Theme Park Thursday: #IKYMI

One of my favorite segments for icFlorida (RIP) was Theme Park Thursday where I would chat about the theme parks.

Well…guess what?

It’s back baby!!!

Every week will be either a round-up of the news you’ll want to know, a deep dive into holiday events, or maybe even me rambling…we’ll see how this goes!!!

Theme Park Thursday: #IKYMI

Theme Park Thursday Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind
Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind

EPCOT will welcome its first coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind!, on May 27, 2022.

This family-friendly coaster will have riders jamming to a mixtape soundtrack as they blast through an awesome intergalactic chase through time and space like their favorite cosmic misfits – Rocket, Groot, Drax, Gamora, and Star-Lord. 

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will also be the first “other-world” showcase pavilion at EPCOT.

The Wonders of Xandar pavilion features ‘The Galaxarium’ showcasing the intergalactic wonders that connect Terra and Xandar and ‘The Xandar Gallery’ highlighting the Xandarian people, culture, and history. 

Summer 2019 Theme Parks Central Florida Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Hollywood Studios Epcot Typhoon Lagoon LEGOLAND Florida SeaWorld Orlando Electric Ocean Illuminations Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Harry Potter Wizarding World Hogsmeade Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2019
Photo: Walt Disney World
H20 Glow After Hours Returns 

When the sun goes down, Disney H20 Glow After Hours once again light up Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon every Saturday from May 28 through August 27. 

In addition to enjoying popular attractions after hours, H20 Glow After Hours fills the water park with vibrant décor, complimentary food and beverages, high-energy DJ dance parties, adult-only areas, and so much more!

Disney H20 Glow After Hours is a separately ticketed event, and select nights offer Walt Disney World Annual Passholder Discounts as well as Disney Vacation Club discounts.


HOOP-DEE-DOO MUSICAL REVUE IS RETURNING JUNE 23! WE REPEAT, JUNE 23! #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #FortWilderness #FriedChicken #Musical

♬ original sound – Disney Parks
Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue 

The Pioneer Hall Players and cast members will be welcoming back guests to enjoy platefuls of frontier-style family fun as the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue returns to Pioneer Hall this summer. 

Since debuting in 1974, Hoop-Dee-Doo will once again have audiences laughing and singing as they enjoy a feast of fried chicken, smoked BBQ ribs, a variety of savory sides, and strawberry shortcake.

The Walt Disney World Resort has also shared details about updates to the show. “Hoop-Dee-Doo will return with a few updates to its script and scenery while staying true to the treasured experience the whole family can enjoy – with the hilarious, high-spirited entertainment that it’s been known for all these years.”

Reservations for the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue will be available via starting May 26 for showtimes beginning June 23.

Theme Park Thursday Character Meet and Greets
Disney Character Meet and Greets Return

For two years, guests have been waving and blowing kisses to their favorite Disney characters, and now traditional character greetings at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts and aboard Disney Cruise Line have returned.

These meet and greet opportunities will be reopening in phases for hugs, autographs, and even more memories!

Theme Park Thursday One Family Pin Trading 2022
One Family — 2022 Pin Celebration

If Disney Pin Trading is a part of your visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, you won’t want to miss the One Family – 2022 Pin Celebration this August at EPCOT.

The two-day event at the World ShowPlace is inspired by Walt Disney’s love for his daughters and his dream of building a place where parents and children could have fun together.

“Whether it is Family that you are born into or one that you make yourself – Family is the most magical story of all. The journey from Neverland to Arendelle, from any one of the multi-verses to a bioluminescent world, from a galaxy far, far away to infinity and beyond, with an eclectic, quirky, heartfelt collection of pins that inspires us to laugh, share, and connect as ONE Family.”

Registration for the event will begin soon at

Don’t forget you can keep up with us as we are On the Go in the Parks and beyond by following @onthegoinmco on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube

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On the Go in the Parks: July 9-11, 2021

Make sure you tune into Orlando’s Evening News on  WDBO with Tony Marino tonight at 6:38 pm ET to hear about what you can enjoy as you are On the Go in the Parks!

There is a lot of summer fun to be found On the Go in the Parks this weekend!

But first, let’s start with the new things you can enjoy On the Go in the Parks!

Enjoy the Flavors of Florida at Disney Springs

Florida Food Enthusiasts will want to head to Disney Springs as more than 30 restaurants and shops are celebrating the best of the Sunshine State until August 12th.

Want to make sure you don’t miss a delicious dish? Be sure to pick up a Flavors of Florida event guide upon arrival at the Disney Springs Welcome Center or any participating location.

Free Beer is back at SeaWorld

Starting today, SeaWorld has announced FREE BEER for SeaWorld park guests 21 and over. 

The free brews will be available at the park daily from 11:30 a.m. until one hour before park close. 

Guests are invited to visit Mama’s Pretzel Kitchen Patio Bar to receive one complimentary 12-ounce beer per park visit through August 12.

Celebrate Soulfully – Summer Vibes

This summer the Walt Disney World Resort is inviting guests to enjoy sweet summer vibes to satisfy the soul as you dine, shop, play and unwind with family and friends across the parks.

On the Go in the Parks: July 9-11, 2021

Electric Ocean at SeaWorld Orlando
Summer 2019 Theme Parks Central Florida Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Hollywood Studios Epcot Typhoon Lagoon LEGOLAND Florida SeaWorld Orlando Electric Ocean Illuminations Universal Orlando Resort Universal's Islands of Adventure Harry Potter Wizarding World Hogsmeade Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Summer Nights 2019

SeaWorld Orlando’s award-winning summer event, Electric Ocean has returned with more hours of fun featuring new daytime experiences and nighttime favorites. 

Electric Ocean brings longer park hours and allows guests to voyage into an exotic underwater world filled with dazzling lights, electrifying dance music, and brilliant evening energy that sparks as the sunsets. (Cause who doesn’t love fireworks???)

There are new shows, entertainment, food, and returning favorites to enjoy!

Awe-Summer at LEGOLAND Florida
Awe-Summer at LEGOLAND Florida lineup

This summer starting LEGOLAND Florida Resort is throwing an AWE-SUMMER celebration packed with engaging stage shows, special weekend events, and surprise streetmosphere performances around every corner through August 8th.

You won’t want to miss these new event offerings!

  • NEW! Birthday Surprise Squad – In celebration of the park’s 10th birthday, this pop-up squad is popping up around the park with surprises, performances, and even special birthday giveaways.
  • NEW! Time to Learn! – Join the Florida Prepaid Schoolhouse teachers as they engage in activities and songs about the fun of science, and the excitement of reading and writing in a show that is perfect for our smallest guests ages two to six.
  • NEW! Clap along to the rhythm and sounds of the all-new Safari Drummers and test your dinosaur knowledge with the Dino Duo.

Specialty summer treats and beverages like Summer’s Own Watermelon Salad with Feta & Mint, Splash of Summer Watermelon Lemonade, and a bedazzled red, white, and blue ice cream cone are the perfectly cool complements to this party-packed season.

Busch Gardens Tampa Announces the Return of Fireworks Every Night

Summer Nights just got brighter at Busch Gardens!

Due to popular demand, the park’s NEW nighttime spectacular, “Spark!” can now be enjoyed every night starting Friday, June 11 through Sunday, August 8.

As the biggest and brightest show ever to light the park’s sky, “Spark!” features an explosive array of fireworks and exciting effects from dazzling lasers to graceful water elements and dramatic pyrotechnics.

From the electrifying pre-party to the epic grand finale, the dazzling experience of “Spark!” can be enjoyed with any park ticket, Fun Card or Annual Pass. After August 8, “Spark!” will continue to light the night sky at Busch Gardens with presentations each Friday, Saturday and Sunday night through September 6, including Labor Day.

Don’t forget you can keep up with us as we are On the Go in the Parks and more by following @onthegoinmco on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube
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21 Theme Park Additions in 2020

21 Theme Park Additions in 2020

While 2019 was an incredible year of growth for the theme parks of Central Florida, 2020 will bring even more fun to the parks with new attractions, entertainment, restaurants, hotels, and celebrations.

Universal Orlando Resort

Bourne Stuntacular | Universal Studios Florida

Bourne Stuntacular Universal Studios Florida New in 2020

The Bourne Stuntacular, a live-action stunt show, will drop into Universal Studios Florida in Spring 2020 with intense scenes, fistfights, death-defying leaps, and danger at every turn.

During the show you will follow Jason Bourne around the globe as sinister characters pursue him featuring live performers, interactive props, and a gigantic LED screen.

Endless Summer Resort

Universal Endless Summer Resort Dockside Inn and Suites Rendering
Universal Orlando Resort

The Universal Orlando Resort will open their eighth hotel, Dockside Inn and Suites at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort, in March 2020 with exclusive benefits and rates starting at $85. The resort will have 2,050 guest rooms featuring both standard rooms and 2-Bedroom Suites that can accommodate up to six people.

SeaWorld Orlando

Ice Breaker

New in 2020 SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Making its debut in spring 2020, riders will shiver through family friendly adventures on SeaWorld Orlando’s first launch coaster: Ice Breaker. Named after the icy Arctic summits, Ice Breaker will feature four launches, both backwards and forwards, culminating in a reverse launch into the steepest beyond vertical drop in Florida — a 93-foot tall spike with 100-degree angle.

Aquatica Orlando

Riptide Race

Riptide Race Aquatica Orlando

Aquatica Orlando will open Florida’s first-ever dueling water slide, Riptide Race.

Each team of two will start atop a 68-foot tower before they speed along 650 feet of slide with low walls racing face-to-face through tight loops and accelerations including indoor and outdoor sections.

Riptide Race will have a height requirement of 42 inches to appeal to families with children, and the new slide will be located on the north side of the park next to Banana Beach Cook Out.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Iron Gwazi

New in 2020 SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Iron Gwazi takes thrills to new heights, plunging riders from a 206 foot-tall peak into a 91-degree drop and reaching top speeds of 76 miles per hour. With elements of the former wooden attraction being integrated into the new ride, the journey will include three inversions and 12 airtime hills as it races along more than 4,075 feet of purple steel track. With a 48” height requirement, Iron Gwazi will be an exciting thrill attraction that families can take on together.


LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel

Located just 130 kid-steps from the theme park entrance, LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel will feature 150 LEGO-filled rooms, a heated pool, hundreds of LEGO models, in-room LEGO treasure hunts, and exclusive character experiences. Similar to the popular LEGOLAND Hotel, each room will include two separate spaces: a kid’s sleeping area and an adult area.

The five-story hotel will house the pirate-themed Shipwreck Restaurant with family-style dining, Smuggler’s Bar for adult swashbucklers, an entertainment area with kid-friendly nightly programming and LEGO play areas. 

Also, with every overnight stay, guests will enjoy a complimentary family-style breakfast. Directly outside the entrance to the hotel, a pirate shipwreck will greet guests and offer a unique photo opportunity.

Pirate Water Ski Show Adventure

LEGOLAND Florida Pirate Ski Show

After an eight year run, Battle for Brickbeard’s Bounty will close to make way for a brand-new pirate adventure on April 18 with skiing acrobatics, water stunts, pirate humor and more surprises.

PirateFest Weekends

LEGOLAND Florida Pirate Fest 2020
PHOTO / LOCK + LAND, Chip Litherland

During PirateFest guests will learn to walk like a pirate, talk like a pirate, and vacation like a pirate during this three-weekend event. 

During the event an exclusive “pirate passport” will outline the resort-wide activities that includes exclusive pirate character meet and greets.

Walt Disney World Resort

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway | Disney’s Hollywood Studios

2019 Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World

For the first time ever, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will have their own ride-through attraction. Using cutting edge technology, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take guests through the movie screen to join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and pals on a wacky adventure with a Goofy conductor at the helm. 

Cique du Soleil Show | Disney Springs

Walt Disney Animation Studios stories will come to life in a first-of-its-kind show that combines Disney storytelling with Cirque du Soleil artistry featuring new original acrobatic sequences, dazzling choreography, musical masterpieces and whimsical characters at Disney Springs. Previews will begin March 20, 2020, leading up to the world premiere on April 17.

City Works Eatery & Pour House | Disney Springs

New in 2020 - City Works at Disney Springs

City Works Eatery & Pour House will offer a menu of classic American food with chef-driven twists for lunch and dinner serving over 90 local and global varieties of beers on tap. The 8,632 square foot building will house the restaurant, retail space, expansive seating, high-definition TVs – including a 165-inch screen – and a 1,767 square foot patio.

The space will also exhibit three full-service bars, two of which allow for covered, open air dining along the patio.

Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue | Epcot – American Adventure Pavilion

New in 2020 - Regal Eagle BBQ in Epcot

Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue is a fast-casual restaurant where the pit master uses techniques from classic barbecue regions to smoke selections over oak wood, they serve four delicious house-recipe sauces – Spicy Mop Sauce, Sweet BBQ Sauce, Vinegar-based Sauce, and Tangy Mustard Sauce also known as “Carolina Gold” – and serve up a variety of beers, cocktails, and ciders from around the United States. 

Awesome Planet | Epcot – The Land

2019 D23 Epcot Announcement New in 2020

Awesome Planet is an on-screen exploration of our planet that highlights the beauty, diversity and dynamic story of Earth with spectacular nature photography, immersive in-theater effects, and a space sequences created by Industrial Light & Magic.

HarmonioUS  | Epcot – World Showcase Lagoon

HarmonioUS Epcot Rendering New in 2020
Walt Disney World Resort

HarmonioUS will debut at Epcot as the largest nighttime theme park spectacular ever created for a Disney park.

It will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over that features familiar Disney tunes reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists from around the globe. HarmonioUS will light up World Showcase Lagoon and the night sky with floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers, and more.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure | Epcot – France Pavilion

2019 D23 Epcot Announcement New in 2020
Walt Disney World

Remy’s Ratatouille is similar to the 4-D attraction at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, where you shrink down in size to join Remy and friends, who have cooked up a delicious feast.

But the adventure goes awry when you are discovered by Chef Skinner who chases you through the sights, sounds, and smells of Gusteau’s famous Parisian restaurant.

La Crêperie de Paris | Epcot – France Pavilion

2019 D23 Epcot Announcement New in 2020
Walt Disney World

La Crêperie de Paris will feature the cuisine of celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse, the mastermind behind the pavilion’s Chefs de France brasserie and Monsieur Paul. With a menu inspired by the Brittany region of France, the new location will offer table service dining as well as a quick-service stop for guests craving savory crepes called galettes and sweet crepes.

Beauty and the Beast Sing Along | Epcot – France Pavilion

2019 D23 Epcot Announcements New in 2020
Walt Disney World

The Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along, directed by Don Hahn who was the producer of both the animated and live-action versions of this tale as old as time, will rotate with the classic Impressions de France film in the France Pavilion.

Wonderous China | Epcot – China Pavilion

2019 D23 Epcot Announcement

In the China pavilion, Wondrous China will take guests on a spectacular journey across China, filmed and presented in a completely seamless 360-degree digital format.

Canada Far and Wide | Epcot – Canada Pavilion

2019 D23 Epcot Announcements
Walt Disney World

The film Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 will debut in January 2020 in the Canada pavilion with new scenes and a new story.  

Space 220 Restaurant | Epcot – Future World

Space 220 Restaurant Interior
Patina Restaurant Group

The new restaurant Space 220, an expansion of the Mission: SPACE pavilion in Future World, will be an out-of-this-world culinary experience with the celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up.

Disney Genie

New in 2020 - Disney Genie

Disney Genie is the next step in technology focused on making Walt Disney World vacation planning easier with flexible and customized itineraries geared to your interests in 2020.

Disney Genie will also share real-time theme park tips and updates, recommendations based on your preferences, and will make reservations for the experience in multiple steps for you.

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