Saturday 13 July 2024

July 14th - Theme Park News In A Nutshell

 This week's Theme Park News:

- Disney has announced the program line-up for its D23 event in Anaheim. Formerly known as D23 Expo and now called D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, the three-day gathering will feature presentations and show floor exhibits from across The Walt Disney Company, including a strong presence from Disney Experiences and the theme parks. The big event for Disney Parks fans will be Horizons: Disney Experiences Showcase on Saturday evening, August 10 hosted by Josh D’Amaro. Other panels of interest include Bringing the Worlds of Disney Animation to Life in Disney Parks,  Dream Chasing: Four Decades with Walt Disney Imagineering, Magic After Dark—The Story of Disney’s Nighttime Spectaculars and Disneyland Foods – Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow.

- Insidious: The Further is joining the line-up for this year's Halloween Horror Nights at both Universal Studios Florida in Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood. This was briefly leaked by the Universal website ahead of the office announcement this week. There is one more house announcement to go for Orlando and three more for Hollywood.

- Efteling in the Netherlands have announced that their new haunted house attraction Danse Macabre attraction will open at Efteling on October 31, Halloween. Danse Macabre will be a first of its kind Intamin Dynamic Motion Stage ride which replaces the old Spookslot haunted house.


- Walt Disney World has started previews for it's updated Country Bear Musical Jamboree show at Magic Kingdom. The official opening for this is July 17th.


- Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood has added a new interactive element under the Frosted Glacier. There are four different game play modes for this interactive all, that each correspond to a Power Up icon released from the Question block. The Power ups are: Fire Flower, Ice Flower, Super Mushroom, or Super Star. If you play with a power up band you will collect coins and stamps.


- Disney cruises will be coming to Japan, starting in 2029. Disney announced an agreement with Oriental Land Co. - the owner and operator of the Tokyo Disney Resort - to develop and operate a Disney-branded cruise business in Japan. They are going to start construction on a ship the same model as the Disney Wish vessel very soon.


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Friday 5 July 2024

July 6th - Theme Park News In A Nutshell

 This week's Theme Park News:

-  Universal Orlando previewed its new Universal Mega Movie Parade at Universal Studios Florida. The 20-minute show currently offers nine units featuring popular Universal movie franchises:

  • Back to the Future
  • Sing
  • Despicable Me/Minions
  • Kung Fu Panda
  • Trolls
  • Ghostbusters
  • E.T.
  • Jaws 
  • Jurassic World

- The Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith has reopened at Disney's Hollywood Studios following a 6-month long refurbishment. This opened nearly 4 weeks earlier than expected.

-   B&M family coaster Penguin Trek opens at SeaWorld Orlando tomorrow. The coaster has a dark ride introduction section based out of the former Antarctica trackless dark ride building, and guests exist through the Penguin habitat.

- It was confirmed this week that Danny Elfman would be composing music for the new Dark Universe land at Universal's Epic Universe Theme Park. The former New wave singer/song writer is known for working often. with directors Tim Burton, Sam Raimi, and Gus Van Sant, contributing music to nearly 20 Burton projects. He's also well known for the score for Men in Black, The Nightmare Before Christmas, as well as writing the theme song for the Simpsons.


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And you can find our weekly podcast about theme park news called Nuts About Theme Parks, on all good Podcasting platforms.

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Saturday 29 June 2024

June 30th - Theme Park News in A Nutshell

 This week's Theme Park News:

-  Disney World is rebranding and changing it's Genie+ service, moving to Lightning Lane Multi Pass from July 24th. Individual Lightning Lane will also become Lightning Lane Single Pass with this change. The change will also allow the prebooking of these lightning lane passes up to a week before visiting for the entirety of the stay up to 14 days. It will be 7 days for Disney Resort guests, and 3 days for all other theme park visitors, which is a major perk for staying onsite.

