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:
- As Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary Celebration approaches, the retro style of Disney's Contemporary Resort is getting a modern update. Disney released a first look at the redesigned rooms, complete with an incredible twist. The decor and custom artwork will take inspiration from the iconic monorail and characters from "The Incredibles" films, including Jack-Jack, Frozone and Edna Mode. Currently, all nine floors in the main A-frame tower are getting the makeover, and once completed, the rooms in the garden wing will undergo refurbishment. The lobby will also feature a collection of art pieces, as well as historical and behind-the-scenes photos of the hotel. Additionally, The Wave ... of American Flavors will soon close for a reimagined dining experience and reopen this fall, just in time for the 50th anniversary.
- ICYMI: We learned a bunch of new exciting details about the 50th Anniversary Celebration! To kick off the festivities on Oct. 1, Magic Kingdom will debut a new nighttime spectacular, Disney Enchantment, featuring projections that will extend all the way down Main Street, U.S.A. Meanwhile, the highly anticipated Harmonious will premiere at EPCOT, as the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney Park. Disney KiteTails, a show featuring kites and windbreakers of all shapes and sizes, will also provide new daytime entertainment at Disney's Animal Kingdom. More details can be found in our 50th Anniversary Celebration guide!
- It's a boy! Disney's Animal Kingdom recently welcomed a new baby giraffe, who was born on June 10. The healthy Masai giraffe calf is already nearly 6-feet-tall, weighs 183 pounds and has special markings in the shapes of hearts and a butterfly all over his coat. He has been spending a lot of time in a backstage barn with his mom, Lily. In the coming weeks, the pair will join the rest of the herd on the savanna, where you'll be able to see them on Kilimanjaro Safaris.
- I scream, you scream, we all scream for ... Salt & Straw! Originally based out of Portland, Oregon, the popular ice cream company will bring its scoops to Disney Springs in 2022. There are already 26 locations across the country, including one in Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort. Salt & Straw is known for its unique flavors, including monthly rotating flavors and classic creations, such as Honey Lavender and Pear and Blue Cheese.
- To celebrate the release of "F9," the latest installment of the "Fast and Furious" film series, Universal Studios Hollywood has set up multiple photo-op car displays inside the park and CityWalk. "Fast and Furious" stars even surprised fans at a fan event last week. Over in Florida, Universal Studios Florida also has a photo-op display featuring a 1968 Mid-Charge Dodge Charger in front of the Animal Actors stadium.
- We knew it was coming, but this announcement still gave us the frights! SeaWorld San Diego officially released haunted house details, dates and ticket information for its first-ever Howl-O-Scream event. Howl-O-Scream will serve up its scares on select nights from Sept. 17 through Oct. 31, 2021. Three haunted houses, seven scare zones and four roaming haunts will keep you screaming all night long. The event is intended for mature frogs, but SeaWorld Spooktacular will still continue to provide family-friendly fun on weekends from Sept. 18 to Oct. 31.
- And speaking of Halloween fun, because Disney After Hours Boo Bash is so popular, Disney has added a small number of additional tickets to events taking place Sept. 21 and 24 and Oct. 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26 and 29. If you're hoping to trick-or-treat down Main Street this year, be sure to hop to it, as these will disappear faster than the residents of the Haunted Mansion!
- Ready for some awesome news? LEGOLAND New York is open for previews, and you can now get preview tickets from your favorite frogs! The theme park will officially open later this summer, along with a LEGOLAND Hotel.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.