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Iron Gwazi Launches, TRON Ready to Test, and Super Nintendo World Coming to America: Your Weekly Theme-Park Recap (March 6 – 13, 2022)


Here’s the Orlando theme park news you need to know for the week of March 6.

1. Iron Gwazi Launches

Iron Gwazi opened at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay this weekend. The coaster boasts impressive qualities, including a 200-ft drop, top speeds of 76 miles an hour, and two inversions. We were lucky enough to go to the VIP party the night before Iron Gwazi officially opened, and we’ve gotta say – the only thing better than Iron Gwazi during the day is Iron Gwazi at night! 

Check out our ride preview here

Super Nintendo World, Universal Studios Japan

2. Super Nintendo World Opening Soon 

In an interesting announcement this week, Universal revealed that Super Nintendo World will open at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2023. This will be the first Super Nintendo World in the United States, despite Universal’s Epic Universe eventually opening here in Orlando. Universal’s Epic Universe is still very much under construction and is expected to open in summer 2025. These plans will include a Super Nintendo World. If the same world at Universal Studios Japan is anything to consider, it will be the most highly immersive space in the theme park world. 

Here’s our complete guide on Universal’s Epic Universe.

3. EPCOT Closes Attraction

The EPCOT Experience in the Odyssey Pavilion will close its doors permanently on March 14. EPCOT is in the process of a heavy remodeling and is sustaining a lot of construction, and The EPCOT Experience was an interactive walkthrough attraction that put all these plans on parade. Although progress slowed down tremendously due to the pandemic, the past 18 months have shown great change at EPCOT in many ways. The France Pavilion expanded to include a new attraction, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and a quick-service restaurant, Le Creperie de Paris. EPCOT also debuted a new nighttime spectacular on October 1 in conjunction with 50th anniversary celebrations. Club Cool got a facelift and Creations Shop replaced MouseGear as the place to get all the best merchandise. 

We can’t wait to see what the next 18 months hold for this park!

4. TRON Lightcycle / Run Is Back on Track

Things are really moving over in Tomorrowland at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. TRON Lightcycle / Run will start testing ride vehicles soon, according to Disney Imagineer Zach Riddley. The ride vehicles will start at relatively slow speeds and then increase their velocity as testing permits. Guests enjoying the PeopleMover will have a great view of these test runs soon! TRON Lightcycle / Run is the second of its kind. TRON Lightcycle Power Run opened in Shanghai Disneyland nearly six years ago, and plans for bringing a similar attraction to Magic Kingdom were made five years ago. 

What are you most excited about for this attraction?

5. Disney Genie+ adds Festival of Fantasy Parade

This week, the Festival of Fantasy parade returned to Magic Kingdom after two years of being gone. Guests were able to see Peter Pan on his flying pirate ship, Flynn Rider swinging on a float, and of course, the Maleficent dragon. This week, Disney Genie+ added a Festival of Fantasy viewing area to the app, reserving a space for guests who wish to add this feature to their day. 

Is Disney Genie+ worth it? Read our take on it here

That’s it for this week’s news! See you at the parks.

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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.