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

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

Summer wraps up around the world as Halloween starts to creep into seasonal events and festivities.

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DC Looney Tunes superheroes
DC Looniverse only at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi
Screenshot: Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi

International theme parks like Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi and the soon to open Ghibli Park in Japan are enticing tourists to book visits with their fan destinations. Meanwhile, stateside summer winds down with a cinema classic returning to the big screen, activations from Stranger Things, Loungefly and then there’s D23 Expo—which has announced all its panels. Haunt fanatics fret not, Halloween is already creeping into Universal Studios resorts and Disney Parks.

Here’s your guide to everything happening at theme parks, immersive experiences, and beyond.

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DC Super Hero Season

DC Super Hero Season

DC™ Super Hero Season!

Suddenly we want to go to the Warner Bros. World theme park in Abu Dhabi. Why don’t we have one? They have more than just coasters inspired by DC heroes. There’s even more of a Looney Tunes presence including the iconic cartoons as DC heroes. Six Flags really needs to step it up.

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Ghibli Park Opening Date

Ghibli Park Opening Date

ghibli park logo
Screenshot: Ghibli Park

Ghibli Park will officially open on November 1 2022, with its first phase of attractions based on the world of Studio Ghibli. The fantastical exhibitions recreate magical settings, locations, and moments from the beloved Miyazaki films—and like the creative studio’s tenets it was built in naturally open spaces to not disturb the forest grounds it’s being built on. You’ll encounter the Robot Soldier, Cat Bus, and explore areas that recreate places like the World Emporium, the antique shop from Whisper of the Heart and Satsuki and Mei’s House from My Neighbor Totoro. There will also be Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, an indoor facility that will hold exhibits that will take guests behind the scenes of the studio’s famed films.

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Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disney Resort

There’s always such cute food and merch at Tokyo Disney Resort. Alas, the travel ban is still in place unless you book through select tourism organizations.

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Horror Nights at Universal Studios Japan

Horror Nights at Universal Studios Japan

Sherlock Holmes, Demons and a cursed Samurai sword? ‘Nuff said. Universal Studios Japan is so creative.

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Wonder Woman Flight of Courage

Wonder Woman Flight of Courage

Stateside, at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Southern California, Wonder Woman gets her own coaster. It’s a single rail so you can count me all the way out, I’ll hold my friends’ bags and take pics from the ground below.

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Summer of Loungefly Activation

Summer of Loungefly Activation

The newest collections of bags, backpacks and fandom fashion will be on display at the Summer of Loungefly, a special activation pop-up in Los Angeles, CA. The brand experience will open a walk-through of visually immersive areas to present all things Loungefly and Stitch Shoppe. It will feature their latest and upcoming collaborations: Lisa Frank, Care Bears, Sanrio, Disney and more. The fun will also include photo ops, special treats and special character appearances. The event will be open to the public but only through ticketed RSVP’s for access keep an eye on Loungefly’s social on Twitter and Instagram.

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Knotts Scary Farm

Knotts Scary Farm

Bloodline 1842 - NEW MAZE Knott’s Scary Farm 2022

Original Haunt event Knotts Scary Farm debuted a new interactive laser gun vampire hunting experience as part of its maze offerings. This is the kind of ARG infusion we can get behind at the theme parks.

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Stranger Things Number 001 Fan Takes a Trip Back

Stranger Things Number 001 Fan Takes a Trip Back

Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) visited Stranger Things: The Experience to revisit his Hawkins Lab days. Things seemed to go well for everyone there. Watch the reel below:

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A Slice of Westeros History Made Real

A Slice of Westeros History Made Real

The Natural History Museum in Southern California is featuring a mini-exhibit The Targaryan Dyanasty inspired by HBO Max’s House of the Dragon with a real fake Dragon skull and more, on view until September 7.

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Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Studios Orlando

Soon these cute treats will be phoning home when the tribute store switches to Horror Nights in Orlando. Eat them while you can.

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Music to Monster Mash To

Music to Monster Mash To

At Midsummer Scream, Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights creative director John Murdy sat down with Guns and Roses guitarist (and haunt composer) Slash to discuss their collaborations on the Universal Monsters houses throughout the years, and previewed the score for an upcoming house at HHN 2022.

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Super Nintendo World

Super Nintendo World

As we inch closer and closer to the opening of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood, so does the official store. It’s now in the lower lot of the amusement park, closer to where the land will be when it opens in early 2023.

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The Grinch is Back!

The Grinch is Back!

The Grinch is also annoyed to have been called upon to announce his return this early in the year for Grinchmas at Universal Studios Orlando.

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The Muppets Take Over D23 Expo

The Muppets Take Over D23 Expo

The Muppets are set to have their own panel at D23 Expo to celebrate 30 years of the Muppet Christmas Carol, the best adaptation of the Dickens classic. Check out this panel and the official line up for this year’s expo here.

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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

The after-hours ticketed costume soiree has unveiled its specialty treats for the event. The candy corn corn on the cobb looks like an abomination, but we’re willing to try it.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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