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 here! We don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is toadally the biggest theme park news of the year. You can now travel to a galaxy, far, far away at Disneyland (Black Spire Outpost on Batuu, to be specific). We've got everything you need to keep up with all of the galactic details! Hop along with our opening day experiences on Instagram @Theme Park Frog, check out our YouTube channel for videos of the sights and sounds of Black Spire Outpost, and of course, take a peek at our Guide to Galaxy's Edge to stay in the loop. May the force be with you!
- If you didn't catch the Disney Parks live stream of the dedication ceremony for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, we highly recommend you give it a watch! Bob Iger introduces the all-new, immersive land in front of the beautifully lit Millennium Falcon, alongside some very special guests, before proclaiming that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is now open! We got goosebumps (err, frogbumps).
- Disney World has extended its After Hours events throughout the summer at Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios! That means even more park time after the daytime guests leave, giving you access to rides with little-to-no wait times, character meet-and-greets, and Tad's favorite part, unlimited free popcorn, drinks and ice cream. Woohoo! (Want to learn even more about what it's like at a Disney World's After Hours event? Check out our full guide to the late-night fun here!)
- The Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom has debuted some brand-new projections, inspired by scenes from Disney's "The Lion King." What better place to watch as the nighttime awakening brings Simba's coming-of-age story to life?
- In news that made us giggle a little to report on: You'll be able to meet Forky, the lovable plastic spork from "Toy Story 4," at H2O Glow Nights this summer! There are so many cool reasons to give it a glow (see what we did there?) at the special after-hours event at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon waterpark, but meeting Forky is definitely high on the list!
- Just in time for the release of "The Secret Life of Pets 2," Universal Orlando is offering some doggone good ways to celebrate the movie! Grab a Max-themed doughnut at Voodoo Doughnut, visit The Secret Life of Pets 2 photo wall to snap a selfie with your favorite characters or grab some fun headwear to get yourself into pet mode.
- We're in good company, theme park froggies! According to the annual AECOM Report, global theme park attendance grew 5.4% in 2018, meaning more guests than ever are visiting theme parks worldwide. That means attendance jumped from 476 million theme park visitors in 2017 to 501 million visitors in 2018, exceeding a half billion visits for the first time in history and representing almost 7% of the world's population. Can you guess which theme park had the highest attendance? (And don't froget! If you haven't visited a theme park yet this year, we've got just the ticket!)
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.