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
- While the beloved Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disneyland is checking out of Disney California Adventure on Jan. 2, 2017, Disney is hopping up the last Halloween cycle of the ride. Starting on Sept. 9 until its closing date, imagineers are adding "Late Check-Out" after the sun goes down, allowing guests to experience the ride in complete darkness—if they dare. There’s more to celebrate at the Tower as well, with new commemorative merchandise available at the ride's gift shop. Guests also have a new photo location in front of the Hollywood Tower Hotel marquee, complete with vintage props and other tributes to the landmark's history. During Disneyland Halloween Time, Buena Vista Street's Silver Lake Sisters will be on hand, doing daily special performances at the attraction. Make sure to check our list of Disneyland refurbishments before your visit, because the ride could see some additional, shorter closures ahead of its transformation into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- Justice League Battle for Metropolis is heading to Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2017. The popular, interactive dark ride already at Six Flags Over Texas will get a new finale, new game targets and the introduction of Harley Quinn at Magic Mountain. She will join Batman, Superman and other heroes in a battle players can join against Lex Luthor, The Joker and their armies.
- Those of you looking to hop over to Disney Springs after a day in the parks have more options. Disney World is now offering bus service from the parks to Disney Springs, starting at 4 p.m. daily. The bus will drop off guests in the middle of Town Center, the most recently opened sectioned of the reimagined entertainment area that offers plenty of shopping and dining options. For now, the service is one-way, but resort guests can take buses back to the Disney Resort hotels.
- As we leap into autumn, Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire at Magic Kingdom is getting a seasonal update. The most notable addition will be a new original song by Valerie Vigoda and Brendan Milburn, the duo behind catchy opening number "On This Day." Fall-themed décor and costumes will also play a part of the new fall finale, which begins today. If you can't make it to the parks, you can check out Tad's video of the original show, which debuted in June.
- And we'd be remiss if we didn't mention tonight is the first Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party of the season at Magic Kingdom. If you're planning to attend, you'll definitely want to check out our guide, which includes our very best tips.
- New pins are available for collecting at Disney's parks in August and September. Inspired by Disney Springs, Frozen, Disney villains and more, this latest batch offers something for everyone.
- SeaWorld San Diego has broken ground on Ocean Explorer, a new section of the park that will be an exploration of the planet's seven seas. Scheduled to open in late spring, the 3-acre Ocean Explorer will include aquariums housing giant octopuses, spider crabs and moray eels, and four new rides.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend!