---- THE LATEST GLOBAL BUZZ ----
(2/21/15) Taiwan - Journey To The Gravity Max! (MORE...)
(2/19/15) UAE - Inside Abu Dhabi's Rogo's Roller Coaster Cafe (MORE...)
(2/13/15) Thailand - Stalled Waterpark Back Under Construction (MORE...)
(2/6/15) UK News - Madame Tussauds London To Add Star Wars Experience (MORE...)
(2/2/15) New Childrens Mini Park Opens in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil(MORE...)
Afghanistan - (11/24/14) Afghanistan opened its first amusement park in October it seems. It’s a small attraction called City Park, build on a fairground site in Kabul, the nation’s capital city, and is has been pulling in guests by the thousands over the past month. As this article points out, City Park has become a welcome break from the Kabul they are normally used to, offering a temporary break for the country’s people who have suffered from three decades of war.
Australia - (12/29/14) For those in or visiting Australia where your summer has just started, AusParks reports that many of the parks (Dreamworld, Wet ‘n’ Wild and WB MovieWorld) have extended their hours for the school holiday that runs through mid-January. For those visiting the Gold Coast parks in particular, they have also posted a handy guide to the transportation options in the area to get you from your hotel to the local theme parks and tourist zones.
Brazil - (2/2/15) An interesting new kiddie ride park has opened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil about a month ago. the park is called Parque Downtown, and is located at the "Shopping Downtown in Rio" retail area and features a collection of 5 rides aimed at small children up to 6 years old or so. However, I'm told that 3 more rides will open in the next few weeks on site as well, aimed at older kids, or for parents to ride with their children together. The park has a Facebook page which you can find here.
(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 - (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.
(12/1/14) Local media were brought in for a preview of the new Hello Kitty theme park opening soon in China. You can watch a video from the event below.
(11/20/14) A theme park of an entirely new kind is planned to open in China’s Macau’s Sands Cotai Central resort, an area which has been heavily developed with casinos thus far. According to the article posted to Disney & More, an indoor park attraction called Planet J will open in mid 2015, described as a role-playing park, though to me it sort of looks like a merger of a DisneyQuest and MagiQuest experience.
Every guest is given a “magic book” mobile device that will connect them to the over 200 different games and experiences in the theme park. How well you perform and how far you get in each experience will be recorded and saved as your personal account so when you return on another day you can pick up where you left off. If the final product looks anything like the concept art, then there will be an impressive number of different themed environments to explore during your visit to Planet J.
(11/7/14) Pictures of a new Hello Kitty theme park opening in early 2015 in China can be found here. The park is being built in east China’s Zhejiang province where they expect it to attract up to a million guests a year.
(10/13/14) Concept artwork showing off a very different proposed look for the newest Atlantis resort coming to China in Sanya can be found at ThemeparX. You can also see a bit more at the official AtlantisSanya.com website.
(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 - (10/31/14) According to AirTimers, the company who bought Germany’s famous Nurburgring race track (along with the closed Ring Racer coaster) in early 2014 apparently has sold it once again to a new owner, HR Holdings which belongs us Russian businessman Viktor Charitonin. According to the breakdown, the previous owner (and now HR Holdings) held two-thirds of the ownership, while Getspeed owned the final third. While the previous owner said they would never run the Ring Racer coaster and actually tried to unsuccessfully sell it, the intentions of the new owner are not yet known. So who knows… maybe local coaster fans will get the chance to ride Ring Racer in the future.
India - (10/9/14) Time for a return trip to India’s Wonder La Park, thanks to ParkJourney, where this time we get a look at the water park side of the attraction. According to the report the park is in the process of opening several new attractions. The list includes a Boomerang waterslide, a Kids Play structure and four new rides: Rockin Tug (Zamperla) , Maverick (a Top Spin style flat ride), Magic Plane (Zamperla) and Fire Bridage (Zamperla). Maverick is still under construction, but the others might already be open.
(10/7/14) Always fun to see a new park I’ve never seen picture of before… and this one is in Kerala, India called Wonder La Park. Check out the great review for it posted to ParkJourney.
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.
Japan - (12/3/14) I was sent this on Twitter a month ago and haven’t heard any updates since, but according to the Tweet the Galaxy Express 999 indoor coaster attraction at Japan’s Aqua Stadium closed last month. While I can’t translate the note in the tweet directly, the website seems to indicate that the attraction is renovating their dolphin show and will reopen it with all new technology in 2015 as well. No word on what will become of the Galaxy Express 999 coaster however. Anyone know more?
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.
Italy - (10/9/14) According to TheParks.It a popular closed amusement park in South Italy called Edenlandin’ is expected to reopen by Summer 2015. Anyone know more?
Mexico - (12/30/14) While we reported last month about how Cirque du Soleil was opening a new theme park concept in Mexico, but right now Cirque is also performing a very unique show experience in Mexico called Joya. ThemeParkUniversity has posted a great write-up about Joya, which isn’t held inside your typical modern theater as you would find at a Las Vegas Cirque show, but instead Joya was built out in a remote jungle area, and even features some special and very unique meal options as part of your experience and may serve as a sort of preview of the kind of experience we may see brought to life in their new theme park.
(11/14/14) I didn’t see it mentioned in the original release, but the design work on the beautiful looking Cirque du Soleil theme park planned for Mexico is actually from The Goddard Group who was great enough to send me an updated piece of concept artwork showing off the birds-eye view of the park.
Never one to miss a chance as a little self-promotion, a few more details about the park have also been posted on The Goddard Group’s Facebook page, where they did indeed confirm that there will be rides at the park when I asked. “While there will be rides (you can get a hint of one under the weather coving on the left), every single one will be a new creative experience never seen at any other park. And while we can't get into too much detail at this point, we can say that the "star" attractions here are completely new experiences that don't yet exist in the world.”
In fact, the new birds-eye view artwork was high enough resolution that I could zoom in and take a better look at the various themed areas and spot what appear to be a number of small rides and attractions spread throughout the beautiful scenery, including a ferris wheel, train, and what had at first looked like a white coaster on the right side, is actually just waterslides for the waterpark next to the wave pool.
In general, I get the feeling that the plan for this park is far bigger than what may be initially thought of as a port of call attraction for the cruise ships. In fact, it seems there are some pretty big ideas planned for this park that could prove to be game changers for the future of the themed entertainment industry.
And I can’t help but wonder if the experience of visiting this park might be a bit like watching the “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” film where a girl from the real world enters a magical otherworld where they pass through the environments of the various Cirque shows performing in Las Vegas by passing from one giant tent-world into another.
(11/13/14) Grupo Vidanta (a resort developer in Mexico) and Cirque du Soleil have announced an expanded partnership to create what they are calling the World’s First Entertainment Park Animated by Cirque du Soleil. This will be a “first-of-its-kind immersive theme park experience in Nuevo Vallarta. The entertainment experience, which is still in development, may include water park and nature park elements and will feature an outdoor evening show accommodating as many as 3,000 to 5,000 spectators. Each experience within the entertainment park will be animated by Cirque du Soleil artists and follow a common storyline.”
“Grupo Vidanta is offering us an amazing sandbox in which we can unleash our creativity,” said Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil. “Both our groups strive for perfection. Grupo Vidanta is passionate and cares for the environment. We set ourselves the challenge of creating something unlike anything the world has seen before.”
This announcement comes just ahead of the launch of JOYA, a “intimate and immersive theatrical and culinary experience” from Cirque du Soleil and Grupo Vidanta that will open in Riviera Maya on Nov. 21st.
