---- THE LATEST GLOBAL BUZZ ----
(7/9/20) Saudi Arabia - Quiddiya, Six Flags and More
(7/3/20) UK News - Judge Dredd Live Action Attraction Coming To London in 2021 (MORE...)
(6/23/20) UK Theme Parks Given Permission To Open From Prime Minister (MORE...)
(6/23/20) Swedish Theme Parks Being Forced To Stay Closed For the Summer (MORE...)
(6/21/20) China - House of Dancing Water Show in Macau Closes For Reboot in 2021 (MORE...)
(6/21/20) Efforts Underway To Save Wicksteed Park (MORE...)
(6/21/20) Sweden's Theme Parks Unite In Protest To Unfeasible Government Policies (MORE...)
(6/20/20) Canada's Story Book Park To Stay Closed For 2020 (MORE...)
Australia - (6/6/20) Village Roadshow is pushing to reopen their Gold Coast theme parks earlier than planned if possible, but the current rules from the Queensland’s government are not viable. According to BlooLoop, the current rules say that amusement parks, zoos and arcades can reopen in “Stage 3” starting on July 10, but are limited to only 100 people at a time. Clearly that was not well thought out, as 100 people in an arcade is one thing, but spread out across the massive sprawl of a theme park or zoo is something else entirely. To combat this Village Roadshow has teamed up with Dreamworld’s owner, Ardent Leisure, to submit new COVID safety plans to the government that would allow for them to bring in a proper number of visitors and still be safe. These plans are said to currently be under review.
(5/12/20) According to this report, Australia’s theme parks in the Gold Coast are likely to stay closed a little longer once they are allowed to reopen. From the sound of things, the multi-phase plan that would allow the parks to reopen in June isn’t going to work for them, as the rules would only allow a maximum of 20 people in at a time. That number will only increase to 100 guests at a time by July and according to Village Roadshow’s COO, it isn’t financially viable to reopen the parks until they can have at least 5000 guests in at once.
This makes sense, especially when you look at Shanghai Disneyland that just reopened on Monday, who is limiting their own attendance to about 24,000 guests at first, with plans to try and increase that number by about 5,000 per week going forward.
The Bahamas - (4/3/20) The Atlantis resort soon won't be the only waterpark attraction on Nassau in the Bahamas. The Baha Mar resort, located about a 20 minute drive west of the Atlantis resort is currently building a $300 million expansion to the resort that will include a new waterpark attraction along with other entertainment offerings and improvements to the beachfront resort.
According to a local news update, the waterpark expansion is still on track to open in 2021, despite the current issues around the globe from the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently the resort is closed due to government orders, and the shutdown does include a pause in the construction on the project. Currently the attractions in the Bahamas are hoping to reopen around May 15 or as soon as the their government says it is safe to do so.
Belgium - (4/26/20) According to this tweet, the Belgium government has now issued authorization for theme parks to reopen starting June 8th, 2020, as long as they use a list of proposed new operational guidelines. The list includes social distancing, reduced capacity attendance limits, closing indoor spaces and new cleaning standards. The June 8th date is contingent on if conditions are met within the country during prior phases of business reopenings set to take place over the month of May. These prior phases will see a return to the workplace and the reopening of certain classes of businesses at different times (May 4 and May 11), a gradual return to school operations, family visits and allowing new travelers into the country (May 18).
Some of the most popular parks in Belgium include: Bobbejaanland, most of the Plopsa parks, Walibi Belgium and Bellewaerde.
Bosnia-Herzegovina - (12/13/19) I don’t know much about this project yet, but I’m told plans have been drawn up and approved to build a theme park called ‘Magic Land’ in Bosnia / Herzegovina. Vekoma has already been tapped to build one of their coasters at the park, currently said to be a Bermuda Blitz model, one of which exists so far, the Lech Coaster at Legendia in Poland, which is said to be quite good. For now we don’t know much else, and not even a solid timeline, so for now we are just keeping our ears open for future developments to see if this park really gets built.
Canada - (6/20/20) According to the local news the small “Story Book Park” in Canada has opted to stay closed for the 2020 season. They simply felt that the park could not operate under the current COVID-19 safety requirements set in place.
(3/23/20) The world is losing yet another wooden coaster this year. According to this article Upper Clements Park in Nova Scotia has been sold for $600,000 to a company who will build a new $62 million boarding school on the site, with the park set to be demolished right away. The now closed amusement park was home to one coaster, the wooden “Roller Coaster”, designed by William Cobb, which opened back in 1989. The coaster was formerly named ‘Tree Topper” until 2008 when it was changed to the more simplistic, “Roller Coaster”.
Based on the video below, it doesn’t look like it was the smoothest ride in the world, but does look to have a very scenic layout that twisted and turned through the woods.
(8/23/19) A new coaster is coming to the Canadan side of Niagara Falls at Clifton Hill. The new coaster is under construction above the existing Frankenstein haunted house attraction and while they are hoping to have it open before the end of the year, testing and certification still has to be completed which could push back the opening until March 2020.
According to this article, they may try to promote it as the world’s first rooftop coaster, but this simply isn’t true, as there have been several of these over the years, especially in Japan. They don’t give a name to the coaster yet, but mention that the project started out when they bought a closed coaster from Long Island a few years ago that had casket shaped cars. The ride and building were then modified to work together and one ready to open the coaster experience will be included with admission to the Frankenstein haunted house. One of our readers stopped by and send in some pictures of the coaster under construction as well.
(7/29/19) FlyOver Canada will soon have a sibling as adventure travel company, Pursuit, has signed a deal to build a second FlyOver Canada flying theater attraction in Toronto, next to the famous CN Tower. While it will share the same name as the attraction in Vancouver, the ride film to be shown in the new Toronto location will be entirely brand new. According to the teaser video, we can expect it to open in 2022, with construction on the new building to house it to begin sometime in 2020.
China - (6/21/20) According to this article, the House of Dancing Water show at the City of Dreams resort in Macau will suspend performances from June 18 through to January 2021. They will take this time to undergo a revamp of the show with the show’s creator, Franco Dragone, known for his early work with Circue du Soleil (O and Mystere) and his solo show work after parting ways, such as the La Reve show at Las Vegas’ Wynn casino.
House of Dancing Waters opened in 2010 and has been performed for over 6 million guests since then. According to the article one goal is to reduce the number of staff members required for the production, but also to strive to hire more “local workers” in the production rather than non-resident workers. Previously the show staff consisted of nearly 100 international performers working with about 200 production staff, technicians and divers. They insist that the reboot of the show was not prompted by the current COVID-19 pandemic but was part of a plan to reenergize the show and make it even “more exciting”.
The show’s creator has been the subject of a few other interesting news reports lately, including an investigation that seeks to prosecute him and others for ‘Fraud and Money Laundering’. Earlier this month it was also reported that Dragone was joining forces with Cirque du Soleil do-founder Guy Laliberte, in an attempt to buy back and save Cirque du Soleil from the current ownership.
(4/22/20) According to the Fantawild website, the chain had previously reopened 12 theme parks, and has just opened 7 more parks on April 18th. It also mentions that the “Fantawild Adventure” park in Jiayuguan is on track to reopen on April 25th. If you scroll down more you can see details about the operational changes in the park, including the expected wellness checks before guests can enter the parks, mandatory mask wearing, and a scattered loading system in place on the rides to mantain maximum distance between riders. In the picture show, instead of loading every other row on a roller coaster with two-across seating, they are instead loading one guest into every row, but loading only the left seat on the odd-numbered rows, and the right-seat on the event numbered rows. Unfortunately this method even separates guests who are visiting the park together.
(3/29/20) While various attractions have been slowly reopening in China, one in particular was ordered shut-down again. According to the Hollywood Reporter, after two weeks of a successful return to operations for movie theaters in some areas of China, the government quickly and without reason ordered all 600 closed again. The only speculation at this point is that the government may be concerned over the idea of creating a second-wave of infections after seeing their numbers drop.
This precautionary move may prove to be a good lesson to the rest of the world about what could happen if you rush to reopen things too soon, if their case numbers do start to rise again. Time will tell.
