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March 1, 2014 | By Brady MacDonald
Like art, music and fashion, roller coasters speed through trends in a never-ending pursuit of the latest and greatest record-setting feat. Over the years, theme parks have introduced all sorts of "world's first" coaster designs billed as the fastest, tallest or longest -- only to be overtaken in subsequent summers by faster, taller and longer behemoths. Photos: Banshee inverted coaster at Ohio's Kings Island So it comes as somewhat of a surprise that Ohio's Kings Island will introduce the world's longest inverted coaster in April with an under-the-track design that last reigned supreme in the 1990s.
February 28, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard, This post has been updated. See note below for details.
SeaWorld closed Friday amid the strong storms that have hit Southern California. "Safety of guests/team members/animals is a top priority," tweeted Clyde the sea lion. Extreme weather conditions (heavy rain & strong winds): We're closed today (2/28). Safety of guests/team members/animals is a top priority. - Clyde Sea Lion (@ClydeSeaWorldSD) February 28, 2014 But if you still feel like heading to a theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood was open Friday and handing out free hot chocolate and coffee for those willing to brave the rain -- and the traffic -- for the Transformers and Shrek 4-D rides.
February 9, 2014 | By Brady MacDonald
The Flight of the Demon winged coaster debuting March 29 at Germany's Heide Park will swoop through the dark along a twisting track bathed in devilish lights and lasers. Photos: Flight of the Demon winged coaster at Germany's Heide Park Known as Flug der Damonen in German, the $20-million coaster built by Switzerland's Bolliger & Mabillard is currently undergoing on-track testing at the Hamburg-area theme park. Custom painted by German graffiti artist Markus Genesius , the coaster trains will be themed as flying demons with gleaming red eyes and dagger-like fangs.
January 30, 2014 | Brady MacDonald
A new hybrid dark ride-roller coaster at Germany's Europa-Park will take visitors through a microscopic universe populated by ants the size of elephants, bumble bees as big as fighter jets and blades of grass taller than skyscrapers. Photos: 'Arthur and the Invisibles' ride at Germany's Europa-Park Debuting in April, the ride will be themed to the "Arthur and the Invisibles" animated movie trilogy directed by French filmmaker Luc Besson. The stories follow the adventures of a tiny race of creatures known as Minimoys who live in peaceful harmony with nature in a secretive underground world.
December 17, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Another mega entertainment company jumped into the theme park business Tuesday when Twentieth Century Fox broke ground on a 25-acre theme park in Malaysia. The project, to be called Twentieth Century Fox World, was unveiled in July but new details emerged Tuesday as executives from Twentieth Century Fox and developers of the project began construction in Malaysia. The park is expected to open in 2016. Twentieth Century Fox World will replace a previous theme park that closed in September next to Genting Highlands, otherwise known as Resorts World Genting.
December 12, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
A new era of towering thrill rides debuting over the next few years promises to alter the skylines of theme parks around the world. Photos: New towering thrill rides on the horizon Free-fall drop towers and skyrocketing space shots have been part of the theme park landscape for decades, but the next generation of sky-scraping attractions will significantly ramp up pulse rates while reaching once unimagined heights. Not too long ago, 300 feet was considered tall in the theme park universe.
December 10, 2013 | By Daniel Miller
When it comes to theme parks, the Walt Disney Co. could have a new No. 2 - Shanghai Disney Resort. Speaking at the UBS 41st annual Global Media and Communications Conference on Tuesday, Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said that Disney's forthcoming park and resort in Shanghai could become “the second largest Disney destination in the world” behind the Walt Disney World Resort in the Orlando, Fla., area. PHOTOS: Billion-dollar movie club According to the Themed Entertainment Assn., which ranks theme parks worldwide by attendance,  17.5 million people visited Disney's Magic Kingdom property in Orlando last year - good for the highest attendance of any amusement park in the world.
October 22, 2013 | Hugo Martín
By day, they apply lipstick, rouge and powder to create that vibrant, flawless look. But by night they use their skills to paint a picture of death, punctuated with scars, bloody gashes and deformities. For makeup artists, Halloween is a super job creator. Theme parks and other haunted attractions employ dozens of artists to turn actors into zombies, demons, crazed mutants and other assorted freaks. But the holiday can mean long hours, with Halloween events stretching from the early-afternoon to the early-morning hours.
October 17, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
HBO's "Game of Thrones" has a lot: exotic locations, rich characters, dense political intrigue, ice zombies and dragons! But what if George R.R. Martin had gotten together with series producers Dan Weiss and David Benioff and re-envisioned it as a wacky ensemble comedy set in a medieval theme park. You know, it could be called, "Medieval Land Fun-Time World. " That's the premise behind Bad Lip Reading's latest video, taking three seasons of murder, betrayal, incest, scheming, sex and dragons and turning it into something Judd Apatow could have produced.
October 15, 2013 | By Barbara Demick
FUPING, China - A statue of the father of the nation's leader - 60 tons of granite - serves as the centerpiece of a square flanked by cypress trees. People approach along a long walkway and bow in the direction of his seated figure. Many carry oversized sprays of flowers. A museum dedicated to his life is at the other end of the walkway. Older women with straw hats and baskets squat on the grass, picking out weeds by hand to keep the grounds immaculate. The optics look straight out of North Korea, but this is in fact China.
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