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'American Horror Story' returns to Halloween Horror Nights this fall

By Robert Niles: It's late March, so of course our thoughts turn to glowing pumpkins, rotting flesh, and the screams of theme park guests running in terror from all sorts of ghouls, real and imagined. Hey, if you're a Halloween fan, it's never too early to start thinking about the next edition of Universal's Halloween Horror Nights. Show More Summary

Disney prepares to change its security check at the Magic Kingdom

16 hours agoTravel / Family : The Blog Flume

By Robert Niles: The Walt Disney World Resort will move its main Magic Kingdom bag check from the park's front gate to the Transportation and Ticket Center, starting Monday. The change will mean that visitors to the world's largest theme...Show More Summary

Enjoy your summer vacation with Robert's rules for roadtripping

23 hours agoTravel / Family : The Blog Flume

By Robert Niles: Who's up for a roadtrip? With summer vacation season approaching, now's the time to start planning that big cross-country roadtrip you've been thinking about taking. Driving to your favorite theme park or other destinations...Show More Summary

Disney counters Universal with new virtual queue for water park rides

23 hours agoTravel / Family : The Blog Flume

By Robert Niles: The Walt Disney World Resort today introduced a new line-skipping system, which it will test on selected water park rides at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Last year, Universal Orlando announced that its upcoming Volcano Bay park would feature no standby queues for its water rides. Show More Summary

Disneyland Paris celebrates its 25th anniversary with new shows, parade

By Robert Niles: Disneyland Paris opens its 25th anniversary celebration today, introducing a new entertainment line-up featuring a new parade and nighttime show in a day-long media event yesterday. More than a few Disney celebrities...Show More Summary

Walt Disney World opens advance reservations for Pandora

By Robert Niles: Walt Disney World this morning opened reservations for a preview of its upcoming Pandora - The World of Avatar land at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Preview opportunities for the week of May 13-22 also were extended to Disney Vacation Club members. Show More Summary

Chinese theme park developer buys stake in SeaWorld

By Robert Niles: China's Zhonghong Group has bought a minority ownership stake in SeaWorld, making it the company's largest single shareholder. The 21 percent stake in the company comes from private equity firm Blackstone Group, which...Show More Summary

Paid 'Fastpasses' come to Shanghai Disneyland

By Robert Niles: Last month, we showed you a report from a Theme Park Insider reader who said he had seen people selling Fastpasses inside Shanghai Disneyland. At the time, we wondered if the idea that other people were selling front...Show More Summary

What should Disneyland do about its swarm of strollers?

By Robert Niles: In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, an alien visiting Earth decides to blend in by naming himself "Ford Prefect," mistaking automobiles for the dominant life form on our planet. The joke worked in author Douglas...Show More Summary

Disney brings live orchestra concerts to Hollywood Studios this summer

By Robert Niles: The orchestra is coming back to Disney's Hollywood Studios! Walt Disney World announced today that it will present a new nightly concert series at Disney's Hollywood Studios this summer, featuring the music of Disney/Pixar movies. Show More Summary

Here's what Universal Orlando will be serving to eat at Volcano Bay

By Robert Niles: Universal Orlando's Volcano Bay opens May 25, and if the resort hasn't already enticed you to visit its new park with its collection of water rides or no-wait reservation system, now it's making a more direct appeal... Show More Summary

How do theme parks make fake seem so real?

By Robert Niles: People who work at theme parks throw around the word "magic" a lot. And they should, because that's exactly what the best theme park designers create. Now, I'm not talking about the sappy popular meaning of the word "magic" ? I'm talking about magic as an act of stagecraft. Show More Summary

Universal Orlando files plans for 4,000 hotel rooms on Wet 'n Wild site

By Robert Niles: When Universal Orlando announced that it would close its Wet 'n Wild water park, many fans were left to wonder what Universal would end up doing with the property. Insiders attached to Universal insisted that the land would end up being used for hotels, but Universal made no public move to commit its intentions for the 64-acre site. Show More Summary

Busch Gardens Williamsburg posts first on-ride video from its new wooden coaster

By Robert Niles: Busch Gardens Williamsburg's first wooden roller coaster opens officially April 7, but the park is letting fans get a preview with a newly released POV video from ride testing. InvadR is a Great Coasters International coaster, the first for the Virginia park. Show More Summary

Disney World to introduce mobile ordering in its Avatar restaurant

By Robert Niles: Walt Disney World this morning revealed the menu for the Satu?li Canteen restaurant in the upcoming Pandora - The World of Avatar land at Disney's Animal Kingdom. But the big news is that Satu?li Canteen will be the first Disney World restaurant to use the tesort's new Mobile Order system. Show More Summary

VR comes to motion simulators, at Busch Gardens next year

By Robert Niles: America's first virtual reality motion simulator theme park ride will open at Busch Gardens Williamsburg next year, the park announced today. The as-yet-unnamed ride will replace the Europe in the Air show, which closed last year. Show More Summary

What's the real story about roller coaster shutdowns?

By Robert Niles: How many times have you watched a TV news story about riders "trapped" on a "broken" roller coaster or theme park ride? Like a car chase on an LA freeway, TV stations can't seem to resist showing live video of people sitting on trains that are stopped on lifts 100 or more feet in the air. Show More Summary

Imperial walkers have invaded Disney's Star Wars land

By Robert Niles: Disneyland fans are getting excited by the apparent arrival of two Imperial AT-AT walkers in the park's upcoming Star Wars land. First featured in The Empire Strikes Back, the Imperial Walkers are those hulking, four-legged...Show More Summary

First taste of Knott's Berry Farm's 2017 Boysenberry Festival

By Robert Niles: Knott's Berry Farm's annual Boysenberry Festival returns April 1 for a 23-day run, and last night, the park invited selected reporters to sample a few items that it will be serving at this year's event. The new dishShow More Summary

Happy 50th birthday to Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean

By Robert Niles: Can it be? The greatest dark ride of all time is half a century old? Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean soft opened for the first time on Match 18, 1967. Which means, if you do the math, the ride will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend. Show More Summary

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