(3/15/20) Some Chinese attractions are now preparing to reopen! According to this article Shanghai Wild Animal Park and Jinjiang Amusement Park plan to reopen on Monday, but with restrictions in place to limit the number of visitors to the parks to about half of their normal capacity to prevent overcrowding. Also any indoor venues and attractions within the parks will remain closed for the time being. All guests will also have to pass through a temperature screening station, wear a mask during their time in the park and present a green healthy QR code to gain entry. Public areas in the parks are to be disinfected twice daily, and attractions are to be disinfected after each use.
Other area attractions planning to reopen on Monday include the Fuquanshan archeological site, Qushui Garden as well as Luxun Park in Hongkou District.
(3/3/20) Yet another Happy Valley theme park is being planned by China’s OCT Group. According to AmusementToday they have tapped Legacy Entertainment to design this 9th Happy Valley theme park which will be located in Zhengzhou and feature an entirely original design.
There are currently seven Happy Valley theme parks open in China with the eighth park slated to open in Nanjing later this year.
(12/7/19) The Las Vegas Sands Corporation, who owns the Sands Expo/Convention Center as well as the Venetian & Palazzo casinos is now planning to build a London themed casino resort in Macau, China. Sands is no stranger to the Chinese gambling market and already has at least five other casino in Macau: Sands, Venetian, Palazzo and Parisian and Plaza, as well as the famous Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, which has become a world famous iconic structure for the country. According to this article the plan is to transform the existing Sands Cotai Central complex into “The Londoner”, which will be transformed by adding famous London landmarks (like Big Ben) to the exterior over the next three years. After seeing the results as guests have piled in to visit their highly themed Venetian and Parisian casino propertys in Macau, they are confident that The Londoner will also prove to be a bit hit.
(11/6/19) According to BlooLoop, Puy du Fou is about to sign a contract with China to create a Puy du Fou attraction in China at the foot of the Great Wall that will feature a nighttime spectacular show, a themed restaurant, themed hotel and an ancient village setting. Currently they are still working on the concept design.
(10/24/19) SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment has announced that they will be providing a new 4D Motion Theater attraction at the Legend Heroes Park in Studio City, Macao. Legend Heroes is an indoor attraction that features a number of VR, projection mapping, hologram and even motion-based games and experiences. From the sound of it, the new attraction should be ready to open in September 2020 and will feature two 4D shows: Ice Age: No Time for Nuts and The Lego Movie 4D Experience.
Dominican Republic - (9/18/19) Falcon’s Creative Group has announced a new partnership with Katmandu Group to create a series of Katmandu branded attractions, starting with a “dynamic new entertainment venue in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.” The initial plans right now include two attractions from Falcon to be built within the Katmandu, Punta Cana project to open in late 2020.
The “signature” attraction will be something called “Quest for the Multiverse”, while sounds like it will be the premier of Falcon’s new “Suspended Theater”, used to provide an all new flying theater style experience that will be both family friendly, and yet thrilling. The other attraction is said to be a cutting-edge dark ride experience themed around “The Legend of Katmandu”. Other attractions within the development will include a 36-hole Expedition Golf course with highly themed holes that wind around a “mountainous Nepalese landscape”, along with future plans to add other interactive rides and theater-based attractions, as well as a “ninja playground” climbing and obstacle course. Of course it wouldn’t be a major attraction without a spattering of highly themed restaurant experiences and some special nighttime entertainment offerings added into the mix as well.
For reference, the Katmandu Group already has one themed attraction open in Mallorca, Spain where it is tied to a resort property. In addition to the planned expansion to the Dominican Republic, they are also working on another development for Tenerife, Spain.
Germany - (4/27/20) Germany’s Minister of Tourism, Guido Wolf, has laid out a step-by-step plan to revive tourism in the country in the era of Covid-19. He mentions that outdoor attractions will have a strong advantage over indoor attractions and suggests that Zoos, Amusement Parks and other open-air attractions could reopen as early as May 4 as part of the first phase. The second phase would see beer gardens, RV campgrounds and holiday resorts, hotels and museums be allowed to begin reopening. Follow the link to read more.
Indonesia - (3/26/20) Take a look at the video below to see the new Jurassic Island attraction in action, the first Immersive Superflume attraction from SIMWORX. The attraction reopened not too long ago as part of the new Trans Studios Cibubur indoor theme park in Indonesia. You’ve never quite seen a flume ride like this before, so check it out!
