Friday 7 December 2018

News in a Minute - 7th Dec 2018

This week's Theme Park News:
- Tokyo Disney have shown the first glimpses of their 2020 Beauty and the Beast ride, which is to be called the Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast.
- Legoland Windsor have confirmed they are going to open a "Haunted House Monster Party" attraction in Spring of 2019.
-  Disneyland Resort have announced the dates for the Luna New Year and Food and Wine Festivals at DCA for 2019.
- Disneyland has also held their super exclusive Candelight event this week with Chris Pratt guest starring.
- Universal Orlando has introduced new lockers, with a mixture of small free, and larger paid lockers, which has upset some guests.
- Universal Studios Hollywood is bringing back their New Year's Eve Party for the end of 2018.
- Animal Kingdom at WDW has started selling a $30 Tasting Sampler pack online, which will give you a $35 gift card to use at the Food Carts as well as reserved seating for Rivers of Light.
- White Water have shown off concept art for a mixed use Water park, which by day will be a normal water park, and by night tranform in to multiple venues for small Cirque du Soleil performances.
- Napolini has re-opened with a new menu at Downtown Disney at Disenyland Resort.
- Dutch theme park Avonturenpark Hellendoorn is demolishing one of it's oldest attractions, Casa Magnetica to make way for an expanded pirate themed area.

Friday 16 November 2018

News in a Minute - 16th Nov 2018

I am genuinely terrible at keeping this blog up to date with my YouTube videos. But here is this weeks!!

The news:
- The IAAPA Attractions Expo has been on in Orlando this week, and highlights included:
- Sansei technologies Car that can transform into a robot.
- Sally Corp unveiled a big Bird Animatronic for PortAventura's upcoming Sesame Street dark ride.
- Dynamic Attractions showed a Duel Power Coaster, as weel as Batman themed Robot-arm Dark ride.
- S&S showed off their design for the Steel Curtain coaster at Kennywood.
- Disney announced that their SkyLiner gondolas will launch in Fall 2019, and showed of graphics for their Guardians of the Galaxy coaster at Epcot.
- In other news: Knott's Berry Farm has announced that the Calico River Rapids will replace the Bigfoot Rapids in 2019 with new animatronics, show scenes and effects.
- Sea World on the Gold Coast has officially announced it's constructing at 33m tall Star Flyer, which will open in December.
- A door has fallen off an operating monorail at Walt Disney World.
- We saw plans for one floor of the Star Wars immersive hotel at WDW.
- Universal Orlando released concept art for their Endless Summer Resorts.
- Six flags has signed a deal to bring their 4th park to china.

Friday 2 November 2018

News in a Minute - 2nd Nov 2018

This week's Theme Park News:

-  The Luxo Jr lamp has finally appeared at Pixar Pier.
- We got the first tiny clues about what Universal is going to do with the land that it acquired near the Orlando Convention centre, with the first planning documents submitted to council. We know there will be a big carpark.
- Walt Disney World added a desert party inside their existing Christmas party, for those that want to be double up charged.
- Legoland California is celebrating it's 20th birthday in 2019 by allowing kids under 12 to enter the park free on their birthday.
- Walibi Holland announced their RMC converted robin hood coasted, is going to be named Untamed.
- Universal Orlando has officially launched it's in mobile ordering for in park restaurants. They have also opened their Stranger Things maze to day guests, as Hollywood did last week.
- A strong rumour this week that Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway might be coming to Toontown in Disneyland.
- Ralph and Vanellope from Wreck it Ralph are going to be meeting quests in the Imagination pavillion, starting next month.
- Rosita the parrot is coming to Disneyland resort, answering the age old question of what ever happened to rosita.

Friday 12 October 2018

News in a Minute - 12th Oct 2018

This week's Theme Park News in a Minute:
- Hurricane Michael has battered the south east of America including the Orlando area, over the last few days. Hopefully everyone there is staying safe and dry!
- There is a rumour going around that Spaceship Earth at Epcot is going to have a multi-year refurbishment. The rumours differ as to when it will start, some end of 2019. Some say post the WDW 50th anniversary in 2021.
- Efteling in the Netherlands has announced a new Mack rides dual-track family coaster to open in 2020 based on German story of Max and Moritz. They also announced their 20-acre expansion will be delayed til 2021.
- Disneyland Resort has officially cancelled it's fourth on-site hotel after the stoush with Anaheim City Council.
- Universal Orlando have added a sweetener to their Annual Passes, with 3 or 6 month extensions for those buying or renewing now.
- The first phase of the Moomin Theme Park in Japan is going to open next month.
- Sea World San Diego will be adding a new coaster called Tidal Twister in 2019.
- At WDW, Disney Springs it going to get a Sports Bar, next summer. They also opened their new "Old Port Royale" hub at the Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort.
- Lightning Rod at Dollywood has re-opened this week.
- Disneyland is going to retire the Jedi Training Academy on November 3rd.
- There has been new concept art released for the rebuilt Pirates in Batavia dark ride in Europa Park.

Thursday 4 October 2018

News in a Minute - 5th October 2018

This week's news:
- Universal Orlando has given us the first promo shot of the upcoming Forbidden Forrest coaster, which is under construction at Island's of Adventure.
- SeaWorld Orlando officially opened Infinity Falls their vertical-lift rapids ride, yesterday. It had soft opened earlier in the week.
- Hersheypark is getting a new entry plaza, with a new coaster and a Kiss shaped fountain, as part of a $150 million dollar expansion.
- Walibi Belguim has announced their 2019 interactive Dark Ride will be called Popcorn Revenge.
- Also in Belgium, Plopsaland de Panne has revealed concept art for their Log Flume, which is to be renamed Dino Splash.
- And lastly in Belgium, Bobbejaanland has started charging using an App based system, for the time that you are in the park, instead of an entry fee. The cost starts at around 7 euros an hour, and maxes out at 35 Euros 50.
- Walt Disney World has add alcohol to the Breakfast and Lunch meals at Be Our Guest restaurant. They have also increased the price of snacks around the resort.
- Disney has brought in Food trucks next to the newly re-opened Earl of Sandwich at Disneyland Resort's Downtown Disney.

Friday 28 September 2018

News in a Minute - 28th September 2018

This week's Theme Park News:
-  Efteling in the Netherlands is adding the 30th story to the Fairy Tale Forest, or Sprookjesbos in 2019, with kids boat ride and walk through for De Zes Zwanen, the Six Swans. They'll also be added a new interactive tree called Kneisoor.
- Walt Disney World has confirmed that it will be closing Rafiki's Plant Watch in Animal Kingdom on October 20th.
- Tokyo DisneySea is set to open Soarin' Fantastic Flight in Summer 2019, with some original scenes being added to the ride.
- Universal Hollywood announced that there would be nightly snowfall as part of it's Chirstmas in the WWoHP event this year. It will also feature the return of the "Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle" light show.
- Walt Disney World is moving to Date-Based multi-day tickets in October.
- Kings Island have anounced they are removing one of their Big coasters this winter, but have not announced which one.
- Evermore, the live-action role-playing theme park, has soft-opened this week ahead of it's full opening this weekend.
- The Blu-ray release of Solo in the US has included a featurette on the Millenium Falcon dark ride coming as part of Galaxy's Edge.
- Magic Kingdom briefly had an unauthoized giant Trump banner on the Train station at the end of Main Street. It took Disney Security just over a minute to remove the banner.

Friday 21 September 2018

News in a Minute - 21st Sept. 2018

This week's Theme Park News:
- Walt Disney World has announced that Illuminations: Reflections of Earth show at Epcot will finish at the end of Summer 2019.
- Halloween Horror Nights has opened on both coasts, with Orlando in particular having a massive first night. Their biggest house of the year, Stranger Things, had a massive queue before it opened, and had to turn people who had queued for more than hour away after the park closed.
- Hong Kong Disneyland this week was hit by Super Typhoon Mangkhut, but thankfully only had landscaping issues. A few attractions remained closed for a few days while debris was cleared.
- Europa Park has announced details for it's Horror Nights - Traumatica. Tune in Sunday to see use visit 2010's Terenzi Horror Nights at Europa Park.
- Earl of Sandwich is coming back to Disneyland Resort's Downtown Disney, in it's original location for a limited time. This follows the cancellation of the hotel project on that spot, due to City of Anahiem cancelling their tax incentive.
- A wild rumour this week about a new Epcot pavillion for India, and a dark ride based on the Jungle Book, using the technology from Shanghai Disneyland's Pirates ride.

Friday 31 August 2018

News in a Minute - 31st August 2018

Sorry about the terrible video quality.

The News in a Minute for Theme Parks this week:
- Disney has released details of the restaurant at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, known as Oga's Cantina. Controversially this will be the first place inside Disneyland park where Alcohol will be served.
-  Disneyland has also release part of the menu for the new Tropical Hideway eatery, including Bao and Sweet Pineapple Lumpia, a favourite from WDW's Pandora.
- Universal Orlando are having social media meet-up on September 1st to celebrate Back to School, called "Back to Hogwarts".
- Six Flags Magic Mountain is adding a new multi-launch racing coaster called West Coast Racers for 2019.
- Carrorwinds have also announced a new coaster for 2019, a Mack Launch coaster called Copperhead strike.
- There was a rumour this week that Shanghai Disneyland are looking at adding copy of Pandora in the next 5 years.
- A video appeared on line this week of a number of Shanghai Disneyland guests swarming a cast member, and stealing the balloons they were selling.
- Walt Disney World is adding a new Snow White character dining at Fort Wilderness. Snow White will be joined by the evil queen and 2 of the seven dwarfs.
- Hersheypark in the US has reportedly sought approval to build a new coaster up to 220 feet tall in 2020.
- the First major maintenance of the DC Rivals hyper coaster has included the remove of track at the top of the hill after the first drop.
- Details have been released about Canada's Wonderlands upcoming hotel. It will be a Hyatt Place/Hyatt House branded hotel with 203 rooms, set to open in 2020.

Friday 24 August 2018

News in a Minute - 24th August 2018

Here is this week's news in a minute:

- Universal Orlando will be permanently closing the Eighth Voyage of Sindbad at IOA, one of the few remain parts of the Lost Continent land.
- Legoland Florida has reportedly submitted plans to build another 150-room hotel at the resort.
- Europa Park had a mixed week, with a minor Monorail crash, as well as the soft opening of Madame Freudenreich Curiosities, which is a revamp of the previous Universe of Energy dark ride. Check out the POV of that ride, as it is genuinely hilarious to me!
- Merlin have released details of the up coming Legoland Park in New York, including the 8 lands that will be part of the park.
- Sad news from Engerylandia in Poland, where it appears an employee was killed by the new Hyperion Hyper coaster, while attempting to retrieve a lost cell phone.
-  Disneyland Resort and Anahiem city council have continued their civil war, which this week Disney pulling a PR stunt to essentially refuse millions of dollars of tax concessions from the Council.
- We've got complete lineups for Halloween Horror nights, with multiple announcements this week including Blumhouse houses, Universal Monster Mazes and Wicked Witch themed house.
- Disneyland Resort lifted it's summer block outs, and the parks were crammed with Annual Passholders as a result.
- Tivoli in Denmark has opened a new spinner ride Tik Tak, to celebrate its 175th birthday.
- In Malaysia the Movie Animation Park Studios had it's IP deal with Dreamworks cancel just before their new land opened, previously called Dream Zone, meaning in just over two weeks they have had to untheme an entire land.

Friday 17 August 2018

News in a Minute - 17th August 2018

This week's news:

-  Sweden's Liseberg last Friday opened Europe's tallest and longest dive coaster — Valkyria.
- Tivoli in Copenhagen turned 175 this week celebrating its opening in 1843
- The Walt Disney World Railroad and Tomorrowland speedway in MK will close temporarily next year while the Tron lightcycle coaster is constructed.
- Universal Orlandos new hotel, the Aventuras had its preopening media preview this week. It looks like good views with small but high tech rooms.
- Canadas wonderland announced it's new coaster for 2019, Yukon Striker. Which will be the world's tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster!
- Cedar points new steel vengeance coaster has had another malfunction this week as a drive wheel snapped and fell from the ride. It was back up and running by the end of the day.
- Hong Kong Disneyland will have a new Nightmare before Christmas walk through for their halloween event this year.
- Europa parks new Eurosat CanCan coaster will have a untethered VR set up that will start in the queue before boarding the ride.
- Michael Myers is back for Halloween Horror Nights in both Universal Orlando and Hollywood!
- Six Flags is adding a loyalty program to it's parks, where you'll be able to get points for visiting parks, riding rides and spending money in the parks.
- Fighting between Disney and the Anaheim city council may stop development on Disneyland Resorts 4th hotel.

Friday 10 August 2018

News in a Minute - 10th August 2018

This week's news:
- News for Universal Orlando's Halloween horror nights this week, with a original house based on a lush jungle of man eating plants, called Seeds of Extintion announced. Also, we now have it confirmed (after last week's leak) that 1982 movie Poltergiest will be a house in both Orlando and Hollywood.
- Disney's US parks have increased their revenue by 6 percent year-over-year during their third quarter up to June. Attendance was also up 1 percent.
- SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment also announced an increase in attendance and spending. Attendance grew 8 percent during the first half of 2018.
- Dolly Parton has announced an expansion to Dollywood for 2019 called Wildwood Grove. It'll be a flat-ride midway themed to an enchanted grove.
- Teasers for Canada's Wonderland new attraction for 2019 are hingin at a flying animal theme.
- Kennywood have had a terrible time in the last ten days, having 2 rides derail, and another have a with a major malfunction.
- Port Aventura in Spain has reportedly started construction on a Sesame Street themed Dark Ride, set to open in 2019.

Monday 6 August 2018

Book Review - Walt and the Promise of Progress City

So I'm starting to branch out a little in my YouTube content. Going to try a few different things, and if one particularly does well, I'll do more. You've seen my Rant and Raves videos that I've done, but today I've put up a book review.

I love theme park books and I've got a pretty awesome collection. I haven't read all of them, but there are plenty that I have! So, first up I'm reviewing Sam Gennawey's Walt and the Promise of Progress City. This book is about Walt Disney and the way that he influenced the worlds of Architecture and Urban Planning, and how he was building up to an even bigger project, Progress City, when he passed away.

Friday 3 August 2018

News in a Minute - 3rd August 2018

-  Disney cast members agreed to a new contract, which gives them a immediate wage increase of 20%, and slides them up to a minimum wage of $15 an hour over the next two years. Still not much, but it's something.
- Filming began this week on the Jungle Cruise movie, based on the popular Disney attraction.
- The first test ride on the Eurosat Can Can coaster at Europa Park happened earlier this week.
- Herseypark has announced it will be revamping it's interactive dark ride themed to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. The new ride, Reese's Cupfusion will open next summer.
- Epcot released it's menu for this year's Food & Wine Festival.
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has softed opened Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster. There is a media event today, that will mark the official opening.
- WDW added a new upcharge dinning option at Animal Kingdom, which bundles a meal at Tiffins, priority seating for Festival of the Lion King and a special Safari tour. The first reservations are now available, for dining times from August 13.
- Not strictly a theme park, but the Warner Bros. Studio tour has announce it's adding a Halloween event. This may have an impact on what IPs are available for other Halloween events, such as Universal's Horror Nights.
- Knott's Berry Farm has released Knott's Scary Farm details, running from Sept 20 through to October 31st.

Friday 27 July 2018

News in a Minute - 27th July 2018

This week's news:
-  The world's largest indoor theme park has opened, this week, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. This park has several top of the line attractions created by the ThinkWell group. Check out YouTube for POVs.
- Hong Kong Disnyeland has released the name for their new Marvel ride, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Nano battle. It's opening has been pushed back to 2019.
- In the states, both Knoebels and Herseypark closed on monday due to severe flooding.
- Guy Fieri is opening a fried chicken restaurant at Disney Springs.
- Bobcat Goldthwait leaked a planned halloween version of World of Colour, to be called World of Colour: Villainous, during the blow back from the sacking of James Gunn.
- Universal has put in a trademark for "Universal's Epic Universe" and many variations of it. Could this be connected to the potential third park in Orlando?
- Universal Orlando announced another original IP house for Halloween Horror Nights this week, the Carnival Graveyard.
-  The Escape from Pompeii attraction at Busch Gardens Williamsburg is now closed until further notice after the ride apparently actually caught fire on Saturday night

Friday 20 July 2018

News in a Minute - 20th July 2018

This week's news:

