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:
- The Disney 100 Years of Wonder Celebration officially kicks off today! While the year-long celebration will spread to all Disney Parks worldwide, the original Disneyland Resort remains at the heart of the event. At Disneyland, the 100th anniversary brings two nighttime spectaculars, a Mickey-themed ride, platinum decor and party outfits, specialty food and beverage, limited-edition merchandise and more. Hop along and celebrate with us on Instagram @themeparkfrog, where we'll be sharing stories all day long!
- Calling all sweet tooths! Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen has opened its doors for the first time at Universal CityWalk Hollywood. The steampunk-themed restaurant is known for its desserts, from milkshakes to sundaes, but also offers up savory meals and all-day brunch. You may even spot Professor Doctor Penelope Tibeaux-Tinker Toothsome herself, along with her robot Jacques, as you dine.
- It's almost time for SeaWorld Orlando's Seven Seas Festival. This year, the annual event runs from Feb. 3 to May 7. Festival food menus have been released, along with the concert lineup through the end of March (more acts to be announced later). Just a few of the new menu items include parmesan truffle fries, pork belly feijoada, Italian beef arancini and boozy cupcakes — but there will be over 200 food and drink options to try!
- Giddy up! We've got all of the deets about Roundup Rodeo BBQ's opening date AND its full menu. Starting March 23, you can enjoy house-smoked meats, savory sides and sweet desserts, such as Evil Dr. Smoked Ribs, Slinky Doooooooooog Mac and Cheese and Cupcake à la Forky. Meals are served family-style at this new table-service, western-themed restaurant located in Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios. What better combo than comfort food and nostalgic toys?
- Celebrate Soulfully returns for Black History Month to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, and Disney has dropped the foodie guide for this soulful celebration. During the month of February, honor and experience Black culture through cuisine, including dishes such as Shrimp & Grits from Café Orleans and brand-new Soulful Sunday Dinners at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa.
- Disney World is getting ready for TRON Lightcycle Run — the entrance sign is now installed at Magic Kingdom and Disney released more details about accessing the ride. Upon opening April 4, the coaster will only be available via a virtual queue or as an individual Lightning Lane selection (no traditional standby line). There will also be a brand-new, double-sided locker system to store your belongings during the ride, which can be locked and reopened with MagicBands, MagicMobile passes or ticket cards.
- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has welcomed a new resident: Bandar, a rare Sumatran tiger. He was transferred from Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington, as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan. Guests can visit Bandar in the Jungala area of the park.
- New family-friendly entertainment is coming to Disney Springs as part of the brand-new Disney Springs Kids Club offering that will place at Waterview Park every Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m., beginning Jan. 28. The entertainment acts will vary weekly and will continue to expand. You might play bongo drums with Wassalou, the Afropop band from Animal Kingdom, or jump rope with the Flight Crew Jump Rope group.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.