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:
- It's the home stretch! Disney's All-Star Sports Resort will reopen March 31, 2022. Once the hotel is back in action, all Walt Disney World Resort hotels will be operating for the first time since March 2020. All-Star Movies opened back up March 2021, and All-Star Music followed in September 2021. All-Star Sports was originally scheduled to resume operations early December 2021, but Disney delayed the reopening date. Guests can now start booking reservations.
- Splashin' new year news — Typhoon Lagoon will reopen Jan. 2, 2022, along with its fan-fave surfing programs and some new food menu items, including a new frozen dessert bar menu and 50th-anniversary celebratory snacks. Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park will close for refurbishment after its last day of operation for the season Jan. 1, 2022.
- Soon, we'll have to say goodbye to Disney's Magical Express, once it retires Jan. 1, 2022. But you're probably thinking, "Now what?" and are searching for the best way to travel between the airport and Disney World. New, paid bus services are emerging as potential options. Mears, the company that partnered with Disney for Magical Express, announced "Mears Connect" earlier this year, and the recently announced Sunshine Flyer will launch Feb. 1, 2022. The Sunshine Flyer will have a 1920s locomotive or passenger car theme, complete with the staff dressed as conductors and engineers. (Psst ... if you want yet another alternative, you can rent a car through Undercover Tourist!)
- The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular has returned to Disney's Hollywood Studios! Following its hiatus, the long-running show has changed some elements, such as the stunt team's personal introductions, sound effects and stunts, but its storyline remains the same.
- Disney Parks shared an adorable new video and some photos of the white rhino calf, who was born last month at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The calf, who does not have a name yet, is spunky and loves to wallow in the mud. Mom and baby are thriving backstage and will continue to bond for several more months before joining the crash of rhinos on the Harambe Wildlife Reserve.
- Before visiting any theme park this holiday season or beyond, catch up on the latest COVID-19 mask policies and procedures. As of Dec. 24, 2021, Universal Orlando Resort is requiring masks indoors and on all attractions (starting at the queue's entrance through the end of the experience) for all guests, regardless of vaccination status. In Los Angeles County, visitors ages 5 and older must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or provide a negative test result to enter a theme park such as Universal Studios Hollywood or Six Flags Magic Mountain.
- Knott's Berry Farm is toadally ready for the new year! The Southern California theme park announced its lineup of 2022 events, which includes confirmed dates for Knott's Peanuts Celebration, Knott's Boysenberry Festival, Knott's Spooky Farm and Knott's Merry Farm. Plus Knott's Soak City Water Park will be open on select dates from May 28 through September 11.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.