• Theme Park Thursdays - August 3, 2017

    By: Shelley Caran


    Orlando, Fla. - This week's Theme Park Thursdays is full of Halloween announcements, new resorts, attractions, and concerts around the theme parks of Central Florida.

    Ash vs. Evil Dead Halloween Horror Nights Maze

    For the first time ever, the Universal Orlando Resort and Starz are collaborating to bring the “Ash vs Evil Dead” television series to Halloween Horror Nights in a new haunted maze.

    The “Ash vs Evil Dead” maze will transport guests into the town of Elk Grove, Michigan, where they will encounter Deadites – people or objects possessed by evil demons – that have been unwittingly unleashed by Ash Williams...again. Throughout the maze, guests will come face-to-face with disturbing characters and iconic comedic and gory scenes from seasons 1 and 2 as they desperately try to escape all things evil...before it’s too late.

    If you don't know much about it, the STARZ Original Series “Ash vs Evil Dead” is a follow-up to the original The Evil Dead movie, which has long been regarded as a cult classic since its debut in 1981. The series stars Bruce Campbell, who reprises his role as Ash Williams.

    Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort a begins September 15th, and I can't wait!

    Brick or Treat Tease from LEGOLAND Florida

    Speaking of Halloween, LEGOLAND Florida shared this adorable picture on the LEGOLAND Florida Facebook page teasing that Brick or Treat news would be coming soon!

    Brick or Treat is the park's annual, all-day spooky & kooky Halloween event that fill the theme park with larger-than-life LEGO Halloween models, a costume parade, multiple LEGO build activities, trick-or-treating (with lots of candy!), exclusive LEGO character meet-and-greets, and a Halloween-themed fireworks show on select weekends in October and on Halloween.

    My family loves Brick or Treat, because it is a ton of fun AND included with your theme park admission.

    Minnie Vans officially hit the roads

    We talked a bit about the Minnie Vans in last week's Theme Park Thursday, and Walt Disney World has started to roll this service out to guests staying at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts.

    The Minnie Van service is available between 6:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. (subject to change), and for a $20 fee allows up to 6 people to travel anywhere at the Walt Disney World Resort. Each Minnie Van has 2 adjustable car seats, heated & cooled seats, and even a Disney soundtrack! 

    To use the service, created in collaboration with Lyft, guests at these resorts simply have to open up the Lyft app on their smartphone to arrange their own private Disney vehicle. 

    I expect the Minnie Van service to slowly roll out for use across Walt Disney World property over the coming months. 

    JW Marriott Resort coming to Walt Disney World

    Details of a J.W. Marriott Resort to be built near Wyndham’s Bonnet Creek Resort are just starting to come to light.

    This $350 million, 700,000-square-foot, 16 story, and 516-room hotel will be a 4.5-star property with luxury amenities, multiple swimming pools (including a lazy river), and ample meeting & banquet space.

    The resort should be completed by 2019, which is just in time for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios just down the street.

    Slinky Dog track completed at Disney's Hollywood Studios

    Earlier this week on icFlorida.com we shared a look at the Toy Story Land construction site at Disney's Hollywood Studios where Imagineers installed the final piece of the Slinky Dog Dash family coaster.

    Slinky Dog Dash will zip, dodge and dash around many turns and drops, and the coaster's track will appear as if Andy has built it in his backyard using his Mega Coaster Play Kit. It is one of two attractions that will be a part of Pixar Land that opens in Summer 2018. The area will also feature meet & greets, restaurants, and shops starring your favorite Pixar characters from the franchise.

    Rhythms of Raglan Road

    While Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant has long been a staple at Disney Springs, they are debuting a new show that I had the chance to see and it was awesome! 

    The Rhythms of Raglan is a new 90-minute live performance of Irish music and dance featuring talented musicians and award-winning Irish Dancers. The show was produced in Ireland, exported to Raglan Road and directed by David Hayes (Riverdance, “The Voice” Ireland edition) with lead choreographer Ciaran Keating. The show runs daily (including weekends) from 4 pm – 5:30 pm. And there is no charge for the entertainment.

    What makes Raglan Road a must do with children, is that they are always invited to go up on stage with the dancers during the show (as well as during later-evening dance performances at Raglan Road). 

    The show also is part of the Rollicking Raglan Brunch entertainment that runs each Saturday & Sunday from 12 – 3 p.m (so you can see it early or at 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday for little ones who have early bed times). 

    Back to School Shopping at Disney Springs

    Disney Springs has quickly become my go-to places for picking up a new outfit or gift, and with Tax Free Weekend coming up they've got some great special deals and offers so kids can take a bit of the parks with them back to school. Over on the Disney Parks Blog you can find out all the details. 

    Night of Joy

    Walt Disney World will host Christian bands and singer-songwriters light up two stages at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex during Night of Joy on September 8th and 9th.

    The two nights will be filled with performances by artists and bands from several genres including gospel, hip-hop, pop, rock, praise and adult contemporary music from the industry’s top artists. Some of the performers include Toby Mac, MercyMe, Natalie Grant, Colton Dixon, Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Danny Gokey.

    You can find out more information about the performers and event on the Night of Joy website.

    Rock the Universe

    On September 8th and 9th, guests will experience an unforgettable weekend of faith, worship and non-stop entertainment in the exhilarating atmosphere of Universal Studios Florida at Rock the Universe 2017.

    This year’s concert line-up includes performances by some of Christian music’s most compelling artists, including Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns, and Lecrae to name a few.

    During the event, guests can also visit the Coca-Cola FanZone for even more live music, autograph sessions with performing acts, Electronic Dance Music each night featuring GAWVI and DJ Promote and more. 

    Guests will also have the opportunity to experience a special Saturday night candle-lighting ceremony and enjoy access to Universal Studios Florida’s thrilling attractions – like Revenge of the Mummy, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit and more.

    To find out even more about the Rock the Universe 2017 line-up and special offers, visit www.RocktheUniverse.com.

    American Idol Bus Coming to Orlando

    ABC’s “American Idol” launches the start of its highly anticipated with open auditions at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on August 17th when the iconic “American Idol” bus will roll into Disney Springs.

    Word on the street is that “Idol”-winners Jordin Sparks, Kris Allen and Ruben Studdard will make a special appearance and greet lucky audition participants during the kickoff celebration of the search for America’s next superstar. 

    Potential "Idols" won't want to wait, because there are only a few more days to enter for your chance to win a coveted 'Silver Ticket' and audition for the celebrity judges or win a 'Front of the Line' pass and skip the line at the Orlando auditions from Channel 9 and Power 95.3.


    Just pick out your favorite song, grab your camera, and upload your song! You can find all the details you need to know on icFlorida.com!

    That's it for this week's Theme Park Thursdays, until next week make sure you keep up with icFlorida on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news and happenings.





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