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Showing posts from April, 2017

New AVATAR Ride Features Most Advanced Animatronic Ever

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In less than a month, Animal Kingdom Guests will be able to see the most advanced Audio-Animatronic ever created when riding the new Na’vi River Journey attraction at Pandora - the World of Avatar. This encounter is a highlight of this family attraction, in which Guests sail down a mysterious river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest filled with glowing plants and wondrous creatures. The river journey culminates when Guests spot the shaman, a figure deeply connected to the creatures of Pandora.

The Music of Pixar LIVE! Dining Package Reservations Open

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This summer, Disney’s Hollywood Studios proudly presents “The Music of Pixar LIVE! A Symphony of Characters.” This limited-time concert event brings to life memorable music from Pixar Animation Studios films, complete with a live orchestra and beloved Disney•Pixar characters. Guests now have the opportunity to book The Music of Pixar LIVE! Dining Package which includes a meal at a select dining location in the park as well as reserved seating for the concert (which officially debuts on Friday, May 26).

Main Entrance Work at the Polynesian, Grand Floridian Resorts

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On Thursday, April 27, paving work begun at the porte-cochere of Disney's Polynesian Village Resort. There will be lane closures through the porte-cochere and flag-men will assist with traffic. Disney Magical Express will stop at the Walt Disney World Transport Bus Stop space during the work. Paving work also begun at the the main entrance of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa from Floridian Way through the security shack. Traffic through the resort is one way in and one way out and there will be lane shifts.

Sesame Street Kids’ Weekends Coming to Busch Gardens

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Everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends are hosting a party just for kids! Guests are invited to join Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and other characters for two fun-filled weekends at Busch Gardens Tampa. "Sesame Street Kids’ Weekends" will take place May 6-7 and 13-14, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature dance parties, interactive craft stations and character parades at the top of every hour during the event. Bring a friend and enjoy exclusive activities, kid-friendly music, and more.

Preview Merchandise Coming to Pandora: The World of Avatar

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The Walt Disney World Resort is allowing park fans to get a closer look at some of the merchandise created for Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Casey Jones, Senior Character Artist with Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media Creative Group, recently shared a sneak peek at some of the designs brought to life through collaboration. The results are truly stunning and will immerse Guests in a brand-new world unlike any they have ever experienced before.

Special Offers Available at Epcot for Dapper Day on April 30

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From April 28 through April 30, Guests will step out in style as part of Dapper Day, an unofficial gathering in celebration of sophisticated fashions. Participants have planned meet ups throughout Walt Disney World Resort, including a Dapper Day visit to Epcot on Sunday, April 30. While this is not a Disney-sponsored event, unique offerings will be available for Guests to enjoy, such as specialty cupcakes, a themed dance party, photo-opportunities, and more. Continue reading for additional information.

Photos: New Entertainment Offerings Coming to Tomorrowland

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Guests visiting the Magic Kingdom Park in the near future will be able to enjoy new entertainment around Tomorrowland. Later this spring, Guests can journey over to the Rockettower Plaza Stage (which is found between Space Mountain and Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress) and join in an intergalactic dance party. The DJ will be spinning fresh tunes and making sure this party is out-of-this-world! To make way for "Cosmic Dance Party," the #INCREDIBLESSuperDanceParty will close on Monday, May 1. 

"Island Market" Soft Openings at Caribbean Beach Resort

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To ensure Guests have convenient access to an array of Food & Beverage offerings throughout Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, the resort will be opening three “island markets” in Martinique, Jamaica, and Aruba. All of these locations will operate from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily, offering a selection of grab & go foods (Coke Freestyle Machines will also be available). Breakfast items include cereal, pastries, yogurt, and more. For lunch and dinner, a variety of sandwiches, wraps, and salads will be available.

