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:
- Ho-ho-hooray! While not officially starting until Nov. 11, preparations for the holiday season at Disney World are in full swing. The giant Christmas tree is already standing tall in the middle of Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom, gingerbread displays are being built at select resort hotels and the foodie guide for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party has been released. Are you ready to hop along with us? We'll be attending the first night of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party next Tuesday AND leaping from park to park on Nov. 11, so join us on Instagram @themeparkfrog! You can also unwrap all of the deets in our Disney World holiday events guide.
- Fantasmic! is finally back at Disney's Hollywood Studios! You can now catch the nighttime spectacular daily at the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater. We loved the new heroes sequence featuring "Moana," "Aladdin," "Frozen II" and "Mulan" and even watched our MagicBand+ wristbands light up and interact during special moments. As previously announced, dining packages will be available for performances starting Nov. 30. Some imagination, huh?
- On Halloween, we got a major treat: A surprise house announcement for #HHN32! Inspired by the new USA Network/Syfy series "Chucky," the infamous murderous doll will bring your childhood nightmares to life during Halloween Horror Nights at both Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood next year. Typically, house announcements are not made this far in advance, but this one's no trick!
- Universal Orlando is ready to embrace "out with the old, in with the new" at the start of the new year. Most of Woody Woodpecker's KidZone — including Fievel's Playground, Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster, Curious George Goes to Town (we'll miss you, Ball Factory!), DreamWorks Destination and Shrek and Donkey's Meet & Greet — will permanently close Jan. 16, 2023, to make way for new experiences. But good news, E.T. Adventure, Animal Actors on Location!, SpongeBob StorePants (including character greetings) and KidZone Pizza Company aren't going anywhere!
- For the first time in forever, Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome has opened up its "gates," and the Arendelle sisters are once again greeting guests in the Disney Animation building at Disney California Adventure.
- Speaking of "Frozen," when Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park reopens Nov. 13, you'll find Olaf and his Snowgie pals, plus Anna and Elsa's igloo castle, in Tike's Peak (the kiddie pool area). We think they'll fit right in, and Olaf will finally get to see a summer breeze blow away a winter storm ;)
- Discovery Cove is expanding its all-inclusive dining options with the brand-new Blue Bamboo Bar and Hibiscus Hideaway pizza spot. Blue Bamboo Bar will feature swing seats, a selfie-ready mural, four new signature drinks and unlimited grab-and-go snacks, including chocolate chip cookies, soft pretzels and more. Hibiscus Hideaway will serve freshly baked pizza from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and offer three new signature drinks and soft-serve ice cream.
- The upcoming LEGOLAND Florida attraction, Pirate River Quest, has a new opening date after experiencing a delay due to high water levels from Hurricane Ian. The water boat ride's debut will come just before the park's popular Pirate Fest Weekends, which begin Jan. 21, 2023.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.