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:
- In honor of Minnie Mouse receiving her very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World and the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland will be hosting another "Rock the Dots" event this weekend. Festivities will be taking place all weekend with special offerings around the shopping districts for those dressed in polka dot attire. There is a special Minnie Mouse makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, discounts at select stores, and Minnie-inspired experiences and merchandise. DJ dance parties will take place Jan. 21 on both coasts to keep the celebration going! Sounds like this shopping momma's kind of party!
- Word around the Kingdom (according to Attractions Magazine) is that Walt Disney World is testing out a pilot program allowing guests staying in select, exclusive rooms, cabins and suites to optionally purchase three additional FastPass+ experiences for $50 plus tax per day per person, with a minimum purchase of three days. Guests will be able to make these reservations 90 days before the final day of your visit, according to Attractions, and the up-charge also includes special seating to one nighttime spectacular per day.
- Universal Orlando Resort unveiled exclusive new wizarding world merchandise that will be available at A Celebration of Harry Potter, beginning Jan. 26. The lineup includes an awesome new design of the Hogwarts Express traveling between Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, to be featured on shirts, lanyards, water bottles, backpacks and more. Be sure to snag a specially marked chocolate frog featuring our favorite jelly bean man, Bertie Bott. Last but not least, the 2018 exclusive commemorative wand will feature silver accents with red and black stones.
- Voodoo Doughnut will be making its Orlando debut this spring! Universal Orlando Resort just announced that the "sinfully delicious" and "delightfully weird" donuts will be joining CityWalk's stellar selection of treats. The Portland-based doughnut shop has already found success at Universal Hollywood's CityWalk.
- On Wednesday, SeaWorld San Diego celebrated the installation of the final piece of steel frame track for its newest coaster, Electric Eel. Anticipated for a summer 2018 opening, Electric Eel will be SeaWorld San Diego's fastest, tallest coaster yet. The thrill ride features a nearly 150-foot-high ascent, twists, loops, an inverted roll ... and it reaches 62 mph.
- Disneyland's Lunar New Year Celebration returns next week to welcome the Year of the Dog. The festivities will include Hurry Home, a nighttime water show telling a heartwarming tale of family and friendship. Mulan and Mushu will also lead a procession of exciting performances to honor the New Year. The celebration will take place from Jan. 26 through Feb. 18.
- In awwww news, Cincinnati Zoo's beloved internet sensation Fiona may have some competition in the "cute hippo" category. Disney's Animal Kingdom, and mother Tuma, welcomed a newborn hippo over the weekend. Weight, gender and name have not yet been revealed as the animal care team gives the mom and calf space to bond. We can't wait to watch this cutie grow!
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.