---- THE LATEST GLOBAL BUZZ ----
(9/22/17) Mexico - Major Attraction Details for Amikoo Park / Resort Project (MORE...)
(9/20/17) Possible New Theme Park Going To Mexico (MORE...)
(9/15/17) Game of Thrones Touring Exhibit Will Begin Run In Spain (MORE...)
(9/14/17) Hong Kong Observation Wheel Shut Down and To Be Removed (MORE...)
(9/9/17) China's Largest Marine Park Operator Looking To Expand (MORE...)
Australia - (11/14/16) A humorous review of Melbourne's Luna Park has been posted to Flying Pirouettes this week, based on a visit about 18 months ago, but the review is still quite funny just the same. Plus I actually wasn't even aware there was a second Luna Park in Australia, I had only ever heard about the Sydney version before now.
(10/8/16) If you're curious about what the various theme parks in Australia are doing to celebrate the Halloween season, head on over to AusParks who has a quick run-down of what each major attraction has to offer this season.
(1/23/16) Want to see what may be the world's biggest coaster failure? A huge coaster project that was built and never opened? Then lets take a modern look at the decaying remains of the Orphan Rocker coaster in Australia's Scenic World nature park, thanks to Flying Pirouettes.
Belgium - (5/16/17) BlooLoop has posted a follow up article about the new Comics Station Antwerp attraction that just opened in Belgium, featuring an exclusive interview with the founder and CEO, Wim Hubrechtsen. It goes into more detail about the overall attraction itself, the layout, the individual attractions development and more.
(5/4/17) Alterface has created two new interactive attractions for Belgium's Comics Station Antwerp indoor theme park attraction. One is themed to The Smurfs and allows the guests to interact by tracking a magic wand that they hold. The other is themed to Lucky Luke and puts guests in a wagon-styled room facing a screens hidden by sliding doors that open to reveal themselves as the story unfolds. The new indoor multi-story attraction just opened April 9th and you can see a bit more about it in the video below.
Brazil - (8/5/17) While I had assumed that the old Playcenter park from Sao Paulo, Brazil was dead and gone for good, it seems that the owners have been working behind the scenes for a number of years now on trying to find a brand new site in the Sao Paulo area where they can build a new bigger and better theme park with the Playcenter name. From what I'm told they believe they have finally found the right site for the new park, and even have quietly gone through the entire design phase. Now it has come down to getting the financial aspects all the line up to best benefit the project, from the stock market to exchange rates.
Canada - (8/24/17) A great picture of the new Niagara Speedway go-kart track under construction on the Canadian side of the falls was posted to Twitter this week. Check it out below.
(8/14/17) We don't know many details yet, but according to a local news report a 12-year-old girl fell from a carnival ride at a festival in Lac-Megantic in Quebec, Canada on Saturday. The ride isn't named, but was described as featuring "flying chairs". She was taken in for treatment with serious head wounds.
(5/9/17) I'm told that the Niagara SkyWheel has been closed for the past two months actually, but they are expcting to have it up and running by May 19th. They've got a lot of work ahead of them to meet that date, but it could be possible. Meanwhile a reader sent in a picture of the SkyWheel, as well as a couple of pictures of a new 3-story Go-Kart track attraction under construction nearby.
(5/8/17) According to a reader who visited the Niagara Falls area attractions, they noticed that the SkyWheel has been taken down, leaving only the supports in place. According to one story being told, the wheel was taken down for maintenance and they hope to have it rebuilt very soon, but they've got a lot to do still. Anyone know more about what's going on? There were fresh reviews for the wheel on it's Google listing posted as recently as 3 weeks ago, so this may be a new development.
(4/11/17) We're on a roll today with a second Ferris Wheel news story... as BlooLoop reports that a 60 meter tall Grande Roue de Montreal wheel, Canada's Highest, will open this June on Île Bonsecours in the city's Old Port. The plan is to run the wheel year-round (10am to 11pm) as it will feature 42 climate controlled 8-passenger gondolas.
Chile - (2/15/17) A number of small children riding together on a fairground ride that is apparently meant only for those 18 and older suffered injuries when the spinning disc separated from the rest of the ride, tilted over and collapsed to the ground at a fairground in Chile. The incident was caught on video which you can see here.
China - (9/14/17) According to a news article the Hong Kong Observation Wheel was shut down recently and is expected to be torn down any day now, if it hasn't already. The wheel was running at the site for about 3-years.
(9/9/17) China's largest marine park operator, Haichang Ocean Parks Holdings, has announced that they are looking into plans to build three or four more marine themed parks along China's planned new Silk Road trade initiative that could see the parks built in other countries like India, Africa or in the Central Asia region.
(8/24/17) I saw this unique creation posted on Twitter a bit ago by VHCoasters, showing off an attraction concept I had never seen before anywhere else in the world. Would you believe a 1.3 kilometer long glass-bottom water slide was been built in the Taihang Mountains, essentially a water version of an Alpine Coaster. Check out the pictures in the post embedded below.
(5/15/17) Some fun pictures showing off a unique racing/dueling pair of coasters (Sit-Down vs Inverted) planned for the Wanda Guangzhou park were posted on twitter in a pair of tweets. While the posted wonder if they could be a Premier Rides or Intamin creation, I too have to wonder if they might be something new from Vekoma as well, who previously built a Sit-Down vs Inverted coaster pair for Universal Studios Singapore. Anyone know more?
(5/14/17) According to a news article a new small indoor theme park based around the world of Hello Kitty is planned to open in Shanghai in October 2018, taking over three floors (8, 9 and 10) of the Shanghai Mart Retail Mall.
(5/11/17) Wow, talk about scary. Pictures posted to The Sun show off a high-thrill ride in China called Wild Screams, which appears to be a Skyscraper style high-speed spinning propeller style ride where a few riders are loaded into seats on the far end of the propeller as it spins around. In this extremely frightening case, the say that one of giant propeller like ride SNAPPED in mid-ride, and left the terrified riders dangling in mid air for hours before rescue workers could figure out how to get them down. Seriously, make the jump and look at the photos... I don't know what kept the severed piece of the ride from falling to the ground, it must have been connected by some kind of back-up safety cable system or something.
(4/20/17) IDEATTACK has revealed some design artwork for the new Yangshuo Resorts World in Guangxi, China that include the breathtaking Hotel Vertigo. The resort project will feature a lot of beautiful natural landscape features mixed in with a project that will eventually include a theme park, water park, several resorts as well as cultural and sporting facilities. Hotel Vertigo however has to be seen to be believed, as the plan is to build the hotel onto the top of one of the "karst hills", wrapping it around the top, and down into the rock itself, of the natural landscape. At the peak of the hill, the resort will also have it's own private helipad.
The artwork for the theme park is also quite impressive and features another unique coaster that wraps itself around the mountain shaped landscape of the park. Follow the link to head over to BlooLoop to see it all for yourself.
(3/30/17) Thrillography is back with another report about several of the smaller regional theme parks in China, featuring coverage of Happy Valley Shanghai, JinJaing Action Park, and the Oriental Pearl Tower. Check it out!
(3/17/17) VHCoasters has tweeted out a few more pictures taken inside that new indoor Wanda theme park under construction in Nanning this week.
(3/13/17) VHCoasters posted some great pictures of an interesting new coaster called the Phoenix Adventure going up at the indoor Wanda park in Nanning, China. Looking at the photos, the coaster track and train style kind of look similar to what Premier Rides built for Universal's Revenge of the Mummy coasters, though this could be a knock-off design from a Chinese manufacture. Anyone know for sure?
(2/13/17) While the reviews are all in French (google translate can help with that) a huge trip-report featuring a ton of theme parks in China have been posted to Trips-n-Pics this week showing off parks like Shanghai Disneyland, Joyland, China Dinosaur Park, Wanda Hefei and Nanchang, Fantawild Zhengzhou and Happy Vally Wuhan that should prove to be interesting, especially to anyone thinking about planning their own Chinese theme park safari.
(2/8/17) A new picture of that deadly ride accident in China has surfaced that really kind of sends chills down my spine. If you follow the link you will see a close up picture of the rider's seat and the torn belt restraint system that failed to hold the young girl’s upper body in when it snapped. I can see what looks like the bottom of a lap-bar system as well, so when the upper belt system failed, it appears that the lap bar may be the only thing that held her in until she slipped too far up out of the seat.
(2/6/17) According to a few news articles following up on the death of a rider in Chongqing, China, the deceased was either a 13 or 14-year old girl, who apparently was on the ride with a 9-year old cousin, despite the fact that the cousin was too small to be on the ride in the first place. The early reports say that the girl's seatbelt broke, which caused her to be thrown from the ride. With that statement in mind, I'm guessing that the Chinese made ride's entire restraint system was dependant on this defective seat-belt, as opposed to the belts on rides made by most manufacture's simply being there as a final redundant backup system in case all of the main restraints primary and secondary locking systems were to fail.
The girl's family has apparently agrees to an 870,000 yuan ($127,000 US) compensation over the accident and the park has been ordered closed by the government. All similar rides from the same Chinese manufacturer have also been ordered to be closed and inspected, though the articles also state that this particular ride apparently passed inspection in December, though a website that lists the records of these kind of inspections shows only that the ride's last inspection on record was way back in 2013.
(2/4/17) The death of a rider was caught on video at "Chongqing Fengdu Zarva Park" in China on Friday afternoon by nearby guests. In the short video clip you can immediately see the rider dislodged from their seat and try to hang on briefly before being ejected from the unknown flat ride. The maker of the ride is unknown at this time, but it appears to likely be a Chinese built knock-off of a Top Spin style ride.
Be warned... the footage is brief but graphic. You can see it here.
(1/11/17) InPark reports that construction has begun on a few large projects that will be part of the "Qingyuan Chimelong International Forest Resort" project in China. This will be a resort / park concept with a nature and wildlife theme, with construction starting on the 88-meter tall "Giraffe Castle" structure (seriously... see the artwork of it) along with what is described as being the world's largest aviary (5 hectares). A large 3,5000 animal themed hotel building is also under construction that will feature large balconies offering guests a view of real wildlife from their hotel rooms. Look for the first phase to open as early as 2019.
(12/22/16) According to a post from BlooLoop, a new Intamin LSM launched coaster opened in China a couple of months ago. This one has been sold to the Wanda parks group, opening at the impressive looking new Hefei Wanda Cultural Tourism City under the name "Soaring with Dragon". The layout is quite unique and involves an interesting launch system that shoots riders forwards, then backwards up into a spike, before shooting them forward once again into the main track layout. Since the layout is a typical complete circuit style layout and not a shuttle-coaster, this is achieved through the use of a switch track in the launch area, allowing for multi-train operations. Follow the link to see a video of the new coaster in action.
(11/21/16) China's Zhuhai Hengqin Laisun Creative Culture City Co. Ltd. has signed a deal with creative powerhouse Thinkwell Group to create the first Lionsgate Entertainment World attraction. The idea is to create immersive experiences based on popular Lionsgate properties like The Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent and more. The site is planned to be open by the end of 2018 if all goes well.
(8/22/16) The first POV footage from the Jungle Trailblazer wooden coaster was put on YouTube while the new park it sits in (Oriential Heritage, in Xiamen, China) is still working to finish up for a grand opening later this year. The wooden coaster is from Martin & Vleminckx who have just been killing it with successful sales of wooden coasters across China over the past several years.
Unfortunately whoever shot this video appears to have chosen to do it with a phone camera and forgot to turn it the right way, so we end up with a severe case of VVS (Vertical Video Syndrome). Of course, video nit-picking aside, this coaster is just flying across the rails and looks quite fantastic for what is described as being it's first ever test run. It can only get faster from here, so this looks like another winner from Martin & Vleminckx.
(8/2/16) Remember that giant red odd-shaped building that is home to Wanda's movie theme park in Wuhan? According to the news reports the company has now closed down the indoor attraction "temporarily" for an extensive renovation, upgrades and to add a new attraction of some kind. No date to reopen the attraction was given, but this seems like some really bad timing on Wanda's behalf, especially after the owner was talking so much smack about how his parks were going to keep Disney from turning a profit in Shanghai for the next 10-20 years.
Now I can see them wanting to ADD something new to the park, but there really shouldn't be any reason to shut the entire park down just to add something new. Especially not a park that just opened in December 2014 and is only 20 months old.
(5/27/16) We've seen pictures of the Wanda Movie Park in Wuhan, China from the outside, but we've seen very little of the attractions held within the complicated structure. Our friends at BlooLoop have posted a bit more info about this unique indoor theme park, which is home to six media based attractions. In an interview with FORREC's James Anderson, they not only talk about the Wanda Movie Park, but go into detail about the attraction within that FORREC was responsible for... Hubei in the Air.
Hubei in the Air started out as a desire to build a generic "Soarin" style attraction that would show the wonders of China, but it evolved quickly into something more specific and focused on the rich history and landscape of the Hubei province. The article is quiet detailed about how the attraction and the story it tells were developed, and how things evolved along the way due to the input and requests from the Wanda Chairman.
(4/13/16) Our friends at BlooLoop have the scoop on a new theme park design from IDEATTACK for a $225m project for the Chuzhou Theme Park in Anhui Province, China. The article says that the new theme park is slated to open in 2017 and will feature 37 main attractions and shows, divided up into 7 themed zones: Dream City, Colorful China, Space Terminal, Fantasy World, Silk Road, Wandong County, and Chaos.
(2/17/16) Stunning new concept art for the "Colorful Yunnan Joy to the World" theme park project coming to China has been posted to VHCoasters. From an art standpoint, this looks wonderful, though we'll have to wait and see if they can bring it to life and keep this same visual look.
(2/11/16) BlooLoop has the scoop on the plans for Eontime World, a new indoor theme park planned for Yinchuan City, China. The indoor park, coming in at a cost of $100 million, is designed as a family friendly attraction with three themed zones: A City/Palace zone, Oasis & Water, and Desert & Sky. The three are tied together with a story about how water brought new life to the desert, resulting in a beautiful Oasis-City area in between. They’ve also got the list of nearby two dozen attractions and concept art as well, so make the jump and check it out.
(1/28/16) According to this article Hasbro has signed a deal with DMG Entertainment to create a "Transformers Live" attraction in China that will feature a live show arena where they will try to bring the action of the Transformers universe to life in front of a live audience. If they go ahead with it, the attraction should open by 2017.
While this is interesting, I do have to wonder if this deal would have any kind of impact on the plans for Universal Studios Beijing. While there has been no official list of attractions for the new Beijing park project, the concept artwork did include a copy of the Transformers: The Ride attraction building.
(1/19/16) Some incredible new pictures posted to VHCoasters this week showcase the "Hefei,Wanda Cultural Tourism City" park giving us a look at a new Intamin launched shuttle coaster layout and "Flip Coaster", a pair of dueling Chinese made "Tilt" style coasters that really needs to be seen as they will feature head-on tilt tracks and a set of interlocking corkscrews.
(12/22/15) According to the Hollywood Reporter, Nickelodeon has struck a deal with a pair of Chinese partners to open a Nickelodeon branded attraction in Southern China by 2020, in Shanshui New Town. The new attraction is estimated to cost aproximately $1.85 billion and will feature characters and attractions based on SpongeBob, Dora and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more.
(12/4/15) I haven't heard of this project before, but it seems the Goddard Group worked on another park in China called Kingdom of Poseidon. The park looks to be under construction in Harbin, China and had a groundbreaking ceremony sometime last year according to the pictures posted to ThemeparX. The layout of the site under construction however looks quite a bit different (and smaller) than the older Goddard Group concept artwork.
(8/7/15) Goddard Group has been sharing some impressive artwork for the proposed Haichang Polar Ocean World park project planned to open in 2018 near Shanghai. So far they have shown off an overall view of the project, as well as a look at the park's three marine themed lands: Aquaria (which will also serve as the entrance), Rainbow Falls and Port Majestic.
(5/12/15) Construction has begun on the third Atlantis Resort in China. Pictures of the work done so far has been posted to ThemeparX. You can also see a bit more at the official AtlantisSanya.com website.
(1/22/15) Another huge theme park has been announced for the Shanghai area on the site next to Dishui Lake. The park will be called the Haichang Polar Ocean World and it will feature a theme park as well as a world-class marine life experience complex. The project will also include a resort hotel and is hoping to open sometime in 2017.
France - (9/4/17) I really don't know anything about this attraction, but according to an article at Disney & More the Jardin' d'Acclimation park in Paris will be getting a 60 Million Euro upgrade between now and Spring 2018 that will add a Jules Verne steam-punk style theme to the park as well as 17 new rides and attractions. From what I can see the park is very old, with the site being opened as a zoo back in 1860 by Napoleon III before turning into a children's leisure park in the 1930's. Currently the attraction is run by LVMH in a partnership with Compagnie des Alpes (CDA) who just signed a new 25 year contract to continue operating the site through to at least 2041.
India - (6/10/17) Bad news came up for operators of amusement parks and themed attractions in India this week. According to the latest rulings from the government, they are set to revise their tax laws going into effect on July 1st that will drop a new 28% tax rate into effect, which is the rate typically used for casinos and race tracks. The Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries has requested this be revised to 18%, or even a tiered system based on actual ticket prices, as the 28% tax rate would be "detrimental" to the entire industry across the nation.
Iran - (12/10/16) This is kinda scary, but a "theme park" in Iran has opened over the past year called "City of Games for Revolutionary Children" where youngsters are dressed up in full military style combat gear and given AK47 rifles to carry around the themed environment with them that can shoot plastic bullets at targets. There are other stations where they can learn to shoot plastic mortars at targets, crawl with a rifle under barbed wire, or throw balls (or shoot) to break up blocks and targets with images of ISIS members, the Saudi royal family, or at Israeli and US flags.
The park is apparently a temporary attraction of sorts that has opened twice for these special military training style events which are actually offered for FREE to all children between the ages of 8 and 13 where they are also trained in the idea of defending the nation and holy places. Follow the link to see some photos that really are kind of scary looking, while at the same time most of our children in the US are more concerned about who posted what on Instagram, or seeking "safe spaces". Talk about an extreme difference in upbringing.
Italy - (9/9/17) Italy is getting ready to open a theme park for Foodies this November called FICO Eataly World. The new attraction will open in Bologna and is being called 'the world's largest agri-food park', filling a 2-hectares site, allowing guests to view fields planted with 2000 different crops, and barns with over 200 animals. The experience will offer six different tour options to work up your appetite for the over 40 restaurants and kiosks allowing you to eat your way through the park, and over 100 shops where you can pick up your favorite items to take home and cook yourself. The $106 million project hopes to attract up to 10 million guests per year.
(10/31/16) Luneur, the oldest theme park in Rome that has sat closed for the past several years has just reopened over the weekend after a lengthy refurbishment. The park was originally part of a 1953 Expo style event and meant to be temporary but it proved too popular with the population and remained open until it shut down in 2008 due to financial problems. Now with a focus on attractions for young children the park has now reopened once again.
Japan - (8/14/17) A pair of workers at were struck by an empty train on the Jupiter wooden roller coaster that was making test runs at Kijima Kogen park in Beppu, Japan. The two maintenance workers were said to be checking the coaster track when they were struck by a car and thrown to the ground about 2 meters below, killing one and seriously injuring the other. Operations of the coaster have been suspended for the time being and the park has placed the blame on a lack of communication as track inspections should not have been underway at the time of the incident (around 3:30pm) while the staff were on hand to perform test runs on the coaster in order to add a second train to accommodate the crowds.
(8/9/17) Remember when the Mayor of a small Japanese town went on social media with the crazy idea of a hot springs public bath theme park, along with a wacky concept video? The video went viral and the Mayor said there was enough interest to look into doing it for real... and we figured that was the end of it. Nope!
Looks like the town of Beppu went ahead and opened a real 'Onsen' amusement park concept. Yukendoit has posted his take on it below.
(6/14/17) According to a news article, several official Pokemon themed Escape Room style attractions are expected to open in Japan next year as part of a promotion for a new Pokemon film opening in 2018.
In other news several news articles announced that a Studio Ghibili theme park was in development to open in 2020. Studio Ghibili is the Japanese animation studio behind hit Japanese films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. This wont be a typical theme park experience, but more of an interactive world adventure / experience style attraction, where any kind of video or photography would be banned and guests will have to make a reservation to visit weeks, if not months, in advance.
(3/8/17) Ikoma Skyland, a small park in Japan, will add a new small family coaster to the park this season in the form of a new SBF Spinning Coaster. You can see concept artwork for it posted to Twitter.
(1/27/17) Remember that crazy pitch to open a Spa themed park in Japan? Well they are moving ahead with the planning and now seeking to generate 100 million Yen for the project through crowdfunding, as they have no plan to use taxpayer funds for the park's construction. Given the funding method, I'm skeptical it will work out in the end, but then again... if they are successful we may get to ride the world's first Hot Tub Rollercoaster! Who wouldn't want to try that?
(12/12/16) I've never heard of this IP before, but it seems a new themed park will open in Japan in 2018 themed to "Moomin", a story and characters that come from Finland. The park will open in phases, with the first land to open in Fall 2018 themed to "Metsa Village" while the second phase themed to Moomin Valley will open in Spring 2019.
The first phase will actually open with no admission fee required, allowing guests to explore and relax in the themed environment, taking in the outdoor activities, enjoy a covered European style market and more. You can read more detail and see some of the beautiful concept art for the project posted at BlooLoop.
(11/28/16) The promotional video showing off what a bizarre spa themed amusement park experience could be like has now had well over one million views, prompting the mayor of the town to confirm that construction of a hot springs / spa themed park would indeed happen. It should be interesting to see just what the world's first "Spamusement" park will be like.
(11/23/16) The Mayor of Beppu, a city in Southern Japan known for hot springs has vowed to begin the development of an Onsen (hot springs) themed amusement park if the funny video they made to promote the city gets one million views. So lets help the fellow out and give the video below a watch, as it is really good for some laughs as they take an idea of what such a theme park experience could look like. Right now they are already half-way there will over 540,000 views.
Laos - (1/21/16) According to Mashable a new theme park planned for Laos is said to be planning to start construction in February and has been pushing the term “Disney Laos” to get attention. Disney has no part in this project however, and according to the article the park is actually part of a larger resort project called Thakhek Dream World City that will include a hotel, golf course and a shopping mall that will take an estimated 7-10 years to finish.
Luxembourg - (2/16/17) I don't know much about exactly what is planned, but BlooLoop has posted an interesting article mentioning that a new theme park called Adventure Valley is being planned for Durbury, Luxembourg, the small European country that sits nestled between the Southern end of Belgium and western Germany. According to the report the plan includes a €100 Million park across a 350 hectares site, with hopes to open by 2020. Anyone know more about this project?
Macedonia - (4/28/17) According to this news report a new theme park project is in development for Macedonia (north of Greece) for the capital city of Skopje. Right now they are calling it, "New Luna Park" and it will feature 27 rides, including one coaster, and replace an existing small park. If all goes well, they hope to open it by 2018.
Malaysia - (10/14/16) BlooLoop reports that the Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) attraction in Malaysia has signed a deal to buy an Intamin 10 Inversion coaster. The park is currently under construction still but hopes to open by December 2016. Meanwhile you can learn more about this new theme park project here.
(9/10/15) I dug up a few more details can be found about that proposed Ubisoft theme park in Malaysia. This will not be a large traditional theme park, but instead will be an indoor 100,000 sqft facility, and while it will feature a few rides, they are also planning on using a lot of virtual reality style gaming experience as well as shows. So how big is 100,000 sqft? That's about the same size as your average Cabela's or Bass Pro Outdoor World megastore, which should give your a better idea of the small scale they are going for with this Ubisoft park.
The project is actually part of Ubisoft’s fairly new Film & TV division, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, and is part of a partnership with Malaysian developer R. Segari Group (RSG) who co-developed the Movie Animation Park Studios attraction under construction in Malaysia, which plans to open in 2016. Look for the Ubisoft park to open as early as 2020.
Meanwhile, the Movie Animation Park Studios attraction, which is also news to me, is a combo indoor and outdoor attraction that will feature a stunt show, a DreamWorks Adventure Zone (with attractions themed to Casper, The Croods, Peabody & Sherman and Megamind), The Smurfs, a giant Starship themed restaurant, a 4D attraction themed to “BoBoiBoy” and towering over it all with be the MegaMind Megadrop themed 20-story tall drop tower ride.
(9/7/15) In today's crazy bit of news, the popular video game developer Ubisoft has announced their intention to open a theme park in Kuala Lampur (Malysia) in 2020 that would be feature worlds and attractions themed around their popular video game titles. While no specific titles were mentioned, Ubisoft is best known for games like Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Prince of Persia, Rayman, Rabbids, Just Dance and the whole slew of military style Tom Clancy titles like: The Division, Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell.
Mexico - (9/22/17) We’ve got an update on that Amikoo “theme park” announced for Mexico. At first I’m thinking that the phrase “theme park” may not describe the concept properly, as it instantly brought to mind something along the lines of a Six Flags style park and that is not what this will be. This seems to be more of a concept for a highly themed resort complex that will feature hotels, restaurants, shopping… and yes… some themed rides and attractions as well mixed in here and there.
I’m told that the project will be built up in phases, with the first phase set to include a 320-room hotel, the Museum of Archeology and Mayan Anthropology, a flight simulator attraction, an “underwater travel simulator”, the already announced Los Piratas de Bacalar attraction, as well as a shopping/dining area, a convention center, a wave pool and a concert facility… all by the end of 2018.
Based on a video tweeted out (see below) by the President of Mexico the flight simulator will be called “Fly over Mexico” and appears to be part of the Museum area. Based on the video it appears to be using a Brogent I-Ride flying theater setup, which if it ends up anything like the Voletarium attraction just added to Europa Park that I reviewed over the summer, I’d expect it to be quite stunning!
Then there is that underwater simulator attraction, called Mares de Mexico, which is quite a different looking attraction indeed. Based on the brief animation clip, it looks like you will climb into a round cabin that looks more like what you would expect to sit inside on an observation tower ride, except this one will lower down into a mock-underwater style world where you will be surrounded all around a projection screen system for a journey into the world beneath the waves.
Los Piratas de Bacalar will take you through a journey into the world of the Pirates that roamed this area of the world, eventually leading you to climb on board a small pirate ship to go on a water-version of an immersive tunnel style experience ride.
Phase 2, expected to be built up between 2019 and 2020 is expected to see more hotels and restaurants added of course, as well as a more dedicated style actual theme park to the resort that will feature several themed attraction areas. They are calling this “Amikoo Park” with lands named: Maya Discovery, Amikoo Land, Maya Xtreme, and Maya Adventure. Maya Discovery appears to be the more educational side of things (more like Disney’s Epcot) while Maya Xtreme will feature things like Ziplines, Zip Coasters, Ropes Courses and the like along with what appears to be a highly themed river ride where the riders are armed with water cannons. Maya Adventure will be the place for the big traditional theme park style rides… big water splashdowns, flip you upside-down flat rides, a roller coaster and more. Amikoo Land, which sounds like it could be a kiddie land at first, is much more as the artwork shows off an amazing dark ride system that looks to use the same style giant robot-arm style ride hardware that Universal used for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey dark ride. Another dark ride shown here also appears to use the same dark ride / powered coaster ride system created by Mack Rides for their award winning indoor/outdoor Arthur ride. All together, Amikoo Park is said to feature at least 24 “state-of-the-art rides”.
The question now is… have they started construction on Phase 1 yet? That is still a lot to built in 12-15 months. The entire site for the project is 300-acres, though over 200 of them will be left undeveloped as a preserved nature spot.
(9/20/17) I'm not sure how serious this is, but according to this ABC News story , a new $840 million theme park project called Amikoo has been announced for Mexico on the Caribbean coast just north of Playa del Carmen. According to the article, they say the first phase will open by late 2018, but that sounds a little fast to me, so I need to see and know more about this project before I believe it.
(6/28/16) Our friends at BlooLoop spoke with Gary Goddard earlier this month about some of the projects he is working on, including the completed Studio City resort in Macau and another big project that a lot of people in the industry are keeping a close eye on… the world’s first Cirque du Soleil resort project in Mexico.
Netherlands - (9/9/16) Amsterdam, capital city of The Netherlands, is said to be getting a new stand-alone attraction in 2017. While I don't know the theme of the ride, I'm told it will be a new Flying Theater attraction, with the ride hardware to be provided by Brogent.
Norway - (3/17/17) BlooLoop reports that a new Norse / Viking themed park is planned for Norway to open in 2020 to be called Thor's Rike. Some neat looking concept art and more details are available if you follow the link.
Philippines - (4/4/17) According to our friends at BlooLoop a new small theme park has broken ground in The Philippines. According to the article it will cost just $12 million and be called Magic Island and located in Barangay Guinhalaran, Silay City. The park will take up a 3.75-hectare site and hopes to open by Summer 2018.
