Hi there! Welcome to our weekly roundup of the most interesting theme park news around the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and other theme parks.
This week’s theme park highlights:
- First came the MagicBands, now comes news that Apple Pay is headed to Disney World this December! Disney World joins Whole Foods, Macy's, McDonalds and other retailers who will offer Apple's version of the tap-and-go technology. In addition to Apple Pay, there was another Disney connection this week with Apple's major product announcement. Beloved Disney icon Mickey Mouse will be one of 18 options for the face of the new Apple Watch.
- Universal Orlando has had a busy couple of months, capped off with the news this week that it was already working on a 5th hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, set to open in 2016. The Orlando Business Journal looks back at the resort's most recent investments.
- Argh! Lily's eyes caught on this purple Pirates of the Caribbean shirt, and it seems likely that this will be the souvenir she settles on when we head to the park next week. A girl can never have too many purple pirate shirts!
- And for me, well, I've been thinking lately that I need a new collection, and just maybe it's time to start collecting pins. What convinced me were these Tangled pins! Rapunzel and Flynn Rider are probably my very favorite Disney couple!
- Six Flags Magic Mountain's classic wooden coaster, Colossus, which is currently being transformed into a steel-wooden hybrid, caught fire earlier this week during construction. Thankfully, there were no injuries, and the fire won't impact plans for the transformation into Twisted Colossus.
- While Halloween Time officially kicks off tomorrow at Disneyland, the Christmas holidays are just around the corner. The year, Holidays at the Disneyland Resort will run from Nov. 13 and Jan. 6. The festivities include Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle, "Believe ... in Magic" fireworks spectacular, World of Color - Winter Dreams, Disney ¡Viva Navidad! and more.
- For those of you with food allergy sensitivities, Disney World is testing out gluten-free menus at some of its restaurants, including ABC Commissary, The Hollywood Brown Derby and Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant. While guests can always make menu requests and speak directly with chefs about food options, this is the first test of a dedicated gluten-free menu.
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 planning pages.