Raptor Encounter

The lesson of every film in the Jurassic Park franchise, up to and including this summer’s Jurassic World, is “Don’t mess with dinosaurs.” But clearly, the folks at Universal Orlando Resort still haven’t gotten the message.

This weekend, the park introduced the Raptor Encounter, a new attraction that allows guests to get “up close and personal” with one of two velociraptors. Take a peek at the Jurassic Park Raptor Encounter at Universal Orlando after the jump. Read More »

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Disneyland 60th anniversary

This weekend the Disneyland 60th anniversary celebration begins. Some big changes are in store for Disney fans and while a few (like the Hatbox Ghost) have gone live already, others will debut this weekend. Some examples are a brand-new Disneyland parade called “Paint the Night,” a new “World of Color” at California Adventure, a new Yeti on the Matterhorn and a new fireworks celebration called “Disneyland Forever.” Below, you can find videos from many of those updates. Check them out.

UPDATE: We’ve added the full videos of several of these new attractions. Read More »

Star Wars world of color

The 60th Anniversary of Disneyland kicks off this weekend with a ton of great events. We covered a bunch of them here, but one we didn’t was the updated World of Color. World of Color is an elaborate show that takes place at Disney’s California Adventure, and combines music and effects with projections displayed on a wall of water. It’s probably the most impressive nighttime event Disney does at any of their parks on either coast. For the 60th anniversary, they’ve updated the show with more of the history and future of Disney which, of course, includes Star Wars.

In including Star Wars in the new World of Color, Disney has gone one step further and included footage from Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the show. There’s nothing new, but if seeing footage from the first two trailers projected on water with music and live physical effects sounds cool, you’re going to want to click below. There, fans who can’t make it to Disneyland to see a video of the Star Wars World of Color Segment.  Read More »

Brad Bird Tomorrowland interview

A couple weeks back I got a chance to chat briefly with director Brad Bird and talk about his newest film Tomorrowland. I asked for an update on the long-rumored Iron Giant blu-ray release, what it means and doesn’t necessarily mean to be a live-action Disney film, the super slick modern look of Tomorrowland vs. the retro-futurism of ray-guns, how Space Mountain ended up in the movie, and Bird’s earliest memories of Disneyland.

We also talked about how the Space Shuttle Endeavor flying over the Disney Animation building had a huge impact on the film’s story, as well as my favorite sequence in the film (an amazing long “one shot” that lets us explore Tomorrowland for the first time), and I jokingly ask if Brad plans to reprise his role as Edna Mode in Incredibles 2. Read a transcript of my Brad Bird Tomorrowland interview, after the jump.

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Disney World Bans Selfie Sticks on Rides

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

If you want a picture of yourself partying it up at Disney World, you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way: by sticking your arm out at an awkward angle and trying to hit the shutter button before you drop your phone.

The park has banned selfie sticks on rides, and is cracking down on guests who don’t listen. Hit the jump for more on the Disney World selfie sick ban.  Read More »

Finding Nemo

Want to feel like a small, vulnerable fish in a big, scary sea? Who hasn’t, right? Well, starting in 2017 Disney will offer you the opportunity to enjoy that terrifying experience, with the opening of a Finding Dory ride at Tokyo Disney Resort. Get a first look at the Finding Dory ride after the jump.  Read More »

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Voyage to the Iron Reef review

I’ve always considered myself somewhat of a theme park and amusement park connoisseur, but at heart I’m a Disneyland fanatic. I’ve been a Disneyland annual passholder for as long as I’ve lived in Southern California. I’ve also had a Universal Hollywood annual pass a couple times, and have frequented their fantastic Halloween Horror Nights. But for whatever reason, I’ve never been to Knott’s Berry Farm, outside of eating at Mrs. Knott’s Fried Chicken Restaurant which sits right outside the park. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe its that friends have never seemed interested, and going to theme parks is for me a group experience. It might actually be that I’m a Disney snob and always looked at the park as some kind of small kiddie park. But it is also probably because I’ve never seen photos of a ride that got me interested enough to go there, until last week.

Knott’s Berry Farm’s newest attraction Voyage to the Iron Reef launched last week and the photos of the ride caught my attention. It didn’t look like another repurposed amusement attraction — it looked like a modern technologically-enhanced interactive dark ride akin to what we see from Disney and Universal. So I took a trip to Buena Park, California to encounter the Iron Reef myself. Read my Voyage to the Iron Reef review after the jump.

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Indiana Jones restaurant

Though Disney didn’t own Lucasfilm until 2012, the companies have always had a great relationship. In particular, they’ve enjoyed huge success in their theme parks. Both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Orlando have Star Wars and Indiana Jones-themed attractions that entertain thousands of people every single day.

Now that Disney owns Lucasfilm, there’s going to be more and more of both themed properties in the parks over the next few years. We’ve already heard tons of rumors and speculation about Star Wars being integrated into the parks. Now there’s even a small Indiana Jones expansion. A subtle, Indiana Jones-themed restaurant is scheduled to open at Downtown Disney in Orlando, FL. Read more and see some concept images of the Indiana Jones restaurant below. Read More »

Simpsons Springfield Grand Opening Photos

Last night we were invited to “A Taste of Springfield” neighborhood block party celebrating the grand opening of the iconic world of Springfield, the hometown of America’s favorite family, The Simpsons, at Universal Studios Hollywood. The all-new themed environment surrounds The Simpsons Ride, placing park guests inside of the fictional town/city from the long-running animated series. And with 26 seasons of content to build out this world, Universal designers had a lot to pick and choose from.

After the jump you can see some photos from the grand opening event, as well as a look at the food from all the new resturants, including Duff Brewery, Moe’s Tavern, Lard Lad Donuts, Krusty Burger, Cletus’ Chicken Shack and Phineas Q. Butterfat’s Ice Cream Parlour.

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