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
- Some imagination, huh? Those familiar words are set to be heard again as Fantasmic! returns to Disneyland July 17. As mentioned before, the show will feature new effects and segments from "Aladdin," "Tangled," "The Lion King" and "Pirates of Caribbean." Fantasmic! is not the only Disneyland classic returning to the Rivers of America. Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes return today , followed by the Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America ships Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia on July 29.
- The Universal Orlando Close Up Blog posted a moving tribute to the victims of the Pulse tragedy on its one year anniversary.
- Ghost Town Alive!—the interactive experience at Knott's Berry Farm has returned for 2017. This role-playing game lets guests interact with the people of Calico, completing tasks and games.
- Margaritaville Resort Orlando unveiled the first look at its soon-to-be-built cottages. The resort features a "Jimmy Buffett" laid-back style. We were thinking of a style more along the lines of huge parrots, Cheeseburgers and Lost Shakers of Salt.
- Changes are coming to Disneyland's Adventureland in order to relieve congestion. Bengal Barbeque will receive indoor seating and Tropical Imports, the refreshment stand in front of the Jungle Cruise, will become stroller parking. More room for Dole Whip lines.
- It's never too early to think about your 4th of July Plans. Chip and Co. has a rundown of the ways to celebrate America's birthday around Disney World.
- SeaWorld Orlando welcomed a baby walrus. Kaboodle and her not-yet-named calf are not on display yet, using this time to bond. Ok, on 3. 1...2...3....Awwwwwwwwwww.
- Black. Every weekend starts with a black screen. Fans of "The LEGO Batman Movie" (raises hand) will want to wear their best Bat Cowl and head to LEGOLAND California this weekend to snap a selfie with a life-size Chevy Lego Batmobile. Made of 340,000 bricks, the model will be on display through July 4th.
- Making your way to Universal's Volcano Bay? Universal has 5 reasons to stay on-site when visiting this new water theme park.
- After being closed for nearly a year, Big Thunder Trail at Disneyland re-opened. Shut down due to construction on the Rivers of America and the Star Wars themed land, this major pedestrian walkway will alleviate some of the park's congestion problems.
- Nobody likes to wait in line for a ride, but interactive and immersive queues that get the story started can help. Theme Park Insider asked the question—What are the top 10 attraction queues at American theme parks?
- Unleash the Kraken! Orlando Sentinel posted a preview of Kraken Unleashed, the VR re-theming of the park's Kraken coaster.
- "Chill" with your pals from Arendelle and dine on dessert and drinks as you catch Illuminations. The Frozen Ever After Dessert Party gives you a reserved view of Epcot's nighttime spectacular, followed by a ride on Frozen Ever After. Check out the details and the dessert lineup on the Disney Parks Blog.
- And finally, we can't seem to keep Johnny Depp from stepping into Pirates of the Caribbean attractions! Captain Jack Sparrow himself sailed into Disneyland Paris this week to see his audio-animatronic likeness. To celebrate the attraction's 25th Anniversary, Pirates of the Caribbean received a new storyline and two new scenes featuring the Captain. Why is the rum always gone?
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend.