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:
- New adventures are coming to Jungle Cruise at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Disneyland! Your witty guide won't be the only skipper you'll meet — the classic ride is getting a reimagined storyline that will follow a skipper and his passengers as their journey goes awry. Check out the toadally ribbeting video Tad put together outlining the five new things you will see — and one thing you won't — on the new Jungle Cruise and then let us know what you think! Though evolving to reflect and embrace diversity, Disney promises to stay true to the experience we know and love with "more humor, wildlife and skipper heart." We can't wait to see this new monkey business in person! The Jungle Cruise update is expected to come to both parks later this year.
- It has been an exciting week of progress for the forthcoming Jurassic World VelociCoaster over at Universal's Islands of Adventure. For the very first time, actual people were spotted test riding the coaster! Don't mind us as we turn a different shade of green. This past week, we've also seen the installation of dinosaur statues and the removal of more construction walls near The Burger Digs restaurant. Universal shared a behind-the-scenes look, confirming there are just a few more months before its official opening, which will be announced soon!
- California has lifted its statewide stay-at-home order after almost two months. Disneyland has not yet announced when in-person dining will be allowed at Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street, but more than 230 food and beverage cast members are being recalled. Over at Knott's Berry Farm, outdoor dining will resume at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant, beginning Jan. 30. Meanwhile, the San Diego Zoo & San Diego Safari Park also plan to reopen Jan. 30, and SeaWorld San Diego will announce its reopening soon.
- After announcing the end of its current Annual Passholder program, Disneyland is continuing to give perks to those who held active passports as of March 14, 2020. With a new title, these Legacy Passholders may still use a discount at dining and shopping locations in Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street until a new membership program is announced.
- If you're hungry, look away now — don't say I didn't warn you. SeaWorld Orlando released the full menus for its upcoming Seven Seas Food Festival, beginning Feb. 5. With over 200 flavors to choose from, there will be plenty of Asian, Latin, European, Polynesian and North Atlantic dishes to try, as well as wines, cocktails and craft brews to sample. New menu items include crispy Florida cracked conch, Korean barbecue lamb ribs, jackfruit sloppy joes and PHILLY cream cheese chocolate chip cheesecake. YUM. If the food alone isn't enough to convince you, we've got four more reasons why you should go.
- The EPCOT International Flower and Garden is getting ready to bloom once again. Disney shared some new details about this year's modified event, which starts March 3. Dozens of topiaries and gardens will return, along with a brand-new Prehistoric Garden. Although the Garden Rocks Concert Series is not taking place, the Voices of Liberty will perform a new showcase that celebrates "the landscape, heart and human spirit of America." Read about all of the festival offerings in our separate Flower and Garden Festival guide.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.