Guests Can Create New Traditions and Put a Twist on their Holiday Celebrations with Thrilling Experiences across the Entire Destination – from Merry Festivities to the Maven of Mischief, The Grinch – and More
ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 16, 2018) – Merry, mischief and thrills all combine as Universal Orlando Resort unwraps its annual Holidays celebration beginning November 17. It’s a holiday celebration unlike any other where guests can do everything from sip hot Butterbeer and witness “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” to meet the mean, green one himself, The Grinch – and more.
And – on New Year’s Eve this year - families can ring in 2019 at a rockin’ New Year’s Eve celebration at Universal Studios Florida, while adults 21 and up can enjoy the upscale EVE celebration at Universal CityWalk.
See below for complete details on all of the ways guests can elevate their holidays at Universal Orlando Resort:
Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is already one of the most immersive theme park experiences ever created. And now for the Holidays, it will transform into a wizarding wonderland with themed decorations, garlands and lights throughout the streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Guests can enjoy special holiday-themed performances by the Frog Choir – comprised of Hogwarts students and their giant croaking frogs – and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, one of the wizarding world’s most popular singing sensations. There will also be seasonal food and beverages – including hot Butterbeer.
And, as night falls, guests will revel in a dazzling projection of holiday spirit as Christmas moments inspired by the Wizarding World come to life on Hogwarts castle for “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle.”
Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s at Universal Studios Florida
Merry and mayhem combine as Santa Claus, the Minions and other beloved characters from Illumination’s Despicable Me, Shrek and Madagascar take the streets for Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s – including more than 30 larger-than-life balloons and floats, hundreds of performers and more. Guests may also get the opportunity to dance and interact with some of the characters during special appearances prior to the parade.
Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
See the maven of mischief himself during Grinchmas at Universal Orlando. Guests can enjoy “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular” – a live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s holiday classic starring the mean, green one – and special appearances by the merry Whos from Who-ville throughout Seuss Landing. Guests may also join the Grinch and his friends at Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous for a separately ticketed breakfast on select dates (tickets for this festive breakfast are now available).
Mannheim Steamroller at Universal Studios Florida
The best-selling holiday artist of all time, Manheim Steamroller, returns to Universal Studios Florida to fill the air with the sounds of the season. Guests can take in live concerts at the Music Plaza Stage on the following nights: Nov. 17, 18, 24, 25 and Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16.
Offers to Experience Universal Orlando’s Holidays Celebration
Access to all of the above Holidays festivities is included with admission to the parks or with an Annual Pass, which are now available with up to six months free. Visit www.UniversalOrlando.com/AnnualPass for details about special savings and block-out dates.
Guests can also take advantage of the Holiday Stay and Play Package, which gives guests $100 in savings on travel from Nov. 17 through Jan. 6 and the opportunity to revel in the holiday celebrations at Universal’s on-site hotels, which include seasonal decorations, festive tree and menorah lightings, kid-friendly holiday activities, visits with Santa, buffet feasts for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and more. The package not only includes five-night hotel accommodations, but also base admission to all three theme parks at Universal Orlando Resort – including Universal’s Volcano Bay.
New Year’s Eve Celebrations at Universal Orlando
Guests can ring in 2019 with style at Universal Orlando with various New Year’s Eve celebrations that offer something for everyone.
Universal Studios Florida will host its biggest New Year’s Eve celebration yet – complete with rockin’ party zones at the Music Plaza Stage and Central Park areas of the park, live upbeat music, appearances by some of guests’ favorite characters, party favors, confetti and – of course – pyrotechnics. It’s fun for the entire family and it’s included with theme park admission, or with a Preferred or Premier Annual Pass.
Guests 21 and up can enjoy the ultimate upscale party at EVE at Universal CityWalk, where they get access to six CityWalk clubs with live bands and DJs, unlimited gourmet cuisine, and the chance to dance all night long on Orlando’s largest outdoor dance floor featuring award-winning DJ M-Squared. And once the clock strikes midnight, guests will enjoy a Champagne toast and pyrotechnics display. EVE tickets are on sale now and there is a $30 discount if purchased before Dec. 15. Guests must be 21 and up to attend.
Some of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels will also join in the New Year’s Eve fun, with entertainment, midnight toasts and more. Highlights include a “ROCK-in!” New Year event at the Hard Rock Hotel, featuring a balloon drop and live countdown from Times Square via satellite, and Jake’s “Best of 2018” Beer Dinner at Loews Royal Pacific Resort.
For more information on Holidays and New Year’s Eve offerings at Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.UniversalOrlando.com/holidays.
