Disney Theme Parks After Hours, Universal Studios’ New Land, and More

Disney Theme Parks After Hours, Universal Studios’ New Land, and More

This week in Theme Park News, we get a sneak peek at the BRAND-NEW Villas at Disneyland Hotel.  I have to say “WOW”!  Both Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood have new lands to explore.   In addition to that, get ready for extra MAGIC on both coasts including Marvel Heroes on land and at Sea.  Plus…DISCOUNTS!

Let’s open it up and dive in!

Super Nintendo World is Now Open at Universal Studios Hollywood

On February 17, the very popular Nintendo IP Super Mario Brothers came to life inside Universal Studios Hollywood.  This highly anticipated new land includes the “groundbreaking Mario Kart Bowser Challenge” attraction that includes an augmented reality feature along with “physical set pieces”. 

Super Nintendo World at Universal Hollywood graphic
photo credit: Universal Parks and Resorts

This expansion on Universal Studios Hollywood theme park is the product of a partnership between Nintendo and the Universal Creative and is said to be visually spectacular and a multi-sensory experience with interactive play throughout the space.  Guests can compete and even improve their high scores during return visits with the use of a “Power-up” band. 

Along with the “Mario Kart Bowser Challenge” attraction, you can also explore “Bowser’s Castle”, eat at “Toadstool Café” or shop at “1-Up Factory” for all the Super Mario Bros. merchandise you can imagine. 

This new land is also part of the expansion project at Universal Orlando Resort- more details to come as they are released.

Get a Glimpse of the NEW Villas at Disneyland Hotel

This week, Disneyland announced guests will be able to book the new Villas at this iconic hotel as early as March 15.  Not only that, but we also got our first good look at the brand-new colorful 12 story tower accommodations.  The Villas come complete with full kitchens, washer/dryers, and are available with 1 or 2 bedrooms (sleeping 5 to 9 adults respectively) as well as multi-level “Grand” villas that sleep up to 12 adults. 

Exterior of villas at Disneyland Hotel
The new Villas at Disneyland Resort
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations

The modern contemporary designs of the villas have subtle touches of Disney Animation throughout and are said to “immerse (guests) into the creative storytelling process”.  The design includes favorite Disney characters from Jungle Book, Princess and the Frog, Sleeping Beauty and more.

interior villas at Disneyland Hotel
Photo Credit: Disney Destinations

Booking for the Villas opens on March 15 for DVC owners, March 16 for Magic Key Holders and then March 17 for the public. 

New Discounts for Disneyland Guests

Disney Visa Card Holders and guests of Disneyland Resort Hotel can now save 15- 25% off select premium rooms between March 12- June 8 on Sunday to Thursday stays.  You can book now through June 5 and travel must be completed by June 9, 2023. 

Extra Magic After Dark on Both Coasts This Spring


“After Dark” themed nights at Disneyland Park are special ticketed events after park closing on select nights that include attractions, dance parties, nighttime spectaculars, and unlimited themed snacks and beverages.  This spring, the park will play host to 2 new themed “nites” for guests to enjoy.  Both themed events include a 3-hour pre-party mix in from 6pm-9pm PT and the main event runs from 9pm – 1 am PT after the park closes to the public. 

Graphic of afterhours themed nights
photo credit: Disney Destinations

Disneyland After Hours: Throwback Nite!  April 18 & 20

Travel back to the earliest days of Disneyland Park. This party includes:

  • “Fantasy in the Sky” a nighttime spectacular reminiscent of first ever Disneyland Fireworks show
  • Dance party- 50’s music favorites
  • Retro Disney Snacks
  • Characters in their retro outfits including some “nostalgic” characters according to Disney.
  • Unlimited photo downloads with vintage backdrops
  • Commemorative keepsakes and souvenirs

Disneyland After Hours: Star Wars Nite!  May 2,4,8 & 11

“Choose your allegiance” during this galactic get together after hours.  Included at this themed event:

  • “Star Wars Celebrate the Night” nighttime spectacular.
  • “March of the First Order” in Tomorrowland
  • Lightsaber instruction demonstrations
  • “Star Wars” themed photo backdrops with unlimited downloads
  • Unlimited themed treats
photo credit: @bizzyrunninganddizn

A limited number of tickets for each themed event are on sale now.

Disney World

Currently, Disney World offers “After Hours” events at 2 of the theme parks (Magic Kingdom & Hollywood Studios) on select nights and dates.  During the events, guests have the chance to enjoy the magic of the parks after it closes with lower crowds.  Specialty snacks and popcorn are included with the price of admission.  The nights also include character meet and greats, photopass opportunities, and attractions. 

Have Fun at Hollywood Studios “After Hours”
photo credit: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Disney has recently announced they will add more dates and parks for these special ticketed events.

First, Typhoon Lagoon will reopen this spring and as of May 20, “H2O Glow After Hours” will return on select nights this spring.   “After Hours” ticket holders can enter the park as early as 6pm on event nights.  Once the party starts it includes:

  • Neon Glow décor
  • Special themed snacks
  • DJ Dance Party

Beginning June 1, Epcot will join the “After-Hours” park options.  “After Hours” ticket holders can enter Epcot as early as 7pm then stay to enjoy attractions like Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Frozen Ever After and more after closing.

Epcot will now join in on the “After Hours” fun.
photo credit: @bizzyrunninganddizn

Magic Kingdom “After Hours” is running now through March 27.  At Hollywood Studios, new dates are being added as of May 3.  Tickets for the newest “After Hours” events open for resort guests on February 28 and the public on March 3.  Prices range from $75-$149/person.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantomania

The latest Marvel Movie is out in theaters now and the folks at Disney aren’t wasting the opportunity to promote the newest installment in the Avengers tale.  Not only have new characters from the film been introduced into the theme parks, but new Pym Technology has been added aboard the Disney Wish.

You can collect the NEW “Ooze Cauldron” at Pym Test Kitchen featuring “Impossible” while Kang the Conqueror now interacts with guests at Avenger Campus at Disney California Adventure Park. 

Ooze Cauldron collectable
The New Collectable “Ooze Cauldron” at Pym Test Kitchen
photo credit: Disney Destinations

Guests sailing on the Disney Wish can see a demonstration of the latest Pym technology: the “Quantum Core” while dining at “World’s of Marvel” Restaurant.  The show hosted by Scott Lange and Hope Van Dyne is an interactive experience taking you along on an Avenger’s mission.

In addition, while on board, recruits ages 3-12 can get hands-on training creating and testing Pym particles during “Marvel Superhero Academy” with Ant-Man and the Wasp. 

Guests aboard the Disney Dream “Marvel Day at Sea” sailing will enjoy the stage show “Heroes Unite” with 30 different Marvel Heroes and even Villains.

Heroes Unite stage show
Hero’s Unite Stage Show during Marvel Day at Sea on the Disney Dream
Photo credit: Disney Destinations

The Castaway Club Has a New Tier

Speaking of Disney Cruise Line, Castaway club tier: Pearl is being introduced for loyal guests who have sailed at least 25 times.  This is in honor of the Silver Anniversary of the Disney Cruise Line this year.  When guests reach Castaway Club Pearl, benefits include:

  • Unlimited Digital Photopass Downloads
  • Booking window that opens 4 days ahead of everyone else (also the first to know about new sailings
  • Book activities 123 days ahead of sailing
  • Stateroom surprise gifts: a pair of pearlescent tumblers (limit 1 per stateroom)
  • Complimentary dinner at Palo
The Disney Dream Cruise Ship
photo credit: @bizzyrunninganddizn

The Castaway Club tier Pearl will be launched May 1

San Fransokyo Square at Disneyland Park

Disneyland Park is in the process of reimagining the space that was formerly Pacific Warf.  This Summer, San Fransokyo Square will open completely to guests with inspiration from Disney Animations “Big Hero 6”. 

San Fransokyo Bridge
The NEW San Fransokyo Gate Bridge into the new space at Disneyland Park
photo credit: Disney Destinations

Disney has said that the land will “transport guests into the not-too-distant future” where the fishing industry is being reinvigorated/reinvented inside a mash-up of 2 cities.  You will enter the land by walking over the “San Fransokyo Gate Bridge” and be greeted with a multicultural district of shopping and dining. 

The land will feature signage in 3 languages (English, Japanese, & Spanish), a floating wind turbine that floats on top of an old fishing net tannery that powers the businesses below, and include the chance to encounter Bay Max and friends from the film. 

Pacific Warf dining locations will remain open during and after the transformation.

A Favorite Restaurant is Set to Reopen at Disney World

Narcoosse’s Restaurant at The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa will reopen to the guests April 1.  The popular dining location has a new look and a new menu coordinated by Chef Noah Estabrook and Pastry Chef Kristine Farmer. 

The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
photo credit: @bizzyrunninganddizn

The restaurant, which has panoramic views looking over the waters of 7 Seas Lagoon, will offer a land and sea-based menu.  No worries, the famous bisque will remain a staple for diners.  What’s new?  Here are some highlights:

Ocean inspired Charcuterie Board
Ocean Inspired Charcuterie Board on the Menu at Narcoosse’s Restaurant photo
credit: Disney Destinations


  • Beef & Ricotta Tortellini accompanied by brown butter, parsnip puree, and sultana raisins.
  • “Ocean Inspired Charcuterie Board” with ahi tuna pastrami, charred octopus, and house made sausage from the sea.

Signature Dish

  • Blackened Redfish with crispy chorizo-sunchoke hash with hominy, Florida sweet corn & red pepper rouille.

Plant Based Dishes

  • Roasted Vegetable Paella

Land Fare

  • Dry aged pork ribeye chop served with creamy goat cheese potato pave & turnips with onion jam & fig jus.


  • Almond Crusted Cheesecake with lambert cherry sauce and Chantilly cream.
  • Berry Pavlova
  • Pineapple Bavarois with roasted pineapple, house made blackberry-buttermilk ice cream.

Signature Cocktail

  • Empress Lime Gimlet inspired by the Victorian Era
Desserts and Cocktails at Narcoosse's Restaurant
Desserts and Cocktails available at Narcoosse’s
photo credit: Disney Destinations

In addition, the wine list has had an update and a team of Sommeliers are on hand to help guests make a perfect pairing with their meals. 

Reservations will open for Narcoossie’s on March 1. 

In Other News from Disney

The Concierge Lounge inside the Boardwalk Inn at Walt Disney World will be closed for refurbishment March 11 through the end of April. 

The Boardwalk Inn at Disney World Resort
photo Credit: @bizzyrunninganddizn

As of February 28, guests at Disneyland resorts can no longer use their room key to make purchases.  Only the Disneyland app will be accepted to make purchases toward your room.  It’s important to link your reservation inside your Disneyland app.

This has been a full week of news from the theme parks!  Both Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood will have new lands/spaces, there is more after hours events available on both coasts at Disney parks, and so much more. 

If you are considering theme park travel, reach out for more information or a free no obligation quote.  Choose the option to join our email list and get all the news delivered to directly to you. 

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