April was an exciting month in the theme park world, as we gear up for all the exciting things to come this summer and beyond. Let’s dive into it!
Walt Disney World
It was revealed this month that Epcot’s iconic nighttime spectacular, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” will take its final bow on Sept. 30, making way for a temporary show titled “Epcot Forever” that will debut on Oct. 1. The permanent replacement show will debut sometime in 2020.
Exclusively designed Coca-Cola products are coming to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when the immersive new land opens at Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The packaging was designed by Coca-Cola in collaboration with Lucasfilm in order to fit authentically with the Star Wars universe.
For the first time in 14 years, a brand-new Halloween fireworks spectacular is coming to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom. The show will take guests on a trick-or-treating adventure with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy, who find themselves at a mysterious haunted house.
The Disney Villains are taking over Magic Kingdom this summer with the brand-new “Disney Villains After Hours” event on select nights from June 6 – Aug. 8. This event will feature an all-new Villains stage show, wickedly delicious food and beverage offerings, and the first nighttime appearance of the Maleficent dragon from the Festival of Fantasy Parade.
As part of the 30th-anniversary festivities at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a new Toy Story-themed table service restaurant has been announced for the park. Called Roundup Rodeo BBQ, this restaurant is a new “playset” built by Andy that resembles a rodeo.
“Rivers of Light” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is being reimagined this summer with a new version of the nighttime show, titled “Rivers of Light: We Are One.” The reimagined show will feature both new imagery and familiar animals from Disneynature and Disney animated films.
Bo Peep will begin making appearances in Toy Story Land this summer to celebrate the release of the upcoming film, “Toy Story 4”. No start date for her meet-and-greets has been set just yet.
A new “Beauty and the Beast”-inspired lounge experience is coming to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, replacing the former Mizner’s Lounge and Commander Porter’s. Opening sometime this fall, the lounge will celebrate the magic and romance of the live-action version of the Disney classic.
The most wonderful time of the year is already headed our way, as tickets are now on sale for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. The event will transform the park into a wintery fairy-land for 23 days this year, adding on one extra day for the parties.
Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando shared a first look at some of the creatures that guests will encounter on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, a new attraction opening this June at Islands of Adventure. Some of these creatures included Fluffy the three-headed dog, centaurs, Devil’s Snare, and the Blast-Ended Skrewt, never-before-seen in the “Harry Potter” films.
Two new houses were announced this month for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida – a sequel to an original house titled “Nightingales: Blood Pit” and “Universal Monsters.”
The replacement for the former Emeril’s Orlando restaurant at Universal CityWalk has been revealed, and its name is “Bigfire.” The two-story restaurant will feature warm, modern surroundings, including a fireplace, oversized plaid blankets, and cast iron elements.
SeaWorld Orlando announced this past month that it has been designated as a Certified Autism Center, and has joined Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove to become the first family of parks in Orlando to receive this certification.
Aquatics Orlando’s newest attraction, KareKare Curl, officially opened to guests. The new slide is described as a “curve-shaped wave,” which riders will experience when climbing the vertical wave wall.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Just in time for the Easter holiday weekend, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay opened it’s new triple-launch steel coaster, Tigris. Now Florida’s tallest launch coaster, this is the ninth coaster to join the park’s collection.
Legoland Florida Resort
This month, Legoland Florida unveiled their new rooms themed to “The Lego Movie” at their on-site accommodation, the Legoland Hotel.
Catch more theme park happenings, news, and updates here next month and every day at AttractionsMagazine.com.