Hi there! Welcome to our weekly roundup of the most interesting theme park news around the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and other theme parks.
This week’s highlights:
- Universal CityWalk is undergoing the largest expansion in its history, adding eight new venues by the end of 2014, including the already open Red Oven Pizza Bakery, Hot Dog Hall of Fame, The Cowfish and a new modern Italian kitchen concept. These are but a few of the new additions coming to Universal Orlando Resort next year along with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and the new Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Will you be visiting Universal Orlando in 2014? Tell us what you’re most looking forward to in comments below!
- That wasn’t the only restaurant news coming out of Universal this week as the resort announced that Harry Potter’s Leaky Cauldron will be coming to the park this summer.
- In more yum news, Disney’s Contemporary Resort provided the recipe for its Chocolate Pudding Cake. Sounds like the perfect recipe to add to my Christmas Day baking.
- The Walt Disney World Resort played host for the taping of the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, taping some of the segments for the 30th annual holiday TV special.
- The stars came out for the premier of “Saving Mr. Banks” at Walt Disney Studios in California, including Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Emma Thompson and Jason Schwatzman. The film opened today.
- My week’s guilty pleasure included clicking through the Orlando Sentinel’s enormous gallery showing the voices behind some of Disney’s most beloved characters.
- One of my very favorite photos of the week was captured at sunset in New Fantasyland. The bridge to Beast’s Castle is beautifully illuminated and reminds me of our magical visit to Be Our Guest.
- Guests looking for a personalized gift for the techie on their list need look no further than the D-Tech on Demand, which is bringing customizable iPhone cases (plus holiday themes) to the Disney Truck Stop at Downtown Disney.
- You might have seen our highlights from SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration, but you didn’t get to see the Sea of Trees. Tad just posted his video of the “dancing trees” on our YouTube channel.
That’s it for the theme park news this week. Have a great weekend!
If you’re thinking about a trip to Disney World, make sure to check out the other news, tips and information we post to the blog throughout the week. If you’re ready to plan your trip, we recommend you start with our planning pages.
— Mommy Frog