---- THE LATEST GLOBAL BUZZ ----
(5/30/20) Japanese Theme Park Guests Asked Not To Scream On Thrill Rides (MORE...)
(5/12/20) Australia's Theme Parks May Sit Closed Longer Than They Need To Due to Crowd Limits (MORE...)
(4/27/20) Germany Proposing New Plans That Could See Parks Reopen May 4th (MORE...)
(4/26/20) Belgium Government Sets Date To Reopen Theme Parks (MORE...)
(4/22/20) China's Fantawild Has Reopened Most Of Their Parks Show Off New Operations Proceedures (MORE...)
(4/13/20) Taiwan Theme Parks Limited to 50% Capacity (MORE...)
Australia - (5/12/20) According to this report, Australia’s theme parks in the Gold Coast are likely to stay closed a little longer once they are allowed to reopen. From the sound of things, the multi-phase plan that would allow the parks to reopen in June isn’t going to work for them, as the rules would only allow a maximum of 20 people in at a time. That number will only increase to 100 guests at a time by July and according to Village Roadshow’s COO, it isn’t financially viable to reopen the parks until they can have at least 5000 guests in at once.
This makes sense, especially when you look at Shanghai Disneyland that just reopened on Monday, who is limiting their own attendance to about 24,000 guests at first, with plans to try and increase that number by about 5,000 per week going forward.
(3/18/20) According to an article posted by Parkz this week, they report that the various theme parks and attractions in Australia’s Gold Coast are all up and running, as they fall outside the government’s recommendations on closures. The attractions still open include Dreamworld and WhiteWater World, Warner Bros. MovieWorld, SeaWorld of Australia and Wet ‘n’ Wild Gold Coast.
The Bahamas - (4/3/20) The Atlantis resort soon won't be the only waterpark attraction on Nassau in the Bahamas. The Baha Mar resort, located about a 20 minute drive west of the Atlantis resort is currently building a $300 million expansion to the resort that will include a new waterpark attraction along with other entertainment offerings and improvements to the beachfront resort.
According to a local news update, the waterpark expansion is still on track to open in 2021, despite the current issues around the globe from the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently the resort is closed due to government orders, and the shutdown does include a pause in the construction on the project. Currently the attractions in the Bahamas are hoping to reopen around May 15 or as soon as the their government says it is safe to do so.
Belgium - (4/26/20) According to this tweet, the Belgium government has now issued authorization for theme parks to reopen starting June 8th, 2020, as long as they use a list of proposed new operational guidelines. The list includes social distancing, reduced capacity attendance limits, closing indoor spaces and new cleaning standards. The June 8th date is contingent on if conditions are met within the country during prior phases of business reopenings set to take place over the month of May. These prior phases will see a return to the workplace and the reopening of certain classes of businesses at different times (May 4 and May 11), a gradual return to school operations, family visits and allowing new travelers into the country (May 18).
Some of the most popular parks in Belgium include: Bobbejaanland, most of the Plopsa parks, Walibi Belgium and Bellewaerde.
Bosnia-Herzegovina - (12/13/19) I don’t know much about this project yet, but I’m told plans have been drawn up and approved to build a theme park called ‘Magic Land’ in Bosnia / Herzegovina. Vekoma has already been tapped to build one of their coasters at the park, currently said to be a Bermuda Blitz model, one of which exists so far, the Lech Coaster at Legendia in Poland, which is said to be quite good. For now we don’t know much else, and not even a solid timeline, so for now we are just keeping our ears open for future developments to see if this park really gets built.
Brazil - (8/10/19) Yet another carnival ride breaks apart in mid-ride in another country, as a video post on Facebook shows a wacky worm style kiddie coaster in Brazil break apart and the train derail, tossing the riders about violently, some into the support poles. While I’m sure there are plenty of aches, pains and bruises to go around, I’m hoping that no one was seriously hurt from this. They do say that the believe the derailment may have been caused by a piece of the track being put assembled incorrectly.
Canada - (3/23/20) The world is losing yet another wooden coaster this year. According to this article Upper Clements Park in Nova Scotia has been sold for $600,000 to a company who will build a new $62 million boarding school on the site, with the park set to be demolished right away. The now closed amusement park was home to one coaster, the wooden “Roller Coaster”, designed by William Cobb, which opened back in 1989. The coaster was formerly named ‘Tree Topper” until 2008 when it was changed to the more simplistic, “Roller Coaster”.
Based on the video below, it doesn’t look like it was the smoothest ride in the world, but does look to have a very scenic layout that twisted and turned through the woods.
(8/23/19) A new coaster is coming to the Canadan side of Niagara Falls at Clifton Hill. The new coaster is under construction above the existing Frankenstein haunted house attraction and while they are hoping to have it open before the end of the year, testing and certification still has to be completed which could push back the opening until March 2020.
According to this article, they may try to promote it as the world’s first rooftop coaster, but this simply isn’t true, as there have been several of these over the years, especially in Japan. They don’t give a name to the coaster yet, but mention that the project started out when they bought a closed coaster from Long Island a few years ago that had casket shaped cars. The ride and building were then modified to work together and one ready to open the coaster experience will be included with admission to the Frankenstein haunted house. One of our readers stopped by and send in some pictures of the coaster under construction as well.
(7/29/19) FlyOver Canada will soon have a sibling as adventure travel company, Pursuit, has signed a deal to build a second FlyOver Canada flying theater attraction in Toronto, next to the famous CN Tower. While it will share the same name as the attraction in Vancouver, the ride film to be shown in the new Toronto location will be entirely brand new. According to the teaser video, we can expect it to open in 2022, with construction on the new building to house it to begin sometime in 2020.
China - (4/22/20) According to the Fantawild website, the chain had previously reopened 12 theme parks, and has just opened 7 more parks on April 18th. It also mentions that the “Fantawild Adventure” park in Jiayuguan is on track to reopen on April 25th. If you scroll down more you can see details about the operational changes in the park, including the expected wellness checks before guests can enter the parks, mandatory mask wearing, and a scattered loading system in place on the rides to mantain maximum distance between riders. In the picture show, instead of loading every other row on a roller coaster with two-across seating, they are instead loading one guest into every row, but loading only the left seat on the odd-numbered rows, and the right-seat on the event numbered rows. Unfortunately this method even separates guests who are visiting the park together.
(3/29/20) While various attractions have been slowly reopening in China, one in particular was ordered shut-down again. According to the Hollywood Reporter, after two weeks of a successful return to operations for movie theaters in some areas of China, the government quickly and without reason ordered all 600 closed again. The only speculation at this point is that the government may be concerned over the idea of creating a second-wave of infections after seeing their numbers drop.
This precautionary move may prove to be a good lesson to the rest of the world about what could happen if you rush to reopen things too soon, if their case numbers do start to rise again. Time will tell.
(3/15/20) Some Chinese attractions are now preparing to reopen! According to this article Shanghai Wild Animal Park and Jinjiang Amusement Park plan to reopen on Monday, but with restrictions in place to limit the number of visitors to the parks to about half of their normal capacity to prevent overcrowding. Also any indoor venues and attractions within the parks will remain closed for the time being. All guests will also have to pass through a temperature screening station, wear a mask during their time in the park and present a green healthy QR code to gain entry. Public areas in the parks are to be disinfected twice daily, and attractions are to be disinfected after each use.
Other area attractions planning to reopen on Monday include the Fuquanshan archeological site, Qushui Garden as well as Luxun Park in Hongkou District.
(3/3/20) Yet another Happy Valley theme park is being planned by China’s OCT Group. According to AmusementToday they have tapped Legacy Entertainment to design this 9th Happy Valley theme park which will be located in Zhengzhou and feature an entirely original design.
There are currently seven Happy Valley theme parks open in China with the eighth park slated to open in Nanjing later this year.
(12/7/19) The Las Vegas Sands Corporation, who owns the Sands Expo/Convention Center as well as the Venetian & Palazzo casinos is now planning to build a London themed casino resort in Macau, China. Sands is no stranger to the Chinese gambling market and already has at least five other casino in Macau: Sands, Venetian, Palazzo and Parisian and Plaza, as well as the famous Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, which has become a world famous iconic structure for the country. According to this article the plan is to transform the existing Sands Cotai Central complex into “The Londoner”, which will be transformed by adding famous London landmarks (like Big Ben) to the exterior over the next three years. After seeing the results as guests have piled in to visit their highly themed Venetian and Parisian casino propertys in Macau, they are confident that The Londoner will also prove to be a bit hit.
(11/6/19) According to BlooLoop, Puy du Fou is about to sign a contract with China to create a Puy du Fou attraction in China at the foot of the Great Wall that will feature a nighttime spectacular show, a themed restaurant, themed hotel and an ancient village setting. Currently they are still working on the concept design.
(10/24/19) SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment has announced that they will be providing a new 4D Motion Theater attraction at the Legend Heroes Park in Studio City, Macao. Legend Heroes is an indoor attraction that features a number of VR, projection mapping, hologram and even motion-based games and experiences. From the sound of it, the new attraction should be ready to open in September 2020 and will feature two 4D shows: Ice Age: No Time for Nuts and The Lego Movie 4D Experience.
(10/19/19) Back in January we mentioned that a new attraction was on the way to Hong Kong that would be themed around the popular Monopoly board game. According to CNN, the attraction will open on October 26 and they have some of the first photos of what you can expect to find inside. You’ll visit Mr. Monopoly’s secret residents and six other themed areas within the indoor attractions, including the Train Station where you will experience a 4D theater film.
The owners say they are already seeking a proper site to build a second location somewhere in Melbourne, Australia.
(10/8/19) In what may be one of the most horrifying accidents I’ve heard of involving an attraction, a mother and her 3-year-old child perished soon after climbing aboard a hot-air balloon attraction in China. According to the photos the attraction simply had a pair of seats strapped to the bottom of a balloon and was suppose to just lift the riders slowly into the air to enjoy the view and then bring them back down. The onlookers watched in horror as the ropes to keep the balloon tethered to the ground broke free and the 31-year-old mother and child quickly soared into the skies until they were lost from sight. It is believed that the hot-air balloon rose to about 10,000 feet in the air before it exploded and sent them plunging back to earth where they perished upon impact.
(9/25/19) The “Longest Mountainside Water Slide” has been named by Guinness World Records as being in Lishui, China. The slide runs down the side of the Puhuasi Mountain along a 2723.08 meter (8,933 ft, 11 inches) long course. Check out a video showing off the entire course as seen from the air below. Of course the really crazy thing is that there doesn’t appear to be any method of taking the rafts to the top again once they hit the bottom, so I can only imagine they have to truck them up to the top along with the riders each time.
(4/26/19) According to a report posted to ThemeparX, plans for the Chimelong Qingyuan Forest Resort theme park project have been the subject of meetings between government officials and the Chimelong Group, with the goal of speeding up the delayed project. They now hope to open the first phase of the project in 2021. Follow the link for more details, concept artwork and on-site progress photos.
(9/1/18) According to BlooLoop the operator of Ski Dubai and Ski Egypt, huge indoor sku park attractions, is now getting set to build and operate their first property in China. It will be called Wintastar Shanghai and promoted as the world's biggest indoor ski park when it opens in 2022. The attraction will be 227,000 square meters and feature three ski slopes, ski runs and over 25 other "snow play" attractions, along with retail, food and beverage locations along with a Spa and "a Nordic-themed water park" along with exhibit and performance spaces. The project will also see four hotels built on the property with a total of 1,000 rooms when the build out is complete.
(8/3/18) A new indoor theme park with a Nickelodeon theme will open in China in 2020 at The Mall of China. The giant mall is a development partnership between Jiayuan Group, China Creation Group and Triple Five Group. That last one should sound familiar as Triple Five is the company behind the Mall of America, the soon to open American Dream Meadowlands in New Jersey and behind another proposed American Dream mall project outside Miami. According to this article the park will have 29 attraction including the "world's highest and fastest indoor roller coaster" and Asia's first tilting drop-tower attraction.
Dominican Republic - (9/18/19) Falcon’s Creative Group has announced a new partnership with Katmandu Group to create a series of Katmandu branded attractions, starting with a “dynamic new entertainment venue in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.” The initial plans right now include two attractions from Falcon to be built within the Katmandu, Punta Cana project to open in late 2020.
The “signature” attraction will be something called “Quest for the Multiverse”, while sounds like it will be the premier of Falcon’s new “Suspended Theater”, used to provide an all new flying theater style experience that will be both family friendly, and yet thrilling. The other attraction is said to be a cutting-edge dark ride experience themed around “The Legend of Katmandu”. Other attractions within the development will include a 36-hole Expedition Golf course with highly themed holes that wind around a “mountainous Nepalese landscape”, along with future plans to add other interactive rides and theater-based attractions, as well as a “ninja playground” climbing and obstacle course. Of course it wouldn’t be a major attraction without a spattering of highly themed restaurant experiences and some special nighttime entertainment offerings added into the mix as well.
For reference, the Katmandu Group already has one themed attraction open in Mallorca, Spain where it is tied to a resort property. In addition to the planned expansion to the Dominican Republic, they are also working on another development for Tenerife, Spain.
Germany - (4/27/20) Germany’s Minister of Tourism, Guido Wolf, has laid out a step-by-step plan to revive tourism in the country in the era of Covid-19. He mentions that outdoor attractions will have a strong advantage over indoor attractions and suggests that Zoos, Amusement Parks and other open-air attractions could reopen as early as May 4 as part of the first phase. The second phase would see beer gardens, RV campgrounds and holiday resorts, hotels and museums be allowed to begin reopening. Follow the link to read more.
(8/21/19) The Tatzmania Loffingen theme park in Germany has apparently shut down their new Adlerflug ride (Eagle Flight) after social media users began to see photos and videos of the ride in action and commented that the ride appeared to look like two giant Nazi Swastika symbols while soaring through the sky.
Embarrassed the park has shut it down and gone back to the ride’s supplier who will modifty the attraction to reopen next year with only three arms on each end instead of four, so that it no longer looks like a Swastika.
Iceland - (9/6/19) Good news from Iceland this week as the brand new FlyOver Iceland flying theater attraction has now opened to the public in Reykjavik’s popular Grand Harbour District. Modeled after the successful FlyOver Canada attraction in Vancouver to take guests on a scenic flight simulation over the famous landmarks and landscape of Iceland. The attraction itself will be located in Reykjavik’s popular Grand Harbour District, and likely a perfect location to attract cruise ship guests when in port.
India - (7/14/19) This has been a horrible season for terrible ride accidents to happen in international markets. According to a video posted by the Daily Star a swinging pendulum ride in India broke in half in mid-swing, dropping the circular gondola side where the riders are seated into the frame of the ride structure itself, before falling to the ground. According to the report from the Daily Star, there were 31 riders aboard when it fell, with three reported dead and 25 others with various injuries.
The nature of the break and ride style involved in the video is remarkably similar to the accident that just took place in late June in Uzbekistan where another pendulum ride (which looks to be from a different manufacturer) suffered a similar failure when the arm broke off in mid-swing.
(6/25/19) Twelve riders were surprised while riding a “Free Fall” ride at Chennai’s Queensland Amusement Park (India) when it appears a cable snapped just before the ride was about to end the ride cycle near the ground, dropping the car hard. According to the news report the riders were uninjured as the rider pod only fell 10 feet to the ground. The park is likely in some trouble for the accident however, as not only was the entire thing caught on video, but the police report that park authorities tried to cover-up the accident by making special agreements with the riders to not speak of it.
Indonesia - (3/26/20) Take a look at the video below to see the new Jurassic Island attraction in action, the first Immersive Superflume attraction from SIMWORX. The attraction reopened not too long ago as part of the new Trans Studios Cibubur indoor theme park in Indonesia. You’ve never quite seen a flume ride like this before, so check it out!
(3/15/20) A POV video of an Intamin launched coaster that opened at the end of 2019 in Indonesia has been posted to YouTube, rigged with some extra lights on the train so you can see the ride better. The ride is Kereta Misteri (Mystery Train) and it is located in the Dunia Fantasi park and features a bit of a slow-moving dark ride to start things off before the more high speed coaster ride begins.
(12/19/19) The new Road Rage: Wasteland Escape dark ride at the new Trans Studio Bali theme park is now open and some footage shot during “technical rehearsals” was posted online by Legacy Entertainment. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Road Rage in this technical rehearsal is seeing the inclusion of live actors in the ride in the places where you would normally expect to see Animatronic figures. It does make me ponder the operational budget for the attraction when using live actors in Indonesia vs. Animatronic figures.
(12/10/19) I’m told that the new Trans Studio Bali park will be opening to guests this Thursday, on Dec. 12th, 2019. In addition to an attraction themed to AMC’s The Walking Dead, the park will also be home to a new dark ride that promises to raise the bar in terms of themeing and guest interactivity called Road Rage, described as the first “Stunt Show Dark Ride” where part of the experience will have guests locked up in one of several different escape rooms experiences.
(12/3/19) Dying to know more about the new Pacific Rim: Shatterdome Strike dark ride experience at Trans Studio Cibubur in Indonesia? A spoiler filled run-down of the entire unique attraction experience has been posted to Escape Authority this week, including new details about the design and creation of this nearly 20 minute long attraction experience.
(8/21/19) A great promotion video from Trans Studio Cibubur and Legacy Entertainment shows off the new Pacific Rim: Shatterdome Strike attraction that is now open. It merges a 3D dark ride experience, not unlike Spider-Man or Transformers at the Universal theme parks, with highly themed walk-through experiences. This includes putting the riders inside a massive Jaeger robot to fight the invading Kaiju monsters, via the dark ride. The entire experience is said to take around 20 minutes from start to finish.
Japan - (5/30/20) An odd new policy going into effect at Japanese theme parks caught the attention of the world’s news agencies this week. As the various “state of emergency” orders are being lifted across Japan, new guidelines were issued for ongoing safety measures, one of which was asking riders to no longer scream and shout on roller coasters and other thrill rides.
Of course the reason is to prevent possible droplets of infected slobber from flying out your pie-hole and splashing across your fellow riders, so this makes sense in a way. It just isn’t a very practical thing. While coaster enthusiasts like myself enjoy yelling and screaming along the way, I could easily maintain composure and keep my gob shut during a ride if asked to do so. On the other side of the coin however, there are those out there who just can’t help it as they find themselves frightened beyond all care and reason during thrill rides as they scream in terror.
