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:
- We hope you're ready for the holiday spirt. No, not the Halloween one. Holidays at the Disneyland Resort will light up Disneyland and Disney California Adventure with merry holiday offerings from Nov. 10 through Jan. 7. Disneyland Park highlights include Believe ... in Holiday Magic fireworks, A Christmas Fantasy Parade and Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle ... complete with magical snowfall. At Disney California Adventure, guests may mingle with Santa Claus at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, experience World of Color - Season of Light and see Cars Land aglow in festive lighting.
- The holiday spirit rolls along at Disney World with the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays — running Nov. 19 through Dec. 30. Previously known as Holidays Around the World, this festive event takes place around the countries of World Showcase and features musical performances, special food and beverages, and costumed performers that bring holiday traditions to life.
- There's plenty of time to get spooky — Knott's Scary Farm released the lineup for its terrifying event. New mazes — Dark Ride and Pumpkin Eater — will scare alongside returning favorites Voodoo - Order of the Serpent and Red Barn. If the title The Hanging: Fake Noose doesn't clue you into what's in store for this must-see show, well, I'm not sure what to croak.
- For more lighthearted Halloween fun, LEGOLAND Florida Resort released details of its Brick or Treat Halloween festivities. Visitors will be treated to singing LEGO jack-o'-lanterns, an all-new grave diggers show, a vampire-themed overlay of LEGO Kingdoms and special treats — pumpkin spice version of Granny's Apple Fries anyone? Brick or Treat will run Oct. 14 through Oct. 31.
- Disney's greatest theme park achievement has been unveiled: You can now order Dole Whip with your phone. Aloha Isle—home of this iconic Magic Kingdom treat — has been added to the Mobile Order feature on the My Disney Experience app.
- Wash your Jedi robes, grab your kyber crystals and brush your Porg, for you have a date at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Star Wars: Galactic Nights returns for a one-night extravaganza Dec. 16. This separate-ticket event will feature an enhanced version of the popular Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular and the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away shows, special food and drink, access to your favorite Star Wars attractions as well as a special Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge panel.
- It's time to say "Hasta la vista, baby" to a Universal Studios Florida classic. The park announced that T2: 3D will close Oct. 8. This live show will make way for a new attraction based on an as yet unknown Universal franchise. This new experience is set to open in 2019. Suuu-per.
- Plaza de la Familia, an all-new festivity celebrating Disney-Pixar's “Coco” and the bonds of family, will debut at Disney California Adventure. Taking place at Paradise Gardens, this celebration will feature Mariachi music, delicious Mexican goods, a Tree of Life interactive photo exhibit and The World of Coco exhibit. The highlight is “A Musical Celebration of Coco” — a show that features dance, storytellers and original songs from “Coco.” This special event runs Sept. 15 through Nov. 2.
- Can you imagine what it would be like to meet Walt Disney? For Disney World cast member Darlene Kingsley, meeting Walt was just part of growing up! Kingsley is featured in an Orlando Sentinel article where she talks about knowing Walt, as well as being raised by her dad — an original imagineer.
- If you enjoy "it's a small world," then thank Rolly Crump. The former Imagineer's work on this and other Disney attractions is now on display in a new exhibit. Rolly Crump: It's Kind Of A Cute Story runs through Feb. 18 at the Oceanside Museum of Art in Oceanside, Calif.
- Finally, we can't ignore Hurricane Irma and the effect it may have on the Orlando area. While it's still too early to know how the storm will impact Central Florida, Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld have announced several closures and cancellations for this weekend. The Orlando Sentinel has a complete list of Orlando closures. If Hurricane Irma will impact your visit, take a few moments to review the cancellation and closure policies for Disney , Universal and SeaWorld. We'll be monitoring this storm closely, and will post any updates on park closures here in our blog.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend. Stay safe Florida!