Friday 29 March 2024

March 30 - Theme Park News in a Nutshell

 This week's (early) Theme Park News:


- Universal Orlando Resort has revealed the details for the next land at its upcoming Universal Epic Universe theme park - How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk. They have confirmed they are bringing the "Untrainable" show that premiered at Universal Studios Beijing, which will be called The Untrainable Dragon. Other attractions in the new land will include:


  • Hiccup's Wing Gliders, an Intamin multi-launch roller coaster with a top speed of 45 mph.
  • Fyre Drill, a Splash Battle-style interactive boat ride, where "Ruffnut and Tuffnut invite teams of Vikings to compete to outscore and out-soak each other on this wet-and-wild boat battle."
  • Dragon Racer’s Rally, a Gerstlauer Sky Fly with a maximum height of 67 feet.
  • Viking Training Camp, a play area.
  • Haddock Paddock, a character meet with Hiccup and Toothless.


- Tokyo Disneyland is adding Marvel Characters to their version of It's a Small World, for a limited time. The attraction will be renamed It's a Small World with Groot. In a Press release, disney stated: "Groot from the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' film trilogy and his friends from Marvel Studios films are visiting Earth for vacation. Groot encounters his friends in various locations on Earth and experiences their regional cultures and music with them as well as with children from all over the world."


- Disney has given us a a sneak peak at the animal characters that will feature on Tiana's Bayou Adventure, the replacement for Splash Mountain.

Tiana's musical critter friends will be:

  • Byhalia the Beaver: A percussionist who builds musical instruments from natural materials in the bayou.
  • Gritty the Rabbit: Gritty plays a found-license-plate washboard.
  • Beau the Opossum: Plays an upright bass made from a gourd, using her tail to play some of the notes.
  • Apollo the Raccoon: Plays a squeezebox made from found objects in the bayou.
  • Rufus the Turtle: Apollo's companion in adventures, Rufus plays the harmonica in this band.
  • Timol√©on the Otter: This fiddle player is the oldest member of the band and likes to share stories about the past.



- Orlando's giant observation wheel on International Drive, is now called the Orlando Eye, again, after the attraction was acquired by Merlin Entertainments this week. It was originally named the Orlando Eye, then subsequently ICON Orlando in 2018, then it changed again to be The Wheel at ICON Park in 2019.

- California's Great America is open for the season this week, and made good on it's symbolic Super Bowl bet with its Cedar Fair sibling Worlds of Fun, from Kansas City, by temporarily renaming coaster Flight Deck to be the Soaring Chiefs.

- Gardaland in Italy have this week took delivery of and installed the ride's 82-foot-tall purple octagonal tower for their new 2024 Attraction, revealing that the new attraction will be a "Drop & Twist Tower." A name has not yet been released for this ride, although the park has state that is have a theme based on indigenous Americans.


You can watch our News in a Nutshell videos on YouTube or TikTok, and catch up with us on Instagram or Threads.

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And you can find our weekly podcast about theme park news called Nuts About Theme Parks, on all good Podcasting platforms.

https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/nutsaboutthemeparks

Saturday 23 March 2024

March 24th - Theme Park News in a Nutshell

 This week's Theme Park News:


- Walt Disney World has announced the that the final pieces of the Epcot's transformation - CommuniCore Hall and the CommuniCore Plaza stage - will open June 10. CommuniCore Hall will house the Mickey & Friends character greeting as well as being used as flex space for EPCOT's various festivals and celebrations.  The CommuniCore Plaza stage will first feature ¡Celebraci√≥n Encanto!, a new sing-along stage show featuring the characters from Disney Animation's "Encanto," including Mirabel and Bruno. 

- Also at WDW, a new drone show Disney Dreams That Soar will run nightly from May 24 through September 2 in the skies above Disney Springs.

- Legoland California have opened their new Dino Valley land. Featuring very colourful Lego Dinosaur models that now feature in the two re-themed rides Explorer River Quest and Duplo Little Dino Trail.

- Europa Park have announced that Voltron Nevera powered by Rimac will open officially on April 26. The Mack Rides Stryker coaster features 7 inversions, 4 launches, and what the park is calling the steepest launch in the world, at 105 degrees. Themed to the experiments of Nikola Tesla, the coaster will anchor the park's new Croatia-themed land.

- Universal Orlando's new Epic Universe theme park has started testing it's Starfall Racers trains testing on the coaster's track this week, as shown on local Orlando television. Epic Universe opens in 2025.

- Disneyland have given more details about their "all-new experience" of fireworks from inside Galaxy's Edge as part of their Season of the Force event from April 5 through June 2. Disneyland will recast its fireworks experience as "Fire of the Rising Moons." Guests will hear the fireworks accompanied by music from John Williams' Star Wars film scores.

- The resort also announced that Critter Country will close at Disneyland on May 1, as the  park prepares the land for the opening of Tiana's Bayou Adventure. This work will include re-themeing two of the retail locations to Princess and the Frog, and also widening and improving pathways in that section of the park.

- Mattel and its partners have announced a second Mattel Adventure Park, coming to the Kansas City area in 2026, even before the first park in Arizona has opened. The Kansas city park is due to break ground later this year. The Arizona park is set to open Late this year.

- The Mall of America is opening a new Avatar ride. Avatar: The Last Airbender that is. The new aerial carousel ride is called, Fly with Appa, where you ride on the Sky Bison from the Nickelodeon animated series. It is part of Mall of America's Nickelodeon Universe.

- Qiddiya Investment Company has signed a deal with Toei Animation to license the Dragon Ball franchise for a new theme park at the Qiddiya City development in Saudi Arabia.


You can watch our News in a Nutshell videos on YouTube or TikTok, and catch up with us on Instagram or Threads.

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And you can find our weekly podcast about theme park news called Nuts About Theme Parks, on all good Podcasting platforms.

https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/nutsaboutthemeparks

Saturday 16 March 2024

March 17th - Theme Park News in a Nutshell

 This week's Theme Park News:

- The DisneylandForward proposal has cleared it's first major hurdle this week, with The Anaheim Planning Commission voting 5-1 to recommend the  proposal to the Anaheim City Council. The Council is expected to vote on this later this spring.


- Universal confirmed this week that Florean Fortescue soft-serve ice cream shop, originally found in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida, will be opening another location at Universal Hollywood later this month. Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream counter will open March 29 in former Zonko's joke shop space within Honeydukes. The counter will serve 10 flavors of ice cream in cups or waffle cones: Banana, Chocolate, Mint, Orange, Vanilla, Toffee Nut, Granny Smith Apple, Pistachio, Toffee Apple, as well as Butterbeer ice cream. To celebrate that iconic flavor, Universal is declaring March 15 through April 30 as "Butterbeer season" at its U.S. theme parks. The parks will feature new Butterbeer-flavored items during the event, including a Butterbeer popsicle as well as Butterbeer caramels, which will be available in Orlando only.


- Shanghai Disneyland this week states that it had "began initial preparation work for construction of a separately themed attraction to be located within Shanghai Disneyland, adjacent to Zootopia." They also announced that they had completed piling work on its as-yet unamed third hotel.


- The Disneyland Resort is previewing new entry gates that will be installed at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, starting later this year. They have opened a test gate this week, which will bel used for a limited time and will assist with traning staff. The project is going to be finished in 2025.


- Disneyland resort dropped a whole bunch of details on Pixar fest, which returns to the resort April 26 and continues through August 4. This year it will feature a food festival, a part called Pixar Pals Playtime Party, and new parade at DCA called Better Together: A Pixar Pals Celebration!

- In the U.S. SC Holdings has acquired Santa Monica Amusements LLC, the operator of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier.  


- Fuji-Q Highland has announced that its iconic roller coaster, Do-Dodonpa, has closed permanently. The S&S Thrust Air Coaster has been closed since August 2021, after a number of injuries.


- Aquatica Orlando officially opens its newest water slide, Tassie's Underwater Twist. This 129-foot long enclosed Super Bowl water slide from WhiteWater West features an orchestral score and synchronized video display that recreates the underwater world of Australia's Shark Bay for guests to explore as they slide through on two-person innertubes.


- Kennywood has announced the winner in its contest to name the park's bumper cars ride. In a fan vote, Potato Smash beat candidates Deep Fried Derby and Speedy Spuds to become the name for the ride, which has been getting a rebuild as Kennywood themes the cars to its Potato Patch fries.

You can watch our News in a Nutshell videos on YouTube or TikTok, and catch up with us on Instagram or Threads.
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@ThemeParkNut
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@themeparknut
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And you can find our weekly podcast about theme park news called Nuts About Theme Parks, on all good Podcasting platforms.
https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/nutsaboutthemeparks

Saturday 9 March 2024

March 10th - Theme Park News in a Nutshell

 This week's Theme Park News:

- Disneyland Resort has it's clearest yet communication on the construction of an Avatar based experience, with Bob Iger saying  "We have one Avatar-based land, Pandora, in Florida. We're going to put a second one in California."

- Disneyland also had another attempt this week at opening up sales for their Magic Key annual pass program, which seemingly went better than last time.

- Disney Parks announced the opening date for the latest version of Star Tours, featuring Ahsoka Tano, Cassian Andor, Din Djarin (aka The Mandalorian) and Grogu, will debut April 5 at Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort.


- SeaWorld San Antonio has opened Catapult Falls, which it calls the "world's first launched flume coaster."


- Thorpe Park in the UK has completed track work on Hyperia, its new Mack Rides Hypercoaster for 2024.

- Legoland California has announced that Dino Valley will open officially to Legoland guests on March 22.

- Kentucky Kingdom will extend its 2024 season by staying open for the Christmas holiday season, the park announced this week.

- Gardaland in Italy has been teasing it's upcoming new thrill ride with claims this week of the arrival of a very large WOLF in the park.


You can watch our News in a Nutshell videos on YouTube or TikTok, and catch up with us on Instagram or Threads.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@ThemeParkNut

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@themeparknut

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themeparknutinsta

Threads: https://www.threads.net/@themeparknutinsta


And you can find our weekly podcast about theme park news called Nuts About Theme Parks, on all good Podcasting platforms.

https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/nutsaboutthemeparks

Saturday 2 March 2024

March 3rd - Theme Park News In A Nutshell

 This week's Theme Park News:

- Universal Studios Florida will open its new DreamWorks Land this summer, and this week they also confirmed details of their attractions including that the former Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster is being transformed into Trolls Trollercoaster.

- Still at Universal Orlando, Islands of Adventure has removed the 3D projection on Skull Island: Reign of Kong, as part of a trial of 2D projection for the ride.

- Reporting season for theme park chains in the US this week told us that Six Flags has had higher attendance for lower income, and that United Parks (formerly SeaWorld Parks) had a decline on attenance.

- Hersheypark announced today that it has replaced the seats and restraints on its Intamin wing coaster, Skyrush

- Knott's Berry Farm has announced that work is "re-zooming" on the rebuild of its former Montezooma's Revenge roller coaster, renamed MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress.

- Carowinds and Kings Dominion have changed the name of their former Intimidator and Intimidator 305 roller coasters, they will now be known as Thunder Striker and Project 305 respectively.

- March 30th  will be the opening date of Silver Dollar City's new version of Fire in the Hole, a complete rebuild of one of their classic attractions, by Rocky Mountain Construction.


You can watch our News in a Nutshell videos on YouTube or TikTok, and catch up with us on Instagram or Threads.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@ThemeParkNut

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@themeparknut

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themeparknutinsta

Threads: https://www.threads.net/@themeparknutinsta


And you can find our weekly podcast about theme park news called Nuts About Theme Parks, on all good Podcasting platforms.

https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/nutsaboutthemeparks