per hour; applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Those interested must apply online at seaworldjobs.com. For questions, please call 407-363-2637.

Epcot Update: Food & Wine Festival Coming to an End

Image
The very popular Food & Wine Festival will end in just a couple of weeks, and more people continue to flock to the park, enjoying this year's event. It is unbelievable, but the end of the year is getting near, and many theme park fans are already thinking about the new Frozen-themed attraction that is scheduled to open in December 2015. While we wait, let's take a look around the park. As you will see, there are a few minor news to report:

Madame Tussauds Orlando Welcomes Selena Gomez

Image
Madame Tussauds Orlando has rolled out the red carpet for Selena Gomez, making the pop singer and actress the first celebrity wax figure to arrive in The City Beautiful ahead of the attraction’s spring 2015 grand opening. Selena took advantage of the beautiful fall weather to explore the city’s entertainment and shopping scenes, including the future home of Madame Tussauds Orlando on International Drive, as well as downtown Orlando and the convention center.

Downtown Disney West Side Taxi Area Change

Image
Beginning October 31, 2014, the West Side taxi area (at Downtown Disney) will relocate to lots O, P, and Q behind Cirque du Soleil. This change was necessary due to the expansion of the construction area in the West Side, where work related to the Disney Springs project is currently taking place. The West Side taxi area will remain there until further notice, and this will not affect other areas of Downtown Disney. Stay tuned for more news and updates.

Automatic PhotoPass Association to MagicBands at WDW

Image
Just a few hours ago, the Walt Disney World Resort officially confirmed that all Guests wearing active MagicBands while visiting the parks will now have their attraction photos automatically associated to their My Disney Experience accounts. This means that action will be required on their part, as the Radio-Frequency technology has simplified the process. All unexpired photos are visible, so attraction photos taken within the previous 45 days are included.

AMF Hosts 50th Anniversary Memorial of T. Freeman

Image
The Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF) will pay tribute to the life of NASA Astronaut Theodore Freeman, who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the nation and the space program on Oct. 31, 1964. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Freeman’s accident, which was recognized as the first fatality among the American astronaut corps. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests are welcome to attend the ceremony.

Downtown Disney Update: More New Details (PART 1)

Image
Just a few minutes ago, a new announcement was officially made by the Walt Disney World Resort that unveiled two of the newest offerings that will open as part of Disney Springs (click here to learn more about today's announcement). This evening we would like to share with you some photos taken around the future themed areas of Disney Springs, to add some excitement in regards to this major project. Enjoy this virtual tour of Downtown Disney:

Downtown Disney Update: More New Details (PART 2)

Image
Welcome to PART 2 of our latest Downtown Disney/Disney Springs photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! PART 1 can be found here. In the previous part of this update, we checked out the new parking garage and parts of the West Side. Now, let us continue to take a look around this area; afterwards we will move on to the former Pleasure Island (which will soon become The Landing) and the Marketplace. Enjoy:

Downtown Disney Update: More New Details (PART 3)

Image
Here we are on PART 3 our newest Downtown Disney photo-report. Click on this link to back to PART 2 of this update. In part 2, we checked out the rest of the West Side, as well as Pleasure Island (including the new BOATHOUSE restaurant). Now we will conclude this photo-update by walking around the Marketplace, which is also receiving quite a few additions. Take a look:

New Chocolate Kingdom Location to Open on I-Drive

Image
The company behind the popular Chocolate Kingdom attraction just purchased a building on International Drive (9901 Hawaiian Ct., next to the Rosen Center and Hilton Orlando) to open their second location in the Central Florida area. The original Chocolate Kingdom is in Kissimmee, next to Fun Spot and Old Town. The new location is approximately 10,500 sq. ft. and will be similar to the one in Kissimmee with the ability to expand in the future.

Morimoto Asia & BOATHOUSE Coming to Disney Springs

Image
Two of the many new restaurants coming to Disney Springs have been unveiled in one of the most recent posts on the official Disney Parks Blog. The first of the two, Morimoto Asia, will be the Japanese master chef Masaharu Morimoto’s first-ever pan-Asian restaurant featuring flavors from across the continent. This Disney Springs dining destination will include unique exhibition kitchens showcasing traditions like Peking duck carving, and dim sum.

