---- THE LATEST GLOBAL NEWS ----
(12/1/2023) Meryal Waterpark Soft Opens in Qatar
(12/1/2023) Saudi Arabia Announced As Home To Expo 2030 (MORE...)
(11/27/2023) SEVEN Will Build Transformers AXIS Coaster in Three Locations (MORE...)
(11/25/2023) London Mayor Blocks Proposal To Build London Sphere (MORE...)
(11/22/2023) Brazil opens New Surfland Brasil by Wavegarden (MORE...)
(11/21/2023) Transformers: Prepare For Battle - The World's First S&S Axis Coaster (MORE...)
Australia - (10/7/22) Monopoly Dreams, a new indoor themed attraction is coming to Melbourne by the end of 2022. This will be only the second Monopoly attraction in the world, following the opening of the first one in Hong Kong in 2019, except this new one set to open in Melbourne Central is said to be twice the size of the original. Inside the attraction will be 15 different Monopoly themed mini attractions where guests can play to try and win Monopoly money, which can then be redeemed for merchandise in the store, or for food items in the cafe.
The list of games and attractions at Monopoly Dreams will include a 4D theater, games themed to landing on Electric Company, Water Works, visiting the Bank, a Chance wheel to spin for prizes and even going to Jail where you have to “roll a double” on gigantic dice to get free. You can even take a ride in a golden elevator to visit Mr. Monopoly’s mansion.
Brazil - (11/22/2023) Wavegarden soft opened Surfland Brasil on Nov. 17th, a massive new surfing lagoon attraction located in Garapaba. According to the article at Blooloop, this is the seventh Wavegarden Cove surfing lagoon project. The project also includes a 78-bed condo-hotel that can be booked along with reservations for the surf lagoon. The unique new cove features “52 modules” which allow for the creation of over 20 different wave styles.
(9/30/2023) According to reports online a 22-year old woman who was riding a Wave Swinger style ride at Brazil’s Mirabilandia theme park was injured last week when the chains broke and the suspended seat she was in broke free from the ride, hitting the ground. According to the Twitter post below, she suffered fractures and a traumatic brain injury - WARNING! While the video does not appear to show the accident itself, there are some chilling images of the aftermath, so view at your own discretion.
Canada - (10/25/2023) The TELUS Spark Science Center in Calgary, Canada opened RO5iE, their new RoboCoaster attraction last month. According to the official website RO5iE offers five different motion programs.
(5/7/2023) Western Canada will soon be home to a new alpine coaster attraction. According to a press release ADG Mountainslides will open their new Rail Rider Mountain Coaster located at Golden Skybridge in Golden, B.C. The new attraction will race through a forest that lies between Canada’s two highest suspension bridges, with a track length of 3,375 feet at speeds up to 40 km/h, with a layout that features a 360º helix spiral and a 50-foot tunnel. Look for it all to open for the season on May 12th, 2023, along with the Skybridge itself, a zipline, rock wall and axe throwing range.
Golden Skybridge is a bit of a drive from just about anywhere however, as Google Maps lists it as a 7.5 hrs drive from Vancouver, 5.5 from Edmonton, 2.75 from Calgary, or a little over 6 hrs from Spokane, Washington if you’re coming from the US.
China - (10/28/2023) Crayola LLC has confirmed that a Crayola Experience attraction will be coming to Beijing, China as one of several attractions to be built in the “Top Park” attraction complex that will feature a number of well known international IP attractions. Look for Top Park to open sometime in 2026 with at least five major-IP based attractions, a themed hotel and retail area located not far from the Universal Beijing Resort area. The project is being overseen by Max-Matching Entertainments who operated a large number of FEC attractions across China in partnerships with brands like Hasbro, mattel, Aardman and now Crayola.
(9/22/2023) China has opened what may be one of the world’s most frightening attractions onto the famous 1,100 foot tall Aizhai suspension bridge. Hooked up to a walk-way the runs under the bridge, they have now added a thrill ride where a solitary rider is strapped into a a harness. The floor then pulls back, revealing the chasm below, and then they are slowly lowered down by an arm below the bridge structure, only to be released into a Skycoaster style plunge.
You can watch the horror show in action in the video clip below to which I simply say, “Nope!” You will never catch me on this thing! Never… ever… EVER! I love roller coasters and other fun thrill rides, but this is where I draw the line. And don’t ask me how they get that poor fellow back up onto the bridge… that part of the experience was not included in the video.
(7/30/2023) Awhile back you may have come across a viral video showcasing a new “Glass Waterslide” that takes guests down a beautiful mountainside in China. According to a news update from the South China Morning Post, a rockslide damages a glass waterslide while guests were traveling at high speed down the course. The captured video footage shows off the extensive damage where it appears that the first raft became stuck in the steel framework under the glass panels that collapsed. Further rafts, loaded with other riders come flying down the slide and impact into the stuck raft. One by one, we do see all of the passengers exit the rafts and safely move to a stable (and now dry) section of the slide to work their way down to safety. Thankfully no one was reported as being injured, as it would have been at least a 10 meter fall down to a rocky landscape below.
I have a feeling that since the first glass waterslide video went viral, there may have been a few clones built in other sections of the country, so I can’t verify the exactly location the incident took place in. An overlay graphic on the video does mention ‘Yunnan, China’ however. While the incident is a bit disturbing to watch, perhaps the most crazy thing is a comment posted towards the end of the video claiming that “The ride is under maintenance and will reopen in about a week”. Based on the visible damage to the support structure alone, and the large missing slide section just below the riders, I would assume this entire helix section of the ride would need to be rebuilt which could take months.
