The Downlow | Friday, Nov. 4

Hey everyone! Thanks for stopping by the site! We had a fun week here at Downlow HQ, including a special Halloween night trip to Williams Grove Amusement Park for a special haunt event. There weren’t many thrills to be had, but we agreed it was nice to see the old park lit up on Halloween night!

Before we head into the weekend, we wanted to share a few theme parks news bits from this week! Universal Orlando released more information on two big attractions coming next year – Volcano Bay water park and the new Jimmy Fallon ride at Universal Studios! We’ve also got more movie news and a look at holiday merchandise coming to Walt Disney World!

The Downlow for Friday, Nov. 4, is here!

  • Theme Park Ranger Dewayne Bevil has the details for the new ride at the center of Universal’s new Volcano Bay water park! The water coaster, called the Krakatau Aqua Coaster, is housed in the 200-foot volcano that is visible from the Orlando sky line! The park and the ride are set to open next year and there is some very exciting technology being put to use, including linear magnets to propel the water coaster ride vehicles (no step climbing!) and wearable bands that tell you when it’s time to ride (so you don’t have to wait in line). We saw the volcano under construction last month and it looks amazing. Can’t wait to check this place out next year!
  • The new water coaster wasn’t the only ride Universal spilled some beans about this week; they also release a few details about 2017’s Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon, a simulator ride that is replacing the old Twister attraction at Universal Studios! Behind the Thrills has the story! In addition to outfitting the building to look like the famed Rockefeller Center in NYC, the ride itself will use what’s being called a “flying theater” to transport 72 guests on a fast-paced trip through the streets on NY! The flying theater concept has us intrigued and might look something like this!
  • Our followers know by now that here at Dis Downlow, we LOVE Disney merchandise! Each year we’re sure to pick up a new holiday tree ornament along with other decorations for around the house. Our friends over at Easy WDW have a sneak peek at the 2016 Disney World Holiday merchandise!
  • Finally, we’ve got two bits of movie related theme park news! First up is confirmation of something we shared a few weeks ago: WDW News Today has confirmed that starting today, guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be able to meet Dr. Strange! The meet and greet will take place at the back of Pixar Place, near the exit of Toy Story Mania. Interestingly though, Disney is unable to advertise the meet and greet in any way due to the existing contract that prohibits Disney from advertising Marvel characters at its parks. Currently (and for the foreseeable future) Universal Orlando has exclusive rights to Marvel characters in theme parks east of the Mississippi River!
  • In our last bit of movie news, Entertainment Weekly has exclusive photographs from the upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast movie! It’s been 25 years since the original animated version was released, so naturally it’s time for a real-life remake. The movie, opening in 2017, stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, and new Disney staple Josh Gad as Le Fou. We’re excited for this one and the new pictures look awesome!

That’s the Downlow for today! Are you looking forward to Dr. Strange (opening today!) or the new Beauty and the Beast? If so, let us know in the comment section! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to get the latest news! And remember – if you’re interested in a free quote for your own magical theme park adventure, check out Ang’s travel page or shoot her an email:!

Interested in a free Disney/Universal quote?

Ang Bertugli Spece, one half of the Dis Downlow team, is a travel consultant with Simply Enchanted Travel and would love to help you get started planning a dream vacation!

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