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.
- Disney World has reportedly been testing testing out paper ride reservations for meeting Elsa and Anna at Princess Fairytale Hall in Magic Kingdom. Guests opting to use the standby line are given paper return-time tickets, similar to the old Fastpass system. Guests, who would otherwise be standing in line for several hours for the "Frozen' sisters, are then free to go onto other attractions until the return time. While the test for meeting Anna and Elsa is said to be ending today, paper ride reservations are also being tested for Soarin' at Epcot. Has anyone used the paper ride system? What was the experience like? For those of you haven't, what do you think about the idea of paper ride reservations? Share in comments below. Paper ride reservations or not, the best way to meet Elsa and Anna remains FastPass+.
- A recently announced King Kong movie is fueling speculation that Universal Orlando's next major attraction will be based around the oversized ape. Construction has been going on around Islands of Adventure near the Jurassic Park area of the park for some time, and Legendary Entertainment just announced that it would release a movie based on King Kong's home of Skull Island in 2016. The Orlando Sentinel weighs into the rumors.
- Disney World is adding an after-hours experience to Epcot International Food & Wine Festival this fall. The Late Nights LIVE! street party will features the food and drinks from select marketplaces (Greece, Hawaii and Desserts & Champagne just to name a few), live music and entertainment, and a DJ from 9:45 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday of the festival between United Kingdom and World Showcase Plaza. The cost is $79, and admission to Epcot will not be required after 9 p.m.
- More gluten-free goodness is coming to Disney World. There is a gluten-free naan at Sanaa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, angel food cake with seasonal fruit compote at Captain's Grille at Disney's Yacht Club Resort and the hot beignets at Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory at Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter. If you don't want to wait for Disney World, here's the recipe for the gluten-free beignets.
- The Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith celebrated its 15th anniversary this week, and I bet you didn't know that it was the first Disney World coaster to feature multiple inversions. Here are a few more facts about the way cool coaster.
- Just in time for Halloween, a new Haunted Mansion shop is headed to Magic Kingdom, taking over the location of the Yankee Trader Shop. Get ready for some ghostly good apparel, home goods and souvenirs! It's going to be on my must-do list for the next trip to Orlando!
- The Florida National Guard recently spent time at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, training for hurricane and flood rescues at the Congo River Rapids. While it was technically work, one sergeant first class couldn't help but admit that it was fun.
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.