Central Florida’s theme parks are halfway through the Halloween season, but the winter festivities aren’t too far behind! Here is the latest news on all your favorite theme parks:
Walt Disney World
- Hurricane Dorian came and went at the parks this month, causing a few closures, including Walt Disney World. The resort was one of the few Central Florida theme parks to actually close early in preparation for the hurricane on Sept. 3, though the parks went right back to normal operation the very next day.
- Guests visiting Walt Disney World now have a limited time to catch “The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History,” as the show will be closing next month. Cast members have been told that the last day for the show is Oct. 5, though Disney has said that they have nothing to share on the topic at this time.
- A first look was shared at the new “Omni-Coaster” ride vehicles for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the upcoming “storytelling” roller coaster opening at Epcot by 2021, in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. These coaster vehicles will rotate to keep riders’ eyes on the action and immerse them in the story.
- The re-themed Mizner’s Lounge at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa now has a new name: Enchanted Rose. The lounge will open up this fall at the resort, and is themed to the live-action 2017 version of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The lounge will have spaces inspired by the classic story, along with a variety of sharable bites and themed drinks on the menu.
Universal Orlando Resort
- Halloween Horror Nights is here! Universal Orlando’s annual haunt event kicked off this month, and with it comes 10 haunted houses, five scare zones, a new Academy of Villains dance show, and the event’s first-ever nighttime lagoon spectacular, “Halloween Marathon of Mayhem.” You can get your scare on at the event on select nights through Nov. 2.
- Tom Williams, chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts, shared new details about Super Nintendo World, coming to all Universal Parks around the world (except for Beijing) over the next few years. Some of these reveals include that the land will open in spring 2020 at Universal Studios Japan, details on the land’s interactivity via a magnetic wristband, as well as compatibility with the Nintendo Switch gaming console.
- A new nighttime projection show made its debut this month in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” brings the darker side of the Wizarding World to the forefront. Along with the new show, guests will find Death Eaters roaming the fog-filled streets of Hogsmeade. You can catch this show on select nights through Nov. 15.
- A new “Stranger Things” pop-up is now open to hotel guests at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort for Halloween Horror Nights. Open from 2-10 p.m. now through Oct. 31, this pop-up features two photo-ops: the Byers’ living room and the Scoops Ahoy ice cream shop. This offering is free for all Universal Orlando hotel guests.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay announced new details on Iron Gwazi, the re-themed, refurbished version of the classic wooden coaster, along with an opening date. Soon-to-be the tallest hybrid coaster in North America and the fastest and steepest in the world, Iron Gwazi will open in spring 2020.
- America’s first dual-tailspin water slide is opening in spring 2020 at Adventure Island with Solar Vortex. This family raft slide will combine high-banking rotations with rapid descents, sending riders through two open tailspin features.
- Riders may shiver through SeaWorld Orlando’s first-ever launch coaster, Ice Breaker, when it opens in spring 2020. The coaster will feature four launches, both going backward and forward, with the coaster culminating in a reverse launch that goes into the steepest beyond vertical drop in Florida – a 93-foot-tall spike with a 100-degree angle.
Legoland Florida Resort
- Guests at Legoland Florida Resort came together for a good cause this month to support those impacted by Hurricane Dorian. The park offered a highly-discounted single-day ticket for one weekend only, with $10 of each ticket donated to the American Red Cross. This discount resulted in a donation of $126,760 to support relief and recovery efforts of those in the aftermath of the hurricane.
Catch more theme park happenings, news, and updates here next month or every day at AttractionsMagazine.com.
Brittani Tuttle is a writer with Attractions Magazine, the only publication that covers all the major theme parks and attractions worldwide. In addition to the magazine, there is “The Attractions Show” online, an email newsletter, podcast, app and more. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit AttractionsMagazine.com.on her blog: www.mycardsandhowtheygrow.wordpress.com.