Star Tours opening day header

The battle between Disney and Universal is at the forefront of this edition of Theme Park Bits. Below, read about the following:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier is coming to Disneyland.
  • A new hint has surfaced at the closing of Captain EO.
  • Last week marked the 27th anniversary of Star Tours.
  • The CEO of Comcast, which owns Universal, says they’re really pushing theme parks.
  • Photos from the Diagon Alley expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as well as multiple upgrades at Universal Hollywood.
  • A new hotel is opening at Universal Studios Orlando.
  • Maleficent gets a new float in a Walt Disney World parade.

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Frozen - Duke of Weselton (Alan Tudyk)

One of Disney’s biggest hits in recent memory might be getting a ride sooner than later. Read about that and everything below in this edition of Theme Park Bits.

  • Disney might open a Frozen attraction at Norway in Epcot Center.
  • The Despicable Me attraction in Hollywood gets a release date.
  • Disneyland Paris competitor Futuroscope just got a fresh investment.
  • California Adventure has a Three Kings Day Celebration.
  • See the difference between Jurassic Park T-Rexes in Florida and California.
  • The Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Tokyo gets an upgrade.
  • Listen to audio of an old-school Disney Imagineer dishing secrets.

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Doc Brown Chicken

Super packed edition of Theme Park Bits featuring lots of closings. Below, read about the following:

  • The Back to the Future themed restaurant Doc Brown’s Chicken at Universal Hollywood is closing in January.
  • The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland is closing for refurbishment.
  • Universal Studios Japan gets $250 million investment to build a Harry Potter park.
  • A Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Shanghai Disneyland might use new technology.
  • Check out an image of where Harry Potter land will be in California.
  • Disneyland and Walt Disney World visitors can enjoy some Mary Poppins exclusives starting this week.
  • See photo and video from the new Raving Rabbids, The Time Machine ride at Futuroscope in France.
  • Rumor has it there might be a Warcraft presence at Universal Orlando in the future.
  • Listen to some of the original sounds and music from the Haunted Mansion.

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Simpsons Springfield 4

One of the biggest mysteries in the long running history of The Simpsons is the location of Springfield, the characters’ hometown. While the show’s creators have given hints over the years, it’s safe to say that, as of last week, at least one version of Springfield is in Orlando, Florida.

For the past few months, Universal Studios Orlando has been slowly opening a whole new section to their park. (Yes, this in addition to Islands of Adventure and World of Harry Potter.) The new area is designed to look as close to Springfield as possible, including stores, locations and characters from the iconic hometown of The Simpsons. Last week, that expansion was finally completed as its the flagship ride, Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl, opened its gates.

Below, see some photos and videos of not only that ride, but the entire Springfield, including Moe’s Tavern, the Duff Brewery, Lard Lad Donuts and much more. Read More »

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

It’s been six years since the last Harry Potter book came out, and two years since the last Harry Potter movie hit theaters. But the Harry Potter fandom remains as devoted as ever, and Warner Bros. and Universal Orlando Resort want to do their part to keep it that way.

The studio will host A Celebration of Harry Potter at the theme park next year, a three-day convention similar to the Star Wars Celebration that Star Wars enthusiasts have been enjoying for years. Hit the jump to get all the details.

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The Cabin in the Woods

The characters of Cabin in the Woods would’ve done anything to get out of the titular house of horrors, but Universal Orlando hopes that fans of Cabin in the Woods will be equally eager to get in. The theme park has announced a maze based on the movie, which will open this fall for Halloween Horror Nights 23 celebration. Hit the jump for the details.

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If you don’t have plans for the next couple of summers yet, you may be tempted to take some theme park trips after you read this post. After the jump:

  • Disneyland Paris will get a Ratatouille attraction in 2014
  • Check out the first model image from Shanghai Disneyland
  • Disney’s Imagineers will be the subject of a new documentary
  • Universal Florida‘s Transformers ride prepares for its launch
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem opens in Hollywood next year
  • Stephen Chow is making a Journey to the West-themed park

Read More »

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