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 ¡Celebración 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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