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Showing posts from January, 2017

DisneyQuest Closing on July 3 to Become NBA Experience

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As part of the multi-year transformation of Disney Springs, Disney continues to work to make way for new experiences in the West Side neighborhood, including the NBA Experience. As previously shared, this one-of-a-kind destination will feature multiple hands-on activities that put families and Guests of all ages right in the middle of NBA game action. To make way for this brand-new experience, DisneyQuest will be closed beginning July 3, 2017. Until that time, DisneyQuest will continue to operate daily.

Runoff Rapids Slide Closes for Maintenance at Blizzard Beach

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Guests that are currently visiting the Walt Disney World Resort should be aware that, due to scheduled maintenance, the Runoff Rapids attraction is closed for maintenance until further notice at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park. All the other attractions at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will continue to be available to guests visiting the water park. Just as a reminder, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is also currently closed for its annual refurbishment (but it will reopen soon with a new attraction).

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café Expanding at Magic Kingdom

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A number of enhancements are happening at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, the busiest quick-service dining location at the Magic Kingdom Park. The restaurant will continue to remain open throughout construction work. Currently, the Guest restrooms inside of the restaurant are closed to begin remodeling and expansion. Guests will be directed to the nearest restrooms by Mickey’s Star Traders (also located in Tomorrowland) or the Cheshire Café (located in Fantasyland, right across from Cosmic Ray’s).

Fantasia Pool Closed February 6–10 at Disney's All-Star Resort

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The Fantasia Pool (located inside Disney's All-Star Movies Resort) will be temporarily closed for refurbishment February 6–10. Guests staying at the resort will still be able to use the Duck Pond Pool. In addition to that, transportation will also be available to Disney’s All-Star Music Resort (using a pargo) from 9:45 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. during the entire duration of the refurbishment. The designated pick-up location will be the hotel's porte cochère. The Fantasia Pool is expected to reopen to Guests on February 11.

Planet Hollywood Observatory Now Open at Disney Springs

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Planet Hollywood Observatory, a restaurant destination dedicated to celebrating the entertainment industry, is now open in the Town Center at Disney Springs. Centrally located and overlooking the heart of Disney Springs, Planet Hollywood’s iconic globe has been reimagined and renovated into a four-story stargazing observatory with a newly expanded outdoor terrace and bar. The restaurant invites Guests of all ages to “Dine Amongst the Stars” with an immersive theatrical dining experience.

Beauty and the Beast Offerings Coming to Hollywood Studios

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The beloved "tale as old as time" will soon bring some new experiences to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in celebration of the live-action adaption of “Beauty and the Beast,” opening in theaters March 17. Beginning Feb. 5, a performer at “Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage” at Theater of the Stars (located next to the Tower of Terror on Sunset Blvd.) will invite a father and daughter from the audience onstage to sing them a new song from the film in a special magical moment that will take place prior to the show.

Figment Artwork Available at "Art on Demand" Around WDW

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Throughout Epcot's World Showcase, Figment can be found moonlighting in all sorts of world-famous paintings. From the Mona Lisa to The Great Wave off Kanagawa, the mischievous purple dragon has been delighting Guests as he takes a role in iconic artwork as a part of "Figment’s Brush with the Masters" scavenger hunt. Now, Guests can purchase prints of the Figment festival artwork with Art on Demand, a feature available in most of the art galleries located on property around Walt Disney World.

Orlando Eye to Close for Annual Maintenance Jan. 30-Feb. 8

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The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye will be closed for annual maintenance from January 30 through February 8 and will reopen on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. Although most of the regular planned maintenance and engineering work takes place overnight after the attraction closes to the public each night, it will be closed for 10 days to perform larger maintenance projects. Madame Tussauds Orlando and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium will remain open during that time, as will the admissions desks for all three attractions.

