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Showing posts from September, 2016

"March of the First Order" Changing at Hollywood Studios

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Starting Sunday, October 2, Captain Phasma and her division of Stormtroopers will make their way from Hollywood Boulevard as part of the March of the First Order. Previously beginning their march from the Star Wars Launch Bay in Animation Courtyard, they will now commence out of the backstage gate next to Sid's, make their way up Hollywood Boulevard, briefly stop at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard, and continue on to the Center Stage area of the park.

Busch Gardens Tampa Welcomes Baby Lowland Gorilla

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Busch Gardens Tampa is excited to announce the newest member of the gorilla troop in the Myombe Reserve. Oliver, an endangered western lowland gorilla, was born on August 18 and is being cared for by 28-year-old mother, Mary, who came to the park back in February 2010 from Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. The sire is 10-year-old Bolingo, who was born at the park in 2005. This successful birth makes a total of seven gorillas that call Busch Gardens home.

1900 Park Fare Price Change at the Grand Floridian Resort

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Beginning October 2, the price for the "Supercalifragilistic Breakfast" (offered at 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa) will increase to $34 for adults and $20 for children. Featuring beloved Disney characters (like Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, The Mad Hatter, Tigger, and Winnie the Pooh), this all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast buffet includes custom-made omelets, fluffy mini pancakes, Mickey-shaped waffles, carved ham, and much more.

"A Princess Royal Reception" Coming to Disney Springs

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Guests visiting the World of Disney Store at Disney Springs will soon be able to experience a limited-time royal engagement as they meet Disney princesses.
Starting from October 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Guests will be greeted by some classic Disney princesses, including Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, Tiana, or another visiting princess as part of “A Princess Royal Reception.” At this time, this free offering is expected to be available at least until Tuesday, November 1.

SEA LIFE Aquarium Welcomes a Loggerhead Sea Turtle

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SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium recently welcomed a loggerhead sea turtle named Ted to its new home right in the heart of I-Drive 360. This brand-new addition is a turtle rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Ted received his name after being one of the very first sea turtles used to test at-sea certification trials for Turtle Excluder Devices (also called TEDs) in scallop/whelk trawl fisheries by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). 

Taking a Look Around the Queue of "Frozen Ever After"

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The new Frozen Ever After attraction has been open since June at Epcot.
Replacing the former Maelstrom ride, Frozen Ever After reused the same ride system featured in the attraction it replaced but added new themed sets, Audio-Animatronics, and a soundtrack that includes re-arranged songs from the movie. Since it opened to park Guests, this has proven to be one of the attractions with the highest wait times thanks to its popularity and its underwhelming capacity.

Third Parking Garage to Open in 2019 at Disney Springs

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The Reedy Creek Improvement District has just approved plans to build a third parking garage and pedestrian bridge to support the growth of Disney Springs.
Owned and operated by Reedy Creek Improvement District, the garage will be located across from Disney Springs, near the Walt Disney World Casting Center and Speedway gas station parking lots. It will add approximately 2,000 parking spaces for Guests, Cast Members, and Operating Participant employees.

Buy a Busch Gardens Annual Pass, Get 3 Months Free

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For a limited time only, buy a Busch Gardens Annual Pass and get three months free! From world-class rollercoasters and Broadway-style entertainment, to one-of-a-kind, up-close animal encounters, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay continues to deliver some of the biggest thrills anywhere, and next year will be no exception.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is excited to announce a line-up of unique events scheduled to run now through 2017. Continue reading this post to learn more.

Typhoon Lagoon Bus Service Change Beginning October 2

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Beginning October 2, Walt Disney World hotel Guests wishing to go to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park should take a bus to Disney Springs and then take the shuttle from Disney Springs to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park.
This shuttle now operates all day, beginning about 45 minutes before Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park opens to Guests until one hour after it closes. After that, Guests will have to use their cars (or a taxi) to reach their Disney resort.

Magic Kingdom Park's 45th Anniversary Offerings & More

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The Magic Kingdom Park will celebrate 45 years of operation Saturday, Oct. 1.
Since opening to Guests back in 1971, the Magic Kingdom has always been once of the most beloved theme parks on earth, thanks to all its family-friendly attractions, unique environments, and themed offerings that help in transporting Guests to different "worlds" ruled by imagination and fantasy. The Walt Disney World Resort has some small surprises in store for Guests visiting this weekend.

SeaWorld Orlando Reveals New Additions Coming in 2017

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Today, SeaWorld Orlando announced its lineup of new attractions, shows, and events for 2017, delivering meaningful and fun vacation options for Guests.
“We look forward to introducing many new experiences to SeaWorld Orlando in 2017,” said Donnie Mills, President of SeaWorld's three Orlando parks. “We are constantly looking at ways to inspire Guests... Now, with so many new additions our Guests and pass members have more reasons to visit again and again.”

South Point Road Pool Area Work at Old Key West Resort

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Starting from this week, portions of the area surrounding the South Point Road Pool at Disney's Old Key West Resort will be under construction for a few weeks (it's currently unknown when this project will be completed, but more information may be available in the near future). Work is scheduled to take place Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. During this time, the pool will remain open to hotel Guests. Be sure to use caution when walking in this area.

Early Morning Magic Returns to Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Disney Early Morning Magic (the special event where Guests enjoy an in-park breakfast and first access to select rides and characters before park opening) will return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Saturdays, beginning October 8.
During this event, a limited number of Guests will be able to enjoy Star Tours – The Adventures Continue and Toy Story Mania! as well as meet Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and receive a warm hug from Olaf.

Universal Studios Update: Expanding New York (PART 1)

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The New York themed area of Universal Studios Florida is expanding. In the past, the themed facade of this section of the park stopped abruptly right next to the entrance of Twister. Since the closure of that attraction, work begun to bring the brand-new Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon attraction to life.
As part of this completely new addition, a new facade will soon completely hide the soundstage behind it. But there's even more to see around this great park.

Universal Studios Update: Expanding New York (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our new Universal Studios Florida photo-report. Be sure to also check out PART 1 of this update if you haven't already done so. In the previous part, we checked out Production Central and the New York City area (which includes the future site of Race Through New York Staring Jimmy Fallon). Let us now continue our tour of the park to see what's new in the San Francisco and World Expo areas of the park. We hope you'll enjoy the pictures.

Floridian Way Repaving at the Walt Disney World Resort

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On Sunday night/Monday morning (September 25-26), beginning at 2 a.m., the right lane of Floridian Way/World Drive past the Speedway gas station and the AAA CarCare center will be temporarily closed to all vehicles for repaving.
Traffic may be restricted to one lane for parts of the work, and signage will be in place during the duration of this project. The work is expected to be completed by 8 a.m. Monday morning. Please, use caution when driving through this area.

New Muppets Show Opening October 2 at Magic Kingdom

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As we reported a few weeks ago on our Twitter page, the Muppets will arrive at Magic Kingdom Park on October 2 for the opening of their new, live show “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History," featuring an original song and plenty of wacky Muppets humor. Throughout the day, the Muppets will recount the tale of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, while at other times, you may catch the Muppets’ version of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.

Bookings for LEGOLAND Beach Retreat Are Now Open

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Just five weeks after offering a sneak peek of its all-new vacation oasis currently under construction, LEGOLAND Florida announced that bookings are now open for its second on-site hotel, the eagerly anticipated LEGOLAND Beach Retreat.
Reservations are available for stays beginning June 1, 2017 through September 4, 2017. LEGOLAND Beach Retreat combines the fun of surf and sand with the creativity of LEGO building sets, and will offer picturesque lake views.

Epcot Update: Food & Wine Festival Begins (PART 1)

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The International Food & Wine Festival has returned to Epcot, bringing plenty of delectable offerings from around the world that Guests can enjoy in the park.
As part of this photo-report, we will show you around World Showcase to check out all the temporary kiosks that have been installed for the festival as well as all of the latest happenings (including attraction closures and any other interesting change) around the park. As always, we hope you will enjoy the pictures.

Epcot Update: Food & Wine Festival Begins (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our newest Epcot photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers. Click on this link to go back to PART 1 of this update. In the previous part, we walked around the entrance area of the park and then we headed to Future World, where we saw that Innoventions East lost almost all of its interactive exhibits and Mission:SPACE received minor changes. Let's now continue our tour of Future World to see what else changed since our last visit.

Epcot Update: Food & Wine Festival Begins (PART 3)

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Welcome to the third (and final) part of this Epcot photo-report. Be sure to check out PART 2 of this update if you haven't had already had the chance to do so. Previously, we explored the majority of the Future World pavilions and some of the Food & Wine Festival booths that can be found around the World Showcase promenade. Let's wrap things up by completing our tour of this section of the park. Enjoy the views, and don't forget to leave comments before leaving!

