Happy new year! Central Florida’s theme parks are now embarking on a new year and new decade, with plenty in store for the future. Here’s your latest update on what’s happening right now at your favorite attractions:
Walt Disney World
The newest Disney Vacation Club property, Disney’s Riviera Resort, is now open to all guests at Walt Disney World. Inspired by Europe with a touch of Disney magic, this property offers access to the Disney Skyliner, a variety of accommodations, dining, and more in a European Riviera-inspired setting.
Epcot’s big-box merchandise location, MouseGear, has moved to a temporary location as the original space is refurbished. The new MouseGear location can be found across the Innoventions East breezeway in the area that was formerly occupied by Colortopia. There’s no word on when the updated MouseGear will open.
As part of Epcot’s ongoing transformation, several meet-and-greets characters have moved to new locations. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Joy, and Daisy can all be found in new areas around Future World. During this time, Sadness and Baymax are no longer meeting guests.
Disney revealed that Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue will be themed to the one and only Sam Eagle of The Muppets. The restaurant, which will open in the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot this year, takes its name from the Muppet, who will be the host of a centennial cook-off there – as he calls it, “a salute to all cook-offs… but mostly barbecue.”
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now departing to destinations inspired by “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Guests can now travel to the ocean moon of Kef Bir and the sith planet Exegol, as well as receive a special transmission from General Lando Calrissian.
A pair of Tron lightcycles have appeared in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, offering a sneak peek at the upcoming attraction Tron Lightcycle / Run, which will open in 2021. Guests can head over near Space Mountain and have their photos taken on the ride vehicles for a unique photo-op.
Orlando’s M&M’s experiential store is being relocated to Disney Springs sometime this year. Construction is expected to begin immediately, and this new location will take over the former retail spaces of Curl and Fit2Run, across from the House of Blues.
Tickets are no on sale for the new Cirque du Soleil show coming to Disney Springs, titled “Drawn to Life.” The show follows a girl named Julie as she sets out on a journey toward her future featuring her Disney childhood memories. The show will open for previews on March 20th, and its official debut will take place on April 17th.
SeaWorld Orlando has debuted a new killer whale show that focuses more on educating guests about one of the ocean’s most powerful predators – “Orca Encounter.” This new show replaced “One Ocean,” and showcases the importance of play and goes deeper into the whales’ hunting techniques.
Florida residents can now register for SeaWorld Orlando’s 2020 Preschool Card, which offers kids ages 5 and younger free admission to both SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando through Dec. 31, 2020. Advance registration must be completed online by February 3rd, and guests must redeem their tickets by March 31st.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Florida residents can start the year off right with a buy-one-get-one deal on year-round admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island. For the price of a single day’s admission, just $109.99, guests can get the Busch Gardens Tampa Fun Card, as well as an Adventure Island Fun Card for free. The park is also offering a Preschool Card for kids ages 5 and under.
Legoland Florida Resort
Legoland Florida is offering its free Preschooler Pass to Florida resident children for a limited time. The pass is available now through February 3rd and offers kids ages 3 and 4 one year of unlimited admission to both Legoland Florida theme park and water park with no blockout dates. Parents can pick up the Preschooler Pass at the park’s admission ticket window only.
Catch more theme park happenings, news, and updates here next month or every day at AttractionsMagazine.com.