Disney Cruise Line to Expand "Marvel Day at Sea" in 2018

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In 2018, Disney Cruise Line Guests will celebrate Marvel Day at Sea on the Disney Magic during eight special voyages from Miami departing January through April. The new Marvel Day at Sea voyages from Miami follow the premiere of the epic event on seven special sailings from New York City in fall 2017. New character interactions and an immersive live show will take center stage in the lineup of entertainment offerings throughout the day-long celebration on all Marvel Day at Sea cruises.

Paddlefish Restaurant Opening February 4 at Disney Springs

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The Paddlefish, a new seafood-centric restaurant that was formerly known as Fulton’s Crab House, is set to open on Feb. 4, 2017 in The Landing at Disney Springs. Once open, Guests will be welcome aboard the iconic riverboat structure, which has been transformed into a contemporary interpretation of an elegant steamboat that features modern yacht touches from stem to stern. Fan favorites as well as classic dishes from Fulton’s Crab House, such as Lobster Corn Dogs and Crab Legs, are still offered.

SeaWorld’s “Wetsuit Penguin” Gets New Coat of Feathers

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"Wonder Twin," the female penguin who received a custom wetsuit as a part of her specialized care at SeaWorld Orlando, has started 2017 with a fresh coat of feathers.
Wonder Twin’s story captured a great deal of attention when guests of the park began to see her inside Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin wearing the wetsuit. The 26-year-old Adelie penguin had experienced feather-loss, which can happen to penguins in their natural habitats and wild populations (click here to learn more about her story). 

Universal Officially Announces Opening Date of Volcano Bay

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Earlier today, the Universal Orlando Resort finally revealed when their new water park will officially open to Guests. We are very happy to report that Universal’s Volcano Bay will grand open to the public on Thursday, May 25, 2017! Universal's Team Members will be among the first to experience this amazing new water park as part of a special Team Member preview. After that, it is rumored that annual passholders will be able to check out the new park. Dates and times will be communicated at a future date.

New Outdoor Kitchens Coming to Flower & Garden Festival

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Celebrating 24 years when it kicks off March 1, 2017, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will jump-start spring with many gardens of earthly delights plus new topiaries, entertainers, food and drink offerings, and much more. The festival, which expanded to 90 days in 2016, will open with an irresistible array of fresh surprises and new treats. During the event, the park will be filled with colorful flower beds and many topiaries representing beloved characters like Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Figment.

Blizzard Beach Closed Due to Cold Weather Jan. 27-29, 2017

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Guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort over the next few days should be aware that, due to forecasted cooler weather conditions, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will be closed Friday, January 27, Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29. As a reminder, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is still closed for refurbishment at this time, and Disney’s Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Courses will remain open to Guests following their regular operating hours (10 a.m.-11 p.m.).

SeaWorld Shares More Details About New Orca Encounter

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On Tuesday, January 10, SeaWorld San Diego provided a first look at the all-new orca encounter that will debut in the theme park later this year. This new education-based Orca Encounter (which will also come to the Orlando and San Antonio parks) will give Guests the chance to learn how killer whales move, hunt and navigate, what they eat, and even how they communicate. Everything in these new experiences will reflect the natural world and will focus on the research, education, and care. 

Magic Kingdom Update: Main Street Refurbishments (PART 1)

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Now that one of the busiest times of the year is finally behind us, the Magic Kingdom Park is starting to work on some of the areas of the park in need of a refurbishment.
As you will see in this update, the Walt Disney World Railroad is currently closed for a quite extensive refurbishment, and some of facades around the park are behind tarps. In addition to that, The Hall of Presidents is also temporarily closed and will reopen in June with the addition of the new President. Come and check out the park with us.

