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:
- Minifigures, start your VR headsets! The Great LEGO Race VR Coaster will debut at LEGOLAND Florida in 2018. This ride will drop guests into a thrilling LEGO race. VR headsets will allow guests to race alongside crazy LEGO vehicles and experience the race from any angle — up, down, forward and behind them! This coaster is a re-theming of the park's current coaster, Project X.
- Dreamsicle Beignets have arrived at Disneyland. We could just end our roundup of theme park news with this and high tail it to the Mint Julep bar. But I guess we'll keep going ...
- The parade of Epcot festivals keeps rolling, as the Epcot International Festival of the Arts will return in 2018. This event will expand from its previous weekends-only schedule to a full seven days a week. This festival offers a mix of culinary and creative arts and will run Jan. 12 through Feb. 19.
- Who wants to chill at the Queen Mary in Long Beach this winter? CHILL at the Queen Mary is a winter event that is billed as the first-ever ice adventure park. Highlights include an ice skating track, ice bumper cars, ice tricycles, a zip line, ice shuffleboard and a 100-foot-long tubing slide. You'll get to chill at CHILL from Dec. 13 to Jan. 7.
- It's quite a site to wander through Seuss Landing at Universal's Islands of Adventure. While you've had fun visiting Cat in the Hat and traveling along the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Ride, check out eight things you may not know about this Seuss-inspired land. Kudos to the Universal Close Up Blog for their Seussical sleuthing!
- Not since the Rose Gold Mouse Ear Headband has Disney seen a merchandising craze bigger than the Oogie Boogie Popcorn Bucket. This glow-in-the-dark popcorn holder treat arrived for Halloween time and has quickly become a fan favorite. The popular bucket is available anytime at Disneyland Resort but is limited to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney World.
- One of the many new Halloween Time offerings at Disney California Adventure is Guardians of the Galaxy — Monsters After Dark. Disney has posted a video that features Disney Imagineers showcasing how guests can help Rockett Raccoon save Groot. Check out Tad's video above of this limited-time re-theming of the DCA fan favorite.
- Changes are coming to the popular Party for the Senses at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This special event gala will now feature assigned seating. Another new perk is for guests with Wine View Lounge tickets. They will receive transportation to the party from the Epcot main entrance to World ShowPlace via the new Minnie Vans.
- Guests visiting Disney's Hollywood Studios may now view pieces of the park's future (ones that are not large construction walls). New models and concept artwork for Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Mickey's Runaway Railway are now on display inside Walt Disney Presents.
- Big changes are splashing into SeaWorld San Antonio in 2018. A new Sesame Street parade will delight tadpoles, and the Aquatica portion of the park will receive the thrilling Taumata Racer slides. Electric Ocean — the popular nighttime offerings that debuted at SeaWorld Orlando and San Diego this year — will be imported to light up those crazy fun (and brutally hot) Texas summer nights.
- And finally, familiar Orlando favorites came up winners in the 2017 Golden Ticket Awards, determined by Amusement Today. Congrats to SeaWorld Orlando, Tower of Terror, The Mummy and Halloween Horror Nights. Each one was named first overall in their respective categories. Winners are determined by a survey of “experienced amusement park voters around the country." Apparently, that doesn't include frogs ;)
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend.