Test Track Back, Fantasyland Update, Universal Lagoon Show Video, SeaWorld Trek
by, 04-09-2012 at 08:15 PM
Is the Test Track retheme back on again? Whats the story in Fantasyland? Is Turtle Trek set for arrival? We have the scoop for you here in this week's Orlando Parkhopper. But that's certainly not all. We still have plenty to discuss from the Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando too! Plus, info on an epic MiceChat event and a new Kevin Yee Video! Here we go folks!
GUMBALL RALLY CLOSE TO SOLD OUT - GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY!The MiceChat Gumball Rally is a race to find out who can ride the most attractions at Disneyland in a single day. It's a fantastic event for Disney fans of any age and a great way to spend a day in the park with friends and family. Whether you win or lose, you are always a winner when the race takes place on your favorite rides at your favorite place on earth.
But that's just a little piece of the puzzle. We'll also offer a pre-Rally pasta party on May 18th and a MiceChat Mega Meet on Sunday the 20th (save the date). T-Shirts are available for this year's event as well. If you've never heard of the Gumball Rally before, please visit the Rally Information Page HERE for more information and FAQ. A discussion thread has been created in the forums as well: MiceChat Gumball Rally Discussion.
Tickets for this year's event are nearly sold out, so don't delay, get your teams together and sign up today!
And if you'd like to see a version of this event come back to the Disney World parks, be sure to comment about it below. If enough of you ask for it, we'll deliver!
More construction started going vertical in Fantasyland this week, with the framework for the new Seven Dwarves Mine Coaster. There are also a batch of new details emerging on the developing facades for both the Little Mermaid ride and the Be Our Guest restaurant.
Seven Dwarves Mine Coaster:
Below, you can see the brown framework beginning to appear from behind the construction walls for the new coaster.
The Little Mermaid:
The intricacies in the facade for this attraction may set it above the California counterpart on the exterior and queue; however, the rest will be identical to the ride out west.
Here is the entrance to backstage that they are building between Storybook Circus and Mermaid.
Be Our Guest Restaurant, Belle Meet and Greet:
We come to the Belle meet and greet and Be Our Guest Restaurant facades and see more detail. If only they put effort into creating bigger experiences.
We also have a recap of all things WDW from Kevin Yee in his WDW photo Update videos on MiceChat's You tube Channel.
So the word floating around Epcot is that the Test Track overhaul may be going ahead after all. A few weeks ago we reported that there was an increasing amount of evidence that pointed to the upgrade of the attraction stalling out. Now we are hearing new word that Cast Members are not being scheduled at the attraction after April 14th. And MiceChat was informed by Disney that Test Track would not be available during an event we are planning for this fall (more on that amazing event very soon). If you have a hankering for Test Track, you had better get your rides in before Saturday.
YAY, Star Wars Weekends are back and Disney has released the full schedule of celebrities and events.
The annual event takes place each Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 18-June 10, 2012.
Here’s the scheduled celebrity lineup for Star Wars Weekends 2012 (subject to change):
Weekend 1 (May 18 – 20)• Ray Park – (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)Weekend 2 (May 25- 27)
• Jerome Blake (Rune Haako/Mas Amedda – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
• Dee Bradley Baker (voice of Clone Captain Rex and Clone Commander Cody – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
• Andy Secombe (Watto – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)Weekend 3 (June 1 -3)
• Ray Park (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
• Tom Kane (voice of Yoda – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
• Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
• Silas Carson (Nute Gunray/Ki-Adi-Mundi – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
• (Star Wars: The Clone Wars voice talent – currently TBD)
Weekend 4 (June 8- 10)• Michonne Bourriague (Aurra Sing – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)Activities & entertainment (subject to change)
• Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett – Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi)
• Daniel Logan (Boba Fett – Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones)
• Nika Futterman (voice of Asajj Ventress – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
• “Hyperspace Hoopla”: This high-energy, one-of-a-kind show is a chance to see some of the famed Star Wars characters performing like never before. It will take place on a stage in front of the Sorcerer Mickey hat on Hollywood Blvd., and is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. each event evening.That is all that we have so far. The weekend events and appearances can change at any time so please check back for more updated info as the events get closer.