(3/29/20) While we’ve been hearing reports that select attractions in Japan have been slowly reopening over the past week, a small rise of new infections in Tokyo has prompted that city to urge its citizens to stay home this weekend, and ask for the local attractions to possibly close again, along with shutting down popular public parks. In an urban area that contains more than 30 million people, it seems clear they are wary of becoming another “New York” if they let things get out of control.
According to this article many local department stores, movie theaters and the Toshimaen amusement park that we previously listed as open, are closed once again this weekend.
(3/23/20) A number of attractions in Japan are now starting to reopen such as the Moomin Valley attraction that just opened last year in Japan is said to have reopened to the public back on March 14th. Many indoor attractions are also starting to reopen such as Aeon cinemas, many Bandai Namco arcade centers, along with the restarting of class for certain schools in some areas.
(2/29/20) Along with the more high profile announcement of the closure of Disney, Universal and Legoland parks in Japan, it seems that most, if not all of the other parks in the country may also be closing from this weekend through to March 15th, 2020 in response to the spread of the coronavirus. At this point I’m not sure which attractions are staying open, if any, but I’ve also read closure notices from Suzuka Circuit and Nagashima Spaland, but I didn’t spot a notice at Fuji Q Highland’s website yet. All these closures are coming down as a policy request from Japan’s “New Coronavirus Infectious Disease Control Headquarters” to shut down major attractions, cancel concerts, and any place where large groups of people would converge.
(2/19/20) MGM Resorts is now the last bidder standing to build a casino as part of a proposed “integrated resort” in Osaka, Japan. The move comes after the other two big players (Genting Singapore and Galaxy Ent.) opted out of the Osaka area in favor of focusing their efforts elsewhere in Japan, such as Yokohama. There is still a lot of competition for the Yokohama site, including several other well known US casino giants like Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands.
Japan itself is still deciding if they want to pursue gambling in the country, and has said they will start off with only three gaming licenses for the entire country as a trial.
(2/7/20) Some new concept art for the planned Studio Ghibli theme park in Japan have been released. You can find them and more details about the proposed new theme park in the latest update over at BlooLoop this week.
(2/5/20) BlooLoop reports that Warner Bros Entertainment is teaming up with Seibu Holdings to build a Harry Potter themed attraction in Tokyo by Spring 2023. The attraction is planned to go up on part of the site of the current Toshimaen amusement park which Seibu Holdings is planning on closing in phases starting later this year. The plans are finalized yet, but a commitment is expected later this year to the project.
According to the article the expectation is that the new attraction may be similar in nature to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London, which makes sense as Universal Studios Japan already has a very popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter land in their Osaka theme park.
(11/6/19) Godzilla fans, take note! A life-sized Godzilla attraction will open in 2020 at the Nijigen no Mori attraction on Awaji Island (near Kobe). There you will find an 65-foot tall, 82-foot wide, recreation of Godzilla as part of a larger attraction experience called “Godzilla Interception Operation”. Guests will be able to ride a zipline into his mouth, as well as take aim in a shooting gallery style attraction.
(6/1/19) According to this article Studio Ghibli is partnering up with the Aichi Prefecture government and the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper to finally build a Studio Gbibli theme park in Japan. Look for the park to rise in the Aichi Commemorative Park near Nagoya (previously created for a World’s Fair in 2005) and open sometime in 2022 with five themed areas.
Malaysia - (1/30/20) According to this article the Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) theme park in Malaysia closed on January 28th, and will remain closed until further notice. The closure does not seem to have anything to do with the possible spread of the Coronavirus, but instead seems to be financial in nature.
(10/3/19) According to this article the indoor Sanrio Helly Kitty Town themed attraction in Johor, Malaysia will close down forever on December 31st, 2019 due to a lack of business. The reports say that the small indoor park that opened in 2012 has long struggled to bring in guests to the attraction.
Mexico - (2/24/20) According to a reader, I’m told that Selva Magica mentioned on their social media that the park had closed two of their coasters and would not be reopening them: Tornado and Catarina. While the later is a small Zierer made family coaster, Tornado is actually a Schwarzkopf Jet Star model that started out as the Glissade at Busch Gardens Williamsburg back in 1975.
(1/15/20) According to this article six companies are now in the running to the new operator for the “La Feria de Chapultepec” amusement park in Mexico after the former operator was dismissed following a deadly coaster accident last year. One of the six company names you should recognize: Cabi Entertainment SAPI DE CV, Sofmar Fun SA DE CV, Negrete Garza SC., Six Flags Mexico SA DE CV, Quantum Servicio SA DE CV and Mota-Engil Mexico SAPI DE CV.
So yes… Six Flags is looking to take over the operations of “La Feria de Chapultepec” through their Six Flags Mexico park branch, and while I don’t know who the other companies are off-hand, I’m guessing that Six Flags would likely be the one with the most relevant experience. Each company will put together a proposal as to how they would like to run the park, including any changes or upgrades they would like to make, or the addition of new themes or IP to the park. These proposals should be submitted by March 18 so a winning project can be selected and announced by April 20, 2020.
(10/27/19) According to this report it has been determined that none of the rides at the Feria de Chapultepec theme park have been properly maintained, and that the Quimera roller coaster was suffering from “several defects” and “park management should have shut it down”.
(10/23/19) I’m told that the operating permit for La Feria Chapultepec Magico was indeed revoked and a new operator is being sought to take over the park. While the current operators are challenging this turn of events, I’m told that if a new operator is selected, several of the park’s rides are owned by the current operator who would remove them.
(10/19/19) According to a rough translation of this article, it sounds like La Feria Chapultepec Magico has had their operational permit for the park revoked by the local government in the fallout of the deadly accident on the park’s Quimera roller coaster. I believe this is taking place while the accident investigation is ongoing, and once a resolution and course of action is determined, we could see the park reopen once again. If I had to guess however, I doubt we’ll see Quimera every operate again.
On a semi-related note, it was also reported that a sister Schwarzkopf coaster named Tsunami (better known as Thriller, Taz’s Texas Tornado or Zonga when it operated in Europe and the US) will be scrapped. This decision to scrap the famous Schwarzkopf coaster comes after three years of failed attempts to sell it to a new owner. There is still a chance to save Thriller if someone comes forward to purchase it, but given the age of the ride, it would also require some significant funds to bring it up to today’s safety standards, which is probably how it ended up in Mexico in the first place. I did have the pleasure of riding it when it first ran at Six Flags Astroworld and it gave one hell of a ride that left me with a lasting impression, so I’d be happy to see this one get saved rather than see two of Schwarzkopf’s greatest traveling creations lost to the scrap yard in the same year.
(10/1/19) While nothing has been published regarding the possible cause for the coaster accident in Mexico just yet, one common thread has worked through much of the coaster enthusiast community. Looking over this new accident, it is eerily similar in nature to the accident that took place on the Mindbender in Canada back in 1986. While not the same layout, the Mindbender is similar enough to the layout Quimera, and both feature three vertical loops. In the case of the Mindbender accident, the last car also came loose from the track in similar fashion until it struck a support beam, resulting in the death of three riders.
Mindbender still runs to this day, but the trains were changed following the accident, where ride now features an unusual train design that is built from three lead-cars, two facing forward and one facing backwards. The lead cars were used because they are the only cars in the design to have a full set of front and back wheels, while the rest of the standard cars, like on Quimera, are connected trailer style to the car in front and only have one set of wheels of their own at the back of the car.
(9/28/19) A tragic roller coaster accident at La Feria Chapultepec Magico park in Mexico City, Mexico left two riders dead and causing serious injury to others. According to local news articles the accident took place on the park’s Quimera roller coaster (Schwarzkopf) sometime after 1pm when the last car of the train seemed to rip away from the rest of the train and fall to the ground.
While the footage isn’t that great, the accident was actually caught on video and can be seen only briefly. If you watch, keep an eye on the last car of the train as it passes through the frame after going through the vertical loop and you can see that something is very wrong with it, appearing as if the back set of wheels has already come loose from the train and it is trying to rip free from the car in front of it.
Such a horrible tragedy... our thoughts go out to the family, friends and staff who are dealing with this incident right now.
Philippines - (10/8/19) According to this update on the fire at Star City the investigation has reported that they believe the fire was a result of arson. Park management says they don’t know anyone with motive to start the fire. According to the Fire Marshal they believe it was arson because entirely different sections of Star City caught on fire simultaneously.
(10/3/19) I don’t know much about the Star City theme park in the Philippines, but according to news reports a fire broke out in a stockroom and quickly spread across much of the park last night. The damage is severe enough that park officially have already stated that Star City will remain closed from now through the entire Christmas season at the very least.
Poland - (1/16/20) Wiegand.waterrides is celebrating the first SlideWheel in Europe with the opening of Aquaspinner at Aquapark Reda in Poland this week. It is worth mentioning that the first SlideWheel opened at Chimelong Water Park in Guangzhou, China back in 2018. As then, I find myself fascinated to see these SlideWheels in action, as rafts full of riders work their way forwards and back through the tangled mess of tube as it spins like a ferris wheel. Watch the video below to see the new Aquaspinner in action.
Qatar - (2/24/20) It has been quite some time since we’ve seen anything new about the Doha Oasis park in Qatar, but we finally get a look at the progress taking place INSIDE the actual indoor park space as themed structures and buildings are being finished up along the pathways. The latest update also includes a look at a park layout map and even a look at the Premier Rides launched coaster.
(1/17/19) Some new pictures of the Doha Oasis park in Qatar can be found at ThemeparX as they prepare to finish things up and hopefully open sometime in 2019. The park has even posted an animated teaser video that appears to show off how the park’s secret Dragonfire coaster will work, backing up out of the station up into that large spike track before dropping down through the station again and into the main spaghetti-bowl of twisted-trackwork that makes up the majority of the ride experience. No word on if there will be effects in there, or if riders will take it on in complete darkness.
(6/16/18) In development and construction for a long time, a layout drawing for the Dragonfire coaster from Premier Rides going into Qatar's Adventure Island indoor / underground theme park were posted to Facebook (See below). From the look of things the coaster will enter onto launch track section and after a quick track switch, it will be launched backwards at high speed up into a vertical twisted spike track, which is apparently enclosed within a visible glass enclosed spire that shoots up from the ground above the park. There are actually two such spires over the park, so I'm not sure what will be inside the other one, unless it is perhaps a drop tower ride of some kind.
A great shot of the park down below showing off the tangled mess of red coaster track for Dragonfire can also be found at ThemeparX.
(11/11/17) An interesting attraction concept has been slowly... very slowly... under construction in Doha, Qatar that has been going by the name Adventure Island I believe for some time. I think I first heard about it back around 2014 or so, then I heard it appeared that construction had kind of begun in 2016. Jump ahead to the present day and new photos of the site have appeared on ThemeparX showing that things have progressed quite far on the project... though threre is still a long way to go on it.
As you can guess by the location, this will be a sort of mini indoor and underground theme park experience, but one that is supposed to topped out with a large Premier Rides launched shuttle coaster called Dragonfire that will include a large spike(s) section of track enclosed in a giant glass air-conditioned tower structure. While we can't see any sign of the coaster track, you can clearly see a pair of towers on site that match up to what was described so long ago.
From what I'm told the Adventure Island park is mostly going to be in an underground enclosed environment in the center of that circle of buildings. I'm not sure if the name still holds, but the surrounding building complex was to be called the "Doha Oasis" and even "The Eclipse" at one point, and would be a mixed-use complex containing retail, a hotel and some residential units. Last word was that they were pushing to complete it by 2018, but looks like there is still a lot of work left to do to make that timeline.
Saudi Arabia - (11/7/19) Triple Five is now working with Saudi Arabia through their American Dream subsidiary to develop “the world’s largest mixed-use entertainment and shopping center in Riyadh”. The project comes with an estimated price-tag of $5 billion that will feature theme parks, water parks and other entertainment and sports related activities as well as dining, retail and hospitality opportunities.
(8/13/19) According to Building Design + Construction the Qiddiya project that has started in Saudi Arabia is much more than the proposed Six Flags Qiddiya theme park. They refer to this as a “Giga-Project” that is expected to become the local “Capitial of Entertainment, Sports, and the Arts” for the region.
The overall Qiddiya resort plan will feature four gates attractions to be built around a central retail/dining/entertainment hub that will also feature hotels. This “Resort Core” area will feature large performance venue as well as skating and even skiing facilities.
There will also be an “Eco Core” area that will feature attractions themed to nature and wildlife, including a golf course, horse riding and a resort / spa.
Motion Core is all about experiences that a driven ‘by the science and technology of people in motion.”
There will be a “Speed Park” area, themed around motorsports, including a race track, drivers club a “Race” themed resort and more.
And finally there will be the Six Flags Qiddiya theme park, which is slated to open in 2022 and part of the Phase 1 roll-out of the Qiddiya resort project. Following this they also are planning to add a waterpark resort project as well in the future, but no word on if this will be Six Flags branded or not.
Follow the link to read the article breakdown of the entire resort project, as well as get a sneak peek at some of the resort concept art.
South Korea - (11/6/19) According to a new article the Paramount theme park in Korea is still in development as part of the Inspire IR complex. They claim that attention to the storytelling being done in the park will set it apart from the competition. The first phase of Insprie IR is set to open in 2022 and will feature a five-star hotel, arena, convention center and casino. The Paramount Korea theme park is expected to follow this and be ready to open in 2025 and be followed by other new attractions, developments and evn a waterpark by 2031.
They promise new attractions will be in the park themed to popular Paramount properties: Mission Impossible, The Italian Job, Tomb Raider, Star Trek along with a Korean themed K-Pop themed area that will feature a “water roller-coaster” with on-board audio to be called Idol.
(12/10/18) According to a new report posted by BlooLoop, would you believe another Paramount Pictures branded theme park project is now being planned? This one will go to South Korea as part of the “Inspire” resort coming to South Korea from the Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment. According to the report construction on the huge resort project will begin in 2019, with “Phase 1A”, to open in 2022 that will feature a 5-Star hotel, a 15,000 seat performance arena, casino, and a domed space that will include a pool, some small rides, as well as dining and retail space. The announced Paramount theme park however is planned for “Phase 1B” that isn’t expected to open until 2025.
