Hi there! Welcome to our weekly roundup of the most interesting theme park news around the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and other theme parks.
Here are this week’s theme park highlights:
- The BOATHOUSE, the first of several new restaurants coming to The Landing at Disney Springs, opened this week to much fanfare. The new upscale waterfront restaurant offers steaks, chops, seafood and a raw bar. It's built right on the water and features a fleet of rare dream boats from 1930s through '50s, a water taxi and a fleet of Amphicars. Guests will soon be able to cruise in one of these rare Amphicars that drive on land and float in water during daily tours from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (up to three guests per car at $125). Additionally, individuals and groups up 10 20 can get a Captain's guided tour of Downtown Disney aboard a 40-foot Italian water taxi that offers live music, chocolate-covered strawberries and a champagne toasts at $75 per person or $50 per child under age 13. You lovebirds have options too, with a tour aboard Lady Rose at $150 per couple! Stay tuned, because we'll be bringing you more details about this restaurant and experience.
- Starting this week, Disneyland and Disney World began to introduce new allergy-friendly menus to its quick-service and table-service locations. The menus provide allergen content for each menu item, focusing on the most common allergens: gluten/wheat, milk, peanut, tree nut and fish. Guests can continue to talk directly with a restaurant chef or special diets-trained cast member. For guests with food allergies and sensitivities, this is a welcomed move, and we look forward to when it's fully implemented in September.
- We've got some good news to report for all of you customers. Undercover Tourist has expanded hours, so customer service is now available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday by phone and chat. The frogs are here for you!
- Disneyland is kicking off its Diamond Days giveaway May 22, awarding a stay at the Disneyland Dream Suite above Pirates of the Caribbean as well as a crystal Cinderella slipper with a diamond and topaz pendant, a private party in Fantasyland or a tailgate party in Cars Land, and more!
- Disneyland has filed construction permits for its next stage of work on creating Luigi's Festival of the Dance, expected to replace the now defunct Luigi's Flying Tires.
- Clyde and Seamore made their stage return in SeaWorld Orlando's brand-new "Sea Lion High" show. You'll see plenty of hijinks from the comedic sea lions on graduation day — just watch out for the water! The "soak zone" seating area has doubled in size at Sea Lion and Otter Stadium.
- The Orlando Eye officially lit up the skyline last night with 64,000 LED bulbs. The 400-foot-tall observation wheel opens May 4 in the I-Drive 360 entertainment complex.
- For you most courageous muggles, there is now Fire Whiskey available at both Hog's Head Pub in Hogsmeade and the Leaky Cauldron in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort. Popular among wizards and witches, this alcoholic brew is said to bring courage — and a burning sensation — as it goes down!
- The Sounds Like Summer Concert Series will be back! Starting July 7 through July 25, you can catch some of the world's best tribute bands at Epcot, including 2U, Stayin' Alive and Hotel California.
- All of you Frozen fans headed to Disney World this summer can make reservations now for the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package. At $69 for adults and $39 for children, you can see Anna and Elsa in their Frozen Royal Welcome from the reserved viewing section, including refreshments; get reserved seating for your choice of showtime For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration; attend the Frozen Fireworks viewing with dessert party that includes specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
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.