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:
- Hungry for more dining options at Disneyland Resort? Disney announced that Blue Bayou Restaurant will reopen May 27! In a previous Disney Parks Blog post, it was confirmed that Blue Bayou would start serving alcohol, including beer, wine and a specialty Hurricane cocktail, upon reopening. We also have new, seasonal variations of the Mint Julep to look forward to year-round. Cheers! Additionally:
- Paradise Garden Grill reopened May 13.
- Alfresco Tasting Terrace will reopen May 20 exclusively for Legacy Passholders and their guests.
- Two Disney's Grand Californian Hotel table-service faves, Napa Rose and Storytellers Cafe, will reopen May 28 for all guests (not just those staying on-site).
- Reservations for Blue Bayou, Alfresco Tasting Terrace, Napa Rose and Storytellers Cafe open May 18, while reservations for GHC Craftsman Bar (opening soon) will be available May 28. Bon appétit!
- "Festival of the Lion King" is finally roaring back to life! While the modified version of the fan-favorite show at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park quietly reopened for previews this past week, "A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King" will officially reopen May 15! As much as Simba couldn't wait to be king, we can't wait to be dancing and singing along with the cast in Harambe Theater. Disney Parks Blog will be live streaming the show on May 15 at 12:25 p.m. ET. We're so hoppy that more live entertainment is returning to Disney World!
- Speaking of soft openings, Jurassic World VelociCoaster continued technical rehearsals after team member and passholder previews last week. Without advance notice, daytime guests have sporadically been able to ride the new roller coaster, which officially launches June 10 at Universal's Islands of Adventure. We lucky frogs made it out to the passholder preview, and it was AWESOME. We won't spoil too much, but we experienced lots of airtime and unexpected twists and turns. Check out Tad's footage of the toadally epic queue!
- With advice from the CDC and local officials, Disney announced that it plans to gradually decrease physical distancing measures at Walt Disney World Resort. The 6-foot rule, however, will remain in place in all dining locations, merchandise stores, and in the relaxation areas where guests can temporarily remove masks. LEGOLAND Florida will also be reducing physical distancing markers from 6 feet to 3 feet, as well as removing its temperature screening policy. In case you missed it last week, Disney, Universal and SeaWorld Orlando announced similar plans to remove temperature screenings.
- The drink we all love to hate will be returning to EPCOT soon! The infamous Beverly drink will be back in its rightful place among the unique soda flavors at Club Cool hosted by Coca-Cola once it opens in its new location this summer.
- Over in San Diego, Aquatica is reopening May 29, just in time for Memorial Day weekend, after nearly two years of closure. It will be the water park's last season before it turns into Sesame Place, a new theme park coming in 2022. At SeaWorld San Diego, Manta is now open! The West Coast's Seven Seas Food Festival has been extended to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through May 31, as well.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.