Theme Parks

Disney World will continue to have reduced hours in November

It doesn’t look like things will be back to normal at Disney World by the holiday season. The theme park recently released its schedule for the start of November and it appears that the park will continue to run on limited hours. It’s still unclear if annual holiday events at the park will go on or be canceled. According to the Walt Disney World website, the Magic Kingdom will open at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m, which is three hours earlier then it closed during the same time period in 2019. Epcot will open at 11 a.m. and close 7 p.m. Last November, Epcot was open from 9 in the morning until 9 in the evening. Hollywood Studios is opening one hour later at 10 a.m. and closing two hours earlier at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, Animal Kingdom will be closing at 5 p.m., which is three hours earlier than last November. These hours show a continued trend of reduced hours of operation at Disney World. Starting in September, the park will begin adjusting its hours for the fall season.

For more from the official Disney World site, click on the text above.

Six Flags theme parks to require reservations upon reopening

Six Flags theme parks are looking to reopen this month in several states throughout the nation as shelter-in-place mandates expire or loosen. However, to do so, those planned to open first — including Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, Six Flags Over Georgia near Atlanta, Six Flags St. Louis in Missouri, Frontier City in Oklahoma City and Six Flags Mexico in Mexico City, according to Newsweek — will have to adhere to certain guidelines that will limit any spur of the moment rollercoaster cravings. According to the theme parks’ websites, guests who want to visit a Six Flags location upon reopening will have to make reservations in advance. “IMPORTANT: ALL VISITORS (INCLUDING PASS HOLDERS AND MEMBERS) MUST MAKE ADVANCE RESERVATIONS TO VISIT THE PARK,” reads a message posted to the parks’ websites. “To meet state social distancing guidelines and ensure the health and safety of our guests, all visits to the park must be pre-scheduled using our online reservation system.” In addition to the reservation-system, Six Flags will also be conducting temperature checks at entrances and requiring guests to wear face masks, CBS Los Angeles reported. Meanwhile, other theme parks, like Disneyland and Disney World, do not yet have a concrete target date for reopening.

So, heads up..  Go to the Six Flags web site before going.

Disney to stop charging annual passholders after backlash during coronavirus shutdown

Disney continues to change its operations during the coronavirus outbreak. Annual passholders had recently complained about still being charged monthly payments despite the Disney parks being closed. Now, the company has announced that it will no longer be charging the monthly payments and is making refunds to certain customers. On the Disney World website, the company announced that as of April 5, it will no longer be charging monthly payments for annual passholders on the monthly payment schedule. Also, it will retroactively be refunding payments made between March 14 and April 4. Annual passholders who paid in full will have the option of having their pass’ expiration date extended or receiving a partial refund (to be determined by the park’s length of closure). On the site, Disney wrote, “This is a truly unprecedented time for all of us and we want to thank you for your patience as we work through the many details related to the temporary closure of the theme parks. We recognize that this may be a challenging time, so we wanted to share how we will assist our Annual Passholders.” Some annual passholders had recently taken to social media to complain that, despite the park’s closure, they were still being charged the monthly payments. When the parks first closed, Disney stated that it would extend the expiration dates on the passes in relation to the park’s total closure. Since then, however, not only has the closure of Disneyland and Disney World been extended, but many workers across the country have been laid off or have seen a significant decrease in their monthly income due to the coronavirus outbreak. According to some complaints on social media, this situation made it much harder for some to afford the monthly payments.

Good on Disney for doing this.  It’s the right thing to do.  For more info, if this affects you, click on the text above.

Magic Kingdom tops the list of world’s most popular amusement parks

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom continues to be the top amusement park in the world with 20.5 million visitors in 2015, according to a report released Wednesday from engineering firm AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). Disneyland in Anaheim, California, was No. 2 with an estimated 18.3 million visitors, followed by Tokyo Disneyland, which had an estimated 16 million. Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando all saw a jump in attendance in 2015 over the previous year. Though with just a 2 percent increase, SeaWorld had relatively modest gains. Despite rising ticket prices, theme park attendance has been boosted by high profile new attractions—like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood– and signature seasonal events. “Over the last couple years, the aggregate increase of the 20 top performing theme parks in North America was between 2 percent and 3.5 percent — good, steady, moderate growth. But it positively leapt beyond that in 2015 to an impressive 5.9 percent,” Brian Sands, a vice president with AECOM, told the LA Times. Epcot was sixth in the world in attendance with 11.8 million, a 5 percent increase from 2014. Disney’s Animal Kingdom drew 10.8 million, also a 5 percent increase, and Universal Orlando saw the biggest increase, with a 16 percent jump to 9.9 million visitors. “Last year we said everything was looking good in the Americas and poised for moderate growth — but 2015 blew the roof off moderate,” explained Sands. Disney Hollywood Studios attendance increased to 10.8 million, which was a 5 percent jump and Island of Adventure at Universal had 8.8 visitors, which was an 8 percent improvement.

Love ‘The Walking Dead’? You could get paid to be a zombie

AMC’s hit show “The Walking Dead” has spawned a host of spin-off zombie-themed experiences including a creepy cruise and immersive show. But Universal Studios is building a permanent attraction at its Hollywood theme park— and now you can get paid to be a flesh-eating zombie. The amusement park is holding auditions for “scareactors” this Thursday and Friday. Anyone can sign up for a casting appointment on the Universal Studios website but there is a height requirement. According to the casting call, performers “will be asked to do some improvisation and demonstrate ‘scare-abilities’” and must also be comfortable maneuvering through tight spaces, darkness, fog and other special effects. To recreate the spooky feeling from the show, performers will follow visitors around the park, decked out in prosthetics and bloody paint crafted by the show’s actual special effects team. Slated to open this summer, the live-action Walking Dead attraction will feature characters, zombies and locations familiar to fans from all six seasons of the TV show and comic books. The show’s director Greg Nicotero and many members of the production team will be involved in the creation of the attraction so fans are guaranteed an authentically terrifying experience. Do you think you have what it takes to scare the living daylights out of the living?


How to get kicked out of a theme park

Adrenaline-pumping rides and cool attractions make amusement parks a summertime staple. But it’s easier than you think to get kicked out of a theme park. We’re talking more than the obvious like bringing hand guns and booze into to parks –or wearing t-shirts with offensive language. Want to dress up like your favorite Disney princess? That’s a major no-no. And before you grab that straw for your Coke, you better think twice. Before heading to your favorite theme park, it might be a good idea to check out the website for a list of prohibited items. For now, here are some things that could get you kicked out a theme park.

Some really good tips here to keep in mind when going to a theme park, a sporting event, or even a concert venue.  To see a dozen of these no-nos, click on the text above.