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:
- Universal Orlando has given us the first look inside the rooms of its sixth hotel, Universal's Aventura Hotel, which is set to open in August 2018. Warm wood floors are the most striking feature of these sleek, modern rooms that also feature white bedding for the ultimate pop. Floor-to-ceiling windows will add to the bright and airy feel.
- Disney offered the first artist renderings of the NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort coming to Disney Springs in summer 2019. The space formerly occupied by DisneyQuest is going to include interactive games, immersive experiences, a retail store and an adjacent restaurant.
- And speaking of Disney Springs, three new shops have opened just in time for your holiday trips! Bowes Signature Soy Candles, Swings N' Things and Savannah Bee are among the 100 new retailers in the expanded Disney World entertainment area. A fourth retailer, rinse bath & body co., is set to open soon. Don't tell Leap, but I may need to add an extra day just for shopping at Disney Springs on the next Frog Family Disney vacation!
- Attention, jedis! Debut dates have been revealed for the new sequence being added to Star Tours — The Adventures Continue at Disney Parks around the globe. The sequence, inspired by "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and taking place on the planet of Crait, will debut at Disneyland Park and Disney's Hollywood Studios on Nov. 17, at Disneyland Paris on Nov. 22 and at Tokyo Disneyland on Dec. 15.
- Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa has completed the largest renovation since its 2001 opening. Completely redesigned rooms debuted in April, and the refreshed lobby was revealed on the Disney Parks Blog today. You can get a hop on holiday trips by booking the grand dame of Disneyland hotels through Undercover Tourist.
- In less good news, the Disneyland Resort has cancelled its RunDisney events for 2018 and beyond. The upcoming Super Heroes Half Marathon on Nov. 9-12 will be the final event. According to Theme Park Insider, runners who registered for Disneyland 2018 races will get refunds. RunDisney events in Disney World and Disneyland Paris are not being affected.
- The set of NBC's "Will & Grace" is being added as a backlot stop for the Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Experience. If you're ready to hop along this guided tour of the park, make sure to book through Undercover Tourist and save up to $31 on the VIP Experience.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend.