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.
  • Timoléon 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.

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