Filmdom’s favorite ape is about to make his big screen comeback, and visitors to Madame Tussauds wax museums in New York Citycan prepare for the adventure with the exclusive new Kong: Skull Island Experience. [Read more…]
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi has unveiled Turbo Track, a new rollercoaster set to open at the end of March. [Read more…]
DXB Entertainments and Merlin Entertainments Group have announced that a Legoland Dubai Hotel, the Middle East’s first Lego branded hotel, is coming to Dubai Parks and Resorts. [Read more…]
By Seth Kubersky
Recently, the Walt Disney Company announced plans to purchase 100% ownership of the Disneyland Paris resort in France. If news that the Walt Disney Company is not already the sole owner of Disneyland Paris comes as a surprise, you may be interested to know Disney doesn’t completely (or even mostly) own many of the international attractions that bear its name. Here’s is a brief primer on who owns the Disney parks around the world: [Read more…]
The Walt Disney Company has announced plans to increase its Disneyland Paris ownership stake, in hopes of gaining complete control of the French resort before this year’s 25th anniversary is over. [Read more…]
SeaWorld San Antonio opens February 25, and ecological artist Guy Harvey will be on hand to inaugurate the park’s 2017 season, which will feature new shows and expanded events. [Read more…]
VR is all the rage in theme parks these days, and one of Southern California’s oldest attractions will join the high-tech craze when a new Knott’s Berry Farm Virtual Reality experience from VRstudios debuts later in 2017.
VRstudios, a global virtual reality company offering commercial entertainment and enterprise solutions, announced on January 31 a partnership with Knott’s Berry Farm and parent company, Cedar Fair, to design and install a specialized VR experience at the Southern California-based theme park.
“Our collaboration with VRstudios to develop a new custom-built, immersive amusement experience at Knott’s Berry Farm is exciting for our customers and consistent with the memorable experiences they expect from our parks,” said Cedar Fair’s Vice President of Strategic Growth, Christian Dieckmann. “We chose VRstudios for our inaugural free-roaming VR installation because of their successful track record providing VR globally for other location-based entertainment venues. No other VR company can offer a truly untethered multi-player experience. We believe the planned attraction will amaze our guests and encourage repeat visits.”
“It is rewarding to partner with entertainment visionaries who want to do something amazing with the new VR technology,” added Charles Herrick, Chief Executive Officer of VRstudios. “When clients want to push the limits beyond what is commonly available, it gets our entire team motivated because they know there will be an outlet for their innovation.”
Knott’s Berry Farm visitors will be able to enjoy the new VR experience for a small fee in addition to admission, beginning the second quarter of this year.
VRstudios (www.vrstudios.com) is a leading global VR technology company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, and located in 11 countries. Their VRCade system powered The Repository VR experience that debuted in 2016 at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights.
For more information about Knott’s Berry Farm visit knotts.com, and relive the park’s famous Halloween event with this video from Knott’s Scary Farm 2016:
With a #FollowTheSpiders social media campaign and onstage announcement at Universal Orlando’s Celebration of Harry Potter, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London had confirmed that the new Forbidden Forest expansion to their Making of Harry Potter tour will open on March 31. [Read more…]
Mickey Mouse’s house across the Atlantic is fast approaching its silver birthday, and guests at the resort originally known as EuroDisney will soon enjoy the new Disney Stars on Parade and Hyperspace Mountain attractions as part of the Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary celebration. [Read more…]
The Oriental Land Company has kicked off the 2017 calendar year but unveiling a long list of new Tokyo Disney Resort events and attractions planned for the Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea theme parks in Fiscal Year 2017, which runs from April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018. [Read more…]
SeaWorld San Diego has unveiled plans to open the Electric Eel roller coaster in 2018, which will be the tallest and fastest attraction in the park’s 5-decade history.
The Electric Eel roller coaster will feature multiple launch elements, high-energy twists, and inverting loops. Electric Eel’s design appears to be a Premiere Rides Sky Rocket II shuttle loop coaster, the same model which currently operates as Tempesto at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Superman Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, and Phobia Phear Coaster at Lake Compounce, as seen in this video:
SeaWorld’s version will expand the park’s new Ocean Explorer realm, which is set to open later in Summer 2017, along with the new Orca Encounter and the new summer nighttime extravaganza Electric Ocean.
“Electric Eel will bring a whole new level of excitement to SeaWorld in 2018,” said SeaWorld San Diego’s Park President Marilyn Hannes. “This new, first-of-its-kind coaster at SeaWorld will give riders the rare opportunity to feel what it’s like to move like an eel as they twist and flip along nearly 900 feet of undulating track.”
Electric Eel will feature loops, twists and airtime, with multiple-launch experiences that will propel riders forward and backward as they speed through the ride’s station house accelerating to more than 60 miles per hour in seconds. Riders then rocket skyward nearly 150 feet where they will brave an inverted “heartline” roll and a twisting loop for an exciting feeling of airtime as riders crest the top before breathlessly returning to the station. This adrenaline-pumping coaster will offer riders the only upside-down view of Mission Bay.
“The future is bright at SeaWorld and we remain committed to long-term investment in the park,” said Hannes. “We always strive to provide new reasons to visit SeaWorld and give our guests experiences that matter with a blend of exciting rides and incredible animal and educational experiences. We want our guests from around the world to not only have a great time, but be inspired to care about the ocean and the animals that live there.”
Complementing the Electric Eel roller coaster is the Ocean Explorer experience opening in 2017, which will include a live eel habitat featuring one of the world’s most extensive collections of moray eels. Through large viewing windows, visitors will plunge into the world of the eel as they swim and dart through the caves and crevasses of their naturalistic deep-ocean environment. Using innovative state-of-the-art technologies, this interactive experience will allow guests to discover information about these mysterious animals, including their unique predation skills and diets, growth rates and sensory abilities.
Electric Eel will join Manta and Journey to Atlantis as the third coaster-type ride experience at SeaWorld San Diego. It will be constructed on an approximately two-acre site on the eastern side of the park between the currently under-construction Ocean Explorer attraction and Journey to Atlantis. The ride is expected to open in summer 2018.
Visit SeaWorldParks.com/en/SanDiego for more information, and watch these videos featuring some current attractions at the park:
The attraction is called The Extraordinary Journey and is billed as “the world’s most technically advanced ride of its kind.”
“The Extraordinary Journey is a spectacular adventure,” explains Guy Nelson, Dynamic Attractions President. “Futuroscope guests will experience the sights, sounds, and motions of this attraction’s compelling story, which takes them to locations many have only dreamed about.”
“Dynamic Attractions never stopped advancing the technology, making this attraction do things that will make guests come back to ride it again and again,” states Dominique Hummel, Futuroscope President.
The Extraordinary Journey is a Dynamic Flying Theatre, a media-based attraction that uses sophisticated technology to ‘immerse’ theme park guests into exciting stories. The attraction’s screen is 20 metres in diameter (65.6 feet), a far wider arc than the famous semi-circular ceiling in the Arc de Triomphe.
Futuroscope’s Dynamic Flying Theatre ride structure — which weighs 110 tons, the same as a large commercial airplane — travelled by train (Vancouver-Montreal), boat (Montreal-Le Havre) and truck (Le Havre-Jaunay Clan) to reach the theme park; transportation took a total of 24 days. During the peak summer season, the ride will fly enough people each month to fill Stade de France nearly 4 times.
Dynamic Attractions is comprised of 400 engineers, designers, fabricators and theme artists based in Orlando, Vancouver, Toronto, Arlington (Texas), Dongguan and Shanghai. It has built 50 iconic attractions for Disney, Universal Studios and other major theme parks.
