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End of the Year Updates: Your Weekly Theme-Park Recap


The Orlando Informer family extends sincere and warm holiday wishes to you all. As 2021 comes to a close, we reflect on the value of this community and the joy and friendship it delivers in these extraordinary times. Although we are all tethered together by our enthusiasm for theme parks, we are bonded together through the relationships made by you. Thank you, and happy holidays! 

Here’s the Orlando theme-park news you need to know for the end of 2021. 

1. Disney Re-openings

With a slew of Walt Disney World Resort announcements, 2022 is already looking up. Earlier this month, the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular returned to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Although “Indy” took on some minor changes, guests were thrilled with the return of the popular stunt show. In addition to that, guests can now book reservations for the Keys to the Kingdom tour and Wilderness Back Trail Adventure! Both experiences give guests the opportunity for a “behind the scenes” look at favorite elements of Disney World. As a reminder, Holiday Carriage Rides are currently available, and Carriage Rides will resume as usual at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort on January 7, 2022. Disney Port Orleans – Riverside Carriage Rides will resume on February 4, 2022. Finally, on March 31, 2022, Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort will reopen — marking the first time all Walt Disney Resort hotels have been open since 2020!

Stay up to date on all the latest Walt Disney World news by joining our Walt Disney World Facebook community.

2. Going Nuts for Earl!

Earlier this month, an all-new walkaround character was introduced to Universal Orlando Resort. Earl the Squirrel made his debut after almost a decade of being developed into the character he is today. Originally inspired by a real-life squirrel, Earl has transformed into an icon for Universal Orlando Resort. He can occasionally be sighted in front of the Hello Kitty Store in Universal Studios Florida.

Guests can still purchase Earl merchandise and more at the 2021 Holiday Tribute Store in Universal Studios Florida. 

3. Scheduled Maintenance for Beloved Attractions

Just as a friendly reminder, a number of attractions at Universal Orlando Resort will have to (sadly) undergo maintenance closures. The most notable of these is Revenge of the Mummy, which will be closed January 7, 2022 and will reopen in late summer. Over in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Jurassic Park River Adventure will be closed from January 10, 2022 – January 28, 2022. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls will have its turn from January 31, 2022 to February 25, 2022. Finally, Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges will be closed from February 25, 2022 to March 18, 2022. That means all the beloved water rides will be up and ready for guests visiting in the warmer weather! 

Stay up-to-date on closures and openings across Universal Orlando Resort on our Snapshot page.

4. Makos and Reindeer and Bumbles, Oh My! 

There’s a few more days to enjoy SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, going on now through January 2, 2022. The park is transformed into a Christmas wonderland with a sea of trees, ice-skating Winter Wonderland on Ice, and the chance to meet Santa himself at Wild Arctic. Don’t miss out on meeting beloved characters like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or your favorite Sesame Street friends in the Sesame Street Christmas Parade. 

Get your SeaWorld tickets here to enjoy all this and more!

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest info. And then be sure to discuss everything with 125,000+ other Universal die-hard fans in our Orlando Informer Community on Facebook.


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New Year Updates: Your Weekly Theme-Park Recap

About Aryn Bordelon

Aryn Bordelon grew up eating rice and kimchi in the Panhandle and was indoctrinated with a love of Florida theme parks from a young age. A long-time follower of OI, she has spent years attending the parks in a variety of ways, from repeatedly attending Halloween Horror Nights to racing (and placing) at Universal Running events alongside her husband, Ian.