(6/10/2023) USA Today posted a video clip of a roller coaster in China getting stuck upside down when a power outage happened just before the train was to crest the top of the inverting lift hill. Riders were left stranded completely upside-down for several long minutes before a backup generator was activated, allowing the lift hill to finish pulling the train to the top to finish the ride.
Unfortunately the clip does not provide any actual information on the coaster, manufacturer or anything. At first glance this appears to be a Maurer Rides SkyLoop coaster, but this is not the case at all. According to our sources this is actually a new for 2023 knock-off copy of the Maurer ride from “Beijing Shibaollai Amusement Equipment” (aka: SBL) that had just opened this year at Nandaihe Intetainment Amusement Center.
The biggest tell-tale difference between the Maurer original and the knock-off from SBL is that the Maurer trains only have lap-bar restraints while the Chinese made ride features traditional over-the-shoulder restraints, which I’m sure were of comfort to the riders while they were trapped upside-down.
(5/30/2023) Harry Potter The Exhibition has announced that they will open in Macao in December 2023. Currently the exhibit is open in New York City (USA) and Paris (France). You can sign up to recieve more details as the date gets closer at the official website.
(4/8/23) Melco Resorts has opened a new indoor water park along with the Epic Tower hotel at their Studio City integrated resort property in Macau. Follow the link over to Blooloop to learn more about this park and the new resort hotel it is attached to. Macar, much like Hong Kong, is operated as a “Special Administrative Region” of China. While Hong Kong has always had a focus on tourism and business operations, Macau’s claim to fame has been due to a focus on Gambling and casino resorts, giving it the global reputation as being the “Las Vegas” of the far East.
(12/17/2022) Galaxy Entertainment, the operator of the Galaxy Macau casino resort, has pledged to spend approximately $3.5 billion over the next 10 years on expanding and improving the resort. In a bit of a twist, Galaxy Entertainment has said that approximately 97% of those funds will go towards non-gaming projects. Amongst those projects, which include new markings plans and offices in nearby country to promote travel to the Galaxy Macau, they are committed to building what they say will be the city’s ‘first-and-only high-tech amusement park” as part of a plan to target more “families and leisure visitors”.
Few details were given, though they did mention that it would be 61,000 square meters (656,598 sqft) and would “incorporate multimedia, interactive, and multi-sensory technologies to provide games and rides”.
Purely for comparison’s sake, this does sound a little bit like a bigger version of the Skytropolis indoor theme park at Genting Resorts World in Malaysia, which promotes itself as being 400,000 sqft. Based on promotional materials, Skytropolis appears to be more designed around smaller scale flat ride concepts instead of the more interactive / high-tech concepts that are being promoted for Galaxy Macau. We’ll have to wait and see.
Dominican Republic - (7/12/2023) Blooloop has posted a great article about the new Katmandu Park in Punta Cana and the rise of their “resortainment” attraction concept. They also delve into the concept and growth of the original Katmandu in Spain and how it has evolved over the years, now reaching out even beyond the physical parks into the world of online gaming and experiences.
(5/30/2023) Our buddy Arthur has posted a write up about the new Katmandu Park in Punta Cana that is worth reading. Towards the end he mentions a couple of things about the future of t he concept. For starters, new locations are in the works where they can combine new Katmandu parks with adjoining hotel resorts, with plans to expand into sites in the Canary Islands and in Mexico’s Playa Del Carmen.
He also mentions that a Phase 2 is in the works for the Punta Cana site that will be called Falcon’s Central. The plan is to open it in 2024 where the site will add new dining, retail and entertainment venues, including an aquarium, a “next-gen arcade” and more.
(2/18/2023) The new Katmandu Park in Punta Cana has now set March 15th as the opening date. If you read the fine-print, it says they are offering a ‘Sneak Preview of available attractions” for those who book tickets between now and March 14th, so if anyone is in the area and drops in I’d love to hear more about this new theme park experience.
Speaking of visiting the park, the ticket prices are a bit higher than what I would have expected however. A “1-Use Pass” to visit the the park and experience ‘all attractions once any day until used’ is a bit steep, listed at $120 right now. A similar Katmandu Pass is also $120 and allows the guest to experience ‘all attractions once in one day’. There is also a VIP Pass that allows for the same attraction experience as the 1-Use Pass, but also comes with 18 holes of mini golf, a ride on a giant swing, VIP parking, locker use and $75 of in-park credit.
As previously mentioned, Katmandu Park features 4 main themed attractions, so for a ticket priced on the level of visiting a Universal or Disney park for the entire day, you only get to experience each one once. I can only hope that given the smaller throughput expectations, that these are epic and lengthy attraction experiences.
I can’t verify this right now, but according to TravelPulse a visit to Katmandu Park will be included for free to guests staying at the Falcon’s Resort by Melia All Suites Punta Cana resort.
(10/14/22) Falcon’s Beyond has announced all new details about their upcoming new Katmandu Park expected to open in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) sometime in early 2023. The mini-park will feature four primary major attractions along with a small assortment of minor attractions such as the Wheel of Infinite Wonder carousel, the High Point Adventure outdoor ropes couse, The Quadagon indoor climbing course and Expedition Golf (a 36 hole mini-golf course through that will travel over mountains and through caves). Plus you wont want to miss trying out a large collection of unique themed food items. Aiding in the purchase and access of these adventures will be a smart wristband given to each guest that will also allow them to create a virtual identity with a system called BeyondME.
The four major attractions as described by Falcon’s Beyond are:
Legend of the Desirata: A highly sophisticated attraction typically found only at the world’s biggest theme parks, the 4D Dark Ride attraction will be an immersive experience that tells the Katmandu origin story and empowers guests to feel the thrill of adventure through movement. Seamlessly blending scenic elements and media, erasing the lines between reality and imagination, guests follow inventor and explorer Kilgore Goode into the Himalayas in a dynamically moving vehicle to experience his journey into the Hidden Realms as he discovers the mysterious Desirata. The attraction features multiple integrated projection screens, delivering high-framerate and high-fidelity stereoscopic 3D media content, immersive audio, lighting effects, wind effects and stunning scenic elements throughout the guest journey. The action in the rider’s surroundings and on the screens is choreographed with the vehicle’s movement, making it feel as if the rider is truly immersed in the story alongside the characters.
Voyage of the Fathom Wanderer: The park will feature its first-ever Suspended Theater attraction, where guests will join Kilgore Goode on an underwater mission to protect the Hidden Realm of Azurlan from a sea monster. For this attraction, guests enter and begin the experience in what appears to be a standard widescreen theater experience. But, unlike experiences that may exist in other parks around the world, there is a key element of surprise: guests are swiftly but elegantly lifted through the air and placed in front of another giant, compound curved screen, ushering them inside the story. Riders will soar through epic adventures, as this unparalleled attraction delivers the unique sensation of flight in a whole new way.
Challenge of the Mad Mage: The ON!X Theater attraction will reimagine the traditional 4D interactive theater with an impressive array of features seamlessly blended with advanced technology. Here, an Explorer Mage named Alvis challenges guests to a blaster duel through the Hidden Realms. A fully interactive real-time system gives every player the agency to direct the outcome of the action and even affect the narrative that unfolds before them on the massive, cinema-style screen, warranting repeatability to further discover new realms and interactions. A unique targeting system provides accurate and persistent positional tracking that not only detects where players aim, but where and how they move their blasters. Simultaneously, electric motion seats provide guests with multi-sensory feedback in the form of poking, tickling, vibration, wind, air blast, water mist, scent, localized speakers in headrests, and more.
EtherQuest: This interactive walk-through attraction will make its global debut at Katmandu Park | Punta Cana. The attraction combines proprietary technologies, elaborate scenic elements, immersive projection and an interactive gameplay journey to reimagine a traditional walk-through experience. Several of the rooms feature projection on all four walls to transport guests from the halls of “Jadu” (the house of Katmandu) into the Hidden Realms to defeat powerful Explorer Mages with various interactive props, find an invaluable EtherMetal ember and get back home. To give guests the chance to explore, play and influence their experience, this attraction uses an action-packed interactive walk-through system, where guests are really the main characters of their own adventure.
Falcon’s Beyond, the creative force behind the new Katmandu park isn’t done here either. They have plans already in the works to build at least two more Katmandu Parks: with a new site expected in Tenerife (Canary Islands) as early as 2024 and Playa Del Carmen (Mexico) in 2025 and after that they are look for another site in Puerto Vallarta (Mexico). This is all in addition to the original Katmandu attraction that first opened in Mallorca (Spain) way back in 2012.
Egypt - (12/26/2022) In an announcement from Polin, it seems a large new water park has opened in Egypt. Located in Hurghada, a heavily visited tourist beach / coastal town off the Red Sea is “Neverland City”, a sprawling new park that has a variety of attractions suitable for the young all the way up to the thrill seekers. Check it out in the video below.
France - (8/6/2023) An accident took place at Luna Park in Cap d’Agde, France this weekend that resulted in the death of one rider and serious injuries to another. According to the news report the two riders (age 17 and 19) were on the park’s “Adrenaline” attraction, which appears to be a knock-off of the popular Skycoaster style thrill ride. The report mentions that “the victims were understood to have struck obstacles as they fell some 60 meters (180 feet)”. It doesn’t sound like anything broke, but rather there is some speculation if the high winds at the time may have caused the accident. Watching previous footage of the attraction in action, there are two large vertical support columns that the base of the attraction that appear to be closer to the action that you would normally find them on other similar attractions. As these appear to be the only possible “obstacles” that the riders could have struck in the path of the motion, the concerns about high winds make more sense.
Germany - (9/19/2023) An accident has been reported as taking place in Munich, Germany at the Oktoberfest event. According to the local news reports two trains are said to have collided on the popular Hollenblitz spinning indoor roller coaster. Eight riders were treated for minor injuries and two taken into a local hospital for further treatment.
The coaster is massive, and is commonly thought to be one of the largest portable rides of it’s type anywhere in the world, with most of the ride running through a massive dispolay of lights, lasers, music and other special effects. You can view the ride experience in the video below.
Hong Kong - (7/3/2023) Transformers fans out there will be interested to know about The Ark, a Transformers themed restaurant that exists in Hong Kong that offers burgers, coffee and more. You can catch a peek at it in action in the video below.
India - (1/15/2023) The company behind India’s three “Wonderla” theme parks is now in talks with the Madhya Pradesh government about building a fourth park in that area. Currently the group runs similar parks Kochi (opened in 2000), Bangalore (opened in 2005) and then just opened their latest park in Hyderabad in 2016.
Indonesia - (8/13/22) Another year and another newly proposed Paramount theme park. Or at least thats how it seems sometimes, doesn’t it? According to a post at Blooloop, Paramount Pictures has signed a deal with “Kios” to build a “Paramount-themed destination in Bali” that would become one of the largest theme parks in Southeast Asia at 57-hectares. The plan includes drawing upon Paramount’s various IPs for attractions as well as two hotels: the Paramount Grand Resort and a Nickelodeon Resort.
Previously Paramount content was slated to be incorporated into the London Resort theme park project as well as a Paramount branded theme-park resort in China and another Paramount park concept for Korea said to be in development with Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment as part of a new integrated resort project.
Japan - (10/28/2023) Some interesting news is leaking from Japan about the planned Immersive Fort Tokyo attraction. As previously mentioned, the new attraction from Katana Inc. will replace the now closed Venus Fort shopping area in Tokyo’s Palette Town complex. Before closing, Venus Fort was known as offering an indoor shopping experience that was extensively themed as if you were walking through Italy, complete with a fake sky overhead that would slowing change from day to night as clouds crossed the sky. To help you visualize this… in essence this was Japan’s version of the famous Forum Shops in Caesars Palace Las Vegas.
According to an update from SoarNews24, Katana Inc. knew it would be a waste to just take down all that extensive theming, so instead what was once an over-the-top retail mall will now become a mini immersive theme park experience, complete with horror and murder mystery experiences to participate in. Immersive Fort Tokyo is said to take-up a 30,000 square-meter space and will feature 12 attractions, and four different restauratns, one of which will become an “immersive show” experience for the diners as they eat. The article also mentions that one of Katana’s senior creative directors also previously served as a producer for the Halloween Horror Nights experience at Universal Studios Japan.
Immersive Fort Tokyo is on track to open in Spring 2024.
(10/25/2023) Our friends at Blooloop have posted an extensive article after speaking with the team responsible for creating the new “Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo - The Making of Harry Potter” attraction. Based on the popular Warner Bros. Studio Tour London attraction, the new Tokyo version also allows guests to set foot into some of the sets and view actual props and costumes used in the making of the Harry Potter films.
While they could have just copied the best parts of the original London attraction, they attempted to elevate the experience in Tokyo to the next level, as well as offering some brand new sets and elements you won’t find anywhere else, including stops in the Ministry of Magic and a visit to the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom. The later of which also gives guests the ability to learn “the art of wand combat”, where various objects in the room will move and react to your spellcasting.
Having been built from scratch just for this purpose, everything in the Tokyo attraction has been built to a much larger scale as well, which allowed for bigger sets and attractions, as well as increased space for guest flow through the attraction. Follow the link to see the main article and interviews with the creative team, which also features a ton of photos from the new Tokyo attraction.
(10/10/2023) According to Blooloop, a new immersive indoor theme park will open in Spring 2024 in Japan called “Immersive Fort Tokyo”. According to the upside this will be a 30,000 square-meter location that will feature a dozen immersive attractions, along with retail shops and restaurants. The attraction will take over the 2nd and 3rd floors of the VenusFort shopping mall, which closed in 2022.
(9/14/2023) According to Nikkei Asia, Japan’s Mitsubishi Estate is making plans to build a large new theme park in Yokohama. The initial plans call for the theme park to be ready by 2031 and draw up to 12 million guests each year. The site for the park would actually be use formerly used as a U.S. military site and given back to the Japanese government in 2015. The theme for the park has not been selected yet, but they say that they’ve taken notice of the global interest in Japanese animation and video game worlds and characters, so they may try to bring some of those IPs to life. Of course, they will have to bypass the Nintendo line of products, who have already committed to a deal with Universal Studios.
(7/29/2023) MGM Resorts has reported that they plan to begin construction on the first “integrated resort” casino project in Japan sometime next year. If all goes according to plan, they have a lengthy construction timetable ahead of them, where the new $13.5 billion resort project has now been pushed back to open no earlier than 2030.
(7/4/2023) Japan’s oldest theme park, Hanayashiki, turns 140 years old this summer. To celebrate Hanayashiki is opening a new themed section and upgrading the p ark’s haunted house. The new version of the haunt will feature a new story about the “Four Great Kaidan of Edo” where visitors will encounter four traditional Japanese horror stories from Tokyo’s history.
Also new this year is an AR game where you can try to capture pictures of “yokai”, creatures from Japanese folklore, a projection mapped attraction about Flower Gardens, revised walk-through areas and a new restaurant, Ohanami Chashitsu.
(6/10/2023) The official preview trailer for the new Warner Bros Studio Tour Tokyo, “The Making of Harry Potter” attraction can now be found online, ahead of the June 16th official grand opening.
(5/29/2023) Some images of the new Harry Potter studio tour attraction coming to Tokyo has been posted to Blooloop this week, revealing the set of Diagon Alley. According to the story the version of Diagon Alley in Tokyo will feature the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes shop and be dressed as Diagon Alley was last seen in the film, “Harry Potter and the Death Hallows - Part One”, including the “Magic Is Might” statue. The new Tokyo studio tour attraction will open on June 16th and feature other iconic locations from the film series including The Great Hall and the Forbidden Forest.
(4/15/2023) Big news from Japan as MGM Resorts has been officially approved to move forward with plans to build a $10 billion resort on an artificial island near Osaka that will also include the first casino in Japan. Planned to open by 2029, the casino is just one part of a larger “Integrated Resort” project that will also include a massive hotels, a retail and dining area, a performance theater, conference center, and much more. One of Japan’s goal from approving the nation’s first casino was finding a way to lure in more international tourism into the country, which will help contribute to the economic growth of Japan as a whole. Projections for the new casino resort are expecting up to 20 million visitors and up to 520 billion yen ($3.9 billion) in annual revenue.
