Behold the future of meet and greets: Disney Parks has introduced a free-roaming robotic Baby Groot! Elsewhere, unrelated horrors are unveiled for Midsummer Scream, the Halloween convention that annually ushers in a preview of the fall season. Also in this week’s news: updates on Meow Wolf’s first Texas location, and Jurassic Park celebrates 30 years in a big way at Universal Studios.
Baby Groot is still the best Groot
In a prototype presentation at Disney Parks, Walt Disney Imagineering shared its play-test of Baby Groot—an example of the kind of character the company plans to use with its free-roaming robot tech. Baby Groot’s skills include dance-offs, as we see here with Star-Lord and the Ravagers from Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s delightful and wild to finally be reaching robot normalization, but he’s SO CUTE.
Indiana Jones loot has landed at Disney Parks
Just in time for Father’s Day and the release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, tons of Jones merch—and themed food and drinks—have dropped at the parks.
Meet the live-action The Little Mermaid
You can meet Ariel (with legs!) at Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios for a limited time.
Halfway to Christmas Treats
Here’s a look at the tasty treats you can enjoy to celebrate Christmas in the middle of June. Might be a good time to buy those Gingerbread Mickeys and freeze them to last until November.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is on the way!
Set those Oogie Boogie Bash ticket alerts
Along with Halloweentime returning, Oogie Boogie Bash is set to come back too! The separately ticketed Halloween costume party with candy trails and exclusive experiences will once again take place at Disney California Adventure for 25 select dates between September 5 and October 31. Tickets have not gone on sale yet but set your alarms for the following:
If you’re a Magic Key holder you get first dibs June 27 (no earlier than 9:00 am PT).
General public tickets go up June 29 (no earlier than 9:00 am PT).
Good luck, this event sells out QUICK!
Major theme park players at Midsummer Scream
Universal Studios Hollywood’s “Halloween Horror Nights,” Knott’s Scary Farm at Knott’s Berry Farm, 13th Floor Entertainment (Delusion), and more spooky West Coast favorites will preview this Halloween season’s haunt offerings at Midsummer Scream from July 28-30 in Long Beach, CA.
Check out the schedule below!
Saturday, July 29
- 12:30 pm: 13th Floor Entertainment with a preview of L.A. Haunted Hayride, Delusion and Shaqtoberfest
- 3:00 pm: Hot Haunts for Halloween, hosted by Rick West
- 5:00 pm: Knott’s Berry Farm — A 50th anniversary presentation featuring Ken Parks, Corporate Director of Creative Development, Cedar Fair; attraction designer John Cooke; and Knott’s Scary Farm historian and show writer Ted Dougherty
Sunday, July 30
- 12:00 pm: Winchester Mystery House, celebrating its 100th anniversary
- 2:30 pm: Six Flags Magic Mountain and the 30th anniversary of Fright Fest
- 4:30 pm: Universal Studios Hollywood previews this year’s Halloween Horror Nights
Midsummer Scream take places at California’s Long Beach Convention Center with single-day tickets or three-day passes for adults available. Children under 10 are free with an accompanying adult. More information can be found at www.MidsummerScream.org.
Bugs Bunny at the Symphony hits LA in July
Go see some Looney Tunes cartoons with a live orchestra, the best way to watch Bugs Bunny cause chaos. Tickets here.
Meow Wolf’s the Real Unreal opens this summer
Texas is gonna get more weird in a good way! Meow Wolf’s the Real Unreal is set to open in Grapevine, Texas (that’s the Dallas-Fort Worth area) on July 14. Find out more about the artists in the video above, and keep an eye out for booking tickets here.
Jurassic Park celebrates 30 Years at Universal Studios
Take a look at the cinematic walk-through display at Universal Studios Orlando, filled with props and mega merch offerings debuting in time for the Jurassic Park milestone anniversary. West Coast friends don’t fret, there’ll be a smaller Tribute Store opening at Universal Studios Hollywood’s CityWalk.
Jurassic Park Tiki Drinks
Check out this new tiki mug release at Isla Nu-Bar at Universal Studios Hollywood!
More Minions arrive this summer
The Minion-ification of Universal Studios Orlando continues with Villain-Con minion blast opening this summer. Complete with a new Minions Cafe and treat stations, it’ll offer a sugar boost to make you run the parks like Bob or Kevin is almost here.
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.