• Autograph Opportunities: As always, there is no additional charge for the celebrity autograph sessions at Star Wars Weekends. The autograph lines will once again be handled via a FASTPASS-type system. The meet-and-greet session/autograph opportunities are extremely limited, so guests need to arrive early to receive a FASTPASS. Please refer to this link, which will take you to the official Star Wars Weekends event page on DisneyWorld.com. There, you’ll find more detailed information under “Celebrity Autographs.”
• Star-Studded Event: Keep in mind, autograph opportunities are not the only place to see the celebrities. Star Wars stars take part in fun throughout the day in Star Wars-themed talk shows, behind-the-scenes presentations, the gala “Legends of the Force” parade and more.
We are huge fans of SeaWorld Orlando. But it appears that we aren't the only ones. The Park has been packed with record crowds during spring break.
OVERFLOW CROWDS AND PARKING:
Yep, it's that time of year. Crowds and crowds and crowds. Shows are filling up early and the parking lot is spilling onto a grass overflow lot.
Here is the lovely tram.
And now over to the regular lot.
We are very near the opening of Turtle Trek 4D on April 26th. The vivid blue and orange colors of the entrance are visible through the construction walls. We will being you first word when it opens.
Meanwhile, Blue Horizons is currently down for a little bit of electrical work.
Gru's home is coming along nicely as the entry for the Despicable Me simulator attraction, which is taking up the former Jimmy Neutron space.JAWS IN SAN FRAN:
Since Being evicted from Amity, they have moved the old hanging Jaws into the San Francisco area of the park.
We have a little bit of video from testing of the pyrotechnics on the upcoming lagoon show for Universal, "Cinematic Spectacular". This is not how the show is intended to be seen, so we encourage discretion when looking at the video. You can't really judge anything until it is officially open. But here is a peek at it.
VIVA LA MUSICA:
Viva la Música returns to Busch Gardens Tampa each Sunday from April 15 through May 6 with a fun roster of talent for all to enjoy. Here is the schedule. Viva la Música is included with park admission.
Concert lineup:April 15: Victor Manuelle
April 22: Grupo Mania
April 29: Dyland y Lenny
May 5: Jerry Rivera
Link to more info on Viva la Música:
Viva la Musica | Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
SPECIAL DEAL FOR ANNUAL PASSHOLDERS:
Load up the car with everyone you know and head on down to the park for a very special park admission deal. Now through June 30, passholders can get a $20 discount on admission for family and friends.
Go to the BGT site for specific rules and details
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Did you spot something interesting in the Orlando parks? Want to share? If you submit a photo, tip, news or even a whole section of info that we are able to use for the column, we'll enter you in a contest to win a $50 Amazon gift card. If we run your item in the Orlando Parkhopper this month, we'll automatically enter you into the contest. A winner will be selected at random at the end of the month.
Just send your entry to [email protected] and be sure to mention that you are entering the Orlando Parkhopper contest. Let us know as much as you can about the item you are submitting as well as the name we can use to credit you with on the site.
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Congratulations go to RossMidlane for guessing last week's Hidden Parkhopper by posting..."Hidden Parkhopper is Easter Duffy "
Good job! Let's try this again. Look into the magnifying glass below and see if you can figure out where the park hoppers are this week. Post your guess in the comments area below. If you are the first to answer correctly, you will be featured in next week's update. GOOD LUCK!
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Join the public Facebook group and get notified of events (the locations are different every time.)
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Please join us in thanking the fantastic and talented crew of writers, photographers and news contributors who worked so hard this week to bring you the latest information from the parks. This week's team included:
- Eric M. Davis (King Eric)
- Kevin Yee
- Editors this week: Fishbulb, Dustysage
Thank you all for reading, we hope you have a wonderful week and are inspired to explore the amazing variety of attractions on your next visit to central Florida. We'd love to hear your comments below.