Final Food & Wine Festival Weekend at Busch Gardens Tampa

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Latin sensations Bachata Heightz, Justin Quiles & Milly Quezada, and a variety of hit Tribute Bands, take the stage this weekend at Busch Gardens Tampa’s third annual Food & Wine Festival. The festival features 13 different culinary cabins that guests can experience throughout the park, each with its own special menu including three new cabins. The Food & Wine Festival takes place on Saturdays and Sundays now through April 30. Concerts are included with any Pass, Fun Card or daily admission.

Magic Kingdom Update: Security Setup Changes (PART 1)

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A few weeks ago, we reported that the security setup at the Magic Kingdom Park had received major changes, as some bag check locations (including the metal detectors) have been moved closer to the bus stops, while others have been relocated to the Transportation & Ticket Center and the monorail stations at the Disney resorts located around the Seven Seas Lagoon. This afternoon we will take a closer look at some of these changes; afterwards, we will head inside Magic Kingdom to see what's new.

Magic Kingdom Update: Security Setup Changes (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our new Magic Kingdom Park photo-report. As always, we invite you to check out PART 1 of this update to enjoy more photos of the park. In the previous part, we took a quick look around the Transportation & Ticket Center, the entrance plaza of the Magic Kingdom Park, Main Street, and Tomorrowland. Now we will focus on Fantasyland, Liberty Square, and Adventureland to see what else is new. We sincerely hope you will enjoy this virtual tour of this beautiful theme park.

LEGOLAND Florida Releases Kidz Bop Weekend Event Guide

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This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only, the "Kidz Bop Kids" will take the stage at the LEGOLAND Florida Resort as part of the all-new "Best Time Ever" tour. The concert series is kicking off at Kidz Bop Weekend, an inaugural event exclusive to the place at the park. The Kidz Bop Kids will perform at the open-air stadium inside the theme park on the shore of Lake Eloise. The family-friendly shows will include hit songs from their latest album, "Kidz Bop 34," and other hits that'll get kids and parents dancing along.

New Desserts to Be Available at Pandora: The World of Avatar

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While Walt Disney Imagineers continue to put the finishing touches on Pandora - The World of Avatar, some of Walt Disney World's very talented chefs are using their own storytelling magic to create two special sweet endings for the Satu’li Canteen, the new land’s fast casual restaurant (which will be located near the restrooms). “We watched ‘Avatar’ and noted that the Na’vi are in stellar shape – very lean, with beautiful skin and bright yellow eyes,” said Executive Pastry Chef Stefan Riemer. 

Amazing Additions Coming to Walt Disney World This Summer

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This summer season, Guests will be able to discover a truly magical mix of new and unforgettable experiences throughout Walt Disney World Resort, with an all-new land and evening show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a dazzling new fireworks spectacular at Magic Kingdom Park, epic entertainment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and world-class dining at Disney Springs. Continue reading to learn more about the exciting new offerings Guests will be able to enjoy at the Walt Disney World Resort this summer.

New Celebration Buttons Now Available at Universal Orlando

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A few years ago, some of Orlando's theme parks started offering "celebration buttons" to acknowledge special occasions that Guests might be celebrating while on vacation. Just a few weeks ago, the Universal Orlando Resort introduced an all-new selection of buttons (which include ‘My First Visit,’ ‘Happy Anniversary,’ and ‘Just Married’ buttons) that feature some of Universal Orlando’s most beloved characters. These keepsakes are free and may spark interesting conversations with Team Members or Guests.


Special "Dapper Day" Offers to Be Available at Disney Springs

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From April 28 through April 30, Guests will step out in style as part of Dapper Day, an unofficial gathering in celebration of sophisticated fashions. Participants have planned meet ups throughout Walt Disney World Resort, including a Dapper Day Eve visit to Disney Springs on Friday, April 28. On April 28 only, all Guests dressed to impress at Disney Springs will be able to take advantage of a variety of special discounts, offers, and special entertainment for the occasion. Continue reading to learn more.

