Hi there! Welcome to our weekly roundup of the most interesting theme park news around the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and other theme parks.
This week’s theme park highlights:
- A new character dining option is headed to Disney's Animal Kingdom starting March 8, when Tusker House opens for dinner. This very popular breakfast and lunch location serves up African tastes alongside All-American buffet items. Dinner will feature more of the same, starting at 4 p.m. Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Goofy make the rounds among the guests, visiting each table for hugs, pics and autographs. Lily can't wait to do it!
- Ever wonder how they manage to do it all? And by they, I mean Disney's imagineeers, of course. Here's a little peek at the Holiday Services department installing the massive Magic Kingdom Christmas tree overnight.
- New graphic MagicBands that can be linked later have started rolling into the parks, including Sorcerer Mickey, Minnie Mouse's iconic polka dots, Stitch and Disney Princesses. So cute, and they make terrific gifts. With the link-it-later option, guests can purchase MagicBands and then pair them with tickets purchased later.
- The Universal Orlando Resort's hotels are celebrating the holidays with plenty of food, drinks and fun, including cookie decorating at Loews Royal Pacific Resort.
- STK Orlando is headed to Disney Springs in 2015. The modern steakhouse will be one of the largest STK locations in the world at 14,000 square feet.
- World of Color, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Soarin' Over California are but a few of the refurbishments coming to Disneyland in 2015.
- Trattoria al Forno opened Thursday at Disney's BoardWalk. The restaurant serves up authentic Italian cuisine for breakfast and dinner.
- Looking for ways to ring in the New Year at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure? Make sure to check out these special dishes (plus yummy bubbly) for New Year's Eve.
- SeaWorld Orlando's Animal Rescue Team has taken in three manatees this month, the last one rescued from brisk waters near Jacksonville.
- The folks at Behind the Thrills managed to snag an interview with none other than The Grinch at Universal Studios Hollywood! You can find him hanging around Who-ville select days through Jan. 3.
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 planning pages.