Sunday 13 December 2015

Theme Park Nut News Update - 13th December 2015

I missed last weeks update, so here is a double Theme Park Nut News Update!

The big news from the last two week is from Orlando where we found out that the Skyplex development was approved, but more importantly we found out why Universal was against it! It turns out Universal has an option to buy 474 acres south of Universal Orlando Resort. Overcoming the transportation difficulties, this would make a great space for a third gate, although there would be a blood big pole coaster just across the road. Should be interesting to watch this development over the next couple of years.

On the other coast, we heard last week that Universal Studios Hollywood will be opening their Wizarding World of Harry Potter on the 7th of April. This WWoHP is an almost clone of the original WWoHP in Island's of Adventure in Universal Orlando, except that there will not be a Duelling Dragons coaster, and the Hollywood version of the Forbidden Journey ride will be in 3D (as it is in Japan).

Staying in the U.S., we had Legoland California last week give us a sneak peak of their upcoming attractions, as well as lighting their (seriously awesome) Lego Christmas Tree.

In Paris, Disney has announced a major refurbishment of 10 popular attractions in the next two years. This is good news for this resort, which has been on a well documented attendance slide for the past couple of years. Hopefully this injection will bring new life into the Disneyland Paris Resort.

Earlier in the year we reported that a plan had been proposed to build a non-Universal Universal park in Okinawa. It looks as though the purchase of the USJ Company by Comcast, the owner of Universal, may have squashed that prospect, but it appears that Okinawa has not given up on getting a major theme park to use this space. Last week we saw it reported that they were approaching the Oriental Land Company to build on this land. OLC are the local company responsible building and operation of the Tokyo Disney Resort, however there is no indication of whether Disney would be involved in building the park that is being discussed.

At home, we saw a tiny glimpse of the new Motorsport area that is forming the basis for the re-theme of the Cyclone coaster at Dreamworld (to open on Boxing Day), as well as few details on the new Rider Express system that is replacing the Q4U system. At Movie World, the Green Lantern ride is still not running, although they have claimed this will be running again before Christmas. They have however had their first White Christmas event for the year! We have also had a little bit more detail leak out about the big developments at Movie World, as outlined in this article on

We also found out about the secret improvement that Aussie World was teasing in their recent emails, they have introduced Annual Passes. At $90 for the pass, this equates to about 2.5 days at normal rates, which isn't bad value if you live in the local area. This does however compare badly with the Gold Coast parks, who offer Annual Passes/Memberships at around the cost of 1.5 days.

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