Thursday theme park news round-up

June 7, 2012, 3:16 PM · Here's a quick round-up of today's theme park news:

Universal Orlando
Universal Orlando matched Disney's attempt to jump Universal's recent price increase. Now a one-day, one-park ticket to one of the Universal Orlando theme parks costs $89, just as Disney World's does. Universal did keep the online price at $88, however. Yay, Internet!

SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando announced that the 2012 "Summer Nights" promotion will run from June 23 through August 12. That means the park will be open to 10 pm each night and feature its line-up of summer shows, in addition to the regular attractions.

SeaWorld's also offering a Summer Nights VIP Tour, which includes an all-day dining pass in addition to a six-hour guided tour, including front-of-line ride access, dolphin feeding, and reserved seating at Shamu Rocks and Reflections. Price is $99 for adults.

Shamu Rocks
Image courtesy SeaWorld

D23, the Disney fan club, announced a special program celebrating Epcot's 30th anniversary this October 1. The event's actually on Sept. 30 and will feature presentations on Epcot's history and development from Imagineers and other involved in the design and building of the park. Cost is $65 - $185 and does not include required park admission. More details and booking information are on the D23 website.

Disney California Adventure
The new Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop officially opened at Disney California Adventure today. The shop is located in the old Mission Tortilla space in Pacific Wharf, and will feature ice cream sundaes, shakes, and chocolates. Plus, every visitor gets a free square of chocolate! (Walt Disney World fans will know the Ghirardelli store from Downtown Disney.)

Disney California Adventure is also offering annual passholders the chance to attend special after-hours showings of World of Color this month, where Disney will be testing "Glow with the Show" merchandise that, well, glows along with musical cues during the show. Guests who attend will receive a free pair of Glow with the Show Mouseketeer ears. You'll have to RSVP at a Disneyland Resort ticket booth. Instruction are on the Disneyland website.

Next week is the big premiere of Cars Land, Buena Vista Street and the revamped Disney California Adventure theme park. Here's the schedule of coverage on Theme Park Insider: Sunday morning, I'll be attending the Annual Passholder preview of Cars Land, and will file a report with some photo and initial impressions of the land. Thursday night is the red carpet opening ceremony for Cars Land, which won't actually open to the public until DCA is rededicated Friday morning at 8am. Friday is the media day at the park, where we'll be taking photos and video and I'll be working up my reviews of Radiator Springs Racers and everything else in the new lands at the park.

Replies (5)

June 7, 2012 at 3:28 PM · Uh oh. Might have to take a day off to test the World of Color ears!
June 7, 2012 at 7:45 PM · Shhhhh I can't get my World of Color tickets til Sunday, don't spread it around too much or they'll all be gone! On a serious note, do you know if you'll be allowed to take pictures at the Cars Land preview? At cast member previews there were no pictures allowed, and any photo pass pictures won't be available until June 15th. I saw it enforced a few times, though I also saw people pretending to text and sneaking photos on their phones.
June 7, 2012 at 8:31 PM · CM previews are always officially publicity black-outs. There are no photo restrictions on the AP event tickets, however. Normal Disney in-park rules apply: No big tripods, pro long lenses, being a jerk to others, etc.
June 8, 2012 at 8:39 AM · Universal's one day pass matches WDW's day pass, but Universal two day pass is much cheaper. Universal is still a bargain compared with Disney.
June 8, 2012 at 5:07 PM · I am guessing Universal will probably have some huge announcement about HP phase 2 the night before California Adventure officially opens.

They seem to do that quite a bit lately....

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