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Halloween events revive the great theme park IP debate

By Robert Niles: The "IP vs. original theme" debate has been raging for years within the theme park fan community and probably won't fade anytime soon. Part of what can make this debate so heated is that individual parks open major new attractions so infrequently. Show More Summary

Walt Disney World to bring back its Star Wars party in December

By Robert Niles: The Walt Disney World Resort today announced that it will bring back its Star Wars: Galactic Nights hard-ticket event for another evening, December 16. Tickets cost $129 plus tax for ages 10 and up ($124 for kids 3-9)...Show More Summary

Legoland to add virtual reality to three roller coasters

By Robert Niles: Legoland is climbing aboard the virtual reality bandwagon, even as other theme parks seem to be reconsidering the push toward adding VR to attractions. Legoland announced that it will add a VR overlay to its Project X roller coasters in Florida, Germany, and Malaysia, transforming the rides into The Great Lego Race VR Coaster. Show More Summary

It's Muggles vs The Three Broomsticks in a battle over Cornish Pasties

By Robert Niles: Fire the house elves. It appears that the Cornish Pasties that Universal is selling at The Three Broomsticks in Orlando might not really be Cornish Pasties after all. Huh? What? How is this an issue? Isn't a Cornish Pasty just a bougey British Hot Pocket? Not according to the European Union. Show More Summary

Universal Orlando's change in plans frustrates some Horror Nights fans

By Robert Niles: The best Halloween scare events aim to trigger our fears. Now, they shouldn't go too far ? there's nothing funny about true distress. But the theme park industry's established Halloween events have learned how to play with our fears in ways that leave everyone entertained ? and even laughing ? at the end of the night. Show More Summary

Event review: Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights

By Robert Niles: ORLANDO ? Confession time: I have been running Theme Park Insider for more than 18 years now, within a decade of the 27 years that Universal Orlando has been hosting its industry-leading Halloween Horror Nights. But I've never been to that event, before tonight. Show More Summary

Universal Studio Hollywood taking a 'shining' to Halloween Horror Nights

By Robert Niles: Halloween Horror Nights has returned to Universal Studios Hollywood, featuring a new line-up of mazes inspired by some of the most popular and enduring franchises in the horror genre. The highlight this year is The Shining, which you will find in the Revenge of the Mummy queue on the Lower Lot. Show More Summary

HalloweenTime kicks off at Disneyland, with new food and new overlays

By Robert Niles: HalloweenTime has started officially at Disneyland, as the resort switches more of its holiday focus to Disney California Adventure. Oogie Boogie from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas looms over the entrance...Show More Summary

Walt Disney World details new holiday festivities for 2017

By Robert Niles: Walt Disney World is showing some love to Disney's Hollywood Studios this holiday season, expanding the festivities at the construction-hobbled theme park. In addition to bringing back the Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam show...Show More Summary

Walt Disney World expands 'After Hours' dates at the Magic Kingdom

By Robert Niles: The Walt Disney World Resort will expand its "Disney After Hours" event with new dates in 2018, the resort announced today. Disney After Hours is basically a upcharge Extra Magic Hours that are open to anyone who wants to pay for it. Show More Summary

Universal Orlando reveals dates for 2018's Celebration of Harry Potter

By Robert Niles: The Celebration of Harry Potter event will return to the Universal Orlando Resort in 2018, the resort confirmed today. Universal's annual Harry Potter fan event traditionally has run on the last weekend in January and next year's event will continue to hold that date. Show More Summary

All central Florida theme parks announce reopening dates

By Robert Niles: The Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando theme parks reopened to the public today after being closed for more than two days due to Hurricane Irma. SeaWorld and other central Florida theme parks remained closed today, but now all area parks have announced their reopening dates. Show More Summary

Snoopy stay home: Cedar Fair extends its 'Peanuts' license deal

By Robert Niles: Cedar Fair announced today that it has extended its license for Snoopy and the rest of the "Peanuts" characters through 2025, with an option through 2030. The deal will ensure that Planet Snoopy and Camp Snoopy-themed...Show More Summary

Disney Legend X Atencio passes away at age 98

By Robert Niles: The Walt Disney Company announced today that Disney Legend and former Imagineer X Atencio passed away yesterday, at age 98. Best known to theme park fans as the lyricist of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song, "Yo...Show More Summary

How to Get to Shelly Island

A few weeks before we were scheduled to go to the Outer Banks for vacation, my sister sent me a news story about a mile-long island made of shells that appeared this year at the tip of Cape Hatteras, in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. We grew up shelling on Florida beaches and we have a […]

An Insider's look at 'The Shining' maze for Halloween Horror Nights

By Robert Niles: Halloween Horror Nights returns at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Florida this Friday, Sept. 15. Universal has been creating these wildly popular hard-ticket scare events for years, but one of theShow More Summary

Monday Irma update: Disney and the parks take a direct hit

By Robert Niles: Hurricane Irma made its final landfall Sunday afternoon near Marco Island, then made an unexpected turn due north, taking direct aim at central Florida's theme park resort area. Irma weakened to a Category 1 hurricane...Show More Summary

Sunday Irma update: It's Princess Anna to the rescue

By Robert Niles: Hurricane Irma has arrived in the state of Florida, moving through the Keys this morning on its way to an expected landfall on the Gulf coast later today. All major theme parks are closed today, although the delayedShow More Summary

Saturday Irma Update: Prepare for the worst and hope for the best

By Robert Niles: Busch Gardens Tampa and Legoland Florida did not open this morning, as the forecast path for Hurricane Irma continues to slide to the west, now targeting Florida's Gulf coast for landfall. East up Interstate 4 in Orlando,...Show More Summary

Friday Irma update: Theme parks announce closures

By Robert Niles: Universal Orlando announced today that it will close at 7pm on Saturday and remain closed Sunday and Monday due to the expected arrival of Hurricane Irma in Florida. In addition, SeaWorld Orlando has announced that it will close at 5pm on Saturday and remain closed Sunday and Monday. Show More Summary

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