Previous efforts to build casinos in Japan have failed before ever getting government approval due to a strong public opposition to the concept, and worry about the addictive nature of gambling. It is worth noting that while official casinos have been banned previously in Japan, Gambling itself does take place in the form of betting on certain kinds of racing, such as horse-racing, and select powerboat and motorcycle races.
There is also the Pachinko loop-hole. Pachinko machine parlors can be found all over Japan and is sort of a kind of gambling, done in a way to get around the normal laws that would ban such activity. Players buy the small metal balls that are put into the Pachinko machines, which is sort of a cross between a slot-machine and vertical-pinpall game concept, they can win jackpots of… more metal balls. At the end, players can then take their balls to the counted and exchanged for ‘prizes’, much like at an American style redemption arcade. The loop-hole comes into play as one of the prizes players can exchange their balls for are said to be small gold bars sealed in plastic containers. The players can then take this mini gold-bars to a nearby shop, often conveniently owned by the same company that owns the Pachinko parlor, where they can be sold for cash. As the store is on a separate piece of property from the Pachinko parlor, the transaction is not considered gambling.
(4/1/23) Yukendoit is back with a new adventure trip in Japan. This time he visits the Seibuen amusement park that features a 1920’s to 1980’s era themed market, along with a small rides area featuring some basic rides themed to pop culture icons of the day like Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion. However, where Seibuen stands out is that the park is home to an off-the-charts Godzilla themed ride experience. He describes the Godzilla ride as a Soarin’ style flight simulator experience, but mixed with the concept of putting you in the middle of an epic battle between various giant monsters, including King Ghidorah and Rodan.
(3/20/23) According to an update posted by Blooloop, the new Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo, including The Making of Harry Potter has announced it will open to guests on Friday, June 16, 2023. Guests will visit locations from the Wizarding World and can participate in activities like riding a broomstick or drinking Butterbeer. As part of the announcement, the attraction revealed that guests will also be able to experience the Hogwarts Express on Platform 9 ¾. Follow the link for more details!
Mexico - (7/22/2023) A fun video showcasing the Hasbro City, a new indoor theme park attraction located just outside Mexico City can be found below from Attractions Magazine. While the focus is obviously on children, there are some interesting attractions here themed to Hasbro IPs like Transformers, Monopoly, Power Rangers and more.
(7/1/2023) A 6-year old boy was hurt when his harness broke while riding a Zipline in Mexico at Parque Fundidora’s Amazonian Expedition in Nuevo Leon last week. A video was captures as the incident took place which you can see below, showing the moment he falls. According to the description the boy fell 40 feet, but fortunately landed in an “artificial pool” built below this section of the Zipline. Fortunately he suffered only minor injuries and a nearby guest leapt into action to recover him from the pool. A government investigation is now taking place, and a lawsuit from the family is also expected.
(5/10/2023) Several riders became trapped on a “Power Rage” flat ride at a festival in Mexico over the weekend that came to a stop unexpectedly. When rescue crews arrived and set up ladder trucks to try and rescue the riders, the whole ride structure suddenly collapsed causing several injuries. The incident was caught on video which can be seen here.
(5/7/2023) You may have saw this clip on the Screamscape Facebook page the other day, but Vekoma has posted a sneak preview video of a crazy new roller coaster they are building for the new VidantaWorld project in Mexico. The project has been under construction for some time now, working at a slow pace throughout the pandemic, but according to the latest updates the park is expected to finally open later this year.
If the name isn’t familiar, you may recall several years ago that there were plans to build some kind of Cirque du Soleil branded park in Mexico, but after extended delays, Cirque opted out of having their brand used on the theme park. That didn’t stop the project which continued to be built, and it appears that at least one of the rides may have soft opened for some early preview riders according to the latest pictures posted at ThemeparX.
A construction video posted by ThrillGeek a couple of months ago shows off the resort in more detail, as seen from the aerial gondola that travels across the property and some footage on the ground. One interesting item is that sections of the project essentially look finished and ready to go, while other sections are are still all dirt and crews pouring footers, which gives me the feeling we may just see this project open in phases, or piecemeal as new attractions become ready to go. After the construction footage, the last video also features a great look at the resorts nighttime fountain show.
(1/22/2023) An interesting new themed attraction is opening in Cancun, Mexico that will offer a look into a unique aspect of Mexican culture. Luchatitlan will open at the La Isla shopping center in Cancun’s popular tourist-friendly hotel corridor, where the mall is already home to a large ferris wheel that offers views of Cancun and the ocean.
So what is Luchatitlan? This new themed attraction is dedicated to the popular Lucha Libre style of wrestling that Mexico is famous for. Lucha Libre wrestling often features high flying and very dynamic action from wrestlers who hide their face behind themed masks. If you’ve watched professional wrestling WWE anytime over the past 2 or 3 decades, them I’m sure you are familiar with Rey Mysterio, who is probably the world’s most well known Lucha Libre style wrestler.
Luchatitlan will take up a 30,000 sqft space that will not only feature a Lucha Libre hall of fame exhibit, but also a wrestling arena that will hold 580 people, plus a large themed restaurant and cantina. Look for Luchatitlan to put on various daily shows that will attraction not only tourists but also locals to enjoy their love for Lucha Libre. Currently they are planning on opening sometime in March 2023.
Qatar - (12/1/2023) According to a post online the Meryal Waterpark in Qatar has soft opened this week, though the entire park and every attraction is apparently not open yet. But as you can see in the photo, this park includes the Icon Tower, one of the most unique looking waterpark structures ever built, standing 278 feet tall and offering 12 different slides. Previously I believe the park was marketed under the name Aquatar.
(9/19/2023) According to the latest photo update posted to ThemeparX, the massive Meryal waterpark project in Qatar (formerly named Aquatar) is said to be 90% complete at this point. I don’t believe an opening date has been posted yet, but at this point it could be ready by the end of the year, as testing on several attractions has also begun.
(10/16/22) Blooloop has posted a great article about Doha Quest, a new indoor (and really underground I believe) theme park that finally opened in Qatar in 2021 as part of the Doha Oasis Mall project. The small park has a decent collection of attractions, including some special ones that take advantage of the indoor location such as the EpiQ Coaster (launches backwards up a 197 foot tall twisted spike) and Magma Blast that rise up into the sky inside specially built spire structures. The park has kept space open as well for new future additions, and have reportedly opened three new attractions this year: Gravity Wheel, Aero Flip and Robomania and are currently working to add an iFly indoor skydiving wind tunnel.
(1/2/22) Keep an eye out for the amazing new Aquatar waterpark project coming to Qatar in 2022 at Qetaifan Island North. WhiteWater is working with them to open what will be “the highest water slide in the world” in time for the World Cup 2022. The park’s “Icon Tower” is said to be 85 meters (260 feet) tall, and will have two elevators in the center to shuttle guests up and down the tower. There will be access to two slides at each of the towers’ six different levels, for a record-breaking total of 12 slides attached to a single tower. The tower itself is in a rather unique location, positioned out on a small peninsula surrounded by water on all sides.
All together the waterpark will feature a total of 36 different water slides of all styles and varieties. The good news is that the structure for massive tower is already in place, along with the central elevator shaft structure. You can see a timelapse video of the tower going into place below, shot between March and August 2021, and you can also see fairly recient construction pictures posted over at ThemeparX as the waterslides are being assembled in the park right now.
Saudi Arabia - (12/1/2023) Saudi Arabia has been headlining in the news a lot lately for their various new tourist attractions that are under construction, ranging from the world’s largest roller coaster coming to Six Flags Qiddiya to the WWE Experience attraction opening in January to the Transformer’s themed roller coasters coming to the “Seven” branded entertainment attractions across the nation. Now you can add another major attraction to the list of things coming to Saudi Arabia as it was announced this week as the city of Riyadh was selected as the host of Expo 2030.
Riyadh was in the running against Busan, South Korea and Rome, Italy to host the global Expo event. Before Expo 2030 however, the world will get to enjoy Expo 2025 in Osaka, Japan, that will open on April 13, 2025 and last for approximately 6-months.
(11/27/2023) According to a post on the IAAPA news site, they confirm that the three new SEVEN attraction locations that will be receiving the new Transformers themed S&S Axis Coasters will be Riyadh, Dammam, and Jeddah.
(11/21/2023) As rumored the new Transformers roller coaster from S&S going to select “Seven” locations in Saudi Arabia will indeed be the world’s first S&S AXIS roller coasters! The official name of the ride is “Transformers: Prepare for Battle”, which will feature a small LSM launch (35mph) into an all indoor compact course. Due to the limited size of the ride, the riders will actually be launched through the course twice before coming to a stop.
Right now they’re just confirming the first one, but Screamscape sources tell us that they are actually contracted to build at least three of these for Seven.
(11/14/2023) S&S has posted a teaser on their social media showing off a crazy looking themed roller coaster track segment with the message “Prepare for Battle…” and tags to Saudi’s new SEVEN attractions and @TransformersOfficial. Previously Seven did announced that they were planning to have official Transformers themed areas and attractions, and now with S&S’s involvement, it looks like we have a coaster in the works. The only question is, are we looking at a regular steel coaster, a launched coaster, or something entirely new, like perhaps the first Axis Coaster. Apparently they are going to announce it today (Tuesday) at IAAPA at 5:05pm.
(11/6/2023) I didn’t catch it myself, but if you happened to watch the WWE’s Premium Live Event, “Crown Jewel” broadcast live on Saturday from Saudi Arabia they aired a brief teaser for an official “WWE Experience” attraction that is actually already under construction in Riyadh.
Screamscape sources tell us that this has been a top secret project under construction for some time as part of a partnership between WWE and Thinkwell, who is serving as the designer, for what will become the first permanent WWE branded attraction in the world. The Saudi Arabia market has become very important to WWE over the last few years, as they’ve begun broadcasting two major PLE’s from Riyadh annually as part of a deal with the nation.
The actual attraction itself will feature a number of immersive experiences, allowing the participants the chance to see what it is like to BE a WWE Superstar, and to feel what it is like to stand in the ring, to go through some of the training and moves they learn, and even see some historic WWE moment recreated in person through special immersive technology. In fact, while it won't be ready with the rest of the attraction when it first opens in January 2024, Screamscape has been told that there will actually be an official WWE themed interactive dark ride that is expected to open later on in the year. The site will also be used as a hub for all major WWE appearances and special promotional events throughout the year.
Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to opening day!
(5/15/2023) According to Blooloop, Saudi Entertainment Ventures (Seven) has announced plans to build and operate the world’s first Transformers themed indoor entertainment centers in Saudi Arabia. Currently three are planned to open at first, with the first to open in Ah Hamra, Riyadh. The attraction centers will be approximately 10,000 square-meter in size and feature several state-of-the-art rides and immersive experiences.
