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
- Everybody was kung-fu fighting! Master Po and the rest of the Furious Five will be leaping into Hollywood in 2018. The Kung-Fu Panda Show at Universal Studios Hollywood is the highlight of the arrival of new DreamWorks Animation character experiences. This summer, fans will have the chance to meet characters from Shrek, Trolls, Madagascar and other DreamWorks Animation favorites in Universal Plaza. The Kung-Fu Panda show will take place in Dreamworks Theater, which will replace Shrek 4-D.
- If you're visiting Pandora—The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom in the hopes of walking away with a pet banshee ... we have some bad news. Banshee puppets are currently sold out. Disney hopes to have more in stock soon, though it could not give an exact date.
- Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood. Previously announced for Universal Orlando Resort, this wizarding holiday celebration will feature festive food, decorations and a holiday-themed show that will light up Hogwarts castle. Hot Butterbeer, yo!
- Better views, you will have. Stages used for Star Wars: A Galaxy Far Away will be replaced with rolling stages, allowing for better viewing of the nighttime show Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. We saw this live last week at Disney's Hollywood Studios and agree that mobile stages will give everyone better spots to see the show.
- Searching for a great view of the Disneyland fireworks somewhere other than Disneyland? The OC Register hopped over to Anaheim's only rooftop bar for a unique view of the nighttime spectacle.
- Dining Under the Sea just reached a new level of delicious. The Coral Reef restaurant inside The Seas With Nemo And Friends pavilion in Epcot has added new dishes. Pictured here is the charbroiled octopus with nori sushi rice, sesame slaw and a soy reduction.
- The redesigned Pool Deck At Disney's Grand Californian is now open. The Redwoods Pool features organic-inspired materials, fountains and a 90-foot water slide. The quiet Mariposa Pool features cabana rentals.
- D23 in Anaheim will be THE place to be for the newest information on the Star Wars-themed lands coming to Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios. A Galaxy of Stories pavilion will feature a model of the new area, along with details on the characters, creatures and locations that we'll be able to visit in 2019.
- Disneyland has glowing cotton candy and life will never be the same.
- Lords and Ladies! Get thyself to LEGOLAND FLORIDA for LEGOLAND Knight Lights. Held during select days in July, guests may take part in a LEGO builds, a knight-themed scavenger hunt throughout Miniland U.S.A., photo ops with exclusive LEGO characters and dine on themed snacks.
- Spring 2018 is the timeframe for the opening of Fast & Furious — Supercharged at Universal Studios Florida. The attraction will feature a virtual queue, similar to the one that debuted with Race Through New York With Jimmy Fallon.
- Wondering where to take dad for Father's Day? Disney Springs is hosting plenty of specials for dad, including special dining at STK Orlando and Paddlefish. Shops are also offering discounts. LEAP'S NOTE - YES SPRINKLES CUPCAKES.
- WE CAN HUG TOTORO FOR REALS! Studio Ghibli announced that it plans to build a theme park based on MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO in Japan. Expected opening is 2020. And speaking of theme parks in Japan....
It's me, Mario! Universal Studios Japan held a groundbreaking ceremony for Super Nintendo World . Mario himself was on hand to take part in the ceremony. The big reveal was that this new land will include A MARIO KART ride. Now our dreams of running Bowser off the road will soon come true.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend.