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Showing posts from May, 2016

DisneyQuest Update: Uncertain Future for this Indoor Park

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Walt Disney World's indoor interactive theme park has never looked worse. This once-popular destination has been a ghost town for the past few years due to the lack of major investments. In addition to that, many of DisneyQuest's games can now be played for free on tablets and other mobile devices, making this attraction even more irrelevant in this day and age. So, what will happen to this location? Will the NBA Experience ever materialize? That's still uncertain.

Pool Refurbishments at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

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Guests staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort during their upcoming Walt Disney World vacation should keep in mind that the Martinique Pool will be closed for refurbishment starting from today (May 31). The pool will reopen to all Guests on July 1. The Trinidad South Village Pool is also currently closed, but it's scheduled to reopen on June 11, 2016. In the meantime, Guests may enjoy the Fuentes del Morro Pool or other leisure pools scattered around the resort.

Universal Studios Update: Fallon, Fast & Furious, and More

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Construction continues to take place around many of the great themed areas of Universal Studios Florida. As we have seen in the past months, the new facade of Race Through New York Staring Jimmy Fallon is slowly growing in size and should be completed well before the end of the year. Similarly, the new Fast & Furious attraction continues to be built in the San Francisco area, even though that project seems to be moving at a slower pace. There's more to see, though.

Preferred Parking Coming Soon to Disney's Water Parks

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After testing a new parking option at Walt Disney World's four theme parks, this pilot is being extended to Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach water parks. In addition to regular parking (which is still complimentary), Guests may choose preferred parking for $15, which will provide Guests with closer parking to the entrance and bottled water for each Guest. The additional parking option begins at Blizzard Beach on June 5, followed by Typhoon Lagoon on June 19.

Bayou BBQ Event Coming to Disney's Port Orleans Resort

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Disney's Port Orleans Resort Guests are invited to enjoy the "Bayou BBQ" event on Monday, May 30 at the Ol’ Man Island pool deck (located at Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside). Themed recreation activities are scheduled to take place from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (weather permitting) and will include Beach Ball Barrage, pool games, a dance party, Mickey tie-dye, and more! In addition to that, special food and beverage offerings will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wet ‘n Wild Offering Special Discount for Florida Residents

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Wet ‘n Wild Orlando officially entered its very last year of operation, and will close for good on December 31, 2016. For that reason, Universal's water park is currently offering a special deal exclusively for Florida residents that allows them to buy one day admission and get access to the water park for the rest of the year for free. The cost is $39.99 per person plus tax, which is less than a regular one-day ticket. Keep in mind that the offer is available now through May 31.


Disney's Grand Floridian Resort Hosting "Gone Mad Party"

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All Guests visiting Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are invited to join the team of the resort for curious food & beverage offerings during the wonderful and whimsical showing of Wishes nighttime spectacular on select evenings.
The "Gone Mad Party" will be hosted every Wednesday in June, from 8:30 until 10:30 p.m. on the outdoor patio near the Gasparilla Island Grill. There will be no charge for Guests wishing to attend the event. Be sure to check it out if you can.

Review of Nighttime Offerings at Disney's Animal Kingdom

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For the first time ever, Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park remained open to regular park Guests until 11 p.m. on Friday, May 27, 2016. This was, without a doubt, a very important milestone, as it also included the debut of multiple new nighttime offerings that aim to keep Guests entertained throughout the evening.
While fans were definitely excited about these new additions, some were a little underwhelmed after experiencing a few of these activities. Let's find out why.

New Planet Hollywood Resort Coming to Orlando in 2018

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Following the success of Planet Hollywood’s first hotel, located at the center of the famed Las Vegas Strip, Planet Hollywood Hotels is expanding its brand and opening the most innovative resort ever to take shape on the Orlando skyline, ph Premiere Resort-Residences Orlando. Orlando has eclipsed New York as the most popular tourist destination in America, with over 62 million visitors in 2015. Soon, visitors will be able to enjoy true luxury in one of 139 lavish suites.

Disney Water Parks Transportation Service Changing Soon

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Transportation service to Disney's water parks will be adjusted starting May 29.
To get to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, resort Guests should take a bus headed to Disney Springs and then get off at the second stop. A transfer at Disney Springs may be required after 1 p.m. To get to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, resort Guests should take a bus to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and then transfer to a bus headed to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park.

