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
- An all-new nighttime spectacular, "World of Color - Season of Light," will debut during Holidays at the Disneyland Resort, which returns Nov. 10 and runs through Jan. 8. The Disney California Adventure show will combine lights, holiday songs and memorable moments from Disney animated classics. For those of you who just can't wait for the Christmas holidays, we're putting the finishing touches on our complete guide to Holidays at Disneyland for 2016, which will include more details about the new elements and returning favorites for this very popular event. Look for it soon! We can't wait to experience the winter lights and decor of Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle, the Jingle Cruise and other Christmas fun.
- Those of you who can't wait to start celebrating holidays, fear not! Halloween, one of our favorite holidays, can be celebrated now at both Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood. Tonight is opening night for Halloween Horror Nights at both parks! You can check out our survival guides for both the Orlando and Los Angeles scare-fests. We have the best tips and most comprehensive guides of well ... anywhere!
- To honor the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot will celebrate with Las Fiestas Patrias today. The event invites guests and their familia to join cast members in learning more about Mexico. Special features include a scavenger hunt and a specially decorated Mexico Pavilion. The event starts at 10:30 a.m., will go on until 5 p.m. and is included with regular park admission.
- In other Epcot news, two of its exhibits were closed for good this week, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The Sum of All Thrills and Stormstruck were shut Tuesday, leaving Colortopia as the last remaining occupant of Innoventions East. Disney hasn't announced plans for the area yet. The Sum of All Thrills, which opened in 2009, allowed guests to make their own virtual thrill ride and then experience it via a simulator. Stormstruck, which first saw guests in 2008, was a 4-D weather simulator.
- Disney Springs is getting a new visitor by way of the North Pole. The iconic Coca-Cola Polar Bear is the star of a new meet-and-greet at the Coca-Cola Store, located in Town Center at Disney Springs. He'll also have plenty of merchandise available, including plush animals, pins, ornaments, shirts and, of course, Coke bottles.
- Disneyland is planning to tear down the empty House of Blues building in Downtown Disney. The 17,000-square-foot House of Blues has been vacant since May. The famed music venue is moving to a renovated part of the GardenWalk shopping center and expected to open in 2017. Disney officials confirmed that the demolition is pending approval from the city of Anaheim, but did not reveal if there are future plans for the site.
- Legoland California is planning to build a second on-site hotel. The planned 250-room hotel would have a castle theme, including a moat and large towers plus princesses, knights and dragons! If the project gets final city council approval, Legoland would begin construction on the hotel in January.
- In addition to a new hotel, Legoland California announced plans for its upcoming Star Wars mini-land. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Star Wars mini-park will be adding a massive Star Destroyer model that will be 16 feet long. The park is also expected to show characters and scenes from the newest Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, including popular characters such as Kylo Ren, Rey, Poe, Finn and BB-8. The mini-park is expected to open in spring 2017.
- Legoland California also revealed details about its water park expansion, which will include a water slide called Surfer's Bay that will allow children to race down one of six lanes. The expansion, themed around California's beaches and expected to be completed in 2017, will also add several spray pads and new LEGO models.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend!