Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in

Theme Park Insider

Facebook Twitter YouTube Email Newsletter

Insider's Update: Unleash the locals!

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: August 23, 2014 at 11:04 AM

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.

Villains Unleashed
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.

Spoonful of Sugar
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!

Comments (1) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Grokking Star Wars Land: How will Disney bring more 'Star Wars' to its theme parks?

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: August 22, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Comments (19) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Halloween News: Here's your attack plan for Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights

Jacob Sundstrom

By Jacob Sundstrom
Published: August 21, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Comments (5) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Anna and Elsa are going to Tokyo Disneyland

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: August 21, 2014 at 7:06 AM

Comments (1) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Beyond CaliFlorida: Six Flags and the dark side

Jeff Elliott

By Jeff Elliott
Published: August 20, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Comments (10) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

What's the story behind Disney Springs, and why does it matter?

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: August 19, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Comments (26) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Monday Top 10: The best family rides in America

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: August 18, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Comments (26) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

The Week Ahead: Disney and Universal schedules for August 18-25, 2014

Robert Niles

By Robert Niles
Published: August 17, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Comments (3) | Submit Comment | Archive Link

Get more from Theme Park Insider:


Planning a trip to Orlando?

Walt Disney World

Insider's Pick: Get all the best advice from ThemeParkInsider.com in one convenient book! Theme Park Insider Orlando 2014 offers you the insight, background, and how-to skills that will help you enjoy Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando like, well, a theme park insider. Save yourself time and money by learning how to visit the Orlando-area theme parks the insiders' way.

Get it! In paperback | For Kindle | For iBooks