Magic Kingdom Update: Main Street Refurbishments (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our newest Magic Kingdom Park photo-report. Don't forget to also check out PART 1 of this large update by clicking on this link. In the previous part, we took a look around the esplanade in front of the entrance of the park, Town Square, Main Street U.S.A., the central hub, and Tomorrowland. Let's continue to walk around the park to see what else has changed since our last visit. We can assure you that there's always something new to see around the Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom Update: Main Street Refurbishments (PART 3)

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Welcome to the third (and final) part of our latest Magic Kingdom Park photo-report. Once again, we recommend you check out PART 2 of this update before proceeding. In the previous two parts, we took a quick look around the park's entrance, the hub, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, and more. Now we will focus on the rest of the theme park, including Liberty Square, Frontierland, and Adventureland. Be sure to share with us your thoughts and opinions at the end of this update. We love reading comments!

360-Degree POV Video of Go Kart Track at Fun Spot America

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Both Fun Spot America locations in Kissimmee and Orlando feature some of the most extreme go-kart tracks (especially the ones found in Kissimmee). Fun Spot America's official website points out that the "multi-level tracks are U.S. patented and completely unique in design. With four tracks to choice from, [there is] something for everyone!"
If you have ever wanted to ride these go-karts, you will be happy to know that you can virtually experience them through a new 360-degree video posted by Best of Orlando.

Disney Springs to Offer Discounts on National Polka Dot Day

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As previously reported, Disney Springs will celebrate "National Polka Dot Day" on Sunday, Jan. 22 by offering special activities and discounts. Guests at Disney Springs can dance along to special entertainment from 1-5 p.m. in Town Center, pose for fun photo opportunities, and receive a commemorative button at select locations (while supplies last). In addition to that, all Guests wearing polka dots receive several great discounts and limited-edition items available at select Disney Springs locations.

Matboukha Groove and Bodh’aktan Now Performing at Epcot

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Two new entertainment acts recently debuted at Epcot. Presenting a unique fusion of Moroccan, Mediterranean, Latin and World music, Matboukha Groove debuted on the Morocco stage a few days ago for a limited engagement. Guests will enjoy Moroccan percussion, Armenian duduk, Arabic and Mediterranean melody, Latin rhythms, and virtuoso music improvisation performed by artists with phenomenal credits, including Grammy and international awards. Matboukha Groove performs five days each week.

Fuller House & Designated Survivor Stars Visit LEGOLAND

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Some of the stars of the Netflix original series “Fuller House,” including Jodie Sweetin, Michael Campion, Soni Nicole Bringas, Ashley Liao and Elias Harger, and Mckenna Grace, the star of ABC’s “Designated Survivor,” recently visited LEGOLAND Florida Resort for the grand opening of the new Ninjago World. After the ceremony, the stars gathered in the theme park’s MINILAND USA, a large outdoor area filled with dozens of American landmarks (and Star Wars planets) made out of millions of LEGO bricks. 

Blizzard Beach Closed Due to Cooler Weather January 23-24

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Guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort over the next few days should be aware that, due to forecasted cooler weather conditions, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will be closed Monday, January 23 and Tuesday, January 24. As a reminder, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is still closed for refurbishment at this time, and Disney’s Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Courses will remain open to Guests following their regular operating hours (10 a.m.-11 p.m., except the Fairways).

NFL Pro Bowl Week Coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports

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The Walt Disney World Resort is excited to welcome the NFL and its legion of devoted fans coming to the Central Florida area for the action-packed excitement of Pro Bowl week, celebrating all levels of football from youth to high school to the NFL’s best. As the venue for the AFC and NFC team practices and the Pro Bowl Week festivities, Walt Disney World Resort is delighted to play a supporting role with Orlando in what will be a great win for the Central Florida area as a whole and sports fans.

Universal Studios Update: Simpsons Rehab Begins (PART 1)

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In a few months, Universal Studios Florida Guests will be able to experience the new "Race Through New York Staring Jimmy Fallon" attraction (the grand opening date of the ride was officially announced last Friday). In the meantime, work continues to be done around the building, and most of the temporary walls are now gone. Additionally, the new Fast & Furious ride continues to take shape in the San Francisco themed area of the park, and The Simpsons Ride is currently closed for refurbishment.

Universal Studios Update: Simpsons Rehab Begins (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our newest Universal Studios Florida photo-report. As always, w invite you to check out PART 1 of this update by clicking on this link. In the previous part, we walked around a section of the New York themed section of this great park to check out the new Race Through New York attraction. Now we will continue our tour of this area of the park and then we will move on San Francisco (the future home of Fast & Furious: Supercharged) and Springfield. Enjoy the pictures!

Animal Kingdom Welcomes Baby Otters on Discovery Island

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On Wednesday, January 18, three Asian small-clawed otter pups entered their habitat near the Tree of Life for the very first time. The pups have been growing and bonding with their parents in backstage areas at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park for a few months, and now they can be seen scurrying around on land and swimming under water. Be sure to keep in mind that the otters are being introduced to their new habitat slowly, so they may not always be visible to Guests visiting the park.

SeaWorld's New Seven Seas Food Festival Debuts Feb. 11

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Combining unique culinary delights with memorable performances on 14 consecutive Saturdays, the Seven Seas Food Festival is coming to SeaWorld Orlando February 11 - May 13, 2017.  Each week, Guests can sip and sample their way around the world of international coastal cuisine while enjoying craft beers, wines, and entertainment. The fun extends beyond the food with live performances at the SeaWorld Orlando Bayside Stadium each Saturday from top country, rock, and Latin music artists.

New Breakfast Offerings Coming Soon to Magic Kingdom Park

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As you may know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it's also one of our favorite meals as it usually involves bacon, french toast, eggs, and hash browns.
In the past, the Magic Kingdom didn't have a very large selection of breakfast options, but that issue has been partially addressed by adding Starbucks and by introducing other food offerings around the theme park. In the coming weeks, early risers will be able to find even more new quick-service breakfast offerings around Magic Kingdom.

New Characters in Flight Balloon Design Officially Debuts

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The familiar Characters in Flight balloon was recently outfitted with a fresh design that complements the recently transformed look of Disney Springs. The balloon is updated every four years, giving the team the opportunity to create a new look for the balloon.
Matthieu Gobbi, GM of Aerophile (the company operating the attraction), said that “the new balloon envelope was inspired by the springs and the element of water – it’s very coherent, as the balloon floats in the air, then lands on the water of Lake Buena Vista.”

Volcano Bay Update: Less Scaffolding on the Top of Krakatau

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Universal's Volcano Bay continues to take shape next to Cabana Bay. The majority of the water slides that will soon be available to Guests visiting this wonderful water park are already in place, and work is now underway to install additional themed elements, build more rockwork, and plant trees, bushes, and flower beds that will enhance even more the look of this amazing place. Come and join us as we take a look around the construction zone (from a safe distance, of course). The excitement is in the air...

Disney Springs Advisories and Refurbishments (Jan. 2017)

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As Disney Springs continues to evolve and grow in size, it is sometimes necessary to introduce changes to new and existing restaurants and shops located on property to serve Guests efficiently (while still offering quality products). For this reason, D-Living will be temporarily closed Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in order to install a new overlay. In addition to that, some dining locations now have different hours than the rest of Disney Springs. Continue reading this post for additional details about these operational changes.

New Highway in the Sky Dine Around Booking Dates Available

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New booking dates become available starting Wednesday, January 18, for "Highway in the Sky Dine Around," a gourmet dining adventure like no other along the iconic Walt Disney World Monorail System. This experience becomes available Tuesdays–Saturdays from Jan. 18 through March 10. The five-course epicurean journey features stops at several resort hotels for cocktails, appetizers, dinner, and dessert, along with a VIP guide and private viewing of Wishes, Magic Kingdom's nighttime spectacular.

Busch Gardens Reveals Food & Wine Festival Concert Lineup

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A world of taste awaits you at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s third annual Food & Wine Festival, returning this spring for an extended nine weeks of chart-topping artists and culinary masterpieces. The popular Tampa Bay food and wine festival is included with any Annual Pass, Fun Card, or daily admission to the park and runs Saturdays and Sundays, March 4 through April 30. The biggest names in entertainment will take the stage every weekend with the headlining act starting at 7 p.m. on the Gwazi Field.

Epcot Update: International Festival of the Arts Begins (Part 1)

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For the first time in years, Epcot introduced a completely new special event that aims to keep Guests busy until the Flower & Garden Festival returns to the park in March.
While the event includes many of the features that Guests expect to find (such as food kiosks, seminars, and more), Epcot's International Festival of the Arts is an innovative take on the typical theme park festival, as it introduces some very clever photo-ops, amazing artwork, and food offerings that are pleasing to the palate... and the eyes. 

Epcot Update: International Festival of the Arts Begins (Part 2)

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Welcome to the second part of this special Epcot International Festival of the Arts photo-report! Be sure to check out PART 1 of this update by clicking on this link.
In the previous part, we walked around Future World to check out some of the special offerings available in that themed area of the park. After that, we checked out some of the kiosks near World Showcase plaza. Let's continue our tour of the park to see what else Guests can enjoy while visiting the park during the new Festival of the Arts.

Epcot Update: International Festival of the Arts Begins (Part 3)

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Welcome to the third part of our Epcot International Festival of the Arts photo-gallery. As always, we invite you to check out PART 2 of this update before proceeding. In the previous two parts of this update, we walked around Future World and most of World Showcase in search for food & beverage offerings, merchandise, and clever photo-ops that are only available in the park during the new Festival of the Arts. let's now complete our tour by visiting Norway, Mexico, and the nearby Odyssey pavilion.

Pepper & Roni’s Pizza Stop Opens at LEGOLAND Florida

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On Thursday, January 12, the new Ninjago World officially opened to Guests at the LEGOLAND Florida Resort. The following day, the park introduced a brand-new quick-service restaurant, Pepper & Roni’s Pizza Stop. Located next to the popular Market Restaurant, Pepper & Roni’s offers a delicious menu of personal pizzas made for Guests on the go, plus sides, desserts, and drinks. It’s also the new home of the pizza chef LEGO model, who beckons Guests to come grab a hot and tasty pizza.

New "Miss Adventure Falls" Slide Artwork and Details Released

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The new "Miss Adventure Falls" water slide (previously called "Miss Fortune Falls") is planned to debut in March 2017 at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, near Crush ‘n’ Gusher.
As the storyline goes, "this all-new, family-raft attraction [was] owned by Captain Mary Oceaneer—a sea-faring treasure hunter whose haul was caught in a rogue typhoon and scattered across this tropical paradise years ago..." After boarding a 4-person raft, Guests will enjoy a wild ride while being surrounded by plenty of precious artifacts.

Disney After Hours Returns to Magic Kingdom on January 20

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Disney After Hours, a special, ticketed event at Magic Kingdom Park, takes place on select nights throughout January, February and March with the first event on Friday, Jan. 20. Back by popular demand, this special event gives Guests visiting the Magic Kingdom the chance to maximize their time in the park with little to no wait for popular attractions and character greeting locations. Just like last year, popcorn, ice cream novelties, and bottled beverages are also included during the three-hour event.  

Universal Reveals Opening Date of "Race Through New York"

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Earlier his morning, the Universal Orlando Resort officially announced that the new “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” attraction will officially open on April 6 at Universal Studios Florida. Jimmy announced it last night on his show, along with the fact that The Tonight Show will be taping in the park from April 3–6. You’ll be able to get the ultimate “Tonight Show” experience by getting up close and personal with the show’s most hilarious moments before taking off on a race through the Big Apple. 

#RockTheDots Event Coming to Disney Springs January 22

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Get ready to #RockTheDots! On Sunday, January 22, National Polka Dot Day, Disney Parks will celebrate Minnie’s impact on fashion and popular culture! Disney Springs will honor the signature style of global icon, Minnie Mouse, and Guests can join the polka-dotted fun. Guests are encouraged to visit Disney Springs on Jan. 22 dressed in their polka-dotted finest to join the celebrations, including special photo opportunities, entertainment, discounts, and giveaways. Stay tuned on OTPN for additional details.