My Thoughts: Very few actual details about the park experience itself were given, leaving room for much speculation about just what exactly this will be. Based on the few pieces of concept art I was able to find, the look of the park is stunning, but it also seems that this isn’t likely going to be your typical theme park experience, as the artwork also seems to be lacking any kind of traditional “rides” that you might expect to find in a theme park environment. Given that Cirque style experiences typically come at a premium price, I’m wondering if this park may also come with a “premium” ticket price and limited attendance numbers to allow for a higher quality experience for the guests, much like Discovery Cove in Orlando, where even your meal is included with admission. The location of Nuevo Vallarta is about a 15 minute drive north of Puerto Vallarta, a common and popular Port of Call for the many cruise ships running up and down the Pacific coast of Mexico. The area is already home to several all inclusive beach resorts, golf courses, the Aquaventuras Water Park and Dolphin Adventure where guests can swim with Dolphins, so you could easily see a Cirque themed park trying to fit into this mix of existing attractions.
(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 - (1/5/15) According to this report the Mall of Qatar will open by the end of 2015 and will include the first indoor Angry Birds Activity Park experience as part of a partnership between the developers and Rovio. The Mall will also include a Curio Collection hotel by Hilton, bowling and a 19 screen cinema that will feature the largest IMAX screen in the world. Other attractions in the Mall of Qatar include: Juniverse (a themed attraction for small children to experience a variety of themed environments including a space station and dinosaurs) as well as Virtusity (VR games putting guests in control of Formula 1 race cars and Fighter Jets), as well as something called Hint Hut and Clue Quest. The mall will also feature an 8-story tall rotating stage that will be used for a variety of performances.
(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.
Russia - (1/29/15) Screamscape sources tell us that Divo Ostrov park in Russia has signed a deal with Mack Rides to build a new launched roller coaster. The coaster is thought to be a clone, or a near clone, or the Blue Fire coaster at Europa Park. The new coaster is said to already be under construction, and hopes to be open sometime later this year.
(10/13/14) It has been some time since we’ve heard even a peep about that indoor Universal park concept for Moscow, and I’ve pretty much written it off as something that will never happen anyway, but ThemeparX has posted a few new pieces of concept artwork. So are these old and just leaking out now, or is this project still alive? They also have pictures showing off the current look of the site for the proposed project, which is already fairly occupied from the look of things.
(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 - (12/19/14) Dejiki has posted a photo trip report from the newly opened Madame Tussauds Singapore attraction, complete with a unique boat ride called The Spirit of Singapore as well as Images of Singapore LIVE, a walk-through attraction with live actors.
(10/21/14) Now here’s something I didn’t know… the new Madame Tussauds opening this week in Singapore will feature something very unique… a boat ride. An animated preview version of the ride can be seen below. The addition of this first ever boat ride as part of a Madame Tussauds has me curious if they will include one as part of the new Orlando location when it opens next year as well.
The ride is called the Spirit of Singapore, and will take guests through a fantasy tropical Singapore garden where the plants will come to life in both motion and color before moving on to the F1 Singapore night race, pass by the Singapore Flyer and more.
(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 - (11/24/14) Dynamic Structures reported on Twitter than they signed an $8 million deal to build a new unknown new ride project somewhere in South Korea. Anyone know more?
(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.
Taiwan - (2/21/15) Thrillography is back with another chapter of their adventure... this time into Taiwan and Lihpao Land... home to the infamous Vekoma made Gravity Max tilting coaster. Check it out!
Thailand - (2/13/15) In a bit of shocking news, a stalled waterpark project from Whitewater West in Thailand, only minutes from the now open Cartoon Network Amazone waterpark, has started up construction once again. You can see pictures of the park's old concept artwork, as well as all new construction pictures from the site posted to the TPR Forum.
(12/1/14) The new Vana Nava Hua Hin waterpark in Thailand is set to open next week, featuring 19 different slides and attractions. It will open with a top of the line RFID wristband system for all guests tied not only into park admission, but also into photo kiosks throughout the park that will pull of pictures of you enjoying the attractions and allow you to share them to Facebook or buy a print to pick up on your way home.
(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.
