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Showing posts from September, 2017

Celebrate Epcot's 35th Anniversary by Recalling 35 Milestones

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"To all who come to this place of joy, hope and friendship, welcome. Epcot Center is inspired by Walt Disney's creative genius. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, the wonders of enterprise, and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all. May Epcot Center entertain, inform and inspire. And, above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man's ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere." — E. Cardon Walker.

Magic Kingdom Update: Fewer Tarps and Lower Wait Times (PART 1)

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The slow season is a great time to visit Central Florida's theme parks. As you will notice in the following photo-report, many of Magic Kingdom's most popular attractions have shorter-than-usual wait times (excluding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan's Flight, of course). That being said, one of the the park's beloved attractions - Splash Mountain - is currently closed for refurbishment. Let's begin to take a look around this amazing park an see what's new since the last time we visited.

Magic Kingdom Update: Fewer Tarps and Lower Wait Times (PART 2)

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Thank you for joining us in the second part of this new Magic Kingdom photo-report! As always, we invite you to also check out PART 1 of this update to enjoy more photos taken around the park.
In the previous part, we explored the entrance of the park, Main Street, Adventureland, and the entrance of Frontierland. As you'll see in the following pictures, the extensive refurbishment of Splash Mountain and The Hall of Presidents continues, while work also takes place in Tomorrowland.

D-Living Closing for Refurbishment on Oct. 8 at Disney Springs

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Guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort are aware of the fact that many of the restaurants, shops, and other Disney Springs offerings are constantly evolving to offer a better product. D-Living (one of the themed stores located in the Town Center neighborhood of Disney Springs) will temporarily close at the end of business day on Sunday, October 8 in order to install a new theme. The location is expected to reopen in November and will feature apparel and accessories.

Grand Avenue and BaseLine Tap House Open at Hollywood Studios

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Earlier today, one of the newest themed areas of Disney's Hollywood Studios officially opened to Guests. Inspired by present-day Downtown Los Angeles, Grand Avenue captures the spirit with trendy shops, lofts, restaurants, and other businesses utilizing former office buildings and warehouses that have been converted over the last couple of decades. Grand Avenue is home to several familiar favorites including Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano, Muppet*Vision 3D, and more.

LEGOLAND Donates 20,000 Tickets to Kids Impacted by Hurricane

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To lift the spirits of Florida children in the wake of Hurricane Irma, LEGOLAND Florida Resort will donate 18,000 theme park tickets to the UNICEF Kid Power Schools program and 2,000 tickets to Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs. Made in conjunction with Merlin’s Magic Wand, the global charity of the park's parent company Merlin Entertainments, the total donation is valued at more than $1.8 million, making it the largest ticket giveaway in the resort’s nearly six-year history.

Food & Beverage Updates at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (Oct. 2017)

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As you may already know, many exciting changes are in development at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. During this exciting time, the Walt Disney World Resort will continue to ensure that Guests have a great experience while visiting the resort. As part of this project, from October 2 to November 1 the Yachtsman Steakhouse will offer casual dining for breakfast and lunch; in addition to that, a larger selection of hot menu items will be available for dinner at The Market at Ale & Compass.

Mobile Order to Be Available at Casey's Corner Starting Oct. 3

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The Walt Disney World Resort recently confirmed that "Mobile Order" will be expanding availability to Casey's Corner (located on Main Street, U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom Park) beginning October 3.
Using the My Disney Experience app, Guests can select menu items, customize their order and pre-pay for their meal. When they arrive at the restaurant they tap the “I’m here” button in the app, which notifies the kitchen to prepare the meal. Guests then pick up their food at a designated window.

Disney Cast Members Taking Care of Four Hooded Pitta Hatchlings

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Disney's Animals, Science and Environment Cast Members lead Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to care for animals and the environment, connect people to nature, and conserve our natural resources. At the moment, some of the Cast Members working at the Aviary Research Center (located at the Walt Disney World Resort) are taking great care of the many hatchlings that have emerged from their shells over the last two weeks, including four hooded pittas.

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

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Universal Studios Florida continues to evolve at a very fast pace. Almost all of the classic Universal rides and shows are now gone. Kongfrontation, Back to the Future: The Ride, JAWS, Twister, Earthquake, and many other attractions are just a thing of the past, and Terminator 2:3D will soon follow them, as the building it occupies will soon feature an entirely new live show (click here to learn more). Let's take a look around the park as we wait for more exciting announcements.

Sumatran Tiger Gives Birth at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

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Last month, Sohni, a Sumatran tiger gave birth to a pair of cubs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The park's dedicated team of animal care experts has announced that the tiger gave birth to a male and female cub – both weighing about 12 pounds and growing fast. Their eyes have opened and they are also beginning to learn how to walk on their own. The new family is continuing to bond well, as Sohni has been a great mom, feeding and grooming the cubs throughout the day.

Baseline Tap House Cast Previews Coming to Hollywood Studios

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To celebrate the opening of Grand Avenue and BaseLine Tap House (the official date has not been announced yet), Disney’s Hollywood Studios Cast Members will soon be able to will have the opportunity to explore the new food & beverage location and sample menu items including the Bavarian Pretzel with beer-cheese Fondue and Spicy Mustard and the house-made Blue Sky Black Cherry soda. Cast previews will take place on Sept. 29 (8:30-10 a.m.) and Sept. 30 (8-10 a.m).

Free LEGOLAND Ticket Coupon Available at McDonald's Restaurants

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Now through October 9, a LEGOLAND Kids Go Free coupon will be included inside every “The LEGO NINJAGO Movie” Happy Meal at participating U.S. McDonald’s restaurants. The coupon is good for one free, single-day child ticket with the purchase of a full-price, single-day adult ticket, for visits all the way through Aug. 31, 2018. The free child ticket must be of the same type as the adult ticket purchased, and can include a theme park-only ticket or a theme park/water park combo ticket.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Update: Echo Lake Drained (PART 1)

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Almost every single themed land of Disney's Hollywood Studios currently has a section closed to the public due to construction. While we are all looking forward to the future Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land, a number of smaller additions will complement these expansive areas by creating an even more pleasant environment (the bare Soundstage look no longer works in an era when theme parks strive to create ultra-themed environments). Let's see what's new this week...

Disney's Hollywood Studios Update: Echo Lake Drained (PART 2)

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Thank you for joining us in the second part of our latest Disney's Hollywood Studios photo-report. Be sure to check out PART 1 of this update to enjoy even more pictures taken around the park.
In the previous part, we walked around the entrance of the park, Hollywood Boulevard, the Center Stage ( the park's central hub), Commissary Lane, and the area surrounding the new Grand Avenue. Let's continue to explore Disney's Hollywood Studios by heading toward Muppet Courtyard.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Update: Echo Lake Drained (PART 3)

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Thank you for joining us in the second part of our latest Disney's Hollywood Studios photo-report. Don't forget to check out PART 2 of this update to enjoy even more pictures taken around the park.
In the previous part, we spent some time exploring Muppet Courtyard and the adjacent Echo Lake (we hope you enjoyed the large amount of photos of the drained body of water located by the Indiana Jones stunt show. You're welcome). Let's wrap things up by heading to the back of the park.

Special Offers Available at Disney Springs Through September 30

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Every week, select Disney Springs restaurants and shops offer special discounts to Guests. Here's a look at  some of the special offers that will be available at Disney Springs through Sept. 30: 1) TUMI: Save 20% on most items 2) Set the Bar: Save 20%-70% on all items through late September 3) La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil: Tickets starting at $49 for category 4 seating (through Dec. 16).

Disney Shares More Details About Epcot's 35th Anniversary

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Many theme park fans (including us!) are currently planning on visiting Epcot on October 1 for the park’s 35th anniversary. While we are sure this will be another great event, the Walt Disney World Resort didn't share any specific details about the special offerings that will be available on that special day... until now. Similarly to what happened in past years, Guests can look forward to commemorative park maps, exclusive merchandise, an amazing fireworks show, and more.

Islands of Adventure: Dragon Challenge Demolition Begins (PART 1)

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Dragon Challenge permanently closed just a few weeks ago at Universal's Islands of Adventure, causing the number of the park's roller coasters to drop to two (three if we include Pteranodon Flyers). That being said, Islands of Adventure continues to offer plenty of thrill rides, including Doctor Doom's Fear Fall, Dudley Do Right's Ripsaw Falls, Jurassic Park River Adventure, and many more. We can also look forward to multiple new shows and attractions coming soon to this park.

Islands of Adventure: Dragon Challenge Demolition Begins (PART 2)

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Thank you for joining us for the second part of our newest Universal's Islands of Adventure photo-report. As a reminder, PART 1 of this update includes more photos taken around this great park.
In the previous part, we walked around Port of Entry, Marvel Superhero Island, and Toon Lagoon. While there wasn't anything new to see there, you can expect quite a few interesting changes in other areas of the park, especially in Jurassic Park and Hogsmeade. Enjoy the rest of this tour.

