Celebrate National Roller Coaster Day by riding your favorite coasters at the most thrilling time of day – nighttime – during Thrill Fest Ride Night!
For the second year in a row, and just in time for National Coaster Day, SeaWorld Orlando will host Thrill Fest Ride Night on August 16th with extended park hours.
Included in admission, guests can take the coaster challenge and ride all of their favorite thrills at SeaWorld Orlando: Manta, Mako, Infinity Falls, Kraken and Journey to Atlantis will stay open until 11:00 pm for coaster enthusiasts to enjoy during Thrill Fest Ride Night.
Ride Night Coaster Tech Talk
Go Behind-the-Scenes and experience an exclusive “Coaster Tech Talk” with our Operations and Ride Maintenance teams to see one of the Mako trains inside the “coaster house” and learn from the experts about its unique features.
This free 20-30 minute tour will be limited to 50 guests per tour and available on a first-come, first-serve basis at 1 pm and 2:30 pm on August 16. Guests must sign up in person at the Mako Gift Shop in order to participate.
Extended Happy Hour
Happy Hour, featuring buy one, get one free drinks will be extended at Waterway Grill and Flamecraft Bar until 11 pm on August 16.
Ride Photo Special Offer
Valid throughout National Roller Coaster Day, on August 16 guests can purchase five ride photos for $20, redeemable at Adventure Photo in the park.
And don’t forget to take advantage of the 2019 SeaWorld Orlando Fun Card with Aquatica Orlando option exclusively for Florida residents!!!
With the SeaWorld Orlando Fun Card you can pay less than a day to play all year when you buy a 2019 SeaWorld Orlando Fun Card for $79.99, and now you can add Aquatica for only $20 more!
Here are some things to know about the 2019 SeaWorld Orlando Fun Card:
The Universal Orlando Resort has announced plans for an ambitious new theme park that will be called Universal’s Epic Universe that will bring “experiences beyond your wildest imagination to life” according to the park’s official press release.
“Our new park represents the single-largest investment Comcast NBCUniversal has made in its theme park business and in Florida overall,” said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation. “It reflects the tremendous excitement we have for the future of our theme park business and for our entire company’s future in Florida.”
Universal’s Epic Universe Announcement: Nine Things to Know
1. Universal’s Epic Universe will be the 4th park to open as part of the Universal Orlando Resort.
2. The park will be built on a 750-acre site just south of Sand Lake Road and east of Universal Boulevard, and this new addition will almost double Universal’s total available acreage in Central Florida.
3. Universal’s Epic Universe will be considered the South Campus of the Universal Orlando Resort with the current parks & CityWalk as North Campus and the Endless Summer Resort on International Drive the Mid-Campus.
4. Universal’s Epic Universe will take story telling, environments, and attractions to a new level for the Universal Orlando Resort!
The park’s vision is to create an entirely new level of experience that forever changes theme park entertainment that will take guests on a journey where beloved stories expand into vibrant lands – and where that journey is as much a part of their adventure as the ultimate destination.
5. This is not just a theme park filled with attractions! The new theme park will feature an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants, and more.
6. Transportation will be important to this new park, and it is approximated a 12 minute trip from the Main Campus of the Universal Orlando Resort.
7. Universal Orlando currently employees 25,000 people and will hire an additional 14,000 team members as part of Epic Universe, including professional, technical, culinary and other specialized positions at a base salary of $15 per hour.
8. Orange County and the Universal Orlando Resort are partnering to create better roadways and a new ‘streamlined’ permitting process that will include a permitting office that will be located inside of the Orange County Convention Center
“The investment Universal is making in our community and the benefit all of us will see is substantial,” said Mayor Jerry Demings. “This will benefit nearly every segment of our economy – from tourism to high-tech.”
Mayor Demings also spotlighted Universal’s role in the Kirkman Road extension. This is a 50/50 public-private partnership in which Universal is investing $160 million to extend Kirkman into the area where the new park will be located.
“The Kirkman extension will improve transportation through a busy and growing portion of our county and open up the entire area for additional development – including an important expansion of our Convention Center,” he said.
9. What Universal spokespeople did NOT share was a lot of details about the ‘lands’ that will be in the park and an opening date.
As details become available I will be sharing details about Universal’s Epic Universe, and to make sure you find out first make sure to follow @onthegoinmco on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
SEA LIFE Orlando guests will test their skills against five superpowered sea creatures
Underwater Superheroes is a limited-time, interactive experience at SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium that let’s guests will learn about the superpowers of five sea creatures and put their own skills to the test through interactive games and challenges daily until September 2, 2019.
“We love to create immersive and exciting experiences for guests to learn about sea creatures and their unbelievable abilities,” says James Paulding, general manager. “The more people learn about sea life, the more they can appreciate these creatures and contribute to the many efforts to keep them safe and thriving for generations to come.”
The Underwater Superheroes experience features stations offering hands-on challenges that feature the superpower of each creature throughout SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium.
Guests will test their speed against a shark, strength against a crab, intelligence against an octopus, and more.
Additionally the Aquarium’s dive team will plunge into the ocean habitats and answer questions while swimming alongside sharks, fish, and stingrays.
The experience will also include daily shows, featuring the octopus camouflaging itself against changing backgrounds, painting underwater masterpieces, and more.
During the event, guests who post on social media using #SEALIFESuperheroes while wearing their favorite superhero outfits inside of the Aquarium will be entered to win prizes.
The Underwater Superheroes experience is included in the price of admission.
SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium offers a wave of underwater adventures with sea creatures from around the world. Come face-to-fin with thousands of fish, sharks, stingrays, sea turtles and many more.
Prepare for a world of glittering scales, humongous tentacles and razor-sharp teeth. Get ready to plunge deep into the oceans, explore a 360-degree ocean tunnel, meet a friendly rescue sea turtle and touch exotic starfish and anemones. You can even jump behind the scenes and see all it takes to keep an aquarium running.
With the opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios only a month away, it’s time to start preparing!!!
To start our journey into this new land, let’s start by talking about where we find ourselves in the Star Wars galaxy itself.
The Planet of Batuu
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set on the planet of Batuu which is a far-flung destination along the galaxy’s Outer Rim, on the frontier of Wild Space – the uncharted region beyond all known star systems.
Batuu was once a thriving stop for traders and travelers before advancements in lightspeed technology.
Now its lush forests and majestic mountain regions are known only to those who dare to venture this far into the Outer Rim to visit its Black Spire Outpost.
When guests arrive at the Black Spire Outpost, they will find themselves immersed in a world set somewhere after the events of The Last Jedi and shortly before this December’s Episode IX where they will encounter aliens, droids, and other inhabitants of Batuu as they search for rare and unique goods, discover unusual food and drink, or even join a crew seeking adventures.
Recently, the struggle between the First Order and the Resistance has made its way to this remote planet.
Scott Trowbridge, the Portfolio Creative Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering, has said that this elite garrison from the First Order is known as the ‘Red Fury’.
These Stormtroopers are searching for someone or something, and you can find them near the life-sized version of the TIE Echelon, a new ship which has a cockpit similar to Kylo Ren’s batwinged shuttle but the curved foils of Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced x1.
Just be careful…The Red Fury doesn’t like strangers approaching their ship.
But if you venture beyond Black Spire’s gates, you’ll find where the resistance has set up a hidden headquarters.
Be on the lookout for a Blue Squadron X-wing, parked on a low platform alongside an A-wing fighter. This area is meant to be part of Batuu’s tranquil Surabat river valley, where early planetary beings set up their own community in cliffside and cave dwellings.
Keep in mind, the Resistance doesn’t think of this home base as permanent. They are in a weakened state, and if The First Order strikes, they’ll have to take off in a hurry.
They’re here on Batuu out of necessity, but you’ll have to visit the park (and maybe see Episode IX) to understand exactly why this place is important to both sides.
Characters in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Off the beaten path, this outpost has become a haven for the galaxy’s most colorful — and notorious — characters.
While exploring the Black Spire Outpost on the planet of Batuu, guests may also encounter some familiar faces such as Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8 and Chewbacca, and could even find themselves face-to-face with Kylo Ren himself.
They won’t be meeting guests, signing autograph books, and doling out hugs ..these characters aren’t an attraction, they are on the streets as part of the land’s story,
Rey and Chewbacca can be found near the ancient ruins outside Black Spire Outpost recruiting locals and visitors to join the Resistance.
The First Order Stormtroopers search The Black Spire Outpost in search of the Resistance near the First Order encampment at Docking Bay 9, and even Supreme Leader Kylo Ren joins the hunt during the day.
But there’s also a character you may not know roaming the streets
Resistance spy Vi Moradi may be new to Black Spire Outpost visitors, but her story has close ties with General Leia Organa and Captain Phasma and in Black Spire Outpost as she keeps tabs on the First Order and lets visitors know that the Resistance is growing.
And Disney’s Cast Members are also immersing themselves into the story of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
As local citizen’s of Batuu, Cast Members have their own personas and story of their roles at the Black Spire Outpost.
The Language of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
When you are walking the streets of the Black Spire Outpost, you’ll notice that the writing on the wall, literally in most cases, and on Cast Member name tags aren’t in English but in Aurebesh, the written language in the Star Wars galaxy.
You can find several decoders online, but the easiest way is to use the free Play Disney Parks App…which we will be talking about next time!
There are also some sayings that you might hear around the Black Spire Outpost that you will want to familiarize yourself with including:
Bright Suns = Good Morning
Rising Moons = Good Evening
Travelers = Humans visiting Batuu
On Planet = In the Land
Datapad = Cell phone
Refresher = Bathroom
Hydrator = Water Fountain
Being “Off World” = You’re going outside of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Ignite the Spark = Greeting for the Resistance
Light the Fire = A Resistance callback to “Ignite the Spark”
Only the ancients know = I don’t know
Til the Spire = Farewell
Good journey = An Informal Goodbye
May the Spires Keep You = A Formal Goodbye
Reading more about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
While you don’t NEED to know anything about Star Wars to enjoy your visit to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge the creative minds at Lucasfilm, Marvel Comics, and Disney have been working on building the history of Batuu.
Over on Laughing Place, they have done a great job of breaking down the ‘essential’ reading for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.
According to the site, “This deep and complete narrative will immerse fans in Star Wars lore, guide them around the planet, introduce essential characters, and reveal interesting secrets that can all be discovered from the comfort of home.”
Here’s what they had to say…Starting with the five-part comic series, of which two have been released.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge focuses on Dok-Ondar, the Ithorian junk dealer who has spent his life collecting countless artifacts from the entire history of the Star Wars galaxy. On a side note, visitors to Batuu will be able to visit his Den of Antiquities and purchase a variety of mysterious and interesting items from every era of Star Wars.