Exciting Details Revealed on Slate of New Experiences Coming to Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products During Mickey Mouse Fan Celebration
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance named as the two attractions coming to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
New details shared on Mickey’s 90th celebration and the transformation of Epcot
ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 17, 2018) – Today at D23’s Destination D: Celebrating Mickey Mouse, Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products Chairman Bob Chapek shared exciting new details surrounding highly-anticipated experiences coming soon to Disney parks.
Destination D fans were the first to see Chapek reveal the names and the first-ever look inside the two signature attractions set for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when it opens at Disneyland Resort next summer and at Walt Disney World Resort in fall 2019. The audience was also the first to hear that Academy Award-winning composer John Williams is creating original Star Wars themes exclusively for these lands, and was treated to a preview of this thrilling new music. Rounding out the galactic excitement, attendees heard more about the groundbreaking, fully-immersive Star Wars resort experience coming to Walt Disney World Resort.
In celebration of 90 years of Mickey Mouse, Chapek shared the many new exciting ways to celebrate the beloved mouse. He also shared more about the multi-year transformation of Epcot, including new spectaculars designed to honor the park’s original vision.
“We are currently in the midst of one of the most extraordinary periods of expansion in our history,” Chapek said. “We are always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible as we deliver world-class experiences and attractions, new hotels and entertainment, itineraries and destinations for our guests.”
Attendees were excited to get the first in-person look at the Disney Skyliner gondolas that will transport guests to their favorite destinations when it debuts in fall 2019. The audience also celebrated Disney’s #ShareYourEars campaign by participating in a group photo, led by Chapek and Mickey Mouse. Chapek announced yesterday that Disney will add a second phase to the #ShareYourEars campaign in honor of Mickey’s 90th Anniversary. From Nov. 18-27, participants can take a photo showing off their “Mickey Mouse ears” – or any creative “ears” – and upload it to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. For every public post with #ShareYourEars, Disney will donate US $5 to Make-A-Wish®, up to US $1 million, for a total of up to US $3 million. This is the third year in a row that Disney has run this campaign with Make-A-Wish to grant even more wishes.
Exploring Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Since Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was announced at D23 Expo 2015, fans have been eager to learn more. Today, Chapek announced that guests can take the controls in one of three unique and critical roles aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. On Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, guests can join an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance – including a face-off with Kylo Ren. These two new incredible experiences, paired with the land’s interactive components and optional integration with the Play Disney Parks app, will invite guests to become galactic travelers and live their own Star Wars stories in a galaxy far, far away.
Chapek also announced that the music for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will feature original themes created especially for the land by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams. Chapek shared a stirring preview of the all-new music, recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios.
Adding to the excitement, Chapek provided a sneak peek at the groundbreaking Star Wars resort coming to Walt Disney World Resort. This multi-day, fully immersive adventure will take guests aboard a luxury starship with all the features expected of a first-class hotel, including dining, recreation, and accommodations, all authentic to the Star Wars universe.
Celebrating Mickey Mouse
For 90 years, Mickey has entertained generations of families and fans. To celebrate the mouse that started it all, Chapek shared the many new ways guests will celebrate one of the world’s most beloved icons.
Imagineers have been hard at work creating Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, using breakthrough technology to transform a two-dimensional cartoon into an amazing real-world experience. The first-ever ride-through attraction themed to Mickey Mouse – set to open in fall 2019 – will feature a new original story and lovable theme song as it takes guests on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts.
Following the kickoff of World’s Biggest Mouse Party earlier this year, the festivities continue at the Disneyland Resort with Get Your Ears On – A Mickey and Minnie Celebration, which will bring new entertainment, food and merchandise to the resort. On January 18, “Mickey’s Mix Magic” will light up the night at Disneyland Park with all-new music, projections and lasers that set the scene for an epic dance party that takes over almost the entire park. The party will get even bigger when the fan-favorite Mickey’s Soundsational Parade returns to the resort January 25, featuring a new float with Mickey himself, who will lead the celebration down Main Street, U.S.A.
Over at Walt Disney World, now there’s more magic than ever. From Jan. 18 to Sept. 30, Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration at Magic Kingdom will feature new food, merchandise and entertainment, including a new dance party with Mickey, Minnie and their friends, and a chance to meet Mickey and Minnie together in their new birthday outfits. On the high seas, Disney Cruise Line will welcome Mickey & Minnie Surprise Party at Sea, an all-new high-energy deck party on the Disney Fantasy next summer.