(3/15/20) A POV video of an Intamin launched coaster that opened at the end of 2019 in Indonesia has been posted to YouTube, rigged with some extra lights on the train so you can see the ride better. The ride is Kereta Misteri (Mystery Train) and it is located in the Dunia Fantasi park and features a bit of a slow-moving dark ride to start things off before the more high speed coaster ride begins.
(12/19/19) The new Road Rage: Wasteland Escape dark ride at the new Trans Studio Bali theme park is now open and some footage shot during “technical rehearsals” was posted online by Legacy Entertainment. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Road Rage in this technical rehearsal is seeing the inclusion of live actors in the ride in the places where you would normally expect to see Animatronic figures. It does make me ponder the operational budget for the attraction when using live actors in Indonesia vs. Animatronic figures.
Japan - (6/13/20) According to this news report Tokyo’s Joypolis amusement park has opened once again after being closed for the past three months.
(5/30/20) An odd new policy going into effect at Japanese theme parks caught the attention of the world’s news agencies this week. As the various “state of emergency” orders are being lifted across Japan, new guidelines were issued for ongoing safety measures, one of which was asking riders to no longer scream and shout on roller coasters and other thrill rides.
Of course the reason is to prevent possible droplets of infected slobber from flying out your pie-hole and splashing across your fellow riders, so this makes sense in a way. It just isn’t a very practical thing. While coaster enthusiasts like myself enjoy yelling and screaming along the way, I could easily maintain composure and keep my gob shut during a ride if asked to do so. On the other side of the coin however, there are those out there who just can’t help it as they find themselves frightened beyond all care and reason during thrill rides as they scream in terror.
(3/29/20) While we’ve been hearing reports that select attractions in Japan have been slowly reopening over the past week, a small rise of new infections in Tokyo has prompted that city to urge its citizens to stay home this weekend, and ask for the local attractions to possibly close again, along with shutting down popular public parks. In an urban area that contains more than 30 million people, it seems clear they are wary of becoming another “New York” if they let things get out of control.
According to this article many local department stores, movie theaters and the Toshimaen amusement park that we previously listed as open, are closed once again this weekend.
(3/23/20) A number of attractions in Japan are now starting to reopen such as the Moomin Valley attraction that just opened last year in Japan is said to have reopened to the public back on March 14th. Many indoor attractions are also starting to reopen such as Aeon cinemas, many Bandai Namco arcade centers, along with the restarting of class for certain schools in some areas.
(2/29/20) Along with the more high profile announcement of the closure of Disney, Universal and Legoland parks in Japan, it seems that most, if not all of the other parks in the country may also be closing from this weekend through to March 15th, 2020 in response to the spread of the coronavirus. At this point I’m not sure which attractions are staying open, if any, but I’ve also read closure notices from Suzuka Circuit and Nagashima Spaland, but I didn’t spot a notice at Fuji Q Highland’s website yet. All these closures are coming down as a policy request from Japan’s “New Coronavirus Infectious Disease Control Headquarters” to shut down major attractions, cancel concerts, and any place where large groups of people would converge.
(2/19/20) MGM Resorts is now the last bidder standing to build a casino as part of a proposed “integrated resort” in Osaka, Japan. The move comes after the other two big players (Genting Singapore and Galaxy Ent.) opted out of the Osaka area in favor of focusing their efforts elsewhere in Japan, such as Yokohama. There is still a lot of competition for the Yokohama site, including several other well known US casino giants like Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands.
Japan itself is still deciding if they want to pursue gambling in the country, and has said they will start off with only three gaming licenses for the entire country as a trial.
(2/7/20) Some new concept art for the planned Studio Ghibli theme park in Japan have been released. You can find them and more details about the proposed new theme park in the latest update over at BlooLoop this week.
(2/5/20) BlooLoop reports that Warner Bros Entertainment is teaming up with Seibu Holdings to build a Harry Potter themed attraction in Tokyo by Spring 2023. The attraction is planned to go up on part of the site of the current Toshimaen amusement park which Seibu Holdings is planning on closing in phases starting later this year. The plans are finalized yet, but a commitment is expected later this year to the project.
According to the article the expectation is that the new attraction may be similar in nature to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London, which makes sense as Universal Studios Japan already has a very popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter land in their Osaka theme park.