Pirate’s Price sees Hondo Ohnaka sitting down in Oga Garra’s Cantina in Black Spire Outpost to tell mercenary Bazine Netal three exciting tales about his relationship with the Millennium Falcon. Fans will even encounter Hondo and the legendary ship on Batuu at the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction.
Fans can dive into the lore of Batuu with the novel Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson, set to be released on August 27, 2019.
The novel’s description on Amazon reads:
Walk the ancient streets, meet the colorful characters, and uncover the secret history of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the new expansion to the Disney Parks experience!
After devastating losses at the hands of the First Order, General Leia Organa has dispatched her agents across the galaxy in search of allies, sanctuary, and firepower—and her top spy, Vi Moradi, may have just found all three, on a secluded world at the galaxy’s edge.
A planet of lush forests, precarious mountains, and towering, petrified trees, Batuu is on the furthest possible frontier of the galactic map, the last settled world before the mysterious expanse of Wild Space. The rogues, smugglers, and adventurers who eke out a living on the largest settlement on the planet, Black Spire Outpost, are here to avoid prying eyes and unnecessary complications. Vi, a Resistance spy on the run from the First Order, is hardly a welcome guest. And when a shuttle full of stormtroopers lands in her wake, determined to root her out, she has no idea where to find help.
To survive, Vi will have to seek out the good-hearted heroes hiding in a world that redefines scum and villainy. With the help of a traitorous trooper and her acerbic droid, she begins to gather a colorful band of outcasts and misfits, and embarks on a mission to spark the fire of resistance on Batuu—before the First Order snuffs it out entirely.
We are really excited to share even more about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!
DISCLOSURE: I was invited by the Walt Disney World Resort to find out more about the holiday season, but all opinions are my own.
The 2019 Walt Disney World holiday season begins on November 8th with returning favorites as well as the debut of all-new seasonal offerings in all four parks and Disney Springs.
The holidays at Walt Disney World are filled with special live entertainment, characters in festive garb, seasonal décor, holiday treats, specialty eats, miles of garlands and decorations, and a shimmering castle to lift holiday spirits.
To help you plan your trip to Walt Disney World during the holidays, here is a look at holiday happenings throughout the four parks and Disney Springs!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Joins in the Holiday Fun for the First Time
Disney’s Animal Kingdom will introduce the biggest holiday season in its two-decade history, with festive new entertainment and holiday décor in every land. Daytime and nighttime, guests will experience the majesty of nature and holiday magic.
Here is some of what’s in store:
In the heart of the park, on Discovery Island, guests will find themselves immersed in a magical scene. By day, stylized, life-sized animal puppets mingle with villagers who make the island their home. As day becomes night, rooftop luminaries in animal shapes and bird lanterns throughout Discovery Island will bring a warm glow to the village.
As the sun sets, the Tree of Life will awaken with a series of wintry tales emerging from within, backed by a familiar and heartwarming holiday musical score. Between awakening moments, the Tree of Life will shimmer and sparkle throughout the night, alive with the magic of nature and the spirit of the holidays.
Dinoland, U.S.A. will rock out with the DJ-led “Holiday Hoopla Dance Party with Chip ‘n Dale” and plenty of interactive fun and games. Throughout the land, characters gathered for “Donald’s Dino-Bash!” will get in the holiday spirit with colorful costumes.
Diwali, the Holiday Festival of Lights in India, has inspired the residents of Anandapur in Glowing flowers, lanterns and more will illuminate the main square leading to the waterfront stage, home to authentic and colorful cultural performances.
The village of Harambe in Africa will welcome guests with a unique holiday presentation, fusing Western traditions with the colors and texture of authentic African celebrations; colorful costuming and new music flavors each performance.
Tusker House diners get their merry on as Safari Donald Duck and his pals spread holiday cheer.
Guests will find out-of-this-world Christmastime fun at Pandora – The World of Avatar. Ex-pats living and working on the moon of Pandora roll out seasonal fun with a display at Pongu Pongu of kitschy holiday décor, pairing vintage pieces from Earth with items handcrafted from materials indigenous to Pandora.
A Christmas tree will tower over the park entrance. Decorated with traditional ornaments and hidden animals, the tree is a prelude to the holiday magic that awaits inside the park.
Magic Kingdom Park to Unveil New Holiday Fireworks Show & Attraction Overlays
The skies above Magic Kingdom Park will sparkle to life this holiday season as visions of fireworks dance in the air during an all-new nighttime show – Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. Hosted by Minnie Mouse, the holiday extravaganza invites guests to come together in a celebration of heartfelt moments and the magic of Christmas.
The show will be presented during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which takes place select dates Nov. 8-Dec. 22, and nightly Dec. 23-29.
Also, for the first time ever during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, select Magic Kingdom attractions are receiving special enhancements just for the holidays!
When you get behind the wheel on the Tomorrowland Speedway, you’ll find yourself cruising a festive freeway filled with thousands of lights and stylized décor.
The crew at Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor is putting some “Ha Ha Ha” in their “Ho Ho Ho,” with a new show for everyone visiting the Monster World during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Space Mountain launches you on a trippy jaunt through the cosmos, filled with dazzling lighting and high-energy holiday tunes.
Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland becomes a wild and wacky Christmas party, as you spin your teacups to one of four new holiday combos of lights and music.