Chapek also announced an all-new cinematic nighttime experience, Wonderful World of Animation, coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 1 as part of the 30th Anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The show will use state-of-the-art technology to take guests on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation, all beginning with Mickey.
Adding to the excitement, Chapek shared a look at the recently opened Mickey: The True Original Exhibition in New York City. The exhibition provides visitors with an interactive experience inspired by Mickey’s impact on popular culture, from Instagram-worthy design elements to larger-than-life multimedia installations. The exhibition runs through Feb. 10, 2019, and tickets can be purchased at Disney.com/MickeyTrueOriginal.
Transformation of Epcot
Fans were thrilled to hear more about the multi-year transformation of Epcot, designed to honor the park’s original vision while making it more timeless, more relevant, more family and more Disney.
At World Showcase, Chapek revealed that the Ratatouille experience coming to the France pavilion will be called Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. Guests will also enjoy a brand new “Beauty and the Beast” sing-along, created by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live action “Beauty and the Beast” films. There will also be an update to the O Canada! 360-degree show.
For IllumiNations fans, Chapek announced an all-new, transformative spectacular set to debut in 2020. It will celebrate how Disney music can inspire people from around the world, featuring massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers. Before that new show debuts, there will be a limited-time experience Epcot fans will love, called Epcot Forever, a true celebration of this timeless park. Debuting in fall 2019 and set to classic Epcot tunes, the show begins with a spark of imagination that quickly grows into an epic spectacle of fireworks, music, lighting, lasers, and choreographed, special effects kites.
Stunning New Resorts
During his presentation, Chapek unveiled details about Reflections, a deluxe, nature-inspired resort coming to Orlando that will feature more than 900 hotel rooms and proposed Disney Vacation Club villas.
Chapek also offered a sneak peek at Disney’s Riviera Resort, inspired by the European grandeur Walt Disney experienced in his travels along the Mediterranean coastline. Projected to open in fall 2019, this proposed resort will be the 15th Disney Vacation Club property.
With so many exciting projects underway, Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products will continue to elevate the guest experience with world-class experiences and products. For more information on any of these announcements, please visit https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/.
Reindeer Romp, L.A. Zoo Lights, Family New Year’s Eve Celebration, and Holiday Happy Hours Await Holiday Revelers of All Ages
From Friday, November 16, 2018, through Sunday, January 6, 2019, the Los Angeles Zoo will become a holiday wonderland, set aglow with LED lights by the thousands, creating a festive atmosphere replete with Santa and a herd of real reindeer. The Zoo ushers in the holiday spirit with REINDEER ROMP daily (except December 25) and its awe-inspiring nighttime holiday event L.A. ZOO LIGHTS (every evening except November 22 and December 24 and 25), awarded USA Today’s “10 Best Zoo Lights” honors, returning for its fifth spectacular year and promising to be bigger, brighter, and merrier than ever. The merriment continues with two exclusive HOLIDAY HAPPY HOURS for the 21-and-over crowd in December, as well as a FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE for all ages.
One of the few places that Angelenos will be able to see real reindeer this season is at the Zoo’s “Reindeer Village” habitat. In addition to up-close views, guests will get to learn more about the herd from expert reindeer keepers. Visits with Santa Claus in a charming, rustic North Pole outpost (for an additional fee) take place on weekend days at REINDEER ROMPfrom November 17 through December 23 plus Friday, November 23, 11 am to 3 pm, with a variety of photo packages available. All Reindeer Romp activities except Santa photos are free with paid Zoo admission. Also included with paid Zoo admission are daily close-up animal encounters, intriguing shows, holiday crafts, talks and guided experiences, training demonstrations, and more. For details and to purchase tickets, visit LAZoo.org/ReindeerRomp.
Los Angeles’ preeminent holiday event, L.A. ZOO LIGHTS, an award-winning, brilliant display of lights and animation, will shine bright nightly for seven dazzling weeks. Guests can stroll the expansive grounds and delight in a disco ball forest, whimsical 3-D animations, a glowing “Northern Lights” featuring animal constellations that come to life, and so much more. For the first time ever, the L.A. Zoo Lights experience will include picturesque Elephant Circle, which will be transformed into a kaleidoscopic savanna where glowing, large-scale animals roam. Its popular Twinkle Tunnel will double in size and feature cascading swirls of light and a spectacular finale. Other favorites like the dynamic holiday tree at the entrance, the animated elephant herd, and the dramatic water show are all reimagined, with stunning new visuals and music. This light spectacular is on display from 6 to 10 pm nightly, with Santa visits available November 16 to 18, November 23 to 25, and November 30 through December 23 (for an additional fee). L.A. Zoo Lights 2018 features a “Preview Week” with $12 discount admission for adults (13+) and children (2-12) from November 16 to 21, with online purchase. (A convenience fee applies for all online purchases.)
