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:
- We don't have a lot of details as of yet, but SeaWorld Orlando announced plans this morning for a 200-foot-tall roller coaster set to debut in 2016. Using hashtag #NothingFaster, SeaWorld shared in a tweet that it would be the "tallest, fastest and longest" coaster in Florida!
- After several well-publicized tests for its roller coasters, metal detectors have been added permanently to Universal Orlando on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Incredible Hulk Coaster and Dragon Challenge. While reactions appear to be mixed, the Universal Orlando metal detectors will help cut down on the number of loose items riders bring onto the coasters. For your convenience, each of the coasters have nearby ride lockers, where you can store your items for free. (Check out our step-by-step instructions on how they work.)
- The Universal Orlando Resort is kicking off its 25th anniversary this spring with a concert series that will feature Prince Royce, Pitbull and the Goo Goo Dolls. The concerts take place on select nights May 23 through June 20 at Universal Studios Florida, are included with regular admission and are a great way to see some of your favorite performers.
- All of you "Teen Beach Movie" fans (yes, we know some of you moms and dads are fans too :p ) have the chance to join in on the "Teen Beach 2" beach party at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, happening May 22 through July 5. "Bikers" and "surfers" will dance and play games with guests while a DJ spins tunes along the water park's main beach area. Kowabunga!
- Viva La Musica is set to return this weekend to SeaWorld Orlando with Puerto Rican singer Olga Tañón performing. This family-friendly annual celebration focused on Latin American cuisine, culture and music is one of SeaWorld's most popular events.
- "Live with Kelly and Michael" is headed to Disneyland for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, with airings May 18-22 (filming will be May 17-19). Mariah Carey, Dwayne Johnson, Jimmy Kimmel, Scott Foley, Patricia Heaton and more guests are scheduled to appear. Here's how to get tickets.
- The end is near for Expedition Everest Challenge. The May 2 combination scavenger hunt and 5K held at Disney's Animal Kingdom will be the last.
- Finally, I leave you with this spectacular view of Disneyland Hong Kong's Sleeping Beauty Castle lit up by fireworks show "Disney in the Stars."
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.