Let the Orlando Sentinel’s Theme Park Rangers guide you on your visit to Disney World, Universal, SeaWorld and all the other must-see attractions in Central Florida.
Universal's Minion Land blasts off and HHN's spooky expectation (Ep. 191)
Universal Studios officially opened Minion Land. Orlando Sentinel tourism reporter Dewayne Bevil and Central Florida Explorer Patrick Connolly discuss the new interactive attraction, Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast, and the tasty treats offered: Think banana-flavored popcorn and banana bread beer. They then switch gears and focus on Halloween Horror Nights, the after-hours ticketed event that begins Sept. 1.
Minion Land (2:32) Minion Blast (5:03) Minion Cafe (10:00) Character meet and greet (14:32) HHN houses (15:30) HHN scare zones, shows, taste of terror (26:12)
Saying goodbye to a Theme Park Ranger
Sadly, Theme Park Rangers podcast says goodbye to Orlando Sentinel tourism reporter Katie Rice. Katie is leaving her post covering the business side of Central Florida attractions at the Sentinel. She is off on another adventure that will most definitely include fewer theme parks. But before she leaves, she talks with her colleague Dewayne Bevil about some of her favorite rides, how to pack for the parks and some personal pet peeves at area attractions.
Favorite rides, park (2:15) Theme park bag essentials (11:19) Hidden hotspots (19:07) Theme park pet peeves (23:47)
Disney vs. DeSantis — What you need to know
The battle between Walt Disney Co. and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the fate of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District continues to heat up, but what does that mean for park guests? Orlando Sentinel reporters Katie Rice and Skyler Swisher have been covering this story since the beginning. They condense 14 months of developments into a 25-minute episode discussing what led us here, where the district stands now, are park guests feeling the impact of the turmoil and what’s next for Disney World.
How Reedy Creek Improvement District came about (1:45) The dissolution of Reedy Creek (4:34) New board is not like the old board (7:25) The big plot twist nobody saw coming (9:55) Disney files federal lawsuit; Board countersues (12:32) Inside DeSantis’ mind (17:02) How will it impact future of Disney World? (20:32) Will this issue quietly go away? (23:50)
SeaWorld set to preview surf coaster, great hammerheads and Mess Fest arriving soon at Orlando Science Center (Ep. 188)
SeaWorld Orlando‘s annual passholders will get their first rides aboard Pipeline roller coaster starting May 12. The "surfing" coaster will open to the public May 27. Also new to SeaWorld are two great hammerhead sharks now living at the Shark Encounter attraction. The young male sharks, named Dutch and Dillon, were transferred from Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta in a collaborative effort to protect endangered species. Lastly, Orlando Sentinel tourism reporters Dewayne Bevil and Katie Rice preview Mess Fest at the Orlando Science Center coming May 13-14. From slime to fizzy paint, guests can get hands-on with the ooiest, gooiest, messiest activities.
SeaWorld's "surfing" coaster (1:00) Great hammerhead sharks (8:36) OSC Mess Fest (13:11)
Disneyland dragon fire, BBot security robot rolls into town and Icon Park debuts retro game
On this episode of Theme Park Rangers, Orlando Sentinel tourism reporters Dewayne Bevil and Katie Rice discuss the fire that damaged the Maleficent dragon at Disneyland and its impact on Disney World shows. They also introduce listeners to BBot, one of the latest security employees at the Orange County Convention Center. And the Wheel at Icon Park debuted an onboard gaming element called The Great Florida Road Trip.
Disneyland fire (:38) Security robot at convention center (8:13) Great Florida Road Trip at Icon Park (15:43)
Poseidon’s Fury at Islands of Adventure closing and Disney’s Animal Kingdom turns 25
The Theme Park Rangers say goodbye to Poseidon’s Fury at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and celebrate Animal Kingdom’s birthday. Orlando Sentinel tourism reporters Dewayne Bevil and Katie Rice share memories about the show that is closing May 9 (a replacement attraction has not been announced) and highlights from 25 years at Disney’s youngest park. Also discussed is a new immersive experience on I-Drive at the Orlando International Premium Outlets. Lonely Dog features New Zealand artist Ivan Clarke’s work animated and put to music in a unique setting.
Poseidon’s Fury closing (:35) Animal Kingdom turns 25 (11:19) Loney Dog (19:11)
Disney & Universal fans need to listen!
Love the insight and raw honest discussion of pricey attractions.
Decent theme park listen
Good info but Dwyane Bevil is like listening to a cast member from the haunted mansion talk theme parks with a nervous chuckle. Fix the nervous chuckle and gain a star.
Society of explorers and adventurers
Did you guys not realize that Tokyo Disney sea is the headquarters of the society of explorers and adventurers? You do realize that SEA is an acronym for society of explorers and adventures. There already are a group of characters that are in this society one is Albert falls from the jungle Cruise, Barnabas bullion from thunder mountain and of course Lord Gracie from the haunted mansion and Meriwether pleasure from pleasure island. All you need to do is a Google search for society of explorers and adventures and you will get the names of all of them thank you