Hi there! Welcome to our weekly roundup of the most interesting theme park news around the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and other theme parks.
This week’s theme park highlights:
- Hopeful news this week as the Orlando Sentinel reports on the status of MyMagic+ and MagicBands. While the report focuses primarily on annual passholders, who now have access to MagicBands and the ability to book reservations 30 days in advance, a small nugget indicates good news for daily park guests. Those guests not staying at a Disney resort are soon expected to have MyMagic+ access, presumably via the app, and the option to purchase a MagicBand for $15. Of course, we'll bring you more details as soon as they are available. Those looking for more information on the topic, can view everything we've written about FastPass+ and MyMagic+.
- For the first time in Star Wars Weekends history, Mark Hamill is set to attend! Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker will be one of the celebrity guests June 6-8.
- One of the most anticipated events of the year so far, the release of "Frozen" on DVD, happened this week, and let's just say that it's the only thing Lily has wanted to watch this week. We reported last week that sisters Anna and Elsa are moving to Magic Kingdom from Epcot next month, which should alleviate the humongous waits that folks are experiencing now.
- For you "Frozen" fans who haven't been able to get enough Olaf, there is news this week. The snowman is now available in candy apple form at Main Street Confectionery at Magic Kingdom. And now guests can learn how to draw Olaf, thanks to this tutorial. He and a few other characters from the film are in rotation at The Magic of Disney Animation at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
- Crossfit fans, get ready to do some muscle-ups and double unders at Disney World! Capitalizing on the popularity of functional fitness, Disney parks is hosting its first Disney Fit Challenge on September 26-28. Registration is now open.
- Cinderella Castle has gone gray -- but it's only temporary. The castle in Magic Kingdom Park is getting repainted. Currently the turrets are gray as they are being primed, but they will return to their original color.
- SeaWorld Orlando is set to host Just for Kids starting this Saturday. The festival, just for kids, features kid-friendly dance parties, snacks, games and animal encounters. It runs Saturdays through April 12.
- "Maleficient" fans visiting Disney's Hollywood Studios starting April 18 can get an extended sneak peek of the movie opening May 30.
- In more movie news, "Muppets Most Wanted" opens today. Make sure to check out our cute-as-a-button Kermit the Frog craft!
- Disney is planning followups to "The Incredibles" and "Cars" as well as its first "Star Wars" film since acquiring the rights last year. "Star Wars: Episode VII," which takes place 30 years after "Return of the Jedi," will be released Dec. 18, 2015.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend!
If you’re thinking about a trip to Disney World, make sure to check out the other news, tips and information we post to the blog throughout the week. If you’re ready to plan your trip, we recommend you start with our planning pages.