IAAPA to Relocate Global Headquarters to Orlando, Florida

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The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), the largest trade association for the $39 billion attractions industry, announced it will relocate its global headquarters office to Orlando, Florida in 2017. IAAPA also announced plans to host its annual conference and trade show in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center through 2030. The relocation and convention contract extension are contingent upon support from the state and the county. 

Stitch's Great Escape to Begin Operating Seasonally

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According to reports from various sources (including the Orlando Sentinel), the Walt Disney World Resort officially confirmed today that, starting from October 2, Stitch's Great Escape will cease operating on a daily basis, opening to park Guests only during the busiest times of the year. When it will be open, it'll have reduced operating hours, usually from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. According to Disney's official website, the attraction will be open Nov. 19-26 and Dec. 17-Jan. 2.

Sanaa Begins Serving Breakfast at Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Did you know that the word "kuamsha" means "to awaken with" in Swahili?
Guests visiting the beautiful Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge are invited to a kuamsha breakfast at Sanaa! Starting from today (Wednesday, Sept. 21), Sanaa will offer a variety of grab 'n' go items as well as casual dining (quick service) offerings from 7–10 a.m. daily. Continue reading the rest of this post to see the full menu of items that are available (subject to availability).

LEGOLAND Hosts "Fun Festival" For Disabled Children

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On September 17, 2016, more than 1,500 children and their families affiliated with Nathaniel’s Hope enjoyed a brick-tastic day out during the Fun Festival at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, an annual event organized by Merlin’s Magic Wand.
Merlin Entertainments holds this festival each September at Merlin attractions around the world. This year, Orlando-based Nathaniel’s Hope was selected for the wonderful work it’s doing to support kids with special needs (VIP kids). 

Shore Hosting Locals Appreciation Week at Disney Springs

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Shore, the beachy boutique (located in the Town Center neighborhood at Disney Springs) offering lifestyle essentials like swimwear, tees and accessories, will celebrate “Locals Appreciation Week” between September 19 and 25, 2016.
Throughout the week, the store will feature several limited-time discounts and offers. In addition to that, live mannequins will be present in the store’s windows from 8-11:30 p.m. on September 25. Continue reading for additional information.

Overnight Work to Continue to Take Place on World Drive

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To accommodate the expansion of some roads around the Walt Disney World Resort, overnight construction will take place in phases across World Drive, with the final phase scheduled to occur between September 27 and September 28.
On Tuesday, Sept. 27, northbound World Drive from Osceola Parkway to Buena Vista Drive will be closed from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. All traffic will detour via Osceola Parkway west to Buena Vista Drive north to World Drive north.

SeaWorld Update: Food and Beverage Changes (PART 1)

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SeaWorld Orlando is a truly amazing place. Every time we walk around the park we are constantly amazed by the beautiful flowers and trees that can be found around every corner, and that's in addition to the many inspiring animal exhibits and thrilling attractions that Guests enjoy daily, including their newest coaster. This afternoon we will bring you along with us to take a look around the park to see what changed since our last visit (and what has not changed). Enjoy!

SeaWorld Update: Food and Beverage Changes (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our newest SeaWorld Orlando photo-report! Be sure to check out PART 1 of this update before proceeding by clicking here. Previously, we walked around the entrance of the park, then we moved on to Key West, the thrill ride section (including Journey to Atlantis and the Kraken), Antarctica, and the beautiful Waterfront. Let's now continue our tour of the park by walking around the brand-new Shark Wreck Reef themed area and more.

SeaWorld Update: Food and Beverage Changes (PART 3)

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Welcome to third and final part of our latest SeaWorld Orlando photo-report. As always, don't forget to also check out PART 2 by clicking on this link. In the previous part of this update we walked around the Shark Wreck Reef and the newly-renamed Terrace Bar. We'll now complete our grand tour of SeaWorld Orlando by visiting the remaining areas of the park. There's still more to see. We really hope you will enjoy these photos as much as we enjoyed taking them!