Returning this year are “L.A. ZOO LIGHTS VIP EXPERIENCES,” including two exclusive HOLIDAY HAPPY HOURS for the 21-and-over crowd, as well as a FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE for all ages. Exclusive HOLIDAY HAPPY HOURS include a German-themed “Bavaria Haus Holiday” happy hour on Thursday, December 6 and tropical-themed “Tiki Tidings” happy hour on Thursday, December 13. Both evenings feature express entry to L.A. Zoo Lights at 6 pm and access to a private lounge from 6:30 to 8:30 pm with gourmet hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and a themed signature cocktail, after which guests are welcome to experience L.A. Zoo Lights until closing at 10 pm. On December 31, guests of the FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE can enjoy dinner, dessert, drinks, games, a DJ dance party, carousel ride, and live broadcast of New York’s Times Square ball drop.
Admission to L.A. Zoo Lights is $12 with online purchase for all ages (2 and older) during “Preview Week” from November 16 to 21. Thereafter, admission prices vary and range from $14.95 to $21.95 for adults (13+) and $11.95 to $16.95 for children (2-12). Children under age 2 are free. Tickets for members of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association are $11 during the entire run, which is up to 50 percent off. Tickets for HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR are $75 per person (ages 21 and up), or $70 for GLAZA members. FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE tickets are $69 for adults (13+) and $45 for children (2-12), or $64 and $40 for GLAZA members. All L.A. Zoo Lights events and evenings take place on a “rain-or-shine” basis, with no rain checks issued. Visit www.LAZooLights.org for details and to purchase tickets. To become a GLAZA member and receive discounted ticket pricing, go to www.lazoo.org/membership or call 323-644-4747.
Get Ready, Get Set…Minion Run!
Universal Studios Hollywood Launches “Running Universal,” a Series of Fun Runs, Kicking Off with the Inaugural 5K Featuring Illumination’s Minions
on Saturday, May 11, 2019
Click Here to Register. Space is Limited.
Universal City, CA, November 13, 2018 – Universal Studios Hollywood is off to the races with its all-new “Running Universal,” a series of fun runs that kicks off with an energetic Minion–themed 5K on Saturday, May 11, 2019.
The inaugural Minion Run, featuring Illumination’s mischievous Minions from the popular “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” ride, invites participants ages five and older (of all experience levels) to wind their way around Universal Studios Hollywood and through parts of Universal Studios’ historic backlot, made famous in more than 8,000 movies and television shows. The run will give participants an unprecedented insider’s view of the Entertainment Capital of L.A.
Starting at Universal Studios Hollywood’s iconic front gates, participants will pass through some of the theme park’s immersive areas and attractions before winding their way along the historic backlot and into the magical world of movie-making as they head toward the finish line at CityWalk’s 5 Towers outdoor concert stage.
Along the 3.1 mile course, participants will be entertained by some of their favorite Universal Studios Hollywood characters including the Minions.
The program will begin at 6 a.m. and culminate at 7:30 a.m. with a memorable awards and closing ceremony. Registration is now open and space is limited. For more information about the standard, VIP and Fan packages, visit https://www.runninguniversal.com.
Universal Studios Hollywood is The Entertainment Capital of L.A. and includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour. As a leading global entertainment destination, Universal Studios Hollywood delivers highly themed immersive lands that translate to real-life interpretations of iconic movie and television shows. Recent additions include “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” which features a bustling Hogsmeade village and such critically-acclaimed rides as “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and “Flight of the Hippogriff™”. Other immersive lands include “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” as well as “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons Ride™” and the “The Walking Dead” daytime attraction and the all-new DreamWorks Theatre featuring “Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest.” The world-renowned Studio Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood’s signature attraction, inviting guests behind-the-scenes of the world’s biggest and busiest movie and television production studio where they can also experience such authentic thrill rides as “Fast & Furious—Supercharged.” The adjacent Universal CityWalkentertainment, shopping and dining complex also includes the all-new multi-million dollar, redesigned Universal CityWalk Cinema, featuring deluxe recliner seating in screening room quality theatres, and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert stage.
