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 Walt Disney Co. is looking at a $1 billion expansion of the Disneyland Resort for attractions, a 5-000-slot parking structure and street improvements. In exchange for the Disneyland expansion, Disney is asking the city of Anaheim not to levy taxes on admission tickets for another 30 years. The expansion would be within Disney's current theme park and parking lot areas, save for one parking lot that Disney already owns. Disney officials say they do not know if the expansion would be in Disneyland, Disney California Adventure or both parks. Per the Orange County Register, Disney California Adventure is only a third built out of its theme-park space. There are no plans for a third theme park at Disneyland.
- Fast & Furious: Supercharged officially opens after a dedication earlier this week that brought actors Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez and others to Universal Studios Hollywood.
- Gibson gave the Los Angeles Times an interview about what it was like to shoot scenes for Fast & Furious the ride versus the movies and why the ride was even more technologically complex. Be sure to check out the photos from behind the scenes with all of the actors. We all can't wait to experience it, especially Tad!
- Will they or won't they ban selfie sticks? A report is out that Disney is set to ban them in the parks at the end of this month. Currently, selfie sticks are just banned from rides.
- Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista near Downtown Disney will not be offering the Extra Magic Hours benefit starting Jan. 1 of next year. The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, and Shades of Green, all on Disney property, will continue to offer Extra Magic Hours.
- Disney has filed plans with the South Florida Water Management District to build 26 cabins along the shores of Bay Lake at the Wilderness Lodge. The plans call for a guest boardwalk, new "bar grill" and pool.
- Set the DVRs if you're going out tonight because "Teen Beach Movie 2" is set to premier on The Disney Channel. We rewatched the original last night, and of course we were all singing along.
- Last but not least, Disney's Animal Kingdom has opened a new bakery, Zuri's Sweet Shop, offering up edible animal pooh balls. No, we are not kidding. There are four fudge flavors flavors, elephant, hippo, giraffe and tamarin. Thankfully, no frog.
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.