---- THE LATEST GLOBAL BUZZ ----
(9/25/14) China Adding World's First Polar Theme Park (MORE...)
(9/25/14) Brazil - Several New Attraction Updates In The Works
(9/25/14) South America - New Park Opens in Uruguay (MORE...)
(8/30/14) New Theme Park Under Construction in Iran (MORE...)
(8/30/14) The UK's Sickest Attraction Is Back (MORE...)
Brazil - (9/25/14) Lots of news across Brazil today, so let’s dive in!
Wet ‘n’ Wild Sao Paulo is openeing a new Tornado style slide by Spring 2015 called Vortex. I’m told that while it will open as-is with 4-passenger boats at first, the plan is to add a mechanical lift in order to use bigger 6-passenger boats the following year and then the year after-that they plan on enclosing the funnel and adding special effects to enhance the attraction experience.
Thermas dos Laranjais (the latest waterpark in Sao Paulo, Brazil) will soon open a new river rapids ride, with some of the hardware picked up from the defunct Terra Encantada park. The new ride will be called Rio Selvagem and they have posted some a teaser POV video of a boat running through the functional course through an effects tunnel, while the rest of the area’s themeing is still a work in progress as well as some images on their Facebook page.
While we’re on the subject of Brazil waterparks, a new waterpark resort called Hot Beach has just started construction in the same city. You can see a picture taken of the site here.
Oh, and speaking of the closed Terra Encantada park, you can see the rides being taken apart for sale or scrap here.
Mirage Park Manaus will soon open Cataclisma, a used Fabbri flat ride they picked up from Playcenter. To the south, Parque Terra Magica Florybal is opening a set of new dry slides and are rumored to be working on a freefall tower ride of some kind next.
China - (9/25/14) The world’s first “Polar” theme park is now planned for Shanghai’s Pudong area. It will be called Shanghai Polar Ocean World and feature 500 species of polar animals, 20,000 types of fish, performing killer whales, polar bears, dolphins, penguins, beluga whales and more.
(1/14/14) Reuters reports that a life-sized recreation of the Titanic will be used as the centerpiece of a new Chinese themed attraction to be built in the province of Sichuan. From the sound of things the attraction will be half museum and half a simulated recreation of the disaster that sunk the ill-fated Titanic. Built at a cost of $165 million, guests will feel the ship hit the iceberg, shake and tumble as the icy cold water beings to flood in. Look for this to open by 2016.
(1/9/14) VHCoasters has uncovered a report from the Wanda Group who claim to have purchased a new B&M Flying Coaster for their new Xishuangbanna Interntional Resort. Concept artwork for the new Flyer was found a few days later, as well as other more concept artwork for the rest of the Xishuangbanna Interntional Resort.
(1/7/14) A third version of the popular Atlantis resort concept is on the way… this time it will go into Sanya, China. You can see the preview website for the new hotel, which offers a brand new architectural style from the previous two Atlantis resorts in the Bahamas and Dubai.
(10/29/13) Goddard Group has announced that they have been working on the new “Shanghai Bund” Studio Theme Park Resort project that broke ground back in September. The studio / theme park project, to be built a couple of hours from Shanghai is on track to open in 2016. According to this article, one interesting attraction being shown off is called Shanghai Triad Chase, taking guests on a wild adventure ride into Shanghai’s dark underworld.
(7/14/13) According to this report Dreamworks Animation has teamed up with Chinese partners to build an indoor ‘theme park’ attraction somewhere in China that will feature attractions based on the various Dreamworks Animation characters. No timetable has been set, but the attraction is planned to be built in a unannounced “major city” in the Yangtze River Delta area.
(2/25/13) Actor / Director Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle) has announced that he will have a 25% stake in a new 173-acre amusement park to be built in Wuzhen (just outside Shanghai) that will be themed to his “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons” feature film. The tentative name for the park is “Journey to the West Film City” and will also borrow themes from his “A Chinese Odyssey” films. Set to begin construction in the second half of 2013 and first phases are expected to open in 2015.
(12/18/12) A new park in China has been announced for Chongqing with a $560 million budget. The new theme park hopes to open in 2016 and will feature an assortment of animated characters and themes from the Chinese produced 3D cartoon “Xiha Youji”.
It wasn’t long ago that the Chinese government was trying to curb the nearly endless development of new theme parks across their nation, but through various loop-holes, new parks are still popping up at a record pace. I do have to wonder how long it will be before we start to see the bottom drop out on some of these projects. Perhaps those built in areas that are unable to support them, or older parks left in the dust as guests favor the steady stream of new parks, rather than investing in the older parks to keep them fresh.
Germany - (8/14/14) Remember Spreepark, the creepy closed park in Berlin that was bought by the government earlier this year? According to Gizmodo, the park burned down over the weekend as part of a suspected arsonist starting two separate fires in the area.
(3/28/14) Spreepark, the abandoned theme park just outside Berlin, Germany that was for sale on Ebay not long ago now has a new owner, as the city of Berlin itself has purchased the park. Since the zoning for the site will only allow it to be used as a theme park until after 2061, we can only hope that the city is planning on restoring and reopening the park.
(2/26/14) Anyone want to buy their own theme park? For just 1.62 million Euros (or $2.2 million US) you can buy the abandoned Spreepark in Berlin, Germany on Ebay. Spreepark has been closed for well over a decade now and has fallen into disrepair, but terms stating that the property must remain in use as an amusement or recreational park until 2061 is keeping land developers away at least. Take a look here.
Indonesia - (3/18/14) The latest update to TheThemeParkGuy will take us on a visit with him to the Trans Studio Bandung indoor theme park in Indonesia. If the park sounds vaguely familiar, you may recall reading that Premier Rides built a large new launched shuttle coaster there in 2001 with a motorcycle theme called Yamaha Racing Coaster.
What I didn’t know is that the park has since removed the Yamaha motorcycle theming from the front of the train for some reason. He has posted an excellent batch of pictures showing off many of the park’s unique indoor rides.
Iran - (8/30/14) ThemeparkX has some interesting aerial pictures of the Shahre Ghese (Story City) theme park under construction outside Tehran, the capital of Iran. The site has been cleared and buildings are already in the vertical stage. They have also posted some concept artwork of what the park should look like when finished. Progress seems slow so far, but progress is progress.
(6/6/13) New reports at ThemeparX show pictures from the site proving that construction has indeed started on the new theme park in Tehran. There was also an Anonymous posting from someone saying that the previous list of ride manufactures is incorrect, as negotiations are still ongoing with the various parties.
(6/3/13) Consider me skeptical about this one, but according to a report at ThemeparX, the first theme park in Iran is said to have begun construction. They call it the Shahre Ghese (Story City) and it is going into Tehran with the hopes of opening by 2015. Concept artwork and design have been posted from Forrec and rides in the park will be delivered by Intamin, Mack and Zamperla.
The park’s layout shows off six themed areas inside the park. Upon entering the park through the “Creation Plaza” and into a central hub like area called History Plaza. From there guests can pass to Storybook Gardens, a Science Fiction themed area, or areas referred to as The Silk Road, Adventure or The Modern.
Malaysia - (8/8/14) Construction on the Movie Animation Park Studios park in Malaysia has begun according to the latest pictures on ThemeparX. This park is expected to have a Dreamworks Animation themed area.
(2/12/14) some video footage of the new Space Mission attraction at I-City can be found on the video news report below. Check it out!
(2/10/14) An unusual new attraction has opened in Shah Alam, Malaysia’s I-City named Space Mission. According to the local news the attraction takes guests on a fictional space travel adventure that is divided into several sections. One is called Starship Explorer and guests are put on Segways and set off on a course through a mock spaceship and research station that is under attack by escaping aliens. Disembarking your Segway you then walk through a “wormhole” effects tunnel and arrive on the surface of “Planet Pandora” where they board a small dark ride vehicle and explore the alien world. After this you return to the Base Station where you can interact with display stations and play trivia games on touch-screens to answer questions. If any of our readers are in the area, I’d love to see a review along with video / photos showing off what the rest of this attraction looks like. For now, check out the local news article which has posted a few pictures of the experience.
Mexico - (5/7/14) A great new video of Tsunami, formerly known to the world as Thriller, one of Anton Schwarzkopf’s greatest traveling creations, has been posted by our friends at MontanaRusa. It includes off ride footage and a high quality POV of the coaster running at Isla San Marcos. From what they tell us, the rumors about it returning to Germany to Skyline Park are no more, leaving the future fate of the coaster unknown.
(1/10/14) Parque La Loma in Mexico will have new capital poured into it to fix up the park for this summer, as well as add new rides and attractions. The biggest new ride on the way will be a new roller coaster. Nothing was said about what kind of style of coaster it will be however.
Qatar - (3/21/14) Premier Rides has confirmed than they are the company who will build the Dragonfire coaster designed for the indoor Adventure Island theme park in Qatar, part of the Doha Oasis Mall project. A few more details of the project were also released, as Premier Rides calls it a dark ride / coaster project, that will feature magnetic launch technology, cutting-edge track design, high speed switches, multi-directional movement of the vehicles and the backwards launch where riders “are shot up an extremely high vertical twisting spike that rises dramatically above the mall and is fully encapsulated to allow guests to take in the view and to appreciate just how high above the building they are while remaining in a climate-controlled environment.” The project is slated to open in 2017.
(3/20/14) ITPS (International Theme Park Services) has been hired to help design and build a $300 million theme park project in Dohar, Qatar called Adventure Island. The theme park will be crammed into a 7-acre indoor structure and feature a number of state-of-the-art thrill rides.
One in particular they are proud of will be called Dragonfire, a roller coaster that will launch backwards out of the station and up “hundreds of feet” before gravity brings them back down through the mouth of a Dragon and into a series of twists and inversions, including a corkscrew that will break through the roof of the building.
The theme of the park is about a mysterious island once inhabitated by a society that has long since vanished, leaving behind a number of interesting structures (aka: rides) powered by crystals that glow and activate when people are near.
Other attractions include a 4D theater with hanging gondolas as seats, a sky tram around the park, Starchaser (Chance Unicoaster) and Gorilla’s Revenge, a 40 ft tall animatronic Gorilla who picks up a car full of guests which I’m guessing is the rarely seen Huss/Heimo King Kong ride. (See video below) There was no word on a timeline to begin construction or when the park might open however.
Romania - (6/11/14) Want to see something really wild? Even I’ve never heard of this place before, but it seems an old Salt Mine in Romania that closed down in 1932 was used for a few other unique uses over the decades, ranging from bomb shelter to a storage place for cheeses, but somewhere in the 1990’s it was transformed into something entire new.
Would you believe they have turned this underground cavern into a small amusement park?! Guests are sent down nearly 400 feet by elevator from the surface into the huge cavern that now contains an amphitheater, tennis court, mini bowling alley, mini-golf, playground, a ferris wheel and an underground lake you can go ride around in a rowboat. Click here to see pictures of this unique attraction inside the former Sala Turda mine (Turda, Romania).
Russia - (6/26/14) The first Angry Birds themed mini theme park in Russia is set to open in either late 2014 or early 2015 in St Petersburg. According to this article it will be built into the 3rd floor of the new Evropolis shopping center currently under construction with the goal of hosting a modest 2,800 visitors a day.
(10/16/13) Dreamworks is moving ahead with talks to open three indoor parks in Russia themed to their animation characters in St. Petersberg, Moscow and Yekaterinburg, which are set to become the largest indoor parks in all of Europe. A new signed agreement will “support in creating favorable conditions for the project implementation, development and issue of permits in accordance with the Urban Development Code of the Russian Federation, as well as optimization of the procedure of getting approvals for technical documentation developed by the investor.“ Construction on the first site could be completed by late December 2016.
(8/15/13) According to ThemeParx, the final fate of the Dreamworks park project in Russia is to be decided as the developer waits to see if they get final approval on the requested zoning change from St. Petersburg.
(3/12/13) Time and again The Theme Park Guy has proven that he will travel to the ends of the Earth to get a story. Fresh from a visit to the site of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, which will be home to it’s own new theme park, he ventured forth into Moscow to check on the site where the future Universal park in Moscow will be built in 2018 as part of Galaxy Park, which itself is planning to start construction in 2014. While there may not be a lot to see right now, he does give us a great look at the beautiful Moscow of the 21st century.
(2/20/13) The head of DreamWorks Animation, Jeffrey Katzenberg has announced to the media in Russia that they will open THREE DreamWorks Animation themed “parks” in 2015 (near Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg), pointing out that these will open about 3 years ahead of Universal’s project in Moscow’s Galactica Park which is aiming for a 2018 opening date.
These will be year-round parks (indoor) that will be built along with a 400-room hotel, concert hall, 4-D Theater, a retail mall and more in each location. The cost of building all three projects is estimated at $1.5 billion. Each park will have 5 of 6 different themed zones representing different popular DreamWorks Animation characters and featuring various rides, shows, attractions and character interactions.
Singapore - (8/29/14) It has been confirmed that the Singapore Flyer has been purchased for SG$140 million ($112 million) by the Straco Corporation.
(8/28/14) According to this report a small tourism company by the name of Straco Corp is said to be the forerunner in negotiations to take over the Singapore Flyer giant wheel. Apparently Straco Corp currently runs two aquariums and a “mountain cable car service” in China.
South Korea - (7/17/14) 20th Century Fox has teamed up wtih Village Roadshow to build a new Fox World theme park in South Korea. The plans for the new project were announced on Wednesday, to be located in Changwon City as part of the larger Ungdong Entertainment Complex development, and hopes to open by 2018. Few details were given about the actual park itself, as they stated that it was still too early to say what attractions it will feature.
