---- THE LATEST GLOBAL BUZZ ----
(9/20/18) Canada - The Void: Star Wars Secret of the Empire Is Coming To Toronto (MORE...)
(9/20/18) Russian Science Park Wants To Clone Woolly Mammoths and More (MORE...)
(9/6/18) Denmark Opens First ParadropVR Attraction
(9/4/18) UK - Marvel's Avengers STATION Coming To London (MORE...)
(9/1/18) World's Biggest Indoor Ski Park Coming to Shanghai (MORE...)
(8/10/18) Malaysia - No More Dreamworks For Movie Animation Park Studios (MORE...)
Australia - (12/12/17) The local news station report that Melbourne’s Luna Park will be adding a temporary new water ride to the park from December 23 to January 29. The ride seems to be a portable log flume named Pirate’s Revenge that features a 16 meter drop at the end. You can take a look at the ride itself as posted by the ride’s owner, Joylands Amusements.
Belgium - (5/16/17) BlooLoop has posted a follow up article about the new Comics Station Antwerp attraction that just opened in Belgium, featuring an exclusive interview with the founder and CEO, Wim Hubrechtsen. It goes into more detail about the overall attraction itself, the layout, the individual attractions development and more.
(5/4/17) Alterface has created two new interactive attractions for Belgium's Comics Station Antwerp indoor theme park attraction. One is themed to The Smurfs and allows the guests to interact by tracking a magic wand that they hold. The other is themed to Lucky Luke and puts guests in a wagon-styled room facing a screens hidden by sliding doors that open to reveal themselves as the story unfolds. The new indoor multi-story attraction just opened April 9th and you can see a bit more about it in the video below.
Brazil - (12/15/17) Brazil has taken a nice pro-active stance to help promote growth for some of their theme parks. According to an article posted to BlooLoop the Chamber of Foreign Trade has approved a tax-measure for the next six-months that will exempt five parks from paying import taxes on the investment of new equipment.
The lucky attractions are: Beach Park, Wet n ‘Wild, Blue Park, Unipraias Camboriú and Unipraias Gramado.
(8/5/17) While I had assumed that the old Playcenter park from Sao Paulo, Brazil was dead and gone for good, it seems that the owners have been working behind the scenes for a number of years now on trying to find a brand new site in the Sao Paulo area where they can build a new bigger and better theme park with the Playcenter name. From what I'm told they believe they have finally found the right site for the new park, and even have quietly gone through the entire design phase. Now it has come down to getting the financial aspects all the line up to best benefit the project, from the stock market to exchange rates.
Canada - (9/20/18) The Void location in Toronto at The Rec Room closed back on Sept. 5th in order to change over the previous Ghostbusters experience into the popular Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire experience.
(6/16/18) The new Niagara Speedway elevated go-kart track attraction is now open on the Canadian side of the falls as part of the "overhauled" Clifton Hill attractions area.
(8/24/17) A great picture of the new Niagara Speedway go-kart track under construction on the Canadian side of the falls was posted to Twitter this week. Check it out below.
(8/14/17) We don't know many details yet, but according to a local news report a 12-year-old girl fell from a carnival ride at a festival in Lac-Megantic in Quebec, Canada on Saturday. The ride isn't named, but was described as featuring "flying chairs". She was taken in for treatment with serious head wounds.
China - (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.
(6/16/18) What happens to an old coaster that no one wants to ride anymore in China? Possibly something very wonderful and fascinating. According to this article Suzhou Amusement Land in China closed in fall 2017 and is being moved to a new location about five miles away where it will reopen as Zuzhou Paradise Forest World in 2019. Many of the park's rides that were worth keeping are being moved from the old site, which is being transformed into a "technology-focused residential hub" area, the park's old Vekoma SLC coaster is being left on site in the middle of a proposed green area along the shore of a small lake in the middle of the development.
Why leave the coaster standing? If they move ahead with a proposal from a San Francisco based architect firm, the coaster structure will be transformed into a large bird aviary attraction. The artwork of the new aviary is pretty stunning to see how much of the old coaster's structure will be put to use in a new way. Look for this to happen sometime around 2020.
(6/1/18) BlooLoop reports that the newest Atlantis resort in China has opened their Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark, which is now said to be the biggest waterpark in Asia. The waterpark features 15 waterslides, all from ProSlide, as well as a full torrent and typhoon river as well as including the Atlantis' signature "Leap of Faith' body-slide that drops down through a shark-tank.
(5/19/18) Today I'm going to point you over to One Theme Park At A Time, who has posted an extensive review of the seldom seen "Soaring with Dragon" coaster at China's Hefei Wanda Theme Park. While we have seen a number of coaster "clones" appear throughout China in their theme park building-boom, some coasters just stand out as being totally unique.
Case in point, Soaring with Dragon, an Intamin LSM launch coaster with a custom layout designed to soar around the park's massive landscape features, including a giant dragon themed mountain spire. On launch wasn't enough however, as Soaring with Dragon features a triple "swing launch" feature to start off your fun, as well as a massive non-inverting loop element said to be 187 feet tall.
While the reviewer says that the overall ride experience is somewhat tame, other than the sensation of speed, it is still great to see the effort put in to creating a ride that will stand out as being forever unique to this park instead of just buying another clone off-the-shelf. I've also found a good mounted POV video to show you the action first-hand.
(4/20/18) According to this news story Entertainment One is working with China to build a Peppa Pig theme park in order to further promote the brand into the Chinese market. It is likely we'll see a lot more about this in 2019, as that will be the "Year of the Pig" in China.
(3/23/18) Some incredible looking artwork from IDEATTACK for attractions planned for China's Evergrande Fairytale World theme parks has been posted over at BlooLoop this week. They say that the rides being developed are for a 4D trackless dark ride called Pangu Creation and for a live-action stunt-show attraction called Fury of the Dragon King.
(3/6/18) BlooLoop has posted a couple of pictures of the newest Atlantis Resort waterpark at Atlantis Sanya and Aquaventure in a report about the custom made waterpark attractions installed there from ProSlide.
(12/29/17) Readers may remember seeing some concept artwork and event construction photos of a strange dueling Tilt Coaster planned for the Hefei Wanda theme park in China. I never heard much about it after that, the Golden Horse made coaster opened in late 2016 under the name, “Battle of Jungle King”.
Now a reader has posted a POV video showing off the front-row view from one of the two sides, which you can see below. Battle of Jungle King has given the two sides different names as well, Tiger and Dragon, and while the first part of the layout appears to be the same, it is said that the second half of the layouts differ a bit, with the Dragon side possibly offering an extra inversion over the Tiger side. If so, the video below appears to be of the Dragon side, as it has 3 inversions.
(12/26/17) Another bit of Giant Wheel news come our way today from our friends at BlooLoop who report that the 60 meter tall Hong Kong Observation Wheel which was set to be demolished back in the fall actually reopened this week under new management. The new operator has slashed the price of admission from HK$100 to just HK$20 with even more discounts for children and seniors.
(11/11/17) I'm told that room and attraction reservations are now being taken for the new Atlantis resort in China (Atlantis Sanya) for dates starting May 1st, 2018. Meanwhile some photos of the Aquaventure waterpark and of the resort hotel itself can be found posted to ThemeparX. An interesting construction video for the project can also be seen here showing off this unique project, as the resort tower for this Atlantis looks nothing at all like the previous two in the Caribbean and Dubai.
(11/10/17) Some crazy looking two-tone Intamin coaster track has been found at a fabrication plant that is apparently going to Wanda Guangzhou to create a unique new dueling shuttle coaster concept that will feature an Inverted coaster on one side and a standard sit-down train on the other side. Track pictures as well as concept art can be found in the Twitter post below.
(10/18/17) According to BlooLoop, Ideattack, Inc will design and build two Fairytale Theme Parks for Evergrande Group, a Chinese attraction developer as part of a new brand build-up. These will be 'all-season theme parks' built around fairy tales, myths, legendary stories and historic events, aimed at children age 2-15. The parks will feature 33 attractions mixed amongst 6 different themed areas: Splendid China, Magic Europe, Mysterious Kingdom, Adventure South America, Surfing Sea and Space Travel.
Ideattack promises that what will really make these attractions stand out is the very complex and immersive storytelling that they will be creating to help interweave the various lands and attractions.
(9/14/17) According to a news article the Hong Kong Observation Wheel was shut down recently and is expected to be torn down any day now, if it hasn't already. The wheel was running at the site for about 3-years.
(9/9/17) China's largest marine park operator, Haichang Ocean Parks Holdings, has announced that they are looking into plans to build three or four more marine themed parks along China's planned new Silk Road trade initiative that could see the parks built in other countries like India, Africa or in the Central Asia region.
(8/24/17) I saw this unique creation posted on Twitter a bit ago by VHCoasters, showing off an attraction concept I had never seen before anywhere else in the world. Would you believe a 1.3 kilometer long glass-bottom water slide was been built in the Taihang Mountains, essentially a water version of an Alpine Coaster. Check out the pictures in the post embedded below.
(5/15/17) Some fun pictures showing off a unique racing/dueling pair of coasters (Sit-Down vs Inverted) planned for the Wanda Guangzhou park were posted on twitter in a pair of tweets. While the posted wonder if they could be a Premier Rides or Intamin creation, I too have to wonder if they might be something new from Vekoma as well, who previously built a Sit-Down vs Inverted coaster pair for Universal Studios Singapore. Anyone know more?
(5/14/17) According to a news article a new small indoor theme park based around the world of Hello Kitty is planned to open in Shanghai in October 2018, taking over three floors (8, 9 and 10) of the Shanghai Mart Retail Mall.
(5/11/17) Wow, talk about scary. Pictures posted to The Sun show off a high-thrill ride in China called Wild Screams, which appears to be a Skyscraper style high-speed spinning propeller style ride where a few riders are loaded into seats on the far end of the propeller as it spins around. In this extremely frightening case, the say that one of giant propeller like ride SNAPPED in mid-ride, and left the terrified riders dangling in mid air for hours before rescue workers could figure out how to get them down. Seriously, make the jump and look at the photos... I don't know what kept the severed piece of the ride from falling to the ground, it must have been connected by some kind of back-up safety cable system or something.
(4/20/17) IDEATTACK has revealed some design artwork for the new Yangshuo Resorts World in Guangxi, China that include the breathtaking Hotel Vertigo. The resort project will feature a lot of beautiful natural landscape features mixed in with a project that will eventually include a theme park, water park, several resorts as well as cultural and sporting facilities. Hotel Vertigo however has to be seen to be believed, as the plan is to build the hotel onto the top of one of the "karst hills", wrapping it around the top, and down into the rock itself, of the natural landscape. At the peak of the hill, the resort will also have it's own private helipad.
The artwork for the theme park is also quite impressive and features another unique coaster that wraps itself around the mountain shaped landscape of the park. Follow the link to head over to BlooLoop to see it all for yourself.
(3/30/17) Thrillography is back with another report about several of the smaller regional theme parks in China, featuring coverage of Happy Valley Shanghai, JinJaing Action Park, and the Oriental Pearl Tower. Check it out!
(3/17/17) VHCoasters has tweeted out a few more pictures taken inside that new indoor Wanda theme park under construction in Nanning this week.
(3/13/17) VHCoasters posted some great pictures of an interesting new coaster called the Phoenix Adventure going up at the indoor Wanda park in Nanning, China. Looking at the photos, the coaster track and train style kind of look similar to what Premier Rides built for Universal's Revenge of the Mummy coasters, though this could be a knock-off design from a Chinese manufacture. Anyone know for sure?
(1/11/17) InPark reports that construction has begun on a few large projects that will be part of the "Qingyuan Chimelong International Forest Resort" project in China. This will be a resort / park concept with a nature and wildlife theme, with construction starting on the 88-meter tall "Giraffe Castle" structure (seriously... see the artwork of it) along with what is described as being the world's largest aviary (5 hectares). A large 3,500 animal themed hotel building is also under construction that will feature large balconies offering guests a view of real wildlife from their hotel rooms. Look for the first phase to open as early as 2019.
(4/13/16) Our friends at BlooLoop have the scoop on a new theme park design from IDEATTACK for a $225m project for the Chuzhou Theme Park in Anhui Province, China. The article says that the new theme park is slated to open in 2017 and will feature 37 main attractions and shows, divided up into 7 themed zones: Dream City, Colorful China, Space Terminal, Fantasy World, Silk Road, Wandong County, and Chaos.
(2/11/16) BlooLoop has the scoop on the plans for Eontime World, a new indoor theme park planned for Yinchuan City, China. The indoor park, coming in at a cost of $100 million, is designed as a family friendly attraction with three themed zones: A City/Palace zone, Oasis & Water, and Desert & Sky. The three are tied together with a story about how water brought new life to the desert, resulting in a beautiful Oasis-City area in between. They’ve also got the list of nearby two dozen attractions and concept art as well, so make the jump and check it out.
(12/22/15) According to the Hollywood Reporter, Nickelodeon has struck a deal with a pair of Chinese partners to open a Nickelodeon branded attraction in Southern China by 2020, in Shanshui New Town. The new attraction is estimated to cost aproximately $1.85 billion and will feature characters and attractions based on SpongeBob, Dora and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more.
(5/12/15) Construction has begun on the third Atlantis Resort in China. Pictures of the work done so far has been posted to ThemeparX. You can also see a bit more at the official AtlantisSanya.com website.
Denmark - (9/6/18) According to our friends at BlooLoop, the world's first ParadropVR, a new immersive attraction has opened in Denmark's Universe Science Park. The attraction mixes virtual reality with real physical motion as guests are seated for a virtual paragliding experience. The attraction is the development of Frontgrid and Simworx and features motion units that go up and down motion with sudden drops and smooth deceleration to create the sensation of flying through the sky.
Egypt - (2/9/18) I’m not sure how legit this story will turn out to be, but according to this report Egypt claims to have signed a contract to build a “Disneyland-style amusement park” on a 5080-acre site in the coastal city of Matrouh. No solid timeline was given, other than to say that the project would be complete within 9 to 10 years. That’s a long time for things to go sideways and see cost estimates escalate through the roof, so forgive me if I seem to lack confidence in this project seeing the light of day.
Europe - (6/22/18) Our friends at BlooLoop have compiled a list of 21 brand new family rides that are being added to parks all around Europe for the 2018 season. Perfecting timing as the summer season has arrived and it serves as a great reference as theme park lovers make their future trip plans. Some of these had even escaped my own gaze up until now.
France - (6/29/18) What is being described as the first "waterproof" VR attraction has opened in France at O'Gliss Park. They call it Run the River and it is an outdoor attraction where guests put on VR headseat and have a seat inside what looks like a large inflatable raft. The raft is sitting on top of a motion base however and loaded with a variety of special physical effects gags like wind and water squinters. Run the River features two such boats, each able to hold 20 riders at once. If you want to see it in action, follow the link and click on the video showing off some test riders taking it for a spin.
(4/20/18) A quick look at the construction of the new Zierer coaster going into the OK Corral attraction in France can be seen here.
(9/4/17) I really don't know anything about this attraction, but according to an article at Disney & More the Jardin' d'Acclimation park in Paris will be getting a 60 Million Euro upgrade between now and Spring 2018 that will add a Jules Verne steam-punk style theme to the park as well as 17 new rides and attractions. From what I can see the park is very old, with the site being opened as a zoo back in 1860 by Napoleon III before turning into a children's leisure park in the 1930's. Currently the attraction is run by LVMH in a partnership with Compagnie des Alpes (CDA) who just signed a new 25 year contract to continue operating the site through to at least 2041.
Germany - (7/27/18) Back around IAAPA time I heard about an odd new waterslide concept that they were claiming would be the world’s first “Wind-Powered Waterslide”. A prototype track was built, but honestly it didn’t look all that exciting, but it was small, flat and rather uninspired, built just to prove the concept worked. Now it seems the first full scale version opened at Aquamagis Plettenberg (Germany) back on June 30th and they’ve got some video footage to show off of the high-speed runs on “Storm Force 1”.
The concept is from the minds of Swiss waterslide maker, Klarer.
(7/19/18) Therme Erding, the second largest "thermal bath complex" in Europe has added a pair of new attractions from waterslide designer, "wiegand.maelzer". The first is called The BIG WAVE, and it uses a stainless steel waterslide design that features some big drops down into a two large half-pipe style structures.
Also just opened is VR Slide, a new system of adding waterproof VR headgear to a waterslide, with a system so users can even select different VR worlds of to experience if they ride again later.
(10/4/17) According to images from Twitter, the Karls Erlebnis-dorf park in Germany will be adding their first coaster in 2018 called K2. This appears to be a new family-friendly coaster design from ABC Rides.
Indonesia - (6/7/18) BlooLoop reports that Turner Asia Pacific and The MAJ Group have announced plans to build a Cartoon Network themed "waterpark and indoor entertainment center" in Bali by 2020. For the rest of the details and to see some concept artwork follow the link.
Israel - (3/8/18) Every time a far away country not known for having any theme parks begins to brew plans to actually build one, why is it the media always seems to plaster their headlines claiming that a “Disneyland” or “Disney Style Park” is coming to that far-away land? Can they not be honest with the news? The reality is that virtually nothing out there that they could build would qualify as being classified as a “Disney” style park. Heck… even a couple of Disney’s own follow-up parks had a tough time with critics as qualifying for that honor when they first opened, so enough of the click-bait style headlines please.
With that gripe out of the way, what the media is actually trying to say is that a theme park called “Park of Wonders” is in the planning stage for Israel, in the city of Dimona. Of course if you real some of these actual articles, the way they write about the park seems like a complete fabrication, claiming it will be a “Jewish-themed Disneyland-like amusement park”, “designed by the same company that developed Disney’s Magic Kingdom”. Umm… wouldn’t that be The Walt Disney Company? Nope… they’re not involved here… so I’m not buying that, or the quote that “The park will have the same rides and the same layout” from the CEO of the project.
Of course this is immediately followed by details about how the park will have five themed lands: Oasis, World of Spirits, World of the Jewish Nation, World of Society and World of Time. Will it happen? M’eh…. I’m highly skeptical it will ever get built, but I’ve learned to say never say “never”, because with the right amount of money, anything can happen. According to the article, they are relying on the project to be funded by private investors, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Italy - (6/4/18) Good news for the new FICO Eataly World "theme park" of food that opened in Italy last year. According to this report the new concept has already hosted 1.5 million guests since it opened in November.
(9/9/17) Italy is getting ready to open a theme park for Foodies this November called FICO Eataly World. The new attraction will open in Bologna and is being called 'the world's largest agri-food park', filling a 2-hectares site, allowing guests to view fields planted with 2000 different crops, and barns with over 200 animals. The experience will offer six different tour options to work up your appetite for the over 40 restaurants and kiosks allowing you to eat your way through the park, and over 100 shops where you can pick up your favorite items to take home and cook yourself. The $106 million project hopes to attract up to 10 million guests per year.
Japan - (7/26/18) Huge news for Japan this week, as the country has voted to approve new laws to allow casinos in Japan. According to a report at BlooLoop the new laws will allow casinos to be built as part of an "integrated resort", which essentially means that the casinos must be part of a resort that has other things to offer, from conference and convention faculties to "other forms of entertainment", with the gaming space to be no bigger than 3% of the total floor place.
Only three casino licenses will be issued at first as they test the program and due to concerns over addiction to gambling, Japanese citizens will have to pay a 6,000 Yen entry fee to visit the casino, and will be limited to only 3 visits a week, up to 10 total for each month. It should be worth noting that International visitors to Japan however will not have such limitations, and will be allowed to enter for free. Pretty much every major casino company in the world is now working to be one of the first to get into the Japanese market, including some interesting from local video game companies like Sega and Konami. The later shouldn't be too much of a surprise however, as Konami already has a large division who creates a large number of casino gaming machines for customers around the world.
(7/21/18) The world's first amusement park themed to Paddington Bear opened in Japan this week just outside of Tokyo in Sagamihara. The amusement park is called Paddington Town and is a bit on the small side, said to only be 4,420 square meters with just five attractions. Fortunately Paddington Town is actually an addition to a larger attraction area called Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest, which is owned by the same company behind Fuji-Q Highland. It seems to be more of a nature park, with a chairlift and a few rides at the top of a mountain plus the "Monster Muscle" extreme ropes course, but is really best known for their amazing seasonal light displays after dark.
(7/6/18) Studio Ghibli has released some new concept artwork for the proposed theme park they want to built in Japan. Since the park was announced in 2017 we've see a lot of art showing off the look of lands and buildings, but really no details about what kind of attractions and rides the park will offer.
The park will feature various lands themed after the studio's animated films that will include Princess Mononoke Village, Witch Valley (from Howl's Moving Castle and Kiki's Delivery Service) and Dondoko Forest (My Neighbor Totoro), a well as a recreation of part of the castle itself from Howl's Moving Castle. There is still plenty of time for more information to come however, as the park is not slated to open until 2022 on the former site of Expo 2005 world's fair in Aichi Prefecture.
(4/29/18) Yukendoit is back with a new video where he visits Hirakata Park, which made some headlines last year when they offered a weird special promotion that involved guests paying to have "bad-guy" characters pretend to attack them in the middle of the park, so they could fight them off to impress their dates. Yep... that was a thing, you may recall when we reported on interesting headline as well, though I was always curious to see how it actually went down in real life.
(4/26/18) The long planned Studio Ghibli theme park project is now said to be delayed by an additional two years, not opening until 2022 at this point. The latest update to BlooLoop however does add some new concept artwork for the project coming to Nagoya, Japan.
(4/17/18) According to BlooLoop, a brand-new theme park based around around Moomins... the creation Finnish author/illustrator Tove Jansson, is now set to open in Japan in March 2019. Moonin Valley Park, a $140 million / 15.8 hectares park, is said to be similar to the Moominworld attraction already open in Finland.
So there you go... now I'll just have to figure out exactly what a Moomin is. Based on some artwork, they kind of look like a cross between an upright walking Hippo and those characters on the Nerds candy boxes.
(1/20/18) The giant oval ferris wheel in front of Don Quihote in Osaka has reopened and as I thought, Yokendoit dropped by to take a ride and show off the entire crazy area in his latest video trip report from Japan. Of course, this turned out to be a bit more funny than I expected... it seems he isn't fond of heights. Check it out below.
(1/17/18) According to Vice a new theme park based around the creations of Studio Ghibli’s animation characters and worlds could be brought to life in Japan by 2020. The new 2020 date was dropped during a press conference featuring Toshio Suzuki (Ghibli Producer) and the Governor of Aichi prefecture. The area makes sense as the existing EXPO Park there already features a replica of the home from Ghibli’s “My Neighbor Totoro” and it seems likely that Expo Park site may be used for this new project.
(1/12/18) According to CNN the bizarre looking oval-shaped wheel in Osaka known as the Dotonbori Ferris Wheel (or Ebisu Tower) which has sat closed for nearly a decade now will actually reopen on January 19th. The famous landmark, built into the side of the Don Quijote 24-hour discount mall building only ran for a few years, opening in 2005 and closed in 2008 due to mechanical problems. After years of guest requests, the 254 foot tall oval-shaped wheel will reopen, offering guests a 15-minute round-trip ride experience.
I hoping we’ll have a video trip report from our friend Yukendoit on YouTube when it reopens to share as well. No pressure man… LOL…
(8/14/17) A pair of workers at were struck by an empty train on the Jupiter wooden roller coaster that was making test runs at Kijima Kogen park in Beppu, Japan. The two maintenance workers were said to be checking the coaster track when they were struck by a car and thrown to the ground about 2 meters below, killing one and seriously injuring the other. Operations of the coaster have been suspended for the time being and the park has placed the blame on a lack of communication as track inspections should not have been underway at the time of the incident (around 3:30pm) while the staff were on hand to perform test runs on the coaster in order to add a second train to accommodate the crowds.
(8/9/17) Remember when the Mayor of a small Japanese town went on social media with the crazy idea of a hot springs public bath theme park, along with a wacky concept video? The video went viral and the Mayor said there was enough interest to look into doing it for real... and we figured that was the end of it. Nope!
Looks like the town of Beppu went ahead and opened a real 'Onsen' amusement park concept. Yukendoit has posted his take on it below.
(6/14/17) According to a news article, several official Pokemon themed Escape Room style attractions are expected to open in Japan next year as part of a promotion for a new Pokemon film opening in 2018.
In other news several news articles announced that a Studio Ghibili theme park was in development to open in 2020. Studio Ghibili is the Japanese animation studio behind hit Japanese films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. This wont be a typical theme park experience, but more of an interactive world adventure / experience style attraction, where any kind of video or photography would be banned and guests will have to make a reservation to visit weeks, if not months, in advance.
Luxembourg - (2/16/17) I don't know much about exactly what is planned, but BlooLoop has posted an interesting article mentioning that a new theme park called Adventure Valley is being planned for Durbury, Luxembourg, the small European country that sits nestled between the Southern end of Belgium and western Germany. According to the report the plan includes a €100 Million park across a 350 hectares site, with hopes to open by 2020. Anyone know more about this project?
Macedonia - (4/28/17) According to this news report a new theme park project is in development for Macedonia (north of Greece) for the capital city of Skopje. Right now they are calling it, "New Luna Park" and it will feature 27 rides, including one coaster, and replace an existing small park. If all goes well, they hope to open it by 2018.
Malaysia - (8/10/18) According to a report at BlooLoop the developers of the Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) project have called off their plans for a Dreamworks themed amusement section after negotiations with Dreamworks failed to go anywhere. The Dreamworks attraction zone will be renovated to remove all the Dreamworks IP related items and it will likely open without any new themeing.
(4/20/18) According to an article on BlooLoop, a political party in Malaysia is pushing plans to build three new theme parks in the Johor area. They want the area to become a tourism powerhouse for the region, a destination to compete for tourism with the likes of Singapore and other nearby destinations.
They mentioned building a new tourism center at the Desaru coast, the world's first "science fiction theme park" near Legoland Malaysia and an "eco entertainment park" in Kota Tinggi. The article also confirms that the new Sea Life Aquarium attraction under construction next to Legoland Malaysia is expected to open by the end of this year.
(1/17/18) Plans are now in place to build the world's HIGHEST Ferris Wheel in Malaysia. Read that one carefully... not the tallest... but HIGHEST. According to an article posted to BlooLoop, the Skywheel will be themed to look like a giant watch face and installed 200 meters off the ground on a crossbar between two towering buildings in Juala Lumpur. The $214 million project is expected to be complete by 2021. Follow the link to see the crazy looking concept artwork.
(12/20/17) According to this article, the world’s longest waterslide is planned to open late next year at the Escape amusement and waterpark in Penang, Malaysia. The length of the slide is said to be so long that riders will have to travel by chair-lift 420 meters just to reach the top of the slide. The slide and a nearby zipline will open as an attraction area called Gravityplay in December 2018. As for the exact length of the slide itself… it is expected to be around 1km.
(10/14/16) BlooLoop reports that the Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) attraction in Malaysia has signed a deal to buy an Intamin 10 Inversion coaster. The park is currently under construction still but hopes to open by December 2016. Meanwhile you can learn more about this new theme park project here.
(9/10/15) I dug up a few more details can be found about that proposed Ubisoft theme park in Malaysia. This will not be a large traditional theme park, but instead will be an indoor 100,000 sqft facility, and while it will feature a few rides, they are also planning on using a lot of virtual reality style gaming experience as well as shows. So how big is 100,000 sqft? That's about the same size as your average Cabela's or Bass Pro Outdoor World megastore, which should give your a better idea of the small scale they are going for with this Ubisoft park.
The project is actually part of Ubisoft’s fairly new Film & TV division, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, and is part of a partnership with Malaysian developer R. Segari Group (RSG) who co-developed the Movie Animation Park Studios attraction under construction in Malaysia, which plans to open in 2016. Look for the Ubisoft park to open as early as 2020.