(1/12/17) Well that didn’t take long. We just told you about the plans to build a Nickelodeon themed park and resort project below the surface of the ocean in the Philippines and already the country’s environmental minister has stepped forward to reject the project outright. It seems the project has not been approved at all, nor has an official application even been received yet, as the location is apparently in one of the nation’s most well-preserved ocean habitat regions that includes protected coral reefs.
In response Coral World Park has said, in contrary to the press release from Viacom, that their project would only be “undersea-themed” and not actually built underwater if they are allowed to proceed. An online petition to halt the project has also been launched with the hashtag #CoronIsNotBikiniBottom.
(1/10/17) According to a news story Nickelodeon has partnered with the Coral World Park Undersea Resorts to develop a new Nickelodeon themed resort and theme park attraction in the Philippines as part of a unique “underwater” resort complex. The plan is to put several well known Nick characters like SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dora the Explorer to use in the park as well as some of the underwater restaurants and lounge areas which will be located about 6 feet below the surface. Look for the “Coral World Park Undersea” project to open in phases starting in 2018 and with the Nichelodeon area opening by 2020.
Russia - (6/19/17) According to this video a new Intamin made 10-inversion coaster has opened in Russia at “Wonder Island”.
(10/11/16) Now that NBCUniversal has purchased Dreamworks Animation, where does this leave the previously announced Dreamworks park planned for Moscow? According to the Hollywood Reporter, sources at NBCU confirmed that the Dreamworks park in Moscow “is still on”, though they did not have an update on it. There was some speculation that the proposed (but somewhat unlikely) Universal park and the Dreamworks park projects could be merged as one project, as both IPs now share the same owner.
As for the site itself, there is actually construction going on with pictures taken in September posted to ThemeparX.
(6/14/16) According to Gary Goddard, a $4 billion Russian theme park project called “The Magical World of Russia” that was designed by The Goddard Group has been given a "seal of approval" by Vladimir Putin. Of course this doesn't mean it will get built, but according to the article at BlooLoop the project is being entirely financed by investors without any need of government funding. As long as the investors stay with the project, then it might actually get built. Follow the link to read up on all the details and see the overhead park layout image.
Singapore - (6/10/17) According to various news sources the Singapore Airport has plans to add a small jungle themed park as an attraction by 2019 that will offer scenic views, slides, a maze and a giant unique waterfall. Follow the link to see some of the unique artwork.
South Korea - (8/17/17) Lionsgate has announced plans to open an outdoor Lionsgate theme park in South Korea to be called Lionsgate Movie World. The park would be a centerpiece attraction to the Jeju Shinhwa World resort area on Jeju Island. The big surprise is that they claim that construction will start sometime in 2018 and see the park open sometime in 2019, which is a heck of a fast timetable. According to several articles various themed lands will be in the park based on your favorite films including: The Hunger Games, the Twilight Saga, Now You See Me, and even an upcoming Robin Hood film.
(11/24/16) The on and off again proposal to build a Universal Studios park in South Korea is now suspended indefinitely as part of the fallout from a current political scandal in the country.
(9/6/16) Things haven't been going smoothly for those attempting to launch a new Universal Studios theme park in Korea. According to this article the Korean Water Resources Corporation (K-Water) failed to sign a contract with the Universal Studios Korea group today, on a second deadline after they also failed to make the first deadline on Aug. 31st. The reason for the failure apparently was due to the USK group from being able to raise "sufficient funds" to start the actual construction of the project at this time, as well as the failure for conduct several preliminary feasibility studies for the site.
The initial push to build Universal Studios Korea started in 2007 and came to an end in 2012, but was restarted in earnest earlier this year after President Park Geunhye apparently proposed to build an amusement park as part of a "presidential campaign pledge". Unfortunately the project has found it difficult to raise the needed funds over the past three months. They are now hoping to try and wrap things up and finalize the project by the end of the year if possible.
Spain - (9/15/17) The world of Westeros from the hit Game of Thrones series on HBO will be brought to life as part of a new 10,000 sqft touring “Game of Thrones: The Touring Exhibition” exhibit this fall. The global tour of the exhibit will begin at the Museu Maritim in Barcelona, Spain on October 28th. The exhibit is full of images and artifacts from the series, allowing fans to get up close and personal with authentic props, costumes and set decorations from the HBO series.
Things begin in Spain and you can pre-order tickets here for dates between October 28, 2017 through to January 7, 2018. Afterwards, the next destination is still a closely guarded secret.
(6/14/17) Not that I think anyone was still really waiting to see if the Paramount Park Spain project was still alive or not, but according to a new article posted by BlooLoop, the park proposal is now officially DEAD, having been declared illegal by the High Court of Murcia because the site encroaches on a protected park site.
