Saturday 6 April 2024

April 7th - Theme Park News in a Nutshell

 This Week's Theme Park News:

- This week saw the start of the Season of the Force event at Disneyland resort, which also meant the debut of new Star Tours scenes featuring Din Djarin, Grogu, Andor and Ahsoka. The event also introduce Sabine Wren as a walk around character, and also the return of the adorable BD-X droids in Galaxy's edge.

- Bob Iger shared a new "creative inspiration" image of what a potential avatar experience at Disneyland Resort could look like, as he hyped up the DisneylandForward proposal at the annual Disney Shareholder meeting.

- At Epcot, it's been announced that Test Track will close June 17 for its extended refurbishment. This week we also saw concept art for the new facade for the attraction.

- Walt Disney Imagineering has re-announced two major projects for Walt Disney World this week, with reporters getting a glimpse at the Beyond Big Thunder Mountain expansion at Magic Kingdom, and the Tropical Americas rethemeing of Dinoland USA at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The only actually new information in these announcements was that Disney will be filing permits for construction in Magic Kingdom, west of Frontierland very soon, and new clearer concept art for the Tropical Americas land. Speculation around the new animal kingdom land, is that it will feature the Dinosaur ride themed to it's brother attraction Indiana Jones, as well as and Encanto area and potentially a Coco themed carousel.

- WDI also launched a new  YouTube Series, called We Call It Imagineering, which featured new animatronics from the Tiana's Bayou Adventure ride, including Louis the trumpet playing crocodile, and several of the human characters from the movie. This week they also gave us the next round of new creature characters featured in the ride, who are:

- Octavia the Bobcat – a fearless kitten who plays the vaksin, a single-note horn instrument

- Pawpaw the Bobcat – Octavia’s grandfather, who taught her to play the vaksin

- Claude the Louisiana Black Bear – a horn-playing bear who loves to create with things found in the forest

- Bernadette the Louisiana Black Bear – Claude's mate and another horn player

- Sebastián the Louisiana Black Bear – Bernadette's cub Sebastián is a drummer

- Phina the Gray Fox – also a drummer

- Disneyland After Dark: Pride Nite returns to Disneyland June 18 and 20 this year, celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and featuring themed entertainment and photo ops for event guests, as well as specialty food, drinks, and merchandise for sale. Tickets will be $159 per person and tickets will go on sale from April 9th.

- Finally, Universal Studios Hollywood has announced that they are being back the red and white striped "Glamour Trams" this summer as part of a celebration of the parks 60th Anniversary. The new version will also include a tram stop, for the first time in many years, where guests will be able to see an original tram, a King Kong backdrop, the original hanging Jaws shark, and a scale replica of the Hollywood sign.

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