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:
- Here we go! Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge, the signature ride of Super Nintendo World, will open in early 2023 at Universal Studios Hollywood. The ride uses augmented reality with projection mapping technology and actual set pieces to create an immersive experience, as if you're in a real-life Mario Kart race! As part of Team Mario, you'll compete in courses underwater and in the clouds to collect coins and defeat Team Bowser. No two races are the same, and there's a variety of outcomes. So 3-2-1, GO — I'll race you to 2023!
- "Finding Nemo: The Big Blue ... and Beyond!" — the reimagined musical at Disney's Animal Kingdom — will return June 13! During the 25-minute show, the story of "Finding Nemo" is told by the group of fish who escaped from Dr. P. Sherman's office and now reside at the Marine Life Institute. The beloved puppets and musical numbers from the original show will be incorporated, along with new set design pieces.
- Keep an eye out — you can now see some new but familiar faces in Batuu at Disneyland Park! Try to spot Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand, who attempt to remain in the shadows of Black Spire Outpost. Also, sometime in the future, Din Djarin, aka the Mandalorian, and Grogu, aka The Child (or Baby Yoda) will both make an appearance in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland Park.
- Fantasmic! is finally back at Disneyland Resort! The fan-favorite nighttime show returned to the Rivers of America with its fantastical floats and frogtastic fireworks. Though there have been some small modifications to standby viewing areas, Mickey's dream sequence stayed the same. You can watch the full show below, which can also be found on our YouTube channel! Some imagination, huh?
- ICYMI: As of June 8, the Disney Genie+ service add-on will no longer be available to purchase with Walt Disney World tickets for the remainder of the year. In order to get Genie+, you'll need to purchase it separately each day through the My Disney Experience app (subject to availability). Undercover Tourist will continue to sell tickets with Disney Genie+ service included until June 8, so book your tickets now in order to guarantee Disney Genie+ availability for the duration of your trip! Also starting June 8, tickets and hotel bookings for 2023 will become available. Time to get planning!
- Nothing like sitting by the pool and relaxing with a drink under the hot summer sun, amirite? From now through Labor Day, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort are offering limited-time cocktails and mocktails as part of Summerfest by Loews Hotels. I already know Tad and Lily will love that Kiddie Pool Mocktail!
- Speaking of summer at Universal Orlando, the new Summer Tribute Store recently opened as the hot spot to get merchandise inspired by classic Universal films, including "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," "Jaws" and "Back to the Future." While the façade resembles an old movie theater, the four rooms inside have decor and merchandise that pay homage to a particular movie, such as Elliot's bedroom and props from the former "Jaws" ride.
- New menu items are popping up at Disney's Hollywood Studios! At Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, you can now choose from new appetizers (Sci-fi Smoked Wings, Spinach and Artichoke Dip), entrees (Feature Film Burger - Surf and Turf, Pork on Pork Burger), salads (Black Garlic Caesar Salad, Grilled Chicken Citrus Salad) and desserts (The Red Planet, Out-of-this-World Sci-Fi Swirl). A new Key Lime Milkshake has made its way to Hollywood Scoops, and starting June 7, 50's Prime Time Cafe will offer new bites and a returning favorite, Grandpa Jean's Chicken Pot Pie. And that's not all! Kak Saka's Kettle in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is offering the Cold Brew Black Caf — Joffrey's Coffee with sweet cream cheese and cocoa puff toppings — plus a spiked version with Godiva liqueur. Yum!
- This summer, Electric Ocean is once again lighting up the night with brand-new and returning experiences at SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego and SeaWorld San Antonio. In Orlando, enjoy the all-new "Ignite 360" fireworks and fountains spectacular on select nights. Catch HydroPower: Xtreme FX, a waterski stunt show with a fireworks finale, at San Antonio. And San Diego will showcase a new stunt show, Adrenaline, and a new bioluminescent music experience.
- LEGOLAND Florida is bringing back and expanding its Awe-Summer Celebration! From June 4 through August 7, the event will feature new shows, activities, themed weekends, specialty treats and more. Awe-Summer Celebration will overlap with LEGO Friends Weekends in June, and Red, White and Boom! in July.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.