Theme Park News From Disney, Universal Studios, and More Fan-tastical Destinations

Theme Park News From Disney, Universal Studios, and More Fan-tastical Destinations

Here’s what’s going on at major tourist destinations in Orlando, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, and abroad. Disney Parks just opened Zootopia at the Shanghai Disney resort and we have a look at its wild animatronics and cute in-universe food. Las Vegas is lifting spirits with immersive showings of The Nightmare Before Christmas and festive yule magic at Lost Spirits Distillery at AREA15. If you’re wanting something on the even spookier side, Warner Bros.’ Escape It will let you live Halloween everyday while Pennywise chases you around.

Universal Studios is decked out for Grinchmas and setting its sights on New Year’s Eve celebrations. In NYC, Sleep No More begins its final shows and end-of-year festivities. LA is hosting a rare exhibition of a theme park pop-up from various iconic artists, “Luna Luna,” presented by Drake. And let’s not forget Meow Wolf, which continues to activate its portals with the new Real Unreal experience in Grapevine, Texas.

Here’s the latest news from theme parks and immersive experiences.

Zootopia land opens at Shanghai Disney

Explore Zootopia at Shanghai Disney Resort with detailed biospheres inspired by the film’s animal metropolis. Go on a ride-along adventure with Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde in Disney Parks’ latest E-ticket attraction Zootopia: Hot Pursuit.

Come to Zootopia, they have cartoon animal robots

It’s beginning to look like an animatronic takeover at Disney Parks.

Zootopia food

Look at the pawpsicle, just like in the movie!

Disney Aulani in Hawaii

Disney Aulani presents a festive new show, He Mo‘olelo Hemolele: A Story of Faith, Hope & Aloha; it’s inspired by Disney Parks’ traditional holiday Candlelight Processional, but with Hawaiian cultural touches. Find out more here.

Walt Disney World Epcot Luminous

Take a look at the latest nighttime spectacular at Epcot.

Disney California Adventure Festival of Holidays

Check out all the Festival of Holidays food at Disneyland here.

The Nightmare Before Christmas immersive screening and more at AREA15 Las Vegas

Experience the holidays at AREA15 with light-show exhibitions, festive foodie finds, and special screenings of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Check out:

Illuminarium’s festive overlay.

The Nightmare Before Christmas immersive showings

Museum Fiasco Holiday light show

NYE Feast at the Beast

Meow Wolf Omega Mart Las Vegas

New exhibitions are now open at Meow Wolf Las Vegas’ Omega Mart. Visit the wonderland of participatory art installations that transport you to surreal worlds, right down the street from the Vegas strip at AREA15. Get tickets here.

Lost Spirits Distillery Holidays in Las Vegas

Holiday Rankin Bass-style variety fun, music, magic, and fantastical nautical rum tastings galore at Lost Spirits, Las Vegas’ very own literary immersive distillery. Get tickets here.

Escape It Las Vegas

Year-round It franchise escape rooms await in Las Vegas with two experiences, each based on both WB horror films, and an official gift shop full of spooky Stephen King universe goods. Get tickets here.


Experience the visual spectacle of Sphere, now open in Las Vegas, with screenings of Darren Aronofsky’s Postcard From Earth. More info here.

Jon Favreau and Roy Choi open Chef movie inspired food truck in Las Vegas

Fans of Jon Favreau’s Chef—which was sandwiched (ahem) between his Marvel stint and current Star Wars gig—will be excited to learn the filmmaker has opened up a food truck in collaboration with the inspiration for the foodie tale, chef Roy Choi. This fast casual spot aims to be faithful to the spirit of the film; feed your fandom at the Park MGM in Las Vegas.

AREA15 Las Vegas NYE MasqueRave

For more info check out pricing here.

Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure

Take a look at the festivities at Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure.

Dreamworks’ Trolls shakes things up at Universal Orlando

Find themed milkshakes at Schwab’s Pharmacy at Universal Studios Orlando.

Universal Studios Hollywood Grinchmas and more

Here’s what to expect at Universal Studios Hollywood for the holidays.

Universal Monsters shopping break

Universal Monsters demonstrate how to scare up some last-minute holiday gifts at the theme parks.

Universal Studios Hollywood New Year’s EVE

Ring in the New Year at Universal Studios Hollywood with live DJs, rides, and a countdown to 2024. Buy admission here.

Meow Wolf Denver – Convergence Station

Take a break from the cold if you’re in Denver, Colorado, this holiday season and visit Meow Wolf Convergence Station.

Meow Wolf Texas’ Adulti-Verse NYE

Ring in the New Year at Meow Wolf’s Real Unreal in Grapevine, Texas. You can now buy a ticket for 12/31 for access to the 21+ bash.

Winter Wonderland at Frosty’s in LA and NYC

Ever wanted to party at the North Pole? Here’s your chance! Both the Los Angeles and New York locations are open through New Year’s Eve with a special party when the ball drops for 2024. More info here.

Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy

Musician Drake led the re-imagining and comeback for a collection of theme park rides and artwork originally put on display by artist and curator André Heller as part of a 1987 exhibit in Hamburg, Germany. Featuring work by Salvador Dalí, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, David Hockney, Sonia Delaunay, and others, it’s now revived in Los Angeles as Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy for a limited time.

The McKittrick’s Last New Year’s Eve

Ring in the New Year at the McKittrick in NYC for one final hoorah at the immersive experience space.

Sleep No More final shows

Sleep No More is sold out for December but check online for availability for its final shows through February 2024, including a salon series which features conversations with creatives.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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