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Marc N. Kleinhenz

Marc N. Kleinhenz’s first dream in life was to be an astronaut. His second was an Imagineer. While neither completely worked out, he now works exclusively for Orlando Informer as a writer, editor, and podcast co-host. He’s also written for 32 other sites (including Screen Rant, IGN, The Escapist, and California Informer [OI’s sister site]), has had his fiction featured in several publications, and has even taught English in Japan. Imagineering school won’t be too far behind.

15 new additions to Disney World by 2021

In 2012, Comcast – which had just finished purchasing NBCUniversal the year before – made what is a now-legendary announcement: it was going to spend $500 million a year on both of its American theme park locations, opening up at least one new attraction, restaurant, and/or hotel each and every year. Although we have yet […]

Toy Story Land arriving in summer 2018 at Hollywood Studios

Yes, we might have known all about Toy Story Land’s three attractions, its placement on the Hollywood Studios map, and a general timeframe for its opening (2018), but that still left quite a bit in the dark. What would the area’s various dining and character meet-‘n-greet experiences be like? What would happen to the next-door […]

Disney World announces its answer to Uber

Leave it to Disney to find a way to address consumers’ complaints and to increase its revenue stream in one fell swoop. Transportation at Walt Disney World Resort is always at a premium, given the huge number of guests that visit there each and every day and the vast number of square miles that the […]

Star Wars hotel CONFIRMED for Disney World

There were a whole bunch of announcements that we expected Disney to make during its D23 Expo today: a massive new E-ticket for Magic Kingdom (Tron Lightcycle Power Run), Epcot (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Hollywood Studios (Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway) each; new transportation options for Walt Disney World Resort (gondolas and Uber-like Minnie […]

Tron coaster CONFIRMED for Disney World

Tron Lightcycle Power Run, which opened with Shanghai Disneyland on June 16, 2016, has long been rumored to be making its way over to Walt Disney World Resort, whether that be in Epcot’s Future World or Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland (the coaster acts as Space Mountain’s replacement in the Chinese Tomorrowland). Today, at its biennial D23 […]

Guardians of the Galaxy coming to Epcot

During this weekend’s biennial D23 Expo, Disney Parks and Resorts made the long-awaited and -expected announcement: the ultra-successful Guardians of the Galaxy franchise will be landing at Epcot. The rumor that the recently-exploded property would be finding its way to Walt Disney World Resort is an old one, having first appeared shortly over a year […]

Big changes announced for Disney World’s Epcot

On the continued march to Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021, Disney has been readying each of its resort’s four theme parks for the big event, refreshing their attractions or expanding them with brand-new lands. So far, Hollywood Studios has been the out-and-out star of this preparatory work, getting such additions as Toy Story […]

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge details revealed

This weekend’s D23 Expo has been huge for Star Wars Land; on Thursday night, we got a sneak peek at the absolutely mammoth model Disney brought to the convention floor of the 14-acre area, and, now, we have a whole slew of official confirmations that fans have been waiting for ever since the development was […]

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway CONFIRMED for Disney World

Just because reconstituting half of Disney’s Hollywood Studios into both Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge just isn’t quite enough, Disney has gone ahead today and revealed that it’s adding one final piece to the makeover puzzle: Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the first-ever Mickey-themed ride in Disney’s history. Guests will be able […]

Is this the REAL name of Star Wars Land?

The big Disney Parks and Resorts panel at this year’s D23 Expo won’t begin until 6:30 pm EST on Saturday, July 15 – a panel which, we’re assuming, many a revelation will be dropped on us, including a lot more information about Star Wars Land – but it seems like we may have gotten one […]

Star Wars Land’s secret interactivity revealed?

The big, detailed nature of Star Wars Land has been well documented in the two years since the project was officially announced – it’s 14 acres in size, it’ll feature tons of hidden details and Easter eggs, and, we saw just last night, it’ll have multi-story-tall buildings that will dominate guests as they walk down […]

Star Wars Land model REVEALED

Tonight, at a special press preview event ahead of this weekend’s D23 Expo, Disney pulled back the curtain on its massive, impressively-detailed model of Star Wars Land… and the results are stunning, to say the least. What makes the reveal all the more exciting is the simple fact that Disney, despite having shared several different […]

The Great Movie Ride closing soon at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is currently facing a whole slew of some pretty massive changes – after all, nearly half the park is under construction, with part of it being transformed into Toy Story Land for next year and the rest eventually rising as Star Wars Land in 2019. A Star Wars-themed hotel is also said […]

Everything you need to know about D23 2017

The Walt Disney Company, as you may have noticed, is a large enterprise, comprising a wide range of media and markets. The biennial D23 Expo, which is held in Anaheim this year from Friday, July 14 to Sunday, July 16, celebrates it all, with panels scheduled to highlight upcoming films and showcase the latest in […]

Christmas in July arrives at Disney World

For the very first time, Disney will be jumping on the Christmas in July bandwagon and celebrating the most wonderful time of the year in its Disney Springs dinning, shopping, and entertainment complex. Running from Saturday, July 15 to Sunday, July 30, the shindig will consist of several different events: Special food and drinks Both […]

Tron coaster coming to Disney World?

For the better part of a year, rumors have swirled that Tron Lightcycle Power Run, one of the flagship attractions of the just-opened Shanghai Disneyland, would be somehow, someway making the move over to Walt Disney World Resort, whether that be Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland or Epcot’s Future World (two lands that are in desperate need […]

Cirque du Soleil buys Blue Man Group & changes Orlando’s future

Well, talk about unexpected. Today, out of the clear blue sky (pardon the expression), Cirque du Soleil announced that it had purchased Blue Man Productions, the parent company behind the Blue Man Group show that has become so famous over the past 26 years (and across the four seasons of Arrested Development, of course). Citing […]

No icon for Halloween Horror Nights 2017?

As fans around the country – and the world – await more announcements regarding this year’s Halloween Horror Nights, it turns out that one of the more notable ones may have just slipped right past most observers. With only two houses revealed thus far (that would be American Horror Story and The Shining, of course) […]

The one way that the Harry Potter and Star Wars lands backfire

With the advent of such next-generation theme park lands as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Pandora: The World of Avatar, themed areas are now an attraction in and of themselves – highly detailed, recreating one specific location from their source material, and fully immersive. Gone are the days when restaurants, gift shops, or, […]

ALL Harry Potter rides receive Express Pass access

UPDATE (7:30 am 07.01.17): Express access has, indeed, been extended to every single ride within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as of this morning. The article has been updated accordingly. For the past several years, the most conspicuous absences on a list of those attractions that don’t feature Express access was, but of course, […]

Is Disney World’s Star Wars Land getting delayed?

Star Wars Land, what is increasingly being talked about – and presented by Disney as – being the next major step in the evolution of theme park design, has been under construction at both Disneyland in Anaheim and Hollywood Studios in Orlando since April 2016. Since then, progress in California has skyrocketed ahead, leaving Florida […]

SeaWorld unleashes Kraken Unleashed

Back in April, SeaWorld formally unveiled Kraken Unleashed, the virtual-reality upgrade to its popular, 17-year-old Kraken roller coaster. Today, the company invited media to try out the new experience for ourselves, just one day ahead of its grand opening to the public. We dove deep into the ride’s virtual waters, again and again, documenting our […]

4 things we just learned about Super Nintendo World

Late last night (Orlando time, that is), a special ground-breaking ceremony was being held over at Universal Studios Japan. There, Mark Woodbury, the president of Universal Creative, and Shigeru Miyamoto, the representative director of Nintendo (as well as the creator of Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and many other timeless videogame properties), took […]

Mario Kart announced for Universal’s Super Nintendo World

A special event was held at Universal Studios Japan today, during which top executives from both Universal and Nintendo graced a stage that doubled as a mini-recreation of the Mushroom Kingdom to announce the very first concrete details of Super Nintendo World, the new themed land that is expected to arrive by 2020 in Osaka […]

Aventura Hotel will be the most technologically advanced at Universal Orlando

Updated 06.05, 9:30 am: Universal has published a new blog post providing a few more details and a home video version of the virtual tour. We’ve incorporated both in the article. International Pow-Wow 2017, the trade show for the US Travel Association, gets underway today at Washington, DC, and Universal decided to mark the occasion […]

18 changes across Islands of Adventure’s 18 years

Although CityWalk – that giant collection of restaurants, night clubs, stores, and entertainment options – might have arrived first, it’s actually with Islands of Adventure that Universal’s toehold in Orlando was truly able to transform into a full-fledged resort. It’s hard to imagine that momentous event happened 18 short years ago, but it’s true – […]

Volcano Bay: 4 biggest takeaways

In case you didn’t know, we spent almost the whole day at Volcano Bay today as part of Universal’s media preview junket. For some six hours, we got to run around Universal Orlando Resort’s third park, hopping on rides, scarfing down food, and otherwise taking in the beautiful theming that the company has meticulously designed […]

Volcano Bay media day live blog

Today’s the day! It’s been a long two years since Universal first announced Volcano Bay, its next-generation “water theme park,” but the Waturi people are finally opening their doors and welcoming specially-selected press into their paradise home starting this morning. Orlando Informer, of course, is among the invitees, and we’re going to live blog about […]

Academy of Villains returning to Halloween Horror Nights 27?

Halloween Horror Nights 2017 is really starting to heat up. Within the past week, we got (official) confirmation that Stanley Kubrick’s legendary Shining is arriving in haunted-house form, and now we’re getting word that a different kind of beloved horror staple will be making a return appearance. Academy of Villains, the 18-year-old theatrical dance company […]

The Shining announced for Halloween Horror Nights 2017

UPDATE (12:08 pm 05.19.17): after making the (accidental) announcement on its travel-agent website on May 2 and then pulling it down (probably after realizing what it had done), Universal has just now finally made it officially official: Stanley Kubrick’s Shining is coming to this year’s Halloween Horror Nights. Here is our (updated) original post, loaded […]

Pandora: Disney reveals new interactive element

Rumors have been swirling for the past several months that Disney would be introducing some sort of interactive element for its massive Pandora: The World of Avatar expansion to Animal Kingdom. Today, just eight days(!) before the land’s grand opening, the company has made it official – and while it’s not quite the same as, […]

SeaWorld Orlando getting Sesame Street expansion

After announcing a revolutionary new water ride for 2018 and its intent to eventually make as many as five on-site hotels, SeaWorld Entertainment today added one more big revelation to the pile: it’s going to add a brand-new themed land to SeaWorld Orlando, as well. SeaWorld has had a 37-year partnership with Sesame Workshop, the […]

Disney is increasing its lead in the food war

Two months ago, we said that Disney was winning the food war against Universal. Today, we can report that Disney is looking to build upon that momentum already. The story goes a little something like this: starting next Saturday, May 27 – the day that Pandora: The World of Avatar opens, not coincidentally – Mobile […]

Volcano Bay: A close-up look at TapuTapu

Volcano Bay is almost here! As such, Universal has, early this morning, decided to go a bit more in-depth into some of the functionality of TapuTapu, the wristband that will enable guests to make Virtual Line reservations, pay for their purchases, and, we just learned yesterday, open lockers. (You can read up on everything there […]

Volcano Bay: 5 things we just learned from our first look inside

Updated 05/16 7:00 pm: Universal has released even more pictures from Volcano Bay! You can find them at the bottom of this article. Volcano Bay will open in just nine days – which means it’s about time to learn some new information about Universal Orlando’s water theme park, yes? Luckily for us, CNN has been […]

Volcano Bay merchandise revealed

With only two weeks to go before Volcano Bay’s grand debut, Universal has just today unveiled the new water park’s merchandise, one of the very last unknown elements left in its lineup. (Speaking of which: if you’ve missed out on Volcano’s amazing backstory or even more incredible food, be sure to check out our previous, […]

SeaWorld’s plans for the future include taking over China

This morning on its first quarter 2017 earnings call, SeaWorld Entertainment delivered some bad news for the present but an extremely exciting and optimistic view for both the near- and distant future – a future that just may see it going toe-to-toe with the likes of Disney and Universal in what is shaping up to […]

