---- THE LATEST GLOBAL BUZZ ----
(11/16/15) Paramount May Be Planning New Chinese Theme Park (MORE...)
(11/13/15) Universal Studios Russia - Local Rumors Say Construction To Start (MORE...)
(11/12/15) Wanda Group Looking To Build Park In Australia's Gold Coast (MORE...)
(11/5/15) Swedish Park To House Syrian Refugees Over The Winter (MORE...)
(10/30/15) Where to Find Halloween Fun In Australia (MORE...)
Australia - (11/12/15) According to this article the Wanda Group (China) is in talks with the local government to buy land for a major new theme park project at Coomera on the Gold Coast. For now they are working on obtaining the site, but once that gets done, it looks like Wanda’s theme park fever will soon be spreading.
(10/30/15) If your visiting Australia (or a local) during the Halloween season, AusParks has posted a complete rundown of what each of the parks and attractions are doing to help you decide on where to visit.
(10/26/15) According to a report at AusParks, the Jamberoo waterpark has improved their "Funnel Web" Tornado waterslide with the addition of the world's tallest spider statue placed next to it, a 20-meter tall goliath staring menacingly into the funnel at the sliders as they pass within. Follow the link to see some great pictures of it.
(10/15/15) Over the years I know I've heard more than a few rumors about a plans once being in place to build a Disney theme park in Australia. The rumors were always a bit hard to verify, but today Disney and More has posted a unique update where someone involved reveals just what happened, why the plug was pulled and who did the yanking.
(9/23/15) In an interesting twist, a former employee is now working on a plan to see Sydney's closed Wonderland theme park rebuilt and reopen. Click here to read all the details.
China - (11/16/15) According to the local news, a Paramount theme park project may be in development for the Shenzhen district of China.
(10/29/15) Gary Goddard speaks with Bloomberg about his company's work on Macau's Studio City project. The casino has attractions built in to the retail mall area like The House of Magic by Franz Harary and Batman: Dark Flight, a new Dynamic Attractions Flying Theater and that giant Figure-8 looking Ferris wheel on the outside of the tower.
(9/28/15) Variety reports that the Wanda Xishuangbanna International Resort theme park is now open, as the first outdoor theme park from the Wanda company. It reportedly cost around $2.5 billion and took about four years to build. The park's major coaster is the Harpy, a B&M Flying coaster.
(8/13/15) Goddard Group have posted a great photo of the Golden Reel, a sort of Figure-8 shaped Ferris Wheel set to open at Studio City Macau on October 27th.
(8/7/15) Goddard Group has been sharing some impressive artwork for the proposed Haichang Polar Ocean World park project planned to open in 2018 near Shanghai. So far they have shown off an overall view of the project, as well as a look at the park's three marine themed lands: Aquaria (which will also serve as the entrance), Rainbow Falls and Port Majestic.
(7/3/15) The official grand opening of the new Hello Kitty Park in China was held this week, following a soft-opening period that started back in November, when the park was only about 65% functional. The park has taken this time to fix guest criticism of the park and try to improve the experience. Click here to see pictures from the opening celebration and showing off a number of the park's attractions inside.
(6/17/15) According to a Tweet from VHCoasters, a new indoor theme park under construction in Shaoxing, China called "7 Kingdoms Mountain Pavilion" will feature a Mack Rides Spinning Coaster when it opens. You can see pictures of the coaster under construction as well as concept artwork for the park in the tweet.
(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.
(5/2/15) According to this news article, two toursts died in China when they were thrown from a brand new ride named “Scream” when the ride started moving before they were fully buckled in to their seats. This apparently took place at the Longshan Amusement Park in Pingyang, Wenzhou City, Zhejiang. Apparently the new ride had just opened for the first time that day as well. From the look of the pictures, this is likely a Chinese made knockoff of a Skyscraper style ride where a few seats are places and each end of a long arm, which is spun vertically at a very high rate of speed. A better image of the ride itself can be found here.
(4/22/15) Theme Park University is back with a new interview with Franz Harary, a master illusionist, who is opening a new $40 million attraction at the Macau Studio City Hotel and Casino (under construction in China) called Franz Harary's House of Magic in Fall 2015. They talk about his history with theme parks and stage shows and show off some concept art for the new attraction.
(4/9/15) According to the local news in China, a flat ride called the UFO broke and apparently threw at least 10 to 19 riders in the process. Visually the ride looks kind of like a Huss Super Frisbee, but I've been assured that this is a Chinese knock-off of that ride style, which has taken things a step further by adding a counter-weight to the other end so it can flip upside down as well. More pictures of the accident scene can be found here.
(1/22/15) Another huge theme park has been announced for the Shanghai area on the site next to Dishui Lake. The park will be called the Haichang Polar Ocean World and it will feature a theme park as well as a world-class marine life experience complex. The project will also include a resort hotel and is hoping to open sometime in 2017.
(9/25/14) The world’s first “Polar” theme park is now planned for Shanghai’s Pudong area. It will be called Shanghai Polar Ocean World and feature 500 species of polar animals, 20,000 types of fish, performing killer whales, polar bears, dolphins, penguins, beluga whales and more.
(1/14/14) Reuters reports that a life-sized recreation of the Titanic will be used as the centerpiece of a new Chinese themed attraction to be built in the province of Sichuan. From the sound of things the attraction will be half museum and half a simulated recreation of the disaster that sunk the ill-fated Titanic. Built at a cost of $165 million, guests will feel the ship hit the iceberg, shake and tumble as the icy cold water beings to flood in. Look for this to open by 2016.
(10/29/13) Goddard Group has announced that they have been working on the new “Shanghai Bund” Studio Theme Park Resort project that broke ground back in September. The studio / theme park project, to be built a couple of hours from Shanghai is on track to open in 2016. According to this article, one interesting attraction being shown off is called Shanghai Triad Chase, taking guests on a wild adventure ride into Shanghai’s dark underworld.
India - (3/4/15) Who's up for a Coaster Safari through India? Apparently Malcolm was and he's posted a great report of his huge trip, where he visits more amusement park attractions in India than I even knew existed. Check it out!
Iran - (8/30/14) ThemeparkX has some interesting aerial pictures of the Shahre Ghese (Story City) theme park under construction outside Tehran, the capital of Iran. The site has been cleared and buildings are already in the vertical stage. They have also posted some concept artwork of what the park should look like when finished. Progress seems slow so far, but progress is progress.
(6/6/13) New reports at ThemeparX show pictures from the site proving that construction has indeed started on the new theme park in Tehran. There was also an Anonymous posting from someone saying that the previous list of ride manufactures is incorrect, as negotiations are still ongoing with the various parties.
(6/3/13) Consider me skeptical about this one, but according to a report at ThemeparX, the first theme park in Iran is said to have begun construction. They call it the Shahre Ghese (Story City) and it is going into Tehran with the hopes of opening by 2015. Concept artwork and design have been posted from Forrec and rides in the park will be delivered by Intamin, Mack and Zamperla.
The park’s layout shows off six themed areas inside the park. Upon entering the park through the “Creation Plaza” and into a central hub like area called History Plaza. From there guests can pass to Storybook Gardens, a Science Fiction themed area, or areas referred to as The Silk Road, Adventure or The Modern.
Japan - (9/9/15) According to a Tweet from VHCoasters, Japan's Yomiuri Land park will add a new area to the park that will feature an indoor coaster when it opens in June 2016.
Malaysia - (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.
(5/19/15) Simworx has sent out a press release stating that they have been contracted to supply a new Immersive Tunnel attraction to an attraction in Malaysia. To be completed in November 2015, the Immersive Tunnel will be added to Panorama Langkawi, which currently offers SkyCab cable car rides up the Machincang mountain, a SkyBridge, SkyTrail and SkyAdventure park attractions and more.
This version will feature a 30-seat tracked tram and will use a brand new ride film called Dinosaur Island, produced exclusively for this 30-seat version of the Immersive Tram, which is available in 30, 60, 90 and 120-seat versions. Simworx is also installing an Immersive Tunnel at an FEC in Wei Hai, China this year as well.
Mexico - (8/13/15) It has been awhile since we've heard much of anything about the Cirque du Soleil park project in Mexico, but Goddard Group did post some photos on their Facebook page a couple of weeks ago, along with confirming that Phase 1 of the property should be ready to open in 2018.
(12/30/14) While we reported last month about how Cirque du Soleil was opening a new theme park concept in Mexico, but right now Cirque is also performing a very unique show experience in Mexico called Joya. ThemeParkUniversity has posted a great write-up about Joya, which isn’t held inside your typical modern theater as you would find at a Las Vegas Cirque show, but instead Joya was built out in a remote jungle area, and even features some special and very unique meal options as part of your experience and may serve as a sort of preview of the kind of experience we may see brought to life in their new theme park.
(11/14/14) I didn’t see it mentioned in the original release, but the design work on the beautiful looking Cirque du Soleil theme park planned for Mexico is actually from The Goddard Group who was great enough to send me an updated piece of concept artwork showing off the birds-eye view of the park.
Never one to miss a chance as a little self-promotion, a few more details about the park have also been posted on The Goddard Group’s Facebook page, where they did indeed confirm that there will be rides at the park when I asked. “While there will be rides (you can get a hint of one under the weather coving on the left), every single one will be a new creative experience never seen at any other park. And while we can't get into too much detail at this point, we can say that the "star" attractions here are completely new experiences that don't yet exist in the world.”
In fact, the new birds-eye view artwork was high enough resolution that I could zoom in and take a better look at the various themed areas and spot what appear to be a number of small rides and attractions spread throughout the beautiful scenery, including a ferris wheel, train, and what had at first looked like a white coaster on the right side, is actually just waterslides for the waterpark next to the wave pool.
In general, I get the feeling that the plan for this park is far bigger than what may be initially thought of as a port of call attraction for the cruise ships. In fact, it seems there are some pretty big ideas planned for this park that could prove to be game changers for the future of the themed entertainment industry.
And I can’t help but wonder if the experience of visiting this park might be a bit like watching the “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” film where a girl from the real world enters a magical otherworld where they pass through the environments of the various Cirque shows performing in Las Vegas by passing from one giant tent-world into another.
(11/13/14) Grupo Vidanta (a resort developer in Mexico) and Cirque du Soleil have announced an expanded partnership to create what they are calling the World’s First Entertainment Park Animated by Cirque du Soleil. This will be a “first-of-its-kind immersive theme park experience in Nuevo Vallarta. The entertainment experience, which is still in development, may include water park and nature park elements and will feature an outdoor evening show accommodating as many as 3,000 to 5,000 spectators. Each experience within the entertainment park will be animated by Cirque du Soleil artists and follow a common storyline.”
“Grupo Vidanta is offering us an amazing sandbox in which we can unleash our creativity,” said Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil. “Both our groups strive for perfection. Grupo Vidanta is passionate and cares for the environment. We set ourselves the challenge of creating something unlike anything the world has seen before.”
This announcement comes just ahead of the launch of JOYA, a “intimate and immersive theatrical and culinary experience” from Cirque du Soleil and Grupo Vidanta that will open in Riviera Maya on Nov. 21st.
My Thoughts: Very few actual details about the park experience itself were given, leaving room for much speculation about just what exactly this will be. Based on the few pieces of concept art I was able to find, the look of the park is stunning, but it also seems that this isn’t likely going to be your typical theme park experience, as the artwork also seems to be lacking any kind of traditional “rides” that you might expect to find in a theme park environment. Given that Cirque style experiences typically come at a premium price, I’m wondering if this park may also come with a “premium” ticket price and limited attendance numbers to allow for a higher quality experience for the guests, much like Discovery Cove in Orlando, where even your meal is included with admission. The location of Nuevo Vallarta is about a 15 minute drive north of Puerto Vallarta, a common and popular Port of Call for the many cruise ships running up and down the Pacific coast of Mexico. The area is already home to several all inclusive beach resorts, golf courses, the Aquaventuras Water Park and Dolphin Adventure where guests can swim with Dolphins, so you could easily see a Cirque themed park trying to fit into this mix of existing attractions.
