Thursday 24 September 2015

Theme Park Nut News Update - 24th September 2015

It's been more than two weeks since my last update. Slack, I know! Anyway, here is another big Theme Park Nut News Update.

The biggest news over the last few weeks has been the starting of the big Halloween events at the US theme parks, with the Disney Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties and Universal's  Halloween Horror Nights kicking off this week. The benchmark in terms of Horror at Halloween is clearly Universal and the web is full of coverage of these events at the moment. Check out the trip reports for Universal Studios Hollywood by Theme Park Insider and Screamscape and for Universal Orlando by Theme Park Insider and Screamscape  as well.

In Australia, Dreamworld will be joining in on the Halloween fun this year with a special Halloween Screamworld. Movie World is of course holding the ever popular Fright Nights every Friday and Saturday in October, which is as close as we get to a HHN event down here.

In other news, over in Japan Comcast, the owners of NBCUniversal, are in talks to purchase a controllîng stake in Universal Studios Japan. The park, which is the most visited non-Disney theme park in the world, is currently owned by a holding company, which is not unusual for international theme parks. Adding this into the Comcast stable directly would be a big win for Universal. Equally a big win, we saw last week the Universal Studios Beijing has been officially announced. The park is set to open in 2019 at the resort, which has space allocated for a future second gate. This will become Universal's second multi-park resort after Universal Orlando.

Staying in China, Hong Kong Disneyland has celebrated its 10th Birthday however it's not all good news. Financial analysts are worried about how the economic sandwiching going on in Hong Kong might impact general tourism in the area of the next few years. Put simply, HK is a special economic district in China with it's own  currency which is tied to the US Dollar. When China is booming and US is flats, things are great in Hong Kong, but for the first time in 20 years the US is improving while China is sliding which is double bad news for Hong Kong. In some good news from the Disneyland park there, we saw a glimpse of he upcoming  Ironman Experience last week, which looks rather cool.

Over at Disneyland Resort, the super popular Aladdin the musical at Disney California Adventure is closing to be replaced by yet another Frozen attraction. This has led a few people to questioning the longevity of the Frozen franchise, and whether Disney îs right to be putting all it's eggs in that basket.

At WDW, we have found out another victim of the breaking of ground for Star Wars Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights which will run for a final time this year. The event has been a Christmas tradition at the resort since 1995, and it will be sorely missed. We can only hope that it will return somewhere else at WDW in future years. The best idea I've heard is bringing the lights to the upcoming refresh of Downtown Disney, Disney Springs. That would be cool.

There have also been a couple of interesting innovations announced in the last few weeks. At Legoland California and Billing, Ninjago The Ride will be a world first interactive dark ride controlled by motion. The ride has been designed by Triotech and will be open in 2016. Europa Park has opened a world first coaster experience this week with the opening a Virtual Realty Coaster experience. This is essentially riding a coaster but watching an entirely different scene. The possibilities for this kind of technology is quite amazing, so I can't wait to see where it goes next.

Rocky Mountain Coasters has also shown the first glimpse of an interesting development, a single rail coaster. This an interesting piece of R&D, but at the moment it seems unclear what the advantage to the would be, but always interesting to see what is happening behind closed doors.

Finally, Cedar Point have announced they will be opening the world's longest, tallest and fastest dive coaster in 2016, Valravn. Dive Coasters are fairly extreme casters, so this will be a solid addition to this Ohio parks roster.

At home we've heard more rumblings about Australia's Wonderland in Sydney being reborn however it has been met with a lot of scepticism on fan forums. We also seen the Eureka Mountain Mine Ride rumour pop up its head for he 4th game this year. The only real news that we have had are more photos and names of attractions in the Nickelodeon Kids land at Sea World on the Gold Coast.

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


  1. I just have to say, I totes photographed a wedding yesterday at Sea World *gasp* it was awesome :) More on the resort side of things but they let us into the park for the photoshoot and let's just say there was a dolphin jumping shot, with bride and groom in front :) :) Nickelodeon land looks bright happy too and I looks almost nearly open!

  2. Oh my goodness! That is the coolest Fee. I love the idea of using a park for photos. Totally cool. Dolphin Jumping is totally the way to go! Lucky you!

    1. They seemed to be pretty open to stopping where ever for photos too, I was only second shooting so didn't have too much say but just being allowed in there was super cool :)

  3. Firstly - even more reason why we are going to have to go to the Florida mall - think geek shop!!! Secondly - Fee that is so awesome you got to do a shoot at seaworld! How fun!! :)

    1. think geek shop! woohoo - also the whole time I was in Sea World I was thinking of you guys :)

    2. Of course we would go to FloridaMall! Agree, totally jealous of your photo shoot at Sea World, would have been awesome!