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:
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend!
- Construction on Star Wars Land in both Disney World and Disneyland will begin in 2016, according to Disney Co.'s Tom Staggs. The chief operating officer made the announcement during an investors conference Thursday. "This will be I think perhaps the most immersive land we've ever built," Staggs said. "We want people to feel like they've stepped into the world of Star Wars and so that's really sparked our imaginations and it's got people fired up." No opening date was given.
- Universal Orlando announced this week that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley would be open during this year's Halloween Horror Nights. While "key elements" of Diagon Alley will be available during the event, there was no immediate confirmation that Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts will be available during the event. It is not listed as one of the rides that will be open on Halloween Horror Nights' official site.
- It's beginning to look a lot like fall at Magic Kingdom, with the first Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party less than a week away. You can see a little behind-the-scenes decorating in this video.
- For those of you who will be attending the party, and we frogs will be among you, Disney has revealed the Halloween treats that will be available at Magic Kingdom, including the Halloween cookie ice cream sandwich. All of the yummy treats are exclusive to the party.
- SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular will be back on weekends in October. This family-friendly event includes trick-or-treating, a dance party, Sesame Street's Countdown to Halloween with who else but The Count himself. The tadpoles can wear costumes or bring their own. We love this event, and especially love that it is included with regular park admission.
- A new Frozen-inspired stage musical is headed to Disney California Adventure in 2016, replacing "Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular." The new show "will stay true to the heart and soul of the film," said Dana Harrel of Disney Imagineering, and feature elaborated costumes and sets, special effects and scene transformations. After nearly 14,000 shows "Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular" will have its final show January 10, 2016.
- Starting Oct. 4, a new fireworks cruise is headed to the Seven Seas Lagoon. Departing from the Ticket & Transportation Ferryboat Dock one hour before Wishes, Ferrytale Wishes: A Fireworks Dessert Cruise will offer delectable desserts as well as fantastic views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. Sounds like a blast!
- Those of you planning trips during Christmas can enjoy "Holidays at Disney Springs." The new event will include old favorites such as Toy Soldier stilt walkers, Snowflake performers, a Kwanza Celebration, Hanukkah medleys and, of course, Santa Claus. Holiday backdrops will be coming to the Marketplace and West Side for fun photo ops, and look for three brand-new Disney Springs holiday trees.
- Last but not least, this will be the last year to catch The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights in order to prepare for the coming Toy Story and Star Wars Lands. For many, the Spectacle has been a must-do at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and it will be missed.
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.