Insider's Update: Unleash the locals!
Written by Robert Niles
It's time for the Villains Unleashed event tonight at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. Perhaps we should consider this the official transition from summer to the theme park Halloween season. If you're going tonight, please tweet us photos and updates to @themepark, and we will share them with other Theme Park Insider readers and followers. Guests will event tickets can arrive as early as 5pm this evening, and should drive in through the south entrance, off World Drive. New events this year include a Guardians of the Galaxy "Awesome Mix Tape Dance Party," and the "Villainy in the Sky" fireworks go at 12:45am.Tweet
Photo courtesy Disney
This was probably easy to see coming, but it's now official — there won't be a Festival of the Masters arts event at Downtown Disney this year, due to Disney Springs construction claiming so much of the space that the event needed.
Walt Disney World is tweaking the Magic Kingdom's "Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!" street party this fall with a new name ("Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It!") and the addition of Stitch as well as Phineas & Ferb to the roster of characters appearing on Main Street USA daily. Guests will get to vote for one of three dance songs to be played for the finale. The current version of the event will continue until the new version debuts.
Perhaps inspired by corporate sibling ABC's cooking show, The Taste, Disneyland's Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe is now offering a one-spoon "Spoonful of Sugar" for $3.29. But this spoonful might outdo anything featured on the show. Here's Disney's description, and photo: "This Mary Poppins-themed Spoonful of Sugar involves pâte à choux, chocolate caramel ganache, rainbow sprinkles, chocolate pastry cream, dark chocolate gloss, white chocolate coating, a sugar penguin and marshmallows." Just one more thing to entice the locals, returning to the park after the summer blockouts.
Photo courtesy Disney
Speaking of appeals to locals, Universal Orlando is holding a "Passholder Appreciation Month" for its annual passholders in September. Among the benefits offered next month will be early access for passholders to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley on weekdays. Currently, that benefit is available only to Universal Orlando hotel and vacation package guests. Universal's also offering a variety of extra discounts to passholders during the month, too. And, by the way, Universal Orlando just launched a new website design — check it out.
Yours truly spent many years of his early career working at newspapers. But if you want great theme park coverage, you really ought to rely on, well, a theme park insider, and not news reporters who don't specialize in theme parks. Case in point: this truly embarrassing article about Shanghai Disneyland, from a Japanese news site. The reporter and her editor thought they had an exposé on delays in construction at the resort, running photos of the supposed construction site that showed no signs of development. Too bad the reporter was in the wrong place! Heck, Stefan Zwanzger's been documenting the rapidly progressing Shanghai Disneyland construction for months now.
By the way, Stefan recently completed this awesome Google Map of theme, amusement and water parks around the world. Have fun zooming in and discovering parks you've probably never heard of in places you might never have dreamed of visiting. It's a great, fun time-killer for the weekend!
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