UAE News - (2/19/15) A fun video showing off the inside of Rogo’s, the new roller coaster food restaurnat in Abu Dhabi has been embeded below.The video showing off not just the food taking the high speed trip from the kitchen to the dinner table around the spiraling masses of coaster track laid all over the restaurant, but also some fun POV footage as well to watch the covered dinner plates flip through loops first hand before hitting the brakes at the end.
(11/27/14) There are a couple of these in style restaurants in Europe, but The Roller Coaster Restaurant has launched a new site in Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. The restaurant features 30 individual coaster tracks that run throughout the restaurant, spinning and even looping, tiny little cars that will be carrying food and beverages to the tables.
(10/29/14) I don’t know much about this one, but ThemeparX has posted some pictures of the proposed site for a Warner Brothers theme park in Abu Dhabi so close to Ferrari World that you’ll be able to see the giant red structure. The site is there and Abu Dhabi has successfully opened two attractions in this area, Ferrari World and the Yas Waterworld waterpark. So a third park isn’t out of the question as long as the first two are still looking successful. So I guess we’ll have to wait and see if they build it or not.
UK - (2/6/15) Just as rumored back in December, Madame Tussauds London location will indeed be opening a new Star Wars Experience wing opening in May. You can read all about it at the official website, and see the first new addition already... Yoda sitting in his Dogobah swamp. Other iconic scenes to be added include Han Solo in the Cantina and Chewbacca sitting in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon.
(1/26/15) The BBC has posted a great write up about the UK’s lost theme parks from over the years that is worth reading.
(12/19/14) Screamscape sources tell us that Merlin may be planning a major expansion to their Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London. Much in the same vein as how the Marvel characters all inhabit an exhibit space area with a themed attraction, I’m hearing that two floors of nearby office space are being gutted to allow for a similar concept that may take guests to a Galaxy Far Far Away for a new Star Wars exhibit. Merlin is no stranger to the Star Wars Universe, having added many LEGO Star Wars themed displays to the various LEGOLAND parks around the world.
(12/17/14) According to this news article, Dickens World, a highly-themed indoor attraction in the UK themed to the works of Charles Dickens that opened in 2007, has not been doing so well, and claims to just barely doing enough business to get by. Sadly, this also means that maintenance for certain attractions and animatronics has ended, with many figures now sitting “motionless and unplugged”. A water flume ride that also opened with the attraction has since been closed and the water drained.
(11/12/14) I touched upon this briefly last year elsewhere, but the news agency's have picked up on a new story about how a man was denied entry into a small UK theme park as part of a policy to protect guests from pedophiles. It seems it is the policy of Puxton Park, a small attraction west of London, to deny entry into the park for any single adult male or female.
On a similar note, I posted about a similar policy in place at the LEGOLAND Disco very Center attractions throughout the world, which is posted on their website. “Please note: Adults must be accompanied by a child to visit the attraction.” This kind of thing doesn’t come up often, but it’s always a shock to people when they see it.
(10/24/14) UK Haunt fans may want to check out the review of Scream Park UK, posted this week over at ThemeParkInvestigator about the new haunt attraction held in Manchester in the Event City conference facility.
(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.
VIETNAM - (1/28/15) The new theme park called Asian Park in the Vietnam city of Da Nang has been hit with some complaints and controversy from the local residents who claim the local authorities are unfairly favoring the investor behind the park which is under construction. This is the same theme park who has been receiving shipments of the coasters from the former Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
All but one apparently... as VHCoasters reports that the pieces of the park's old B&M coaster, Led Zepplin: The Ride (aka: Time Machine) have been shipped to a different park project in Vietnam called Ocean Park in Ha Long. While very little other than land clearing appears to have been done to the Ocean Park site, the B&M coaster track can be seen on site in an aerial photo.
(1/6/15) VHCoasters has posted pictures from the Da Nang amusement park in Vietnam where it looks like the first shipments of coaster track from the former Hard Rock Park's Vekoma Mine Train have arrived.