You’re going to need a bigger boat this week because SHARK WEEK is almost here! Hello everyone and happy Friday! It’s Landon and I’m swimming into your inbox this week.
Hopefully you have your DVR set for some of the awesome shark-biting content next week on Discovery Channel. This year’s host is Aquaman, Jason Momoa, who in real life says he dreamed of a career as a marine biologist before he became a Hollywood actor. If you want to celebrate the ocean’s predators in theme park style, I have some ideas you can chomp down on! 👍
I ventured over to SeaWorld Orlando this week to see some of the sharks at its Shark Encounter. I was there bright and early to see many of the sharks, including their two newest hammerheads, Dutch and Dillon, get fed some pieces of fish. Those two have to be my favorite.
For one week only, and just in time for Shark Week, SeaWorld is offering its guests a new “Ultimate Shark Experience.” The separately ticketed experience gets guests up-close to see, feed, touch and learn about sharks and conservation efforts surrounding them. You also get a chance to ride some of the park’s thrilling shark attractions and get a free meal and item to take home!
At nearby Discovery Cove, you can swim with sharks during one its extra experiences. 🤿 The park said 5% of the proceeds from the Shark Swim Program supports the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, which conducts scientific research and hosts educational programs aimed at conserving the marine environment. For a limited-time, guests can save 40% on Discovery Cove bookings through next March!
Meanwhile, SEA LIFE Orlando aquarium at ICON Park is taking a bite out of shark week with their own experiences beginning Sunday.
If you’d rather stay inland, you could always go to Legoland Florida and meet Shark Suit Guy during its Summer Block Party, which runs for a few more weeks.
🚧 Dreams in the works
Universal Orlando dropped some BIG news this week about a new land coming next year.
Introducing DreamWorks Animation Land! 🤩 This new area will immerse guests into some of their favorite worlds of Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Trolls. It’s currently being built at Universal Studios Florida in the former Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone, which closed earlier this year. The theme park said the new addition is part of a collection of new entertainment experiences debuting at Universal Orlando Resort in 2024 and is a continuation of Universal’s commitment to rich storytelling.
Anyone else excited about this?! You can see video from overhead from our helicopter by clicking here. 🚁
Get those masks on! Villain-Con has arrived at Universal Orlando Resort.
Last weekend, Universal STUNNED its guests with a surprise soft-opening of its all-new attraction, Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast. 🦹 The attraction is just one piece of Universal Orlando’s plans for an all-new Minion Land.
When guests step onto the newly created “Illuminations Avenue” at Universal Studios Florida, they will not only find the immersive new experience, but also the unique Minion Café, various eateries, shopping and entertainment offerings inspired by some of Illumination’s hit films and character meet-and-greets at the new Illuminations Theater. The new attraction will have guests causing mayhem and destruction as they blast their way to a high score using an E-Liminator X blaster! 🔫 I have posted a number of photos inside this article on our website.
We have a 💯 date
Walt Disney World this week dropped dates for its upcoming Disney100 celebration coming to EPCOT. 😃
This is one story you need to mark your calendars for this fall. As part of the anniversary cleebration, EPCOT will roll out special Disney100 backdrops, murals, décor and exclusive food and beverage options, including a purple metallic Mickey balloon premium popcorn bucket. 🎈 You will also get the chance to meet the Mickey and Minnie Mouse who will both be sporting their new platinum outfits. 📸
If you’re looking for a chilling thrill this fall, you might be checking out Howl-O-Scream at SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Both theme parks are holding what they’re calling a “sinister sale,” and you can save BIG on tickets through the end of the month. This is a deal that I’m going to be taking advantage of, for sure. During each of the park’s Howl-O-Scream events, guests will get to walk through new haunted houses and scare zones, see live shows and experience attractions like SeaWorld’s Pipeline: The Surf Coaster at night. 🕯️💀
SeaWorld is bringing back the siren-inspired haunted house Blood Beckoning and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is rolling out all-new additions including D.H. Baggum’s Circus of Fear, Big Ed’s Demolition Derby, Sin City Zombies and The Residence: Home For The Holidays. For a limited-time next week, you can walk through the holiday haunted house or get your picture with Santa.🎅 They’re calling it scary or merry. 🤣 Who is ready for a screaming good time, just me? 🙋
A couple of new additions worth noting at Disney Springs. 😋 The first involves a new foodie spot coming next year.
“Chopped” judge and Food Network personality Maneet Chauhan and her husband, Vivek Deora, are opening a new Indian restaurant in 2024. The restaurant, which is being dubbed “EET,” is described as a “modern, fun Indian-inspired concept.” Disney made the announcement on social media but didn‘t say where it would be located.
Fun in the foam
Back in April, Island H2O had an adults-only foam party. Building on the success of the event, the water park is adding some additional dates including one this weekend. During each event, guests will enjoy a DJ-hosted glow foam party, the park’s wave pool and slides, tasty food and glowing drinks and merchandise. This weekend’s event is an adults-only after party, and next month, families will get to have fun in the foam during the day.
🚌 Back 2 School
It’s tough to think that the summer season is almost over for a lot of students in Central Florida.
Parents, if you want to jump start your kids’ minds ahead of the new school year get ready to head to WonderWorks Orlando. The attraction along International Drive is about to launch a back-to-school event for Florida residents. Beginning July 31, local residents can purchase reduced-rate tickets for as little as $22 plus tax. The tickets will provide full access to all WonderWorks Orlando offers, including laser tag, STEAM-focused exhibits, the glow-in-the-dark ropes course, the Bed of Nails and the Bubble Lab.
🏫 Speaking of teachers, if you’re one in Central Florida, we would LOVE to hear your story about why you teach! Submit your story and we might just feature you on air.
Virtual series 🏃♂️
🎄Attention runners - a registration date is ahead! 🎄🏃♀️
For those of you who are big fans of runDisney races, I wanted to make you aware of this one in the week ahead. I had the chance to speak with runDisney leaders this week about its all-new virtual series being called the 12Ks of Christmas. Registration is happening July 25 and it’s the perfect race to sign up for while you’re at home for the holidays. Something new for this race, the medals will actually turn into ornaments for your tree! 🎄 You will also get a hot cocoa kit, shirt and CORKCICLE. If you want to jump start your virtual series training, the Disney100 virtual series is still available! I’m participating in that as we speak!
Smaller thrills 🎡
Well, that will do it from me this week.
Before I head out I wanted to say, if you’re enjoying this letter, you might also enjoy some of our News 6 Insider content. It’s FREE to sign up!
I will talk to you all again soon.