(3/27/17) According to this article, a few attractions have been mentioned for the overhaul of the Tivoli World amusement park, including a mini Formula 1 race circuit, a Everest Expedition attraction and an extreme stunts arena show venue.
(3/13/17) I don't know much about the Tivoli World park in Spain, but a news report claims that developers are planning to spend €300 million to update the park area to include a hotel, cinema, some office buildings, underground parking garage and "the installation of 43 attractions" in the park itself. That sounds like quite alot... like perhaps either an error or they are planing on rebuilding the park from the bottom up... so this may be something to keep an eye out for.
(8/18/16) Up to 12 people may have been injured when the braking system on the Caida Libra drop tower ride at Tivoli World in Spain seems to have failed. The tower ride is made by Moser and the report claims that the cart with the riders dropped and came to a very sudden stop about half way down instead of dropping all the way. The trapped riders had to be evacuated and while no one seems to be seriously hurt, the 12 injuries reported seem to be due to whiplash style injuries from the sudden stop.
Taiwan - (9/21/16) I wasn't aware of this but it seems a new interactive traveling attraction called AVATAR: Discover Pandora will open on Dec. 7th in Taiwan. According to the report on BlooLoop the attraction is a 12,000 sqft edutainment experience that will also include some of the 'history' regarding the fictional discovery of the planet Pandora in the 22nd Century. Follow the link to read up on all the official details.
Thailand - (9/7/17) Anyone remember The Marvel Experience? It was a short-lived portable theme park concept themed around the Marvel comics universe, where guests would enter a large dome shaped portable S.H.I.E.L.D. base for superhero training. The Marvel Experience made it to a few early test city sites in Late 2014 to early 2015 (Phoenix, San Diego, etc…) then went dark for some final retooling before arriving at Philadelphia… only to close up shop and end the tour early shortly after in July 2015.
The official explanation was that they were closing down to improve and re-launch the experience, but nothing ever became of it. Then in Spring 2016 I caught word of a story on various Asian news sites claiming that what was left of the Marvel Experience was being packed up and shipped off for a potential tour of South Korea and Japan. Soon afterwards I was contacted by the company behind Marvel Experience and informed that the story was not true, but that they were working on something that would be announced soon.
Jump ahead to today and Hero Ventures has announced that Thailand will become home to “The Marvel Experience: Thailand” in 2018 as part of a deal that awarded a license to run the attraction to a local area company. From the look of the artwork in the background of the photo posted here, it does appear that it will use a similar domed structure for the attraction when it opens in the Bangkok area in Q2 2018.
Turkey - (5/9/17) Talk about a rough landing... a drop tower ride called Adrenaline Tower operating in Turkey suffered an odd malfunction after dropping from the top of the tower and slowing down, it got within 6 meters of the ground and suddenly freefell the rest of the way to the platform where it crashed landed, causing injuries to 10 riders. You can actually see the incident caught on video posted to a news page if you follow the link.
I'm not sure what make or model this is, but what strikes me as odd is that typically most drop tower rides use a natural earth magnet based braking system that would stop the car from falling even if the ride were to lose power. So to fall like that, either this ride is using some other non-standard form of braking, or whatever baking fins that are attached to the rider module broke off entirely, which is a very scary thought.
Anyone know more?
UK - (4/4/17) According to this article planning permission for a new theme park called Gulliver's Valley Resort has been granted. The new theme park resort aimed at children (age 2-13) is planned to open in 2020 in the South Yorkshire area. Follow the link to learn a little more about the park and what attractions are planned.
(2/1/17) A new Harry Potter themed experience is opening at "Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter". According to the attraction, a new Forbidden Forest themed expansion will open on March 31st, offering close up experiences to some of the popular creatures from the Potterverse such as Hippogriffs and Acromantula (aka: Giant Friggin' Spiders!!!). Included in the Forbidden Forest experience will be a full size Buckbeak model and eventually, deep in the darkest part of the forest you will encounter Aragog, the Acromantula, over 18-feet wide, along with several members of his spiders family.
The new expansion was first announced the other day at the "A Celebration of Harry Potter" event at Universal Orlando. Check out the video below to see the official announcement video.
But before you do, I've got to wonder if Universal Orlando is also thinking along the same lines for their next Potter themed expansion. The latest rumors suggest that the Dragons Challenge coasters could be removed, and site transformed into a new and massive dark ride experience. Given the location of it all right next to Hogwarts Castle anyway, something themed to the Forbidden Forest would also fit right in there as well, don't you think?
(1/27/17) According to an article posted to ZipWorld a new Alpine Coaster has been approved for the UK called the Zip World Fforest Coaster. Apparently this modern style Alpine Coaster will actually be the first of it's kind in the UK when it opens in 2017, with a track length of 1km and a route that travels through the trees of Zip World Fforest. U(Update: Construction on the new attraction is said to be nearly complete at this time.)
VIETNAM - (9/5/16) The former Led Zeppelin coaster once built for Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, South Caroina is now testing in the ride's new home park in Vietnam. Check out the video below.