Walt Disney World Introduces New Soccer Training Program

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The Walt Disney World Resort is teaming with one of the most successful professional soccer leagues in the world to host a soccer program for youth athletes at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. This program, presented by LaLiga and Walt Disney World Resort, will provide a holistic approach to soccer education with a variety of proven, year-round training programs that aim to develop youth soccer athletes both on and off the field and provide coaches and referees with additional instruction.

Last Killer Whale Birth Takes Place at SeaWorld San Antonio

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The very last killer whale to give birth in a SeaWorld theme park is Takara, a 25-year-old matriarch of the orca pod at SeaWorld San Antonio. Takara gave birth to the calf at 2:33 p.m. (Central Time) on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. A team of veterinarians and animal care specialists were on hand for the historic birth and will continue to monitor Takara and her calf 24 hours a day to help ensure a successful start. SeaWorld San Antonio reports Takara and her new calf are bonding, as the baby has begun nursing. 

Animal Kingdom Update: Discovery Island Work (PART 1)

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Multiple areas of Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park continue to receive some love as the park gets ready for the opening of Pandora - The World of AVATAR. Being the largest expansion in the (relatively short) history of this theme park, it's not a surprise that Disney wants all of the themed areas of Animal Kingdom to look great, as a large number of Guests is expected to visit the park this year. Today, we will visit the park to see what's new and what we can look forward to see in the very near future.

Animal Kingdom Update: Discovery Island Work (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our newest Disney's Animal Kingdom photo-report. As usual, we encourage you to check out PART 1 to find even more photos of the park. In the previous part of this new update, we walked around the Oasis, Discovery Island (there's actually a lot going on in that area, even though most Guests visiting the park might not notice some of the things we pointed out), and a few other areas of the park. Let's continue to walk around Disney's Animal Kingdom to see what else is new.

Special Offers Available to All Star Wars Marathon Participants

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Over the past few days, thousands of Guests arrived to the Walt Disney World Resort to participate in the special Star Wars Half Marathon - The Dark Side Weekend.
All those who were part of this event now also have the ability to enjoy some special discounts throughout Disney Springs (the list of locations that offer deals can be found in this post after the "jump"). Participants just need to show their race bib or medal to take advantage of these special offers through Sunday, April 23, 2017.

Take a Peek at Happily Ever After's Score Recording Session

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The new fireworks spectacular Happily Ever After is now less than a month away from debuting at Magic Kingdom Park, and the official Disney Parks Blog recently shared a behind-the-scenes video that allows fans to take a peek inside the recording session for the show’s amazing musical score. “Music is truly at the heart of everything,” said Michael Jung, Executive Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering. “It’s the script, it’s the emotion, it’s the thing that guides us through the show.”

Universal Studios Update: Fate of the Furious Cars on Display

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Spring Break has come and gone, and crowds have started to be more manageable around Central Florida's theme parks. At Universal Studios Florida, the new "Race Through New York Staring Jimmy Fallon" officially opened to the public, meaning that there are less construction walls around the park (for now, of course...). The only other major project currently going on inside the park is Fast & Furious: Supercharged, which will open to the public in 2018. Let's take a look around the park.

Special Offerings Available for Dapper Day at Magic Kingdom

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From April 28 through April 30, Guests will step out in style as part of Dapper Day, an unofficial gathering in celebration of sophisticated fashions. Participants have planned meet ups throughout Walt Disney World Resort, including a Dapper Day visit to Magic Kingdom Park on Saturday, April 29. While this is not a Disney-sponsored event, a number of unique offerings will be available to Guests, such as boxed lunches, floral offerings, specialty cupcakes (typical, isn't is?), additional merchandise, and more. 

“Rivers of Light” Returns to One Show Nightly Starting April 24

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Guests visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park should note that, starting from April 24, Rivers of Light will be performed only once every evening through May 26 (the only exception will be April 29, as the show will be performed at 8:45 p.m. and 10 p.m., but this will not be reflected in the Times Guide). Rivers of Light will continue to run nightly through September 3, having two shows from May 27 through July 4. It's very likely that a second show will be added on some nights later this summer.

New Latin-Inspired Menu Items Coming to SeaWorld Orlando

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SeaWorld Orlando’s new Seven Seas Food Festival debuts Latin-inspired menu items starting this Saturday, April 22. Flavorful food and drink items combine with many of the hottest Hispanic artists to bring the festival to life. To complement the Saturday schedule, the event has added performances on Sundays May 7 and May 14, giving guests more opportunities to experience all the Seven Seas Food Festival has to offer. Continue reading to learn more about the special offerings that await park Guests!

VIDEO: See the Plants and Animals that Will Populate Pandora

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When Walt Disney Imagineering and Lightstorm Entertainment joined forces to create Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, they aimed to create an entirely new, immersive world for Guests to explore, where everything that surrounds them will come to life and interact with them in a lot of different ways (many special effects will involve light, making this land even more spectacular at night). And part of creating this new world involved designing an ecosystem of plants and animals.

Disney Shares More Details About New Star Wars Experiences

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At a panel discussion at the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando entitled Star Wars and Disney Parks: A Galaxy in the Making, creative minds from Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Imagineering discussed their unique partnership and shared additional details about the new galactic lands being created at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. Everyone in the room got to experience the excitement and commitment this team is bringing to this amazing project that is sure to please many fans of the saga.

BOGO Fun Card Deal Ending Soon at Busch Gardens Tampa

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Don’t miss out on the best deal around! Now through April 30, guests who purchase a 2017 Fun Card will receive a free Adventure Island Fun Card. Time is limited to take advantage of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s 2017 BOGO Fun Card deal which allows guests to pay for a day and come back all year to both premiere Tampa parks. From world-class rollercoasters to high-thrill water slides, Fun Card holders get access to a stellar lineup of year-round events, plus unlimited admission to Adventure Island.

Epcot Update: Flower & Garden Festival Continues (PART 1)

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Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival continues to draw crowds thanks to the amazing topiaries and flower arrangements that can be found all around the park.
While taking a tour of Epcot, we noticed a lack of new developments since our last visit (except for the new margarita stand being built in the Mexico pavilion); that being said, this is the best time of the year to visit this unique theme park, as it is currently filled with colorful flowers and plants. We really hope you will enjoy the pictures.

Epcot Update: Flower & Garden Festival Continues (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part this new Epcot photo-report, Orlando Theme Park News Readers! Don't forget to also check out PART 1 of this update by clicking on this link. In the previous part, we took a look around the entrance of the park (as we always do), Future World West, and only one of the World Showcase pavilions. We will now complete this virtual tour of the park by checking out other areas of World Showcase. We invite you to share your comments with us at the end of the update.

Kidz Bop Weekend Coming to LEGOLAND Florida April 28-30

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KIDZ BOP fans, get ready for the best news ever! The No. 1 music brand for kids will deliver three days of high-energy fun during the KIDZ BOP Weekend April 28-30 at the LEGOLAND Florida Resort, an inaugural event exclusive to the multi-day vacation destination #BuiltForKids. The KIDZ BOP Kids will kick off their 2017 Best Time Ever tour with two live concerts daily at the newly-renamed KIDZ BOP Stadium, an outdoor venue within the LEGOLAND theme park on the shore of Lake Eloise. 

Work to Take Place Around Animal Kingdom Starting Today

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Multiple areas of Animal Kingdom will be under construction in the coming weeks.
Construction to enhance the Serka Zong Bazaar merchandise location began today (Monday, April 17) and will continue through May 12. During construction, the location will remain open. In addition to that, the FastPass+ touch points and entrance queue area at Kilimanjaro Safaris will undergo refurbishment from April 17 through May 12. A secondary queue will be used during the entire duration of this construction project.

Frozen Summer Games Returning to Disney's Blizzard Beach

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Fans of Disney’s animated film “Frozen” will have another chance to chill this summer with the return of the Frozen Summer Games at Disney’s Blizzard Beach. Olaf will be living his summer dream as he and Kristoff host the impromptu sporting event full of friendly, fun competitions. From May 26 to August 13, Guests visiting the water park will be able to join either “Team Kristoff” or “Team Olaf” as they participate in Frozen-themed activities like Ice Pail Relays, Snowball Toss, Ski Pole Limbo, or Slide Races. 

SeaWorld Orlando Update: The Sky Tower is Back (PART 1)

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Just a few days ago, SeaWorld Orlando announced that a brand-new rapids ride will officially open in the park next year. Even though we are more than a year away from the opening of Infinity Falls, there's still a lot to see around the park, including the new Dolphin Nursery (which is still under construction at this time), a refurbished Journey to Atlantis, and plenty of new details and small additions that help in creating an even more pleasant Guest experience. Join us and take a virtual stroll around the park.

SeaWorld Orlando Update: The Sky Tower is Back (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our new SeaWorld Orlando photo-report. Don't forget to also check out PART 1 of this update by clicking on this link to find more pictures. In the previous part, we took a quick look around the entrance of the park, the Port of Entry, and the Waterfront district. We will now continue to explore this beautiful theme park by entering Antarctica, the Sea of Mystery, Key West, and more. As you'll notice, there's still a lot to see around the various themed areas of SeaWorld Orlando.

Disney Reveals Additional Details About "Happily Ever After"

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Happily Ever After,” the new nighttime fireworks spectacular, is set to debut at Magic Kingdom Park on May 12. As part of the show, Guests will join some of their favorite Disney characters on their journey to pursue their dreams and find their “happily ever afters.” The show also encourages guests to pursue their own dreams and never give up. While the “story” of the show is the most important part of “Happily Ever After,” choosing the right tools to tell it are essential in creating an unforgettable offering.

Fire Restrictions in Place at Disney Hotels Due to Dry Weather

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Due to dry weather conditions, there are currently fire restrictions throughout Central Florida. As a result, campfires at all Walt Disney World Resorts will not be available.
Charcoal grills, where available, may not be used. Guests will be able to use personal propane grills at their sites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground during this time; however, they may not use personal fire pits, charcoal grills, wood grills, tiki torches, or other similar items, as the restrictions currently apply to all open flames.

Star Wars Days Event Returns to LEGOLAND Florida in May

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This May, the creativity of the popular LEGO building system will meet the out-of-this-world adventures and many beloved characters from “a galaxy far, far away” when the LEGO Star Wars Days event returns to the LEGOLAND Florida Resort. Authorized by Lucasfilm, this year’s event will double the fun on two separate weekends – from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14. Park Guests have a lot to look forward to.

Yacht and Beach Club: Fittings & Fairings Shop Refurbishment

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The "Fittings & Fairings Clothes & Notions" shop will close for refurbishment beginning Monday, April 17 at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club (according to some rumors, a new quick-service location will be created in that space, reducing the size of the shop).
During this time, Guests may purchase merchandise items like snacks, nonalcoholic beverages, apparel, select Dooney & Bourke products, select sundries, and more in the lobby near Ale & Compass Lounge. Operating hours will be 6 a.m.-midnight. 

Upcoming Disney Springs Offers & Discounts (April 16-22)

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The Walt Disney World Resort recently started celebrating "Marketplace Monday" with a special, limited-time deal every Monday in April around Disney Springs. On April 17, Guests can show the @DisneySprings Twitter account offer on their mobile device to receive discounts at select locations throughout Disney Springs (more details can be found in this same article after the "jump"). In addition to that, select shopping and dining locations will offer discounts all week long. Continue reading to learn more.

Infinity Falls River Rapids Coming to SeaWorld Orlando in 2018

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Yesterday morning, SeaWorld Orlando unveiled its latest world-class attraction, Infinity Falls, that will officially debut summer 2018. Thrilling rapids will roar through the brand new rainforest river experience, while adventure-seeking guests plunge down a 40-foot drop, the world’s tallest drop for a river rapids ride. The attraction will also feature a vertical lift. “We are constantly looking at new ways to amaze our guests – Infinity Falls will do that, and more,” said Jim Dean, President of SeaWorld Orlando Parks.