New "Secret Menu Item" Coming Soon to the Magic Kingdom

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To continue to present Guests with unique experiences, a new secret menu item will be introduced at Magic Kingdom Park later this fall. Secret menu items are unadvertised offerings that park Guests may learn about from a friend or discover on their own. While the details are a secret, the Walt Disney World Resort confirmed that Guests using the Mobile Order service on the My Disney Experience app may soon stumble across this new offering, which is “out-of-this-world!”

Backstage Construction Begins at Epcot for New Ratatouille Ride

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The Walt Disney World Resort confirmed internally that construction has begun to take place in backstage areas of the France pavilion at Epcot. As announced at the D23 Expo 2017, the France pavilion will expand to welcome a “Ratatouille”-inspired attraction. Similar to Ratatouille: The Adventure at Disneyland Paris, this ride will allow Guests to shrink to Remy’s size and scurry to safety in a chase across a kitchen with the sights, sounds, and smells of Gusteau’s restaurant.

Brevard Zoo Rehabilitates and Returns Sea Turtle to the Ocean

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Earlier this month in Satellite Beach, staff and volunteers from Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center released Gabriel, a subadult loggerhead. In July, Gabriel was found in a debilitated state in the Indian River Lagoon just south of Sebastian Inlet. He arrived emaciated and covered in barnacles, algae and leeches. Healing Center staff provided Gabriel with nutritious food (he gained 20 pounds in his first two months of rehabilitation), vitamins, and treatment for intestinal parasites.

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground Reopens to Guests

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After having been closed for almost two weeks due to the damages caused by Hurricane Irma, the Walt Disney World Resort confirmed that Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground has reopened to Guests (it officially reopened on Wednesday, September 20). Dining reservations at the resort, including Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, are also currently being accepted. Reservations may be made by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463.

PHOTOS: Walt Disney Presents Debuts at Hollywood Studios

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The former Walt Disney: One Man's Dream exhibit recently reopened as Walt Disney Presents at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The attraction continues to showcase historic items from Walt Disney’s history, such as sketches, photos and storyboards, as well as a screening of a short film hosted by screen legend Julie Andrews. Walt Disney Presents also invites Guests to discover the man behind the mouse and his ongoing legacy through a look at the past, present and future of Disney parks.

Updated Guidemaps Debut at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park

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Updated guidemaps are now available to Guests visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom. The new maps feature the Na'vi River Journey attraction on the cover and include a number of minor changes such as the removal of the breakfast offering at the Satu'li Canteen, the "Mobile Ordering" designation for Flame Tree Barbecue, and the addition of the Rainforest Cafe Safari Bar. New guidemaps include updated English maps, as well as all five translations and the Guide for Guests with Disabilities.

The Crayola Experience Offers Free Admission to First Responders

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The Crayola Experience is saying "thank you" to First Responders and Linemen! First Responders (Police, Firefighters, EMS, and 911 dispatchers) and Linemen get in free every day! In addition to that, their immediate family members get 50% off admission at the Orlando location (this special offer is limited to spouse, children, and grandparents). Eligible Guests must show valid I.D. Offer expires October 31, 2017. Click on this link to learn more about the Crayola Experience.

Typhoon Lagoon Update: Visiting the Water Park After Dark (PART 1)

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Even after the opening of Universal's brand-new Volcano Bay, many Guests visiting the Central Florida area still think that Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is Orlando's best water park. The tropical landscape, thrilling slides, huge wave pool, and the top-notch theming continue to amaze Guests of all ages. The park's newest attraction, Miss Adventure Falls, quickly became one of the park's favorites (it even included the first Audio-Animatronic in a Disney water park!) Take a look around.

Typhoon Lagoon Update: Visiting the Water Park After Dark (PART 2)

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Thank you for joining us for the second part of this new Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park photo-report! As usual, we invite you to check out PART 1 of this update by clicking on this link.
In the previous part, we walked around the entrance of the park and we started to explore some of the beautiful areas surrounding some of the slides that can be found near the bottom of the iconic mountain found in the middle of Typhoon Lagoon. Let's continue to explore the park after sunset.

Free Henna Tattoos Available at Restaurant Marrakesh at Epcot

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Families dining at Restaurant Marrakesh (the table-service location found in the Morocco pavilion at Epcot) can now enjoy complimentary henna tattoos for children ages 12 and under. Children must order a meal to take advantage of this offer. Restaurant Marrakesh offers Moroccan delicacies such as roast lamb, shish kebab, couscous, and brochette of chicken. Additionally, belly dancers and live music continue to entertain Guests each evening (check at the location for showtimes).

