😄 I’m back from the Happiest Place on Earth

In The Loop: Theme Park Scoops - 4/29/22

(Landon McReynolds, McReynolds)

Hello everyone! TGIF!

Landon here, and I’m trying to wrap my head around this east coast time zone again 😴. I mentioned to you all a couple weeks ago that I was going on a trip and would be gone for a week. I gave you a hint about where I might have been headed. Some guessed a cruise while others said I was just going to be heading to Walt Disney World for a couple days.

Well, I actually went to the “Happiest Place on Earth,” aka Disneyland! To my delight, the trip happened to fall on the same weekend that nighttime firework spectaculars and the Main Street Electrical parade returned for its 50th anniversary! ✨


Five things I learned at Disneyland: California Adventure is so cool (💗 Avengers Campus and Cars land), Space Mountain is WAY better out there, churros are the thing to eat (along with the incredible Num Num cookies 🍪), Disney Genie is worth the extra price there and the park’s nighttime shows are FANTASTIC. Come on, World of Color and Disneyland Forever fireworks ... WOW! 🤩


In addition to Disneyland, I also had time to check out Universal Studios Hollywood. A lot of the same experiences there, but they also have some incredible additions that are worth a trip out there including Jurassic World, Despicable Me’s Super Silly Fun Land, Secret Life of Pets: Off The Leash and the world-famous studio tour.


I can’t wait to head out there again and see more of the parks. For those of you who have visited - what is your favorite part? Email me what you think or if you have any questions about what’s out there. Let’s chat! lmcreynolds@wkmg.com

All right, lots to get to while I was gone. Let’s get to it.

Spooky spirit 🎃


We’re still a few months away from Halloween, but Walt Disney World is already in the mood to celebrate with you foolish mortals. Get ready to light the black flame candle 🕯️ and boogie the night away because Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is returning this year! This year’s party is back with trick-or-treating, spooktacular photo opportunities, a nighttime firework spectacular and so much more.

Disney announced the return as the resort scared up some fun this week during its “Halfway to Halloween” celebration 👻.


If you’re looking to celebrate Halloween early, the park has rolled out some special treats that are available NOW for a limited time at select parks, resorts and Disney Springs. We also got a look at some of the merchandise coming this fall. And the haunting is not just on land - Disney Cruise Line is also getting in on the fun too. You should see the extra special Hocus Pocus meet-and-greet coming to Halloween on the High Seas voyages! 🚢 I think it’s the best announcement of them all! 😆

Hold on! 🎢


Gearing up for its big debut next month, Disney has released the trailer showing a first look onboard the all-new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT.

The attraction is debuting May 27 to the public. In the short clip released this week, we see the ride in motion zipping around the galaxy. We also see some of the characters we will come face-to-face with. What do you think of the new ride? Are you excited? I will have even more details on this exciting attraction next week! 😁

Now OPEN! 🍽️


If you’re visiting EPCOT anytime soon -- be sure and head to the all-new Connections Café. The new quick service restaurant opened its doors this week to guests. It’s home to a variety of flavors from around the world, as well as the new Starbucks location. Some foods on the menu include burgers, chicken sandwiches, pizzas, salads and a number of drinks and desserts. The new restaurant replaced the former Electric Umbrella restaurant in the park. It’s also the newest thing to open as part of EPCOT’s historic transformation. You should see some of the foods. 😋

Serving up 🍦


Speaking of foods at Walt Disney World, just one day before I left on vacation I had the opportunity to step into the all-new Salt & Straw ice cream location at Disney Springs.

I got the scoop from the founders, Tyler and Kim Malek, about how they got their business started. 💡 I also asked them what ice cream flavors are the best. All of the ice cream is homemade and well thought out. While I was at Disneyland I managed to try the Blue Cheese & Pear flavor. Yes, it was different and delicious. Unfortunately, that flavor is not here at Walt Disney World ... just yet. 👍**Pro tip, get an ice cream flight if you want to share. You get four flavors for about $14.

A kid weekend 🎈


Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is beginning its Sesame Street Kids’ Weekends. Families can join Cookie Monster, Elmo and so many others for some springtime fun in the park’s Sesame Street Safari of Fun. Hopefully the weather is nice for this weekend’s kickoff. ☔ The park has a number of activities lined up including a scavenger hunt, photo opportunities and so much more. The event is included with park admission. It runs through May 22.

Space education 🚀

(Kennedy Space Center)

LEGO and NASA are teaming up to bring families a unique exhibit at Kennedy Space Center. It focuses on educating kids about science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The exhibit is called LEGO Build to Launch: A STEAM Exploration. The addition is designed for students in grades K-12 to explore the world of engineering, problem-solving and technology behind the Artemis I mission. 👨‍🚀 While you’re out there, kids will get the chance to meet some of the LEGO Space team. It’s included with admission to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Speaking of LEGO, Legoland Florida Resort got a huge recognition this week for now being a certified autism center. ☺️

🎟️ Just DEAL with it

Here are some special deals at the theme parks and local attractions this week:

🌊 Disney introduces a special Florida resident ticket deal for its water parks

🎖️ This ticket deal will get military veterans into SeaWorld Orlando or Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

👩‍🏫 Attention teachers! This deal will get you into Orlando’s Museum of Illusions

That will do from me this week! That was a lot to unpack ... now I need to go unload my suitcase from this California trip.

Have a safe and fantastic weekend.

I will see you all next week!

-Landon 😎

About the Authors:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.