In this edition of Theme Park Bits:
- A new art installation has popped up at Downtown Disney.
- Tomorrowland is getting a new sign.
- Halloween information is arriving for both Disney and Universal
- And more!
Sometimes, Walt Disney World hotel news can be easy to ignore; the flashier story is that we’re eventually getting a Star Wars hotel. But this past week, one of the existing hotels on property got itself a new tower. The Coronado Springs Resort now has a Gran Destino Tower. This moderate resort with a Southwestern theme has long been a convention-heavy resort, and the modern design on the Gran Destino Tower suggests it’s finally entering the 21st century. This resort isn’t my first choice when I plan my next Disney World trip — that would be Port Orleans Riverside, thank you very much — but the new designs and tower look like a step in the right direction for a fellow mid-tier resort.
Things are changing every day at Walt Disney World, and this change is a bit smaller than a new hotel tower. If you’ve traveled to Tomorrowland lately, keep an eye out for its overall marquee because it might be the last time you see it. At least, with that design. After reports came out that the Tomorrowland sign would be updated in design and font, a new park map got released that may have inadvertently given away the new style. If the map ends up being correct, it’s a pretty snazzy redo of an old standby. Tomorrowland desperately needs a full-scale overhaul, so hopefully, this is the start.
Let’s head back to the West Coast for our last few stories today. First up, in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District, there’s a few recognizable characters showing up in unique ways. In celebration of Mickey Mouse and his friends — they never do get their due, do they? — there’s a new art installation including some horticultural figures throughout the shopping district. From a floral Donald Duck to other anamorphic art installations (yes, that’s a thing), it’s a fun and unexpected way to spruce up the line of shops and restaurants that might keep you on your toes.
It may be hard to imagine, but Disneyland is already thinking about the holidays. First up, of course, there’s Halloween, and it’s going to be quite the shindig this year. The hard-ticket party will take place in Disney California Adventure, but Disneyland Park guests won’t be left out. The Halloween Screams fireworks show won’t be limited to hard-ticket guests — it’ll be playing every night in Disneyland to every guest. The season starts September 6, so if you’re in a scary mood, you can see the fireworks almost immediately after Labor Day.
Not to be outdone, Universal Studios Hollywood is also thinking about the Halloween season with its Halloween Horror Nights setup. They’ve already announced their yearly scare zones for Halloween Horror Nights, for anyone who might think that the scares at Disneyland are too family-friendly. (You know who you are. I know I’m not one of you. That’s OK.) There’s everything from a section on “Fallen Angelz” to a zone literally called “Christmas in Hell”. I appreciate, from what I read, that Halloween Horror Nights is an excellent display of intense scares for adult audiences. But…you guys have fun with Christmas in Hell. I might skip that one.
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