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:
- Do you feel the sudden chill in the air? That only means one thing in the Wizarding World — dementors are in the area! The Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle projection show will make its ominous return Sept. 18 at Universal's Islands of Adventure. As darkness falls, dementors, dragons and the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, himself will cloak the walls of the castle. Death Eaters will also infiltrate the streets of Hogsmeade as fog and green light fill the air. The show will run nightly once the sun goes down and repeats until the park closes.
- The spooky vibes are out in full force everywhere, as many Halloween events have started this week. On the West Coast, Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure Park and Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood started Sept. 9. And Howl-O-Scream events at both SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay begin tonight!
- The Creations Shop and a reimagined Club Cool officially open Sept. 15 at EPCOT! Disney also teased a photo of the "Light" line from the EPCOT Light & Color Collection, which is exclusive to Creations Shop. The futuristic gear is inspired by the historic transformation of EPCOT and will debut when the new flagship store opens. Over the past couple of weeks, Disney Imagineer Zach Riddley has been giving sneak peeks of the murals inside Creations Shop and the Club Cool facade. We can't wait to see it in person!
- We're less than a month away from Disney World's 50th-anniversary celebration, but the magical details are continuing to trickle in! Tinker Bell is the last Fab 50 character statue to be revealed, and some statues are already popping up at Magic Kingdom! Disney released a behind-the-scenes look at the recording process of "You Are the Magic," the original song that will be featured in Disney Enchantment, the all-new nighttime spectacular coming to Magic Kingdom. McDonald's will also have 50th anniversary-themed Happy Meal toys, starting Sept. 14, for a limited time.
- runDisney revealed the collection of medals for the 2022 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend! Commemorating "The World's Most Magical Celebration," the medals feature Mickey Mouse and friends in their EARidescent best. Pluto is the face of the 5K race medal, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit graces the 10K race medal, Donald and Daisy team up for the Half Marathon medal and Mickey and Minnie star on the Marathon medal. And of course, Goofy and Dopey are prominently displayed on the medals for their respective namesake challenges, Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge and the Dopey Challenge.
- You can now soak up some rays and catch waves any time of the year at Adventure Island in Tampa. Previously operating only seasonally, the water park will stay open year-round, thanks to new heaters that will keep the water temps comfortable no matter when you visit. Adventure Island is also debuting its first full-service bar called Hang Ten Tiki Bar, which opens today.
- The Disney Magic will resume sailing Oct. 28, 2021 — which means Disney Cruise Line will have all four of its ships sailing from the U.S. by the end of October! The Disney Dream was the first ship to set sail last month, followed shortly thereafter by the Disney Wonder. The Disney Fantasy will sail from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas, with a stop at Castaway Cay, this weekend.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.