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:
- Jack "The Clown" Schmidt, the first original icon of Halloween Horror Nights, wouldn't dare miss the event's 30th anniversary this fall at Universal Studios Florida. All three of his past personas — the vengeful clown, the carnival ringmaster and the demonic rockstar — will infiltrate every aspect of the event, from the streets to the haunted houses to the places you'd least expect him. Can't wait until September? Read up on his dark and twisted backstory, and purchase your HHN tickets, which are on sale now! So far, we only know that Jack will join Beetlejuice — more dastardly details will come later. Be sure to bookmark our Halloween Horror Nights guide to stay informed of future updates!
- Halloween Horror Nights may have all of the tricks, but Disney's Boo Bash promises to have all of the treats. This week, the new Halloween-themed After Hours event released additional dates and tickets, which you can now get from your favorite frogs! The event will take place at Magic Kingdom on select nights from Aug. 10 to Oct. 31, 2021. Trick-or-treat in your best Halloween costumes as you enjoy low wait times for rides and Halloween character cavalcades all night long. Learn more about all of the spooktacular fun in our Boo Bash guide.
- The process for returning to "normal" has kept us on our froggy toes, as both big and small changes are hoppening quickly at the theme parks on both coasts. As of June 15, theme parks in California have lifted most of the COVID-19 restrictions (such as physical distancing and mask mandates), increased park capacity and welcomed back out-of-state visitors. Meanwhile, the Florida theme parks have also relaxed most restrictions and some parks are operating back at full capacity. Each park is operating by its own rules now, so make sure to check what policies are in place before you go.
- As the restrictions relax, more entertainment options are returning, including fireworks at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort! "Happily Ever After" at Magic Kingdom Park and "EPCOT Forever" at EPCOT will return for nightly performances, starting July 1. "Mickey's Mix Magic" at Disneyland Park will return July 4. For the first time in forever, we'll watch the night sky burst into colors behind Cinderella Castle and Sleeping Beauty Castle and above World Showcase Lagoon. Get the tissues ready!
- For the latest hotel scoop, Universal's Aventura Hotel reopened June 16, as the last Universal Orlando hotel to open its doors during the phased reopening. Meanwhile, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge will reopen August 26! Animal Kingdom Lodge will join Disney's BoardWalk Inn and Disney's Polynesian Village Resort as Walt Disney World Resort hotels with scheduled reopening dates. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort (Riverside and French Quarter), Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort and Disney’s All-Star Music Resort remain closed.
- At Disneyland Resort, more restaurants continue to reopen. Lamplight Lounge will offer Boardwalk Dining, starting June 24. Other options will be available June 24, including Maurice Treat's, Edelweiss Snacks, Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums and popcone at Cozy Cone Motel. Our tastebuds have been working overtime lately, and we're not mad about it!
- The magic has finally returned to all of the Disney Parks worldwide, now that Disneyland Paris reopened June 17! Upon reopening, the new Cars ROAD TRIP attraction debuted, and Disney's Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel is set to open next week.
- While we still don't know too much about Universal's Epic Universe, we already know Super Nintendo World is set to become one of the lands. As for other lands, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell confirmed that Epic Universe will also have attractions based on intellectual properties from Illumination (such as "Despicable Me" and "The Secret Life of Pets") and DreamWorks Animation (such as "Kung Fu Panda" and "How to Train Your Dragon"). Shell also shared that Universal plans to open the new theme park in a couple years, and it will be Universal's largest U.S. theme park. We toadally can't wait!
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.