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 Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America attractions, which have been closed during construction for the new Star Wars Land, will reopen in summer 2017. The returning Rivers of America attractions are "Fantasmic!", Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes. Coming in 2017 will be a new northern bank of the Rivers of America and an elevated trestle over which the train will travel. You can see all of the current and upcoming Disneyland closings and refurbishments here.
- Also coming next summer is a Guardians of the Galaxy overlay to Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure. And if you're anything like everyone else, you have a strong opinion—either for or against it. (For the record, we frogs think it will be fun. Just don't mess with Tower of Terror at Disney World.)
- The Muppets are coming to Magic Kingdom, where they'll perform in a new live stage show outside The Hall of Presidents. Kermit (our favorite, of course), Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Sam Eagle and James Jefferson will be part of "The Muppets Present ... Great Moments in American History," starting this October.
- Reservations opened yesterday for the reimagined Flying Fish restaurant on Disney's Boardwalk entertainment area, which is reopening Aug. 3. The restaurant gets a new look and a new menu, although seafood remains a heavy staple.
- For those of you with runDisney races this fall and beyond, starting with the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend in September, there are a couple of changes on the horizon. First, event guides will be exclusively digital and accessible on all devices. Second, all participants in the 5Ks will now receive metal medals.
- The ESPN Wide World of Sports is going to be home to a brand-new cheer and dance venue that will be able to hold 8,000 fans and up to four separate competition spaces.
- There's a new green fizzy drink at Universal's Islands of Adventure to go with the revamped Incredible Hulk Coaster, which will be reopening later this summer after an extensive refurbishment. The Gamma Green Limeade Punch is available in all Coke Freestyle machines.
- SeaWorld Orlando has begun round-the-clock care for a rare pygmy killer whale that was found beached on Florida's west coast. It is now in a quarantined area, where it is receiving treatment.
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.