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Theme parks
Up and coming

With the brand new theme park season open for business, we take a look at what’s new for 2014

By Jennifer Harbottle | Published in Attractions Management 2013 issue 4


T his has been a busy year for the attractions industry. Projects that had previously stalled – particularly those in the UAE – are moving into the final phases of completion and will open to the public in 2014. Asia continues to show strong growth, with announcements of both big and small parks for next year and ride manufacturers in both the US and Europe are predicting a solid year ahead.

It hasn’t all been good though. Finding affordable land that can justify huge capital investment is still the major barrier for many attractions’ investors and even some big theme park stalwarts are facing the difficult decision to shut poor performing parks in major cities that should, on paper, be a financial gold mine.

The start of a new investment cycle builds fresh hope however, whether a site is in its umpteenth season or its first, and new product brings excitement and renewed impetus for operators in an industry that thrives on getting bigger, better, faster and more thrilling.

Dubai’s Worlds of Adventures to open

The Worlds of Adventure theme park in Dubai will open in mid to late 2014, according to developer IMG Group. The theme park, which will be located in Dubailand’s much-delayed City of Arabia, will consist of four zones – the Marvel Universe, the Cartoon Network zone, the Lost Valley zone and the IMG entertainment zone. It will also include a 12-screen cinema and external F&B and retail areas. The 140,000sq m (1.5m sq ft) theme park will feature children’s favourites Ben 10 and Marvel superhero Iron Man.
 



Children’s superhero Ben 10 will feature
Into the Abyss

Perth-based Adventure World will open its brand new Aus$12m (US$11.4m, E8.4m, £7.1m) roller coaster in November 2013. Abyss is the single largest investment at Adventure World since it launched in 1982 and features a 10 storey-high vertical lift, a 100ft (30.5m) vertical drop and giant turns and twists. The 630m (2,000ft) Gerstlauer custom built coaster also features four daylight inversions and a secret dark ride section, as well as a zero-g-roll, rollover loop, cobra roll and inline loop. The theme is a spooky underworld with towering Guardians, massive upturned trees with exposed roots and an intimidating themed arch entrance to create a feeling of impending doom.
 



The Abyss rollercoaster is themed around a spooky underworld
Transforming costume characters

Universal Studios Hollywood has introduced robotic, voice technology enabling walk-about characters to its park, which interact and speak with its theme park guests. As an extension of its thrill ride Transformers: The Ride – 3D, the humanoid robots Megatron and Optimus Prime can now engage in conversations with guests in both the tone and personality of their characters.
 



At Universal Studios, humanoid robots now interact with visitors
Something cooking at Disneyland Paris

A new dark ride based on the Ratatouille movie will open at Disneyland Paris next year. Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy will use trackless ride vehicles and 3D to ‘shrink’ guests and submerge them in the madness of a Parisian kitchen. (See interview with COO Joe Schott on p26.)
 



The new ride ‘shrinks’ guests into a mad Paris kitchen
Film studio to open park

Cinecittà World, the cinema-inspired theme park being built near Rome, Italy, is to open in the first half of next year. The US$700m (E517m, £43.7m) park will combine art and cinema to create a tourist attraction with theme park rides aimed at families and children. In subsequent phases, the park will also house shops, restaurants and film sets.
 


PHOTO: flickr/sapiamaia

Film studio Cinecittà will house the park
All systems go


Work has started on Robot Land theme park in the coastal city of Incheon, South Korea. The park’s developer, Robotland Co has broken ground on the US$600m (E444m, £376m) project, which will include a robot-inspired theme park, robotics school and accommodation. The park is scheduled to open in 2016.
Welcome Homer

Universal Orlando Resort in Florida has opened its new themed environment based on TV show The Simpsons. Springfield features all of Homer and family’s favourite haunts, including Shelbyville by the Sea and Duff Brewery. As well as The Simpsons Ride, the newly-themed area includes iconic eateries and an outdoor attraction based on the show’s evil alien duo, Kang & Kodos.
 



The park area features Homer’s haunts
The official angry birds

The first official Angry Birds theme park in China opened in October in Haining, East China’s Zhejiang province. Although there have been many unlicensed imitations in China, this is the only official Rovio Entertainment Angry Birds theme park outside of Finland, where Rovio Entertainment is based.
Attractions include a 4D theatre, an interactive square for guests to play versions of the popular Angry Birds game and also a parkour zone aimed at teens. The 20m yuan (US$3.25m, E2.54m, £2.18m) park is just 150km (93 miles) away from mainland China’s first Disney Resort in Shanghai, which is due to open in 2015.

 



The new park in China cost £2.18m
Creating history in Moscow

Suburban landowner and property developer RDI has announced plans to build a historical theme park in Moscow in 2014. The Russian theme park will be a showcase for costumed historical reenactments, similar to the French theme park Puy du Fou.

Russian developer RDI, has allocated RUB2bn (US$60.3m, E45.5m, £39m) and 1sq km (0.38sq m) of land for the project, which could be built within the next five years. The theme park will also include a 150-room hotel, ethnography museum, historical village with guest houses and an amphitheatre and will be able to cater to around 40,000 visitors once it’s open.

 



A £39m park planned for Russia will offer historical reenactments
Deep rooted


Plans are underway in Dubai in the UAE to build a themed destination based on the Quran. The Dubai Municipality says the new Holy Quran Park, which will be based on the central religious text of Islam, will open in September 2014.

The 60-hectare US$7.3m (E5.5m, (£4.7m) attraction will showcase “the miracles of the Quran” and is said to include an outdoor theatre, children’s play area and a series of Islamic gardens featuring many of the plants and trees mentioned in the text of the Quran.

Job done

India’s first KidZania has opened this month in Mumbai. Backed by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, the 75,000sq ft (7,000sq m) attraction is operating under a licensing deal with KidZania Mexico. KidZania Mumbai, located in Ghatkopar, is the 13th KidZania franchise worldwide. ImagiNation Edutainment India, the India franchisee, plans to open other KidZania sites in cities across India, including Delhi and Bangalore.
 



News reporter or dentist? Kids can ‘try out’ new skills at Kidzania in Mumbai
 


News reporter or dentist? Kids can ‘try out’ new skills at Kidzania in Mumbai
 
Flags flying

Six Flags has a host of new attractions for the 2014 season. Six Flags America will introduce a New Orleans-themed Mardi Gras section to its Baltimore park along with two new rides; Ragin’ Cajun, a four-passenger train, fast-track roller coaster and a family-friendly, flying ride called French Quarter Flyers. At Montreal’s La Ronde, high-flying, inverted spinning ride The Demon will debut next year.

At Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, a drop ride called Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom is new, which at 415ft (126m) will take the honour of tallest drop tower in the world when it opens next year. The ride will replace the park’s classic wooden coaster Rolling Thunder.

At Six Flags Magic Mountain, California, Bugs Bunny World – the children’s area of the park – will undergo a makeover, with the addition of a new children’s coaster and family-friendly show in the Carrot Club Theater. Six Flags Over Texas is also expanding its children’s area for the new season, with new rides and an interactive play area.

 



Six Flags parks around the US have many new attractions for 2014
Arthur’s Seat 

Visitors to Germany’s Europa-Park will be able to get up close and personal with the world according to Luc Besson in April 2014. The French director of the Arthur and the Invisibles trilogy is working alongside Mack Rides to create a new family attraction based on the films at the family-run park.

Arthur – In the Minimoys Kingdom is a 3,500 m (11,480ft) attraction built under a 15m (49ft)-dome, featuring the secret world of tiny beings called Minimoys. Visitors will experience seven kingdoms, including a 550m (1,800ft)-long flight through an underground universe. A dark ride is part of the attraction, as well as a free-fall tower and carousel ride, built within Grimm’s enchanted forest.

 



Europa visitors will meet the Minimoys
COMPANY PROFILES
Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976. Polin has since grown into a leading company in the waterpa [more...]
TOR Systems Ltd

TOR Systems have been in this business since 1981. [more...]
ProSlide Technology, Inc.

A former national ski team racer, ProSlide® CEO Rick Hunter’s goal has been to integrate the smoot [more...]
Vekoma Rides Manufacturing B.V.

Vekoma Rides has a large variety of coasters and attractions. [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Behind the Scenes of IAAPA Expo 2022 with Michael Shelton
There is no place like IAAPA Expo, it’s the place to take in the most exciting sights, smells, tastes, and sensations that will take your career and attraction to new heights! The excitement, energy and opportunity are palpable. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

Proslide Tech Inc - ProSlide's all-in-one waterplay entertainment center
RideHOUSE is an iconic waterplay complex purposefully designed for young kids and families to enjoy. Find out more...
More videos:
Red Raion Showreel 2021 – Red Raion
Red Raion TV - Testimonial: Leolandia – Red Raion
Keynote | Moby Dick - Friends to the rescue! – Red Raion
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
 

+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

01-07 Dec 2022

World Leisure Congress 2022

tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
05-07 Dec 2022

East Cape Futures

Hotel Palmas de Cortez, Los Barriles, Mexico
+ More diary  
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©Cybertrek 2022
Jobs    News   Products   Magazine
Theme parks
Up and coming

With the brand new theme park season open for business, we take a look at what’s new for 2014

By Jennifer Harbottle | Published in Attractions Management 2013 issue 4


T his has been a busy year for the attractions industry. Projects that had previously stalled – particularly those in the UAE – are moving into the final phases of completion and will open to the public in 2014. Asia continues to show strong growth, with announcements of both big and small parks for next year and ride manufacturers in both the US and Europe are predicting a solid year ahead.

It hasn’t all been good though. Finding affordable land that can justify huge capital investment is still the major barrier for many attractions’ investors and even some big theme park stalwarts are facing the difficult decision to shut poor performing parks in major cities that should, on paper, be a financial gold mine.

The start of a new investment cycle builds fresh hope however, whether a site is in its umpteenth season or its first, and new product brings excitement and renewed impetus for operators in an industry that thrives on getting bigger, better, faster and more thrilling.

Dubai’s Worlds of Adventures to open

The Worlds of Adventure theme park in Dubai will open in mid to late 2014, according to developer IMG Group. The theme park, which will be located in Dubailand’s much-delayed City of Arabia, will consist of four zones – the Marvel Universe, the Cartoon Network zone, the Lost Valley zone and the IMG entertainment zone. It will also include a 12-screen cinema and external F&B and retail areas. The 140,000sq m (1.5m sq ft) theme park will feature children’s favourites Ben 10 and Marvel superhero Iron Man.
 



Children’s superhero Ben 10 will feature
Into the Abyss

Perth-based Adventure World will open its brand new Aus$12m (US$11.4m, E8.4m, £7.1m) roller coaster in November 2013. Abyss is the single largest investment at Adventure World since it launched in 1982 and features a 10 storey-high vertical lift, a 100ft (30.5m) vertical drop and giant turns and twists. The 630m (2,000ft) Gerstlauer custom built coaster also features four daylight inversions and a secret dark ride section, as well as a zero-g-roll, rollover loop, cobra roll and inline loop. The theme is a spooky underworld with towering Guardians, massive upturned trees with exposed roots and an intimidating themed arch entrance to create a feeling of impending doom.
 



The Abyss rollercoaster is themed around a spooky underworld
Transforming costume characters

Universal Studios Hollywood has introduced robotic, voice technology enabling walk-about characters to its park, which interact and speak with its theme park guests. As an extension of its thrill ride Transformers: The Ride – 3D, the humanoid robots Megatron and Optimus Prime can now engage in conversations with guests in both the tone and personality of their characters.
 



At Universal Studios, humanoid robots now interact with visitors
Something cooking at Disneyland Paris

A new dark ride based on the Ratatouille movie will open at Disneyland Paris next year. Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy will use trackless ride vehicles and 3D to ‘shrink’ guests and submerge them in the madness of a Parisian kitchen. (See interview with COO Joe Schott on p26.)
 



The new ride ‘shrinks’ guests into a mad Paris kitchen
Film studio to open park

Cinecittà World, the cinema-inspired theme park being built near Rome, Italy, is to open in the first half of next year. The US$700m (E517m, £43.7m) park will combine art and cinema to create a tourist attraction with theme park rides aimed at families and children. In subsequent phases, the park will also house shops, restaurants and film sets.
 


PHOTO: flickr/sapiamaia

Film studio Cinecittà will house the park
All systems go


Work has started on Robot Land theme park in the coastal city of Incheon, South Korea. The park’s developer, Robotland Co has broken ground on the US$600m (E444m, £376m) project, which will include a robot-inspired theme park, robotics school and accommodation. The park is scheduled to open in 2016.
Welcome Homer

Universal Orlando Resort in Florida has opened its new themed environment based on TV show The Simpsons. Springfield features all of Homer and family’s favourite haunts, including Shelbyville by the Sea and Duff Brewery. As well as The Simpsons Ride, the newly-themed area includes iconic eateries and an outdoor attraction based on the show’s evil alien duo, Kang & Kodos.
 



The park area features Homer’s haunts
The official angry birds

The first official Angry Birds theme park in China opened in October in Haining, East China’s Zhejiang province. Although there have been many unlicensed imitations in China, this is the only official Rovio Entertainment Angry Birds theme park outside of Finland, where Rovio Entertainment is based.
Attractions include a 4D theatre, an interactive square for guests to play versions of the popular Angry Birds game and also a parkour zone aimed at teens. The 20m yuan (US$3.25m, E2.54m, £2.18m) park is just 150km (93 miles) away from mainland China’s first Disney Resort in Shanghai, which is due to open in 2015.

 



The new park in China cost £2.18m
Creating history in Moscow

Suburban landowner and property developer RDI has announced plans to build a historical theme park in Moscow in 2014. The Russian theme park will be a showcase for costumed historical reenactments, similar to the French theme park Puy du Fou.

Russian developer RDI, has allocated RUB2bn (US$60.3m, E45.5m, £39m) and 1sq km (0.38sq m) of land for the project, which could be built within the next five years. The theme park will also include a 150-room hotel, ethnography museum, historical village with guest houses and an amphitheatre and will be able to cater to around 40,000 visitors once it’s open.

 



A £39m park planned for Russia will offer historical reenactments
Deep rooted


Plans are underway in Dubai in the UAE to build a themed destination based on the Quran. The Dubai Municipality says the new Holy Quran Park, which will be based on the central religious text of Islam, will open in September 2014.

The 60-hectare US$7.3m (E5.5m, (£4.7m) attraction will showcase “the miracles of the Quran” and is said to include an outdoor theatre, children’s play area and a series of Islamic gardens featuring many of the plants and trees mentioned in the text of the Quran.

Job done

India’s first KidZania has opened this month in Mumbai. Backed by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, the 75,000sq ft (7,000sq m) attraction is operating under a licensing deal with KidZania Mexico. KidZania Mumbai, located in Ghatkopar, is the 13th KidZania franchise worldwide. ImagiNation Edutainment India, the India franchisee, plans to open other KidZania sites in cities across India, including Delhi and Bangalore.
 



News reporter or dentist? Kids can ‘try out’ new skills at Kidzania in Mumbai
 


News reporter or dentist? Kids can ‘try out’ new skills at Kidzania in Mumbai
 
Flags flying

Six Flags has a host of new attractions for the 2014 season. Six Flags America will introduce a New Orleans-themed Mardi Gras section to its Baltimore park along with two new rides; Ragin’ Cajun, a four-passenger train, fast-track roller coaster and a family-friendly, flying ride called French Quarter Flyers. At Montreal’s La Ronde, high-flying, inverted spinning ride The Demon will debut next year.

At Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, a drop ride called Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom is new, which at 415ft (126m) will take the honour of tallest drop tower in the world when it opens next year. The ride will replace the park’s classic wooden coaster Rolling Thunder.

At Six Flags Magic Mountain, California, Bugs Bunny World – the children’s area of the park – will undergo a makeover, with the addition of a new children’s coaster and family-friendly show in the Carrot Club Theater. Six Flags Over Texas is also expanding its children’s area for the new season, with new rides and an interactive play area.

 



Six Flags parks around the US have many new attractions for 2014
Arthur’s Seat 

Visitors to Germany’s Europa-Park will be able to get up close and personal with the world according to Luc Besson in April 2014. The French director of the Arthur and the Invisibles trilogy is working alongside Mack Rides to create a new family attraction based on the films at the family-run park.

Arthur – In the Minimoys Kingdom is a 3,500 m (11,480ft) attraction built under a 15m (49ft)-dome, featuring the secret world of tiny beings called Minimoys. Visitors will experience seven kingdoms, including a 550m (1,800ft)-long flight through an underground universe. A dark ride is part of the attraction, as well as a free-fall tower and carousel ride, built within Grimm’s enchanted forest.

 



Europa visitors will meet the Minimoys
LATEST NEWS
Alton Towers' iconic Nemesis coaster closes for major revamp
The famous Nemesis ride at UK theme park, Alton Towers, has closed for a major revamp.
Bob Iger's return to Disney sparks major restructuring focused on creativity and storytelling
Disney is set to undergo a "major restructuring" following the shock return of CEO Bob Iger.
Battersea Power Station's chimney experience whisks guests up 109m in a glass elevator
The highly anticipated chimney lift experience at the Battersea Power Station has opened to the public.
Eureka! tackles STEM with new Science + Discovery Centre
Eureka! Science + Discovery Centre in Seacombe, UK, has opened its doors to the public.
National Trust plans immersive experience at Bath Assembly Rooms
The National Trust has appointed design and build practice Sarner to create a new immersive visitor experience at the iconic Bath Assembly Rooms.
Digital art installation in Nanjing helps the public keep an eye on exoplanets
A permanent public art sculpture allows the public to observe the galaxy's exoplanets – which human life could potentially exist on.
SimEx-Iwerks reveals first customised fly film in collaboration with Red Raion. Celebrates 30th anniversary in 2023
Immersive cinema specialist SimEx-Iwerks has supplied a new flying theater experience, Frostbite: Dino Island III – the company's first custom- produced film of it kind.
Dubai's Real Madrid theme park will immerse fans in the club's culture
The first-ever Real Madrid-themed experience is set to open in Dubai next year.
TEA announces 2022 Thea Award winners, with Disney, Futuroscope, Kevin Murphy and Roland Mack among those honoured
The Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser experience at Walt Disney World, Orlando, is among the winners of this year's Thea Awards.
Scott O’Neil takes the reins from Nick Varney at Merlin Entertainment
Merlin Entertainments, the UK-based global attractions operator which is second only to Disney in size, has chosen its new CEO, following the retirement of its founder, Nick Varney.
Disney launches wearable MagicBand+ for Disneyland resort
Disney is utilising wearable technology to provide guests at its Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, with a wide range of 'hands-free conveniences and immersive experiences'.
Museum of London to close its doors with festival and all-night openings
The Museum of London in the UK capital is to hold two free weekend festivals and all-night openings ahead of the closure of its current home at London Wall in the City of London.
+ More news   
 
COMPANY PROFILES
Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976. Polin has since grown into a leading company in the waterpa [more...]
TOR Systems Ltd

TOR Systems have been in this business since 1981. [more...]
ProSlide Technology, Inc.

A former national ski team racer, ProSlide® CEO Rick Hunter’s goal has been to integrate the smoot [more...]
Vekoma Rides Manufacturing B.V.

Vekoma Rides has a large variety of coasters and attractions. [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Behind the Scenes of IAAPA Expo 2022 with Michael Shelton
There is no place like IAAPA Expo, it’s the place to take in the most exciting sights, smells, tastes, and sensations that will take your career and attraction to new heights! The excitement, energy and opportunity are palpable. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

Proslide Tech Inc - ProSlide's all-in-one waterplay entertainment center
RideHOUSE is an iconic waterplay complex purposefully designed for young kids and families to enjoy. Find out more...
More videos:
Red Raion Showreel 2021 – Red Raion
Red Raion TV - Testimonial: Leolandia – Red Raion
Keynote | Moby Dick - Friends to the rescue! – Red Raion
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

01-07 Dec 2022

World Leisure Congress 2022

tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
05-07 Dec 2022

East Cape Futures

Hotel Palmas de Cortez, Los Barriles, Mexico
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2022

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
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