Theme Park Bits: Universal's Mardi Gras Celebration, Rise Of The Resistance Surveys, And More

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Disney is asking guests how they want to wait for Galaxy's Edge attractions.
  • Universal's gearing up for a Mardi Gras celebration.
  • And more!
  • Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Hotel

    Every day, there's a new adventure over at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and that includes figuring out the best way for guests to experience the rides. In Walt Disney World, the park operators are gradually introducing FastPass+ options for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run, but there might be further changes afoot. Guests have recently been sent surveys for how they would have preferred to ride Rise of the Resistance, the marquee attraction in the land, with three options: the current virtual queue, standby lines only, or a mix of standby waiting and FastPass+ tickets. The latter option is how most rides work, so it'll be curious to see if things are shaken up soon in terms of how people ride this thing.

    It was recently announced that the M&M Store will be arriving in Disney Springs, giving guests a chance to fill their face full of all kinds of M&M products. (Not that you don't have that option in a grocery store, of course, but a dedicated store probably has more unique choices.) Now, you can take a look at the concept art for what the Disney Springs location will look like. The good news is, as you can note above, there'll be no trouble identifying what kind of store this is from the outside. It's perhaps a little...well, gaudy from the concept art, but it's also sure to get the attention of any kid with a hankering for something sweet. The new location is set to open later this year.

    We've had a slight break from new Walt Disney Company films being released in theaters after the onslaught in November and December, of everything from Frozen II to Spies in Disguise. (You didn't forget that the Blue Sky Studios film was a Disney release, right? It was.) But starting in March, we'll get a couple new Disney films, including Pixar's Onward. Beginning February 7, at Disneyland Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and even aboard the Disney Cruise Line, you can get a sneak peek of the new fantasy adventure. The Disneyland Park option, the Tomorrowland Theater, is...kind of an odd choice, but there's no theater in Fantasyland to hype this film, so that's that.

    Starting February 1, Universal Studios Orlando will be celebrating Mardi Gras, and this will be a truly special occasion. That's because Universal is also celebrating 25 years of Mardi Gras with this particular shindig, and everyone's invited. They'll have all new food and drink options, including a Carnival Around the Universe tent that sounds tailor-made to fill your belly and maybe even raise your blood alcohol level. (But to an appropriate level, of course.) Though different food styles, from Creole to Trinidadian, will be highlighted, the most exciting food option is the Softshell Crab Slider. If you're in the neighborhood, make sure to stop by in February to get your Mardi Gras on.

    At Disneyland Park, one of the most well-known and oldest-running attractions is going under an extensive refurbishment. That would be the King Arthur Carrousel (the double "r" is intentional), a visual icon of Fantasyland, placed right behind the Sleeping Beauty Castle. The maintenance crew at Disneyland working on the attraction's updates, which are slated to go through May of this year, is taking a certain sense of pride in the project, as detailed by the Orange County Register. Though this attraction may not be the most popular, it is one of the most enduring in all of Disney theme-park history, and it's good to see that the crew is taking this project as seriously as if they were redesigning an E-ticket.