Hollywood Studios Update: Starbucks Taking Shape

Image
The newest member of our Team, Alexander, is back with a new update covering Disney's Hollywood Studios. After all the great news we have received in the past few weeks, it is difficult not to get excited about the park's future. At the moment, though, not too much is taking place here, other than construction related to the new Starbucks that will soon open along Hollywood Blvd. and the Toy Story Mania expansion. Let's take a look around:

Universal Orlando Offering New Florida Residents Discount

Image
Universal Orlando is partnering with Nestle Pure Life Purified Water to promote a limited time offer for Florida Residents. Guests can now save $50 on a Florida Resident three-night vacation package with valid Nestle Pure Life UPC Code from 16.9 oz half liter and 8 oz bottles. This offer is available for purchase through November 30, 2014 and is valid for use November 1 – December 18, 2014 and January 3 – January 29, 2015.

Animal Kingdom: Pangani Forest Exploration Trail Work

Image
If you are planning on visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park in the next few weeks, make sure to note that construction is happening in the Research Center on Pangani Forest Exploration Trail (located in the Africa themed section of the park). For this reason, some of the animals that are usually seen in that particular section of the exhibit - including the gigantic starburst baboon spider - are currently off-show. They will come back after the completion of this project.

Epcot: "Frozen" Attraction Opening Date and More News

Image
Like it or not, Frozen is coming to Epcot. After Maelstrom's closure at the beginning of this month, all got quiet in regards to this project, and no real update has been shared in the past few weeks. Today, we would like to provide to you some news to break the silence on this "mystery project", hoping that the new pieces of information that we gathered will answer at least most of the questions you may have. All that you will read in this article has been confirmed.

Universal Studios Update: KidZone Still Open (PART 1)

Image
Everything continues to be very quiet at Universal Studios Florida. After years of non-stop work taking place around the park, it looks like the focus has (finally) shifted again toward the nearby Islands of Adventure. This doesn't mean that there is nothing new to see around Universal Studios; in fact, a few minor projects are taking place in a few of the park's themed areas. As always, we invite you to join us in this quick photo-update:

Universal Studios Update: KidZone Still Open (PART 2)

Image
Welcome to PART 2 of our newest Universal Studios Florida photo-report. Click here to go back to PART 1 of this update. In part 1, we checked out the entrance of the park, Hollywood, Production Central (which needs some help), New York, Sn Francisco, and the London waterfront. Let's now continue to enjoy our tour of the park by moving on to World Expo, Springfield, and - of course - the KidZone:

WDW Table-Service Restaurant Menus Changes (2014)

Image
Starting from next week, regular Walt Disney World (and Disneyland) Guests will notice some important changes when dining at table-service restaurants located around the parks and hotels on property. In fact, all menus will receive multiple changes (including the price and possible new food and beverage items) starting from Wednesday, October 29, 2014. Quick-service restaurant menus already received minor changes earlier this year.

The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow Closing November 6

Image
One of the newest attractions to open at Disney's Hollywood Studios has already been scheduled to close down. We are referring to "The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow," an interactive walk-through attractions that includes special effects and Guest participation. This short-lived attraction opened at the end of 2012, and the Walt Disney World Resort website officially confirmed yesterday that "the final day for this attraction will be November 6, 2014. "

Florida Residents Offer at Kennedy Space Center

Image
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (October 25, 2014) – With the return of the popular Florida Four-Pack special, there is no better time for Florida residents to experience Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The great Florida Four-Pack offers a party of four Florida residents the opportunity to experience all the fun and excitement the Visitor Complex has to offer at the special price of $139.00 plus tax. That results in savings of more than $60.

Cast to Start Using New Downtown Disney Parking Garage

Image
The first of Downtown Disney's two new multi-story parking garages will finally start being used in the next few days. In fact, Cast Members working at Downtown Disney will be able to park in the new parking structure (located on the West Side) beginning November 2, 2014. While Guests will still not be able to park there for the time being, the parking garage is expected to open to all Guests before the end of the year. As always, we will keep you updated.

Wilderness Lodge: Silver Creek Springs Refurbishment

Image
Our newest Team Member, Alexander (not to be confused with Alex, who has been with us for years), has shared with us his very first photo-update, which covers the amazing Disney's Wilderness Lodge. As you know, the resort's Silver Creek Springs pool is currently closed for a major refurbishment, which is expected to be completed by the end of November 2014. Let us take a look around together, and let us know if you enjoyed the photos:

SeaWorld Rescue Team Passes 1,000-Animal Milestone

Image
This month, the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens wildlife rescue teams passed a milestone, having rescued more than 1,000 wild animals this year alone, bringing the total number of animals they have helped over the years to 24,000. These are orphaned newborns, entangled whales, and sea lions that were injured. Among the 1,000 was one of the most unusual cases: a pregnant shark. Click here to learn more about this and other memorable moments.

Sorcerer's Hat to Be Removed from Hollywood Studios

Image
Shout for joy, ladies and gentlemen! it looks like the Walt Disney World Resort will be making thousands of Guests and theme park fans very happy early next year as they get ready to remove the Sorcerer Mickey Hat, which has been hiding the beautiful Chinese Theater for almost 15 years at Disney's Hollywood Studios. In fact, News 13 reported earlier today that some sources confirmed that the view down Hollywood Boulevard will be restored early next year.

Magic Kingdom Park: Central Hub Construction Update

Image
Good evening Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Our latest photo-update will give you a glimpse of the current status of the work being done around the central hub of the Magic Kingdom Park, which is being expanded to alleviate the crowding issues that are so prevalent in many of the Central Florida parks (especially during the holidays and other busier times of the year). Even though our updates are very frequent, there's always something new to see:

Bok Tower Gardens to Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony

Image
Back in 1922, there was just a large sandhill, longleaf pines, a shovel, and Edward Bok’s vision. Later on, in 1994, the Bok Tower Gardens Board of Directors broke ground to build the current Visitor Center. On Friday, October 24, 2014, hundreds will gather to make history again at Bok Tower Gardens. Gifts received to date for the Preserve the Legacy, Steward the Future capital campaign are fueling the start of Phase I projects this fall.

“Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Debuts Oct. 24

Image
It has been officially confirmed that the “Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play it!” Street Party will make its debut at the Magic Kingdom Park on Friday, October 24, 2014! With completely new music, added characters, and refreshed floats, Guests visiting the park will have a new opportunity to become part of the show. Once Guests have moved it, shaken it, and danced it, they will be able to decide what comes next by voting for the next song on the party playlist!

CityWalk Update: Cowfish Restaurant Opening Very Soon

Image
Good evening, everyone! Before the day officially comes to a close, we would like to share with you some photos showing the work that has been done around Universal's CityWalk in the past few days. As you will see, the new Cowfish restaurant is definitely ready to welcome Guests. This new location is expected to open in a matter of weeks, even though no official date has been released to the public yet. Come along with us as we take a look around:

PETA Continues to File Charges Against SeaWorld Parks

Image
The "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals" association (commonly known as PETA) continues to attack the SeaWorld Parks, filing numerous charges against them and their practices with the animals they care for. While many of us do not have all the information necessary to decide who is right and wrong, it is interesting to see how much the association is doing to discredit SeaWorld. And its attacks are definitely getting more intense.

Walls Come Down Around the Butterfly Garden at Epcot

Image
The Butterfly Garden is a small Epcot area located next to an empty hallway previously occupied by multiple Communicore exhibits. The entire area suddenly closed to the public many months ago after a major utility accident happened after park hours. Rumors refer to the development of a small sinkhole, but more reliable sources pointed to major pipe issues resulting from the removal of a temporary exhibit. Let's take a look around:

Magic Kingdom: Concrete Work Impacting Entertainment

Image
Concrete work continues to take place along Main Street, U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom Park as part of the major renovation project that will improve the viability in the area. For this reason, the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party will be presented at 12:30 p.m., 5:40 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the following dates: October 22, 27, and 29, 2014. The street party will revert back to its regular showtimes on all the other dates.

LEGOLAND Hotel Construction Update (October 2014)

Image
We haven't been able to closely follow the construction of the new LEGOLAND Hotel, but we are definitely looking forward to the opening of this themed resort, as it should help even more in solidifying the destination "feel" of LEGOLAND Florida. As you will see from our photos, the outer walls of the buildings seem to be almost complete, even though only bare concrete walls are visible at the moment. The hotel is expected to open next Summer:

Steve Harvey to Tape Live Shows at Universal Orlando

Image
For the first time in the show’s history, Chicago-based “Steve Harvey” will take the show on the road early next month, broadcasting a week’s worth of episodes from the Universal Orlando Resort! The episodes will be taped in front of a live audience at Universal’s CityWalk Lagoon Stage on November 4, 5 and 6, which will then air November 17-21, 2014. You should visit steveharveytv.com to register for free tickets to be in the audience.

Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro at Epcot - PHOTOS

Image
The new Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro show is now happening daily at Epcot's Italian pavilion. This new entertainment offering officially soft-opened on October 17, 2014, and it is now taking place seven times a day (show times are 11:20 a.m., 12:10, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:20 and 5 p.m., seven days a week). Our official photographer Alex was able to catch one of the first performances of this flag-throwing show. Here you are some photos for your enjoyment:

Busch Gardens Tampa Hosting the Run for Wildlife 5K

Image
Busch Gardens Tampa will host the Run for Wildlife 5k on Saturday, Nov. 22 at 7:30 a.m. The inaugural run gives participants the opportunity to wind through the park for most of the 3.1 miles, all while supporting animal conservation efforts worldwide. “This is a chance for guests of all ages to support the Conservation Fund’s mission to support wildlife conservation, education and research worldwide,” says Busch Gardens Park President Jim Dean.

Set the Bar & Sublime Gifts and Finds Now Open at DTD

Image
The major reimagining project that will soon transform Downtown Disney into Disney Springs continues, with many additions already found around the area. Just a few days ago, two new kiosks opened in the Lily Pad area near Fulton’s Crab House at Downtown Disney. Guests can now grab great gifts on the go at Set the Bar, as well as Sublime Gifts and Finds. Both of these locations are operated by Something Silver, Inc. (the store can be found in the West Side).

"Skeletons: Animals Unveiled" Exhibit Coming to I-Drive 360

Image
Flesh-eating beetles, also known as Dermestid Beetles are part of the experience at a new attraction coming to International Drive in Orlando called Skeletons: Animals Unveiled. Opening March 7, 2015, this museum/attraction will have over 300 real skeletons and skulls representing 300 different animal species, including humans. The beetles will be used as part of this attraction to clean the bones of all flesh and non-bone material.

"Big Hero 6" Characters Coming to Hollywood Studios

Image
As a reminder, the stars of Disney’s new animated comedy-adventure, “Big Hero 6,” will be flying into Disney’s Hollywood Studios by mid-November. Guests will be able to meet Hiro Hamada and his huggable buddy Baymax inside The Magic of Disney Animation attraction, where they can tour the lab at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology and visit Hiro’s garage workshop. Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope will no longer make appearances at that location.

DinoLand U.S.A. Area Closing Early on October 21

Image
Planning on visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park tomorrow afternoon? Then, note that DinoLand U.S.A. will close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21 for a special event. This includes all the attractions in the land, like DINOSAUR, Primeval Whirl, the Boneyard, and Dino-RamaRestaurantosaurus and other kiosks will also close with the rest of the area. The other themed lands of the park will remain open until park closing (6 p.m.).

Islands of Adventure Update: Huge King Kong Building

Image
Hello, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Today we have some great, new photos of the amazing King Kong land being built at Universal's Islands of Adventure to share with you. Enjoy! (NOTE - these and all the photos posted on this site were taken from GUEST AREAS only. We would like to underline this point because we want to discourage anyone from trespassing and possibly being removed from the parks to take construction photos):

Overnight Rehearsals Continue for Disney's Street Party

Image
The popular daytime street party - which takes place regularly at the Magic Kingdom Park - is still in the process of being improved and enhanced to provide Guests an even better experience. Therefore, in preparation for the new “Move it! Shake it! Dance and Play it!” Street Party, even more overnight rehearsals will take place along Main Street, U.S.A. and the Castle Hub between October 19-22. Guests staying at nearby hotels shouldn't be impacted.

New Interactive Merchandise Coming to Walt Disney World

Image
In the past few weeks, the Orlando Theme Park News Team has brought you some quite important updates (we were the first to report that the newest Epcot entertainment offering would be opening on October 17 and that the Beach Club Resort will soon undergo a 20-month refurbishment), and today we have something more to share with you, which will be especially interesting to those who love Disney merchandise that... interacts with them.

Kennedy Space Center Updates (October 2014)

Image
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has always something new to present to Guests, be it  a special event, a new exhibit, or a reserved area to enjoy the sights and sounds of a rocket launch (which is definitely not an everyday happening around the world). This morning we will share with you a list of five of the newest events or offerings that are available (or will be available) at the Visitor Complex. Some of them will soon come to an end!:

I-Drive 360 Update: An Amazing Sunset (PART 1)

Image
We are genuinely excited about the I-Drive 360 project. While it is true that the International Drive area already offers plenty of quality diversions (as well as some that could be considered "tourist traps"), there are still some attractions that are lacking, such as an observation wheel that could also function as an icon for the City of Orlando. I-Drive 360 will include that, a museum, an aquarium, shops, restaurants, and more. Let's check on the work being done: