After a 10-year run, Universal’s Superstar Parade will hold its last performance on June 4.
The daily afternoon parade at Universal Studios Florida featured floats themed around “SpongeBob SquarePants,” ”Despicable Me” and “Dora the Explorer.” It debuted in May 2012, and was updated in 2016 when a “Secret Life of Pets” float replaced one themed around the less-successful “Hop.”
The floats are also regularly used throughout the day for meet-and-greets near the Mel’s Drive-In restaurants.
An update on the Universal Orlando website says the parade is ending to “make way for new entertainment experiences,” without explaining what those experiences will entail. Notably, Universal Studios Japan is scheduled to debut a new daytime parade later this year featuring Nintendo characters.
Disney World ending advance sales of Genie+
Buying the Genie+ ride reservation service will now be a daily decision that Disney World guests cannot make in advance.
Disney announced that starting June 8, the $15-per-day, per-guest Genie+ will only be available for purchase on the day of a theme park visit. Anyone who bought the service an add-on with their tickets will still have those purchases honored, but pre-purchasing won’t be an option beyond June 8.
“This means that, moving forward, whether you have an Annual Pass, multi- or single-day ticket, you may only purchase Disney Genie+ service on the day of your visit via the app, one day at a time, subject to availability,” Disney communications manager Eric Scott wrote on the official Disney Parks Blog. “We’re focused on delivering the best possible guest experience, and this adjustment will help manage the incredibly strong demand our guests have shown for Disney Genie+.”
These changes will not apply to Disneyland’s version of Genie+.
The service allows guests to select ride reservations through the My Disney Experience app and was initially touted as a way to simplify Disney World vacation planning. In practice, it has created an extra fee for guests (replacing the free FastPass+) and created a mad dash for booking choice ride reservations starting at 7 a.m. every morning, rather than planning them out months in advance.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s new Summer Celebration starts May 27
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay kicks off its new Summer Celebration on May 27 with a new weekend fireworks show.
A Busch press release said, “As the most stunning show ever to light the park’s sky, ‘Summer Celebration Fireworks Spectacular’ will feature an explosive array of colors and exciting effects from dazzling lasers to mesmerizing fountains and pyrotechnics.” The show will run Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 9:15 p.m. through Aug. 7.
For the rest of the day, the park will offer two returning shows — “Cirque Electric” and “Turn It Up” — as well as the all-new “Gwazi Beats.” Starting May 31, guests of legal drinking age can get a free daily beer example at Pantopia Drinks & Snacks.