This holiday season will also see Magic Kingdom transformed into an enchanting wonderland with dazzling decorations, holiday treats, a shimmering ice castle and more. Returning holiday favorites include:
With glittery Cinderella Castle as its centerpiece, Magic Kingdom shines its brightest during the holidays. Guests will be swept into a magical scene of seasonal music, characters in their festive finery and fireworks bursting above. During A Frozen Holiday Wish stage show, Queen Elsa magically transforms Cinderella Castle with glistening ice.
Holiday Fireworks Dessert Parties are a sweet way to enjoy the new holiday fireworks. Offered nightly, each festive party includes seasonal treats and dazzling views of the new fireworks spectacular. Dessert parties are not included with theme park admission. For schedules, pricing information and reservations, guests can visit DisneyWorld.com or call (407) WDW-DINE.
Each of the 23 nights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will feature performances of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas and Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration stage show. Guests will also experience select rides and attractions (including the “Jingle Cruise”), savor complimentary treats, discover event-exclusive merchandise and delight to a magical “snowfall” on Main Street, U.S.A.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates: November 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24; December 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22. For more information and ticketing, guests can call (407) 939-1872 or visit Disneyworld.com.
Beloved Epcot Candlelight Processional Begins November 29 as Highlight of Holiday Festival
Joyous Yuletide traditions from across the globe are at the heart of the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays.
From November 29 through December 30, 2019, merry-makers will be immersed in a vast world of holiday decorations and entertainment, themed merchandise, festive cuisine and costumed storytellers in many of the 11 World Showcase nations including:
Epcot’s grandest holiday tradition – the Candlelight Processional – features the retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator backed by a 50-piece orchestra and massed choir. Performances will run three times nightly during the festival. Narrators already announced for this year include Whoopi Goldberg, Pat Sajak, Steven Curtis Chapman and Edward James Olmos. More narrators will be announced in the coming months. Dining packages include guaranteed seating for the holiday event and can be booked starting July 3 by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
Special Holiday Kitchens sprinkled throughout World Showcase will serve up tasty treats inspired by treasured holiday recipes from across the globe.
World Showcase pavilions will come alive with the sights and sounds of special entertainment celebrating each country’s holiday heritage.
Chip & Dale are gathering ornaments for their Christmas tree and guests can join in the fun! To be part of Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree Scavenger Hunt, guests will purchase a map and stickers from select merchandise outlets and scout World Showcase locations looking for the famous chipmunks and their ornaments. Completed maps are returned for a special festive surprise, courtesy of the chipmunk duo.
Epcot guests can quite literally do their holiday shopping around the world. The World Showcase pavilions are filled with favorite fragrances, jewelry, toys, stocking stuffers and more.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet guests at The American Adventure pavilion.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Glitters with Special Holiday Entertainment
Holiday adventures begin at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as new attractions, and lands turn this theme park into one big holiday gift.
Add seasonal shows, enchanting “snowfalls,” décor and more, and it’s easy to see how holidays here become extraordinary:
Park guests will be mesmerized by the Sunset Seasons Greetings show projected onto the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Boasting amazing laser effects and “snow,” the experience also includes stories, songs and cheer courtesy of favorite Disney friends.
The nighttime spectacular “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” will treat holiday-goers to iconic music, fireworks, special effects and state-of-the-art projections to create a one-of-a-kind holiday experience at the iconic Chinese Theatre. To add a sweet touch, guests will be able to make reservations for the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party. This event is not included with theme park admission, and pricing and reservation information will be available later this year.
Holiday touches and festive décor throughout the park will include seasonal fun inside Toy Story Land, as well as joyous greetings from Santa or Santa Goofy.
As a curtain-closer, Olaf delivers a special holiday finale in For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along.
Disney Springs Delivers Season’s Greetings
Perfect for this special time of year, the Disney Springs retail, dining and entertainment district is where guests can make a holiday list and check it twice as they breeze among dozens of trendy brand-name stores and a large and varied collection of Disney merchandise. They can also indulge the holiday hungries at great dining spots that will also serve up seasonal cheer.
Live entertainment will include the spectacle of toy soldier stilt walkers, carolers and Living Statues in holiday attire. Holiday decorations set the colorful stage for Disney Springs festivities, which run November 8 through January 5, 2020:
Guests strolling the Christmas Tree Trail will be treated to custom-decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme featuring favorite Disney characters.
Guests will be invited to join in Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt and discover where the mischievous Experiment 626 is hiding.
Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s (MGM) Killer Klowns from Outer Space lands at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights in all-new chilling maze at the Universal Orlando Resort bringing together the most twisted scenes and ghastly gags from the popular horror sci-fi film at the nation’s premier Halloween events.
Based on the cult 1980s film favorite, the Killer Klowns from Outer Space mazes will transport guests to the sleepy small town of Crescent Cove, taken over by a pack of murderous clown-like creatures.
Guests will be lured by the sweet smell of cotton candy and ice-cream and find themselves in an otherworldly circus tent where they’ll come face-to-face with the crazed klowns and their sinister, side-splitting antics.
As they make their way through the Big Top Space Ship, guests will witness diabolical klowns making cotton candy cocoons from unsuspecting victims and will realize the joke’s on them as they are next to become the gooey snack.
From one shrieking klown to the next, the mazes will lead guests through the doomed community of Crescent Cove to an eerie amusement park closed for the season. Trapped in a terrifying funhouse full of killer klowns, guests will be left screaming as there’s no stopping this twisted three-ring circus.
Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 25 years, guests from around the world have visited Halloween Horror Nights to become victims inside their own horror film.
Multiple movie-quality mazes based on iconic horror television shows, films and original stories come to life season after season. And, the streets of each park’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing scare-actors lunge from every darkened corner.
Halloween Horror Nights begins Friday, September 6 in Orlando, and additional details about the events will be revealed soon.
For more information about “Halloween Horror Nights” and to purchase tickets at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.
DISCLOSURE: I was an invited guest of the Walt Disney World Company to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to share The Lion King goodness in the park, but all opinions are my own.
The Lion King has always played a huge role in the fabric of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and to celebrate the animated classic’s 25th anniversary Walt Disney World is celebrating in a big way with new and enhanced experiences.
With so many great new experiences, I wanted to share how you can have a Disney Day themed to The Lion King at the park!
Since Disney’s The Lion King was first released in theaters 25 years ago, we have lost half of Africa’s lions. Only 20,000 remain. The time to act is now.
For each rider on Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom during opening week of The Lion King film (July 19 – 25, 2019), Disney Conservation Fund will donate $2 (up to $350,000) to the Wildlife Conservation Network in support of the Lion Recovery Fund’s efforts to help double the number of lions across Africa by 2050.
Lions are threatened from a combination of factors, including: poaching, loss of prey and destruction of habitats, and Disney has launched The Lion King “Protect the Pride” campaign in conjunction with the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Lion Recovery Fund in an effort to double the lion population by 2050.
Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has directed up to $75 million ($13M to projects across Africa) to save wildlife and protect the planet.
Disney has already donated more than $1.5 million to the Wildlife Conservation Network’s (WCN) Lion Recovery Fund (LRF) and its partners and will make additional grants as well as invite fans to help double the donation for a total contribution of up to $3 million. Fans may participate by taking part in celebratory experiences and purchasing special-edition products, as part of The Lion King Protect the Pride campaign.
The Animation Experience at the Conservation Center
Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Affection Section and the Wildlife Express Train are once again open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and now there is a brand-new additional experience for everyone to enjoy!
In honor of the celebration of Disney’s “The Lion King,” The Animation Experience at Conservation Station offers you the opportunity to learn how live animals have inspired some of the most iconic characters from this beloved “tail” while learning more about some of the animals who call Disney’s Animal Kingdom park home.
During the experience you will create a personalized piece of Disney art through an instructor-led animation class.
You could draw Simba, Zazu, Pumbaa, Timon, or another friend. Each session will be different so be sure to visit often to complete the collection.
Disney FastPass+ Service will be offered for the experience, and you can make those selections using the My Disney Experience app.
The Lion King Merchandise
Would it be a trip to Walt Disney World if you didn’t at least look at the souvenirs, and for this celebration you’ll find some extROARdinary new merchandise at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
You can find a large selection of items inspired by The Lion King at various locations around the park, but you’ll find the largest selections at Mombasa Marketplace, Island Mercantile, and Discovery Trading Company.
The Lion King Photo Opportunities
To help you celebrate, Disney PhotoPass photographers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are offering photo opportunities inspired by inhabitants of the Pride Lands – including four brand new Magic Shots!
You can also snap a photos in a colorful backdrop at the entrance of the park, have fun themed props from “The Lion King” near the Tree of Life, during a tender moment between Simba & Nala, or strike a pose at Lion King Corner near Pizzafari.
I think these photo opportunities are so much fun, and a great way to remember your Disney Day!
The Lion King Inspired Treats around the Park
And what better way to celebrate The Lion King than with a ‘whole pride of eats and treats’! The Disney Parks Blog has broken down all of the tasty goodies you’ll find at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this summer.
From latte art and ice cream sandwiches to special cones and more, there are enough treats here to have a feast fit for a (lion) king!
Hakuna Matata Dance Party on Discovery Island
Who is ready to let loose? The Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party is a family-friendly event featuring music, dance, games and some of your favorite Disney friends—including Timon, Rafiki, and surprise friends!
Get into the groove as a live world beat-style band starts the party by adding a cool twist to popular Disney hits.
Perfect for Guests of all ages, the festivities are held daily at the Discovery Island Stage—don your dance shoes for tons of problem-free fun!
The Lion King Scavenger Hunt
Some of your favorite Lion King characters are hidden around Harambe. Each time you spot one, add the corresponding sticker to your map. Whether you choose to hunt for all the carvings or not, return your map to Mombasa Marketplace in Harambe or The Outpost Shop in the Oasis by September 28, 2019 for a savanna surprise.
The adventure costs only $6.99, and are available while supplies last. Also there is one surprise per map, so if you have a few seekers you may consider purchasing a few maps.
The Festival of The Lion King
Join the inhabitants of the Pride Lands for a grand gala in honor of Simba, the lion cub who would be king.
As the lights dim, hear the sounds of the African savanna. A kinetic kaleidoscope of color floods the stage as colossal puppets, extravagantly costumed dancers, amazing acrobats, a daring fire dancer and incredible stilt walkers dazzle the senses.
During spectacular theatrics, you’ll relive all the classic songs from The Lion King, including “Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” The spectacular finale includes a soaring rendition of “Circle of Life.”
It’s a moving and immersive theatrical experience celebrating music that has touched generations of Disney fans—and a festival you’ll want to be part of again and again!
Rivers of Light: We Are One
Eastern festival traditions merge with innovative technology to offer a dazzling nighttime pageant of lantern floats, grand theatrical imagery and a soaring musical score!
