Monorails Spotted Testing at Walt Disney World

Photo Credit: Girl Meets Disney World

These awesome photos taken today from Girl Meets Disney World on Facebook show that Monorail Orange and Monorail Yellow are out for testing around the highway in the sky at Walt Disney World.

Theme park news out of Florida has been ramping up lately as Disney Springs and Universal Citywalk Orlando have reopened. Today Universal Orlando announced a phased reopening beginning June 1st-June 5th. It has also been reported that Disney will make their reopening presentation to the Orange County Task Force on May 27th!

Universal Citywalk Orlando To Partially Reopen May 14th!

Universal CityWalk Tickets at Universal Orlando | BestofOrlando ...

Following in Disney Springs’ footsteps, Universal has announced that Citywalk in Orlando will be reopening Thursday May 14th.

Select locations will be open from 4pm-10pm each day. Dining locations such as Bubba Gump, Margaritaville, Red Oven Pizza Bakery, Voodoo Doughnut, and Auntie’s Anne’s Pretzels will be open. On the retail side of things, the Universal Studios Store, Airbrush, the retail section of Huntington Tattoo Company will be reopening with the same hours as the restaurants.

Disney Springs To Begin Phased Reopening May 20th!

NEWS: Disney Springs Parking Garage Re-Opens for Cast Members ...

Just as I mentioned on my livestream yesterday, I was hearing that Disney Springs and Universal Citywalk would begin reopening this month. I keep hearing Citywalk is slated to partially reopen May 11th and it is now confirmed that Disney Springs will partially reopen May 20th.

The shopping district will reopen with limited capacity for dining and parking as well as reduced operating hours. I encourage you to check disneysprings.com as the date nears for more information on hours and what stores and restaurants will be open. Guests will be required to wear a face covering when dining or shopping.

Universal Studios Hollywood & Orlando Closed Until May 31st

With both California and Florida under Stay at Home orders, Universal has decided to close their domestic parks through at least the end of May. They had originally been closed through April 19th, but were extended due to the coronavirus situation not slowing down.

Some good news is that stats show that California has started to flatten the curve and computer models moved up its peak to April 14th, which is as soon as next week. Those projection models have the state social distancing until Mid May to complete flatten the curve. That would coincide with the time frame that Knotts and Six Flags would like to open up their parks and give Universal enough room to decide to push up the opening of its Hollywood park should the situation vastly improve by that time.

Here is the official statement from Universal below:

Universal Orlando Has an Opening Date for its Next Hotel

Universal today announced the opening date for the second half of the Endless Summer Resort to be called Dockside Inn and Suites.

Sunset Lounge
Concept art provided by Universal

This hotel will when open complete the Endless Summer Resort at Universal Orlando and it will be the eighth hotel within the resort and according to Universal this is just the beginning as they plan to add another 2,000 plus rooms in the coming years.

Dockside Inn and Suites is a 2,050 room hotel and will be affordable for everyone with rooms starting at $85 a night. The hotel will open March 17th, 2020 and be right across the street from the first phase, Surfside Inn and Suites.

Anyone staying at either hotel will get perks such as free transportation to the Universal Transit Hub and Citywalk, early entry into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the ability to charge merchandise to your room at Citywalk.

Will you be staying in this resort next time you visit Universal Orlando? Let me know in the comments below!

Guests To Enter Universal Beijing Using Facial Recognition Tech

An awesome news story came out today via the website France 24 saying that guests who enter Universal Beijing will be able to use facial recognition technology instead of showing a ticket. The story also notes that the park is partnering with popular Chinese tech company Alibaba so that guests can use Alipay to purchase meals and merchandise.

I think this is fantastic news and is yet another sign of the theme park industry advancing every year implementing new technology into their parks and enhancing the guest experience in large and small ways. Universal is probably also thinking that this is a way to take a jab at Shanghai Disneyland and all of the fancy high tech rides they have over at that park.

Usually Disney and Universal use their international parks to test out new ride tech and new tech to enhance the guest experience. If successful these new ideas usually make there way to the domestic parks (ie: Tron Power Run) I would like to see facial recognition make its way to Universal and Disney parks in the United States and hopefully both companies start to implement this advanced tech into the parks in the coming years and completely take away the need for paper tickets.

What do you think of this new technology? Would you like to see Apple or a tech company partner with Disney or Universal and implement Apple Pay and facial recognition into the parks? Let me know in the comments below!

Universal Studios Florida To Get New Jason Bourne Stunt Show

Universal Florida’s website accidentally leaked the name of the show that is replacing the Terminator 2 stunt show. The show is to be called the Bourne Stuntacular and is to be based on a story from Jason Bourne. Hopefully Universal officially announces this attraction soon, but as of now that is all the info I have regarding this new and improved show! Check back and follow this blog for updates on this story as they become available!