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
- Avast me 'earties. Thar be changes coming to Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean. The auction scene, viewed by some as a "sexist” approach to women, will be changed. The famous redheaded woman will become a pirate and will be seen "persuading" residents to surrender their loot. This new scene, along with the addition of Captain Barbosa in another scene, will debut July 24 in Disneyland Paris. The artist's rendering of the new auction scene that will appear in the Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom versions in 2018 is pictured above.
- Yes, it's summer, but many of you are already thinking about a particular Disney World holiday event. This year, Magic Kingdom will be closing at 6 p.m. for the general public on days when Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is held. Disney is still showing the party start time at 7 p.m. This change is likely to be met with disappointment by regular park guests who were not planning to attend the party but were headed to Magic Kingdom, since it's one less hour for them on what have been historically "good" days to visit the park. We presume this move is to address complaints from party attendees about regular park guests staying in the park after it has closed for the party.
- Seasonal new treats are being served at Bengal Barbeque in Disneyland. New bites such as Ahi Poke Spring Roll, Hummus Trio and Jungle Julep can be found at this popular Adventureland eatery.
- Searching for out-of-this-world drinks at Disney Springs? Planet Hollywood is whipping up an impressive drink menu, full of colorful concoctions we'd LOVE to try.
- Alooooha. The Downtown Disney Summer Celebration is in full swing. Get a taste of the topics now through Sept. 4 by dining on specialty menu items served at various locations. Haagen-Dazs Banana Split Dazzler or Taste of the Islands Entrée at Rainforest Café anyone?
- Things are hopping over at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. The new quarry pool, located in the Boulder Ridge area, is now open to guests. The new Copper Creek Villas & Cabins are still scheduled to open July 17.
- Considering rocking down to Electric Ocean at SeaWorld San Diego? This new nighttime entertainment wraps up a fun day of nature and thrills with a party atmosphere.
- We could purchase ALL THE THINGS from Weasley's Wizard Wheezes inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley. While it's hard to choose, these 12 items would certainly show up in our luggage.
- Luke Skywalker's daughter—OR NOT—is now appearing at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Rey has joined the daily Star Wars show "A Galaxy Far Far Away."
- Disney Quest is about to power down for good. The Disney Springs arcade/indoor theme park will close permanently July 2. While we'll miss many of these experiences, our personal favorite is Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride, one of the first virtual reality projects.
- The Hall of Presidents is getting an upgraded sound and lighting system, HD projection and a speaking role for President Trump when it returns from a refurbishment in late 2017.
- How do you "build" a great LEGOLAND FLORIDA experience? Here are five reasons why staying at the LEGOLAND Beach Retreat will make the trip "awesome."
- Finally, we're looking forward to taking a short 4th of July vacation. Don't forget that Disneyland and Disney World have some great ways to celebrate America's birthday lined up as well.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great 4th of July weekend.