Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter YouTube Email Newsletter

Wednesday theme park news round-up

Written by
Published: November 16, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Answers to potentially hypothetical questions, from the day in theme park news:

- Do you want to see what the Manta trains will look like for next year's new coaster at SeaWorld San Diego?

It's on the IAAPA show floor:

Manta car

- The Orlando theme parks are getting decked out for Christmas. Will the new kid on the block, Legoland Florida, have a Christmas celebration?

Of course. "Christmas Bricktacular" kicks off with a ceremony to light the park's 30-foot Lego Christmas tree, built with 270,000 bricks. Santa will be available for pictures in the botanical gardens and holiday decorations and nightly tree lightings will continue from Dec. 8 - 31. The final day will be Kids' New Year's Eve, with a countdown and fireworks at midnight, Kid Standard Time, which also happens to be 7 pm Eastern.

- Is it true that Tokyo Disneyland still has the old version of Star Tours?

Until next April 1. The park's owners announced today that the park will install the new 3D version of the ride for spring 2013.

While on the topic of Tokyo Disney, I'll be visiting Tokyo next month, on my way back from the Transformers premiere at Universal Studios Singapore. I'll be visiting both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, and am taking requests for what you'd like to see reviewed in my trip reports here on Theme Park Insider.

Readers' Opinions

From TH Creative on November 16, 2011 at 5:59 PM
I'll be hitting IAAPA tomorrow.

Stay tuned!

From Carlo Guardascione on November 16, 2011 at 6:02 PM
I can't wait for your review of Tokyo DisneySea. I just want to know how it fits in with the rest of Disney. Have a blast.
From José María Sandoval on November 16, 2011 at 8:27 PM
Robert winnie pooh and monsters inc in disneyland, and also
What score deserve journey to center of the earth in disney sea?, is the better ride?
How can it compare later with radiator spring racer?
Take a good trip
From Dominick D on November 16, 2011 at 8:55 PM
You forgot THEA Awards and Magic Kingdom updates (ie first Dumbo base coming in, keepers of the kingdom testing, etc.). And sorry, but I'm not covering LLF's Bricktacular. However, I'll be at Universal the first day of their Christmas Stuff.
From Albino Pygmy on November 16, 2011 at 8:56 PM
Looking forward to your coverage TH Creative! May it be filled with pictures, fun facts, and plenty of hippos.

Robert, as far as what I'd like to see in Tokyo, pretty much every square inch,. Both places look so amazing, you feel like you'll miss some detail if you blink. Any interesting little quiet areas nobody knows, as well as the big E ticket attractions such as Journey to the Center of the Earth, please!

From James Rao on November 16, 2011 at 9:25 PM
Robert, I anxiously await your trip reports on both of the Tokyo parks. I am so jealous it hurts! Review...EVERYTHING! =) Although, for some odd reason, I am especially interested in all the varieties of popcorn served at the Tokyo parks....

Have a great trip, brother!

From Skipper Adam on November 16, 2011 at 10:39 PM
Dom...there is no Kingdom Keepers testing.
From Manny Barron on November 17, 2011 at 12:43 AM
Nice pic of the Sea World SD Manta train. It looks like it will be just like the "flying" one from Orlando's Mantra. I thought the trains for this version were going to be more of the standard type, like the one's on Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit at USF. Either way I'm excited for this new ride in San Diego.
From Nick Markham on November 17, 2011 at 6:23 AM
If all you post is tons of pictures of Tokyo DisneySea, I will be happy. That place it beautiful!
From 70.127.37.74 on November 17, 2011 at 8:45 AM
Check out Hong Kong Disneyland.
You may find out more about the massive expansion their building.

Three new areas will be built,

Mystic Point-Coming in 2013
Grizzly Gulch- Coming in 2012
Toy Story Land- Coming in 2012
These areas will include high tech rides including
a half pipe roller coaster(RC Racer, Toy Story Land), a vekoma launched mine train coaster(Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, Grizzly Gulch)and a high tech Haunted Mansion ride(Mystic Manor, Mystic Point).
I am dying to see you review this upcoming expansion.

From Dominick D on November 17, 2011 at 9:59 AM
On Friday Cast members got to test it out. Your a cast member right, Adam?
From Andrew Swanson on November 17, 2011 at 10:42 AM
Robert-

In addition to rides at Tokyo Disney Resort, be sure to check out the live entertainment. It is among the best in the world among theme park entertainment, and in some cases (Big Band Beat) the best in the world period.

At TDL, you'll want to see the daytime parade, Jubilation, and Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights. If you only have time for one, skip Jubilation but don't miss Dreamlights--the Genie float from Aladdin alone is well worth it.

At TDS, see Big Band Beat, The Legend of Mythica, and Fantasmic. Don't miss any of those--they're all incredible. However, if you want a decent seat for Fantasmic, get there early since it's still relatively new. When I visited in September, I picked a seat at Lido Isle three hours before show time. It was well worth it, and this version is completely unlike the California or Florida versions.

If time and budget permits, you'll also want to see ZED, the Cirque du Soleil show located near the Disney Ambassador Hotel. If you're familiar with La Nouba in Orlando, it's a similar seperate-ticket event. There are show tickets that will get you into the park for only an additional 1000 yen after you've seen the show. Full disclosure: I work for Cirque du Soleil and was part of the opening team of ZED, however it's closing later this year so this is your final opportunity to see it and I highly recommend it.

Aside from entertainment, enjoy as many flavors of popcorn as you have time for. They're themed to the various areas of the park--Hunny Popcorn near Pooh's Hunny Hunt, Sea Salt Popcorn in Mermaid Lagoon, etc.

Try to eat at Magellen's in TDS. Yes there is a secret room behind a bookshelf. It's a really fun experience.

And Pooh's Hunny Hunt is the most incredible ride in the world. Ever. Anywhere. If you want to ride it (and other fantasyland attractions) with little to no wait go after Dreamlights and the fireworks as the families that make these rides so popular tend to leave as soon as the night time entertainment is over.

Have a great trip!

From Ashleigh Noad on November 17, 2011 at 11:14 AM
Would be interested to hear your thoughts on whether Disney's crowds or the general atmosphere seem to have been effected by the events in April. Overall, I'm generally looking forward to a review of a park that doesn't get much coverage on TPI and a lot of American theme park websites. Have a great trip!
From Robert Niles on November 17, 2011 at 9:49 PM
I am extremely bummed that Pooh's Hunny Hunt will be down for rehab while I'm there, but I am kinda excited to see the Country Bear Christmas show again. Plus, a Tokyo-only Tiki room show.

And strawberry popcorn. And everything at DisneySea.

From Doug Jenkins on November 18, 2011 at 1:21 PM
Any updates on the Spiderman 3D digital video re-do in IOA? I thought it was to be implemented this Fall.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Previous article: Be careful what you wish for, SeaWorld opponents



Enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Harry Potter

Insider's Pick: There's only one place in America to where you can enter the world of Harry Potter: the Universal Orlando Resort. With Universal Orlando 2014: The Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate Theme Park Adventure, you'll learn everything you need to know to save money and time while enjoying Harry Potter and all the other world-class attractions at Universal Orlando.

Get it! In paperback | For Kindle | For iBooks