Epcot Plans to Update Totem Poles Found in Canada Pavilion

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As part of Walt Disney World's efforts to create culturally authentic experiences for Guests visiting Epcot's World Showcase, the park plans on updating two of the totem poles in the Canada pavilion. Work is planned to be complete by Jan. 20, when two new totem poles will be in place. They have been carved by artist David Boxley, who also carved the totem pole currently on display at the Trading Post. The park will host the Git Hoan Dancers (People of the Salmon) for a dedication ceremony on Jan. 20.

New Ninjago World Officially Opens at LEGOLAND Florida

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Stars of the Netflix series “Fuller House,” including Jodie Sweetin, Michael Campion, Soni Nicole Bringas, Ashley Liao and Elias Harger, and Mckenna Grace, star of ABC’s “Designated Survivor,” visited LEGOLAND Florida Resort earlier today for the grand opening of Ninjago World. The all-new theme park land is filled with several hands-on activities where kids can sharpen their ninja skills before experiencing Ninjago - The Ride, which uses groundbreaking technology never seen outside a LEGOLAND park.

Hollywood Studios Update: The Slow Season is Back (PART 1)

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There is nothing better than walking around a theme park and being able to hop on any ride or attraction with little to no wait. That's one of the best perks that Guests can enjoy of they visit right after a major holiday, and the time to enjoy such perk is here.
Yesterday afternoon we had the opportunity to go back to Disney's Hollywood Studios to take a look around the park and see what's new and what has changed around the park. Let's begin by walking down the beautiful Hollywood Boulevard, shall we?

Hollywood Studios Update: The Slow Season is Back (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our newest Disney's Hollywood Studios photo-update. As always, we invite you to check out PART 1 of this photo-report before continuing. In the previous part, we walked along Hollywood Boulevard and then we checked out the Center Stage area, Animation Courtyard (including the Star Wars Launch Bay), and then we took a peek inside the popular Moana character greeting location. Let's continue to walk around the park to see what else is new. Enjoy the pictures.

Busch Gardens Tampa Releases 2017 Calendar of Events

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Busch Gardens recently announced that Florida residents can take advantage of the BOGO Fun card deal. For those that want even more VIP offerings, the Annual Pass offers unlimited admission for one year, free parking, no blockout dates and benefits totaling more than $300. With EZpay, Annual Passes start at just $14 per month for one park, and $16 per month for both Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. Guests visiting Busch Gardens will enjoy multiple special events throughout the year. 

"The View" to Broadcast Live from Walt Disney World

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The magic kicked off on today’s show as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto joined Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sara Haines, Jedediah Bila and Sunny Hostin live in studio to share the exciting news that “The View” will broadcast from Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. March 6-10 (11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET). The co-hosts will enjoy entertaining conversations on the hottest topics and welcome celebrity guests to the stage at the Tree of Life.

New Disney MaxPass Coming Soon to Disneyland Resort

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Many guests visiting Disney parks around the world already know that the FASTPASS (or FastPass+) service is one of the best ways to make the most of their time. This landmark innovation was first introduced at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World in 1999 as a way to provide Guests with faster access to rides and attractions. Over the years, Disney FASTPASS has evolved and expanded and is used at these theme parks differently, based on the unique ways Guests enjoy Disney's theme parks.

Premium Space Changes at Blizzard Beach Water Park

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As part of the few changes being introduced at Disney's Blizzard Beach water park to improve the Guest service experience, the park's Premium Space check-in location has been moved from Snowless Joe’s to the Beach Haus. The Polar Patios (that's the official name of these premium spaces) at Disney’s Blizzard Beach include a locker, refillable mugs, a cooler full of bottled water, lounge furniture, and towels. Attendants are also available to assists Guests and to offer “tips and tricks” for the water parks.