Taiwan - (4/13/20) The Taiwan government is now setting rules to restrict attendance at their most popular theme parks to only allow for about 50% of normal capacity on any given day to prevent overcrowding issues. To enforce this they are only going to allow for half of the attraction’s parking spaces to be used, and when they are full, no one else gets in until people leave.
Thailand - (12/3/19) Five riders were thrown from a carnival ride in Thailand and the incident was caught on video from at least two angles as the lap-bar holding the riders in the left-third of the car failed. From the sound of the article, the ride operator apologised for being careless and not ensuring the restraint bar was secure, but he also said he didn’t know much about how to operate the ride, as he was running it for a friend who went on break.
(10/30/19) A new carnival themed park project has been announced for Thailand to be called Carnival Magic. With an initial $160 million investment, they hope to bring in one million guests each year to the 40-acre Thai carnival themed park that will feature four themed lands and tons of live entertainment options.
UAE - (10/31/19) Miral has announced the opening date for their latest attraction in Abu Dhabi, CLYMB Abu Dhabi. The $100 million “sporting experience” attraction is now set to open on November 29, 2019 and will feature the world’s tallest climbing wall at 140 feet along with other walls for those less experienced. It will also offer the world’s widest skydiving flight chamber that spans more than 32 feet.
(7/5/19) The Reem Mall has released concept art showing off their plans to build the world’s largest snow park in Abu Dhabi. The new attraction is planned to open in 2020 as part of the new $1.2 billion Reem Mall project, and will feature 13 different attractions. Unlike other ‘snow’ parks, this one is said to have an overall theme and story behind it, which will set it apart from all the rest.
UK - (3/30/20) While I’m not sure when the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London will reopen, they did announce just before all the attractions began to shut down that they were adding a new addition to the Harry Potter themed portion of the tour. This new addition would bring a “Slytherin common room” to the tour for the first time. At the time of the announcement the plan was to add the Slytherin room to the tour just for a limited time, from April 3 to Sept. 6, 2020.
I’m not sure if this timeline will be revised once the attraction reopens or not, but if you are a fan of all things Harry Potter, then you’ll want to make your way there when it is ready to open.
(3/23/20) Several attractions across the UK are now closing to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus this week. The list includes Alton Towers, Chessington, Thorpe Park and Paultons Park and others.
(3/15/20) Sorry Muggles… according to a tweet from Warner Bros. Studio Tour London the popular Studio Tour attraction that includes The Making of Harry Potter, will be closing temporarily starting at 8pm on Monday, March 16 that will last at least through to April 3.
(12/10/19) According to BlooLoop, an official Doctor Who attraction will open somewhere in London in late 2020. The exact location will not be made public until Spring 2020, but the attraction itself is said to be a 90-minute immersive experience with live actors that will be called Doctor Who: Time Fracture.
(10/23/19) While the Harry Potter tour attraction at Leavesden Film Studios outside London has become quite popular, bringing nearly $400 million since it first opened in 2012, I’m told that Warner Bros just bought a new attraction venue in central London called the Londom Film Museum. Currently the site is home to the world’s largest collection of James Bond movie cars, but since Bond isn’t part of the WB film library, I’ve got a feeling that the location could be transformed to have a new focus in the future. Meanwhile I’m also told that a DC Comics themed restaurant is set to open sometime in 2020 very close to the London Film Museum. It does make one ponder if some kind of DC Comics themed attraction could be added here instead.
(4/9/19) Are you a big Game of Thrones fan? HBO has announced they will open the official Game of Thrones Studio Tour in 2020, an interactive tourist attraction, at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, Northern Ireland. Think of this as a Game of Thrones themed version of the popular Making of Harry Potter studio tour at Warner Bros Studio Tour London. Follow the link to learn more and see some of the concept art.
Vietnam - (12/13/19) Triotech has announced that they have been hired to create a new interactive dark ride called “Dragon’s Spell” in 2020 at the Vinpearl Land theme park in Vietnam. Dragon’s Spell will be the first Interactive Dark Ride in Vietnam, designed entirely by Triotech, from the queue to the finish. The attraction will feature two pre-show experiences and the ride will use 18 four-seat cars, operating in trains of two cars each, with an estimated capacity of 800pph.
(5/22/19) Sanrio Co. has signed a deal with a local property development group to build and open a Hello Kitty theme park in Vietnam. This will be a 30,000 square-meter indoor attraction located in Hanoi, near West Lake. Look for “Sanrio Hello Kitty World Hanoi” to open sometime in 2021.