Meanwhile, the Movie Animation Park Studios attraction, which is also news to me, is a combo indoor and outdoor attraction that will feature a stunt show, a DreamWorks Adventure Zone (with attractions themed to Casper, The Croods, Peabody & Sherman and Megamind), The Smurfs, a giant Starship themed restaurant, a 4D attraction themed to “BoBoiBoy” and towering over it all with be the MegaMind Megadrop themed 20-story tall drop tower ride.
(9/7/15) In today's crazy bit of news, the popular video game developer Ubisoft has announced their intention to open a theme park in Kuala Lampur (Malysia) in 2020 that would be feature worlds and attractions themed around their popular video game titles. While no specific titles were mentioned, Ubisoft is best known for games like Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Prince of Persia, Rayman, Rabbids, Just Dance and the whole slew of military style Tom Clancy titles like: The Division, Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell.
Mexico - (6/1/18) Huss released details about an interesting new attraction concept, based on old proven technology. Meet the "Explorer" a film based media attraction that will first premier in Mexico in 2019 at the Amikoo Resort Destination Theme Park. Essentially they are taking one of their Huss Sky Tower attractions designs, but building it in reverse, where riders will load at the top of the shortened shaft into a cabin themed like a submarine. The cabin will then descend down the tower structure, as if going under the surface of the ocean, where it will be surrounded on all sides by a giant 360º projection screen. Up to 70 riders at a time will be surrounded by views of an undersea world on all sides, along with appropriate sound-effects and even scent effects inside the cabin.
(1/9/18) Simworx has announced that they are providing an Immersive Tunnel attraction to be installed as part of the first phase of the new Amikoo Resort Destination Theme Park in Mexico. This will be for the “Piratas de Bacalar” attraction, themed around the area’s historical pirates, as riders will help defend the San Felipe Bacalar Fort. According to the press release this will be a new version of Simworx Immersive Tunnel attraction, using a single 60-seat 3DOF motion base themed as a giant pirate galleon. (Other versions use a 30-seat motion base)
(1/17/18) The owners of the Xcaret attractions in Cancun have announced that a 7th attraction called Xavage will soon begin construction next to the existing Xoximilco attraction, even using some of the same property. It is described as an adventure park like their Xplor attraction, but with an entirely different kind “extreme activities” feel, allowing guests to explore while riding on large all-terrain vehicles.
Adding to the atmosphere, a real water basin will surround the galleon at all times, which also allows for other unique special effects to be added to the experience, including wind, water spray and more. (note: concept artwork also shows real cannonball splash like effects in the water as well as real tenticle looking things rising out of the water around the boat as well.) “Amikoo has also opted for a hybrid-type, 7m high Immersive Tunnel screen with the whole system being a 4K audio visual solution.“
Simworx has also brought Jora Vision onto the job as well for the themeing elements in the attraction, which is described as a “standalone attraction within the resort” and part of an overall 50 minute long experience, involving a series of pre-show experiences leading up to the main ride element. The attraction building will also house a restaurant and retail outlets as well, and is expected to be installed by March 2019, as part of Amokoo’s first phase build out which is expected between the end of 2018 to March 2019.
(12/21/17) It has been confirmed that Phase 1 of the Amikoo theme park in Mexico will open in 2018 and will include a new “Fly Over Mexico” flying theater attraction, with the ride hardware provided by Brogent. This will be the first Brogent i-Ride Flying Theater attraction in Latin America. I had the pleasure of trying out one of Brogent’s i-Ride Flying Theaters at Europa Park (Voletarium) six months ago and it was a wonderful addition to that park.
(10/6/17) According to this article a new attraction will be ready to open in Cancun (in the “Hotel Zone”) sometime in January 2018. Construction is nearing the final phases for “Parque Maya De Cancun”, also referred to as “Mayan Park”. It will feature a themed park experience with zip lines, a “boat trip through the Nichupte lagoon” with the Museum of Cancun in the front, the Ruins of Rey and offer various tours as well. The article mentions there will be rides as well, but does not go into any detail on what we can expect.
(9/22/17) We’ve got an update on that Amikoo “theme park” announced for Mexico. At first I’m thinking that the phrase “theme park” may not describe the concept properly, as it instantly brought to mind something along the lines of a Six Flags style park and that is not what this will be. This seems to be more of a concept for a highly themed resort complex that will feature hotels, restaurants, shopping… and yes… some themed rides and attractions as well mixed in here and there.
I’m told that the project will be built up in phases, with the first phase set to include a 320-room hotel, the Museum of Archeology and Mayan Anthropology, a flight simulator attraction, an “underwater travel simulator”, the already announced Los Piratas de Bacalar attraction, as well as a shopping/dining area, a convention center, a wave pool and a concert facility… all by the end of 2018.
Based on a video tweeted out (see below) by the President of Mexico the flight simulator will be called “Fly over Mexico” and appears to be part of the Museum area. Based on the video it appears to be using a Brogent I-Ride flying theater setup, which if it ends up anything like the Voletarium attraction just added to Europa Park that I reviewed over the summer, I’d expect it to be quite stunning!
Then there is that underwater simulator attraction, called Mares de Mexico, which is quite a different looking attraction indeed. Based on the brief animation clip, it looks like you will climb into a round cabin that looks more like what you would expect to sit inside on an observation tower ride, except this one will lower down into a mock-underwater style world where you will be surrounded all around a projection screen system for a journey into the world beneath the waves.
Los Piratas de Bacalar will take you through a journey into the world of the Pirates that roamed this area of the world, eventually leading you to climb on board a small pirate ship to go on a water-version of an immersive tunnel style experience ride.