"The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic" Soft-Opening Tonight

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As Disney’s Animal Kingdom prepares to "awaken summer," the park will be offering a soft opening performance of “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” tonight, May 27, at 9 and 10:30 p.m. FastPass+ selections are available for the soft openings. This limited-engagement show is performed twice each night and celebrates the story and music of the film, and features live singers, musicians, dancers, puppetry, and projections, all with a unique Indian influence.

Discovery Cove Offering Florida Residents Discounts

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Now through June 26, Florida residents can save more than $100 off admission to Discovery Cove, an all-inclusive day resort where guests can get the chance to swim with dolphins, rays, tropical fish and more. Florida resident packages start at $219 per person and include a 30-minute interaction with bottlenose dolphins as well as a full day of snorkeling, swimming and playing in the sun.
Guests can help themselves to freshly prepared meals included with admission.

Disney Springs Update: A Tour of Town Center (PART 1)

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The Town Center neighborhood of Disney Springs is now open to all Guests.
As the fourth (and newest) neighborhood of this large entertainment, shopping, and dining district is already proving to be popular, even though not everyone is completely satisfied by this expansion. Indeed, some fans are lamenting the fact that the Town Center like an upscale mall, as it features quite a few tenants that can be found in multiple other locations across the Central Florida area.

Disney Springs Update: A Tour of Town Center (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our newest Disney Springs photo-report. Be sure to take a look at PART 1 of this update for more photos of the Town Center. In the previous part, we walked around the area located between The Landing and the Town Center, where visitors can find a relaxing spot featuring benches, water features, and many themed elements. Afterwards, we moved on to check out the first half of the Town Center. Let's continue to explore this new area.

Changes Coming to Walt Disney World's North Entrance

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Guests and Cast Members might have noticed roadwork enhancements when entering and exiting the Walt Disney World Resort by using the north entrance, which is located near the Cast Member parking lot of the Magic Kingdom Park.
Over the next few weeks, work will officially begin to widen Reams Road in the North Service Area. It will include adding a new intersection onto Reams Road, two left turn lanes, and a new traffic light by late August for better traffic flow.

Guy Harvey Paints Giant Shark Mural at SeaWorld Orlando

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World-renowned marine artist and conservationist Guy Harvey painted a giant signature mural in the all-new realm, Shark Wreck Reef at SeaWorld Orlando.
The 16-foot by 24-foot original artwork features a Mako shark and will join only a handful of murals created by the celebrated artist and will be a focal point in the heart of SeaWorld Orlando. Opening Friday, June 10, Shark Wreck Reef blends education and thrills while virtually immersing guests in an underwater world.

New Details About "The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic"

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The all-new live entertainment experience, “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic” nighttime show, will officially debut this weekend at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Featuring vibrant costumes and entirely new props, this new show (which will be offered for a limited time only) promises to bring a little bit of the Indian colture to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park in a spectacular celebration of the epic tale from Disney’s latest blockbuster live-action film “The Jungle Book.” 

Town Center Bus Loop Opens Tomorrow at Disney Springs

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Disney Springs will soon reach another milestone. With roadway improvements on Buena Vista Drive now complete, dedicated bus lanes and a centralized bus loop are becoming fully operational. Tomorrow, the Town Center bus loop will officially open and become the new location for Walt Disney World Resort bus transportation at Disney Springs. At the same time, Walt Disney World Resort buses will begin using the dedicated bus lanes on Buena Vista Drive.

Neymar Jr. Wax Figure Coming to Madame Tussauds

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On the heels of scoring the second goal for FC Barcelona and capturing the 28th Copa del Rey victory title for the team, Neymar Jr. comes face to face with his new Madame Tussauds wax figure. The famous Brazilian footballer met his wax figure this week at a private unveiling that took place at FC Barcelona’s training ground Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper in Spain. The new wax figure will travel to its permanent home, in Madame Tussauds Orlando this summer.

Hollywood Studios Update: New Echo Lake Eats (PART 1)

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A number of minor new additions opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the past few weeks. In addition to the two new character greeting locations featuring Minnie, Mickey, and Olaf (all of which are now meeting in themed environments found near the Star Tours area), three new food kiosks recently opened around Echo Lake, offering new food and beverage options that Guests will be able to enjoy for a limited time only. Join us as we take a look around the park.

