Tower of Terror transformation

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • See video of the new Christmas projection-mapping on Tower of Terror.
  • New holiday merchandise is available at the Magic Kingdom.
  • See Disneyland’s playful Christmas nod to the old Skyway.
  • Say goodbye to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure.
  • Is Stranger Things coming to Halloween Horror Nights in 2018?
  • Loki is available to meet for the first time in an American Disney park.
  • Get the latest on changes to Pirates of the Caribbean and the Hall of Presidents.
  • And more!

The Christmas season is now underway at Disney, so let’s begin this week with some rapid-fire bits related to the most wonderful time of the year.

Above, you can see some video of the new Christmas projection-mapping on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which we talked about last week. Happy holidays … from the Tower of Terror?

Additionally, Disney Parks Blog shared some video this week “taking you backstage for a special look how the magic happens” with the projection-mapping and other holiday transformations at the parks.

On the merchandising end of things, Disney Parks Blog also has a look at some of the new festive souvenir goods inspired by Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom.

The Skyway system at Disneyland may have been closed for years, but that has not stopped it from making an appearance in the commercial for Disneyland’s holiday celebration, as you can see above.

While Universal is still counting down the days till the beginning of its Christmas celebration, the Universal Orlando blog has revealed an exclusive holiday gift for annual pass holders, along with details on some other exclusive perks they can enjoy. The blog has also revealed that there are two new hotels coming to Universal Orlando Resort, “with nightly rates starting at less than $100.”

If you still have a hangover from Halloween Horror Nights and are not ready to shift out of that mode yet, this report and the video above should enable you to relive the excitement of fans who gathered to watch Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure one last time.

Confession: I have not yet had a chance to binge-watch season 2 of Netflix’s Stranger Things. If you are like me — consistently late to the watercooler discussion — then you may want to get your act together before next Halloween, because an epic Twitter thread started by Universal Orlando this week has analysts speculating that the Upside Down from Stranger Things may be coming to Halloween Horror Nights next year.

Instead of watching Stranger Things, what your Jungle Cruise skipper here has been doing is writing long articles about how Thor: Ragnarok changes the character’s movie and comics history. Even if you have not seen Thor: Ragnarok yet, it is not too much of a spoiler to say that there is a scene in the movie where one character finds himself in a position, not unlike Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, whereby he is forced to watch a troupe of actors do a stage reenactment of previous on-screen events.

Something similar is now happening at Disney California Adventure, where a couple of guys who are not quite Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston can be met in costume as Thor and Loki for a special character greeting. Again, this news comes our way via Inside the Magic, who get bonus points for opening their post with the obscure Thor oath, “By Odin’s beard!” (which is about as fun to say as the obscure Ulysses S. Grant oath, “Thunder and lightning!” and which is far easier to say than the obscure Doctor Strange invocation, “By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!”)

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