In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Central Florida’s theme parks get back on their feet after Hurricane Irma.
  • Disney’s California Adventure is joining the Halloween festivities this year.
  • The season of scares also begins at Universal with Halloween Horror Nights.
  • “The IT Experience” is floating to the Warner Bros. lot to join its Studio Tour.
  • Christmas comes early with various Harry-Potter-related park announcements.
  • And more!

The big news this week coming out of Florida was, of course, Hurricane Irma. This storm impacted Central Florida’s thriving theme park system in a number of ways. In its 45-year history, there have only been a handful of times when Walt Disney World was ever forced to close its parks. Yet this was one of those times. As guests rode out the storm, they took to social media to post pictures of characters entertaining them inside resort hotels.

After two days, both Disney World and Universal Orlando reopened, with various news outlets reporting that each resort had sustained only minor damage in places (no toppled castles, thankfully). As parks get up and running again, some of them are running special deals to lure back customers. Through this Sunday, September 17, Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando are offering Florida residents a “buy one, get one free” ticket deal, so they can “de-stress and reconnect with loved ones.”

Before the storm, Disney’s Hollywood Studios celebrated National Slinky Day by unveiling the look for its Slinky Dog Dash ride vehicle, which is coming to the park next summer as part of its Toy Story Land expansion. At the same park, the Walt Disney Presents gallery (newly rebranded from One Man’s Dream) postponed the reveal of other ride vehicle models related to Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

As of today, the Halloween theme park season is now upon us. For a family-friendly Halloween experience, parkgoers can head to Disney. As Los Angeles Magazine reports, Disney’s California Adventure is getting in on the Halloween celebration for the first time this year. A couple weeks ago, the Walt Disney Company shared some details on its official blog, and now the day is finally here.

Disney’s official stateside resort blog also has a rundown of some of the top experiences on offer this Halloween at the Disneyland Resort. Their guide to “treats and eats” can be found here.

HAUL O WEEN ???? ???? #carsland #dca

A post shared by Guy Selga (@guyselga) on

In Cars Land, plenty of fun (and plenty of puns) will be had, as Radiator Springs transforms into Radiator Screams, a place where car-stumes and gas pump-kins abound. As our own Ethan Anderton reported last month, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! is also getting a Halloween makeover, dubbed, “Monsters After Dark,” for night missions during the holiday period.

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