Virtual Reality Headsets Coming to "Project X" at LEGOLAND Florida

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Prepare to take a ride on the wildest LEGO race ever imagined when cutting-edge virtual reality technology combines with roller coaster thrills in an exhilarating new attraction opening in 2018 at LEGOLAND Florida Resort . Developed under the supervision of Merlin Magic Making, the company’s global creative and delivery division, The Great LEGO Race will transform the existing “Project X” roller coaster into an exciting, high-octane experience that puts kids in the driver’s seat.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Update: Rivers of Light Changes (PART 1)

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It is not a secret that Disney's Animal Kingdom is currently our favorite Central Florida theme park (we said "currently" because Epcot used to be our favorite, followed by Islands of Adventure, Magic Kingdom, and now Animal Kingdom). What makes the park so special? The park's amazing natural setting is unrivaled, and many of the attractions and animal experiences that Guests can enjoy are truly top-notch (Dino-Rama is an exception, obviously). Let's see what's new around the park...

Disney's Animal Kingdom Update: Rivers of Light Changes (PART 2)

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Thank you for joining us for he second part of our newest Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park photo-report. Don't forget to check out PART 1 of this update by clicking on this link. In the previous part, we walked around Discovery Island, Pandora - The World of AVATAR, Africa, and Asia. The rest of this photo-tour will take you to DinoLand U.S.A. and will highlight some changes that we recently noticed when enjoying Rivers of Light. We hope you will enjoy the pictures!

Savannah Bee Co. Now Open, Vince Camuto Closes at Disney Springs

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Savannah Bee Company is now open in a brand-new retail space in The Landing (one of the fours Disney Springs "neighborhoods") next to The Ganachery.  The location will continue to offer all-natural honeybee-inspired body and beauty products, as well as a variety of delicious, artisanal honey. In addition to that, be aware that the Vince Camuto store had its final day of operation on Friday, September 15. Disney has not yet announced what will replace this merchandise location.

Brevard Zoo Returns Nearly 1,500 Baby Sea Turtles to the Beach

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After a few days’ reprieve from stormy beach and ocean conditions, nearly 1,500 freshly hatched green and loggerhead sea turtles displaced by hurricanes Irma and Jose have been transferred to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for release. They spent the night at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton and will be placed on offshore mats of seaweed later today (Friday, September 15). Staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to document and care for each turtle.

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park to Remain Closed on Sept. 15

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Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will continue to be closed today (Friday, September 15) as Cast Members continue to clean up after Hurricane Irma. Guests may visit Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park during its normal operating hours of 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In addition to that, Disney's Fantasia Gardens and Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Courses are open for Guests. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is expected to reopen to Guests later this week.

Mobile Order Coming to Sunset Boulevard at Hollywood Studios

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Mobile Order will be expanding availability to Rosie's All-American Café, Catalina Eddie's, and Fairfax Fare at Hollywood Studios beginning Sept. 19. Using the My Disney Experience app, Guests can select menu items, customize their order and pre-pay for their meal. When they arrive at the restaurant they tap an “I’m here” button in the app, which notifies the kitchen to prepare the meal. When ready, Guests are alerted through the app to pick up their meal at a designated window.

Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground to Remain Closed This Week

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Due to the damage caused by hurricane Irma, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will continue to remain closed for a few more days. The resort is expected to reopen next week. Guests with existing reservations will be relocated to other Walt Disney World hotels. Dining reservations at the resort, including Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, will be canceled while the resort is closed (Guests will be offered alternative dining arrangements or a refund).

SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Offer BOGO Deal Through Sept. 17

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The devastation caused by Hurricane Irma has been described by families and homeowners on news networks globally over the past several days. Many Floridians are without power, and some schools and businesses remain closed. SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay are offering a respite for storm-weary Florida residents: a buy one, get one single day ticket offer, available for purchase and use through Sunday, September 17, 2017.

Satu’li Canteen Operating Hours Change at Disney's Animal Kingdom

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Beginning Sunday, September 17, the Satu’li Canteen (an excellent quick-service restaurant located in Pandora - The World of AVATAR, next to the exit of AVATAR Flight of Passage) will no longer be serving breakfast daily. The location will continue to serve lunch and dinner beginning at 10 a.m. daily, while breakfast will be offered only during peak periods. Be sure to check the park's Times Guide as well as the My Disney Experience app for additional information.

