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:
- Beginning Dec. 20, guests at Walt Disney World Resort hotels on Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon can once again see the Electrical Water Pageant! After a temporary hiatus, the nighttime water parade returns Dec. 20 and will run nightly thereafter, beginning at Disney's Polynesian Resort at 8:45 p.m. ET before making its way to Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and finishing its route at Disney's Contemporary Resort around 10 p.m. Who else is ready to see those twinkling lights and hear that telltale music?! So exciting!
- Prior to park hopping resuming at Walt Disney World Jan. 1, the Boarding Group process for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is changing just a smidge. The second virtual queue opportunity will open to guests inside Disney's Hollywood Studios at 1 p.m. rather than 2 p.m. beginning Dec. 20. That also means that once park hopping returns, only those in Disney's Hollywood Studios with a valid Disney Park Pass will be eligible to join a Boarding Group (since guests can only park hop after 2 p.m.). For more information about the virtual queue, plus our best tips on how to snag a Boarding Group, hop over to our full post.
- There are some new residents on the Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom! Nigerian Dwarf Goats have been added to the experience near the end of the journey, where guests can catch the crazy kids as they chase, climb and play. What a fun way to finish your time on the Harambe Wildlife Reserve!
- Imagineer Zach Riddley recently shared that the first of five floating "Harmonious" show platforms has been placed in World Showcase Lagoon to begin some technical testing. Once completed, these barges will serve as fountains during the day, then transform into part of EPCOT's newest nighttime spectacular after dark.
- Also beginning Dec. 20, Magic Kingdom Park will have some all-new breakfast options from park opening through 11 a.m.! Among the new offerings are Donut Holes, an Egg & Bacon Croissant Breakfast Sandwich (both of which will be available at both Westward Ho and The Friar's Nook), Tots & Sausage Gravy (available at The Friar's Nook) and Cheshire Cat Tails (which will be sold all day at The Lunching Pad). These items will only be around through Jan. 2, 2021, so be sure to hop to it!
- Universal Orlando Resort's newest value hotel is now open! Universal's Endless Summer — Dockside Inn & Suites is located across from its sister hotel, Surfside Inn & Suites, and was originally scheduled to open in March. The hotel offers a relaxed seaside vibe with 2,050 guest rooms, bringing the total number of rooms at Universal Orlando Resort to 9,000. Whoa! (Psst ... don't froget that you can get even bigger discounts on hotel stays, including Dockside Inn & Suites, through your favorite frogs!)
- Even more Walt Disney World Resort hotels have reopening dates! Disney's All-Star Movies Resort will reopen March 22, 2021; Disney's Beach Club Resort will reopen May 30, 2021; and Disney's Wilderness Lodge will reopen June 6, 2021. We're adding them to our (very long) list of reasons to be excited for 2021!
- Disney's Riviera Resort is celebrating its one-year anniversary! To commemorate the occasion, Disney Vacation Club commissioned The LEGO Group to create a model of the resort. LEGO Master Model Builders spent more than 300 hours designing and assembling the 100-pound replica, with over 45,000 LEGO elements! The model includes many of the resort’s details, including the feature pool and waterslide and the signature “RR” monogram — there's even a mini version of the Disney Skyliner! The model will arrive early next year to the Disney Vacation Club kiosk at Disney Springs Marketplace so that you can admire it in person.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.