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:
- Yipee! We're always frogcited to hear about more and more entertainment returning to the theme parks. This week, Disneyland has confirmed that "Disneyland Forever," the nighttime fireworks spectacular, will return sometime next year. Also, the "Tale of the Lion King" show will find a new home at the Fantasyland Theater in spring 2022, after the "Celebrate Gospel!" celebration will expand and take over the Fantasyland Theater on select days in February. These shows and spectaculars join the lineup of returning entertainment, including Main Street Electrical Parade, Fantasmic! and World of Color, all of which will come back next year (though we do not know any specific dates just yet!).
- And that's not all ... more events are also returning to Disneyland Resort in 2022! Guests can keep the party going during themed Disneyland After Dark events. With five nights in February, double-date with Disney couples during Sweethearts' Nite at Disneyland Park. Your favorite Disney Villains take over Disney California Adventure Park on two separate nights in March for Villains Nite. In May, celebrate the Force after Disneyland Park closes during Star Wars Nite on three different nights. Plus Disneyland has recently announced the dates for Lunar New Year and the Food and Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure. So much fun to be had!
- Disney Genie has officially launched at Disneyland Resort! We've covered everything you need to know about this new service and how it slightly differs from Disney Genie at Disney World, which launched earlier in mid-October. You can also save some green on tickets that include Genie+ through Undercover Tourist!
- If you're visiting the Most Magical Place on Earth during the most wonderful time of the year, take advantage of the holiday-themed PhotoPass opportunities! From a Mistletoe Magic Shot to virtual backgrounds, you can find these PhotoPass spots at all four theme parks and Disney Springs. In other PhotoPass news, Super Zoom Magic Shots are available at every theme park now!
- The holiday season can bring special surprises, and guests at Disney's Animal Kingdom were treated to a sweet one. Overnight, a gingerbread baby giraffe appeared in the hotel lobby next to the giant Christmas tree. The realistic-looking giraffe will be on display through Jan. 1, 2022.
- While we're jumping up and down about entertainment and events coming back, we're hoppy about any small steps toward normal operations too. At Universal Studios Florida, two attractions in Woody Woodpecker's KidZone have gone back to their usual operations. The Curious George Goes to Town play area reopened, and E.T. Adventure brought back its pre-show and interplanetary passports. And perhaps the best news that our froggy legs have heard yet ... the Disney World parking trams are returning, first to Magic Kingdom later this month, then the other theme parks to follow throughout next year.
- When "it's a small world" flooded right before the Holidays at Disneyland Resort were set to begin in November, we learned the damage was extensive and repairs could take a long time, but we still wrote on our wish list to Santa that it would open in time for Christmas. As a true Christmas miracle, Disneyland cast members worked tirelessly to make the necessary repairs in less than four weeks, and "it's a small world" reopened with its holiday overlay Dec. 6!
- Still need plans to ring in 2022 on New Year's Eve? Universal Studios Hollywood is hosting its EVE event with dance parties, a midnight countdown, fireworks and extended hours until 2 a.m. The celebration is included with park admission.
- It's official — 100 million riders have entered Imhotep's tomb, evaded scarab beetles and escaped the Mummy's curse. Universal Orlando announced that Revenge of the Mummy has reached this rider milestone. The indoor coaster opened in 2004 and continues to be a fan-favorite ride at Universal Studios Florida. It will undergo a lengthy refurbishment, starting in January.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.