---- THE LATEST GLOBAL BUZZ ----
(8/22/16) Jungle Trailblazer POV Footage from China (MORE...)
(8/18/16) Drop Tower Ride Malfunction Injures Riders in Spain's Tivoli World (MORE...)
(8/2/16) China - Wanda's Movie Park Closes Down For Extended Renovations (MORE...)
(6/28/16) Gary Goddard Talks About the Cirque Project in Mexico and More (MORE...)
(6/14/16) Goddard Designs New Theme Park For Russia (MORE...)
Australia - (1/23/16) Want to see what may be the world's biggest coaster failure? A huge coaster project that was built and never opened? Then lets take a modern look at the decaying remains of the Orphan Rocker coaster in Australia's Scenic World nature park, thanks to Flying Pirouettes.
(12/24/15) AusParks reports that Funfields, a small amusement park / waterpark in Australia has opened three new attractions in time for the busy holiday season: The 113-meter long Kraken Racer slide (ProSlide), a mini Ferris Wheel (Zamperla) and a Samba Balloon tower ride (Zamperla).
(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.
Canada - (6/7/16) According to the local news construction has started on a zipline at Niagara Falls. Opening in Summer 2016, the MistRider Zipline attraction will go on the Canadian side of the falls, launching from a 40 foot tower above the street level, and drop riders down to a landing pal below the Horseshoe Falls at 44mph. The cost is said to be between $50-80 Canadian (or $38-60 US).
(11/30/15) According to readers in the Niagara Falls area the local Comfort Inn on Clifton Hill closed down back in October, and will be replaced by a number of new attractions, including an "interactive themed movie experience and an elevated go kart track" that will open by June 2016.
China - (8/22/16) The first POV footage from the Jungle Trailblazer wooden coaster was put on YouTube while the new park it sits in (Oriential Heritage, in Xiamen, China) is still working to finish up for a grand opening later this year. The wooden coaster is from Martin & Vleminckx who have just been killing it with successful sales of wooden coasters across China over the past several years.
Unfortunately whoever shot this video appears to have chosen to do it with a phone camera and forgot to turn it the right way, so we end up with a severe case of VVS (Vertical Video Syndrome). Of course, video nit-picking aside, this coaster is just flying across the rails and looks quite fantastic for what is described as being it's first ever test run. It can only get faster from here, so this looks like another winner from Martin & Vleminckx.
(8/2/16) Remember that giant red odd-shaped building that is home to Wanda's movie theme park in Wuhan? According to the news reports the company has now closed down the indoor attraction "temporarily" for an extensive renovation, upgrades and to add a new attraction of some kind. No date to reopen the attraction was given, but this seems like some really bad timing on Wanda's behalf, especially after the owner was talking so much smack about how his parks were going to keep Disney from turning a profit in Shanghai for the next 10-20 years.
Now I can see them wanting to ADD something new to the park, but there really shouldn't be any reason to shut the entire park down just to add something new. Especially not a park that just opened in December 2014 and is only 20 months old.
(5/27/16) We've seen pictures of the Wanda Movie Park in Wuhan, China from the outside, but we've seen very little of the attractions held within the complicated structure. Our friends at BlooLoop have posted a bit more info about this unique indoor theme park, which is home to six media based attractions. In an interview with FORREC's James Anderson, they not only talk about the Wanda Movie Park, but go into detail about the attraction within that FORREC was responsible for... Hubei in the Air.
Hubei in the Air started out as a desire to build a generic "Soarin" style attraction that would show the wonders of China, but it evolved quickly into something more specific and focused on the rich history and landscape of the Hubei province. The article is quiet detailed about how the attraction and the story it tells were developed, and how things evolved along the way due to the input and requests from the Wanda Chairman.
(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.
(2/17/16) Stunning new concept art for the "Colorful Yunnan Joy to the World" theme park project coming to China has been posted to VHCoasters. From an art standpoint, this looks wonderful, though we'll have to wait and see if they can bring it to life and keep this same visual look.
(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.
(1/28/16) According to this article Hasbro has signed a deal with DMG Entertainment to create a "Transformers Live" attraction in China that will feature a live show arena where they will try to bring the action of the Transformers universe to life in front of a live audience. If they go ahead with it, the attraction should open by 2017.
While this is interesting, I do have to wonder if this deal would have any kind of impact on the plans for Universal Studios Beijing. While there has been no official list of attractions for the new Beijing park project, the concept artwork did include a copy of the Transformers: The Ride attraction building.
(1/19/16) Some incredible new pictures posted to VHCoasters this week showcase the "Hefei,Wanda Cultural Tourism City" park giving us a look at a new Intamin launched shuttle coaster layout and "Flip Coaster", a pair of dueling Chinese made "Tilt" style coasters that really needs to be seen as they will feature head-on tilt tracks and a set of interlocking corkscrews.
(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.
(12/13/15) A new 360-degree video has been posted of the Jungle Trailblazer coaster from Martin & Vleminckx at Oriental Heritage Park Jinan in China. You can watch it on your desktop and drag your mouse to look around, or view it on a smart-phone while sitting in an office-chair and you can spin around to your own delight with the action. Looks like a great wooden coaster.
(12/4/15) I haven't heard of this project before, but it seems the Goddard Group worked on another park in China called Kingdom of Poseidon. The park looks to be under construction in Harbin, China and had a groundbreaking ceremony sometime last year according to the pictures posted to ThemeparX. The layout of the site under construction however looks quite a bit different (and smaller) than the older Goddard Group concept artwork.
(11/30/15) A nice update on Wanda's plans for China have been posted to ThemeparX this week, with a map showing off 10 different projects they have in the works all over the country. Keep scrolling down and you'll see some are just concept artwork, while others are already well under construction, with progress noted by aerial photos of the sites, as well as a look at the Wanda attractions already open, including some great video footage of Dyanmic Attraction's Flying Theater concept in action at Wanda Movie Park.
(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.
France - (1/23/16) Mondial World of Ride has opened a new record breaking giant wheel attraction in Paris' Place de la Concorde. The new wheel is actually the world's largest transportable Giant Wheel, standing at a height of 70 meters with 48 enclosed passenger gondolas. The new wheel replaces an older 55 meter wheel that was on the same site.
Germany - (5/6/16) A group of riders aboard a tethered helium balloon attraction in Berlin, Germany were taken for a bit of a wild ride as the winds over the city whipped up into a fury, pushing the balloon back and forth across the sky while the operators worked feverishly to bring it back down to the ground. To keep everyone save, the guests were asked to get down low in the balloon to keep everyone safe and away from the top of the rails. Thankfully everyone was returned to the ground, safe and sound.
India - (5/16/16) A flat ride that resembled a Disk'O in Kishkinta Park (India) collapsed during a fully loaded "test run", killing one rider and injuring several others. Zamperla was quick to point out that this was NOT a Zamperla Disk'O ride, but was really a poorly made and unauthorized copycat / forgery of the Zamperla design from an unknown company.
The largest waterpark in India, Wet N Joy Waterpark, held a grand opening on March 18th. The park is located in Lonavala, in the Indian State of Maharashtra, and all of the waterslides, play structures, wave pool and wave river were supplied by WhiteWater, so was also kind enough to send us several photos of the new waterpark.
For whatever reason the ride was left in the flooded area, and they owners were "testing" it out, fully loaded with people instead of sandbags or water dummies when the disk portion of the ride collapsed in mid ride. If you follow the link you can see an actual close up video that caught the entire crash taking place. Be warned, the accident is quite graphic and may be a bit disturbing to watch, as one of the riders was killed, so watch at your own discretion. (Then why post it? Because I believe it will prove educational to select international park owners and readers in those markets about the dangers of these poorly engineered and manufactured copycat knockoffs creations.)
Update: The death toll for this accident has increased as a worker involved in the accident has also now succumbed to his injuries and passed away according to this article. It it also worth mentioning that two key members of the park's management have been arrested and charged with negligence.
(3/7/16) One of our readers has posted a large trip report showing off a large number of attractions they saw in India, including in Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. The report can be found over at CoasterForce.
(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 - (12/4/15) A waterpark in Iran? Yep... it looks like a waterpark called Kish Water Park is under construction on Iran's Kish Island and they've got some great photos on ThemeparX of the new waterpark that looks rather far along in construction at this point. Just follow the link and scroll down past the pictures of the white coaster.
Meanwhile some concept artwork for the Shahre Gheseh (Story City) theme park that was under construction in Tehran have been posted here followed by a few construction shots from the site. However, below that is a posting dated back to October where an anonymous reader reports that the developer ran out of funds and all construction on Story City had stopped. Anyone know anything more concrete?
(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 - (5/6/16) Want to see something that could turn your stomach? A couple of days ago in Japan the winds near Ako Seaside Park in the Hyogo prefecture began to gust violently. So violently that the top two cabins on the park's 164 feet tall ferris wheel (which was closed thankfully) began to spin upside-down, over and over. This was caught on video by many onlookers below so check out the video to see the crazy action. (video link fixed)
(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.
Laos - (1/21/16) According to Mashable a new theme park planned for Laos is said to be planning to start construction in February and has been pushing the term “Disney Laos” to get attention. Disney has no part in this project however, and according to the article the park is actually part of a larger resort project called Thakhek Dream World City that will include a hotel, golf course and a shopping mall that will take an estimated 7-10 years to finish.
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 - (6/28/16) Our friends at BlooLoop spoke with Gary Goddard earlier this month about some of the projects he is working on, including the completed Studio City resort in Macau and another big project that a lot of people in the industry are keeping a close eye on… the world’s first Cirque du Soleil resort project in Mexico.
(12/14/15) Some great pictures were posted on Facebook showing a meeting between Cirque du Soleil and the Goddard Group about the new Cirque themed destination resort and attraction coming to Mexico in 2018. You can see huge scale models of the project, new concept art in the background and more about this amazing new attraction concept in development.
(12/4/15) ThemeParkUniversity is back with a new report about that Cirque du Soleil theme park in Mexico that is still in the works for 2018. I'm happy to see they report that not only is the project still alive and kicking, but they have posted some all new artwork showing off a waterpark area that will be just one part of the project.
(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.
Netherlands - (12/11/15)
I'm not sure how serious they are, but Qurrent, a Dutch renewable energy company, has posted plans to turn a wind farm site into what they are calling "the world's first sustainable theme park". While you may be thinking they are just planning to use the energy from the huge turbines to power the rides, the vision goes much further... as in designing attractions to be attached to the huge turbine fans themselves. Just take a look at the wild concept art.
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.
Philippines - (2/22/16) One of the things I love about creating Screamscape is when I encounter news about a new park that I don’t think I’ve ever heard of before. This week on BlooLoop was just such an occasion as the publication posted a huge history report on the Enchanted Kingdom park in the Philippines. The park just opened in 1995 and after 20 years has become a unique and popular attraction, serving 1.8 million guests this past year in a country not known for having big traditional outdoor theme parks at all.
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 - (6/14/16) According to Gary Goddard, a $4 billion Russian theme park project called “The Magical World of Russia” that was designed by The Goddard Group has been given a "seal of approval" by Vladimir Putin. Of course this doesn't mean it will get built, but according to the article at BlooLoop the project is being entirely financed by investors without any need of government funding. As long as the investors stay with the project, then it might actually get built. Follow the link to read up on all the details and see the overhead park layout image.
(1/11/16) A few pictures of a model showing off the DreamWorks Moscow indoor theme park complex have been posted to ThemeparX. According to an article linked from there, the English name for the park seems to be Island of Dreams. I have some concerns about this park, especially as the article here reports that they expect to have between 34-40 million people visit each year.
40 million is quite a lofty figure for a single indoor theme park to achieve. By comparison The Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World was the most attended park in the world in 2014, serving a little over 19 million guests. So if DreamWorks Island of Dreams is banking on 34-40 million guests per year, there is a serious problem.
(12/7/15) Several photos have been posted over the past few weeks on ThemeparX showing off the construction progress on a huge new Oceanarium attraction in Russia. The aquarium is located on Russky Island in the Primorye region which is on the Far Eastern coast of Russia, just to the North of North Korea. There are lots of pictures and if you keep scrolling down it looks as if Vladimir Putin met with actor Steven Seagal to tour the site back in September as well.
(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.
Spain - (8/18/16) Up to 12 people may have been injured when the braking system on the Caida Libra drop tower ride at Tivoli World in Spain seems to have failed. The tower ride is made by Moser and the report claims that the cart with the riders dropped and came to a very sudden stop about half way down instead of dropping all the way. The trapped riders had to be evacuated and while no one seems to be seriously hurt, the 12 injuries reported seem to be due to whiplash style injuries from the sudden stop.
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.
Thailand - (5/3/16) It wasn't long ago I had written a few reports about the new temporary Dinosaur Planet theme park that opened in Thailand. Remember that giant Ferris Wheel they had in the center? One of the cabins (which was empty thank god...) caught fire on Saturday and burned itself to a crisp! An incredible picture of the cabin on fire can be seen here and the crispy aftermath framework can be seen here. You can also see a video show and posted to YouTube of the wheel on fire here
The assumption is that a short-circuit in the internal air conditioning unit sparked and set off the blaze. Fortunately a bad rain storm had just started before this happened (one reason the wheel was empty) and helped keep the fire contained to the one cabin. The wheel is now closed for the investigation and further safety checks. It was not reported as to who made this particular wheel however.
(4/17/16) Another look at Dinosaur Planet has been posted by Disney & More this week, updating their original review on the attraction and adding in a bunch of after-dark photos of the park as well.
(3/29/16) Disney and More have shared a couple of new videos of the Dinosaur Planet park in Bangkok. The first shows off "Central Plaza" which features a full animatronic 40m long dinosaur figure in the middle of the park and some of the other surrounding figures and attractions.
The second video is of the "Stars of Dino" attraction, where the intention was to drive guests around in the back of large trucks past dinosaurs. However, the attraction is currently having some issues with the trucks, so rather than try to operate with only one truck, they instead allowed the opening weekend guests to walk the attraction, get up close and personal with the dinosaur figures, and even touch them.
What's amazing is that they also report that the park is only supposed to be open for 10 months, afterwards the plan is to move it all to a new permanent home in Pattaya.
(3/20/16) Disney & More dropped by for a sneak preview of the new Dinosaur Planet park opening in Bangkok on March 25th. While we have to wait until it opens to get the full report, they did post a number of pictures of this new little park as it prepares to open and are in a scramble to finish on time. It's funny to see how this dinosaur park has been placed in the middle of what appears to be a busy urban district, surrounded by large skyscrapers on all sides. This actually gives an almost eerie background to all the pictures of the very large and plentiful dinosaur animatronics all around the park.
There are tons of pictures of the actual indoor and outdoor sections of the park, as well as tons of concept art for the various attractions such as an outdoor dinosaur safari ride you'll take in a large truck, or an indoor thrill attraction called Raptor X-Treme, which takes some lessons from haunted maze concepts and applies them to a walk-through experience with hungry Raptors.
Looking forward to hearing more about this park, as the dinosaur figures look quite stunning!
(3/7/16) The local news reports that Dinosaur Planet, a new "theme park" will open in downtown Bangkok on March 25. Follow the link to read all the details about the new dinosaur themed attraction.
UK - (4/27/16) According to the BBC the new Olympic Park Orbit Tower Slide will open to the public on June 24th and they have already begin to pre-sell tickets to slide.
(3/31/16) While we've heard bits and pieces about the Shrek's Adventure! attraction in London, BlooLoop has posted a very detailed write-up all about the new attraction, full of pictures and videos of the various areas and attractions within, which is a first, as I believe guest photography isn't permitted.
(3/24/16) A small amusement park in the UK called The Big Sheep is now nearly ready to open their first coaster called The Big One. The Zierer Tivoli style family coaster stands 48ft tall and just shy of 1,200 feet in length, with two lift hills. You can see some photos and a video of the ride making a test run at Themeparks-UK.
(12/30/15) I’m not sure how serious this proposal is but Themeparks-UK reports that plans for a new small theme park in Wales are to be submitted for a 20-acre site that hopes to offer up to 26 rides, with up to 7 coasters.
(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.