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:
- The Disney Parks are no strangers to Instagram-worthy photo-ops (here's looking at you, Purple Wall, Buzz Lightyear Wall and Bubblegum Wall)! Disneyland Resort is giving guests yet another opportunity to strike a pose, replacing the vacant ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney with Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration. Pop-Up Disney will feature several themed rooms and displays perfect for keeping your feed fresh (don't forget to tag us @themeparkfrog so that we can see all of your frogtastic shots)! This temporary pop-up will open this spring.
- Calling all heroes! For the first time ever at Disney California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort, guests can attend the super-popular, separately-ticketed Disneyland After Dark! Disneyland After Dark: Heroes Assemble will allow super heroes to stay for four hours after California Adventure Park closes to mingle with favorite super heroes from across the galaxy, dance the night away and blast off on favorite attractions on either April 30 or May 1, 2019.
- The new Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade coaster at Universal Orlando Resort has a name ... and opening date! Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will be opening June 13, 2019, allowing guests to join Hagrid in a flight beyond Hogwarts' walls and into the path of some of the magical creatures unique to the wizarding world.
- Victoria & Albert's, a fine dining restaurant at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in Walt Disney World, has once again earned the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award, which it has received every year since 2000. Several restaurants in Orlando received AAA Four Diamond Awards this year, including Todd English's bluezoo at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort. So many toadally delicious dining options to choose from!
- Over in Anaheim, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa has also been awarded. The Grand Californian at the Disneyland Resort is a new Forbes Travel Guide Star Award winner! The Grand Californian is the only hotel in Anaheim to earn the accolade.
- Taking advantage of all of the sunshine the aptly named Sunshine State has to offer, a new 270-acre, 50-megawatt solar facility is now up and running (and providing energy) to Walt Disney World! This facility alone is expected to generate enough power to operate two out of the four Orlando theme parks each year, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Hooray for green efforts!
- Walt Disney World has announced plans for a play pavilion at Epcot, just in time for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary. The play pavilion, replacing Wonders of Life, will provide an interactive "city" atmosphere where guests can play, create and interact with favorite Disney characters. In addition to the play pavilion, the park will be updating its entry and exit with new pathways and a reimagined fountain. These updates will join the projects already underway at Epcot, including a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed ride, Remy's Ratatouille Adventure ride, a "Beauty and the Beast" sing-along, a space-themed table service restaurant next to Mission: SPACE and new nighttime spectaculars in both 2019 and 2020. Leaping lily pads! No wonder Disney World's motto for the year is "Now, More Than Ever!"
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.