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:
- We're no longer in suspense ... for now. Universal Orlando released the full lineup of haunted houses, scare zones and shows for Halloween Horror Nights 30. Half of the houses had already been announced, and the remaining five houses are all original, including the Wicked Growth: Realm of the Pumpkin, Welcome to Scarey: Horror in the Heartland, Case Files Unearthed, Puppet Theatre: Captive Audience and Revenge of the Tooth Fairy (which debuted last fall — watch Tad's video, if you dare). There will be five scare zones and two live shows at the event, as well. Get all of the dastardly details in our Halloween Horror Nights 30 guide.
- SeaWorld Orlando also announced full details about its first-ever Howl-O-Scream event. In total, there will be four haunted houses, four scare zones, two live shows, three roaming haunts and four themed bar experiences. Sounds like a diabolical debut!
- Add a little extra treat to your Oogie Boogie Bash experience! Disneyland is offering dining and dessert packages that include reserved viewing for the Frightfully Fun Parade during the Halloween event. Devour a three-course meal at Wine Country Trattoria or a dessert buffet at Sonoma Terrace as an extra treat.
- It's officially spooky season at Walt Disney World Resort! The Mickey pumpkin wreaths and fall decor line Main Street, U.S.A. and spooktacular treats can be found all across the resort. Disney After Hours Boo Bash kicked off Aug. 10, and we frogs had a boo blast! All packed into a three-hour event, we enjoyed scary low wait times for rides, fun character sightings and cavalcades. We also trick-or-treated until our candy bags were full and indulged in lots of popcorn and Mickey ice cream bars. Talk about a mad sugar rush! Find out all you need to know in our Boo Bash guide.
- Disney continues to announce more and more Fab 50 golden character statues for the upcoming Disney World 50th anniversary celebration. The latest characters to join the lineup of Fab 50 statues include Orange Bird, Dumbo and Timothy Mouse, Sebastian and Flounder, R2-D2, Donald Duck and the Mad Hatter. Which statue are you most excited to see?
- Meet Moby! Discovery Cove recently welcomed a new baby dolphin. He was born June 26, and has been nursing and bonding with his mom, Nueces. He's already 75 pounds and has been hitting all of his important milestones. Eventually, he will be introduced to guests, but in the meantime, you can check his progress on Discovery Cove's social channels. So adorbs!
- The all-new Sandals Royal Curaçao is now accepting reservations starting April 14, 2022! In the heart of the Leeward Antilles, Sandals Royal Curaçao will feature Awa Seaside Bungalows with private pools, a unique Dos Awa 2-Level Infinity Pool, a Kurason Island Suite overlooking a heart-shaped pool and Sandals first-ever floating restaurant. There are also two future Beaches locations in the works! For more info on Beaches Resorts, hop over to our guide.
- The Disney Dream set sail from Port Canaveral on Aug. 9, becoming the first ship from Disney Cruise Line to return to business as usual in the U.S. Disney Magic resumed sailing in the United Kingdom last month, while Disney Fantasy and Disney Wonder are expected to return in September. The cruise line is maintaining reduced capacity and other health and safety measures for these new sailings.
- runDisney provided a first look at the medals for the 2021 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. Sticking to the Wickedly Delicious! theme, each race medal features a different Disney villain: the Evil Queen and her poisoned apple (5K), Oogie Boogie and Jack Skellington (10K), Yzma and Kronk (Half Marathon) and Ursula (Two-Course Challenge). That's some pretty good motivation to cross the finish line!
- To celebrate Ninjago's 10th anniversary, LEGOLAND California will have a limited-time augmented reality experience from Aug. 13 to Sept. 5. The interactive attraction is centered around a team of ninjas searching for a golden amulet and guests can tag along for the quest. At the end, participants will receive a mini AR video of their adventure and their own amulet to keep.
- Wahoo! Super Nintendo World merchandise is now available for a limited time at Universal Studios Hollywood. You can find items, including plush Mario and Luigi toys, Mario and Luigi costume hats and drawstring bags featuring Mario and Princess Peach, at the Universal Studios Store inside the park.
- Space 220 has an opening date! In an out-of-this-world surprise, Disney World announced that the all-new EPCOT restaurant, which takes guests 220 miles above the earth for a one-of-a-kind dining experience, will open in mid-September. Located next to Mission: SPACE, guests will board an elevator, complete with a viewport to watch your ascent (and see the space station as it comes into view). Inside the dining area, you’ll find panoramic views from space while you enjoy two-course prix fixe menu for lunch and a three-course prix fixe menu for dinner, complemented by fine wines and cocktails.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.