- Disney has announced the closing date for A Bug's Land at Disney's California Adventure to be September 4th. This is to make way for a Super Hero themed land, that contractually can't be called Marvel land.
- At Universal Orlando, the Cinematic Celebration is now officially open, after being soft opened for the last few weeks.
- At Tokyo Disney, the original Out of Shadow Land musical March next year to make was for a new show called Song of Mirage, featuring Mickey Mouse and his friends.
- Universal Hollywood has started work on their next project, with demolition starting on the Globe Theater structure. It hasn't been announced what this will actually be yet.
- There is a rumour that Disneyland Paris will be testing out a paid FastPass option called AccessOne. It would give one-off front of line access to several attractions.
-  It appears that Disney is increasingly likely to buy Fox, after Comcast, the owners of Universal, removed it's competing bid. This would give Disney controller over IPs such as X-Men, Avatar and the Simpsons.
- Pizzafari at Disney's Animal Kingdown will have a new Family Style dining option from the end of July.
- Busch Gardens Tamp have suddenly closed Falcon's Fury drop ride. It's list on their rehab page as "closed until further notice".

Saturday 14 July 2018

News in a Minute - 14th July 2018

This week's theme park news:
- Disneyland sweated through the hottest day on record this week, with the temperatures in Anahiem reaching 113 degress fahrenheit (45 degress Celsius). Sadly on the same day, all of Disney Park's websites and apps went down.
- Six Flags Magic Mountain has opened CraZanity, the world's tallest Pendulum ride at 170-feet tall.
- A fire in the central cooling plant at the Disney's Hollywood Studios, closed down almost all of the attractions in the park on Thursday afternoon, including all of the newly opened Toy Story Land. It appears that only the Star Wars Launch Bay and MuppetVision shows were able to stay open.
- Islands of adventure have added some Jurassic World themed treats to a couple of restaurants. But only for July.
- The Purge is returning to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. This time as a maze based on the current Prequel, The First Purge.
-  Disney has created a new WDW Annual Pass for Florida residents with Park-specific block out days, just as they did earlier in the year for Disneyland Resort.
- Disney and More this week reported on apparent leaked plans to Disneyland Paris Resort's expansion to Walt Disney Studios. It looks like the new Frozen land and Star Wars land will be in place, and there are hints that future expansions may include Carsland and even Pandora.
- Six Flags over Texas has been testing their new Harley Quinn Spinsanity ride, ahead of this weekend's media day.
- Coney Island in New York have opened the Coney Clipper, a new swinging pirate ship flat ride.
- New dive coaster Valkyria at Liseberg in Sweden has also been testing this week, with the park releasing test footage this week.
- King's Island in ohio had to close a half hour early on Tuesday due a a suspicious package outside the park. The package was later found to be non-threatening.

Friday 6 July 2018

News in a Minute - 6th July 2018

This week's news:

-  Legoland California opened its Lego City Deep Sea Adventure this week, a submarine ride where you journey through a real aquarium with 2000 sea creatures, and search for lost Lego Treasure.
- Tokyo Disneyland has given us a peak at their new Castle show Celebrate!, which starts July 10th, with a making of video released this week.
- Universal Orlando celebrated the 4th of July by having a technical rehearsal for their new lagoon show, the Cinematic Celebration. The park is yet to announce an opening date for this show.
- Theme Park Insider announced their annual awards as well this week, with the big winner being Efteling from the Netherlands, as overall most popular park and for best new Dark Ride for Symbolica.
- Australian Theme Park chain VRTP has sold it's Wet'n'Wild Sydney property to spanish theme park giant Parques Reunidos.
- Theme park site Blooloop announced their Blooloop 50 for 2018 this week, which lists the Top 50 Theme Park Influencers across the world, headlined by a Power 10 which include Thierry Coup head of Universal Creative, and Bob Iger CEO of Disney.
- WDW's Toy Story Land officially opened last weekend, and the opening few days were marked by early openings and very long queues. The wait times have started to lessen over the week, including times where the Tower of Terror queue was longer than Slinky Dog Dash. Expect this to be busy for some time.
- Construction has really ramped up on the new Forbidden Forrest ride, at Island's of Adventure in Orlando, with a number of people posting construction updates this week.
- A Florida man was hit by a stray bullet, during 4th of July Celebrations at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Saturday 30 June 2018

News in a Minute - 30th June 2018

This week's theme park news:

- Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studio at WDW has opened. After a media preview and various soft-opening's and tests the area themed to Andy's backyard is opened. Check out YouTube for POVs of the new Alien Swirling Spinners and Slinky Dog Dash. Although the rides are somewhat off the shelf, reviews have been positive, and I've been impressed by the theming of the land.
- It was also announced this week that Hollywood Studios is going to a new Cars show called 'Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy, in the flex theatre between Tower of Terror and the Rock'n'Rollercoaster.
- Universal Studios Hollywood is adding Butterbeer Icecream to it's collection of sweet treats in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But unlike Orlando this is not going to be soft-serve.
- Universal Orlando have announced two new scare zones for Halloween Horror Nights this year. It's back to the 80s again, with the Revenge of Chucky, and Killer Klowns from Outer Space scare zones.
- After the opening of Pixar Pier last week, we got the announcement of an upcoming ride call the Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind for 2019, which will be a re-use of the Flik's Flyers ride that is currently in A Bug's Land.
- Six Flags Magic Mountain is opening it's 5 day All-American Food Festival today, leading in to the 4th of July.
- In Qatar a new theme park has partially opened called Angry Birds World. It's located in Doha Festival City, and they have opened the indoor portion of the park, while the outside portion is still under construction.
- We found out this week that Tokyo Disneyland Resort will be getting it's own official App. It's going to be in the Apple and Google App Stores on July 5th. The American parks also got a new app this week, with the Play Disney Parks app launching.

Friday 29 June 2018

Theme Park Nut Rants about... Pixar Pier

So, I couldn't do my normal Friday video today, due to work commitments. Instead, earlier in the week, I recorded a little rant about the new area at Disney California Adventure - Pixar Pier! So here is my first real YouTube rant. Enjoy!

P.S. I'll still be posting my News in a Minute update. Tomorrow morning!

Friday 22 June 2018

News in Minute - 22nd June 2018

Here is this week's theme park news:

-  This week the coroner's inquest into 2016's fatal tragedy at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast started. While the cause of the incident appears to be a pump failure, it appears that there were ways of stopping the conveyor belt sooner, that were not exercised. This inquest will be on going for a number of weeks, but at this stage it is looking like Dreamworld is at least partially responsible for these 4 deaths.
- In happier news, Disney California Adventure has opens Pixar Pier today. From the media day yesterday, we've seen our first previews, including a POV of the re-themed coaster the Incredicoaster. Reviews have been mixed.
- Slinky Dog Dash the new Toy Story coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios, has started testing this week, and reviews have been largely positive.
- Europa park in Germany have laid the last piece of track for their new Eurosat CanCan Coaster. Although we still don't have an opening date for it.
- Universal Orlando announced one of their original IP houses for HHN, Slaughter Sinema. This new house will be based on a mixture of grindhouse horror movies, and themed to a drive-in theatre.
- A report out this week says that the  Frozen themed dark rides for Hong Kong Disneyland and for Walt Disney Studios Paris, are going to complete clones of Epcot's Frozen Ever After, rather than being original.
- Germany's Bayern-Park has opened a new dark ride called Stadlgaudi 4D, which is an interactive shooter, with a twist. From descriptions it's kind of like a reverse Carousel of Progress, where shooter sit in the middle and rotate to see 4 different scenes before returning to the load/unload section.

Thursday 14 June 2018

News in a Minute - 15th June 2018

This week's Theme Park News in a Minute:
-  The Oriental Land Company, have officially announced a 250 billion yen expansion to the Tokyo DisneySea park. The new Port will be fantasy themed, devoted to IPs Frozen, Tangled and Peter Pan. There will also be a new hotel as part of this expansion.
- Europa Park has re-opened one of their attractions touched in the dramatic fire two weeks ago, the Fjord-rafting, which is an amazing effort!
- Disneyland Resort's Annual Passholders were given a rare treat this week with the lifting of a number of blockout Days in the next month, and a bring a friend promotion, which can save up to 41% on a DL ticket for a day.
- Universal Orlando has introduced a Blue the raptor as a new meet and greet ahead of the new Jurassic World movie. They've also officially announced their new night-time show 'Cinematic Celebration'.
- Disneyland's Pirates has re-opened with changes for Redd but also a new effect of a skeleton turning into a "man" to replace Davy Jones.
- Universal Studios Hollywood have re-opened their Dreamworks theatre with a new Kung Fu Panda 4D experience.
- Walt Disney World have opened a contest "glamping" inside the Pandora land at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The contest is open to US residents and has value of about $8000.
- Universal has opened up bookings for the new Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites. Prices starting from an incredibly low $73 a night, for a 7 night stay.

Thursday 7 June 2018

News in a Minute - 8th June 2018

Here is this week's theme park news:

- Universal Orlando have annonced they are expanding Halloween Horror Nights this year to 10 houses, up from last years 9.
- Walt Disney World's Grand Floridian resort has lost one of it's veteran Cast members with greeter Richard Gerth passing away at age 92.
- Legoland California has set the opening date for their new submarine ride, Lego City Deep Sea Adventure as July 2nd.
- Dynamic Attractions has signed a deal to provide two new state-of-the-art ride systems for theme parks in Asia to an unknown theme park company.
- WDW has opened it's Minnie Van program to all guests. Anyone can now use the Lyft app to get to any point on Disney property for a guaranteed $25.
- Movieland Park in Italy Opens Unique Self-Driven Jurassic Jeep Adventure Ride, which is much like the scene from the original Jurassic Park movie.
- Finally at WDW, there is a rumour that the next DVC resort planned is going to be taking over the former River Country water park site, near Magic Kingdom.

Saturday 26 May 2018

Europa Park Fire - 26th May 2018

This morning, in Australia, we woke to some very dramatic theme park news from German Theme Park Europa Park, where a large fire broke out in the Scandinavian area of the park. The initial images looked incredibly dramatic, as this fire roared up to 15m into the air, it was reported.

We had confirmation from Michael Mack, the managing director of Europa Park, that the fire had destroyed the Pirates in Batavia dark ride, and also the Norway section completely, however there was no recorded injuries, and the fire appears to be contained, as Iceland (the area behind it) and the Blue Fire Megacoaster appear to be unharmed.

I heard reports of staff from the park on their days off, and after there shifts joined firefighters in attempting to contain the blaze and manage getting the park evacuated safely. That is a fantastic effort by the staff and emergency services to both keep it isolate to the part of the park, which is completely surrounded by park, and to have no injuries recorded. I heard that only part of the park was actually evacuated, and indeed a number of rides continued operating while the blaze was brought under control. Which can be seen in the twitter photo above from the top of the Euro-Mir.

Scandinavia in 2010.

I feel a bit of a personal connection to this park, as it was during an overseas trip through Europe that my dormant obsession with theme parks was re-ignited and Europa Park was a very big part of that. We know that in time they will rebuild, but it's still tough to see such a highly themed area damaged in such a brutal way.

Our thoughts are with the staff of Europa Park that have poured their hearts into it. People in the industry know this park is a safe and well maintained park, so while it's to early to know the cause they certainly get the benefit of the doubt until we know more.

Let's hope that Europa Park can rebuild in a bigger and stronger in the future, as it is deservedly a very popular and loved park.

Friday 25 May 2018

News in a Minute - 25th May 2018

The theme park news for this week:

- Disney has narrowed down the opening windows for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. It will open in Summer 2019 at the Disneyland Resort and then in late Fall 2019 in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
- Mobile food ordering is now live at Disneyland Resort, and alcohol is now avaliable at all table service restaurants at Magic Kingdom.
- The brand new HangTime dive coaster officially opened this week at Knott's Berry Farm.
- Six Flags has acquired five more amusement and water parks in the United States, although they have actually owned four of those parks previously.
- Disneyland Paris has had start-ups involved with an outreach program called the Castle Hub, do elevator pitches inside the Tower of Terror.
- DLP has also announced that WDW favourie Mickey's Philharmagic will open in the Discoveryland Theatre in October, around the same time as the refurbished Phantom Manor will re-open.
- If you are like watching theme park vloggers, British couple Krispy Smore and Floridians Tim and Jenn Tracker  have taken a surprise trip together to Tokyo Disney. So, check out all of their channels over the next few weeks.
- Disneyland Resort has given us a little bit more detail on the Incredicoaster, the re-theming of California Screamin', it will have a scene where you will smell chocolate chip cookies.

Friday 18 May 2018

News in a Minute - 18th May 2018

This week's theme park news:

- The TEA/AECOM Theme Index for 2017 came out yesterday, and the big winners this year are Disney's Animal Kingdom, Shanghai Disneyland, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, and Universal Studios Japan. Magic Kingdom stays atop the leader board globally with just over 20 Million vistors last year.
- At Magic Kingdom this week the fire-breathing Maleficent dragon float malfunctioned and caught fire during the Festival of Fantasy parade. No one was injured, and the fire while dangerous was put out extremely quickly but WDW staff.
- Legoland Florida is adding a new land called Lego Movie World in 2019, themed to Emmet, Princess Unikitty and their friends from the Lego Movie.
- IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai has announced it will close to guest for nearly 3 weeks starting later this month, during the Holy month of Ramadan, to enhance the facilities and overall guest experience.
- Disney have announced a hard ticket event to open the new Pixar Pier, the night before it opens, for a staggering $299 per person. While you'll get a lot for that, food, exclusive rides and a swag bag, that's still pretty steep for a few hours at a theme park.
- Dreamworld on the Gold Coast has announced they will soon open a new temporary Trolls Village attraction area, in the Dreamworks Experience section of the park.
- Warner Brothers Movie World is going to close their Scooby Doo Scooby coaster for 12 weeks starting in July, to put back some of the theming that was stripped from the ride early last year.
- Universal studios Japan this week debuted their new Harry Potter parade!
- At Disney's California Advenutre, Flo's V8 cafe has had it's menu dumbed down again to become another Disneyland burder joint.
- Universal have announced that cult Halloween movie Trick 'r Treat will be getting a house of it's own at the Halloween Horror Nights events in Orlando and Hollywood this year.

Thursday 10 May 2018

News in a Minute 11th May 2018

Here is this week's Theme Park news:

-Universal Studios Hollywood have confirmed that on September 3rd they will be closing the Jurassic Park - The Ride for an extended refurbishment. It will re-open next year sometime themed to the current series of Jurassic World movies.

- Disney CEO Bob Iger said during the company's quarterly earnings call that it is inevitable that they will look at building additional theme parks in China and elsewhere around the world.

- In Osaka, Universal Studios Japan has had an incident on the flying coaster, had an unfortunate emergency stop on the lift hill. All riders were evacuated safely, however it took nearly two hours to complete the evacuation.

- Disney officially confirmed this week that the Night of Joy christian music festival at Walt Disney World has been discontinued.

- Universal Parks & Resorts is nearly doubling the budget for its upcoming Universal Studios Beijing theme park from an estimated US$3.3 billion to US$6.5 billion, with the park likely to open in 2020 at the earliest.

- Epcot's upcoming space themed restaurant ha been confirmed to be going in the  space between Mission: Space and Test Track. They also poured concrete for the base of the Guardians of the Galaxy ride this week.

- Fenix, the new B&M Wing Coaster going into Toverland in the netherlands, has had it's track completed this week.

- Railblazer, the RMC single rail coaster, has had it's first test runs at California's Great America.

- Disneyland announced that "Redd" the red-headed pirate will become a walk-around face character in New Orleans Square this summer.

- WDW has added a new last minute one day ticket option that includes automatic fast pass selections, which can be hard to get at the last minute.

Don't forget to subscribe to us on YouTube to stay up to date with all the theme park news that fits into a minute!!

Friday 30 March 2018

News in a Minute - 30th March 2018

I have been continuing to do my weekly posts on YouTube, where I give you a 1 minute rundown of theme park news. However I have been slack putting these up on my blog. So here are the last few week's episodes -

This week:

Last week:

2 Week's ago:

If you do check out my video's don't forget to subscribe, as I'm just starting out on this little journey, and need all the help I can get. Any feedback is welcome!

Friday 2 March 2018

News in a Minute - 2nd March 2018

I'm trying a new style of blogging/vlogging. Hopefully I'll be a bit more regular at this!