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
- Leading off, we were thrilled to see the photos of Universal's Volcano Bay that hopped online this week. OMG FUN! We're hopping down to Orlando next week to dip our webbed feet into this amazing new park before its grand opening on May 25. If you're interested in seeing it in person, we may have a solution! By entering our Leapin’ Lava Family Vacation Sweepstakes, you could win a 3-day trip to the Universal Orlando Resort that includes on-site hotel stay, park tickets and more! Hop over here for official rules and information on how to enter. Good luck!
- Knott's Soak City at Knott's Berry Farm showed off its expansion and refurbishment. Hop over to Inside The Magic for a video review of these new features. Soak City is back in action this weekend.
- If you thought mobile ordering your coffee was cool... hang on. Mobile ordering will be expanding at Disney World. Set to debut on May 27 at Pandora—The World of Avatar, Disney will expand the program to other locations inside Disney's Animal Kingdom as soon as this summer. The Disney Parks Blog has a great video detailing how the system works.
- Seeing as strollers at Disney is in the news, the Orange County Register chimed in on why you should consider NOT bringing a stroller to the park.
- How do you Tapu Tapu? The wearable at Universal's Volcano Bay will have more cool features for you to use when the park opens on May 25. In addition to reserving your spot in a virtual queue, Tapu Tapu will let you make purchases throughout the park, activate on-slide photo spots and even open your locker.
- Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street? First, head to SeaWorld Orlando, where a new land based on the classic children's television show will debut by 2022. Another Sesame Street-themed park will open somewhere within the United States by 2021. Selfe with Super Grover yo!
- When Fantasmic! returns to the Rivers of America in Disneyland, it will have some big upgrades. The show will feature upgraded water, lighting and special effects. You'll also notice new show scenes and songs! Pirates of the Caribbean, Lion King and Tangled will be added to this nighttime spectacular. The addition we're most curious to see is Aladdin and Jasmine FLYING OVER THE RIVER ON MAGIC CARPET.
- Planning to visit Night of Joy at Disney World in September? Attractions Magazine posted information about this event's new ticketing policy.
- And now, the photo the internet demanded. In Michael Rooker voice: " I'm With Mary Poppins Y'all! "
- It appears that Pandora—The World of Avatar will feature a nightly "lighting ceremony" that will awaken the bioluminescence featured within the land. WDW News today has more info.
- And finally, gather up the Floo Powder and rev up the Nimbus 3000. This is not a drill people. Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle will debut at Universal Studios Hollywood on June 23. This new show will feature lights and music along with projections that will be displayed upon Hogwarts castle.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend!