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:
- Bogus. It's time to bid farewell to everyone's favorite time-traveling teens. Universal announced that this would be the final season of Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure at Halloween Horror Nights Orlando. This fan-favorite—known for its edgy and irreverent script, and piercing pop-culture references—has run during Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort since 1992. Party on, dudes. However, all news coming out of HHN isn't scary. OR IS IT? This week, the scare zones and a new version of Academy of Villains were announced. Our Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights Survival Guide has all the details.
- Two shops at the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort are closing to make way for a new Star Wars VR experience. Vault 28 and Fossil will close before the end of September. The new VR experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, will open in time for the 2017 holiday season. VAULT 28? WHERE WILL LEAP BUY MY DRESS SHOP DISNEY DRESSES?
- In TOO SOON news, signage for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway has appeared at the Chinese Theater at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This new attraction will replace The Great Movie Ride, which closed forever on August 13th.
- Chomping at the bit to attend The 2017 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival? Check out 5 things you need to know about this year's festival. The dates for this foodie delight are Aug. 31 through Nov. 13. Check out our guide for more juicy details.
- If only my schooling days featured field trips to LEGOLAND Florida. The park's blog highlighted school group programs that invite school groups for a day of education and fun. The eight programs offer creatively entertaining lessons in key STEM concepts. All that and a day of play at the park.
- Another delicious dining option will be arriving at Disney Springs. Maria And Enzo's will be an Italian restaurant that will resemble a speakeasy, matching the feel of its neighbor The Edison. This table service and fast casual restaurant will be run by the Patina Group, operators of Morimoto at Disney Springs and Via Napoli at Epcot.
- Wednesday was National Roller Coaster Day. Many theme parks used the day to unveil new coasters. Knott's Berry Farm introduced HangTime. Billed as California's steepest roller coaster drop, HangTime will send riders up 150 feet at a 90-degree angle. Once the car has reached the top, it will— get this—pause for two seconds before you drop. HangTime is scheduled to open in May 2018.
- Cedar Point—roller coaster capital of the world—will be adding the tallest, fastest and longest hybrid roller coaster in the world. Steel Vengeance will feature a 90-degree drop from 200 feet. The wood and steel "hyper-hybrid" will feature a first-of-its-kind maneuver, the “Twisted Snake Dive.” The maneuver is described like this—it kicks off with a half-barrel roll, hang upside down for a moment, and then turns back into the direction of movement, not completing the full roll. Steel Vengeance is scheduled to open spring 2018. BOOKING. FLIGHT. TO. OHIO. NOW.
- If you like Cobra's Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa, you'll love what's coming to Silver Dollar City in spring 2018. Time Traveler is a spinning coaster that will feature the most inversions EVER for a spinning coaster of this style. The steampunk-themed coaster will feature two launches and roll over 3,020 feet of track.
- While Disney did not unveil any new coasters, they kept National Roller Coaster Day rolling with a post about the 14 must-do coasters at Disney Parks around the World. How many have you done? While I can't wait to ride TRON Lightcycle Power Run, I find myself ranking Big Thunder Mountain Railroad on the top of my list.
- And finally, let's wrap up the week with a CUTE ANIMAL PHOTO. SeaWorld Orlando announced that its new baby walrus will be named Ginger. OMG THAT FACE.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend.