Hi there! Welcome to our weekly roundup of the most interesting theme park news around the Walt Disney World Resort, the Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and other theme parks.
Here are this week’s theme park highlights:
- Extended park hours are set to begin at Disney's Animal Kingdom over Memorial Day Weekend as this park becomes a full-day destination. Additionally, Tiffins, the new signature restaurant coming to the park, will open that same weekend. It will feature a diverse menu that represents the many places that inspired the creation of the park. As we detailed in yesterday's post, we attended the Awaken Summer preview this week and got to experience many of these new nighttime attractions and entertainment.
- And here's something we hope both frogs and friends alike can celebrate. Disney's Animal Kingdom will host a Party for the Planet today in honor of Earth Day and the park's opening in 1998. As part of the activities, you can meet Disney imagineer Joe Rohde, who will sign autographs for his artwork created for the Disney Conservation Fund initiative and a new coffee table book.
- Three new food kiosks are coming to Disney Springs, offering more quick options.
Aristocrepes, Daily Poutine & B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co. each bring their own distinctive options. Aristocrepes opens May 22; the other two open May 15.
- And in just a few short weeks, the fourth and final neighborhood of Disney Springs, Town Center, will open, bringing with it a number of new retailers and restaurants—more than 30 in all! For a shopping fanatic like moi, it's everything I could ever want. Now I can get my fill of Disney shopping and then other major retailers I love too.
- Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular will start in June, Disney announced this week, bringing in the most ambitious fireworks show ever to this park. A Galactic Spectacular will combine fireworks, pyrotechnics and projection mapping to turn the Chinese Theater and other buildings into iconic scenes from the films.
- Disney also shared a concept rendering video of the Slinky Dog Dash, a family coaster, that will open in the coming Toy Story Land. They also shared details about the second attraction, the spinning Alien Swirling Saucers, coming to the land. And there should be shorter wait times for Toy Story Mania in just a few short weeks as a third track will open over Memorial Day Weekend.
- Hard to believe it can possibly be time to start the announcement of houses for Halloween Horror Nights, but Universal Orlando has done it! Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the first announced house for this year's event.
- Over at Universal's Islands of Adventure, the final piece of track has been laid into place on Incredible Hulk Coaster. The park headliner has been undergoing a massive reimbursement for months.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend!
If you’re thinking about a trip to Disney World, make sure to check out the other news, tips and information we post to the blog throughout the week. If you’re ready to plan your trip, we recommend you start with our Orlando Planning Guide.