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:
- "Festival of the Lion King" is set to make a roaring return to Disney's Animal Kingdom on June 1. The story of "The Lion King" comes to life amid acrobatics, dance, music and puppetry in the newly built Harambe Theatre.
- As we get closer to the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley (if only we knew the date!), Universal has released video showing scenes from inside Diagon, including some of the shops and the inside of Gringotts Bank.
- Speaking of Gringotts, the large dragon guarding the bank arrived earlier this week by crane.
- The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train officially opened this week, with plenty of pomp and the Seven Dwarfs of course! You'll find the family coaster, as well as all of Disney World's other rides, in our wait times app.
- While it looks like the real thing from a distance, the grassy hilltops of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train won't require mowing. Disney imagineers worked with a Chinese company to create a variety of fake grasses, shrubs and trees, each with their own color palates, to make the hills come alive.
- Lily has been waiting patiently for weeks, and now finally Disney's "Maleficent" has made its debut. With Angelina Jolie at the helm, this modern take on the fairytale classic shows a softer side to the villain.
- For those of you with a sweet tooth, Crafting in the Rain created this magnificent Maleficent cupcake that looks easy enough that even I could do it.
- Car Masters Weekend is back at Downtown Disney on June 14 and 15. Car fans can cruise through more than 100 classic, muscle and exotic vehicles, presented by Meguiar’s. For the kids, Lightning McQueen, Mater and Finn McMissle will be signing autographs.
- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has delayed the opening of Falcon's Fury because of a delay in component parts. The diving drop tower until later this summer.
- Aqua Drag Racer, a twisting, speeding and dropping waterslide that will have guests racing against each other, is set to open June 12 at Wet n Wild in Orlando.
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.