Hi there! Welcome to our weekly roundup of the most interesting theme park news around the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and other theme parks.
This week’s theme park highlights:
- Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort opened this week to much fanfare and praise for its fantastic retro theming and family fun. Of course, the Minions were on hand to welcome the very first guests. The moderately priced hotel does not offer Express Pass access like the deluxe Universal resorts, but it does offer one hour early admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ . This will be especially welcomed later this summer when Diagon Alley™ opens.
- There was big FastPass+ news revealed this week, with Disney Parks chairman Tom Staggs revealing that there are plans to increase the number of FastPass+ allotments per day as well as to allow guests to book FastPass+ reservations for more than one park in a day.
- As Downtown Disney continues its transformation into Disney Springs, a crop of new shops are headed to my favorite shopping destination. Finally now there's a place to pick up a souvenir for your pooch with the opening of the Happy Hound kiosk in the Marketplace.
- Now is the time to start thinking about the Easter meal. Those of you who won't be at the theme parks should consider this recipe for the Herb Panko Crusted Rack of Lamb from Disneyland's Blue Bayou Restaurant.
- Two new out-of-this-world character dining experiences are coming to a galaxy -- or Disney's Hollywood Studios restaurants -- near you. May 4 through June 15, Hollywood & Vine is set to offer a Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine during dinner that will feature Jedi Mickey and a host of other characters. Over at Sci Fi Dine-In Theater, guests can enjoy a Star Wars Dine-In Galactic Breakfast with Darth Vader and other Star Wars film characters.
- So it's not news, but one of the things I lovvvveeedddd this week was this fantastic Cinderella Castle nail art tutorial. I've got plans to match my outfit to it on the next visit to Magic Kingdom!
- Weighing in at 48 pounds and 47 feet long, a baby dolphin was born at Discovery Cove on March 18.
- Disney increased the price of parking at the theme parks this week. For cars, this is $17 per day. Universal quickly followed up, raising its parking rate to $17 per day as well.
- We reported last week that this year's Halloween Horror Nights dates have been revealed. For those looking to Horror Nights on the West Coast, it was revealed that fans will get to choose one of the scare zones at the Universal Studios Hollywood's haunting event.
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 planning pages.