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:
- Disney World has introduced an after-hours ticket option on select days for Magic Kingdom. The Disney After Hours ticket, which sells for $149, offers guests three additional hours of fun in the park starting at 10 and 11 p.m. Guests who have the ticket will be able to check in and enter Magic Kingdom starting at 7 p.m. During the after-hours period, select areas of Magic Kingdom will be open, and ice cream and drinks will be complimentary. The dates for the after-hours Magic Kingdom event are April 14, 21 and 28, and May 5, 8, 12 and 19. Tickets must be purchased by calling 407-827-7185. According to Theme Park Insider, it's possible it will also role out a morning version of the Disney After Hours ticket.
- Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party is returning in 2016 for 29 nights. We list all of the dates, a list of the entertainment and the new costume guidelines. If you're planning to attend, or even, just thinking about it, this is a definite must-read!
- At Busch Gardens Tampa, the final piece of track for Cobra's Curse was bolted into place Saturday night. The placement of the 4,475-lb. piece of track paves the way for testing to begin! This family-friendly, spin coaster is set to open this summer.
- Universal Orlando has revealed the creatures that will be a part of Skull Island: Reign of Kong. In addition to dinosaurs, there are some carnivorous arachnids, an oozing Carnictis, the aggressive Decarnocimex and more menacing creatures.
- April 2 is the final day to catch a number of Disney's Hollywood Studios attractions, including the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, some shops and the Studio Catering Co. You can now see all permanent, seasonal and temporary Orlando closures on our refurbishments list.
- We mentioned earlier this week our excitement over the return of the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival in our preview. While you're there check out the artist showcase each weekend of the festival at Off the Page in Hollywood Land from 2 -5 p.m.
- You know how much I love to shop, so I was excited to see the arrival of TAG at the Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs. The Co-Op is one of the coolest shopping destinations, featuring different themed pop-up shops. TAG, featuring Disney travel items, is one of its latest additions.
- And in more Disney Springs openings, D-Luxe Burger will be opening this May in Town Center. Enjoy your burgers inside the ranch-inspired interior or covered outdoor seating. And don't forget to try one of its shakes, floats, hard sodas, draft beer, ciders—of the magnificent red velvet burger macaron!
- If you're looking for something to do this evening, why not cozy up and watch IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth? The Disney Parks Blog will be live streaming it, beginning at 8:50 p.m. Eastern.
- In your awwww news of the week, a purple martin family has traveled some 3,000 miles to raise their chicks at Disney World. In fact, more than 100 of these songbird couples have made the journey, but this one pair have already laid their eggs at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, and the eggs are expected to hatch in 16 days.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend!
If you’re thinking about a trip to Disney World, make sure to check out the other news, tips and information we post to the blog throughout the week. If you’re ready to plan your trip, we recommend you start with our Orlando Planning Guide.