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:
- The Universal Orlando Resort confirmed it was planning a sixth hotel, Universal's Aventura Hotel, that will open in summer 2018. This 16-story, glass tower hotel will be a value resort within hopping distance of the coming Volcano Bay water theme park. The lobby will include 18-foot windows that will offer views of the pool, and the marketplace will offer five fast, casual dining options. There will also be a rooftop bar and grill, offering panoramic views of Universal.
- Shanghai Disneyland broke ground on its Toy Story Land, which will open in 2018. Details were not shared about any attractions or entertainment, but the Disney Parks Blog mentioned it would have a distinctly Chinese flair.
- Paddlefish, the restaurant formerly known as Fulton's Crab House, is set to open at Disney Springs in late 2016. Executive Chef Mark Boor says seafood will remain a mainstay, but the new focus will be on fish—all of it sustainably sourced—rather than crabs. The decor will be more refined and luxurious—think upscale yacht—and the menu is more modern too. We're on board!
- The Holidays at Disney Springs have begun! In addition to touring the beautifully decorated trees, enjoying festive entertainment and visiting with Santa, guests can partake in Stitch's Holiday Gift Hunt, which will start on Black Friday. The scavenger hunt for the whole family will take sleuths through all four Disney Springs neighborhoods.
- The holiday treats have arrived at the Disneyland Resort. Look for hand-pulled candy canes, marshmallow wands and decorated cupcakes. Of course, there's a delicious assortment of holiday caramel apples—my very favorite park treat!
- Over at Universal Studios Hollywood, hot Butterbeer has arrived at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, joining its traditional and frozen varieties. Mmmmm.
- The first Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parties of the season have taken place. Of course, we frogs were there! Look for Tad's video in the coming days on our YouTube channel. If you're planning to attend, be sure to check our party guide.
- Last but not least, hoppy Veteran's Day to those of you who serve or have served! We appreciate your service.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend!