News update: Watching Disney's Electrical Parade, Dining Deals at Universal

August 26, 2016, 4:21 PM · Walt Disney World is finally getting around to removing more of its long-closed River Country water park. The resort has begun draining and filling in the old Upstream Plunge pool at the park, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Disney doesn't appear to be prepping the site for any other use. It's simply removing what legal types might call an attractive nuisance. The pool is located next to Mickey's Backyard BBQ at Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground, and that proximity makes it a potential liability for the resort, should someone get into the pool, according to a Sentinel source. Disney's been reviewing and making changes on waterfronts all over the resort following the death of a toddler in an alligator attack on a Seven Seas Lagoon beach earlier this summer.

Disney World fans who can't make it for the final performances of the Main Street Electrical Parade (or Disneyland fans who can't wait to see it again) can watch a live stream of the parade on the official Disney Parks Blog this Sunday evening, at 8:55 pm ET. In the meantime, Disney's posted this very neat time lapse of the parade, taken from the top of "To Honor America" grand finale float:

Universal Orlando Resort is celebrating Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month with special three-course dinners for $33 at selected restaurants: the new Amatista Cookhouse at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Emeril's Tchoup Chop and Islands Dining Room at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, The Kitchen at the Hard Rock Hotel, Bice Ristorante and Mama Della's Ristorante at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, and Emeril's Orlando at Universal CityWalk. The offer runs August 29 through October 2, and one dollar from each meal will be donated to The Russell Home for Atypical Children.

Across the country in California, Universal Studios Hollywood has announced this year's Halloween Horror Nights Terror Tram:

“Eli Roth Presents Terror Tram” will expose guests to the fabled legacy of serial killer clown “Hollywood Harry,” the story of a former jovial celebrity clown turn depraved murderer, and the minefield of carnage he left behind.

The all-new “Terror Tram” experience will tell the sordid tale of former Angeleno resident Harold Kappowitz whose alter ego “Koodles the Clown” went from cheerful circus performer, to the lovable star of his own children’s network television show…before he was overcome by his genuine “killer instincts.”

By the 1990s, hard knocks took a deadly toll on Kappowitz, and the onetime endearing clown found himself exiled by the very Hollywood entertainment community that once adored him. With an all-consuming anger and hatred, Kappowitz—a now crazed and disheveled recluse—took refuge from society by hiding out at Universal Studios, emerging as notorious serial killer clown, “Hollywood Harry.” Recurring murders began to dominate the studio, as “Hollywood Harry” drew strength from recruiting other outcast former clowns who, together, took revenge on Studio Tour guides and visitors alike, ceremoniously killing them, and leaving behind a deadly trail of terror.

It's like a mashup of Krusty and Sideshow Bob, but if "The Simpsons" were on pay cable instead of broadcast TV. Nice.

Finally, if you needed yet another reminder never to buy theme park tickets on Craigslist or eBay, here it is. I see people getting caught at the gate at Disneyland with bogus tickets all the time. If a deal seems too good to be true, in this case, it is. Stay away, and buy your tickets from the parks' websites or approved retailers.

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