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NEWS
July 6, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
It already seems like 2014 is shaping up as a great year for ride enthusiasts around the world, as a number of new theme parks are planned for Europe and several major attractions are in the works for Asia. PHOTOS: Best new international theme park rides for 2014 Consider this a tentative and fluid list of new attractions on tap at international parks (outside the United States). As is often the case, some projects may get delayed while new ones will get announced. Since it is still early, I'll update my top 14 over the coming months as new projects are announced.
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TRAVEL
June 16, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times
I've visited many theme parks in the United States over the last few years as the theme park blogger for The Times' Travel website, but this summer's crop of rides already has me updating my bucket list. Here's a look at some of the biggest new roller coasters, dark rides, live shows, water slides and themed lands planned for this summer at theme parks across the country. Outlaw Run Silver Dollar City, Mo. If I could visit only one theme park this summer, I'd head to Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo., to climb aboard the triple-inversion Outlaw Run hybrid (wood and steel)
NEWS
May 27, 2013 | By Chris Erskine
This weekend starts the busy time for America's theme parks. Stacy DeBroff, chief executive of Mom Central , a social media consulting firm focused on moms, has put together a checklist for families as they prepare for a theme park getaway.   Park prep Dress children in bright T-shirts to make it easier to spot them in large crowds. Buy tickets online ahead of time - it's usually cheaper -- and check out park package deals. When you arrive Use your cellphone to take a photo of your parking lot section, or nearby landmarks.
TRAVEL
April 28, 2013 | By Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
CARLSBAD, Calif. - The Legoland Hotel, which opened April 5, got plenty of little things wrong in its first weeks. But its designers got one thing enormously right, and that will make this place a screaming success: kid-centricity. "The dragon is made out of Legos!" my daughter, Grace, who is about to turn 9, said as we approached the hotel entrance a week after the opening. Inside the lobby, Grace; my wife, Mary Frances; and I found a faux fountain, a play pit full of little plastic bricks and dozens of deeply absorbed children who were collaborating on a rainbow-hued monolith, constructing pretend weapons, hollering, whispering, running, jumping and dragging their parents from one discovery to the next.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2013 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
During a honeymoon trip to Los Angeles, Chris Hansen and his new wife, Shoni, decided not to skimp on their visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. They booked a pricey tour for the theme park that included a buffet lunch, an escort to the front of the line of every ride and a behind-the-scene visit to the property and wardrobe departments on the studio's television and movie lot. The experience set the couple back $299 each, compared with the regular $80 admission price. But they didn't complain.
NEWS
April 9, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
This summer, a Belgian theme park will add an $8-million Viking land based on a television cartoon and movie series with two rides and a restaurant set in a lakeside village. The 12-acre Vicky the Viking themed land will be built on the location of a former theater at Belgium's Plopsaland De Panne, located along the North Sea about 90 minutes west of Brussels. A clever but timid 10-year-old boy who lives in a Viking village, Vicky is the star of a German-Austrian television cartoon series and the "Wickie the Viking" live-action films.
NEWS
April 4, 2013 | By Rosemary McClure
Travelers can go rolling on a river without leaving land at a new theme park that opened this week in Singapore . River Safari, the newest addition to Wildlife Reserves Singapore , showcases eight of the world's best known river habitats, including those of the Mississippi, Nile, Mekong, Yangtze and Amazon rivers. The park is home to 5,000 animals, including one of the world's largest collections of freshwater animals. “We look forward to bringing visitors up close to the fascinating wildlife that live in river habitats, which are disappearing faster than forest and marine environments,” said Claire Chiang, chair of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
NEWS
March 26, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
It's safe to say the Kitt Super Jet boat ride set to open Friday at Italy's Movieland ranks as the craziest and strangest theme park attraction debuting anywhere in the world this summer. Photos: Kitt Super Jet boat ride at Italy's Movieland The one-of-a-kind ride at the movie studio theme park outside Verona combines the extreme tourism of jet boating popularized in New Zealand with a theme based on the 1980s "Knight Rider" TV show starring David Hasselhoff and an artificially intelligent crime-fighting car named Kitt.
BUSINESS
March 22, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Is the Walt Disney Co. considering adding a "Star Wars"-themed land at one of its parks in Anaheim? That question has been on the lips of Disneyland guests and annual pass holders who in the past few weeks began receiving a survey by Disney, asking them about their interest in "Star Wars. " On Twitter, at least one Disney guest posted a screen grab of the survey, which asked: "How interested would you be in visiting a Star Wars themed land at Disneyland Resort?" Other questions included: "Which Star Wars characters would you definitely not want to see or meet in person?"
BUSINESS
March 22, 2013 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
The gig: Tim Burkhart, 54, is corporate vice president of maintenance and construction for Six Flags Entertainment Corp. , the parent company of Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia and 17 other parks in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Burkhart's resume is pretty short. He has spent his entire career at Six Flags, starting in 1977 when he was in high school and worked as a ride operator on Revolution, the first looping roller coaster. It was meant to be a temporary job to raise money for some senior-year fun. Instead, Burkhart said, he fell in love with the park and its employees.
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