Park Tickets for Sale in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom

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Now through October 8, the Magic Kingdom Park will be testing an in-park ticket sales location inside the Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. merchandise shop at Space Mountain, which will remain open to Guests from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Without having to leave the park, at this location Guests will be able to upgrade their ticket by adding additional days or other options (such as the Park Hopper option), upgrade their tickets to an annual pass, replace a lost ticket, and more.

Artisanal Offerings Available at Disney Springs Markeplace

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Guests visiting Disney Springs may be aware of most of its major tenants, like Lacoste, Kate Spade, Havaianas, Tommy Bahama, and so on. But did you know that multiple locations around the Marketplace at Disney Springs offer artistic and personalized services like face painting, custom-made pearl jewelry, and hand-carved rings? Whether you are looking for a special gift, a custom piece of home decor or just a fun souvenir, you should to check out these venues.

Dynamic Attractions to Build New Flying Theater in Miami

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On August 30, 2016, "Wings Over Washington" opened to the public at Seattle's Pier 57, located next to the Great Seattle Wheel. "We create immersive, media-based attractions for the world's largest theme parks," said G. Nelson, Dynamic Attractions President and Empire Industries CEO. The company that created the ride has built 50 major attractions for clients such as Disney and Universal. "We are now bringing our flying theatre... to major tourism destinations."

Hollywood Studios Update: Demolition Continues (PART 1)

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A huge section of Disney's Hollywood Studios is officially gone. Forever.
While the Streets of America themed area closed to Guests several months ago, actual demolition of the majority of the sets begun only recently, and culminated with the removal of the old "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure," one of the most dated attractions in the park. In addition to that, the entrance of the former Studio Backlot Tour was also recently demolished. And that is not all.

Hollywood Studios Update: Demolition Continues (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our newest Disney's Hollywood Studios photo-report. As usual, don't forget to check out PART 1 before proceeding. In the previous part of this photo-update we took a quick look around Hollywood Boulevard, the Center Stage area, part of Animation Courtyard, Pixar Place, the former Streets of America, and the first half of Muppets Courtyard. We will now complete our virtual tour by checking out the remaining areas of the park.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort to Host Jake's Beer Festival

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Loews Royal Pacific Resort at the Universal Orlando Resort will soon celebrate the approaching fall season with the second Jake's Beer Festival of 2016.
On September 30, Guests (ages 21+) will be able to enjoy more than 50 craft and specialty beers, creative and tasty foods expertly prepared by the hotel's award-winning chefs, as well as live entertainment under the outdoor "Wantilan Pavilion" from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Click here for the list of menu items and beers.

New Havaianas Kiosk Opens at Blizzard Beach Water Park

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On the morning of September 14, Havaianas celebrated the grand opening of their newest merchandise location inside Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park. The new kiosk is called Sand Breakers and replaced the former Shade Shack.
Mark Dukes, General Manager of Water Parks & Miniature Golf, joined Mickey, Walt Disney World Ambassador Nathaniel Palma, and Inhwa Lee, director of marketing for Havaianas, for a grand opening moment at 9 a.m. at the location.

New Parade Dining Package Coming to Magic Kingdom

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Starting October 10, 2016 Guests will be able to experience the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade Dining Package at the Magic Kingdom Park. This offering will include a prix-fixe lunch at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant and a voucher for reserved viewing of the Festival of Fantasy parade. The dining package is $45 for adults and $17 for kids (plus tax and gratuity) or a table-service entitlement on the Disney Dining Plan. Guests will be able to book starting September 13.

Sky Zone Orlando to Host "GLOW" Event on September 17

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Sky Zone Orlando just announced it will host a "GLOW" event on September 17, 2016. The trampoline park is calling all Orlando residents ages 13 and up to join in on the excitement and see how different the attraction looks after dark. Lights will go out at 8 p.m. for a whole new experience at Sky Zone Orlando. Music (provided by DJ DVS), black lights, lasers, and more will be featured during this special event. Guests can jump from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. for only $20. 

Google Trekker Coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom

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A small team from Google will soon visit Animal Kingdom to capture images using the Street View Trekker. The Trekker is a wearable backpack system that allows Google to capture images of locations that are only accessible by foot.
The Trekker may be seen throughout the park during regular operating hours Sept. 19-20. Beginning at 10 a.m. on Sept. 19, the Trekker will perform a park walk-through. On Sept. 20, it will capture footage at Tusker House and Tiffins.