See Disney’s Happily Ever After one week early

Disney may not start Happily Ever After, its new nighttime show at Magic Kingdom, until next week, but it’s releasing a pretty detailed preview beginning today. This advanced look is actually an expanded version of the sneak peek the company offered a month-and-a-half ago, but at three times the length, there’s more than enough new […]

Prepare for the biggest-ever Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

A common complaint levied at Epcot, specifically, and Disney, generally, is that rather than investing the capital necessary to remove old structures (such as the mostly-abandoned Wonders of Life Pavilion) and to install new attractions, the company simply introduces new festivals or limited events to ensure the park is still filled year-round. The International Food […]

Disney might become the world leader in driverless vehicle technology

Move over, gondolas – there just may be a new transit game in (Disney) town. As driverless technology continues to slowly expand across the country, it appears as if Disney is seriously considering implementing automated vehicles at its Walt Disney World Resort later this year. According to the LA Times, the first step would be […]

Pandora: Striking images (and details!) from the media event

This morning, Disney held a special media preview event for Pandora: The World of Avatar, which opens at Animal Kingdom on May 27. Although usually described as Walt Disney World’s biggest expansion in over a decade, the new theme park land is probably best summed up as Disney’s big, if somewhat delayed, answer to Universal […]

The 8 must-read stories for April 2017

When covering Orlando and all of its many splendid attractions – including, of course, our particular focus, Universal Orlando Resort – it can be easy to get buried in a deluge of news stories or site updates. This is to be expected, given the breadth and depth of Central Florida’s themed wares, but it’s also […]

Universal’s theme park future is secured

Harry Potter gets a great deal of credit for helping to make Universal’s theme park holdings across the globe newly resurgent, but the second player in the success story largely goes unmentioned. Comcast purchased NBCUniversal in 2011 – just a year after The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade opened – and was so […]

The exotic desserts of Pandora: The World of Avatar

Disney has been aggressively pursuing its food and beverage lineup for next month’s Pandora: The World of Avatar, telling us about the brand-new Mobile Order initiative and even revealing the land’s full menu. This is no surprise – Universal has said that it views the South Pacific cuisine of Volcano Bay as one of the […]

Disney’s little touches are making Pandora super immersive

Much attention has been paid of late to 2019’s Star Wars Land, and how it promises to revolutionize the theme park experience with built-in hotels and ongoing, all-encompassing narratives, but it’s increasingly looking like Disney will beat itself to the punch with Pandora: The World of Avatar, which opens at Animal Kingdom next month. Pandora’s […]

Star Wars Land: Our first glimpse of its layout and attractions

Over this past weekend, we were treated to a special panel at Star Wars Celebration Orlando that offered up a few tantalizing glimpses into Star Wars Land, the 2019 expansion that is going into Hollywood Studios in Orlando and Disneyland Park in Anaheim. (We also got a behind-the-scenes video, to boot, which was low on […]

Harry Potter: What we want out of the wizarding Christmas

In case you missed the big news from last week – seriously, it’s one of the most popular stories we’ve ever run in Orlando Informer’s entire six-year history – Christmas is coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter this year. The festivities will start on November 18 and will consist of exclusive décor, seasonal […]

RUMOR: Is Disney making Star Wars, Indiana Jones, & Frozen hotels?

The news has been running rampant today that Disney is currently surveying guests about a possible Star Wars-themed hotel that would potentially be installed on-property at Walt Disney World Resort. This is understandably exciting – thus all the headlines, social media posts, and, even, local news coverage(!) in Orlando – but it’s actually only one-third […]

Toothsome has a ONE-DAY-ONLY milkshake today

Even before Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen opened last September 22, it was renowned for its impressive façade (which was helped furnished by none other than Universal Creative, the department responsible for designing theme park attractions) and, of course, for its over-the-top milkshakes, which range from the delectable Espresso Buzz Milkshake (which features […]

4 things we just learned about Star Wars Land

It feels like we’ve been discussing Star Wars Land, Disney’s biggest single-property land in its 62-year theme-park history, forever now; in reality, however, The Walt Disney Company only officially announced the expansion in 2015, and construction began just a year ago. Still, even within this two-year context, we actually know precious little about the area […]