Enter a breathtaking world that remains hidden by day, but comes alive at night to tell the story of how mankind has been inspired by animals and all of the natural world.
With the enhanced Rivers of Light: We Are One, you’ll experience a new story about the milestones we all share in our journey through the great circle of life. It’s a tale told in powerful fashion—featuring the addition of even more dramatic Disneynature live-action footage and a tapestry of classic moments from animal-inspired Disney animated films, including The Lion King.
You’ll be captivated by a re-imagined soundtrack as the original musical score now is woven together with familiar Disney themes, carrying us through moments of discovery, fun, friendship, fear and love.
Tree of Life Nighttime Awakenings
Flickering fireflies magically appear and stir to life the animal spirits in the tree’s towering trunk—bringing to light a dazzling visual display swarming with color and animated imagery.
Gaze upon a young doe embarking upon a thrilling journey. Behold love blossoming between a pair of hummingbirds. Spy a sly fox spreading gifts of love among the denizens of a wintry forest.
A feast for the eyes, each revelation celebrates the eternal balance and harmony that exists in all living things, big or small, and is sure to inspire and delight your whole family tree.
Reawakening Your Love of The Lion King
The Tree of Life sleeps tonight—or does it? Through September 30, experience the wonder as an original musical score and mystical images—featuring animals and themes inspired by The Lion King—take you on a sublime journey. Be there to see this slumbering iconic tree become even more stunning in a new awakening.
The dawn of a new era in Disney transportation is right around the corner!
On September 29, Disney Skyliner gondolas will take flight and officially begin transporting guests around Walt Disney World Resort.
This state-of-the-art transportation system has been taking shape around the Walt Disney World Resort, and when it opens will offers a new way to experience the resort with amazing views only available from the sky.
The Disney Skyliner connects Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four resort hotels- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and the new Disney’s Riviera Resort scheduled to open in December 2019.
Some Disney Skyliner cabins feature graphics based on Disney films, attractions, and characters.
Guests will take flight with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Chip & Dale, and other Disney stories including:
Goofy, Pete, Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow
Pirates of the Caribbean
Before you know it, Disney Skyliner will be floating guests across Walt Disney World Resort!
There are more special, after-hours events than ever at the Walt Disney World Resort, and Jaquelin Logan is breaking them all down on the Disney Parks Blog!
1. For Nature Lovers: Disney After Hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
When the sun goes down, Disney’s Animal Kingdom comes alive like never before and Pandora- The World of Avatar transforms into a bioluminescent rainforest. Disney After Hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom not only offers the chance to see the park in a whole new light, it’s also a great way to experience many of the exciting attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
2. For Fans That Can’t Get Enough Toy Story: Disney H2O Glow Nights at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
Looking for more ways to celebrate the release of “Toy Story 4” this summer? Disney H2O Glow Nights is the event for you! From Toy-story themed menu items to character greetings with your favorite Toy Story pals, this one-of-a-kind glow party brings “Partysaurus Rex,” to life and lets you experience Typhoon Lagoon attractions under the stars.
3. For Villain Devotees: Disney Villains After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park
4. For Adventure Seekers: Disney After Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Let your adventure begin at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Whether you’re heading to Andy’s Backyard, hopping on the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith or checking out The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, attending Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios is an awesome way to experience everything Disney’s Hollywood Studios has to offer.
5. For Halloween Aficionados: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Did someone say trick-or-treating in the Magic Kingdom Park? At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, dressing up is not just for kids! The unique special entertainment offerings at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party combine the magic of Disney with classic Halloween traditions. You won’t want to miss the brand-new fireworks spectacular or the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” castle stage show.
6. For Classic Disney Enthusiasts: Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park
From Fantasyland to Tomorrowland, there is so much to explore in the Magic Kingdom Park. Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park allows you to enjoy more than 25 of Disney’s iconic attractions and character greetings including Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight with less wait times.
7. For Christmas Connoisseurs: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
There is nothing quite like watching an enchanting “snowfall” in Florida. In my opinion, the most wonderful time of the year is even more magical when spent at the happiest place on earth! At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party there is no shortage of holiday cheer, Yuletide traditions and beloved Disney characters. And debuting this year, an all-new holiday firework show, “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks.”
Ready to experience the Disney parks like never before? Plan to purchase your tickets early to save on these awesome after-hours events.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer brings ninja tactics, teamwork, and science together
After three decades of battling evil and exemplifying teamwork, the beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT), are appearing in a museum exhibit for children and families to enjoy at Orlando Science Center.
The four funny “heroes in a half–shell” will share life lessons and team-building skills with their crime-fighting tactics in Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer.
The exhibit is visiting the Orlando Science Center, and inside families join the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brothers Leonardo (the tactical, courageous leader in blue), Michelangelo (the free-spirited jokester in orange), Raphael (the aggressive tough guy in red), and Donatello (the scientist and technological genius in purple) in their secret New York City sewer lair to train together and learn about the Turtles’ comedic, skillful strategies.
The Turtles are known and respected for their teamwork. As the TMNT’s sensei and adoptive father Splinter often tells them, “Together there is nothing you cannot accomplish.” Through team-building challenges, collaborative games and mind-teasing puzzles, families and friends will learn skills to help them successfully work together.
Here are a few examples of activities you’ll experience inside the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer exhibit at the Orlando Science Center:
• Build a “bridge” together and think creatively as a team to overcome challenges.
• Assemble two electrical circuit puzzles by taking one apart to build another.
• Plan ahead and use patience to navigate the rope maze.
• Practice ninja speed and slicing skills while playing a dexterity-based computer game.
• Shred up and practice your balance on skateboards.
• Create a sewer pipe together and see where it goes.
The Turtles took the comic book world by storm in 1984, and since then Donnie, Ralph, Leo and Mikey have brought Turtle Power to cartoons, movies, video games and toys! Children and families across the nation will have the opportunity to explore Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer as it travels to children’s museums and science centers coast to coast.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer is produced by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Nickelodeon. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary family learning experiences across the arts, sciences and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families.
The exhibit is on display at Orlando Science Center until September 2, 2019, and is included with general admission to Orlando Science Center and free to members. For more information, please visit www.osc.org/TMNT.
The Fourth of July is this week, and the Walt Disney World Resort is gearing up to celebrate our nation’s birthday with entertainment, scrumptious treats, and patriotic pageantry!
Here are some highlights and tips on how to make your Independence Day at Walt Disney World extra magical.
Fourth of July @ Magic Kingdom Park
“Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” will offer booming fireworks orchestrated to patriotic melodies at Magic Kingdom Park on both July 3 and July 4 at 9:15 p.m. Here’s more entertainment planned at Magic Kingdom Park:
A fuzzy cast of Muppets – Miss Piggy, Kermit, Fozzie Bear and friends will reenact famous moments in American history in a whimsical way during “The Muppets Present … Great Moments in History.” The live show is performed several times daily near the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square.
There is also a special PhotoPass offerings for the 4th of July you won’t want to miss including:
From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (weather permitting), look for a photographer in the East Plaza Garden who will assist you with capturing two photos and a one-of-a-kind super-zoom video from a unique angle above the theme park. This experience will be available for a limited time after the holiday, but beginning July 3, the photographer here will offer a patriotic prop you can include in your photos and video.
Add some stars and stripes to your photo near Partners Statue where the photographer willoffer this pawsitively fetching prop featuring Pluto.
During daylight hours be on the lookout for a photographer near the Liberty Bell who can capture Yankee Doodle-dandy photos of you enjoying the atmosphere, as well as a Muppets Magic Shot.
Visit the Fantasyland castle wall near Prince Charming Regal Carrousel to take a photo in front of Cinderella’s Coach.
At the twilight’s last gleaming, salute the “American Original” Mickey Mouse with a bokeh opportunity available on Center Street (near Uptown Jewelers).
Beginning at sunset, enjoy a dazzling display of red, white and blue with this light painting opportunity available behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square.
Guests can dance the night away with DJs spinning tunes at a Hoedown Throwdown in Frontierland and an out-of-this-world Galactic Gathering in Tomorrowland.
Fans who are not able to join in the Independence Day celebration at the park can view a special July 4 live stream of the dazzling fireworks display on the Disney Parks Blog begin at 9:13 p.m. ET on the Fourth.
Fourth of July @ Epcot
“IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” will end its nearly 20-year run on September 30, 2019. So this will be the last chance to experience the patriotic Fourth of July grand finale of this beloved nighttime spectacular. “The Heartbeat of Freedom” fireworks extravaganza will begin immediately following the 9 p.m. “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” display. Here’s more entertainment planned at Epcot:
The Voices of Liberty will perform great American tunes during a Fourth of July concert on the America Gardens Theatre stage at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. on July 4. The group also will perform in the rotunda inside The American Adventure pavilion at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Guests can meet favorite Disney characters donning their “Spirit of 76” patriotic attire at The American Adventure throughout the day on July 4.
And guests can indulge in themed eats and sips honoring Independence Day throughout the park – everything from patriotic cupcakes and special dining packages to red, white, and blue sangria and a Boom Berry Lemonade.
Also, be on the lookout for special Fourth of July decor at Disney Springs, specialty Food and Beverage items at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and at select Walt Disney World Resorts.
LEGOLAND Florida will host a Patriotic Celebration featuring 3-D fireworks, themed experiences, and new Summer savings
For three consecutive nights (July 4-6) the LEGOLAND Florida Resort will celebrate Independence Day with a special summer event, Red, White & Boom.
As part of the Awe-summer event series at LEGOLAND Florida, Red, White and Boom will provide guests the opportunity to start their 4th of July celebration with a fun day at the park and end it with a night of vibrant fireworks booming over beautiful Lake Eloise.
Also part of the summer celebration, guests can help create a giant U.S. flag that’ll be created from thousands of LEGO bricks.
Red White & Boom is only the start to the Awe-summer schedule of events at LEGOLAND Florida as the park will also host The LEGO Movie experience at the theme park’s newest event, THE LEGO MOVIE DAYS.
Included with theme park admission and select Annual Passes, fans of Emmet, Lucy, Unikitty and Benny can enjoy a complete theater to theme park experience walking the streets of Bricksburg in the park’s latest expansion, THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD. THE LEGO MOVIE DAYS will run on eight select dates in July and August (July 13-14, 20-21, 27-28 and August 3-4).
With summer fun, also comes summer savings. From July 1 – 31, Florida residents who buy a 1-day, 1-park ticket will receive a 2nd day of park admission plus the Water Park for free! But that’s not all, also available from July 1 – 31, Florida residents who purchase an annual pass (Awesome Pass) can purchase a 2ndannual pass at 50 percent off!