(11/6/19) Godzilla fans, take note! A life-sized Godzilla attraction will open in 2020 at the Nijigen no Mori attraction on Awaji Island (near Kobe). There you will find an 65-foot tall, 82-foot wide, recreation of Godzilla as part of a larger attraction experience called “Godzilla Interception Operation”. Guests will be able to ride a zipline into his mouth, as well as take aim in a shooting gallery style attraction.
Malaysia - (1/30/20) According to this article the Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) theme park in Malaysia closed on January 28th, and will remain closed until further notice. The closure does not seem to have anything to do with the possible spread of the Coronavirus, but instead seems to be financial in nature.
Mexico - (2/24/20) According to a reader, I’m told that Selva Magica mentioned on their social media that the park had closed two of their coasters and would not be reopening them: Tornado and Catarina. While the later is a small Zierer made family coaster, Tornado is actually a Schwarzkopf Jet Star model that started out as the Glissade at Busch Gardens Williamsburg back in 1975.
(1/15/20) According to this article six companies are now in the running to the new operator for the “La Feria de Chapultepec” amusement park in Mexico after the former operator was dismissed following a deadly coaster accident last year. One of the six company names you should recognize: Cabi Entertainment SAPI DE CV, Sofmar Fun SA DE CV, Negrete Garza SC., Six Flags Mexico SA DE CV, Quantum Servicio SA DE CV and Mota-Engil Mexico SAPI DE CV.
So yes… Six Flags is looking to take over the operations of “La Feria de Chapultepec” through their Six Flags Mexico park branch, and while I don’t know who the other companies are off-hand, I’m guessing that Six Flags would likely be the one with the most relevant experience. Each company will put together a proposal as to how they would like to run the park, including any changes or upgrades they would like to make, or the addition of new themes or IP to the park. These proposals should be submitted by March 18 so a winning project can be selected and announced by April 20, 2020.
(10/27/19) According to this report it has been determined that none of the rides at the Feria de Chapultepec theme park have been properly maintained, and that the Quimera roller coaster was suffering from “several defects” and “park management should have shut it down”.
(10/19/19) According to a rough translation of this article, it sounds like La Feria Chapultepec Magico has had their operational permit for the park revoked by the local government in the fallout of the deadly accident on the park’s Quimera roller coaster. I believe this is taking place while the accident investigation is ongoing, and once a resolution and course of action is determined, we could see the park reopen once again. If I had to guess however, I doubt we’ll see Quimera every operate again.
On a semi-related note, it was also reported that a sister Schwarzkopf coaster named Tsunami (better known as Thriller, Taz’s Texas Tornado or Zonga when it operated in Europe and the US) will be scrapped. This decision to scrap the famous Schwarzkopf coaster comes after three years of failed attempts to sell it to a new owner. There is still a chance to save Thriller if someone comes forward to purchase it, but given the age of the ride, it would also require some significant funds to bring it up to today’s safety standards, which is probably how it ended up in Mexico in the first place. I did have the pleasure of riding it when it first ran at Six Flags Astroworld and it gave one hell of a ride that left me with a lasting impression, so I’d be happy to see this one get saved rather than see two of Schwarzkopf’s greatest traveling creations lost to the scrap yard in the same year.
The Netherlands - (6/16/20) According to this report Amsterdam is planning on building some kind of ‘Willy Wonka style’ chocolate factory attraction that will include a roller coaster. The attraction is coming from a popular chocolate maker in Amsterdam, Tony’s Chocolonely, and will be called “Tony’s Chocolonely Chocolate Circus”. They hope to open the new attraction by 2024 at a cost of around €100 million.
Poland - (1/16/20) Wiegand.waterrides is celebrating the first SlideWheel in Europe with the opening of Aquaspinner at Aquapark Reda in Poland this week. It is worth mentioning that the first SlideWheel opened at Chimelong Water Park in Guangzhou, China back in 2018. As then, I find myself fascinated to see these SlideWheels in action, as rafts full of riders work their way forwards and back through the tangled mess of tube as it spins like a ferris wheel. Watch the video below to see the new Aquaspinner in action.
