Velvet Sessions, Howl-O-Scream, and Finding Nemo: Your Weekly Theme-Park Recap (September 13 – 19)


Here’s the theme park news you need to know for the week of September 13 – 19.

1. Great Fall Date Nights at Universal Orlando Resort

Velvet Sessions at the Hard Rock Hotel and Harbor Nights at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel are back! These functions are separately-ticketed events for guests age 21 and up only. 

Velvet Sessions returns to the Hard Rock Hotel on September 24, featuring artist Bret Michaels. At these events, guests can enjoy up-close and personal performances with rock artists while sampling finger foods and specialty cocktails. You can purchase tickets here.

Harbor Nights at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel returns on October 22. This intimate evening takes place on Portofino Bay’s stunning waterfront, where guests can taste wine and foods from various sampling stations. The event lasts from 6:30 – 9:00 and you can purchase tickets here. Tickets to Velvet Sessions and Harbor Nights are sold through eventbrite. 

2. Seas of Screams 

Last weekend, Howl-O-Scream opened at SeaWorld Orlando (for the first time ever) and returned to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for another year of fear. These events feature haunted houses, themed bar experiences, and roaming haunts in some of the most fun places in Central Florida. Howl-O-Scream has already announced that it will be returning to SeaWorld Orlando next year, in 2022. 

Get great deals on tickets to Howl-O-Scream 2021 at SeaWorld Orlando and at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay here

3. Nemo Finds an Update 

This week, Disney revealed that “Finding Nemo: the Musical” was undergoing a revision and overhaul for a new show, to debut in 2022. “Finding Nemo: The Musical” has been delighting guests of all ages at Disney’s Animal Kingdom since 2007. The beloved film was released in 2003 to critical acclaim, leaving us with a communal ability to recite “P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney” and the motto “Just keep swimming.” The details of the new show have yet to be released, but we know that songs such as “In the Big Blue World” and “Go with the Flow” will be in the updated version. 

4. Space 220 and Steakhouse 71 Menus Revealed 

EPCOT and Disney’s Contemporary Resort released pricing and menu items for their newest restaurants. Space 220 opens in EPCOT on September 20 and features a prix-fixe menu. Steakhouse 71 (which is replacing The Wave at Disney’s Contemporary Resort) will open to guests on October 1, alongside events celebrating the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. Their menu features American fare, from eggs and bacon for breakfast to steak and potatoes at dinner. Space 220’s menu is a little more out-there with a varied selection including vegan dishes, tuna tartare, and lobster rolls. Our team is trying out Space 220 tomorrow, so be on the lookout for a review post in the next couple days! 

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


10 Reasons to be Excited for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

Review: EPCOT’s Space 220 Restaurant

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.