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:
- Star Wars Weekends are going away. Because the Force will be with Disney's Hollywood Studios every day with the new Star Wars Land, there is no need to continue the May and June special event. Disney also provided details about changes to Star Tours that incorporates scenes from the upcoming "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Starting Dec. 1, guests can experience these new scenes, and for the first few months, the randomized attraction will be less randomized so that guests can experience the new scenes. Also in early December, the Jedi Training experience will reopen as Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. Finally, Star Wars Launch Bay will offer previews of the upcoming film, special exhibits, merchandise, and meet-and-greets with Chewbacca and Darth Vader.
- Over at Disneyland, Season of the Force has taken over and officially begins Monday. Star Wars Launch Bay will open, with Chewbacca and Darth Vader in attendance.
- Neville Longbottom is headed to Universal Orlando for A Celebration of Harry Potter — or at least Matthew Lewis, the man who played him will be. Universal announced the talent that will be part of this annual special event. Joining Lewis will be Rupert Grint, Bonnie Wright Evanna Lynch and Katie Leung.
- If you're following us on Instagram and Twitter, you know we frogs were at Disney World this past weekend. We had so much fun hopping around the parks, of course, but it's work for all of you! Make sure to check out our photos, video and new tips from Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
- The Ellen Degeneres Show debuted the first trailer for the upcoming "Finding Dory." The followup to the hugely successful "Finding Nemo" will open in June 2016.
- Please don't tell Lily, but we just missed the stars of Disney's "Descendants" movie at Magic Kingdom. They, along with a ton of other special guests, were on hand for the taping of the Disney Parks' Unforgettable Christmas Celebration earlier this week.
- Victoria & Albert's has again earned the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award! This most upscale dining experience at Disney's Grand Floridian has earned the distinction 16 years in a row.
- LEGOLAND Florida is officially going to be part of Winter Haven. LEGOLAND is working with the city to have the property, now in an unicorporated area, become part of the Florida town some 40 miles from Orlando.
- We reported several weeks ago that Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue would be closing to make way for Fast & Furious - Supercharged," and now we know that Dec. 3 will be the show's last day.
- "I'm going to Disneyland!" It's a popular refrain, especially as we head into Super Bowl season. Sports Illustrated has delved into the beginnings of this most glorious proclamation!
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.