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:
- While it seems as if Halloween just ended, because, well, it did, we are now just days away from the first Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party of the season. No matter. We frogs are so hoppy to be at Disney World just for the occasion, which kicks off Sunday evening! If you're planning to attend one of the parties, or thinking about attending, be sure to check out our complete guide. We'll be reporting back with more tips, photos and videos from the event! And if you have any questions, be sure to drop us a line!
- The exclusive Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game card has also been revealed. Use the Olaf's Snowgies card to help defeat the Disney villains in this interactive game that takes place around the park.
- The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights officially kicks off this evening at Disney's Hollywood Studios. As many of you know, this will be the last season for the lights. It will be missed, but you can catch it nightly now through Jan. 3.
- The spectacular holiday lighting of Cinderella Castle is set to commence this Sunday at 6:15 p.m. Eastern with the return of "A Frozen Holiday Wish." This year, everyone can watch as Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Elsa take part in the stage show that culminates in Queen Elsa using her magical powers to transform the castle into an ice palace for this one night, because it's going to be live streamed! You don't want to miss out!
- Those of you planning a holiday trip will be happy to know that reservations have opened for a number of New Year's Eve dining experiences at Disney World, from the super fancy to the kid friendly.
- Tonight show host Jimmy Fallon was suited up and working on the production for his new Universal Orlando attraction this week, posting pics of himself in a motion-capture suit to Instagram. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon will open in 2017 at Universal Studios Florida.
- The Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort near Disney Springs is set to reveal a brand new look in the next few weeks. The $10 million renovation will bring a "lake house retreat concept" to the 232-room resort.
- Just in time for the busy holiday season, a new cell phone lot opened at Orlando International Airport, or MCO for you frogs in the know, at the North Lot.
- It's been a very good quarter for the U.S. Disney Resorts, with attendance up 15 percent for the fiscal fourth quarter. Led by Disneyland's Diamond Celebration, the parks saw very high attendance and a revenue increase of 10%.
- Last but not least, Universal Studios Hollywood has launched the official website for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that is set to open in 2016. Visitors can take a virtual tour through Hogwarts Castle, including such renowned spaces as Dumbledore’s office, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom and the Portrait Gallery.
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.