News update: Disney Springs bus service; new Dollywood parade

August 31, 2016, 8:14 PM · Walt Disney World visitors now can catch a ride to Disney Springs from any of the Disney World theme parks. Disney has begun bus service from the parks to the resort's recently expanded and refurbished dining and shopping district. The catch? There are no buses heading from Disney Springs back to the parks. (So no cheating and parking for free at the new Disney Springs garages!) This means the new bus service really is aimed at Disney World hotel guests, to encourage them to head to Disney Springs after their day in the parks, without having to stop at their hotel to make the connection first. Disney continues to run buses between Disney Springs and its various hotels, so those guests will have a relatively easy ride "home."

So what if aren't staying at a Disney hotel, catch the bus to Disney Springs, then need to get back to your car at one of the parks? You'll need to get on one of those hotel buses from Disney Springs, then make your way by bus, monorail, or on foot — whichever's most appropriate — from that hotel back to the park and the lot with your car. Or just Uber it.

SeaWorld San Diego today broke ground on its new attraction for 2017, Ocean Explorer. The exhibit will include multiple aquariums — featuring crabs, eels and other sea animals — on a three-acre site that's currently occupied by the Circle of Flags and Animal Connections. The exhibit also will include a jellyfish-themed wave swinger and a three-minute submarine-themed dark ride tour. Ocean Explorer is expected to open in late spring.

Dollywood today announced a $2.5 million addition to its annual Smoky Mountain Christmas event — The Parade of Many Colors. "Like her new NBC holiday movie, Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love, [Dolly] Parton’s new parade celebrates the fun, faith, family and harmony of the holidays. Vibrant floats, interactive characters and a few other surprises help spread cheer throughout Dollywood this holiday season," the park said in a press release. The new parade runs 8 pm nightly during the event. Smoky Mountain Christmas runs select days Nov. 5 - Jan. 1 at the Pigeon Forge, Tenn. park.

Replies (6)

August 31, 2016 at 8:59 PM · The Dollywood parade rendering looks more than a little like MSEP
September 1, 2016 at 6:52 AM · Great addition to Dollywood
September 1, 2016 at 8:06 AM · Oh. I can't wait to do the Dollywood Christmas this year! We normally would be attending Disney, but with rising entrance pricing, we're letting our AP's go and checking out the rest of the country!
September 1, 2016 at 11:57 AM · Dollywood continues to raise the bar. If you are reading this, and you have never been AND you think Disney is the end-all, be-all...well, you have no idea. It's not the same as a Disney or Universal park, but in many, many ways, it's a whole lot better.
September 1, 2016 at 3:34 PM · SeaWorld is putting its money to good use rather quickly after abandoning the huge Shamu tank.
September 2, 2016 at 9:49 AM · Dollywood and Sea World are not owned by the same company.

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