Qatar - (2/24/20) It has been quite some time since we’ve seen anything new about the Doha Oasis park in Qatar, but we finally get a look at the progress taking place INSIDE the actual indoor park space as themed structures and buildings are being finished up along the pathways. The latest update also includes a look at a park layout map and even a look at the Premier Rides launched coaster.
(1/17/19) Some new pictures of the Doha Oasis park in Qatar can be found at ThemeparX as they prepare to finish things up and hopefully open sometime in 2019. The park has even posted an animated teaser video that appears to show off how the park’s secret Dragonfire coaster will work, backing up out of the station up into that large spike track before dropping down through the station again and into the main spaghetti-bowl of twisted-trackwork that makes up the majority of the ride experience. No word on if there will be effects in there, or if riders will take it on in complete darkness.
(6/16/18) In development and construction for a long time, a layout drawing for the Dragonfire coaster from Premier Rides going into Qatar's Adventure Island indoor / underground theme park were posted to Facebook (See below). From the look of things the coaster will enter onto launch track section and after a quick track switch, it will be launched backwards at high speed up into a vertical twisted spike track, which is apparently enclosed within a visible glass enclosed spire that shoots up from the ground above the park. There are actually two such spires over the park, so I'm not sure what will be inside the other one, unless it is perhaps a drop tower ride of some kind.
A great shot of the park down below showing off the tangled mess of red coaster track for Dragonfire can also be found at ThemeparX.
(11/11/17) An interesting attraction concept has been slowly... very slowly... under construction in Doha, Qatar that has been going by the name Adventure Island I believe for some time. I think I first heard about it back around 2014 or so, then I heard it appeared that construction had kind of begun in 2016. Jump ahead to the present day and new photos of the site have appeared on ThemeparX showing that things have progressed quite far on the project... though threre is still a long way to go on it.
As you can guess by the location, this will be a sort of mini indoor and underground theme park experience, but one that is supposed to topped out with a large Premier Rides launched shuttle coaster called Dragonfire that will include a large spike(s) section of track enclosed in a giant glass air-conditioned tower structure. While we can't see any sign of the coaster track, you can clearly see a pair of towers on site that match up to what was described so long ago.
From what I'm told the Adventure Island park is mostly going to be in an underground enclosed environment in the center of that circle of buildings. I'm not sure if the name still holds, but the surrounding building complex was to be called the "Doha Oasis" and even "The Eclipse" at one point, and would be a mixed-use complex containing retail, a hotel and some residential units. Last word was that they were pushing to complete it by 2018, but looks like there is still a lot of work left to do to make that timeline.
Saudi Arabia - (7/9/20) BlooLoop has posted an update regarding the Quddiya project in Saudi Arabia that will be home to the continent's first Six Flags theme park. They discuss the planned construction project during the age of the Coronavirus, sustainability for the project and more amid the local climate and how it ties into “Saudia Arabia’s Vision 2023” plan.
(11/7/19) Triple Five is now working with Saudi Arabia through their American Dream subsidiary to develop “the world’s largest mixed-use entertainment and shopping center in Riyadh”. The project comes with an estimated price-tag of $5 billion that will feature theme parks, water parks and other entertainment and sports related activities as well as dining, retail and hospitality opportunities.
(8/13/19) According to Building Design + Construction the Qiddiya project that has started in Saudi Arabia is much more than the proposed Six Flags Qiddiya theme park. They refer to this as a “Giga-Project” that is expected to become the local “Capitial of Entertainment, Sports, and the Arts” for the region.
The overall Qiddiya resort plan will feature four gates attractions to be built around a central retail/dining/entertainment hub that will also feature hotels. This “Resort Core” area will feature large performance venue as well as skating and even skiing facilities.
There will also be an “Eco Core” area that will feature attractions themed to nature and wildlife, including a golf course, horse riding and a resort / spa.
Motion Core is all about experiences that a driven ‘by the science and technology of people in motion.”
There will be a “Speed Park” area, themed around motorsports, including a race track, drivers club a “Race” themed resort and more.
And finally there will be the Six Flags Qiddiya theme park, which is slated to open in 2022 and part of the Phase 1 roll-out of the Qiddiya resort project. Following this they also are planning to add a waterpark resort project as well in the future, but no word on if this will be Six Flags branded or not.
Follow the link to read the article breakdown of the entire resort project, as well as get a sneak peek at some of the resort concept art.
South Korea - (11/6/19) According to a new article the Paramount theme park in Korea is still in development as part of the Inspire IR complex. They claim that attention to the storytelling being done in the park will set it apart from the competition. The first phase of Insprie IR is set to open in 2022 and will feature a five-star hotel, arena, convention center and casino. The Paramount Korea theme park is expected to follow this and be ready to open in 2025 and be followed by other new attractions, developments and evn a waterpark by 2031.
They promise new attractions will be in the park themed to popular Paramount properties: Mission Impossible, The Italian Job, Tomb Raider, Star Trek along with a Korean themed K-Pop themed area that will feature a “water roller-coaster” with on-board audio to be called Idol.
(12/10/18) According to a new report posted by BlooLoop, would you believe another Paramount Pictures branded theme park project is now being planned? This one will go to South Korea as part of the “Inspire” resort coming to South Korea from the Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment. According to the report construction on the huge resort project will begin in 2019, with “Phase 1A”, to open in 2022 that will feature a 5-Star hotel, a 15,000 seat performance arena, casino, and a domed space that will include a pool, some small rides, as well as dining and retail space. The announced Paramount theme park however is planned for “Phase 1B” that isn’t expected to open until 2025.
Sweden - (6/23/20) Despite the protest to the current situation in Sweden from the nation’s theme parks, the Swedish Minister of Home Affairs announced this week that theme parks will NOT be given an exception to the 50 person maximum capacity rule. He also confirmed that this rule will be in effect throughout the entire summer, effectively shutting down the nation’s entire theme park industry in one fell swoop, as no park can operate successfully with that kind of limitation.
According to the CEO of Parks and Resorts, who owns Grona Lund, Komarden, Furuvik and Skara Sommerland the entire situation is “totally surreal”. “Why should some be given restrictions easing and others not? Why is it okay to sit in a crowded airplane or at the beach, or travel around the country, but not to go into a restricted and health adapted park activity”.
Regular readers will notice the mention of Kolmarden and recall that Kolmarden actually opened long ago. Curious about how this is allowed I made inquiries from a reader familiar with the local laws and the answer is actually a bit surprising. Kolmarden and Furevik (also open) are technically “zoos” and not amusement parks, though they may have rides. Zoos in Sweden are considered the same as public park spaces and beaches, so they are allowed to be open.
The other difference is that amusement parks in Sweden must apply for a “Tivoli permit”, which falls under the current Public Order Act, which is what is restricting attendance limits to no more than 50 people. Kolmarden, as a zoo, does not require a Tivoli Permit except in areas of the park where they have rides. So the answer for Kolmarden is simply to restrict access into the area around Wildfire, their big RMC wooden coaster, to no more than 50 people at a time. As riders leave, new riders are allowed to enter the zone.
I’m told that the CEOs of all the area attractions are quite furious over how this is being handled.
(6/21/20) Sweden’s collective theme parks and attractions are protesting the current government policy that prevents them from having more than 50 guests at a time in the parks, effectively keeping them closed for the summer. Representatives from the biggest parks (Liseberg, Grona Lund, Skara Sommerland, etc…) have joined together to post an article of opposition to the current policy, pointing out how Kolmarden has been able to reopen without permission.
Taiwan - (4/13/20) The Taiwan government is now setting rules to restrict attendance at their most popular theme parks to only allow for about 50% of normal capacity on any given day to prevent overcrowding issues. To enforce this they are only going to allow for half of the attraction’s parking spaces to be used, and when they are full, no one else gets in until people leave.
Thailand - (12/3/19) Five riders were thrown from a carnival ride in Thailand and the incident was caught on video from at least two angles as the lap-bar holding the riders in the left-third of the car failed. From the sound of the article, the ride operator apologised for being careless and not ensuring the restraint bar was secure, but he also said he didn’t know much about how to operate the ride, as he was running it for a friend who went on break.
(10/30/19) A new carnival themed park project has been announced for Thailand to be called Carnival Magic. With an initial $160 million investment, they hope to bring in one million guests each year to the 40-acre Thai carnival themed park that will feature four themed lands and tons of live entertainment options.
UAE - (6/18/20) According to BlooLoop the Al Qana complex in Abu Dhabi is on track to be finished by the end of 2020. The “National Aqurarium” project that is part of Al Qana is already said to be 90% finished at this point. The list of other attractions to be included at the waterfront complex will include VR Gaming, an outdoor skate park and numerous new dining locations.
(10/31/19) Miral has announced the opening date for their latest attraction in Abu Dhabi, CLYMB Abu Dhabi. The $100 million “sporting experience” attraction is now set to open on November 29, 2019 and will feature the world’s tallest climbing wall at 140 feet along with other walls for those less experienced. It will also offer the world’s widest skydiving flight chamber that spans more than 32 feet.
(7/5/19) The Reem Mall has released concept art showing off their plans to build the world’s largest snow park in Abu Dhabi. The new attraction is planned to open in 2020 as part of the new $1.2 billion Reem Mall project, and will feature 13 different attractions. Unlike other ‘snow’ parks, this one is said to have an overall theme and story behind it, which will set it apart from all the rest.
UK - (7/3/20) I was a bit surprised to see this, but a new Judge Dredd themed attraction is coming to London in 2021 from the creators of The Crystal Maze. The new attraction is called “Judge Dredd Uprising: The Live Experience!” where guests will experience the chaos and action of Brit-Cit 2143. The description on the website claims it will be a two hour experience that sounds like it will mix the adventure of navigating a highly themed environment, an escape room style experience to get out of the Iso-Block, and a laser tag battle in the Cursed Earth before experiencing ‘the grand finale in the New Old Bailey”.
Check out the teaser video and some concept artwork of the experience layout in the tweets below.
(6/23/20) Good news for the UK’s theme parks as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that tourist attractions, such as theme parks, will be allowed to reopen on July 4, 2020. However, water parks are not included in this new ruling and for the time being must remain closed along with nightclubs, indoor gyms and more. There also seems to be a “relaxing” on the rules for social distancing as well, allowing for the distance to be cut from 2 meters to just 1 meter as long as face masks or other personal protective equipment are in use.
(6/21/20) According to this news article there are now some serious efforts under way to save Wicksteed Park, which was reported as having gone into administration earlier this week. With fundraising and some much needed support by fans the park hopes that they could try to survive long enough to reopen next spring. There is a way to go between now and then however, so we wish them the best of luck in saving the park.
(6/18/20) The BBC reports that Wicksteed Park, a small UK theme park that is said to be one the oldest as well, has gone into “administration”. As I understand it, when a company goes into administration, this is similar as a corporate bankruptcy filing, putting the company in a semi-protected status that allows them to keep operating while trying to restructure their financial issues.
(3/30/20) While I’m not sure when the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London will reopen, they did announce just before all the attractions began to shut down that they were adding a new addition to the Harry Potter themed portion of the tour. This new addition would bring a “Slytherin common room” to the tour for the first time. At the time of the announcement the plan was to add the Slytherin room to the tour just for a limited time, from April 3 to Sept. 6, 2020.
I’m not sure if this timeline will be revised once the attraction reopens or not, but if you are a fan of all things Harry Potter, then you’ll want to make your way there when it is ready to open.
(3/23/20) Several attractions across the UK are now closing to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus this week. The list includes Alton Towers, Chessington, Thorpe Park and Paultons Park and others.
(12/10/19) According to BlooLoop, an official Doctor Who attraction will open somewhere in London in late 2020. The exact location will not be made public until Spring 2020, but the attraction itself is said to be a 90-minute immersive experience with live actors that will be called Doctor Who: Time Fracture.
Vietnam - (12/13/19) Triotech has announced that they have been hired to create a new interactive dark ride called “Dragon’s Spell” in 2020 at the Vinpearl Land theme park in Vietnam. Dragon’s Spell will be the first Interactive Dark Ride in Vietnam, designed entirely by Triotech, from the queue to the finish. The attraction will feature two pre-show experiences and the ride will use 18 four-seat cars, operating in trains of two cars each, with an estimated capacity of 800pph.
(5/22/19) Sanrio Co. has signed a deal with a local property development group to build and open a Hello Kitty theme park in Vietnam. This will be a 30,000 square-meter indoor attraction located in Hanoi, near West Lake. Look for “Sanrio Hello Kitty World Hanoi” to open sometime in 2021.