Ready … set … DONE ✅


Hello, everyone! Landon here!

How are we all doing after finishing up the second week of the new year?! Well, I have finally recovered following a VERY busy weekend. For those of you who remember, I was training for the Walt Disney World marathon that took place last Sunday. When I say training - I mean a couple runs here, a couple short runs there. I can say this morning that I crossed that finished line. 🏃‍♂️ It was by far one of the toughest things I had done, but I am so glad I did it. That medal is hanging up with a whole lot of joy. 🏅 If you participated alongside with me this past weekend - I hope you had an awesome race 👏, and you’re not hurting too much. I guess I should start training again soon … another half marathon is headed my way in a couple months. 👟

All right my friends, with the marathon weekend behind us - we have a lot of Walt Disney World news to get to this week.



To start things off, the Grid is finally ready to open at Walt Disney World.

If you missed it this week, we finally have an opening date for TRON Lightcycle Run. 🤗 The new roller coaster attraction has been zipping around, and testing on its tracks in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom for weeks now. When guests step onboard, they will board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles 🏍️ for a thrilling race through the digital frontier. A Disney leader said the story of TRON Lightcycle/Run picks up after ‘TRON: Legacy’ where Kevin’s son, Sam Flynn, has opened a second gateway into a digital realm called the Grid. The first of these portals he created is found at Shanghai Disneyland with the original TRON Lightcycle Power Run. Disney said before the ride officially opens to the public, Disney Cast Members, Annual Passholders and eligible Disney Vacation Club Members would get an early preview. 😄 Grab your identity disc and Let’s GO!

Nighttime spectaculars 🌟


🎶 READY TO BEGIN....sorry, let me stop singing. 🎤 Are you a fan of the nighttime spectacular “Happily Ever After” or “EPCOT Forever?”

Just before the TRON announcement. Walt Disney World dropped news that both firework shows will be returning in April. The news about “Happily Ever After” is not technically new. At D23 last year, leaders announced the show’s majestic return would be happening in 2023. The show will be coming back just as Walt Disney World wraps up its 50th anniversary celebration. Meantime, at EPCOT, the firework show “EPCOT Forever” will be making its return as an interim show. Disney is currently developing a new show for the park, which should debut later this year. To make room, Disney said the large barges sitting in the World Showcase Lagoon will be removed following the conclusion of “Harmonious.” 🎆

🚨 Reservation changes 🚨

Are you a Walt Disney World annual passholder? Do you enjoy coming to the theme parks after 2 p.m.? 🤔 I have some good news for you. Not long after the fireworks announcements, and TRON, Disney decided to drop some more news. This time, dealing with park reservations. Disney said in the near future, annual passholders will no longer need a reservation for visits after 2 p.m., EXCEPT if you’re visiting Magic Kingdom on Saturday and Sunday. 😀 Disney also said overnight parking at its resort hotels are also going to be complimentary once again.🚗

Artistic FUN 🎨


Over at EPCOT, the International Festival of the Arts is in full swing as of this morning. This has to be one of my favorite festivals. 🖌️

It’s packed with live music, food, colorful artwork - and of course, Figment. I promised you a full guide to this year‘s event which includes the incredible food and drinks. 😋 This week, I was among the first to try out some of the new foods at the new “Figment’s Inspiration Station at the Odyssey.” This new food studio will be nostalgic for people who love the purple dragon. You all have to try the Rainbow Cake! I enjoyed the cake with one of the new rainbow beer flights. While you’re out there - be sure and grab one of those famous Figment popcorn buckets. 🍿 They will only be available through the My Disney Experience app.

Behind-the-scenes 🦁


Let’s swing over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom now. 🐒 I loved this story this week.

If you’re staying in this weekend, and looking for something to do with the kiddos you may want to turn on Disney+. 🦒 This week, I gave News 6 meteorologist Candace Campos the fun job of interviewing three of the theme park’s top docs along with an animal keeper. They’re all spotlighted in the second season of the docuseries “The Magic Of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.” It’s amazing to hear their stories of what it takes to keep track and care for thousands of animals that call the theme parks home. 🐘 I highly encourage you to take a look at the show if you have not - it will pull at your heart strings in some spots. You can see the entire interview here.

AHOY! ☠️


Finally, this week I wanted to share that our first attraction of 2023 is now open. I stopped by Legoland Florida Resort earlier this week to check out the all-new “Pirate River Quest.” 🏴‍☠️ This 20-minute boat ride transports guests once again through the historic Cypress Gardens canals. I personally thought it was a great addition that will be fun for the whole family. The Lego characters are great and the interactive moments are colorful and fun! I also love the little parrot that sits on the front of the boats. 🦜 Starting next weekend, the park will begin Pirate Fest Weekends! Families will enjoy pirate-packed days of play, including exclusive character meet-and-greets, exciting entertainment, LEGO builds and specialty food.

Smaller thrills 🎡

🎭 Mardi Gras begins at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay this weekend!

🌩️ This area near Disney World is the lightning capital of the U.S.

🏗️ Universal Parks & Resorts to open theme park in Texas for young kids

That will wrap things up for me this week!

Just a heads up - the cooler temperatures this weekend WILL have some of our area water parks closed. 🥶 Be sure and check the hours before you head out! In the meantime, I hope you all have a great weekend!

-Landon 👋

About the Author:

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.