Sunday 2 April 2017

News Update - 2nd April 2017

It's April! Can you believe it? Let's get into another Theme park news update for the first week of April 2017!

The biggest news stories this week, come out of Paris and Japan. Firstly in Paris, Disneyland Paris started it's 25th anniversary celebrations this week! They celebrated by adding a couple of new shows; the "Mickey Presents: Happy Anniversary, Disneyland Paris" and "The Starlit Princess Waltz". The also debuted a new parade, "Disney Stars On Parade" and new nighttime show "Disney Illuminations".

In Japan yesterday saw the opening of LEGOLAND JAPAN! If you jump onto you can see an absolute TONNE of videos and photos from the opening day of this little park. Honestly, I'm totally jealous of this. Legoland Parks are super fun little parks, and I have a theory that one day they will be the first of the major chains to open in Australia, but until then we will have to survive by looking at the overseas parks (and perhaps visiting the Legoland Discovery Centre, that is opening in Melbourne later in the year).

Over in Orlando, Universal has some anger pointed towards it this week as it  announced the new 3-Park Annual Passes, and upgrade options for their upcoming water park Volcano Bay (I refuse to call this a Theme Park, even though it looks great!). Currently annual park holders are apparently outraged that they have to pay to get access to this park. Honestly, these people they were going to get to enter this water park for free? People baffle me. Often Annual Park holders are paying significantly less per day than day pass people, so I'm not sure why that should give you some kind of golden ticket to new things outside what you have paid for. Anyway!

Staying with Universal, it seems Halloween Horror Nights is now pretty much a year round news machine. This week we found out that American Horror Story was returning to Universal Orlando's HHN in September this year. This isn't really surprising, it's pretty much the perfect franchise for this event.

Controversial Sea World Orlando this week closed their long time Dolphin Show Blue Horizons, which was then followed the next day by opening their brand new Dolphin Show Dolphin Days. Apparently the new show is designed to be more educational less entertainment than the previous show, which is a pointer to the way that public opinion has changed in the last 10 years about animal based theme parks.

Over at Walt Disney World, security at Magic Kingdom is changing, in that the security check points are being back to the entrance of the ferry and Monorail terminals. This effectively puts the Monorail loop inside the secure zone, which mirrors a similar move at Disneyland Resort, which moved the security checks to the Car Park and hotel entrances, which effectively put all of Downtown Disney into the secure zone. It's unclear whether these changes are in response to a specific threat, however I must admit the more security at Disney Parks, the better, in my opinion. These parks are such obvious targets as symbols of wealth and decadence, as well as being highly populated, so I have no qualms with having to go through multiple security checks if that is what has to happen.

Also at WDW, we've seen a response from Disney's water parks over the upcoming Volcano Bay upcoming Tapu Tapu virtual queuing devices. Disney's response is essentially the old school FastPass, but now in temporary wrist band form. It's interesting that this hasn't incorporated Magic Band technology (perhaps it isn't water proof??). Regardless, anytime that Universal is putting pressure on Disney, I'm excited!

Finally at Disneyland Resort, the Main Street Electrical Parade has extended it's temporary run through to August 20, effectively finishing the American Summer. This will hopefully spread the crowd for this parade, particularly as the previous finishing date had limited time for the Annual Pass members that were not blocked out.

Over in Europe, we've seen the second biggest park on the continent Europa Park, has opened for it's summer season. Along with it is a number of new features, as can be seen in videos that have been added to Youtube this week (I say videos, just because they do multiple of these in different languages. Particularly of note for me is the brand new Voletarium flying theatre ride, which looks awesome (a Soarin' clone, but still awesome!). Voletarium is said to be "almost ready to open", with a massive 21 meter screen.

In the UK, we have had a review this week of the re-launch of Derren Brown's Ghost Train attraction at Thorpe Park by This attraction looks much improved over the previous version of the attraction, and looks like it's going to scare the pants off a lot of people.

At home in Australia, Dreamworld this week is about to open up (on the 8th of April) a new Jelly Belly Store. The store is inside the park, next to the in-park entrance for the Lego Store, on Main Street, just in time for the Easter School Holidays. This is a welcome bit of good news for the Gold Coast parks, as this week all 3 major parks (Dreamworld, Movie World and Sea World) all had to close on Thursday last week after low pressure system following Tropical Cyclone Debbie, came down the coast. Thankfully the parks themselves were spared any major damage, and were able to open on Friday. Unfortunately the surrounding areas of Logan and the Gold Coast were not so lucky, with large amounts of damage from the storms and the subsequent flooding. The flood waters peaked yesterday (Saturday), and further north in Rockhampton the flood waters are expect to peak on next Wednesday (a week after the storm hit that region) which gives you an idea about the massive amount of water that has been dumped on Queensland this week. Hopefully we get back to our clear skies soon, and can stay that way for a little while.

That's it for this week's News Update. For more Theme Park coverage, follow me on Twitter @themeparknut. Until next time, Cheers!


  1. Wow so much news and I can't believe we're into April either! I think Australia will definitely get a legoland at some stage (QLD please!) and so smart of Universal to tie in American Horror Story with Halloween!

    1. I know! Lot's happening at the moment, for no real reason! I do hope so, and I agree that Gold Coast is the place for a Legoland. Although Merlin (who owns Legoland) do operate Underwater World now, so you never know, could be Sunshine Coast!

  2. These things are new for me about Disneyland, I have visited once there But I will surely enjoy the wondered of Disneyland. Enjoy the trip of Disneyland in Paris with your family on this holiday to get best package.