Monday 18 May 2015

Theme Park Nut News Update - 19th May 2015

After a huge week last week, things have returned to normal in the world of Theme Parks. Well, as normal as things can be in the world of Theme Parks.

The big news for the coming week, is the 60th Anniversary of the opening of Disneyland. Changes for the celebration have been slowly coming online over the last couple of months (including the Hatbox Ghost mentioned last week). This week we saw a couple of great articles on Theme Park Insider outlining the new Fireworks show and the new Parade.

Theme Park Insider also posted an interesting quote which sheds a little bit more light on last week's news that Nintendo would be teaming up with Universal. There are two big takeaways from this article, which is that Nintendo wouldn't have worked with Universal without the success that Universal has had dealing with Harry Potter as an external I.P. (which in turn wouldn't have happened if J.K. Rowling hadn't heard about how well they had handled the Dr Seuss I.P. in Orlando), and also that Universal pitched to Nintendo with a very detailed proposal. This hints that pretty thorough plans had been developed for this I.P., which doesn't necessarily mean a short wait to see Nintendoland, but it does mean that Universal is happy to throw money and creative talents to get the right I.P. That's good news for everyone.

Staying with Uni, but switching coasts, this week saw the dedication of the Springfield land and Universal Studios Hollywood. This land had soft open a couple of weeks ago, but it's good to get the official opening. I have friends who happened to be touring California this week, who are Simpsons fans, and they said that they could happily spend a few days enjoying the Springfield. It looks really wonderful.

Opening this week at Knott's Berry Farm in California was Voyage to the Iron Reef. Long story short, Sea Monsters are attacking Knott's and it's up to us to save the day. You can see a full ride through from ThemeParkHD here, or an official exclusive look here.

Port Aventura also posted a video this week about their upcoming Ferrari Land. Screamscape have had some good analysis of the changes that have been made recently in the concept art, which is interesting. It looks like it's going to be much like it's sister park, in that it will be based around a couple of very major thrill attractions.

Now, if you want to see some cool future Theme Park technology, check out this Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality coaster experience that is under development by MACK Media (part of the MACK group, which owns Europa Park). In the video, you'll see coaster riders enjoying a rich Virtual Reality experience, while feeling the physical motion of a roller coaster. This is such a different approach to how a lot of people are going, but this could have potentially very interesting outcomes. Check it out:

20th Century Fox have possibly selected a location for their second resort (after the one currently under construction in Malaysia), with this article suggesting that they are looking to build a theme park on Yeongjong Island, Incheon in South Korea. It was known that they were looking at sites in Korea, as well as in China and Brazil for future developments. I don't mean to sound like a skeptic, but let's count the chickens before they are hatched.

Legoland Florida this week opened their new Legoland Hotel! This has been underconstruction for a little while, so it's great to see the final product. I think it looks very impressive, and I'm certainly considering it for a future vacation to Florida, if nothing else but for total convenience.

ThemeParX has shown photos of initial construction getting underway at the rumoured Warner Brother's theme park in Abu Dhabi. Not much to see so far, however. But if you want to see some real construction on ThemeParX, you should check out the Shanghai Disneyland page. Posted to that board this week is a look inside the Soarin' Over the Horizon theatre.

Star Wars Weekends has kicked off in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. The event is a showcase for the now Disney owned Star Wars franchise, which will no doubt get bigger in the coming year with the release of Episode 7. Mousesteps has some really good coverage of the event.

Dreamworld on the Gold Coast is also getting in the spirit this weekend with their annual Stormtroopers Weekend coming up this Saturday and Sunday. The event is in aid of a very important charity the Make A Wish Foundation, and Dreamworld will be donating a percentage of their profits to the Foundation, as well as collecting donations from theme park patrons. This is a great cause, and I support it fully!

The weirdest Australian theme park news this week is that Aussie World on the Sunshine Coast have announced a new event for this July called InvaSCIon. Little is known about it, but it is said to be designed to connect to the cosplay/science fiction/pop culture crowd. While we have conventions along this line in Australia, we haven't ever had a theme park trying anything similar to this. So this will be interesting to hear more about in the next couple of months.

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

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