Phase 2, expected to be built up between 2019 and 2020 is expected to see more hotels and restaurants added of course, as well as a more dedicated style actual theme park to the resort that will feature several themed attraction areas. They are calling this “Amikoo Park” with lands named: Maya Discovery, Amikoo Land, Maya Xtreme, and Maya Adventure. Maya Discovery appears to be the more educational side of things (more like Disney’s Epcot) while Maya Xtreme will feature things like Ziplines, Zip Coasters, Ropes Courses and the like along with what appears to be a highly themed river ride where the riders are armed with water cannons. Maya Adventure will be the place for the big traditional theme park style rides… big water splashdowns, flip you upside-down flat rides, a roller coaster and more. Amikoo Land, which sounds like it could be a kiddie land at first, is much more as the artwork shows off an amazing dark ride system that looks to use the same style giant robot-arm style ride hardware that Universal used for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey dark ride. Another dark ride shown here also appears to use the same dark ride / powered coaster ride system created by Mack Rides for their award winning indoor/outdoor Arthur ride. All together, Amikoo Park is said to feature at least 24 “state-of-the-art rides”.
The question now is… have they started construction on Phase 1 yet? That is still a lot to built in 12-15 months. The entire site for the project is 300-acres, though over 200 of them will be left undeveloped as a preserved nature spot.
(9/20/17) I'm not sure how serious this is, but according to this ABC News story , a new $840 million theme park project called Amikoo has been announced for Mexico on the Caribbean coast just north of Playa del Carmen. According to the article, they say the first phase will open by late 2018, but that sounds a little fast to me, so I need to see and know more about this project before I believe it.
Norway - (3/17/17) BlooLoop reports that a new Norse / Viking themed park is planned for Norway to open in 2020 to be called Thor's Rike. Some neat looking concept art and more details are available if you follow the link.
Philippines - (4/4/17) According to our friends at BlooLoop a new small theme park has broken ground in The Philippines. According to the article it will cost just $12 million and be called Magic Island and located in Barangay Guinhalaran, Silay City. The park will take up a 3.75-hectare site and hopes to open by Summer 2018.
Poland - (1/21/18) Time for a new trip report to a new park I've never heard of before... Zatorland in Poland. I'm told that Zatorland is probably about a 5-10 minute drive down the road from Poland's more famous theme park... Energylandia, but has some unique charms all to itself and a small collection of themed lands with giant static and animatronic animals. The park is known for having the biggest collection of Animatronic Dinosaurs in all of Poland and "Park of Insects", which is much like the the Dinosaur section, but full of giant freaking bug figures that could cause nightmares for some. Check out the amusing trip report posted to Flying Pirouettes.
Qatar - (6/28/18) BREAKING - A new theme park based around Rovio's popular Angry Birds video games is now opening in Qatar. The park will feature a "variety of heart-pounding rides and attractions inspired by the Angry Birds brand, such as the Trampoline Universe, Own the Sky roller glider, and a go-kart racing track". The first indoor phase of the park is already open, and construction ongoing on a new outdoor section to open at a future date. The attraction is located in Doha Festival City inside a 17,000 square meter space. Take a look at it in the video below.
(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.
Russia - (9/20/18) A newly proposed Russian science park project that is seeking funding to build a peleo-genetic scientific center that will attempt to recreate extinct animal species from the ice age, including the massive Wooly Mammoths. Yep… if they get the funding and move forward they claim they could bring Woolly Mammoths back to life within ten years along with other ice age era mammal species.
Dang if this don’t sound like an Ice Age version of Jurassic Park… but in the words of Dr. Ian Malcolm, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Like the dinosaurs, the Mammoths “had their shot, and nature selected them for extinction.”
Singapore - (6/10/17) According to various news sources the Singapore Airport has plans to add a small jungle themed park as an attraction by 2019 that will offer scenic views, slides, a maze and a giant unique waterfall. Follow the link to see some of the unique artwork.
South Korea - (3/17/18) Wanna see something cool? Check out this new 360º spherical theater designed to allow for a "VR" style experience, without the headgear. Able to hold 45 people at once, the one in the video is currently running in South Korea at the Lucerium National Science Museum.
(2/2/18) It sounds like this is a little different from the one that opened in the US, but there isan official “The Marvel Experience” now open in Busan, South Korea from Hero Ventures that opened back in the Fall. While you can see the official website here, the site of their online ticket-seller seems to break down the various phases of the walk-through exhibit fairly well.
(11/12/17) Over the years there has been talk of a sort of odd attraction concept planned for South Korea called Robot Land. It's been sort of an on and off affair for years, and while the project was thought to be dead, it appears it not only may be back on track, but under construction according to a few photos posted to ThemeparX. The project's website is also up and running and up to date with press updates for what they describe as "The center of the Robot Industry in Korea"
Also of interest is a mention in the Zamperla news letter on page 6, which talks about how a Thunderbolt coaster clone is on the way to another park in China, at the very end they confirm that another Thunderbolt style coastrer is also "scheduled to open next year in Mason Robotland, South Korea". This news letter is dated June 2017, so this does seem to confirm there is still life in the Robot Land project yet.
(8/17/17) Lionsgate has announced plans to open an outdoor Lionsgate theme park in South Korea to be called Lionsgate Movie World. The park would be a centerpiece attraction to the Jeju Shinhwa World resort area on Jeju Island. The big surprise is that they claim that construction will start sometime in 2018 and see the park open sometime in 2019, which is a heck of a fast timetable. According to several articles various themed lands will be in the park based on your favorite films including: The Hunger Games, the Twilight Saga, Now You See Me, and even an upcoming Robin Hood film.
Spain - (9/15/17) The world of Westeros from the hit Game of Thrones series on HBO will be brought to life as part of a new 10,000 sqft touring “Game of Thrones: The Touring Exhibition” exhibit this fall. The global tour of the exhibit will begin at the Museu Maritim in Barcelona, Spain on October 28th. The exhibit is full of images and artifacts from the series, allowing fans to get up close and personal with authentic props, costumes and set decorations from the HBO series.
Things begin in Spain and you can pre-order tickets here for dates between October 28, 2017 through to January 7, 2018. Afterwards, the next destination is still a closely guarded secret.
(3/27/17) According to this article, a few attractions have been mentioned for the overhaul of the Tivoli World amusement park, including a mini Formula 1 race circuit, a Everest Expedition attraction and an extreme stunts arena show venue.
(3/13/17) I don't know much about the Tivoli World park in Spain, but a news report claims that developers are planning to spend €300 million to update the park area to include a hotel, cinema, some office buildings, underground parking garage and "the installation of 43 attractions" in the park itself. That sounds like quite alot... like perhaps either an error or they are planing on rebuilding the park from the bottom up... so this may be something to keep an eye out for.
Thailand - (8/9/18) According to our friends at BlooLoop the newly reopened Marvel Experience Thailand attraction, a reboot of a traveling attraction that opened and closed very briefly in the US a few years ago, will feature some new hardward in the form of DOF Robotics simulator seats installed for the 4D Cincema attraction portion of the experience. Follow the link to see the hardware being tested out in the theater.
Out of curiosity, any readers who managed to try out the Marvel Experience in the very short test runs done in the US remember how the 4D theater experience was back then?
(6/29/18) According to the official Facebook page, the delayed Marvel Experience Thailand attraction will finally be ready to open to guests today, June 29th.
(5/5/18) Remember when a car on the giant wheel at Dinosaur Park, a new attraction in Thailand, caught fire in spectacular fashion back in early May 2016? Well, things didn't go well for the park it seems and it shut down for good last month. While currently in the progress of being demolished, almost exactly two years later, the park caught fire again, and firefighters rushed on site to put it out.
(9/7/17) Anyone remember The Marvel Experience? It was a short-lived portable theme park concept themed around the Marvel comics universe, where guests would enter a large dome shaped portable S.H.I.E.L.D. base for superhero training. The Marvel Experience made it to a few early test city sites in Late 2014 to early 2015 (Phoenix, San Diego, etc…) then went dark for some final retooling before arriving at Philadelphia… only to close up shop and end the tour early shortly after in July 2015.
The official explanation was that they were closing down to improve and re-launch the experience, but nothing ever became of it. Then in Spring 2016 I caught word of a story on various Asian news sites claiming that what was left of the Marvel Experience was being packed up and shipped off for a potential tour of South Korea and Japan. Soon afterwards I was contacted by the company behind Marvel Experience and informed that the story was not true, but that they were working on something that would be announced soon.
Jump ahead to today and Hero Ventures has announced that Thailand will become home to “The Marvel Experience: Thailand” in 2018 as part of a deal that awarded a license to run the attraction to a local area company. From the look of the artwork in the background of the photo posted here, it does appear that it will use a similar domed structure for the attraction when it opens in the Bangkok area in Q2 2018.
Tunisia - (6/6/18) BlooLoop takes a look at Carthageland, a theme park property I'm unfamiliar with located in Tunisia, off the Mediterranean Sea. This is the primary Carthageland theme park (not the one in Berges du Lack) that features several mini properties (Carthageland, Aqualand, Aladin Park and Ali Baba Park) to form the one larger amusement resort. In particular, they take a look at the new King Kong themed spinning roller coaster built up along the rooftops, complete with a large animatronic King Kong figure. You can see it in action in the video clip below.
UK - (9/4/18) London based Marvel fans will soon have a new temporary attraction arrive to help scratch that Marvel Cinematic Universe itch. According to this article the traveling "Marvel's Avengers STATION" experience will open in London's Excel Center on November 29th. Guests will get to train to join the Avengers, enter Thor's Observatory, Bruce Banner's lab and the Iron Man Engineering Bay, as well as a new exhibit expansion that will feature Blank Panther, The Wasp and Thanos. Follow the link to pre-purchase tickets.
(7/26/18) While Doctor Who has never been my thing... (and honestly, I'm a big SciFi guy, but for some reason I've just never watched The Doctor before) I do recognize that the show has a huge following. With that in mind, fans of the show will be excited to know that new Escape Games are in development between the BBC and Escape Hunt for the UK. The first one will arrive this December at the Bristol Escape Hunt location, with more to follow in 2019 in Birmingham, Leeds, Oxford and Reading.
(2/2/18) Merlin has announced the addition of a £1 million Marvel Super Heroes attraction coming to the Madame Tussauds Blackpool location. The attraction will feature four different zones and cover both Marvel Comics as well as the live action films and will feature many interactive elements.
(12/24/17) The local news reports that a ride called Extreme at the North Pole Fair in Cambridge has been shut down after a rider somehow fell out and was injured. The nature of the injuries is thankfully said to be non life-threatening and the rider was taken to a local hospital for treatment. As for the ride itself, it will remain closed until further notice, though I'm not certain exactly what kind of ride it was.
(12/20/17) Curious to see what’s left of the former American Adventure theme park in the UK? Photos and drone-footage shot on sight can be seen by following the link to a local news article about the former theme park whcih closed down in 2007.
(11/23/17) According to BlooLoop, The Void has signed a deal to bring their newest VR attraction, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, to the UK, which will open in Westfield, London sometime in December 2017. Online advanced booking for the experience is already available at TheVoid.com. At the moment, London will be the location you can experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire outside of the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts, where the attraction will also open in December.
(4/4/17) According to this article planning permission for a new theme park called Gulliver's Valley Resort has been granted. The new theme park resort aimed at children (age 2-13) is planned to open in 2020 in the South Yorkshire area. Follow the link to learn a little more about the park and what attractions are planned.