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:
- Disney, Universal and SeaWorld have added metal detectors and increased security at their parks across the United States in light of recent violence. At Disney, the metal detectors are most likely permanent, although guests will initially be only randomly screened. Additionally, Disney will ban the sale of toy guns inside its parks, and costumes will no longer be allowed for anyone over the age of 13, even during its Halloween parties, according to Theme Park Insider. Universal, which already has metal detectors on some roller coasters and uses them during Halloween Horror Nights, is calling the use of them at entrances a "test." Understandably during this very busy time of year, additional screening will add to the time it takes to get into the parks, so please factor that into your plans.
- For those of you planning to visit Disney's Hollywood Studios by car during the holiday season, you may also want to be aware that you may be directed to park at Epcot and bus, boat or walk back. It appears that some early arrivers are being directed to Epcot to help alleviate traffic during peak afternoon time. The move might be driven by increased attendance at the Studios, thanks to the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, which is in its final year.
- Set to officially debut this evening at Disney's Hollywood Studios is "Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular." If you're not in the parks, don't despair, you can still see it! This Star Wars-themed fireworks show will be live streamed at 11 p.m. Eastern, and it's sure to be out of this world.
- Lily's favorite color, purple, has finally made it to Disney World's most popular accessory — the MagicBand. You can find purple MagicBands at Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. in Magic Kingdom, and soon you will be able to find it in other locations around the resort.
- If you're looking for a little more holiday cheer, the Disney Parks Blog has just the ticket: Epcot's Voices of Liberty singing "Deck the Halls."
- Parade dining packages are coming to Disneyland Park for "Paint the Night," starting Jan. 11. Reservations are now open! You have the option of dining at Blue Bayou or Aladdin's Oasis.The viewing area for Blue Bayou's package is on Main Street U.S.A., and the viewing area for Aladdin’s Oasis is near “it’s a small world.”
- Last but not least, we've got some good news for those of you thinking about trips to Universal Orlando. We now offer the option of an E-Ticket for Park-to-Park and Base Tickets. Universal Orlando E-Tickets are a great choice for last-minute trips, and they are straight to gate — no will call exchange is necessary!
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.