Saturday 15 June 2024

June 16th Theme Park News In A Nutshell

 This week's Theme Park News:

-  Universal Studios Florida officially opened it's new DreamWorks land this week, which took over the space of the former Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone. The land features play areas and meet and greets themed to Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Trolls. The former Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster has become Trolls Trollercoaster.

- Universal Orlando also debuted its newest nighttime spectacular, CineSational: A Symphony Spectacular. This is the first show at Universal Orlando to heavily feature drones.

- Finally, at Islands of Adventure Universal has opened a new castle projection show, Hogwarts Always. Hogwarts Always traces a young wizard's or witch's first year at Hogwarts, from receiving their admission letter to buying supplies at Diagon Alley and arriving on the Hogwarts Express all the way through to the awarding of the House Cup at the end of the year.

- Universal Orlando also previewed their new Epic Universe Preview Centre this week, mostly because all of the worlds Theme Park media was in Orlando.

- Walt Disney World Resort has gotten final legal approval to go ahead with $17 billion in expansion plans over the next two decades. The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District has approved a development deal with Disney that will guide additions and expansions at the resort over the next 20 years. It's been widely reported that the now-approved development deal allows Disney to build a fifth major theme park and two minor parks at the resort, in addition to expanding hotel and retail space. Disney also must contract at least 50% of construction work to Florida-based companies and spend at least $10 million on affordable housing projects. 

- Also at WDW, the all-new Country Bear Musical Jamboree will open in Frontierland's Grizzly Hall in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on July 17.

- Epcot has opened their new Communicore Plaza which features a new live show called ¡CelebraciĆ³n Encanto!. The new area, which replaces the long-gone Communicore West building, also includes the Commincore Hall events space plus an indoor Mickey & Friends character greeting area. There's also a "Festival Favorites" food stand that will be serving popular items from EPCOT's various food festivals.

- In Italy, Gardaland has opened its new drop tower ride. Wolf Legend is a 82-foot Drop & Twist Tower, themed to a curse that turned a giant wolf to stone.

- In the UK, Thorpe Park has re-opened Hyperia, it's new Mack rides Hypercoaster, which had to close just days after opening. Thorpe Park said, "Once again we want to thank everyone for their understanding and patience. Now it's time to forge your wings of steel, conquer the seemingly impossible and embrace your inner fearlessness onboard the UK's tallest, fastest and most weightless rollercoaster.



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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.
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Saturday 8 June 2024

June 9th Theme Park News In A Nutshell

 This week's Theme Park News:


- Tokyo Disney opened Fantasy Springs this week. the largest park expansion in the resorts history, which features minilands based on the movies Peter Pan, Frozen and Tangled. As part of the opening Tokyo Disney Resort presented a video tour of its Fantasy Springs expansion, "The Fantasy Begins," including views of the "port" at night with character and cast performances, accompanied by drones.

- The Tokyo Disney Resort has also announced that their upcoming nighttime spectacular will be called "Reach for the Stars." In addition to the traditional collection of Disney and Pixar characters, the new show will be the first at Tokyo Disney to feature characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

- Legoland New York has set the opening date for The Minifigure Skyflyer gondola ride, which will open on June 24. To celebrate the grand opening, Legoland New York is planning a record-setting disco dance party. The park is offering the first 2,500 guests who register online free same-day admission to the park for the party. In addition to registering online, you must arrive 8:30am on June 24, wearing "glitter/sequin apparel, sparkly tutus, disco ball themed accessories, [or] other disco-themed duds" to get in.

- Knott's Berry farm have announced that the newly redesigned Camp Snoopy officially will open to guests on June 27. New rides in the land will include Snoopy's Tenderpaw Twister Coaster, a Zamperla family coaster that takes the place of the old Timberline Twister, Sally's Swing Along, a Zamperla Super Happy Swing, Camp Snoopy's Off-Road Rally, a Zamperla Convoy Dino Jeeps ride that replaces Rocky Mountain Trucking Company, and a newly themed Beagle Express train ride.

- Disneyland Resort has closed the  Club Pixar dance show at Disney's California Adventure, and is also preparing to close the Doctor Strange: Mysteries of the Mystic Arts show, which will close June 30th. It's worth pointing out that this isn't related to the Disneyland parade and character performers voting to joining the Actor's Equity Union, and that the Club Pixar dancers are in fact represented already by a different union.

- Universal have announced they are bring A Quiet Place to this year's Halloween Horror Nights on both coasts. This represents a fascinating Sound Design challenge for Universal, as the contrast of the ultra quiet and suspenseful movie with a very rowdy and loud event could be difficult to overcome. I look forward to seeing how Universal stages this. 


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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.

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Sunday 2 June 2024

June 2nd Theme Park News In A Nutshell

 This week's Theme Park News:

- Walt Disney World have shared a POV from Tiana's Bayou Adventure this week, which shows Tiana and Naveen planning a party, but needing to find a band. Luckily we come across Lewis and his friends.

- Disneyland debuted a new pre-show for its World of Color - One nighttime spectacular at Disney California Adventure, called Emotional Rollercoaster" "which promotes the upcoming "Inside Out 2," which opens June 14.

- Universal Epic Universe Preview Center will open at Universal CityWalk in Orlando. The preview center will include "a massive model offering a bird’s-eye view of the entire park" that will come to life via augmented reality on guests' mobile devices. Epic Universe merchandise and backdrop photo ops will be available in the preview center, which takes over the former Universal Legacy Store location. 

- One of Epic Universe's biggest rides has been given a new name. Universal Orlando's website now lists the Mack Rides racing coasters formerly known as Starfall Racers as Stardust Racers. The change comes after a lawsuit was filed in US federal court earlier this month over the name. In 2023, Universal filed a trademark application for "Starfall Racers," however an opposition was filed to that application. Earlier this month, Starfall Education Foundation filed a lawsuit against Universal City Studios in US District Court for the District of Colorado over the roller coaster's name.

- Universal Orlando is holding a special event for the start of Halloween Horror Nights. One night before it opens officially on August 30 at Universal Studios Florida, the park will welcome a limited number of fans for its first-ever Premium Scream Night

- Disneyland Shanghai will open The Adventure of Rhythm will debut June 3 on Adventure Isle's Storyhouse Stage. This musical will feature "a team of archeologists who specialize in researching music" as the excuse for the line-up of staged performances of tunes from a variety of Disney's animated movies. However the show will actually change from performance to performance, as they move through 5 musical styles, with 2 different musical adventures possible for each of the shows.


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