Hollywood Studios Update: New Echo Lake Eats (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our newest Disney's Hollywood Studios photo-report. Be sure to check out PART 1 of this update by clicking on this link. In the previous part, we walked around Hollywood Boulevard, the park's Center Stage (where new projectors are being installed as part of a new fireworks show that will debut very soon), as well as Echo Lake and Muppet Courtyard. Let us now continue to take a look around and check out the other themed areas.

Updated Epcot and Animal Kingdom Maps Coming Soon

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New guidemaps for Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park will soon be in circulation around the Walt Disney World Resort. Starting from Friday, May 27, a new Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park guidemap featuring the Tree of Life. The updated map will include the addition of The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic show, the new Tiffins restaurant and the adjacent Nomad Lounge, as well as other food & beverage updates and a few additional animal highlights.

Old Town’s Iconic Ferris Wheel to Return Later This Year

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US Highway 192 stretches from the edge of Walt Disney World Resort toward St. Cloud, transporting tourists and locals through the Kissimmee region. At the mile 8 marker, a renowned landmark, Old Town's former Ferris wheel, stood for decades before it was removed from the area in 2013 by the previous owners. This iconic structure and visitor favorite is now making a comeback at Old Town as part of the $10 million renovation by new owner, The Travel Corporation.

Special Activities Coming to Disney's Pop Century Resort

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Disney’s Pop Century Resort will soon introduce a new, weekly special event called "Flashback Fridays." Starting May 27, 2016, Guests staying at this resort will be able to enjoy special offerings based off of the resort's fun theme.
In addition to the pool and dance parties, Guests will be able to enter a contest, participate in a scavenger hunt, play bingo, and try out new food and beverage offerings at select dining locations. Continue reading this post for more details.

Preferred Parking Now Available at Hollywood Studios

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As you might remember, the Walt Disney World Resort recently began testing an additional parking option for Guests to choose at their convenience at Epcot, Magic Kingdom Park, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Starting from this week, this new parking option will also be available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This new preferred parking enables Guests to park closer to the main entrances of Walt Disney World's four theme parks for an additional $15.

Islands of Adventure Update: Hulk, Reign of Kong, & More

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Many of the theme parks in the Orlando area will open multiple new attractions this summer, the majority of these being major additions. Islands of Adventure will definitely be among the parks that will have the best new offerings this year.
While the new Reign of Kong ride is still not open to Guests, The Incredible Hulk Coaster is finally in its testing phase, meaning that we are getting closer to the reopening of this iconic attraction (which will have many great enhancements).

Trophy Room Store Opening Tomorrow at Disney Springs

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The Trophy Room store will officially open to Disney Springs Guests on may 23, 2016 (click here to learn more). Since the opening event is expected to attract many visitors, Guests should be aware that roads surrounding Disney Springs may be busy during the early morning hours on May 23. This may be particularly true around Hotel Plaza Boulevard and westbound Buena Vista Drive leading into the Lime Garage. Those driving from I-4 are encouraged use exit 67.

"Frozen Ever After" Attraction Opening on June 21 at Epcot

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Last Friday, the Walt Disney World Resort officially announced that Epcot's two new Frozen-themed experiences (the Frozen Ever After ride and the adjacent Royal Sommerhus character greeting location) will officially open their doors to Guests on June 21, 2016. Located in the Norway pavilion, Frozen Ever After will offer Guests an adventurous boat tour through the kingdom of Arendelle and will include new special effects, Audio-Animatronic figures, new sets, and more.

LEGOLAND Beach Retreat Construction Officially Begins

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The very popular LEGOLAND Florida Hotel has been in operation for more than a year now, and the resort is ready to expand even further with the construction of a second themed hotel that's going to look quite different from the original.
As previously announced, the new LEGOLAND Beach Retreat is scheduled to open in mid-2017 on the opposite side of the road, right in front of beautiful Lake Dexter. The resort will feature 83 duplex units offering 166 accommodations.

New Details on Animal Kingdom's Nighttime Entertainment

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Yesterday morning, the Walt Disney World Resort announced a huge amount of new details regarding all the new attractions and offerings coming to the parks in the coming months. Some of the most exciting new additions are coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom, as it will involve the park staying open until 11 p.m.
Among the announcements, Disney confirmed that The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic live show will officially debut Saturday, May 28, 2016. But there's more!

Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire Show Debuts on June 17

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As previously announced, the new “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” show is coming to the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage at Magic Kingdom Park. Earlier today, the Walt Disney World Resort announced that this fun new show will make its debut on June 17, 2016. “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” brings to life beloved Disney stories in a spectacular performance featuring an original song, memorable music, lively dancing, delightful costumes, and special effects.

Guy Harvey to Paint New Mural at SeaWorld Orlando

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On May 23 and 24, SeaWorld Orlando visitors will have the unique opportunity to watch world-renowned marine artist and conservationist Guy Harvey paint a signature mural in the park’s brand-new themed realm, Shark Wreck Reef.
The 16-foot by 24-foot original artwork, featuring a Mako shark, will join only a handful of murals created by the celebrated artist and will be a focal point in the heart of SeaWorld’s Orlando park. Shark Wreck Reef officially opens June 10.

New Fireworks Show Debuts June 17 at Hollywood Studios

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The new “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” will begin nightly performances on June 17 at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This new nighttime show, which will be the most elaborate fireworks display in this park’s history, will combine fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects, and video projections that will turn the Chinese Theater into various Star Wars destinations. This show will also be punctuated with a tower of fire and spotlight beams, creating a massive lightsaber in the sky.

Confirmed: Soarin' Returning to Epcot for a Limited Time

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Epcot Guests will be given a chance to enjoy farewell flights when the classic Soarin’ returns to The Land pavilion in Future World starting May 27, 2016.
The attraction will reopen just a few weeks before the new film, Soarin’ Around the World, officially debuts next month at Disney parks in Shanghai, California, and Florida. Disney FastPass+ service will be available starting May 21 for this limited opportunity to enjoy the classic Soarin’ Over California at Epcot.

LEGOLAND Park Offers Sneak Preview of New 4D Movie

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LEGOLAND Florida is offering an awesome opportunity you won’t want to miss!
Readers of the official LEGOLAND Florida Blog are being given the chance to be the very first to experience the brand-new NEXO KNIGHTS 4D film, opening soon at LEGOLAND theme parks and Discovery Centers around the world. On Wednesday, May 25, after the theme park closes, a select number of registered Guests will be invited to enjoy the new movie in the Fun Town Theater.

Pangani Forest Exploration Trail Name Changing May 27

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The gorilla habitat has always been one of the most popular animal encounters at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Because of that, the park is renaming Pangani Forest Exploration Trail to Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail (which was the original name of the trail when it opened back in 1998) beginning Memorial Day weekend. This is just a name change, and Guests can still expect to see some of their favorite animal species including hippos, meercats, zebras, and more.

Disney Grad Nite H2O Coming to Typhoon Lagoon in 2017

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Walt Disney World is reimagining a rite-of-passage event and introducing a new way for high school seniors to celebrate their graduation with their friends and classmates. Beginning with the class of 2017, Disney Grad Nite H2O will debut at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park on select Friday nights in April.
Themed as a beach party, this event will feature Disney characters, music, DJ entertainment, and dance parties, along with the water park’s fun attractions.

SeaWorld Orlando Caring for Three Injured Manatees

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The SeaWorld Orlando critical care facility just received a 1,255-pound manatee mother and her young calf for acute rehabilitation after being rescued May 9 by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) from the Tomoka River near Ormond Beach in Volusia County, Florida. In addition, the team also recently received a rescued orphaned manatee from Satellite Beach, Florida.
This year, SeaWorld has rescued 11 manatees and returned 13 back to the wild.

New Themed Activities Coming to Disney's Art of Animation

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Starting May 22, 2016, Guests staying at Disney's Art of Animation Resort will be able to enjoy special "themed days" every Sunday. These special events will be based off of the fun movies and themes that are represented throughout the resort, including The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, and a few others.
In addition to pool parties and trivia games, Guests can enjoy a scavenger hunt, a jelly bean guessing contest, and more. Continue reading for additional details.

Disney Water Parks, Mini-Golf Courses Currently Closed

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Guests currently visiting the Walt Disney World Resort should be advised that Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park and the nearby Disney's Typhoon Lagoon closed earlier than originally scheduled this afternoon due to inclement weather, and will not reopen until tomorrow. Both of Disney's Miniature Golf Courses are also temporarily closed, but they will reopen when it is safe to do so. Update (as of 6:00 p.m.): Disney's Miniature Golf Courses are closed again.

