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:
- The Los Angeles Times has delved deeper into Disneyland's announcements of upcoming attraction closures for the construction of Star Wars Land and how the changes could affect capacity at its very busy park. Starting in January, Fantasmic!, the Disneyland Railroad, Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia and more attractions will close temporarily, while Big Thunder Ranch closes permanently. It's a lot of changes and could have big impact on crowds.
- Downtown Disney officially became Disney Springs earlier this week, and Morimoto Asia — from famed Chef Masaharu Morimoto of "Iron Chef America" — opened in The Landing. We're still waiting on the opening of The Edison, STK Orlando and the renovation of Planet Hollywood.
- One of our favorite eats in all of Magic Kingdom has a brand-new menu. After losing its beloved taco salad earlier this year, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe has now done away with the burgers, moving to a full-on Tex-Mex menu. The toppings bar is staying, and with the beef and chicken rice bowls, you can fix it up to your heart's content. We approve!
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster looks like it's been smashed to bits — OK, not quite, but certainly in pieces. As the ride at Universal's Islands of Adventure undergoes a massive refurbishment that includes a new storyline and ride vehicles, it's being taken apart.
- And speaking of Islands of Adventure, we've added a brand-new touring plan to our free Orlando planning app for iPhone. Thanks to your requests, we've created a 1 Day Park-to-Park plan for the Universal Orlando Resort. Perfect for those upcoming fall and winter getaways. Get the app today!
- Gobble. Gobble. It's time to get a jump on those Thanksgiving Day dining plans. If you're headed to the Disneyland Resort, reservations are open.
- We know some of you wouldn't dream of traveling without your four-legged friends, and Nov. 8 one of your pooches can accompany you to LEGOLAND Florida. The park has teamed up with the Humane Society for fun activities such as a tail-wagging costume contest, pet caricatures and adoptions. Best of all, the pooches get to take a dip in the LEGO® Wave Pool, DUPLO® Splash Safari pool and the Joker Soaker pool fur so much fun!
- SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular kicks off this weekend. The annual event runs over weekends in October and is included with regular park admission. The tadpoles love it.
- Last but not least, the Walt Disney World Resort celebrated a birthday yesterday, with the opening of Magic Kingdom, and Disney's Contemporary and Polynesian resorts 44 years ago. Many of the original attractions, including the Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan's Flight and the Enchanted Tiki Room, remain in the park today.
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.