Shark Reef Closing October 3 at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon

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As Disney's Typhoon Lagoon continues to evolve, the water park will no longer offer Shark Reef as an entertainment experience starting on October 3, 2016.
The Walt Disney World Resort continues to actively work on future plans for the area, which will include a new family-friendly attraction opening this spring that will take Guests on a white-water adventure (click on this link to learn more). All of the animals found at Shark Reef will soon be relocated to other facilities.

Exploring the Breathtaking Bok Tower Gardens (PART 1)

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For the past seven years, Readers of this site have been able to enjoy weekly photo-reports covering all of Orlando's major theme parks and attractions. While those amazing places are undoubtedly still the focus of our site, there are many other wonderful attractions located around the Central Florida area that may not be as popular but that are equally as impressive and definitely worth visiting.
Today we'll accompany you inside Bok Tower Gardens, located in Polk County.

Exploring the Breathtaking Bok Tower Gardens (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our newest Bok Tower Garden photo-report. As always, be sure to check out PART 1 of this update if you haven't done so. In the previous part, we took a look around the entrance area of the park, the Welcome Center, the Blue Palmetto Cafe', the magnificent tower, and the many beautiful gardens surrounding it. Now we will continue to explore other areas of Bok Tower Gardens by taking an even closer look at the natural landscape.

Exploring the Breathtaking Bok Tower Gardens (PART 3)

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Welcome to the third part of this latest Bok Tower Gardens photo-report. Don't forget to check out PART 2 of this update for even more beautiful pictures.
As we have seen in the previous two parts, Bok Tower Gardens is the perfect place to visit for those who love nature. The beautiful plants and flowers that can be seen around this wonderful park are absolutely spectacular. Even though we are reaching the conclusion of this update, there is still more to see...

Concrete Work to Impact Magic Kingdom's Parade & Show

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Guests visiting the Magic Kingdom Park in the coming weeks should be advised that, due to concrete work planned to take place along Main Street U.S.A., some of the park's entertainment offerings will be impacted on Sept. 12, 16, and 29. On these dates, the "Trolley Show" will use the Main Street Ranch Wagon and the Move it! Shake it! Dance and Play it! Street Party (the interactive parade that transforms into a dance party) will only be presented at 12:30 and 5:45 p.m.

New Disney Float Debuts at Shanghai Tourism Festival

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Shanghai Disney Resort made an appearance at the 2016 Shanghai Tourism Festival Parade with a magnificent newly designed float in honor of the resort’s recent Grand Opening. The Shanghai Disney Resort Grand Opening Float aims to attract even more Guests to come to the new resort during its historic opening year, and to encourage more tourists to visit Shanghai. Shanghai Disney Resort has already been voted the “most popular float” in the parade for two years. 

Discovery Cove Celebrates the Birth of Five Dolphin Calves

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Five baby bottlenose dolphins were born at Discovery Cove within one month of each other. At birth, each calf weighed approximately 35 pounds and measured about 43 inches in length. “An animal birth is a very special time for our team, and having five babies at once is remarkable,” said Gina McDaniel, one of the Animal Trainers at Discovery Cove. “The last time we had this many new babies was 2009, so this is an exciting time for our dolphins and our animal care team.”

Cirque du Soleil Showtimes Adjustments (Sept. 2016)

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Guests that are planning on visiting the Disney Springs area in the near future should keep in mind that, through October 27, La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil will adjust its show schedule on Thursdays, with only one performance at 6 p.m.
There are currently no scheduled performances of La Nouba for September 18-24, 2016. Additionally, two more shows will take place on Sunday, November 20 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale now on the Cirque du Soleil website.

New Epcot Guidemap to Be Available from September 14

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A new guidemap for Epcot will go into circulation on Wednesday, Sept. 14. The guidemap features 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival content.
Just like in the past few years, there will not be a separate map for this year's festival. This new version will include an updated English map, as well as all five translations and the Guide for Guests with Disabilities. Additionally, beginning Sept. 14, the guidemap will be available on Walt Disney World's official website.

The Octonauts Coming to SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium

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Captain Barnacles and Kwazii (characters from "The Octonauts," a quite popular animated children’s television show on Disney Jr.), will visit SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium Friday through Sunday, from September 16 through Oct. 30. During this time, young guests can take photos with the characters at scheduled onsite meet-and-greet events and become part of the Octonauts crew by participating in the Octonauts Training Academy at the aquarium.