---- THE LATEST GLOBAL BUZZ ----
(1/12/17) Philippines - Undersea Nick Project Blocked by Environmental Minister (MORE...)
(1/11/17) China - Worlds Largest Aviary and Giraffe Castle Under Construction (MORE...)
(1/10/17) Nickelodeon Involved With Undersea Resort Park Project in Philippines (MORE...)
(12/22/16) Hefei Wanda Cultural Tourism City Opens Unique New Intamin Launched Coaster (MORE...)
(12/12/16) Japan To Build New Park Themed to Finnish Moomin IP (MORE...)
Australia - (11/14/16) A humorous review of Melbourne's Luna Park has been posted to Flying Pirouettes this week, based on a visit about 18 months ago, but the review is still quite funny just the same. Plus I actually wasn't even aware there was a second Luna Park in Australia, I had only ever heard about the Sydney version before now.
(10/8/16) If you're curious about what the various theme parks in Australia are doing to celebrate the Halloween season, head on over to AusParks who has a quick run-down of what each major attraction has to offer this season.
(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.
China - (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 3,5000 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.
(12/22/16) According to a post from BlooLoop, a new Intamin LSM launched coaster opened in China a couple of months ago. This one has been sold to the Wanda parks group, opening at the impressive looking new Hefei Wanda Cultural Tourism City under the name "Soaring with Dragon". The layout is quite unique and involves an interesting launch system that shoots riders forwards, then backwards up into a spike, before shooting them forward once again into the main track layout. Since the layout is a typical complete circuit style layout and not a shuttle-coaster, this is achieved through the use of a switch track in the launch area, allowing for multi-train operations. Follow the link to see a video of the new coaster in action.
(11/21/16) China's Zhuhai Hengqin Laisun Creative Culture City Co. Ltd. has signed a deal with creative powerhouse Thinkwell Group to create the first Lionsgate Entertainment World attraction. The idea is to create immersive experiences based on popular Lionsgate properties like The Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent and more. The site is planned to be open by the end of 2018 if all goes well.
(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.
(12/4/15) 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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
Iran - (12/10/16) This is kinda scary, but a "theme park" in Iran has opened over the past year called "City of Games for Revolutionary Children" where youngsters are dressed up in full military style combat gear and given AK47 rifles to carry around the themed environment with them that can shoot plastic bullets at targets. There are other stations where they can learn to shoot plastic mortars at targets, crawl with a rifle under barbed wire, or throw balls (or shoot) to break up blocks and targets with images of ISIS members, the Saudi royal family, or at Israeli and US flags.
The park is apparently a temporary attraction of sorts that has opened twice for these special military training style events which are actually offered for FREE to all children between the ages of 8 and 13 where they are also trained in the idea of defending the nation and holy places. Follow the link to see some photos that really are kind of scary looking, while at the same time most of our children in the US are more concerned about who posted what on Instagram, or seeking "safe spaces". Talk about an extreme difference in upbringing.
Italy - (10/31/16) Luneur, the oldest theme park in Rome that has sat closed for the past several years has just reopened over the weekend after a lengthy refurbishment. The park was originally part of a 1953 Expo style event and meant to be temporary but it proved too popular with the population and remained open until it shut down in 2008 due to financial problems. Now with a focus on attractions for young children the park has now reopened once again.
Japan - (12/12/16) I've never heard of this IP before, but it seems a new themed park will open in Japan in 2018 themed to "Moomin", a story and characters that come from Finland. The park will open in phases, with the first land to open in Fall 2018 themed to "Metsa Village" while the second phase themed to Moomin Valley will open in Spring 2019.
The first phase will actually open with no admission fee required, allowing guests to explore and relax in the themed environment, taking in the outdoor activities, enjoy a covered European style market and more. You can read more detail and see some of the beautiful concept art for the project posted at BlooLoop.
(11/28/16) The promotional video showing off what a bizarre spa themed amusement park experience could be like has now had well over one million views, prompting the mayor of the town to confirm that construction of a hot springs / spa themed park would indeed happen. It should be interesting to see just what the world's first "Spamusement" park will be like.
(11/23/16) The Mayor of Beppu, a city in Southern Japan known for hot springs has vowed to begin the development of an Onsen (hot springs) themed amusement park if the funny video they made to promote the city gets one million views. So lets help the fellow out and give the video below a watch, as it is really good for some laughs as they take an idea of what such a theme park experience could look like. Right now they are already half-way there will over 540,000 views.
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 - (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 - (6/28/16) 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.
Netherlands - (9/9/16) Amsterdam, capital city of The Netherlands, is said to be getting a new stand-alone attraction in 2017. While I don't know the theme of the ride, I'm told it will be a new Flying Theater attraction, with the ride hardware to be provided by Brogent.
Philippines - (1/12/17) Well that didn’t take long. We just told you about the plans to build a Nickelodeon themed park and resort project below the surface of the ocean in the Philippines and already the country’s environmental minister has stepped forward to reject the project outright. It seems the project has not been approved at all, nor has an official application even been received yet, as the location is apparently in one of the nation’s most well-preserved ocean habitat regions that includes protected coral reefs.
In response Coral World Park has said, in contrary to the press release from Viacom, that their project would only be “undersea-themed” and not actually built underwater if they are allowed to proceed. An online petition to halt the project has also been launched with the hashtag #CoronIsNotBikiniBottom.
(1/10/17) According to a news story Nickelodeon has partnered with the Coral World Park Undersea Resorts to develop a new Nickelodeon themed resort and theme park attraction in the Philippines as part of a unique “underwater” resort complex. The plan is to put several well known Nick characters like SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dora the Explorer to use in the park as well as some of the underwater restaurants and lounge areas which will be located about 6 feet below the surface. Look for the “Coral World Park Undersea” project to open in phases starting in 2018 and with the Nichelodeon area opening by 2020.
Russia - (10/11/16) Now that NBCUniversal has purchased Dreamworks Animation, where does this leave the previously announced Dreamworks park planned for Moscow? According to the Hollywood Reporter, sources at NBCU confirmed that the Dreamworks park in Moscow “is still on”, though they did not have an update on it. There was some speculation that the proposed (but somewhat unlikely) Universal park and the Dreamworks park projects could be merged as one project, as both IPs now share the same owner.
As for the site itself, there is actually construction going on with pictures taken in September posted to ThemeparX.
(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.
South Korea - (11/24/16) The on and off again proposal to build a Universal Studios park in South Korea is now suspended indefinitely as part of the fallout from a current political scandal in the country.
(9/6/16) Things haven't been going smoothly for those attempting to launch a new Universal Studios theme park in Korea. According to this article the Korean Water Resources Corporation (K-Water) failed to sign a contract with the Universal Studios Korea group today, on a second deadline after they also failed to make the first deadline on Aug. 31st. The reason for the failure apparently was due to the USK group from being able to raise "sufficient funds" to start the actual construction of the project at this time, as well as the failure for conduct several preliminary feasibility studies for the site.
The initial push to build Universal Studios Korea started in 2007 and came to an end in 2012, but was restarted in earnest earlier this year after President Park Geunhye apparently proposed to build an amusement park as part of a "presidential campaign pledge". Unfortunately the project has found it difficult to raise the needed funds over the past three months. They are now hoping to try and wrap things up and finalize the project by the end of the year if possible.
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.
Taiwan - (9/21/16) I wasn't aware of this but it seems a new interactive traveling attraction called AVATAR: Discover Pandora will open on Dec. 7th in Taiwan. According to the report on BlooLoop the attraction is a 12,000 sqft edutainment experience that will also include some of the 'history' regarding the fictional discovery of the planet Pandora in the 22nd Century. Follow the link to read up on all the official details.
UK - (11/7/16)
I'm happy to report that the Olympia Looping coaster has arrived in the UK and is currently being set up. A reader sent in a couple of quick pictures from the site.
(10/13/16) While the mention of Olympia Looping coming to the UK for the Winter Wonderland event was removed from the coaster’s official website last week, I’m told that this may have simply been a marketing request from Winter Wonderland, who have begun a planned roll out of various announcements to promote this year’s 10th anniversary event. We’ll have to wait and see a bit more to see if they make an official announcement on their website, or if the appearance was indeed cancelled for some reason.
In other news, the last we had heard, things were not looking too bright for the Dickens World attraction in the UK. At the time the attraction was still operating, but with a cutback in staff and characters, and had already closed the signature boat dark-ride as it was too costly to maintain. Now reports are coming from the local news that the attraction has now closed down completely, the staff let-go and guests are being turned away.
(10/12/16) Bad news for the UK... according to Screamscape sources the previously mentioned plan to bring Olympia Looping to the UK over the winter looks to have been scraped for unknown reasons. Any mention of it coming from removed from the coaster's website sometime last Friday.
(9/27/16) Exciting news for our UK readers as the EuropeanCoasterClub has tweeted that the famous traveling Olympia Looping coaster (Schwarzkopf) will be coming to the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland event this year.
(9/9/16) While I was initially informed the accident at the Scotland FunFair happned on a KMG Freak Out, it seems this may not be the case. Several new and updated news articles are now saying that the accident really happened on a Tagada style spinning flat ride called “Move It”. Most also report that something on the ride may have broken or given away, causing the rider’s to fly out of their seats.
(9/8/16) I'm told that the ride involved in the accident at the Scotland fair was a KMG Freak Out. Follow the link to go to the manufacture’s website and see what it looks like.
(9/6/16) Would you believe there was yet another carnival ride accident this past weekend? This time in Scotland at a fun fair at the Ayr Race Course. Five teens were taken to the hospital for treatment after a section of seating on the ride came loose and threw the riders. The article I've seen so far didn't post a description or name of the ride itself yet.
VIETNAM - (9/5/16) The former Led Zeppelin coaster once built for Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, South Caroina is now testing in the ride's new home park in Vietnam. Check out the video below.