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:
- Get ready for some new tot-sized fun! SeaWorld San Diego is welcoming Rescue Jr., a newly re-themed kids' area — coming soon. Formerly the Sesame Street's Bay of Play area, Rescue Jr. will have rescue-themed rides, a splash zone, animal presentations and more. We love how kids will be able to learn about big concepts, such as animal conservation, through a playful environment. Stay tuned for more details about its debut!
- The Eat to the Beat Concert Series returns to the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival from July to November, packed with a lineup of local acts and popular musicians. As you sip and savor around the world, enjoy new performers such as The Bacon Brothers, Phillip Phillips and We The Kings, or returning festival favorites such as Hanson and Boyz II Men. If you wish to secure a spot at a specific concert, Eat to the Beat dining packages will be available for booking starting July 6. For the full lineup, hop over to our Food & Wine Festival guide.
- The debut of a newly refurbished Fiesta Village is nearly here! Knott's Berry Farm announced that the area will open May 26, alongside the start of summer events, Ghost Town Alive and Knott's Summer Nights. Fiesta Village will feature new restaurants, immersive entertainment and more. However, MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress (the area's roller coaster which is getting a major update) will not be available when Fiesta Village reopens.
- Are you ready to hang 10?! The world's first surf coaster, Pipeline, is now open for annual passholder previews at SeaWorld Orlando — ahead of its official opening, May 27. Riders will feel like they're surfing on the unique ride vehicles designed like surfboards with standing seats that move up and down as you coast through the waves (aka twists and turns).
- A new restaurant is coming to the Japan Pavilion at EPCOT this summer! Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya will be a table-service restaurant, located on the second floor, serving shareable Japanese dishes, such as sushi and teppan items. There will also be an open sushi bar and grill.
- It's time to start practicing your screaming skills. The horror-filled Howl-O-Scream event will be back for revenge at SeaWorld Parks across the nation, including SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld San Diego — all of which have tickets on sale now!
- ICYMI: Disney announced several frogciting updates for upcoming 2024 trips at Walt Disney World Resort! Firstly, you can start booking your Disney World tickets, hotel stays and vacation packages as early as May 31, 2023. There are also updates to the theme park reservation system, Disney Dining Plans and more!
- Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month at Walt Disney World Resort with new food items, which can be found all around the resort in May! We made an infographic to help you find the brand-new offerings, though the Disney Eats foodie guide has a full list of menu items.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.