Friday, September 18, 2020

A New Year at the Parks

Theme Park Wrap-Up

With 2019 upon us, let’s dive into all the recent happenings and announcements in Florida’s theme parks.

Walt Disney World

As construction ramps up on the previously-announced Tron roller coaster coming to Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom, three temporary closures have taken effect in the park. The Walt Disney World Railroad, the walking path in Storybook Circus, and the Tomorrowland Speedway have all closed for refurbishment as construction continues. No reopening date has been set for any of these closures.

A “Kingdom Hearts III” pop-up experience has opened at Disney Springs, giving fans of the classic Disney and Final Fantasy crossover series a chance to play the new game before it releases to the public on January 29.

A new, limited-time Tasting Sampler experience has launched at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, giving guests the ability to taste their way around the park. The package is $30 each, and comes with a pre-loaded $35 digital gift card to use at over 40 outdoor carts and kiosks throughout the park, plus preferred seating to the second showing of “Rivers of Light.”

The lineup for the 2019 Garden Rocks concert series, which runs during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, has been revealed. Performing artists include Simple Plan, Rick Springfield, Sister Sledge, A Flock of Seagulls, Journey’s former lead vocalist Steve Augeri, among others.

Disney revealed new details on the NBA Experience, which will open at Disney Springs this summer. This new immersive experience will give guests the chance to live our their NBA dreams in new ways, including an NBA draft experience, timed games, a slam dunk photo-op, and more. There is no specific opening date set for this new location.

A new VIP tour called “Taste of Magic Kingdom” launched at Walt Disney World, making a dream come true for theme park foodies. This new three-hour tour takes guests behind the scenes as they hear stories from the chefs and cast members that help bring the food and snacks to life at Magic Kingdom.

The all-new “Disney Junior Dance Party!” show made its debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this past month. The show features music and characters from Disney Junior TV shows like “Vampirina,” “Doc McStuffins,” “The Lion Guard,” and “Mickey and the Roadster Racers.”

Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando has new guest lockers and locker charges across both parks. The updated lockers come in two sizes, small and large. The small lockers are still complimentary to use, but now guests will have to pay $2 to rent a large locker for their personal items.

A new My Universal Photos location has opened on Hollywood Boulevard in Universal Studios Florida. Located inside The Darkroom, this new offering allows guests with a My Universal Photos package to take fun, themed photos with two green screens.

A new Owl Post shop in Diagon Alley allows guests to mail their Wizarding World merchandise with a magical touch. For $20 to $25, guests can have their items mailed anywhere in the continental U.S. with themed, Harry Potter-inspired wrapping and decorations.

SeaWorld’s Inside Look.

Universal launched six new vegan meal options at Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay. A few of these plant-based offerings include the Impossible Burger, Tomato Pesto Cresto de Gallo, and Chipotle Sausage with Orzo.

As a complete surprise, Universal Orlando revealed the dates for Halloween Horror Nights 2019. Guests can get their scare on for more nights than ever when the event runs on select nights from Sept. 6 to Nov. 2.

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando announced the return of their behind-the-scenes offering, Inside Look, where guests can see what it takes to maintain the park and its animals. Guests can take part in these offerings on January 19, 20, 26 and 27.

Catch more theme park happenings, news, and updates here next month or every day at www.AttractionsMagazine.com .

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