Disney After Hours Returns to the Magic Kingdom Park in 2018

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Earlier this year, Guests who attended Disney After Hours events at Magic Kingdom Park were able to enjoy quicker access to select rides and character greeting locations. The Walt Disney World Resort confirmed that this special ticketed event will return in 2018, enabling participants to maximize their time in the park with quicker access to over 25 attractions and character greetings. Ice cream novelties, popcorn, and bottled beverages will continue to be available free of charge.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort Officially Reopens to Guests on Sept. 14

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For the past few days, the entirety of LEGOLAND Florida Resort (including the theme park, water park, and on-site hotels) were closed as they were without power. LEGOLAND Florida theme park will resume normal operations today (Thursday, Sept. 14) as scheduled. The park will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The two hotels are also open to admit arriving guests. LEGOLAND Water Park will resume normal operations Saturday, Sept. 16, as scheduled and will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Select Walt Disney World Locations Closed Until Further Notice

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Over the past few days, Cast and Team Members at the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, LEGOLAND Florida, and other theme parks and attractions have done an outstanding job assisting Guests to ensure they had a positive experience while a major storm impacted the Central Florida area. Due to the extreme winds and rain caused by hurricane Irma, some of Walt Disney World's parks, attractions, and resorts are still closed until further notice. Continue reading to learn more.

Central Florida Theme Parks Share Updates After Hurricane Irma

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Hurricane Irma has finally left Central Florida, but that doesn't mean that things have gone back to normal yet, as a number of people are dealing with damages caused by this intense storm. The area's theme parks and attractions recently begun sharing some updates in regards to the safety of Cast Members and operational adjustments that will impact such locations in the coming days. Continue reading to find the latest updates posted by some of the area's major attractions:

PHOTOS: Preview the New "Grand Avenue" at Hollywood Studios

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A few days before Walt Disney World's theme parks, water parks, and attractions closed to Guests due to Hurricane Irma, crews begun removing tarps from buildings and temporary walls, giving Guests the chance to take a peek "behind the scenes." One of the most interesting areas is the new Grand Avenue that's currently still under construction next to Muppets Courtyard at Disney's Hollywood Studios. As you will see, this corner of the park looks almost ready to open to Guests.

SeaWorld Welcomes Five Dolphins Before Hurricane Irma Hits Florida

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In anticipation of Hurricane Irma’s landfall in Florida, five Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins were transported from Dolphin Connection, a marine mammal organization owned by Hawks Cay Resort in Duck Key to SeaWorld Orlando. Four team members from Dolphin Connection traveled with the dolphins and are caring for them at SeaWorld’s behind the scenes area. Dolphin Connection is a renowned marine life educational facility with interactive dolphin conservation programs.

Special Offers Available at Disney Springs September 12-16

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Here's a look at some of the special deals and offers available at Disney Springs September 12-16:
1) Set the Bar: Save 20%-70% on all items through late September
2) Tommy Bahama: Purchase one top and bottom and save 25% through September 13
3) La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil: Tickets starting at $49 for category 4 seating through Dec. 16. Florida resident Fun Packs are also available, starting at $129 for four Category 3 seating tickets.

Magic Kingdom Update: Splash Mountain Closure and More (PART 1)

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As we wait for hurricane Irma to continue following its path, we thought it would be a good idea to focus on something positive and share some photos we recently took while visiting the Magic Kingdom Park (more photo-reports will be shared later today and in the coming days, unless we lose power). As you will see, Splash Mountain is currently temporarily closed for refurbishment, while buildings are hidden behind tarps (which are being removed due to the approaching storm).

Magic Kingdom Update: Splash Mountain Closure and More (PART 2)

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Thank you for joining us for the second part of this new Magic Kingdom Park photo-report. Be sure to check out PART 1 of this update to enjoy even more pictures taken around this wonderful park.
In the previous part, we walked around the entrance of the park, Main Street U.S.A., the central hub, Liberty Square, Frontierland, and Adventureland. Let's continue our tour of the park by checking out the remaining themed areas: Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Enjoy the rest of this photo-tour.

Updated Animal Kingdom Maps to Be Available Starting Sept. 12

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Updated guidemaps will be available at Disney's Animal Kingdom starting from Tuesday, Sept. 12 (they were originally going to be available starting Sunday, but hurricane Irma caused the parks to be closed through Monday). The new guidemaps will feature Na'vi River Journey on the front cover and will be available in English as well as all five translations (the Guide for Guests with Disabilities will also be updated to reflect the changes that are being introduced to the park map this month).