Epcot’s next nighttime show will have something to offer during the day as well. 

In a presentation to its D23 Fan Club, Disney executives and Imagineers discussed new additions coming to Disney World’s second theme park. While the event was light on major announcements, Imagineer Zach Riddley said the first of the massive barges for the new “Harmonious” show will be heading out on World Showcase Lagoon “very soon” for testing. The permanent installation will be able to offer some daytime ambience. 

“Their scale gives us a chance to bring a beautiful, new ambient daytime look to the World Showcase Lagoon with water fountains that perfectly situate these elements within World Showcase,” said Epcot vice president Melissa Valiquette. 

The presentation also touched on Epcot’s new entrance fountain as going in depth on elements of the upcoming Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the new trackless dark ride scheduled to open in the France pavilion in 2021. You can watch the full video for yourself here: 

Disney, Universal honored at Thea Awards

The Themed Entertainment Association hosted its 27th annual Thea Awards Thursday, with Disney and Universal being recognized for new attractions that have debuted in the past year. 

Disney won awards in the Attractions category for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance as well as Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. For Universal, the new Bourne Stuntacular show was honored in the Live Attraction Spectacular category.

The Buzz Price Thea Award, recognizing lifetime achievement in the themed entertainment industry, was awarded to Bob Weis, president of Walt Disney Imagineering. Weis has been with Disney since working on Tokyo Disneyland, and later worked on the development of Disney-MGM Studios as well as the redesign of Disney California Adventure. Theme Park Insider spoke at length with Weis about his career in an exclusive interview

Kings Island replacing part of Racer’s track

The roller coaster often credited with starting the modern coaster era is getting some work done over the offseason. 

Racer at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio will have more than 500 feet of its track replaced this winter, which the park said “will ensure smoother rides when the park opens for the 2021 season.” 

“Some years may require more extensive work than others, with this year being one of them,” Don Helbig, digital marketing manager at Kings Island, wrote on the park’s official blog. “Carpenters are currently busy removing the stacks of wood used for the track from the base of the first drop through the 65-foot tall fourth hill on both sides of the ride.”

Racer opened in 1972. It was manufactured by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, one of the oldest existing roller coaster makers in the world. It’s far from the first time parts of Racer have been retracked; Great Coasters International worked on the ride’s back turns during the 2018-19 offseason

Like other Cedar Fair parks, Kings Island saw an abbreviated season in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The park also canceled its usual WinterFest event, closing for the year on Nov. 1.

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