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Theme World: Horror & Holidays Preview
Welcome back to Theme World.
Sorry for my absence -- but, as with many of us here at Local 6, the Zimmerman trial took up all of my time for the past few weeks. But that's past now. And as life starts getting back to normal in the newsroom - the parks are gearing up for two of their biggest moneymaking seasons of all.
First up -- Halloween -- and while Disney & Sea World offer worthwhile events in "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party" and "Halloween Spooktacular" -- let's face it - the big gorilla will once again be Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios.
Despite losing the sound stage ripped down for Transformers: The Ride-3D -- I understand the event will be back up to 8 houses/mazes this year. The park has already revealed two of them.
Mazes based on the films "Evil Dead" & "The Cabin in the Woods" debut on September 20th. Universal is slowly unveiling the rest of the event on its blog "Evil Takes Root" -- which seems like this year's marketing catch phrase.
And on its Facebook Page -- Universal has revealed its tribute show to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" will return for the first time since 2009.
And this week we learned Universal & Coca Cola have extended their sponsorship contract, so you can once again to expect to find discounts for HHN on Coke cans at a store near you very soon.
Moving beyond Fright -- Epcot is already gearing up for the Christmas season with Holidays Around the World. Forget rumors that Disney is trying to save money by launching it later than normal this year. Yes, it will arrive on November 29. But that is one day after Thanksgiving, same as always.
Yes storytellers from around the world will be back, as will the popular, and religious, Candlelight Processional.
Already some of the Celebrity Candlelight narrators have been announced:
November 29 to December 1 - TBD
December 2-3 - TBD
December 4-5 - Ashley Judd
December 6-7 - Whoopi Goldberg
December 8-10 - Sigourney Weaver
December 11-13 - Dennis Haysbert
December 14-16 - James Denton
December 17-19 - Edward James Olmos
December 20-22 - Trace Adkins
December 23-25 - TBD
December 26-28 - Blair Underwood
December 29-30 - Amy Grant
This will be the first time Ashley Judd and Dennis Haysbert have narrated Candlelight at Walt Disney World.
It will be presented at 5:00, 6:45, and 8:15 p.m. nightly at Epcot's America Gardens Theater.
You can also celebrate Halloween & the Holidays on the high seas. Disney Cruise Line is launching Halloween for the first time on the Disney Dream.
Disney promises mask-making, pumpkin-carving and a Disney villain takeover of the ship's announcements plus a Monsters Mouse-Querade Deck Party, haunted stories and showings of "The Nightmare Before Christmas."
For the Christmas season -- Very Merrytime Cruises kick off in early November on all four ships.
According to Disney's press release: "You can build gingerbread houses, meet Santa Claus, and listen as holiday storytellers share tales of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa … or just relax on deck instead of shoveling snow!"
You can also expect "King Triton's Tree Lighting Ceremony," dancing and decorations, plus Santa and caroling crew members. Not to mention "snow flurries" on DCL's Castaway Cay island.
Here's more on the Cruise line's holiday plans.
And expect a lot more Theme World news here tomorrow and (hopefully) from here on out. I'm working on a rumor roundup on plans for a major makeover for Hollywood Studios, what's really going on with Animal Kingdom's Avatarland -- and Universal's next big building boom. Look for that soon.
Until then, keep your emails, questions, and comments coming! I always appreciate the feedback.
See you in the parks!
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