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
- Thank you, Universal, for a spectacular grand opening ceremony for Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. Universal Studios Florida's newest ride opened April 6, with a grand opening featuring Fallon and his Tonight Show family. The opening capped a week of live tapings of The Tonight Show from Universal Orlando. One of the best moments happened earlier in the week when Jimmy toured his new attraction for the first time. This attraction also ushered in the debut of Universal's new Virtual Line system. The park posted a step-by-step guide on how to use the new queue system.
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarves are missing from Disneyland! These statues—famously gifted to Walt Disney from an anonymous donor—have vanished from their home in Snow White's Grotto near Sleeping Beauty Castle. However, no need to call the Anaheim PD. These statues will return after completion of a refurbishment to this area.
- PANDORA. SO. CLOSE. This week, Disney posted a video that detailed the collaboration between Lightstorm Entertainment (AVATAR creator Jim Cameron's company) and the Walt Disney Imagineering team to bring Pandora—The World of Avatar to life. Disney's Animal Kingdom's newest land opens May 27.
- Sailing to SeaWorld San Antonio soon? Its version of the popular Seven Seas Food and Wine Festival floats in for weekends from April 21 through May 29.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, you now have more time to see the spectacular pageant of nighttime magic and imagination. The Main Street Electrical Parade has been extended at Disneyland. Check out this classic until it "Glows Away" on Aug 20.
- Barbecue fans, get ready to go "hog" wild with this news— The Polite Pig will open at Disney Springs April 10. Home to award-winning Orlando Chefs James and Julie Petrakis, the restaurant will serve "modern barbecue" with creative Southern sides in an open kitchen. No, your mouth is watering.
- While we're hopping with excitement to grab our Tapu Tapu and discover the innovative rides that await us at Universal's Volcano Bay, we're curious to try ALL the delightful plates and delicious drinks. Inside The Magic visited a press event, where the island-inspired food and tiki drinks were on display. No, you were licking your screen.
- It's not every day that you have the chance to see a crayon during its retirement tour. Orlando locals can bid farewell to Dandelion (or Dan D) at the Crayola Experience at the Florida Mall this Saturday. I want a mall farewell tour when I hang up my keyboard.
- Across the sea, Tokyo Disneyland broke ground on its upcoming expansion. When completed, guests will be welcomed to a Beauty and the Beast-themed land, with shops, restaurants, a dark ride and meet-and-greet attraction. The new area will open in 2020.
- Lastly, the dates you have been looking for are here! The schedule for this year's Halloween and Christmas parties at Magic Kingdom were revealed, delighting the thousands of guests who plan their Orlando vacations around these events. Hop over to our guides to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party to see the dates.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend!