Theme Park Bits: Butterbeer Ice Cream, 'Inside Out' Ride, Fried Chicken Day At Disney, 'Toy Story' Land Opens

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Find out which Jurassic Park actor took a farewell ride at Universal Studios Hollywood this week.
  • Harry Potter fans, do butterbeer and ice cream sound like a match made in heaven?
  • Pixar Pier just opened but it's already announced two new attractions for next year.
  • Get a look at the "secret lounge" in Lamplight Lounge at Disney California Adventure.
  • See inside Toy Story Land as it celebrates its grand opening at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
  • And more!
  • This week, Ariana Richards, the child actress turned painter who portrayed John Hammond's granddaughter, Lex, in Jurassic Park, rode Jurassic Park: The Ride one last time at Universal Studios Hollywood. It's not too late for you to follow Lex's example. The attraction closes on September 3, 2018, so there's still time to give it one last ride before it's reconfigured to be a Jurassic World-themed attraction.

    Elsewhere in the same park, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is now serving butterbeer ice cream. And in case you missed it, the 30th anniversary of Child's Play and Killer Clowns from Outer Space has prompted Universal Orlando to add two new scare zones to this year's Halloween Horror Nights event. Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One isn't the only game in town when it comes to 2018 Chucky homages.

    Here are some first reactions from /Film's other resident theme park Josh (Spiegel), who was at Disney California Adventure for the opening weekend of Pixar Pier. /Film Editor Peter Sciretta was also there and tweeted out some pics if you want to follow the thread above.

    As Josh noted in his reactions, Pixar Pier is actually still partially under construction. The day before it opened, Disney Parks Blog shared a first look at a new attraction called Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind that will open in Pixar Pier next year along with Jessie's Critter Carousel. So while Pixar Pier is now officially open, it has clearly just started the process of revealing itself. Check out its "secret lounge" below.

    If that's not enough and you're still curious to see more of Pixar Pier, you can also take a closer look at its Lamplight Lounge in this post. In the end, if you still feel full of pent-up Pixar energy, you can head on over to Disneyland and join Pixar characters for a Pixar Pals Dance Party as part of Pixar Fest.

    At California Adventure, FastPass distribution for Radiator Springs Racers continues to relocate, as you can see above. Anyone in Cars Land between July 6—July 8 might also want to pop on over to Flo's V-8 Cafe. July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day (who knew?) and Disneyland Resort is holding its first annual Fried Chicken Celebration. Plaza Inn at Disneyland Park will also be participating in the finger-lickin' fun.

    By the time you read this, Toy Story Land may have already celebrated its grand opening at Disney's Hollywood Studios on June 30. Here's a last-minute preview tour of the land's rides. You can see a video of the new Toy Story Mania! entrance and queue here. An early review of the new land is available below.

    In other Walt Disney World news, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is adding some "new spooky experiences" this year.

    Finally, if you're like me and you feel threatened and mildly incensed by the encroachment of Friends of Duffy on Disney's Asian parks, then prepare to sound the bells of disaster yet again. It was only last year that the ballerina bunny StellaLou pirouetted in on the scene at Tokyo DisneySea, and now she's being joined by a dog named Cookie at Hong Kong Disneyland. Together, these two characters and their friends Duffy, ShellieMay, and Gelatoni are now one step closer to staging a coup d'etat over Mickey Mouse and Disney's core group of mice, ducks, dogs, and chipmunks in Asia. The conspiracy of cuteness continues!