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:
- Ready to take a walk on the sinister side? On select dates from June 6 to Aug. 8, Disney After Hours events at the Disney World Resort will feature Disney Villains. The event, taking place at Magic Kingdom, will include an all-new stage show, "Villains Unite the Night," villainous enhancements to both the Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain attractions and special themed food, beverage and merch. Toadally fun and we're selling discount tickets for this after hours event! Among the villains taking center stage are Jafar, The Queen, Dr. Facilier, Maleficent — and for the first time ever outside of the Festival of Fantasy Parade — Maleficent the Dragon! One important tadbit of information: While villains take the starring roles, they will not be available for meet-and-greets during this event.
- Ka-chow! Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy is now open, giving aspiring racers the opportunity learn the rules of the road from the legend himself at Walt Disney World. Racers can join Lightning McQueen in Disney's Hollywood Studios on Sunset Boulevard.
- Calling all winos and foodies! Disney World has just released the dates for 2019's Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! from Aug. 29 through Nov. 23. Looking to dive into all of the delicious details? We'll continue to update our festival guide as more information is released, so don't froget to bookmark!
- ... and Epcot International Festival of the Holidays dates for 2019 have also been released! Hop over to check out all of the merry details about the event that runs from Nov. 29 through Dec. 30.
- Calling all runDisney athletes! If you're in Orlando for Star Wars Rival Run Weekend, be sure to take advantage of special offers just for you from April 4-7. Present your race bib or medal for extra discounts at retailers such as Joffrey's and Kipling. Keep an eye out for special merchandise, too, such as these commemorative, personalized ears, available at Disney's Days of Christmas at Disney Springs! Light side or dark side, it's a nice little perk to celebrate crossing that finish line.
- Mickey's Philharmagic is coming to Disney California Adventure! The sensory adventure will be available in April at the Sunset Showcase Theater in Hollywood Land, taking viewers into a 3D dream world featuring classic Disney animated musical sequences.
- Missing the magic? Disney Parks Blog has you covered! On April 9 at 8:55 p.m. EST, catch a live stream of Epcot's nighttime spectacular "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" to bring a little of the parks magic into your home. "IllumiNations" will be retiring at the end of this summer to make way for a new show, so here's your chance to bid it a fond farewell before it goes!
- Aquatica Orlando's KareKare Curl will officially be open to park guests Friday, April 12! If you're a thrill-lover, this one's for you! Riders get to climb a vertical wave (KareKare in Maori), giving an adrenaline-pumping, weightless effect. Epic!
- SeaWorld Orlando is now a certified autism center. On the heels of Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove receiving the same accolade, this marks the first family of Orlando theme parks to achieve these certifications, taking steps to make theme parks inclusive for all.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.