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:
- The dates for this year's Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, including Mickey's Halloween Party, have been announced! Halloween Time will run Sept. 9 through Oct. 31, with the party dates held on select days during that time. We have full details, including dates tickets go on sale, on our Guide to Disneyland Halloween Time.
- Skull Island: Reign of Kong officially opened at Universal Orlando earlier this week after soft openings for some of June and July.
- Universal's fifth resort property, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, officially opened this week to its first guests. The Caribbean-themed resort offers 1,000 rooms, bringing Universal's total current hotel capacity to 5,200 rooms.
- Disney is extending its Early Morning Magic at Magic Kingdom and added Disney's Hollywood Studios. On select days through Sept. 30, guests can purchase an additional ticket that will allow them early entry to one of the parks. At Disney's Hollywood Studios starting Aug. 1, guests can enter at 7:45 a.m., enjoy breakfast at ABC Commissary, ride Star Tours and Toy Story Mania!, and meet Pixar Place characters, and Mickey and Minnie, and Olaf.
- Disney's Hollywood Studios is bringing back its Club Villain this Halloween. The specially ticketed event held on Friday and Saturday nights from Sept.-Oct. 29 (also Oct. 31) will include villainous encounters, and special eats, drinks and performances.
- Earlier this week, we offered tips on the best viewing locations for "Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular." But the best location just might be right where you are. Disney Parks is live streaming the new Hollywood Studios fireworks show July 18 at 9:20 p.m. EST.
- For you ultimate Disney fans, tickets for the D23 Expo 2017 have gone on sale. The Expo will be taking place in Anaheim on July 14-16, and discount tickets are available through Dec. 31.
- And for you ultimate Disney World and LEGO fans, the two have teamed up to create a 4,080-piece, exact replica of Cinderella Castle. There will be mini-figs that include Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Tinker Bell. The castle will go on sell in September.
- Disney released new concept artwork for the Star Wars Land at Disneyland that shows the Big Thunder Trail in Frontierland that will be one entry point.
- For those of you who have joined the Pokemon Go craze (yes, Tad got us hooked!), SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa are hosting lure-a-thons this Saturday, with 50 lure modules activated inside each park.
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.