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:
- With nearly 30 Disney and Pixar characters represented, the brand-new Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade will officially kick off Feb. 11, 2022, at Magic Kingdom Park. This special cavalcade will be the biggest one yet since Disney World introduced character cavalcades in July 2020. Expect to see Nick and Judy from "Zootopia," Balaoo and King Louie from "The Jungle Book," José Carioca and Panchito from "The Three Caballeros," Merida, Moana, The Incredibles and so many more. Plus Miguel from "Coco" will make his Magic Kingdom debut. Surely, every frog in the family will see one of their favorites!
- But that's not all! We've also been eagerly expecting the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade and Mickey's Magical Friendship Faire to return sometime in early 2022. Now, we've learned Festival of Fantasy will return March 9 (which hoppens to be the parade's anniversary!) and the revamped castle show will come back Feb. 25, with a new opening and finale, plus a new original song. So frogciting!
- ICYMI: Universal's Epic Universe has a new timeline for its epic opening, now officially expected by summer 2025. The new theme park was originally planned to open in 2023, but COVID-19 caused delays with construction, which is now up and running at full speed. The new park will be Universal's largest in the country and will feature attractions based on works from DreamWorks, Illuminations and Nintendo.
- Horticulture teams have already been gearing up for the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival, which will run from March 2 to July 4, 2022. Some new details have blossomed — a fragrant garden presented by Scentsy will feature six scent stations along with butterfly topiaries on the bridge to World Showcase. The festival will also include new topiaries of the Seven Dwarfs and new menu items for several Outdoor Kitchens.
- We got a first look at some of the scrumptious offerings for Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando, and our bellies cannot wait! Flavors from all around the world will have your taste buds partying, including Cajun classics, Floribbean conch fritters and vegan Indian samosas. Lily cannot wait for the Ube ice cream bubble waffle, and Tad's drooling over his favorite beignets. And Leap? He's ready for anything and everything.
- Our foodie adventures won't stop there. SeaWorld Orlando's Seven Seas Festival begins Feb. 4, and it's bigger and better than ever before. The festival menu has expanded to include over 200 bites and beverages found at 24 festival marketplaces, including two new regions — Ireland and Sicily. Plus concerts are back, featuring all sorts of sounds from rock, country, Latin and 90s throwback genres. The event hoppens every Thursday through Sunday until May 8.
- Disney Imagineer Zach Riddley shared a behind-the-scenes look at the recent installation of the Nova Corps Starblaster ship. The 51-foot-tall ship will be the signature icon of the Wonders of the Xandar pavilion, right in front of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, which opens this summer at EPCOT. We're counting down until the ride's "blast off!"
- This week, we also got a sneak peek of the Muddy Puddle splash pad at the new Peppa Pig Theme Park, which opens Feb. 24. The splash pad has fountains, slides and "water surprises" and is one of the attractions that will be wheelchair accessible. We frogs also have some good news — you can now save green with discounted Peppa Pig Theme Park tickets, when combined with LEGOLAND Florida and/or LEGOLAND Florida Water Park admission, through Undercover Tourist!
- There are so many different ways to celebrate Valentine's Day at Downtown Disney District! Sip on Red Velvet CakeShakes from Black Tap, splurge on a special Rosé and Roses foot treatment at the new Tenaya Stone Spa or shake to the beat as you listen to live music at the Downtown Disney District Main Stage — just to name a few.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.