Pakistan - (9/29/15) According to this article Pakistan's government is now allowing the Sindbad amusement park to reopen, after fining the owners.
(8/10/15) According to this news article the Sindbad's amusement park in Karachi, Pakistan has been closed by the government inexpertly. On the orders of the Commissioner of Karachi, authorities arrived to find a park with guests in it, and asked everyone to leave before sealing off the park. It seems the land the park sits on had a 10-year lease which had expired, and the park operators were apparently in violation of their terms of agreement as to how the park was to be run.
Now, there are actually TWO "Sindbad" parks in Karachi though... Sindbad Amusement Park and another called Sindbad's Wonderland which I believe is the actual one that was seized and closed down.
Poland - (9/23/15) Promotional signs for a new Vekoma launched coaster called Formula 1 coming to Energylandia in Poland were found posted to Twitter.
Qatar - (1/5/15) According to this report the Mall of Qatar will open by the end of 2015 and will include the first indoor Angry Birds Activity Park experience as part of a partnership between the developers and Rovio. The Mall will also include a Curio Collection hotel by Hilton, bowling and a 19 screen cinema that will feature the largest IMAX screen in the world. Other attractions in the Mall of Qatar include: Juniverse (a themed attraction for small children to experience a variety of themed environments including a space station and dinosaurs) as well as Virtusity (VR games putting guests in control of Formula 1 race cars and Fighter Jets), as well as something called Hint Hut and Clue Quest. The mall will also feature an 8-story tall rotating stage that will be used for a variety of performances.
(3/21/14) Premier Rides has confirmed than they are the company who will build the Dragonfire coaster designed for the indoor Adventure Island theme park in Qatar, part of the Doha Oasis Mall project. A few more details of the project were also released, as Premier Rides calls it a dark ride / coaster project, that will feature magnetic launch technology, cutting-edge track design, high speed switches, multi-directional movement of the vehicles and the backwards launch where riders “are shot up an extremely high vertical twisting spike that rises dramatically above the mall and is fully encapsulated to allow guests to take in the view and to appreciate just how high above the building they are while remaining in a climate-controlled environment.” The project is slated to open in 2017.
(3/20/14) ITPS (International Theme Park Services) has been hired to help design and build a $300 million theme park project in Dohar, Qatar called Adventure Island. The theme park will be crammed into a 7-acre indoor structure and feature a number of state-of-the-art thrill rides.
One in particular they are proud of will be called Dragonfire, a roller coaster that will launch backwards out of the station and up “hundreds of feet” before gravity brings them back down through the mouth of a Dragon and into a series of twists and inversions, including a corkscrew that will break through the roof of the building.
The theme of the park is about a mysterious island once inhabitated by a society that has long since vanished, leaving behind a number of interesting structures (aka: rides) powered by crystals that glow and activate when people are near.
Other attractions include a 4D theater with hanging gondolas as seats, a sky tram around the park, Starchaser (Chance Unicoaster) and Gorilla’s Revenge, a 40 ft tall animatronic Gorilla who picks up a car full of guests which I’m guessing is the rarely seen Huss/Heimo King Kong ride. (See video below) There was no word on a timeline to begin construction or when the park might open however.
Russia - (11/13/15) While I had thought that the Universal Studios Moscow project was dead, the latest update to ThemeparX reports that residents living next to the proposed site have been informed that construction will soon begin in the area, and new roads to be installed as well. According to one news report from August, they claim construction on the actual park wouldn't begin until 2017, and it wouldn't be ready to open until 2022.
(1/29/15) Screamscape sources tell us that Divo Ostrov park in Russia has signed a deal with Mack Rides to build a new launched roller coaster. The coaster is thought to be a clone, or a near clone, or the Blue Fire coaster at Europa Park. The new coaster is said to already be under construction, and hopes to be open sometime later this year.
South Korea - (11/24/14) Dynamic Structures reported on Twitter than they signed an $8 million deal to build a new unknown new ride project somewhere in South Korea. Anyone know more?
