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:
- It's almost time to say goodbye to some Disneyland attractions for Star Wars Land construction. Disneyland Railroad, Mark Twain Riverboat, Fantasmic! and Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island are among the closures starting Jan. 10. Some will be coming back, others will not. We have rounded them all up in this post. Of course, you can always see the full list of Disneyland closures on our refurbishment page.
- It's not all bad news though. During the Disneyland Railroad closure, guests will have a chance to get up close with and take pictures of the classic steam engines at the Main Street U.S.A. and New Orleans Square stations. Train engineers will be at each station to provide more information. The same is also happening at the Jungle Cruise, during its refurbishment. Skippers will be recounting their adventures for guests outside the attraction.
- The Disneyland Diamond Resort celebration continues in the new year with a new release of its "Decades" collection of merchandise. The years 1985 through 1994 are celebrated in this collection, which can be found at select locations inside the park. We expect this one to be very popular!
- Universal has shared more details for Skull Island: Reign of Kong, which is set to open this summer at Islands of Adventure. The ride's description offers a taste of what's to come on this monstrous ride set during a 1930s expedition in the heart of an island jungle.
- The resort also released its lineup for the 2016 Mardi Gras concerts at Universal Studios Florida, which includes Hunter Hayes, Shawn Mendes, T-Pain and more.
- Mako, what will be Orlando's tallest, fastest coaster when it opens in 2016, was topped out this week. The peak of the SeaWorld shark-inspired coaster's 200-foot-tall lift hill is now in place!
- Sanaa, one of our favorite Disney World restaurants, has added a few new items to the menu. You can now try more African and Indian-fusion dishes, but for the less adventurous among you, there are still American favorites. The restaurant is just a hop, skip and a jump from Disney's Animal Kingdom at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village. The restaurant sits on the savannah and boasts views of the animals.
- Speaking of Kidani Village, it is one of 28 Disney World hotels and villas you can now book on our site at a discount. Yep, the frogs have hopped into Disney World hotels, and we hope you do too! We're offering a special promotion for dates in spring and summer for up to 30% off!
- A glamorous old Hollywood character dining experience has come to Hollywood & Vine with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy in their finest duds. Until March 4, you and your tadpoles can dine in style, walk the red carpet and get ready for your closeup inside Disney's Hollywood Studios.
- Last but not least, it's marathon weekend at Disney World. Best of luck to all of you marathoners ! Have fun!
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.