Watch this video for a preview of Dynamic’s new flying theatre ride system:
Dubai Parks and Resorts — the new £2.8 billion ($3.475 billion) mega-theme park complex comprised of Motiongate Dubai, Legoland Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, and Riverland Dubai — has officially opened with a grand ceremony attended by VIP dignitaries. [Read more…]
SeaWorld and Miral have just unveiled a partnership to develop SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, with an orca-free theme park and marine research facility opening by 2022. [Read more…]
Ft. Lauderdale’s Xtreme Action Park has opened its new expansion, making the 200,000 square foot facility Florida’s largest indoor entertainment center. [Read more…]
Dora the Explorer, Pikachu, Barbie, and the Power Rangers are among the characters who will share a home when the newly announced IMG Worlds of Legends theme park opens in Dubai. [Read more…]
Fans of classic video games will want to stock up on Power-Up Mushrooms and start saving for a flight to Osaka, because Universal Studios Japan has just released their first piece of Super Nintendo World concept art, giving us a glimpse of what the new Mario-centric land will look like when it debuts in 2020. [Read more…]
Kentucky Kingdom has announced its new attractions and additions for 2017, led by the new Eye of the Storm looping thrill ride, along with upgrades to its Thunder Run roller coaster.
Kentucky Kingdom’s Eye of the Storm will be 24-passenger, high-speed thrill ride with a roller coaster train that circles a seven-story loop, featuring continuous rotations, inversions, and both forward and backward motions. With the addition of Eye of the Storm, Kentucky Kingdom will have more than 80 rides and attractions, including five roller coasters, 20 water attractions, and one of the largest selections of children’s rides in the region, with two additional children’s rides to be introduced in 2017.
The park is also upgrading its classic wooden coaster, Thunder Run, which will receive a new train and track modifications at a cost of more than half a million dollars. Bill Hargrave, the park’s Vice President of Construction, remarked, “This new train replaces the original Thunder Run train first put into service in 1990. With its advanced technology, the new train, together with the track improvements, will give coaster enthusiasts a smoother and faster ride.”
Other improvements include the installation of more shade structures in the water park and at ride queue lines; additional lockers; a greater number of tables, chairs, and benches throughout the park; more lounge chairs for the water park; beefed-up air conditioning in restrooms and dining areas; upgraded technology to expedite season pass processing and in-park purchases; three additional ticket windows to speed entry into the park; and, for convenience, an additional entrance to the Hurricane Bay water park.
Ed Hart, President and CEO of Kentucky Kingdom, commented, “Last year, we completed our initial three-year development plan and attendance rose to approximately 800,000, representing a 60% increase over attendance at the time the previous park closed (in 2009). With tremendous support from my partners (Ed Glasscock, Bruce Lunsford, and the Al J. Schneider Company), we’ve spent a total of $54 million over the past three years. That’s $10 million more than the amount we committed to spend. Now we are ready for round two – a second three-year development plan, with the goal of achieving at least one million visits. Our approach has always been the same: to add new attractions for every age and thrill level, provide outstanding guest service in a safe and friendly environment, and offer prices the average family can afford.”
Hart went on to add, “We take our role as a leader in the Commonwealth’s tourism industry very seriously. With the hundreds of thousands of out-of-state visitors now coming to Kentucky Kingdom each year, the park not only helps fill local hotel rooms, but also helps boost attendance at other attractions, both locally and throughout the state.”
“In addition,” Hart said, “for many of our more than 1,000 seasonal team members, a summer job at Kentucky Kingdom is their first real job. We are dedicated to providing them the best possible training and mentoring. This not only helps them perform well in their duties here at the park, but also gives them a solid foundation for whatever career path they may ultimately choose.”
In 2017, Kentucky Kingdom’s general admission price will be $49.95. For more information, visit kentuckykingdom.com, and watch this POV video of Storm Chaser, the park’s 2016 addition:
The Walt Disney Company and the Hong Kong Government have announced plans for a multi-year expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland from 2018-2023, with new experiences opening almost each of those years. [Read more…]
Shanghai Disneyland recently broke ground on Toy Story Land, and the first major expansion to the recently opened park will debut in 2018. [Read more…]