Viewing for the Tree of Life Awakening to be Expanded Soon

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The "awakenings" at the Tree of Life have become a must-see at Animal Kingdom.
To give Guests even more opportunities to enjoy the projection show, the four different stories told on the Tree of Life will soon be able to be seen on both sides of the park’s icon. Starting with the "Disney story" in late May, Guests walking along Caravan Road (the pathway between Africa and Asia) will get a great view as the Tree of Life comes to life each evening. The rest of the stories will be added throughout summer.

Disney Water Parks Extend Operating Hours Through April 16

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In the past few days, the theme parks and attractions in the Central Florida area have been busier than usual due to the presence of holiday crowds (the situation should improve starting from next week). In order to give Guests more time to enjoy Disney's water parks, the operating hours of Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach have been extended until 6 p.m. each day through Sunday, April 16. All of the offerings available during the additional time will be updated for Guests in My Disney Experience.

SeaWorld Orlando Returns Loggerhead Sea Turtle to the Wild

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After nearly eight months of specialized care, SeaWorld Orlando’s Rescue Team and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission returned the largest Loggerhead Sea Turtle ever rehabilitated by SeaWorld back home to the ocean. The turtle was released this morning at Vero Beach. The female Loggerhead was estimated to be at least 20 years old with a weight of nearly 350 pounds. The turtle was found lethargic and covered in algae at Tracking Station Park in Vero Beach last August.

Wi-Fi Hot Spot Testing at Disneyland Resort Starting April 24

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Starting Monday, April 24, Disneyland will be testing Wi-Fi hot spots at select locations around the resort. As part of this test, Guests will not see any visible indication that testing is taking place. Guests may notice a new wireless network available on their mobile devices starting April 10. If they follow the steps to connect, they can access and utilize the Wi-Fi in that area starting April 24. Guests may have trouble connecting their device to the Wi-Fi network during this testing period.

Star Wars Half Marathon Impacts at Walt Disney World Resort

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Thousands of runners are preparing to jump into lightspeed for the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side Weekend on April 21-23. During this imperial running event (which officially begins on Friday, April 21 at 6:00 a.m.), Guests and Cast Members driving in certain areas of the Walt Disney World Resort may find that select roads will be closed to traffic to allow the runners to safely enjoy the event. In addition to that, some of the offerings at Epcot and Hollywood Studios may be impacted by the event.

Volcano Bay Update: Grand Opening Day is Getting Closer

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In a little over a month and a half, Universal Orlando's Volcano Bay will officially open to Guests, featuring amazing water slides, two lazy rivers, a virtual queuing system, a unique selection of food & beverage offerings, interactive elements, and more. Seeing this  area changing from an empty plot of land to an immersive water park has been very exciting, but it looks like the finish line is just around the corner. As you will see in the following photos, the park looks almost ready to welcome its first Guests.

Stitch’s Great Escape to Be Open to Guests All Summer Long

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Stitch’s Great Escape (the theater-in-the-round experience found in the Tomorrowland area of the Magic Kingdom Park) will be available for all Guests to enjoy through April 19, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily before it returns to a seasonal operation on April 20. In addition to that, park Guests will also be able to enjoy the attraction all summer long. Stitch's Great Escape will reopen again on May 28 and will operate daily through August 19. The attraction is expected to reopen again by the end of the year.

Kali River Rapids Lockers Unavailable at Animal Kingdom

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Guests planning on visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom in the next few days should be aware that the complimentary lockers located next to the Kali River Rapids attraction will be unavailable through Friday, April 14 (the lockers are expected to be available to Guests starting Saturday, April 15). Guests in need of assistance with their belongings during the downtime should see a Cast Member at the entrance of the ride. Guests can also find lockers near the main entrance of the park, which are available for a fee.