With fall quickly approaching, the Halloween and holiday announcements are out in full force for Central Florida’s theme parks. Here’s the latest news for all things Disney, Universal and beyond:
Walt Disney World
Disney’s official D23 Expo is coming up this August in California, and with it will come news on what’s to become of Epcot’s major transformation. Sadly, some classic Future World locations are on the chopping block for this overhaul, namely Club Cool, MouseGear, Fountain View (Starbucks), and the Epcot Character Spot, to name a few. Some of these locations will come back in a new capacity once Epcot’s updates are complete; others will be gone for good once closed.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance now has an official opening date for Walt Disney World. Guests will be able to experience the highly-anticipated attraction on Dec. 5, 2019 – which is also Walt Disney’s birthday!
A new era of Disney transportation is about to begin: the Disney Skyliner got a grand opening date! Guests will be able to take a ride on the gondolas starting Sept. 29.
Walt Disney World’s newest accommodation, the Gran Destino, is now open at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The new tower hosts 545 guest rooms, including 50 suites, a two-story lobby, a rooftop restaurant and lounge that offers gorgeous views of Walt Disney World Resort.
Darth Vader is on his way back to Disney’s Hollywood Studios! The Sith Lord will replace his grandson, Kylo Ren, at Star Wars Launch Bay starting Aug. 29. Kylo won’t be far away, though – guests will be able to find him in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge roaming through Black Spire Outpost.
The NBA Store at the upcoming NBA Experience is now open to basketball fans and guests alike at Disney Springs. The new store offers everything both players and fans could need, from NBA memorabilia to shoes, athletic gear, and yes, basketballs.
Epcot’s Japan pavilion opened its newest table service restaurant, Takumi-Tei. This new dining location offers upscale service with a focus on Japanese culture, traditions, and connection to the natural world.
Getting from the Grand Floridian to Magic Kingdom is about to get much easier. Permits have been filed for a new guest walkway connecting the deluxe resort to the theme park.
As of now, the only ways to get from the Grand Floridian to Magic Kingdom are by taking the monorail, riding on water taxis, or utilizing other forms of vehicular transportation like Minnie Vans and the bus system.
Universal Orlando Resort
Halloween Horror Nights is just a couple of months away, and we’ve got two new house announcements to look forward to!
“Ghostbusters” will take fans through the classic moments and locations from the film, including the iconic firehouse, the New York Library and the Temple of Gozer.
“Killer Klowns From Outer Space” established its status as an HHN fan-favorite during last year’s event when it was a scare zone. This time around, their haunted house will feature all the klowns, their circus tent spaceship, and cotton candy cocoon storage room – where their victims are kept.
SeaWorld is currently hosting a four-weekend concert series for the summer, and there are two dates left to catch! On Aug. 3-4, Jefferson Starship will perform at the Nautilus Theater twice each day. On Aug. 10-11, Blood, Sweat and Tears will close out the series. VIP and reserved seating are available to purchase online for select performances.
The Fun Card has also made its way back to SeaWorld Orlando for a limited time. With the Fun Card, guests can enjoy all of SeaWorld’s remaining 2019 events, including Praise Wave, the Craft Beer Festival, the Spooktacular and SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. Fun Cards are available for $79.99 for One-Park and $99.99 for Two-Park.
Other Florida Attractions
A new Halloween haunt is coming to Orlando this October, straight from the minds behind Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. Called Dark Horizon: Point of No Return, the new haunt will offer sixteen nights of terror with four immersive bars, three haunted house mazes, two live stages, hundreds of monsters, and plenty of festive fare.
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.