Today on the Disney Parks Blog Jeremy Schoolfield, Managing Editor – Walt Disney World Resort Public Relations, shared special offerings that Annual Passholders can take advantage of this summer!
If you’re a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder, you’re able to enjoy a full year of magic, and this summer you can take advantage of several new perks and benefits with special, limited-time offerings.
From special ticket deals to exclusive merchandise opportunities and other experiences, now, more than ever, is the time for Passholders to explore the many options available to them at Walt Disney World Resort.
New and limited-time Passholder offerings for this summer include:
With the return of the popular Bring-a-Friend offer, select Passholders can share the magic of Disney with others through the purchase of a 1-day ticket with Park Hopper Option for the special price of $89 plus tax, available for purchase and use from June 18-Aug. 8, 2019 (offer valid for Gold, Platinum, Platinum Plus and Premier Passholders). Tickets will be available for purchase at theme park ticket windows and must be used on the date of purchase. Passholders can purchase up to six (6) tickets over the course of this promotion.
Beginning July 5, Passholders will be able to purchase a new Summer Splash Pass to receive unlimited visits to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park from July 5-Sept. 7, 2019 for the same cost as a non-discounted 1-day water park ticket, $69 plus tax. Tickets will be available for purchase at water park ticket windows.
Special event offers
H2O Glow Nights are back in 2019 at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park, and Passholders can save $15 off the price sold at the ticket window when purchasing tickets in advance for this nighttime party on select nights. While at the party, Passholders can meet Bo Peep from Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” in an experience exclusive to them through June 29, 2019.
Passholders can take a walk on the vile side during Disney Villains After Hours, a special event held on select nights this summer at Magic Kingdom Park, and will save $30 off the price sold at the ticket window when purchasing tickets in advance. While at the event, they will also receive a complimentary special Passholder Disney Villains After Hours ornament featuring Hades (limit one (1) per Passholder while supplies list).
Limited-time dining discounts
Select table-service restaurants across Walt Disney World Resort will offer Passholders a 20% discount on lunch (11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.) now through July 2, 2019. Visit DisneyWorld.com/Passholder for specific locations.
In addition, we’re excited to share that Platinum, Platinum Plus and Premier Annual Passholders will be among the first to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, with special preview opportunities planned before the land’s opening on Aug. 29. Capacity is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. More information and registration details for previews will be shared at a later date.
Summer 2019 is an amazing time for Annual Passholders to visit Walt Disney World Resort, with new and beloved experiences at all four theme parks:
Get your ears on during Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration at Magic Kingdom Park, with the new “Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party,” featuring those true originals, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
Party with Pixar pals at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during the park’s 30th anniversary year, featuring The Incredibles, Mike and Sulley from Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.”; Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the gang at the new Toy Story Land; and the new Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy that takes you into the world of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars.”
Plus, each night the new “Wonderful World of Animation” show transforms the Chinese Theatre with a stirring tribute to Disney animation.
Pandora – The World of Avatar comes to life at night at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with bioluminescent fauna and flora. And now evenings in the park are even more special with the new “Rivers of Light: We Are One,” featuring additional stunning imagery and familiar animal characters to the popular nighttime show on Discovery River.
Also new, the Tree of Life awakens in a whole new way to honor the 25th anniversary of “The Lion King,” with beautiful projections on the iconic tree featuring music and animation paying tribute to the classic film.
Epcot is bidding a fond farewell to “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” before the nighttime spectacular takes its final bow on Sept. 30, 2019. And guests can experience a special out-of-this-world daily summer concert series at the America Gardens Theatre, June 14 through Aug. 18, 2019.
We are just days away from the highly-anticipated opening of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure!
And with the excitement to experience this first-ever story coaster that joins Hagrid on a thrilling journey to the Forbidden Forest to discover magical creatures, will come a high demand for this new experience.
Planning to visit Universal’s Islands of Adventure to be a part of theme park history? We are sharing two ways to make your wait more manageable.
If you are planning to visit Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade on opening day, June 13, 2019, keep in mind that Universal’s Islands of Adventure may open earlier than scheduled so queueing can begin for this new experience.
Also, throughout the line you will find dedicated team members stationed to assist and answer any questions you may have during the wait.
But be sure to keep your camera at the ready, because you never know who you might see…
After opening day, beginning June 14, 2019, there may be times when team members ask you to join the Virtual Line on The Official Universal Orlando Resort App to experience Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.
This will allow you to enjoy other attractions in the park until it’s your time to join the queue. Here’s how it works:
Step 2: Once you’re in Islands of Adventure, open the app and tap the icon for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. From there, select how many people are in your party, and then select a return time to join the queue. Please note that you have to be in the park in order to secure a return time.
Step 3: Enjoy the other amazing experiences across Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios until your return time arrives.
Step 4: Upon your return time, head to the designated attraction entrance, where you will wait for your ride. The remainder of your wait time will be posted at the entrance when you arrive. All you have to do is scan your Virtual Line pass on your mobile device, and then you’re ready to join the queue.
Can’t wait until June 13th?
On Tuesday, June 11th, the Universal Orlando Resort will be hosting a special live stream of the opening celebration for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – the epic new addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade.
The live stream will give viewers a front row seat to an exciting, magical moment that will celebrate the world’s first “story coaster,” and feature special appearances from beloved Harry Potter film stars.
The live stream will begin at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, on Universal Orlando’s YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter channels.
We can’t wait to share more information about Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure! Make sure to follow @onthegoinmco on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for even more coverage of the opening!