- Disney World has also opened Tiana's Bayou Adventure this weekend, after a few weeks of previews.  Disney also released the Tiana’s Bayou Adventure soundtrack across all major streaming platforms. Just search for "Music From Tiana's Bayou Adventure."

- The movie Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is coming to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights this year in both Orlando and Hollywood. In their press release Universal said that visitors  "will find themselves in the sinister world of the supernatural, from Ray’s Occult Books shop to the Ghostbuster’s new high-tech lab and containment facility to the dank New York City sewer system." 

- Hollywood has also announced another original IP house Monstruos 2: The Nightmares of Latin America.

- Knott's Berry Farm reopened its Camp Snoopy land following the latest refurbishment of this 41-year-old children's land.

- The Blue Man Group is coming back to Orlando, to perform as a new theatre at ICON Park on I-Drive. The act had been performing at Universal Orlando Resort up until the pandemic.

- Universal have given details of a third party report into the economic impact of the Universal Great Britain theme Park development, stating that "a new Universal theme park resort on the site could generate £35.1 billion in net economic contribution for the UK during the construction period and first 20 years of operation. The project could generate £14.1 billion in net additional tax returns during that period"

- Dutch theme park Efteling will add a 31st scene to its Fairytale Forest attraction - The Princess and the Pea. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale and inspired by a sketch created by park founder Anton Pieck, this installation will be placed between the Troll King and Mother Holle's well, on the forest's edge and behind the new Efteling Grand Hotel.

- Six Flags Magic Mountain and Great Adventure have announced a series of IPs for their Halloween event Fright Fest Extreme, with The Conjuring Universe (The Conjuring, Annabelle and The Nun), Saw, Trick ‘r Treat, Stranger Things and Army of the Dead.  Magic Mountain are also getting Texas Chainsaw Massacre exclusively.

- Finally, The U.S. Department of Justice has approved the merger of Cedar Fair and Six Flags ahead of the planned start of joint operations on July 1st.

 You can watch our News in a Nutshell videos on YouTube or TikTok, and catch up with us on Instagram or Threads.
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And you can find our weekly podcast about theme park news called Nuts About Theme Parks, on all good Podcasting platforms.
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Saturday 22 June 2024

June 23rd - Theme Park News In A Nutshell

 This week's Theme Park News:


- Universal Orlando has revealed official details this week of the Universal monsters themed land at their upcoming Epic Universe theme park, called Dark Universe. They've also given us names for the lands two rides. Monsters Unchained - The Frankenstein Experiment will be Kuka-arm dark ride in Frankenstein Manor, where Dr. Victoria Frankenstein's plan to control Dracula fails, unleashing The Wolf Man, The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the Brides of Dracula. Curse of the Werewolf will be a Mack Rides family spinning roller coaster themed to "The Wolf Man." They will also have meet and greets and a Monster Makekup Experience. Food wise, Dark Universe will offer Das Stakehaus, a vampire-themed table service restaurant serving kebabs, burgers, sandwiches and more.  The Burning Blade Tavern will serve burgers, wings, bratwurst, pretzels and specialty beverages in a hangout for Darkmoor's monster hunters. Finally, De Lacey's Cottage will be a food stand with twisted taters, ice cream, and cinnamon bread. 

- At Disneyland Resort, Haunted Mansion Holiday will use a virtual queue when it returns for Halloween Time, which begins August 23 this year. Haunted Mansion has been down all year as the park builds a new queue for the ride, which will no doubt build up some extra demand when it opens in August.

-   Disneyland resorts version of Din Tai Fung will soft-open at Disneyland's Downtown Disney on Monday June 24th.

- SeaWorld Orlando announced the official opening date for its new family roller coaster, Penguin Trek, will be July 7 with park pass members able to have exclusive ride times from July 2nd.

- Universal Studios Hollywood have revealed their 2nd house for this years Halloween Horror Nights event, it is an original IP called Dead Exposure: Death Valley. This is following the announcement of A Quiet Place coming to both coasts Halloween Horror Nights. Hollywood's Horror Nights run from September 5 at Universal Studios Hollywood through November 3.

- Holiday World in Santa Claus Indiana, are going to add an interactive element to their Holiday in the Sky Drone show this summer. Guests will be able to vote for one of 4 characters to appear in the drone show, via QR codes displayed through out the park.

- Cedar Fair and Six Flags have set a date for the closing of their proposed merger, they plan to combine operations and begin operating as one starting July 1. The merger is still subject to a number of conditions in the merger agreement and the meeting of regulatory conditions from the Department of Justice.

- In Ohio,  A 38-year-old man suffered critical injuries after being hit by a roller coaster at Kings Island Wednesday night. The man allegedly climbed over a fence and entered a restricted area around the Banshee roller coaster around 8pm local time on Wednesday. Some reports said that the man was trying to retrieve keys that he had lost when riding the coaster. The park described his injuries as traumatic, and he was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and remains in a critical condition.



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And you can find our weekly podcast about theme park news called Nuts About Theme Parks, on all good Podcasting platforms.
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Saturday 15 June 2024

June 16th Theme Park News In A Nutshell

 This week's Theme Park News:

-  Universal Studios Florida officially opened it's new DreamWorks land this week, which took over the space of the former Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone. The land features play areas and meet and greets themed to Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Trolls. The former Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster has become Trolls Trollercoaster.

- Universal Orlando also debuted its newest nighttime spectacular, CineSational: A Symphony Spectacular. This is the first show at Universal Orlando to heavily feature drones.

- Finally, at Islands of Adventure Universal has opened a new castle projection show, Hogwarts Always. Hogwarts Always traces a young wizard's or witch's first year at Hogwarts, from receiving their admission letter to buying supplies at Diagon Alley and arriving on the Hogwarts Express all the way through to the awarding of the House Cup at the end of the year.

- Universal Orlando also previewed their new Epic Universe Preview Centre this week, mostly because all of the worlds Theme Park media was in Orlando.

- Walt Disney World Resort has gotten final legal approval to go ahead with $17 billion in expansion plans over the next two decades. The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District has approved a development deal with Disney that will guide additions and expansions at the resort over the next 20 years. It's been widely reported that the now-approved development deal allows Disney to build a fifth major theme park and two minor parks at the resort, in addition to expanding hotel and retail space. Disney also must contract at least 50% of construction work to Florida-based companies and spend at least $10 million on affordable housing projects. 

- Also at WDW, the all-new Country Bear Musical Jamboree will open in Frontierland's Grizzly Hall in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on July 17.

- Epcot has opened their new Communicore Plaza which features a new live show called ¡CelebraciĆ³n Encanto!. The new area, which replaces the long-gone Communicore West building, also includes the Commincore Hall events space plus an indoor Mickey & Friends character greeting area. There's also a "Festival Favorites" food stand that will be serving popular items from EPCOT's various food festivals.

- In Italy, Gardaland has opened its new drop tower ride. Wolf Legend is a 82-foot Drop & Twist Tower, themed to a curse that turned a giant wolf to stone.

- In the UK, Thorpe Park has re-opened Hyperia, it's new Mack rides Hypercoaster, which had to close just days after opening. Thorpe Park said, "Once again we want to thank everyone for their understanding and patience. Now it's time to forge your wings of steel, conquer the seemingly impossible and embrace your inner fearlessness onboard the UK's tallest, fastest and most weightless rollercoaster.



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And you can find our weekly podcast about theme park news called Nuts About Theme Parks, on all good Podcasting platforms.
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Saturday 8 June 2024

June 9th Theme Park News In A Nutshell

 This week's Theme Park News:


- Tokyo Disney opened Fantasy Springs this week. the largest park expansion in the resorts history, which features minilands based on the movies Peter Pan, Frozen and Tangled. As part of the opening Tokyo Disney Resort presented a video tour of its Fantasy Springs expansion, "The Fantasy Begins," including views of the "port" at night with character and cast performances, accompanied by drones.

- The Tokyo Disney Resort has also announced that their upcoming nighttime spectacular will be called "Reach for the Stars." In addition to the traditional collection of Disney and Pixar characters, the new show will be the first at Tokyo Disney to feature characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

- Legoland New York has set the opening date for The Minifigure Skyflyer gondola ride, which will open on June 24. To celebrate the grand opening, Legoland New York is planning a record-setting disco dance party. The park is offering the first 2,500 guests who register online free same-day admission to the park for the party. In addition to registering online, you must arrive 8:30am on June 24, wearing "glitter/sequin apparel, sparkly tutus, disco ball themed accessories, [or] other disco-themed duds" to get in.

- Knott's Berry farm have announced that the newly redesigned Camp Snoopy officially will open to guests on June 27. New rides in the land will include Snoopy's Tenderpaw Twister Coaster, a Zamperla family coaster that takes the place of the old Timberline Twister, Sally's Swing Along, a Zamperla Super Happy Swing, Camp Snoopy's Off-Road Rally, a Zamperla Convoy Dino Jeeps ride that replaces Rocky Mountain Trucking Company, and a newly themed Beagle Express train ride.

- Disneyland Resort has closed the  Club Pixar dance show at Disney's California Adventure, and is also preparing to close the Doctor Strange: Mysteries of the Mystic Arts show, which will close June 30th. It's worth pointing out that this isn't related to the Disneyland parade and character performers voting to joining the Actor's Equity Union, and that the Club Pixar dancers are in fact represented already by a different union.

- Universal have announced they are bring A Quiet Place to this year's Halloween Horror Nights on both coasts. This represents a fascinating Sound Design challenge for Universal, as the contrast of the ultra quiet and suspenseful movie with a very rowdy and loud event could be difficult to overcome. I look forward to seeing how Universal stages this. 


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And you can find our weekly podcast about theme park news called Nuts About Theme Parks, on all good Podcasting platforms.

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Sunday 2 June 2024

June 2nd Theme Park News In A Nutshell

 This week's Theme Park News:

- Walt Disney World have shared a POV from Tiana's Bayou Adventure this week, which shows Tiana and Naveen planning a party, but needing to find a band. Luckily we come across Lewis and his friends.

- Disneyland debuted a new pre-show for its World of Color - One nighttime spectacular at Disney California Adventure, called Emotional Rollercoaster" "which promotes the upcoming "Inside Out 2," which opens June 14.

- Universal Epic Universe Preview Center will open at Universal CityWalk in Orlando. The preview center will include "a massive model offering a bird’s-eye view of the entire park" that will come to life via augmented reality on guests' mobile devices. Epic Universe merchandise and backdrop photo ops will be available in the preview center, which takes over the former Universal Legacy Store location. 

- One of Epic Universe's biggest rides has been given a new name. Universal Orlando's website now lists the Mack Rides racing coasters formerly known as Starfall Racers as Stardust Racers. The change comes after a lawsuit was filed in US federal court earlier this month over the name. In 2023, Universal filed a trademark application for "Starfall Racers," however an opposition was filed to that application. Earlier this month, Starfall Education Foundation filed a lawsuit against Universal City Studios in US District Court for the District of Colorado over the roller coaster's name.

- Universal Orlando is holding a special event for the start of Halloween Horror Nights. One night before it opens officially on August 30 at Universal Studios Florida, the park will welcome a limited number of fans for its first-ever Premium Scream Night

- Disneyland Shanghai will open The Adventure of Rhythm will debut June 3 on Adventure Isle's Storyhouse Stage. This musical will feature "a team of archeologists who specialize in researching music" as the excuse for the line-up of staged performances of tunes from a variety of Disney's animated movies. However the show will actually change from performance to performance, as they move through 5 musical styles, with 2 different musical adventures possible for each of the shows.


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