It’s An Exciting Time For Florida Theme Parks

Tampa Bay, Fla. – As the Labor Day weekend starts for us, I can’t help but think about how it’s an exciting time for Florida theme parks,especially in Central Florida. I mean, if you are a theme park enthusiast, a star wars geek or a proud member of Slytherin, like myself,  your taste buds have already been teased with themed worlds and immersive lands. But we are now talking about bigger things….on a much grander scale. Comcast NBCUniversal recently announced they would be building their 4th theme park in Orlando, Epic Universe. Disney responded at D23 with renderings of an EPCOT like we have never seen, a closer look at the new Star Wars themed hotel and Tron coaster updates for the Magic Kingdom. And LEGOLAND Florida is adding something new to their growing world made of bricks all the time. 

Keeping up on all the “latest” with so much getting announced can be overwhelming, so here is a run down of what we can look forward to in the years to come in Central Florida.

Universal Orlando Resort

Epic Universe

ORLANDO, Fla. – On August 1st Universal Orlando Resort announced they would in fact be building a new, fourth, theme park to be called Universal’s Epic Universe

The vision: create an entirely new level of experience that forever changes theme park entertainment.

Epic Universe will take guests on a journey where beloved stories expand into vibrant lands – and where that journey is as much a part of their adventure as the ultimate destination. Does that seem vague, well it is. 

Even with this being a announced media event, it seemed many of the details are still very hush-hush. And although a map of the new Epic Universe was released, no rides, themes or details came alone with it. Which of course has lead to all kinds of online speculation. We can save all that for those other bloggers, we like to stick with facts.

Here is what Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation, Brian L. Roberts had to say.

Our new park represents the single-largest investment Comcast NBCUniversal has made in its theme park business and in Florida overall.... It reflects the tremendous excitement we have for the future of our theme park business and for our entire company’s future in Florida.

It will be located within a larger 750-acre site that nearly doubles Universal’s total available acreage in Central Florida.  Epic Universe is just a few miles from the existing resort in Southwest Orange County.  Specifically, it will be south of Sand Lake Road and east of Universal Boulevard.

So, let’s talk about what we do know. The new Epic Universe theme park will feature an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more.

Now I did say there has been a TON of speculation on what is actually going to be themed in this new project. Tom Williams added some fuel to those speculations with these comments.

Our vision for Epic Universe is historic...It will build on everything we have done and become the most immersive and innovative theme park we have ever created. It is an investment in our business, our industry, our team members and our community.”

Tom Williams is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts, and his words can be left to interpretation. 

No matter what the creative minds have in-store for us, with names like Mike Aiello, who has been part of the creative geniuses of Universal Orlando Entertainment for 20 years,  this new “Epic Universe” Theme Park is in good hands, with a blank slate and an overwhelming amount of talent behind it.  

A beginnings end leads to a new beginning.. To the fans of @HorrorNightsORL .. my undying thanks and eternal gratitude. #HHN29

Endless Summer Nights: Dockside Inn & Suites

Opening March 2020- Unwind in an all-new, carefree escape that’s extra-affordable. Inspired by sand, sea and breathtaking sunsets, this retreat has a coastal vibe and comes with all the fun and convenience of staying with Universal—including awesome hotel guest benefits. With plenty of standard rooms and spacious, two-bedroom suites that sleep six,

Dockside Inn and Suites Lobby
At Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites – opening Spring 2020, guests will be surrounded by natural woods and colors that make them feel as though they’re hanging out on a pier. This hotel has a relaxed, calm and carefree vibe. The lobby’s driftwood features evoke the feeling of gathering around a sunset beach bonfire.

Disney D23 Announcements

Anaheim Ca. – Unlike our friends at Universal, Disney and D23 is all about the details, and wow did we get some. Here is a list off all the amazing things happening to The Walt Disney World Resort, EPCOT, new logos, resort updates, a new show at Disney Springs and more. 


We all can admit it. It is way overdue. Epcot is undergoing a historic transformation, bringing the next generation of immersive storytelling to life through a plethora of new attractions and experiences. The park’s entrance will be transformed with a reimagined fountain, new pathways, and sweeping green spaces that beautify the entryway while paying homage to the origins of Epcot. I truly feel these images go more along with the Walt Disney's vision of EPCOT.
EPCOT showed off its NEW logo to guest of D23. This also comes with the announcement of the new "Worlds" labeled throughout EPCOT.

World Celebration

World Celebration will offer new experiences that connect guests to one another and the world around them.

New Pavilion for Epcot
A new pavilion will be home base for Epcot’s signature festivals. The beautiful three-level structure will feature a plaza level, a middle expo level, and a park that sits in the sky on the top level, complete with a stunning view of World Showcase.
  • The iconic Spaceship Earth will remain a voyage through time as the journey transforms to reflect the power of storytelling to unite the human experience. New narration and an entirely new musical score will focus on the moments and ideas that define the story of humanity. Guests will follow a magical “story light” that brings the entire experience to life in dynamic ways, giving each scene energy and beauty that ties the entire journey together.
  • As guests exit Spaceship Earth, they will discover a breathtaking new view of World Showcase from Dreamers Point. World Celebration will also feature a new statue celebrating the legacy of the original dreamer, Walt Disney, plus beautiful natural environments and global design elements filled with Disney magic and surprises, including a wishing tree in an enchanted forest and a story fountain celebrating the power and music of iconic Disney storytelling.

World Showcase

World Showcase will continue to be a celebration of culture, cuisine, architecture and traditions – infused with new magic.

