By Holley Long
Something you can count on in Orlando is that its theme parks will always see updates to meet the needs and interests of guests. And this fall, there are several big ones. Read on to learn what new things are in effect (or soon to be in effect) at the parks this season.
Trams Returning to Disney Parks’ Parking Lots
Image by WDW News Today
The trek back to your car after a long day at Walt Disney World’s theme parks is about to get a whole lot easier, thanks to the return of parking lot trams at Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. The trams had already returned to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.
The trams, which transport theme park guests from the front of the park (or, in Magic Kingdom’s case, the front of the Ticket & Transportation Center) to different sections of the massive Disney parking lots, stopped running after the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns in 2020. With their return, guests can give their feet a much needed break, as well as enjoy a few minutes reprieve from the still intense Orlando heat.
SeaWorld Orlando’s New “Weather-or-Not” Policy
Image by Seaworld Orlando
Speaking of that intense heat, SeaWorld has taken notice of the often scorching temperatures, and in response has expanded its inclement weather policy to include extreme heat. Called the Weather-or-Not Assurance, the policy allows guests to return to the park another day should weather impact their visit.
Specifically, if the temperature reaches a heat index of 110 degrees or above, visitors can return to the park within 12 months, free of charge. The policy also goes into effect if weather impacts the park’s operating hours or if attractions are closed for more than an hour due to weather-related events, like storms.
Epic Universe Construction Continues
Image by Themeparx
Construction is of course underway at Epic Universe, a Universal Orlando Resort theme park, and new permits give more insight into what the park will look like. Starting with Dark Universe, the rumored Universal Monsters land, several trademark applications have been filed that could indicate the names of attractions within the land, including:
Pretorius’ Scientific Oddities — named for a character from the film Bride of Frankenstein, this trademark is for a retail location.
Monsters Unchained: The Frankenstein Experiment — expected to be the main ride in the land, it is rumored to begin at Dr. Frankenstein’s lab and feature all of the Universal Monsters in an indoor tracked attraction like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (located at another Universal park, Islands of Adventure).
The Manor Storehouse — The name may refer to another retail location by the main ride.
De Lacey’s — The name of a character from the Frankenstein film who lives in a cottage, permits refer to this as a “snack stand.”
Dark Universe has seen the most recent updates in terms of possible name permits, but other lands, like the How to Train Your Dragon land, have also had permits filed for food stands and shops. The name “Meade Hall” has been filed, rumored for the land’s main dining location, and renderings and construction photos show a mountain-like structure for the spot.
As new structures come together in all the lands (which will include a Super Nintendo land and Wizarding World) it’s exciting to get an idea what the layout and design of this brand new park will be. The park’s open date is expected to be in the summer of 2025.
Revenge of the Dead Coconut Club in 3D - Now Open at CityWalk
Image by WDW News Today
The return of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios means the Red Coconut Club in CityWalk also gets a spooky makeover. This year, the theme is a movie premiere, with none other than the Universal Monsters themselves releasing their film Target Planet Coconut.
The club is two-levels and filled with decor, like sculptures of the monsters and other creatures. Movie posters, theater seats, and other pieces help the space feel like a real movie premiere, and specialty cocktails and mocktails keep the spooky vibes going. The club will be open for select nights throughout the HHN event.
Fall isn’t just a time for the leaves to change color, it's also the time for new updates at our favorite parks! From practical updates like returning transportation and cancellation policies, to new construction and Halloween happenings, there is a lot going on at Orlando’s theme parks this season. We look forward to these changes and openings, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for these popular spots!
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