The Latest News From Disney Parks, Universal Studios Resorts, and More Fan-tastical Destinations

Photo:  Disney Parks
Photo: Disney Parks

The latest in innovations and experiential experiences are being showcased at SXSW this weekend, and Disney Parks hit the fest to reveal a toddler-sized but kinda scary robot. Over at the theme parks spring is in bloom at Walt Disney World’s Flower and Garden Fest and Marvel heroes arrive at Avengers Campus at the Disneyland Resort. A rebranding kicks off Universal Studios Destinations and Experiences as the company expands beyond Super Nintendo World into other immersive realms. And among upcoming special events Star Wars Celebration announcements abound and Warner Bros. celebrates 100 years with a concert on the WB lot.

Read on for the latest news from Disney Parks, Meow Wolf, Universal Studios, theaters, and experiential entertainment!

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Disney Parks at SXSW

During The Art & Science Behind Disney’s Timeless Storytelling panel at SXSW Disney presented their innovations in development in the form of a robot prototype, made by the team behind the Spider-Man robot at Avengers Campus that web slings above the crowds. This one is smaller and looks to be a part of the Shanghai Disneyland Zootopia expansion. Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro shared, “Disney’s 100-year legacy is built on the intersection of creativity, innovation, and storytelling,” he said. “We want to invent the future once again – together – drawing on a range of voices and perspectives that will help us continue to create even more happiness around the world.” Which, sounds great as long as we don’t give these rabbit robots any fuller sentience.

Star Wars Celebration Disney Parks Panel

Scheduled for April 9 at 11 a.m. ET, fans who can’t make the Star Wars Celebration in Europe can tune into the presentation via livestream for a special look at how Disney Parks brings Star Wars experiences and characters to life.

Women of Star Wars Disney Parks merch

You can find these at the theme parks and online at ShopDisney.

Princess Leia collectible figure

We love her! Disney artist Nidhi Chanani designed a special vinyl figure for the Women of Star Wars release. Available at the parks or online.

Presenting Cassie Lang at Avengers Campus

Cassie Lang Making a Limited-Time Appearance at Avengers Campus | Disneyland Resort

Check out this teaser that promises Cassie Lang is about to roll up on Avengers Campus as a meet and greet character.

Wondrous Journeys behind-the-scenes

HOW DID THEY DO THAT!? A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Wondrous Journeys | Disneyland Resort

Here’s an awesome making of video of Disneyland’s Wondrous Journeys nighttime show.

Magic Happens is back

The parade that premiered before lockdown has finally make its return to the park.

Tron Lightcycle Run digital queue details

The ride’s virtual queue will be accessible through the My Disney Experience app. The first try at boarding groups will go live at 7 a.m. daily, with visitors getting another chance at 1 p.m. Don’t forget to make sure to have a park reservation for Magic Kingdom in order to get in the queue but you don’t need to be in park for the 7 a.m. drop (but you do for the 1 p.m.) Lightning Lane access to the TRON coaster will also be sold on Disney Genie with pricing to be announced soon.

Encanto Madrigal family topiaries at Epcot

Behind-The-Scenes Look at New Topiaries | EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival

Here’s a look at the family Madrigal all in green for the Flower and Garden fest. Love that Isabella is made of succulents as a nod to her character transformation.

Grogu and Mando at Galaxy’s Edge east

More Galaxy’s Edge timelines are breaking with The Mandalorian debuting on the East Coast.

Flower and Garden festival food

DISCOVER the BEST BITES at the EPCOT© Flower & Garden Festival

If you’re going to eat all the things, here’s a preview of some of the food offerings at the Epcot seasonal event.

St. Patrick’s Day at Walt Disney World

More green themed food is unleashed closer to Saint Patrick’s day at Disney Parks.

Candlelight: WarnerBros

The FeverUp x WB concert experience will take place at the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank featuring performances and score tracks celebration 100 years of cinema and television legacy. To book tickets visit the event’s site here.

Lost Spirits Distillery presents The Seance Room

The Seance Room
The Seance Room

Encounter a night of magic, music and ghosts at AREA15's Lost Spirits Distillery with their new experience The Seance Room. If you’re going to be in vegas check out their official site for more info.

Loungefly SXSW

SXSW Jurassic Park exclusive
SXSW Jurassic Park exclusive

SXSW will be the exclusive place to shop the next pop culture accessory drop first, including a new Jurassic Park collection. Find them at Loungefly’s SXSW booth (#1235) from March 12-15. And later keep up at to keep an eye out for when they drop online in April. Additionally during SXSW actress Christy Carlson Romano (Kim Possible) will host a panel, Loungefly will have an immersive and sensory booth experience, product showcase, and happy hour event with Loungefly’s SVP of Creative Liz DeSilva and SVP of Creative, Innovation and Vision Derrick Baca for SXSW badge holders.

Universal Rebrand

On the heels of Super Nintendo World’s opening and the upcoming Halloween Horror Nights year-round installation coming soon to AREA15 in Vegas, Universal Parks and Resorts is no more, in name at least. Now the company has incorporated their immersive and VR plans into the fold along with theme parks as Universal Destinations and Resorts.

E.T. Adventure Passport

E.T. now features prominently in the cute new ride redesign to learn your name and say goodbye at the end of the ride.

Power-Up Band

Up Your Play with a Power-Up Band™ at SUPER NINTENDO WORLD™

Check out this video that explores the gaming areas of Super Nintendo World

Horror Nights Terror Tram

Can you figure out HHN creative director John Murdy’s cryptic tweets? I wonder what this year’s theme will be. We’ll find out in the fall.

Six Flags Scream Break

Sooner rather than later, Six Flags Magic Mountain will unleash their monsters for some after dark fun during Scream Break. Find out more here.

Knotts Scary Farm Mementos

Submit your memento’s to Knott’s Scary Farm’s social media to celebrate 50 years of fear.

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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