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.
Here are this week’s theme park highlights:
- We're less than a week away from the grand opening of Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, and the Disney Parks Blog has given us a peek inside the bungalows. These 2-bedroom, 2-bath over-the-water digs sure would make a frog feel welcome! It's all pretty fabulous, but what theme park hopping family couldn't get used to this bathroom?
- Disney park guests hoping to catch a sneak peek of "Tomorrowland" are in luck. Starting in mid-April, exclusive previews of the film will be shown in the Tomorrowland Theater at Disneyland and in the Imagination Pavillion theater at Epcot at Disney World. At Disneyland, guests can also see an exhibit inspired by the movie, with production artwork and props used in the film, which opens May 22.
- Studio Catering Company at Disney's Hollywood Studios is getting a new menu, including a braised pulled brisket sandwich, a turkey panini and a vegetable wrap with garlic herb spread. Other restaurants around the Studios are also getting new menu items.
- Mardi Gras continues at Universal Studios Florida, and this Saturday American Idol winner Phillip Phillips will take to the stage as part of the festivities.
- And speaking of Universal Studios Florida, Universal Orlando tested out metal detectors briefly at Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit earlier this week as part of its safety program. Despite free lockers and underneath the coaster, riders still end up bringing on loose items.
- Disneyland is kicking off its upcoming Diamond Celebration with a merchandise event May 20-21 that will include panel discussions, signings, other entertainment, silent auction, trading area, commemorative gifts and plenty of shopping!
- And as we are getting nearer to the start of the 60th anniversary celebration, Disney has released a time-lapse video that shows Disneyland Park's construction in the 1950s.
- Work continues on the transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, and last week a pedestrian bridge went up over Buena Vista Drive, connecting the Team Disney area to Downtown Disney. It will open later this spring, and a second bridge near Hotel Plaza Boulevard will open this summer.
- Art in the Gardens is set to return to Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival on March 27-29 and will showcase the work of artists in several locations throughout World Showcase. Artists will be on hand for the event.
- SeaWorld San Diego restarted its sea lion and otter show, which had been closed since March 6 to free up its trainers to help with the rescue of an unprecedented number of sea lion pups along the coast. SeaWorld San Diego has rescued 579 marine mammals so far this year, more than twice its annual average.
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.