Tuesday 28 April 2015

Theme Park Nut News Update - 28th April 2015

Let's start off in Santa Claus, Indiana tonight, where the wonderful park Holiday World is located. This week saw Holiday World week opened Thunderbird in their Thanksgiving land. It is America's first launched Wing coaster. I must say it looks great. I must say this park has a lot going for it, and it would be much higher on my to visit list if it wasn't a little bit tricky to get to that part of Indiana from Australia. Still they are doing great work!

In Universal Orlando, they have announced that they are making the metal detectors at coaster entrances a permanent security change. There are a lot of people have been complaining about this, but to be honest I think it was kind of inevitable. I wouldn't be surprised if more parks around the world started doing this.

Staying in Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando have confirmed that they are adding a new coaster in 2016, and it sounds like it's going to be a big one!

Here is a rumour from PortAventura in Spain, the Ferrari Land second gate that is soon to be constructed, they are going to have the tallest roller coaster in the world. The rumour posted by on Screamscape says that it will be 3.3 feet taller than Kingda Ka. Small difference, but it counts!

Meanwhile in Australia, the friendly crew at Parkz have visited Sunshine Coast park Aussie World this week, and gave top marks to the new Pinafari Wacky Worm "Bug Run" for theming. I must say I agree, it's as well themed as any coaster in Australia (with exception of Superman and Scooby Doo). Kudos to Aussie World on doing such a great job! Take note bigger parks!

On the forums at Parkz this week, one user Rachel uploaded a couple of videos of Australia's Wonderland, the former park based in Sydney which closed down eleven years ago. I only went there once, but I do have a couple of memories from the park. It is sad that it isn't still around.

Over at Sea World, the new kids area is under construction in earnest. As with the Sea Viper, they aren't mucking around either. Things are well underway with Creatures of the Deep as well, so it's definitely all action as Sea World this year!

For more Theme Park coverage, follow me on Twitter @themeparknut. Until next week, Cheers!

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Theme Park Nut News Update - 21st April 2015

Sudden Sea World (Australia) news leads this week leads our News Update.

With a relatively short statement on their website, Sea World have announced a major re-theme of the kids zone area in the centre of the park as soon as the school holidays ended (yesterday). It now reads:
"Beach Break Bay is currently closed to make way for a brand new kid’s area opening later in 2015. The expanded multimillion dollar precinct will feature Sea World’s first ever mini rollercoaster plus an array of kid-sized rides. The fun filled zone will replace the current kid’s area and will include four brand new rides plus some of your favourites like the iconic carousel. Please check this page again for an official opening date."

It's good news, they are adding a mini coaster! So, why not shout it from the rooftops? Well it could be because closing Beach Break Bay cuts out a huge slice of the park, and leaves it very very low on attractions for the younger kids (which Sea World counts on). They are already speculating on Parkz forums, but I must say it's taken a few of us by surprise. Well done Sea World!

If you are interested in the big Parkz story from last week, where one enthusiast/idiot broke into the SBNO Eureka Mine Ride, they have split it into it's own thread. Parkz have taken the images down, but also been somewhat protective of their user's information. Kudos to them for treading a very fine line in an elegant way.

At the US SeaWorld (no affiliation) a new Sea Lion show has opened to positive reviews. It has been a difficult few years for this chain of parks without question, so I'm kind of glad to see some straight out theme park news from SeaWorld.

Over at Disneyland Resort, permits have finally be filed for Luigi's Festival of the Dance. The replacement for Luigi's Flying Tyres. There doesn't appear to be any major surprises here, but it's good to see some movement on the project.

If you are a nerd like me, the biggest news of the week was the second Star Wars Teaser Trailer dropping, and boy was it a big one. It even added $2 Billion to Disney's share price, if only temporarily. Theme Park Insider thought it was a good time to see, whether it's readers thought that Disney should be focusing on building for Star Wars or Marvel. Overwhelming the response was Star Wars, and I couldn't agree more!

For more Theme Park coverage, follow me on Twitter @themeparknut. Until next week, Cheers!

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Theme Park Nut News Update - 14th April 2015

We start this week on a sad note. On Sunday there was a fatality at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney World in Orlando. This has never been my favorite attraction, but it is sad to hear of deaths in anyway connected to theme parks. Ironically the attraction itself was due to close in a couple of months anyway, to make way for transportation improvements (i.e. a car park). While there is inherent risk in all avenues of life, and especially racing fast cars, it is still never nice to hear such sad news.

In other WDW news this week, the Boathouse Restaurant opened at Downtown Disney Springs. One of the major new restaurants being added as part of the Disney Springs makeover, sounds like it will be incredibly popular with the Florida set. I do love the amphibious cars, I can't deny.

On the other coast, Disneyland finally announced some of the improvements as part of the anniversary celebrations. We are getting enhancements to Peter Pan, the Matterhorn and Haunted Mansion. It was great to see some light hard fun being poked at improving a DL Yeti when the WDW Yeti has been crying for a fix for years. I am intrigued by the return of the Hatbox ghost, who knows what that will be like, but they are certainly building it up.

In Singapore, Universal Studios at Resort World Sentosa has opened up a pretty cute looking  Puss In Boots coaster in the land of Far, Far Away. For Australians in the crowd, this is like Dreamworld's Escape from Madagascar on steroids with themeing. So, safe to say it would be awesome.

Staying with Dreamworld for a second, they are celebrating the Easter school holidays at the moment by having animal shows in the centre of the park called "Wild World". It's nice to see them putting on a bit of an event.

They have however had something of a security issue today, where a Parkz Forum member has broken into the Eureka Mountain Mine Ride (which is rumoured to be reopening someday) and worked the entire track. As much as I am interested in the pictures. It is not cool to break into secure areas of theme parks. I've been known to peak through fences, but I would never enter an area like that uninvited. Totally unacceptable. I suspect that he will get life bans from Dreamworld, if they can find out who he is. To be honest, they can probably press charges against him for trespass. It might be worth it to make a statement. Imagine the Health and Safety liability issues for parks if people are going to ignore signs and break into restricted areas. Madness!

Over at Movie World a huge event is going on at the moment, Carnivale! If you follow me on twitter, you probably saw me complaining about my cousin who went along to last sundays event and had an absolutely ball (as facebook tells me). It is truly becoming a great event, with some Parkz forum members even saying they now prefer this event to the White Christmas and Fright Night events.

Movie World is also hosting a massive World Record attempt this Saturday. It is part of an attempt to get the most people in the world dressed as DC Comics Super Heroes. It would be pretty exciting I imagine. You have to register to be involved so check out the link above for details!

Sea World is continuing work on the Creatures of the Deep exhibit. For most things to do with Australian parks, you should check out the Parkz.com.au forums. They have the best information anywhere. Have I mentioned Parkz enough today? I think I have.

But you should occasionally check out their Facebook too, if you want to see photos of Aussie World's new Wacky Worm 'Bug Run'.

For more Theme Park coverage, follow me on Twitter @themeparknut. Until next week, Cheers!

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Theme Park Nut News Update - 7th April 2015

It's the first week of April, so let's start off this week an April fools prank from my home town Brisbane. The Queensland Times reported the reopening of the defunct Amazons water park on a new site in Ipswich. This is of course bogus, since that park is long dead, but there are a lot of young to middle age Queenslanders who remember Amazons with fond memories, thus being perfect prank fodder. Kudos to the Queensland Times.

In real theme park news this week, we found out that Lionsgate plan to bring the 'Hunger Games' into the Dubai theme park Motiongate, as an attraction (rumored to be a launched coaster). While it isn't unreasonable that a major movie franchise is introduced into a theme park, they certainly have their work cut out for them with a series based our children battling to the death. There is no question that the visuals of this series are suited to a themed environment, it is the tie-in with the plot of the movies that is the trouble. Sounds interesting none the less!

In Europe, one of my favorite parks Europa Park is turning 40. This week they released a video (sadly in German) showing off the attractions and additions for this anniversary year.

Coaster Chit Chat have posted some photos on Facebook from the upcoming Sally Corp dark Justice League: Battle for Metropolis at Six Flags Over Texas. While I can see some similarities to the MovieWorld Justice League ride, I can't help feeling that this will be a bigger and better attraction. Still good to see Sally Corp churning out some great attractions. Can't wait for the first full ride videos.

Sad and disturbing news from Universal Studios Hollywood this week, where a shooting suicide took place in the park. Reportedly the shooter's former girlfriend worked at the park, and reported him to security before he took his own life. This is a sad thing, which will no doubt have ramifications for the security at all Theme Parks across the U.S. It will have no effect on U.S. gun laws of course, which as an Australian seems crazy. I agree with Jim Jefferies.

I can't pretend for Australia doesn't have it's fair share of idiots. For instance, let's have a look at the 5 injured riders of the Super slide at the Easter show that received extensive injuries this week. They were riding this after the show had closed, and in the rain. The ride had been closed during the previous days because of the wet weather.

In Australian theme parks this week, Carnivale opened at Movieworld on the Gold Coast. You can check out MovieWorld's Twitter for more highlights but it looks like they've done a great job with it again this year!

Last we reported that Aussie World has opened Bug Run and Professor Bogglesworth's Illusionarium just in time for the Easter school holidays. And this week we have a cool little video of the opening of the latter attraction. Tacky but entertaining, great job Aussie World.

Dreamworld have had some rough news this week. The news is that a former park employee is suing the park claiming to have sustained a wrist injury while securing harnesses on the Tower of Terror. The claimant is suing for $290K which is still enough money for Dreamworld to have to fight the claim, which means even more money taken away from this park. I'm not blaming the victim, as I don't want to see anyone injured in the work place. She has every right to test whether Dreamworld's processes are lawful, it is just sad that it has come to this.

The good news this week for the Coomera area is that Exit 54 off the Highway has been officially green lit. This will be great for the Coomera Town Centre which is being build over the next few years. The development of this corridor around Dreamworld and MovieWorld can only be good news for the park, and this definitely looks like this is going to happen which is great news.

For more Theme Park coverage, follow me on Twitter @themeparknut. Until next week, Cheers!