Tuesday 26 January 2016

Theme Park Nut News Update - 26th January 2016

Happy Australia Day/Respectful Survival Day, theme park fans. It has been an incredible quiet week in theme parks this week, so let's get into a short public holiday addition of Theme Park Nut News Update.

A testament to how quiet this week has been in theme parks globally, is this article from Theme Park Insider on how to buy a Corn Dog cheaper at Disneyland. I have nothing to comment on this controversial subject.

Knott's Berry Farm has announced the details of this years Boysenberry Festival. Meanwhile competitor Universal Studios Hollywood announced an amazing competition. The winner will win a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Orlando, Universal Studios Japan and the Making of Harry Potter exhibition at the WB Studio Tour in London. Sadly though, it is only open to U.S. residents, otherwise I would be entering this as many times as possible.

Universal Studios Hollywood also opened a 5000 space car park at the park, in anticipation of a influx of visitors over the next year as their version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens.

Six Flags broke ground on the Six Flags China park in Haiyan. The park is due to open in 2019.

At home in Australia, there was a post covering Australia's most infamous SBNO coaster at Scenic World in the Blue Mountains, the Orphan Rocker. It is amazing to see nature take back what was original a pristine area.

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

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Theme Park Nut News Update - 19th January 2016

Let's get straight into some Disney news this week!

This week Disney announced that Bob Weis is taking over as the new President of Walt Disney Imagineering. He brings great credentials to the role having overseen the redevelopment of Disney California Adventure, and been involved with the development of Tokyo DisneySea.

In a completely unrelated piece of news, Kylo Ren is going to Disneyland! Seems like the thing to do after you *spoiler deleted*. As with most Disney changes at the moment, I'm happy for new, as long as it doesn't effect the old. As long as I can still get a photo with Darth, Kylo can be can-caning in the parade for all I care.

In a surprise to almost no one, the Lights, Motor, Action stunt show has been announced as closing in April. While this was never a hugely popular attraction, it's death is more to do with the position of it's real estate, and the coming Star Wars invasion than anything else. The Orlando Sentinel is also saying that the Earful Tower and the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, are also on the shopping block. I'm sad for the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids attraction, although I did think it was inevitable. It's only hope was being saved by some kind of Toy Story retheme. Still Star Wars is good!

Theme Park Insider had a good follow up to the news we wrote about last week, of Efteling's up coming dark ride Symbolica: Palace of Fantasy. This give a few more details on this genuinely exciting development in the Netherlands.

Very sad Australian Theme Park news this week as one of Dreamworld's first Tiger Cubs Sultan died, at the age of 17. Sultan was the largest Tiger at Dreamworld, at 200 kilograms, and was one of 4 cubs born at Dreamworld in 1998. The 4 were dubbed the Awesome Pawesome (Sultan, Taj, Rama and Sita), and were very big news for the park in the late nineties. Two of the Tigers, Rama and Sita still reside at Dreamworld.

Finally, Australian theme park site Parkz has added a trio of posts this week, updating us on the status of all 3 of the major Gold Coast parks: Dreamworld, Movie World and Sea World. The highlight for me of these posts, as strange as it sounds was the shots of the newly refurbished ice cream parlour at Dreamworld. That has always been a special place for me, so I'm excited that it is looking so fantastic for a change!

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

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Theme Park Nut News Update - 13th January 2016

January is a traditionally quiet time for theme parks. U.S. parks come out of their Christmas/New Years rush, just as Australian parks are hitting their mid-summer school holiday peak. But this year, there is no stop to the action! So let's get into this week's Theme Park Nut News Update!

Let's start in China, where the opening date of Shanghai Disneyland has been announced! First guests will be seeing the park on June 16 2016. Which means that we have just over 6 months to wait for a peak at Disney's newest park. I for one am excited for June 17th, which will no doubt be the day that the first on-ride video for the new Pirates of the Caribbean ride will be uploaded to YouTube.

In the original Disneyland, we got a glimpse at the future of the Rivers of America in the same week, that they closed the Rivers to start construction of Star Wars land. What a coincidence! I do love how beautiful but vague Disney continues to make their concept art! At DCA, we had to wave goodbye to (arguably) the most popular theme park show of all time, as "Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular" closed this week. This makes me sad, as everything I have read or seen of the show has been insanely positive, and yet I'll never see it (unless they bring it back somewhere at WDW!!). I understand though, DCA needed room for yet ANOTHER Frozen show.

In Orlando, Sea World topped off what is going to be (at least for a little while) the tallest coaster in the area, Mako. This B&M Hypercoaster peaks at just on 200 feet tall, and Sea World is desparately hoping that it's completion will boost attendance at this struggling park.

In the Netherlands, Efteling has give us a few more details on their epic dark ride for 2017. Symbolica: Palace of Fantasy will be a trackless dark ride where riders choose 1 of 3 potential paths, each with interactive elements. This ride sounds like it will be amazing!

At home, we have a couple of little bits and pieces going on as well. Technically not a theme park, but I'll give it a run here anyway, Wet 'n' Wild is bringing back Dive in Movies. This one-off definitely sounds like a trial of the event, to see if bringing them back would be viable. But regardless, the Lego Movie is an awesome choice, so I hope lots of people turn up! At Dreamworld, the twin girl tiger cubs have been named: Akasha and Adira. This week they also met their older brother Kai, and took their first steps onto Tiger Island. So flipping cute!!

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

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Theme Park Nut News Update - 5th January 2016

Happy new year! Welcome to another exciting year of Theme Park News coverage on Theme Park Nut. I've been a bit slack, and I haven't yet posted up my 2015 Yearly Round up. But hopefully I'll get time to finish that over the next few days. In the meantime, here is a news update for the last week of 2015 and the first week of 2016!

Before I get onto the few titbits of Theme Park news, I got to say something about the mammoth opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Disney's Christmas Blockbuster is shattering box office records, which is set to be the highest grossing film in the U.S. (ahead of Avatar) within 3 weeks of being released. It is likely to become the 3rd highest grossing film world wide in roughly the same timeframe, with only Titanic and Avatar ahead of it. It is not certain that it will over come Avatar in world wide gross, but it will certain come close.

There are cash registers ringing in every part of the Disney organisation, and our appetite has now been wet for Star Wars Land which has been announced for Disneyland in Anahiem and Disney's Hollywood Studio in Florida. As such Theme Park Insider has given us a 4-part series on the upcoming land, and what Disney has to live up with constructing the Star Wars Land (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4). It's a good read, particularly if you are a Star Wars nerd like I am!

At Universal Hollywood, the park has quiet rolled out dynamic pricing for their single day tickets. The change has been entertained and tested by both Disney and Universal in the past couple of years. The idea is that the park will be able to make the quieter days cheaper for individual ticket holders, with the hope that the tourists will gravitate to the cheaper days, and even out the crowds. The change comes ahead of the park opening of WWoHP this year, which will likely draw massive crowds to the park.

Over at Disney World, there was a stampede with reportedly 15 people injured at Disney Springs, as panic set in when a rumour started that their had been gunshots in one of the restaurants. The irony is the panic that their were no gunshots, and the original disturbance was a 70 year old man taking a swing at a restaurant manager after he had waited a long time for his food.

At Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, Boxing Day marked the opening of the Hot Wheels SideWinder, a re-theme of the Cyclone roller coaster. Parkz.com.au took the re-opening as a chance to give a bit of a history lesson of the roller coaster, which is an interesting read for those that don't know the back story. You can see some images of the make over in the Parkz Forums. Overall, the feedback seems to be that the ride is a lot smoother with the new trains, which is a great thing!

Since we are starting off 2016 this week, it's appropriate to have a look at Theme Park Insider's Top 10 Most Anticipated Openings for 2016.  There are a couple of big hitters on the list, particular the WWoHP in Universal Hollywood. There is never a quiet year in Theme Parks!!

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