Ready for the theme parks? 🎢


Good Friday morning, everyone! Landon here with some of the news coming out of the theme parks this week.

As the summer season heats up and the theme parks get a little busier, it’s not just tourists visiting the theme parks. This week, I wanted to feature some of the News 6 staff who have ventured out to some of Central Florida’s theme parks. It’s not just myself having a good time out there. 😆

Starting out at Universal Orlando, News 6 morning meteorologist Troy Bridges and Insider guide and anchor Crystal Moyer had some fun running around the park. Troy said he decided last minute to do a staycation for the first time at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. He mentioned to me that he loves the Hard Rock Hotel and restaurants for its atmosphere, but he decided to give Portofino a try. He tells me the hotel was beautiful with tons of pizza options. He posted a few pictures on social media and he said Crystal decided to join him to ride some rides.


The two tried some delicious frozen butterbeer (which Crystal explained to Troy was not alcoholic) in Diagon Alley and took some time exploring the vaults in the exciting attraction, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. After conquering that wild adventure, Crystal persuaded Troy to increase his thrill level on Revenge of the Mummy.

“Troy screamed the entire time with his head down. I kept saying, ‘Open your eyes.’ I laughed so hard during the ride, I was crying all while holding his hand. At the end, we went to the photo booth and I just HAD to buy the photo. Most memorable part of the day,” Crystal said. 😂📸


“I’m usually afraid of anything too high or too crazy. Crystal convinced me to ride The Mummy. I loved it, but I did have to hold her hand and I yelled a lot, but I would do it again because it was fun,” Troy said.

“Did he enjoy it? I think so. After that ride he said, ‘I think I’m good for today.’ Needless to say, I don’t think he’ll be riding anymore roller coasters with me. (I hope he does though. There’s so many great options that he hasn’t even tried yet),” Crystal explained. “Troy took advantage of the buy one, get two days free Florida Resident promotion, so we’re already talking about our next couple of trips to the theme park.”


Moving over to SeaWorld Orlando, weekend anchor and space newsletter expert Erik Von Ancken was riding some rides recently with his kids. He calls it an end-of-the-school-year tradition for his family. His kid’s favorite ride at SeaWorld Orlando? Mako! 🦈 I wonder if they got to ride Pipeline: The Surfing Coaster. 🤔


Some News 6 producers are also having fun. Our 9 a.m. producer Haley was feeling bubbly and got her hands on a “Little Mermaid” sweet treat at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort! She said she was surprised to find some of the popular desserts still available late in the evening. Meanwhile, Erika hit up Universal Orlando with her sister and Brooke sought the power of Poseidon before the attraction closed to the public a few weeks ago.

Where have you been at the theme parks? Have you done anything exciting? Let me know by emailing me! Let’s talk! 😁

Flower power 🌸


Pretty soon we will be coming down to the final weeks of the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival. 🌱 The event runs through July 5 and features beautiful gardens, sweet and savory dishes with refreshing sips, live entertainment at the Garden Rocks Concert series and merchandise collections featuring Orange Bird, Snow White and Figment.

This week, I ventured out to EPCOT to learn about one drink that has social media influencers going crazy right now: the non-alcoholic frozen desert violet lemonade at the Pineapple Promenade marketplace.

Did you know the drink’s centerpiece edible flower that is garnished on top was actually grown at EPCOT? Thousands of these beautiful viola flowers are grown over at the Land Pavilion. I talked with scientists that are harvesting these flowers and delivering them to marketplaces for us to enjoy! These flowers are just some of the things they grow and deliver to areas across Walt Disney World! If you get a chance to do the Behind the Seeds Tour - DO IT!

Some “EVIL stuff” 🦹


We’re inching closer to the opening of the all-new Minion Land at Universal Orlando. This week, the wall came down around portions of the all-new attraction, Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast. With the walls coming down Universal Orlando opened the doors to the attraction’s gift shop being called “Evil Stuff.” I stepped inside to get a first look. You will find a collection of new merchandise that pays tribute to characters from the “Despicable Me” and “Minions” films. 🛍️ On top of these merchandise displays, guests will find Minions dressed as some of the iconic “Despicable Me” villains including Vector, Balthazar Bratt and Scarlet Overkill.🦹🏼

Universal Orlando has not announced an opening date for the new attraction, but plans to announce more soon!

Surfs up, DUDE! 🏄


June 17 is International Surfing Day and what better place to peel into some waves than at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. This week, I ditched the tennis shoes for sandals and went out to the water park to learn about some of the options available to you. Did you know that you can surf some awesome waves for three hours before the park opens or after it closes? 🏄 The water park has two options for new and advanced surfers to enjoy the waves. Not only do you not have to worry about seaweed or marine life, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon rips out some perfect 🌊 waves for surfers to enjoy! Before you head out there - you will need to have your own surfboard. I think I may try this sometime. The park used to offer surfing lessons, but that has since been discontinued. Who is ready to HANG TEN!? 🤪🤙

Foodie news 😋


I have some news for theme park foodies this week. Beginning today, guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios can discover a new pop-up experience that celebrates everyone’s favorite professor of archaeology, Indiana Jones. Disney said for a limited-time, guests can enjoy exclusive libations inspired by daring explorers, step into photographable moments among rare antiquities from previous expeditions, and discover costumes and props from the upcoming film, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, scheduled to hit theaters later this month!

🎅 In other news, Walt Disney World is rolling out some Christmas desserts celebrating its Halfway to the Holidays celebration. Anyone down for a brownie tree pop🎄 or gingersnap cookie? You can get them starting next week! I’ll have more details about some of the Walt Disney World holiday celebrations for you next week. 😉


Finally this week, a couple of special deals you might want to take advantage of. Fun Spot is preparing to celebrate its 25th birthday in a HUGE way. Guests can get half off a day pass for just $25! The park said the passes expire on June 9, 2024, and will get you into any of Fun Spot America’s three parks, located in Orlando, Kissimmee and Atlanta, Georgia. They go on sale tomorrow!

Meanwhile, on the Space Coast, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is rolling out a special ticket offer for Florida residents! If you buy a one-day ticket to the tourist attraction, you get a second day free! While you’re out there be sure and check out their newest show, ‘All Systems Are Go.’🚀

🎡 Smaller thrills

(Universal Pictures)

🦖 Jurassic June kicks off at Universal Orlando: movie hits theaters for 30th anniversary

🐖 Peppa Pig all-new character breakfast begins

That will do it from me this week!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend and I’ll talk to you again next week!


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.

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.