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:
- Both Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Disneyland's Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run won Thea awards! The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) awarded Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal's Islands of Adventure with the "outstanding achievement" award in the attractions category. Disneyland’s Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run also won in the attractions category, in addition to naming Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as an outstanding achievement as a new theme park land. Congratulations! The Frog-cademy toadally agrees with this decision.
- The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) also recognized Disney with four Brass Ring Awards for immersive products and atmosphere entertainment. At Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, products including Savi's hand-built scrap metal (aka lightsabers), custom astromech units (aka droids) from Droid Depot and the always-adorable plush porg received accolades (Lily owns a whole colony of those precious porgs). Plus, in the live entertainment category, the Brass Ring Award for Best Atmosphere went to the Green Army Drum Corps, which marches through Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios daily.
- In addition to the attractions and products of Batuu, part of the land's immersive experience lies in the tiny details in every nook and cranny ... including the sounds! John Williams has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition for "Galaxy's Edge Symphonic Suite." The suite was created especially for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland Park, and was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road. That brings Williams' total nominations to 71, with 24 wins to date. (Just try reading this without the opening notes of the "Star Wars" theme playing in your head.)
- OK ... it's clear that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is toadally working its way into hearts all around the galaxy. It's even more incredible to think that all of these amazing awards are coming before the next e-ticket ride has even opened! The first Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance TV spot has been released in California to promote the all-new attraction, featuring beeping droids, fierce lightsabers and, well ... you'll just have to watch and see! Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will open Dec. 5, 2019 at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Jan. 17, 2020 at Disneyland Park.
- Is it really Roundup if we don't mention food? Were you starting to worry about us (or maybe your own rumbly tumbly?) Well don't worry ... we've got you covered! Disney Parks Blog released a Foodie Guide to Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, and we are officially drooling! From the Cookie Stroll, to Tres Leches Rice Pudding, to Pastrami on Rye, to the Chirashi Sushi Tree (pictured above), there is going to be plenty of delicious food to keep you hoppin' during your next Epcot visit (or maybe get you ready for the best mid-day nap ever once you've had your fill ... Leap's fave!).
- Also at the IAAPA Expo, SeaWorld Orlando debuted the ride vehicles for its all-new roller coaster, Ice Breaker, opening spring 2020. Ice Breaker will be the park's first launch coaster and will take riders frontwards AND backwards!
- To celebrate Mickey Mouse's 91st birthday, a brand-new poster for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disney's Hollywood Studios has been revealed ... and it's underwater! The attraction, opening in spring 2020 at Walt Disney World Resort, will be the duo's first-ever ride-through attraction. (We toadally recommend clicking the link to see the interactive version of the poster! So neat!)
- Salud! Wine Bar George at Disney Springs has been awarded "Best Micro Wine List in the World." In. The. World. What a distinction! Wine Bar George is my favorite little hideout. (Delicious bites. Amazing wine. And nothing beats Frozcato with Dole Whip on a hot Florida day!)
- As part of Knott's Berry Farm's 100 year anniversary celebration, "A Knott's Family Reunion," a brand-new ride is coming! Well, sort of: The dark ride itself is all-new, but the story is a Knott's classic. In summer 2020, guests can welcome back Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair. The interactive, 4-D dark ride will continue the beloved Bear-y Tales story 34 years later, taking guests on an exciting journey through reimagined show scenes from the original attraction, including the Boysenberry Pie Factory, Frog Forest, Fortune Teller Camp, Thunder Cave, and Weird Woods, culminating in a celebration at the County Fair.
- Last but not least, don't froget, your favorite frogs are throwing a VIP party inside Universal Orlando Resort! For a limited time, you can purchase tickets that will include access to both parks, plus food and great rates on your hotel stay! Hop to it.
That’s it for the theme park news this week! Have a great weekend.