This week in theme park news both Disney and Universal Studios have given us so much to look forward to this year. More character meet and greets are coming back to Walt Disney World! Disney Cruise Line is marking a momentous anniversary. Disneyland Resort allowed us a sneak peek at the celebration of The Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary. Lastly, Universal Orlando Resort released the concert line up for their Mardi Gras festival beginning February 8th.
More Princess Experiences Return
Who’s your favorite princess? Fans of Ariel and Belle will be delighted to hear both princesses are returning to their respective character experiences in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom.
On January 22, guests can once again greet Ariel in her Grotto and hear her stories from under the sea. You can even give her a hug! Pose with the princess and take home a photo memory of meeting the little mermaid.
Starting February 19, “Enchanted Tales with Belle” will re-open. This is an interactive experience where you can join in on the tales of the beast and his beauty. This attraction includes the book loving Belle interacting with guests and sharing her stories.
Both these experiences will be added into Disney Genie+.
Silver Anniversary at Sea
This summer, the Disney Cruise Line will celebrate 25 years of cruising the open waters. From May to September 2023, guests aboard select sailings will join the festivities on “Silver Anniversary Sailings at Sea” cruises. Let’s talk about what’s in store!
Fireworks at Sea
This celebration brings with it a new fireworks spectacular set to iconic Disney music with an original signature song included. Did you know Disney Cruise Line was the first to showcase a fireworks spectacular at sea?
New Captain’s Reception
In honor of the Silver anniversary, Disney Cruise Line has also reimagined the Captain’s Reception on these select sailings. One night during each cruise, you will be invited to the atrium to meet the Captain, the cruise director, and even Mickey and Minnie for an extra special toast.
Castaway Club exclusive
You can become a member of the Castaway Club by sailing again! Guests who have returned to the Disney Cruise Line after their first cruise can be part of the Castaway Club and receive special perks.
On “Silver Anniversary at Sea”, Castaway Club members will receive an exclusive 11”x14” limited edition framed art print in their stateroom. The print was designed by Disney artist Joe Kaminski. This offer is one per cabin while supplies last.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens in El Capitoon Theater on January 27th. This will be the first attraction to feature the mouse duo and their friends at this park. There will not be a stand-by line yet! A complimentary virtual queue is your way to snag a spot on this new family friendly ride. You will also have the choice to purchase an individual attraction purchase to experience the new ride.
The “Magic Happens” parade will return to Disneyland Park on February 24. This daytime parade features Mickey, Minnie, and their friends from Pixar.
The year long celebration of the Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary is happening at Disneyland Resort exclusively.
Disneyland Resort Will Have New Accessories
The entire resort area including both parks, hotels and Downtown Disney will be adorned with platinum inspire decorations including bunting, banners, and medallions. Sleeping Beauty Castle is getting 2 new fountains, platinum bunting and a shining star adornment for the occasion. Even Mickey and his friends will have brand new attire to show off.
All The Special Food and Treats
Disney has released their food guide for this special anniversary event in the parks. Take a closer look at what they have to offer: Inside Look: The Sweets and Treats of Disney100.
A Brand-New Exhibit Honors Animators
The Disney Gallery on Main Street USA will present Disney 100 Years of Wonder. While you are visiting Disneyland Park, check out original artwork form the Disney Animators from both early film classics and their more modern stories.
Take a glance at an animator’s desk and an original multiplane camera. Then walk through a tribute to those films that became attractions by the creative imagineers.
New Disney100 Merchandise
Not only can guest take home a special tumbler or a star glow cube, but Disney will introduce the Disney100 Platinum Celebration Collection. This brand-new merchandise and collectables include exclusive MagicBand+ theme, ears, attire, medallions and more.
The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2023
The most beautiful festival of the year will start on March 1 and run through July 15. This year artists are creating new topiaries such as Mirabel, Antonio, Isabella, and Luisa from Encanto. You will also find The American Adventure Pavilion is hosting a new Princess Tiana topiary.
In other news for the festival, the Garden Rocks Concert Series will return to the American Garden Theater. The lineup of artists has yet to be released. Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration scavenger hunt will have you hunting for our friend Spike the bee around the park. Find all his hiding places and get a special prize.
There will be over 15 outdoor kitchens this year with many returning favorites. Stay tuned for the food guide.
“Blossoms of Fragrance” presented by Scentsy will be on the bridge to World Showcase. This experience brings Spring to your eyes and nose better than an allergy attack. Find beautiful butterfly topiaries along with 6 scents stations.
Universal Orlando Resort
The Mardi Gras festival is about to begin!! From February 8 to April 16, Universal Studios will host Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnival 2023. The festival includes free concerts by some BIG artists and this year’s line-up has been released.
The concerts, held at the Music Plaza Stage, are free to anyone with a valid park ticket. This year’s performers include Patti LaBelle, 3 Doors Down and Sean Paul. For the complete list and details, check out A Rockin’ Good Time Begins February 4th at Universal Orlando.
These are the highlights of this past week in news from your favorite theme park destinations Disney and Universal Studios. It’s a great time to plan your vacation! If you would like more information or a free no obligation quote, email me at Jessica@diznvacations.com