Meanwhile a report on ThemeparX, Universal Parks & Resorts CEO, Tom Williams, confirmed that the once proposed Universal Studios Korea park has been cancelled.
(2/1/14) While Screamscape has mentioned the “Robot Theme Park” project planned for South Korea in the past, the project seemed to have stalled out over the past couple of years and fell off the grid. No longer, according to this article the developers are pushing ahead with the $660 million project and hope to open Robot Land in 2016, with construction crews beginning work on the site last month.
(10/22/13) Fun artwork showing off the possible look of the new Robot Land park coming to South Korea has been posted to ThemeparX this week. One item of interest in what looks to be an S&S FreeFly coaster, with the riders seating in little rocket ships being carried by a giant flying robot with outstretched arms.
(10/2/13) According to a report on ThemeparX, the Robotland park project for South Korea may have broken ground last week.
Thailand - (6/4/14) A huge construction update from the Cartoon Network Amazone waterpark. Has been posted to ThemeParx that shows off the park’s very unique collection of waterslides. Many of which I don’t think we have seen before, like the giant Ben 10 themed sphere.
(1/28/14) Concept artwork for a new waterpark on the way to Thailand called Dino Waterpark have been posted to the TPR Forum. All of the slides here will come from Polin. From the look of the last two pictures site clearing is well underway.
Meanwhile another waterpark in the Hua Hin beach resort area called the Vana Nava Hua Hin Water Jungle is supposed to open in 2014. The slides here are supposed to be from Whitewater West, however I’ve been told that it looks like very little work has been done since the groundbreaking took place in June 2013. The concept artwork for the park, which they are calling Asia’s First Water Jungle, shows off a very well themed and lush tropical landscape, so they’ve got a lot of work left to do.
Turkey - (8/25/14) According to the local area news an 11-year old boy died when he fell out of a thrill ride called Adrenalin Max at an amusement park in Turkey.
UAE News - (1/16/14) Empire Industries Ltd has announced that their Dynamic Attractions division has signed two new major ride contracts, both for the United Arab Emirates, but each for a different customer. One is to deliver one of their Dynamic Flying Theater attractions (like Disney’s Soarin’) and the other is for a new “special effects indoor roller coaster” attraction. (Note: Dynamic Attractions provided the hardware when Disneyland rebuilt their Space Mountain coaster in 2005 and was confirmed as the fabricator for the new track system installed on Big Thunder Mountain reopening in 2014.) Both contracts will be executed over the next 18 months.
Any ideas who these may be for? Dynamic already built a Flying Theater at Ferarri World that opened back in 2012 called Flying Over Italy, so perhaps they will return for an indoor coaster, or perhaps the indoor coaster could be for the IMG Worlds of Adventure park, who also appears to have bought a second attraction from Dynamic as well.
UK - (8/30/14) What they are calling the UK’s Sickest Attraction will be back this fall worse than ever. This is the Scare Kingdom Scream Park, home to the infamous Psychomanteum experience. This year it goes further and will be called Psychomanteum: Deeper Treatment where they offer guests the chance to go through the attraction alone, strapped to a bed, where your life is put in control of the scare-actors for the duration of the experience. While the rest of Scare Kingdom’s attractions are open for guests age 14 and up, Psychomanteum is only for those over 18.
(5/14/14) Drusillas Zoo Park, a small UK attraction that previously has featured only playground style attractions and slides along with animals exhibits for small children will open a new Hello Kitty themed area on May 18th. The new area is called Hello Kitty Secret Garden and will feature three Hello Kitty themed rides: a car ride, tea cups and a “Reach for the Sky” frog-hopper ride.
(2/26/14) Merlin Entertainment has unveiled their next attraction planned for London as their first Shrek’s Far Far Away Adventure attraction. Look for this stand-alone attraction to open on Summer 2015 at the County Hall alongside
Merlin’s other attractions: London Eye, London SEA LIFE Aquarium and the London Dungeon.
Guests will be transported to the world of Far Far Away and go on a new walk-through adventure based on a new story being written by the DreamWorks team and will feature interactive characters you meet on your adventure along with appearances by other popular Dreamworks characters from Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon. Merlin says that this will just be the first such attraction, as they are planning on making 5 more copies over the next nine years.
URUGUAY - (9/25/14) A new park has opened in Uruguay (South America) called Blu Park. Right now it seems to be primarily designed for small children, though the park has apparently made comments about adding a full sized coaster in the near future.