Tuesday 26 April 2016

Theme Park Nut News Update - 26th April 2016

This week had a few big stories in Theme Parks. We had a large press event at Walt Disney World, which gave us some general teasing of new attractions, although as usual we didn't get a lot of concrete dates out of Disney. We did get a few more fresh details of the Toy Story Land to be added to Hollywood Studios. The new art that has been associated with these releases, has led some fans to try to work out how Toy Story Land Star Wars Land will fit together. Which is pretty cool. We also heard today from WDW that Paddlefish is set to replace Fulton's Crab House at Disney Springs, although it is going to be run by the same parent company as the former Crab House.

Universal Orlando has raised ticket prices this week also, which lead to this hilarious tweet from Jason Garcia:

Staying in the US, Six Flags Magic Mountain has opened The New Revolution VR roller coaster to the general public, after extensive previews over the last month. It looks like a really interesting attraction.

Heading international, ThemeParks-UK have give us some news about the upcoming SW8 for Alton towers, including a potential layout for the attraction. Alton Towers have been giving us some great roller coasters as their "Secret Weapon"s. The strongest rumour at the moment is that this will be a wooden coaster!

Over in the UAE, a new park has been announced, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. The park will feature DC Comic Superheroes, Scooby Doo, and classic Warner Bros. kids characters (like Bugs Bunny). This is not directly related to the other Warner Bros. Movie World parks (of which there was originally 3, but now only two on the Gold Coast and in Spain), but you can see the similar themes. It will be interesting to see what makes up this indoor park.

In Australia, the good news of the week is that Dreamworld's log ride has re-opened. After a very short closure, it was found the accident that occurred two weeks ago was due to rider behaviour and not a technical issue, which is good news for the 35 year old ride. At the same time Dreamworld have also started Google-mapping their parks, which is interesting! They will have to keep doing this, since their park has a number of structure changes happening at the moment (including the rebuild of Tiger Island), but still it will be a great little feature to be able to work through the park virtually!

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

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Theme Park Nut Update - 19th April 2016

The biggest news this week in Australian Theme Park news, is that Rocky Hollow Log ride at Dreamworld has closed (temporarily) after a man was injured after a fall from the ride. There is some conjecture about how this happened, and whether the man in question may have had some kind of intellectual disability, however all that is confirmed for the moment is that this issue is being investigated as we speak. The ride is currently close, but despite some media reports, it is expected to reopen in the coming weeks.

Looking more globally, the news was also not good for Hong Kong Disneyland, where rumours suggest that employees are being laid off due to a slump in profits. Hong Kong tourism is a difficult thing to measure, as the fact that their dollar is tied to the US Dollar, means that the local Chinese market has massive swings in value from visiting the region. At the moment it is a bad swing, and so even with the wonderful new attractions at this park, there has not been a significant growth in visitors. Who can say what affect the opening of Shanghai will have on this market in the coming year as well.

This week we heard ThemeParkInsider remind us that we have another park, other than Shanghai Disneyland, opening this year with a spotlight piece on Motiongate Dubai. This park looks like such an interesting mix of IPs, who knows what it will look like when finished, or in 10 years time for that matter.

Over in Anahiem Disney officially "broke ground" on Star Wars land. But let's face it, this ground was broken MONTHS ago, so there isn't any great surprises here.

In Orlando, we got to see a POV of Mako the brand new coaster for Sea World. It looks like a thumping good ride, but it is totally to little to late for this park!! Over at WDW, Animal Kingdom has again delayed showing it's new show River's of Light. They must be going through some serious unexpected technical hurdles, to have pulled the plug on the media day for this show. Hopefully it will all be worth it, when the show debuts (we hope) some time this summer.

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

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Theme Park Nut News Update - 12th April 2016

The biggest news of the last few weeks in the Theme Park world, was the official opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. While it had been soft opened for a while (which means we had a great collection of guides before it even opened), there was still plenty of celebration to be had when the newest world premiered. After it opened, it has started people wondering what is next for theme parks in Southern California. The short story is, there is plenty in the works for SoCal.

In contrast, Disney has has a less successful week.  Firstly, they had to delay the opening of the Rivers of Life show at Disney Animal Kingdom. Secondly, the heir apparent to the Disney leadership Tom Staggs announced that he was leaving Disney. Although it's not clear what has happened to take this turn of events, it does show that Bob Iger will be difficult to replace at Disney, if the best home grown candidate is happy to move on.

In good news for Disney, they have added (yet another) up charge event for  WDW's Magic Kingdom, with Disney Early Morning Magic. This was rumoured a couple of weeks ago, so it's not a surprise. It's certainly no surprise that Disney has found a way to take more cash from rich travellers pockets.

Legoland California has announced that there new Ninjago ride is going to open on May 5th, which is an awesome day, because it also happens to be my birthday.

On the opposite coast, Orlando's fastest ride, Mako is going to open at SeaWorld on June 10.

Meanwhile, Universal Studios Japan has announced that the Back to the Future Ride, the very last Back to the Future Ride, is going to close this May. It is quiet reasonable for it to pass on, since the ride itself is partial set in the "future" of 2015.

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