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.
Here are this week’s theme park highlights:
- Disney CEO Bob Iger let the cat out of the bag earlier this week during the annual shareholders meeting that Disney's Hollywood Studios will be getting a new name. Per Iger: "We used to be MGM Studios, we changed to Hollywood Studios and we're doing some significant work there right now that I guess will result in a name change. Now we can announce that. It's not been announced, right? No. We'll announce that we're changing the name but we won't announce what we're changing it to. How's that?" I suppose we frogs (and you all) can live with that, especially after all of the other changes at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Of course, feel free to weigh in on the change and what you think might be coming for Disney's Hollywood Studios.
- Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace swapped places in Magic Kingdom earlier this week, with the more popular home of the Dole Whip moving into the larger space outside of Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, which should help with waits for this most spectacular treat. You'll recall back in December that Sunshine Tree Terrace added the Dole Whip to its menu. Now we know why. Oh, and you turkey leg lovers need to take note because starting March 25, they are moving from its location in Frontierland and Liberty Square to Cool Ship in Tomorrowland.
- Over at Disney Springs, Planet Hollywood and Paradiso 37 are getting bigger! Paradiso 37 is wrapping up an expansion to add more outdoor dining and an outdoor stage along the beautiful waterfront. The restaurant offers cuisine from North, Central and South America, and some tasty libations as well! Planet Hollywood, meanwhile, is getting a complete overhaul as it's transformed into a four-story stargazing observatory that will fit right in at Disney Springs. It's expansion is set to be complete in fall 2016.
- Another "Tomorrowland" trailer was released, and careful watchers may have noticed a few Disney World references. See if you can spot them!
- Universal Orlando has not yet confirmed a water park next door to Cabana Bay Beach Resort, but a Volcano Bay did appear on a map of future development given out during an I-Drive Improvement District meeting.
- SeaWorld Orlando announced that Travis Tritt and Larry the Cable Guy are set to perform at the upcoming Bands, Brew & BBQ on March 21 and 22 respectively. Meanwhile, Rodney Atkins and Kool & the Gang will perform this Saturday and Sunday respectively.
- Magic Kingdom will be celebrating another 24-hour day on May 22 to kick off the "Coolest Summer Ever." Olaf made the official announcement on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" from his sandcastle in ... Boston. I think he's ready for summer :)
- Finally, Disneyland will be holding its own 24-hour fun that same day to kick off the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, which is also the day its three new shows are set to debut!
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 Orlando Planning Guide.