Plastic Annual Passes Coming Soon to Universal Orlando

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This news might sound a bit trivial to some people, but the majority of Universal Orlando's annual passholders will agree that the addition of the plastic passes is, indeed, a big deal. When we first became annual passholders at Universal Orlando back in 2009, we received a plastic pass that included our picture and a barcode on the front. The following year, the resort started issuing paper tickets, which can be damaged or lost more easily. That's finally about to change.

Magic Kingdom Update: No More Slow Season (PART 1)

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"Where in the world has the slow season gone?" That's exactly what we thought during our most recent trip to the Magic Kingdom. The first two or three weeks of May have always been viewed as the best time to visit the Central Florida theme parks. To a certain extent, that is still true, as the majority of the other parks are seeing slower wait ties and fewer crowds; that said, Magic Kingdom continues to prove to be an exception. Now that the rant is over, let's walk around the park.

Magic Kingdom Update: No More Slow Season (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second installment of our newest Magic Kingdom photo-report. As always, we invite you to check out PART 1 of this update before proceeding. In the previous part, we showed you around the park's entrance, the expanded hub (including the stage that is being refurbished as part of a new entertainment offering debuting next month), Adventureland, Frontierland, and Liberty Square. Let's now complete our tour by visiting Fantasyland and Tomorrowland:

New Details on the Flying Fish Restaurant Refurbishment

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Opening is set for late summer for Flying Fish restaurant at Disney’s Boardwalk (yes, “Cafe” goes away as part of the name), and diners will be welcomed to an upscale interior that pays homage to the golden era of seaside boardwalks.
Chef Tim Majoras, who was has been on the Flying Fish team since 2011, takes the helm in the kitchen, and the team behind the Disney Parks Blog met with him at Disney’s Flavor Lab to see what’s cooking for the new menu. 

Universal Gives a Glimpse of New King Kong Animatronic

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We are all very excited about the new Reign of Kong themed area that will soon open at Islands of Adventure. Despite the fact that we are still waiting for the wall surrounding the area to come down, park fans are checking every day to make sure they are ready to let the community know if the attraction's entrance gate opens unexpectedly (a soft-opening is rumored to take place very soon).
In the meantime, the Universal Orlando Resort surprised us with a special video.

Busch Gardens Shares On-Ride Video for Cobra's Curse

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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Guests will soon be able to snake their way through the park's newest family roller coaster, which is known as Cobra's Curse.
Earlier last week, the park shared a new on-ride video that will show you why the new ride is the only one of its kind in the world. As you will see, riders will be facing forward for the first third of the ride and then be turned backwards for the second segment. For the final third section of the ride, riders will spin into frenzy.

Disney Springs Update: The Town Center Opens Tomorrow

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The first phase of the brand-new Town Center neighborhood will officially open tomorrow morning at Disney Springs. After more than two years of construction, we are finally getting very close to the completion of the largest expansion in the history of this ever-growing entertainment, shopping, and dining district.
The Town Center features Spanish-revival style architecture, drawing from a rich history of explorers that landed in the Florida peninsula many centuries ago.

New Details About the 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival

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The annual Disney culinary tour of flavors from six continents will expand even more in 2016 with nine extra days of sipping and savoring at the popular Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, scheduled to take place from September 14 to November 14, 2016. This year's festival, presented by Chase at Walt Disney World Resort, will grow from 53 to 62 days, adding a completely new interactive culinary experience and debuting new delectable tastes from around the world.

LEGOLAND Releases New "Imagination Zone" Renderings

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Lots of work is currently taking place inside the Imagination Zone building to add several awesome new hands-on activities where kids can set their imaginations free using LEGO bricks. Set to open in late May at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, the facility is turning up the fun in many exciting ways kids are sure to love.
In the past few weeks, the park released additional information (including new artistic renderings) about the new exhibits that will open as part of this attraction.

Animal Kingdom Update: A Look Around the New Theater

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We are less than two weeks away from the debut of many of the new nighttime offerings that will delight Guests after the sun goes down at Animal Kingdom.
While the opening of the Rivers of Light show has been delayed (recent rumors say that it could open in July), a temporary nighttime spectacular themed after the live action version of the Jungle Book movie will open in its place, allowing park Guests to check out the new amphitheater built next to the Discovery River.