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:
- For those of you who can't make it to this weekend's A Celebration of Harry Potter, you're in luck. Universal Orlando will be live streaming several of the panels on Periscope and the Universal blog. You can catch the opening night event with the film stars at 7:30 p.m. tonight, a Q&A with film stars on Saturday at 6:45 p.m. and the prop design experts who brought the films to life at 1 p.m. Sunday. All of these times are Eastern.
- The popular interactive wands from the Wizarding Worlds in Florida will be part of the new Wizarding World at Universal Studios Hollywood, which is set to officially debut April 7. The wands sell for $48.
- New track is starting to be added for the Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure. The coaster has been under refurbishment since the fall and will reopen some time this summer with a new storyline, ride vehicles and overall experience. The new track will create a "smoother ride."
- Disney is creating an artificial spring at Disney Springs to fully tie in the re-themed entertainment and dining area. Of course, no expense was spared in making the spring as true to life as possible, and the spring incorporates live oak trees and other plants.
- The Disney Parks Blog will be live streaming "Fantasmic!" from Disney's Hollywood Studios on Tuesday starting at 6:50 p.m. Eastern.
- Disney World has submitted plans to build a new venue at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and parking on 10 acres of land. There is no word at this time on what the complex would b used for.
- Elton John is set to perform during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration's television special, "The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60," on Feb. 21 on ABC. Derek Hough will host the event that will take place at the Dolby Theater and iconic locations around the park.
- Harrison Ford will also be part of the televised special, giving audiences a first look at the coming Star Wars Lands at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend!
If you’re thinking about a trip to Disney World, make sure to check out the other news, tips and information we post to the blog throughout the week. If you’re ready to plan your trip, we recommend you start with our Orlando Planning Guide.