(7/17/14) 20th Century Fox has teamed up wtih Village Roadshow to build a new Fox World theme park in South Korea. The plans for the new project were announced on Wednesday, to be located in Changwon City as part of the larger Ungdong Entertainment Complex development, and hopes to open by 2018. Few details were given about the actual park itself, as they stated that it was still too early to say what attractions it will feature.
Meanwhile a report on ThemeparX, Universal Parks & Resorts CEO, Tom Williams, confirmed that the once proposed Universal Studios Korea park has been cancelled.
(2/1/14) While Screamscape has mentioned the “Robot Theme Park” project planned for South Korea in the past, the project seemed to have stalled out over the past couple of years and fell off the grid. No longer, according to this article the developers are pushing ahead with the $660 million project and hope to open Robot Land in 2016, with construction crews beginning work on the site last month.
Sweden - (11/5/15) High Chaparral, a "Western" theme park located in the Swedish countryside has agreed to house 400 Syrian refugees during the winter off-season. According to this article, the park is going to give them a real frontier inspired experience and will even teach then to ride the park's horses if they want.
UAE News - (10/20/15) New pictures showing off the signs of work taking place behind the walls for the Warner Brothers theme park project in Abu Dhabi just down the street from Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld waterpark have been posted to ThemeparX.
(5/12/15) ThemeparX report that the Warner Bros. Abu Dhabi theme park project has begun construction on Yas Island, "adjacent to Yas Waterworld".
(3/3/15) A construction wall has now been put into place around the proposed Warner Bros. theme park site in Abu Dhabi, according to pictures posted at ThemeparX. They have also posted an interesting piece of concept artwork showing off an indoor WB theme park concept that was designed for the project at one point in time.
UK - (8/12/15) A father and daughter riding a spinning mouse ride at a carnival in the UK had an unexpected surprise while shooting video of their ride, when their spinning car unexpectedly ran into the car in front of them which had become stalled on the lower end of the tracks near the end of the ride. The operators claimed the car stopped due to some complication with the rainy weather and fortunately, no one was injured in the collision in either car, but the incident is being investigated.
(7/31/15) If you've been to London over the past few years, visiting for or since the 2012 Olympics you may have come across an odd structure called the ArcelorMittal Orbit, a 114.5 meter tall structure with an observation deck at the top in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic park. If you are a Screamscape or theme park fan, I'm sure you've looked upon this structure and wondered why the designers did the obvious... and install some kind of high speed slide to ride to get back down.
Those in charge have finally agreed and set plans in motion to add a slide down the structure for Spring 2016. According to their plans it will be the world's longest and tallest tunnel slide when it opens, 178 meters long and will drop riders 76 meters to the ground over an estimated 40-second slide time through both enclosed and transparent slide sections.
VIETNAM - (6/1/15) VHCoasters has posted some fun photo updates on Twitter from Vietnam showing off the former Led Zeppelin/Time Machine coaster from Hard Rock Park being assembled at the new Ocean Park site in Ha Long, Vietnam that is expected to open sometime in 2016.
They also posted a picture of the fully assembled Shake Rattle 'n' Rollercoaster / Hang Ten coaster now up and testing at Asia Park in Da Nang. Asia park is also supposed to be getting Hard Rock Park's former Maximum RPM, Slippery When Wet, and Eagles Life in the Fast Lane coasters as well.
(1/28/15) The new theme park called Asian Park in the Vietnam city of Da Nang has been hit with some complaints and controversy from the local residents who claim the local authorities are unfairly favoring the investor behind the park which is under construction. This is the same theme park who has been receiving shipments of the coasters from the former Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
All but one apparently... as VHCoasters reports that the pieces of the park's old B&M coaster, Led Zepplin: The Ride (aka: Time Machine) have been shipped to a different park project in Vietnam called Ocean Park in Ha Long. While very little other than land clearing appears to have been done to the Ocean Park site, the B&M coaster track can be seen on site in an aerial photo.
(1/6/15) VHCoasters has posted pictures from the Da Nang amusement park in Vietnam where it looks like the first shipments of coaster track from the former Hard Rock Park's Vekoma Mine Train have arrived.