KNOTT’S BERRY FARM TRANSFORMS POPULAR WHITE WATER RAFT RIDE, ANNOUNCES 2019 “SEASONS OF FUN” EVENT LINEUP
Debut of Calico River Rapids Joins fan Favorite Events and new Entertainment Offerings
Buena Park, Calif. – A new expedition in an uncharted territory awaits eager explorers with the upcoming debut of Calico River Rapids, opening at Knott’s Berry Farm in summer 2019. Knott’s popular Bigfoot Rapids white water raft ride will undergo a major renovation with the addition of new features to the attraction including new animatronics, themed show scenes, a new story overlay and plenty of dynamic water effects. The arrival of Calico River Rapids is one of the many exciting experiences that Knott’s guests can enjoy in 2019.
Calico River Rapids will take voyagers on a search for new land through the outskirts of Calico, the richly themed area in Knott’s esteemed Ghost Town. Guests will journey through the authentic setting with the help of legendary frontiersmen who have plotted the path for settlers to explore. Rafters will encounter a variety of wild surprises along the way such as roaring rapids, indigenous wildlife, and peculiar homesteaders. The circular raft ride, which seats six passengers, will traverse through unexpected twists and turns, rushing waters and rapid currents as it navigates the unexplored river path.
The attraction will come to life with new animatronics and special effects designed and manufactured by Garner Holt Productions, Inc., the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of animatronics for theme parks.
The park’s popular Seasons of Fun events will kick off with the return of the newly-expanded Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration, a unique event dedicated to the beloved PEANUTS characters. Guests are invited to step inside the pages of a Charles M. Schulz comic strip as the characters take over the entire park, weekends from January 26 – March 10, 2019 and on President’s Day, Monday, February 18.
In spring, the much-anticipated Knott’s Boysenberry Festival returns with countless one-of-a-kind boysenberry inspired food and drink offerings created by the Knott’s culinary team. Each year the menu ranges from deliciously sweet desserts to zesty savory dishes, plus tasty beverages bursting with tangy boysenberry flavors. Unique entertainment and an array of artisan crafters round out the festival. Due to the festival’s increasing popularity, it will be expanding to a full month of deliciousness from March 29 – April 28, 2019.
In summer 2019, the fan favorite Old West adventure will continue with the return of Ghost Town Alive!, as a new storyline set in the town of Calico is unraveled for guests to discover starting May 25 – August 18 and weekends from August 24 through Labor Day, September 2. During Ghost Town Alive! guests may return to the streets of Calico and experience an authentic western adventure by becoming a star in the day’s evolving storyline, as they unlock adventures through interactions with the townsfolk or by joining in on the town’s activities. And as night falls, even more summer fun will continue throughout the park with new entertainment offerings.
For fall, the spooktacular family-friendly daytime Halloween event, Knott’s Spooky Farm, will invite families with little ghouls ages 3-11 to celebrate the spooky season exclusively on weekends starting September 28 – October 27, 2019, and Halloween day. Knott’s Spooky Farm will offer little ones delightfully wicked Halloween themed activities, live entertainment and much more.
As winter rolls in, the feeling of Christmas will truly be discovered at Knott’s Merry Farm, where joy will be in season from November 22, 2019 – January 5, 2020. Knott’s Merry Farm will host holiday cheer for park goers as they create new holiday memories set to the backdrop of a true classic Christmas.
A 2019 Season Pass is the best way to experience the adventures of Calico River Rapids along with an entire year of seasonal fun. With a 2019 Season Pass, guests can enjoy all of Knott’s Seasons of Fun events next year, plus one free admission in 2018. A Regular Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2019 to Knott’s Berry Farm with no blackout dates, and a Gold Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2019 to both Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City Waterpark with no blackout dates. Regular passes are now available at the lowest price of the year at $95 or eight easy payments of $10.00 after an initial payment, and Gold Passes are $115 or eight payments of just $12.00 after an initial payment. These offers end January 6, 2019. Applicable taxes and fees apply. Payment plans are only available at knotts.com.
For more information about Calico River Rapids, Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Season Passes, please visit knotts.com. Join the conversation about the newly announced attraction debuting at Knott’s in 2019 by using #CalicoRiverRapids #KnottsBerryFarm.
About Knott’s Berry Farm and Cedar Fair Entertainment Company:
What began as a roadside berry stand and chicken dinner restaurant in the 1920s has evolved into Knott’s Berry Farm, one of Southern California’s most popular theme park destinations combining world-class thrill rides with traditional family favorite attractions and entertainment. Knott’s is also home to Knott’s Soak City Water Park, Knott’s Marketplace, and the full-service Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel. Knott’s Berry Farm is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a publicly traded partnership and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, two outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and four hotels. For more information, see www.cedarfair.com.