Epcot’s United Kingdom pavilion will welcome the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins. Guests will step in time down Cherry Tree Lane past Admiral Boom’s house, then enter Number 17, home of the Banks family, where their adventure will begin.
HarmonioUS at Epcot
In 2020, the new “HarmonioUS” will debut at Epcot as the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park. It will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over, carrying them away harmoniously on a stream of familiar Disney tunes reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists from around the globe. “HarmonioUS” will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more.
  • In summer 2020, the France pavilion will offer even more for guests to discover, including the much-anticipatedattractionRemy’s Ratatouille Adventure,where guests will shrink to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant on a wild adventure. Summer 2020 will also see the debut of a delicious new restaurant in the France pavilion, La Crêperie de Paris, offering both table- and quick-service options featuring a menu from celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse.
  • Also in the France pavilion, the classic Impressions de France film will be joined by the new “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along,” debuting in January 2020 and directed by Don Hahn, producer of both the animated and live-action versions of this tale as old as time.
  • “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360”will debut in January 2020 in the Canada pavilion with new scenes and a new story.
  • In the China pavilion, “Wondrous China” will take guests on a spectacular journey across the country, filmed and presented in a completely seamless 360-degree digital format.

World Nature

In World Discovery, stories about science, technology and intergalactic adventure come to life.

Journey of Water, Inspired by "Moana" at Epcot
Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana” at Epcot will be the first attraction inspired by the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios film. This lush exploration trail will invite guests to meet and play with magical, living water.
  • The Land pavilion’s new film, “Awesome Planet,” which showcases the beauty, diversity and dynamic story of the planet, will begin welcoming guests in January 2020.

World Discovery

In World Discovery, stories about science, technology and intergalactic adventure come to life.

The PLAY! pavilion at Epcot will open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. In this digital metropolis, guests will discover an interactive city bursting with games, activities and experiences that connect them with friends, family and beloved Disney characters – both real and virtual – like never before.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will be the first “other-world” showcase pavilion at Epcot. The attraction will feature a new storytelling coaster that rotates to focus guests on the action, and will include the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster.
Space 220 Restaurant at Epcot
The new Space 220 restaurant at Epcot will be an out-of-this-world culinary experience with the celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up. Opening this winter, Space 220 will be operated by the Patina Group.

Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience

Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience
Guests will be able to visualize the exciting plans for Epcot when doors open Oct. 1, 2019, for Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience. They will discover engaging and interactive exhibits that showcase the relentless innovation, energy, and excitement driving the park’s future.

Galaxy's Edge

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Hangar
RISE OF THE RESISTANCE -- Disney guests will traverse the corridors of a Star Destroyer and join an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance – including a face-off with Kylo Ren – when Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens Dec. 5, 2019.

Halcyon Starcruiser Resort

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World Resort will invite guests aboard the Halcyon, a starcruiser known throughout the galaxy for its impeccable service and exotic destinations. Onboard, they will stay in well-appointed cabins, experience onboard dining, make a planet-side excursion to Black Spire Outpost on Batuu, and much more.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Atrium
Guests aboard the Halcyon will step into the ship’s main deck Atrium to begin their journey through a galaxy far, far away. With characters from all ends of the Galaxy.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Lightsaber Training
One onboard activity will invite guests to wield a lightsaber while facing off against a training remote.
Fun Facts – Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
  • Every window in theHalcyon– including those in each cabin – has a view of the galaxy beyond, with ever-changing vistas as the ship progresses from place to place.
  • Guests will be able to explore the Halcyonand perhaps discover hidden spaces deep in the mechanics of the ship – perfect for uncovering secrets … or holding secret meetings.
  • Choices guests make during their adventure will help determine how their Star Wars stories progress.

Cirque Disney Springs

New Cirque du Soleil Show at Walt Disney World Resort
A first-of-its-kind show will celebrate the magic of Walt Disney Animation Studios in a touching story brought to life by Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Imagineering, and legendary Disney animators. Opening in time for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort, it will combine Disney storytelling and heart with Cirque du Soleil’s signature artistry.

Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge

Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge is a unique hotel and proposed Disney Vacation Club resort in development at Walt Disney World Resort. The new resort draws inspiration from the wonders of nature and artistry of Walt Disney.


Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek announced during D23 Expo that the most popular attraction at Shanghai Disneyland is coming to Walt Disney World Resort. A thrilling, Tron-themed attraction will be added in a new area near Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park.


Pirate Island Hotel will open in spring 2020. Connected to the existing LEGOLAND® Hotel and next to beautiful Lake Eloise, Pirate Island will be the third on-site accommodation at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. Located a mere 130 kid steps away from the main entrance to the theme park, the Hotel will feature 150 fun-filled rooms, an expansive pool and pool deck, hundreds of LEGO models and numerous character experiences.

The new five-story hotel will also house a pirate-themed restaurant, an entertainment area for kid-friendly nightly programming, LEGO play pits and a lobby bar for adult buccaneers. Also, with every hotel reservation, guests will enjoy a free family-style breakfast for ye’ entire crew.
Exciting times ahead

More details about Universals Epic Universe, Disney’s on-going expansions and LEGOLAND Florida’s Pirate themed resort to come over.  

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Mike Blue is The Social Introvert – An introvert with some, and extrovert with many. Mike’s been collecting toys of his childhood and wondering Central Florida for over 35 years. He holds his certification in Plant-Based nutrition, loves exploring the small towns of Florida, and is the most approached unapproachable man on the planet….and he likes that! 

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