(12/11/2022) Not to be confused with the Monopoly Dreams attraction that has opened in Hong Kong (2019) and Australia (2022), another Monopoly themed attraction has been opening locations elsewhere in the world under the name “Monopoly Lifesized”. The first one opened in London in 2021 and a new location has just opened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Monopoly Lifesized offered a super-sized game-board that teams of players can move around and take part in various challenges to acquire properties, early Monopoly Money as you pass “Go” and run the risk of being put in Monopoly Jail. The various games are described as “a hybrid of escape rooms, board games, and team challenges”.
It sounds like this may be a limited preview of the attraction as the article mentions more game boards coming in 2023, along with a Monopoly themed “Top Hat Restaurant” during 2023. The London location offers three different game boards to play on: City, Classic and Luxury, each with their own unique locations and challenges. The group behind this also has plans to expand and add more “Monopoly Lifesized” attraction locations in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific going forward.
(12/5/2022) “SEVEN”, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund in Saudi Arabia, is set to invest SAR 50 Billion ($13 billion US) in the development of up to 21 new entertainment destinations across 14 different cities. The first of which has now begin construction as part of the Al Hamra district of Riyadh. SEVEN has already secured partnerships for various IPs from Mattel, Hasbro and Warner Bros that will be used for these new attraction centers.
(3/7/22) Saudi Arabia has announced yet another amazing resort project, this one featuring a unique mountain resort concept that almost defies description, other than it definitely looks like a place I would like to see in person someday. This assumes they are able to build it, but to fully realize the vision of what they are proposing for “Trojena: the Mountains of Neom” will be a tast like no other. Especially if they want to open it by 2026.
The idea seems to feature amazing architecture built into a mountain region that will also incorporate an outdoor skiing resort (in a desert climate), wellness resorts, a man-make freshwater lake, many themed districts with a look behind it all that would seem more at place if the crew of the Enterprise were to visit another planet. Take a look and see what you think of it all.
(10/19/21) Another fascinating tourism project has been announced by Saudi Arabia called THE RIG. The plan will see an existing off-shore oil rig transformed and re-purposed into an amazing new concept for “hospitality, adventures and aquatic sports”. THE RIG will set a new level for what an “extreme park” can be. Take a look at the animated preview below and you’ll see things like bungee and base jumping experiences mixed with roller coasters, submarine rides, waterslides, a giant wheel, a wave pool, concerts restaurants and more.
(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.
(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 - (5/6/21) While work was last slated to begin on the planned Paramount Theme Park project as part of the Inspire Korea resort project in 2022 with a planned 2025 opening, this timeline is now looking to be delayed due to COVID. According to this update, Mohegan is reviewing their plans and timelines with South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, who have already approved a small extension to the plans to open the first phase of Inspire Korea to 2023. This will now push back the later phases and developments, as the Paramount theme park was part of Phase 2. How long of a delay has yet to be determined, so when we find out more, we’ll let you know.
(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.
Spain - (10/21/2023) The run of Harry Potter: The Exhibition touring attraction in Paris came to an end on October 15th. According to an update from Blooloop the attraction is now in the process of being relocated to a new venue in Barcelona, Spain set to open on November 17th. Meanwhile another version of the exhibit will premier in Macao, China at The Londoner on December 15, 2023. As previously mentioned, the US touring edition is currently set up in New York City where the run was expected through to January 7th.
Thailand - (3/27/23) A tourist visiting an attraction in Thailand got more than he bargained for when he decided to try out the park’s bungee jump. The entire incident was caught on video as the bungee cord holding his ankles snapped, and he ended up falling into the water below the jump point instead. Thankfully he survived, and seems to mainly suffer some scrapes and bruises from the experience but thankfully nothing more was noted.
UAE - (8/20/2023) A new Space themed hotel concept called “0G Resort” is being designed for the UAE. The idea is to create a unique immersive resort experience that will include a space themed restaurant experience, a stargazing deck, nightclubs, “space modules” along with luxury hotel rooms and villas. Currently the project has not settled on an exact site and is expected to cost at least $1 billion, but that price could go up, as some of the plans for the project under consideration have also proposed building a theme park as well.
(4/2/23) The first casino in the UAE was announced to be coming as part of the Wynn Resorts project coming to Al Khaimah on Al Marjan Island. The integrated resort project will feature more than 1000 hotel rooms, a retail mall, along with countless restaurants, lounges and more. The current timeline would see the new casino ready to open sometime in 2026.
Though the Wynn Resort was announced in early 2022, it originally was not going to feature a casino, as the usual Islamic laws that dominate the UAE do not normally permit gambling to take place. It is worth noting that Al Marjan Island where the resort will be built is an entirely mad-made island area however, located about an hours drive North from Dubai.
UK - (11/25/2023) I think it’s safe to say that the arrival of the Las Vegas Sphere has certainly changed the face of Sin City. The amazing graphics throughout the day and night, as well as the fun loving face that often appears on the Sphere has brought a little joy to both visitors and residents. For those wondering, the graphic display on the outside of the Sphere does not run 24 hours a day. From what I’m told, the Sphere often goes dark around 11pm now and can often run much later on select nights, which is probably on weekends or when concert events are taking place inside, or on select Holidays. In fact, I’d suspect it will run very late during the upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration.
Between the fun display on the outside the game changing experience it offers to concert performances on the inside as seen by the residency performances by U2, it would seem to be only a matter of time before other locations around the world look into adding their own Sphere. The group has apparently been in talks to bring a copy of the Sphere to London, but those plans hit the brakes this week when London’s mayor has taken action to block the creation of a second Sphere in London. Mayor Sadiq Khan has banned the project, claiming it would bring an “unacceptable negative impact on the local residents”, cause too much “light pollution”, use up too much power, and has concerns about the potential for it to cause epileptic seizures. Oh, and they’re worried about how London’s current historical sites will appear going into the future with the sphere potentially being visible in the background.
Las Vegas obviously has no such issues, where the city’s architecture essentially lives by the concept of building everything as big, bright and wild as possible. So with that in mind, I’m not surprised at all that the political forces in London would opt to block adding something so modern, crazy and futuristic looking as the Sphere from the local landscape. According to comments from Sphere Entertainment, the company now behind the Sphere, they are obviously disappointed in the decision, but “there are many forward-thinking cities that are eager to bring this technology to their communities. We will concentrace on those.”
With an estimated price tag of $2.4 billion and a construction period that stretched into 5 years of work (though it did experience significant delays as much of the construction was during the COVID pandemic) it would be interesting to see which cities might make the final cut to become home to another Sphere. Of course if you ask Bono from U2 who has been so impressed by the venue, he would probably throw Dublin into the mix of potential candidates now that London has bowed out.
One Sphere is certainly enough for West coast of North America but I’m not sure New York could handle it as the area is so overbuilt that the other infrastructure in most areas would block the view of the Sphere, invalidating the point of it. Obviously locations like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudia Arabia would have no problem funding such a project, but I don’t believe they have the market to pull in resident performers and operate concerts year-round in the way that Las Vegas can. While space would definitely be an issue, perhaps a second Sphere could work somewhere in Japan, perhaps part of the nation’s upcoming first casino area, which will be more of a mixed-use concept that is required to feature other non-gambling related activities like resorts, shopping, museums and more.
Until then, we’ll just have to enjoy basking under the gaze of the Vegas Sphere as his watchful eyes scan the local landscape, and even smile as the occasional jet full of passengers flying overhead before taking the occasional nap as Las Vegas’s new guardian mascott.
(9/2/2023) A unique new attraction is coming to the Carrickfergus Museum in the UK just in time for the spooky Halloween season. According to Blooloop the last known witch trial that took place in Ireland will be brought to life via a new VR experience as part of the “Demonised: Possessed and Bewitched” experience launching on September 9th. The trial of the “Islandmagee witches” from 1711 Ireland will be brought to virtual life, where eight woman were put on trial and found guilty of performing witchcraft upon a young woman named Mary Dunbar.
As part of the experience guests will virtually be inserted into the witch trial from the point of view either one of the accused woman, or Mary Dunbar herself, and experience the trial. “We wanted people to give people a sense of what it means to be persecuted and that feeling of being disorientated, confused and alienated and even nervous when you know everyone is against you.”
(8/20/2023) Great Wolf Lodge is making headway to build their first indoor waterpark resort outside of North America. The project which just received approval to move forward will be located in the UK, “close to Chesterton and Bicester”. Just like the North American counterparts, this new Great Wolf Lodge will include their signature indoor waterpark experience along with climbing walls, a ropes course, bowling, arcades and themed restaurant experiences.
Currently there are just over 20 Great Wolf Lodge locations scattered throughout the entire United States, as well as one in Canada near Niagara Falls.
(8/19/2023) The Dungeons attractions in London, York and Blackpool have offered a rather unique promotion for two days this past week. According to Blooloop, the creepy history themed attractions offered free admission to any students who received a grade D or below in their history class on August 17 and 18th. Those failing students were given a refresher course by visiting the Dungeons to learn about the “dark, uncensored history that went over their heads the first time”.
(7/11/2023) The first “NERF” themed family entertainment center will open in Manchester on August 25th. The new "Nerf Action Xperience" is an indoor attraction that will offer Nerf “blaster battles and sports challenges”, with five differently themed arenas.
(6/3/2023) The new Jurassic Pier attraction at the Clacton Pier in the UK from Simworx opened on May 27th. The new attraction features a walk-through Dinosaur safari style adventure past various large scale dinosaur animatronic figures, and ends with a 4D Theater experience, enhanced through to use of 24 3DOF seats along with various in-theater special effects, such as smoke, water spray, wind, leg ticklers and more.
(4/2/23) The ghosts of the former Camelot theme park in the UK will rise once again this fall when Scare City will once again resurrect the park and bring it to life once again for an all new haunt experience in 2023. Tickets for the all new Scare City experience are already on sale through the official website.
(2/4/2023) A new expansion at the Game of Thrones Studio Tour attraction in the UK now features a display that includes a number of the show’s wedding dresses… including the gown from the infamous ‘Red Wedding’. The display is said to be temporary and will only remain until April.
(12/10/2022) Did you know that the world famous London Eye observation wheel has an expiration date? Apparently the current permits to operate the iconic attraction that first opened on the bank of the Thames river on Dec. 31st, 1999 is set to end in 2028. Merlin Entertainment, who owns and operates the London Eye is applying to the government to remove the 2028 end date and make the London Eye a permanent visitor attraction that can be enjoyed for generations to come.
While I’m sure there will always be some who may consider it to be an eyesore, it is hard to deny that the sight of the Eye along the Thames in marketing or entertainment footage, has become a globally recognized representation of the London landscape in the same way that the Statue of Liberty is for New York City or that the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. Keeping that in mind, it really would be a shame if the London Eye were to come down.