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:
- Goodbye, "IllumiNations!" Hello, "Epcot Forever!" After a 20-year run, Epcot's nighttime spectacular, "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" will retire Sept. 30, 2019. But fear not, froggy fans! Beginning Oct. 1, 2019, you can catch Epcot's all-new nighttime spectacular: "Epcot Forever." Blending fireworks, classic Epcot tunes, lighting, lasers and choreographed kites (you read that right!), "Epcot Forever" will take park guests on a journey through the past, present and future of the park.
- You can now reserve select Disneyland entertainment with a FASTPASS using MaxPass! FASTPASSes for World of Color (California Adventure park) and Fantasmic! (Disneyland Park) are now available using MaxPass (in addition to the traditional paper FASTPASS). Even more ways to skip the line? Yes please!
- Jessie's Critter Carousel is now open at Disney's California Adventure ... and her new friends are toadally adorable. (Keep an eye on that skunk, though!) Be sure to tag us @ThemeParkFrog if you mosey on over to take a ride. Yeehaw!
- The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! ride will open in 2020 at Universal Studios Hollywood! Join your favorite cast of characters, including Max, Snowball, Gidget, Chloe and Duke, on an adventure through New York City on a quest for a forever home. Warm fuzzies!
- For a limited time beginning April 19, you can catch a special preview of scenes from Disney's upcoming live-action adaptation of “Aladdin” at Disney Parks and on the Disney Cruise Line! Hop into Main Street Opera House in Disneyland park or Walt Disney Presents at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World for a sneak peek.
- Something big is coming to the CityWalk at Universal Orlando this summer! Bigfire, an all-new, full-service restaurant, will take guests into a grand lakeside lodge, complete with oversized plaid blankets, lanterns, lawn games and tableside s'mores. But of course, Bigfire's name comes from the custom wood fire grill at the heart of the venue, where guests can watch their meal being prepared! Each dish will be paired with a particular wood (including Cherrywood and Pecan wood) to bring out the fire-kissed, smoky flavors in signature dishes such as bison burgers, coffee, chili and cocoa rubbed top sirloin, freshwater trout and smoked salads.
- You can Party for the Planet at Disney's Animal Kingdom — and even meet Imagineer Joe Rohde! From April 20-22, you can join in the celebration with special entertainment, art signings, Tiffin Talks and family-friendly learning opportunities with conservationists and animal care experts.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.