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NEWS
June 12, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
A real-world version of the "Resident Evil" video game coming to Universal Studios Japan this summer will arm theme park visitors with a gun and a limited amount of ammunition in a fierce battle against attacking zombie hordes. Scheduled to debut on July 19, the new "Resident Evil: The Real" walk-through attraction at the Osaka movie theme park will let visitors step inside a lifelike re-creation of the survival horror video game series and film franchise, known as "Biohazard" in Japan.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 18, 2014 | By Daniel Miller
Universal Studios Japan's Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction will open July 15, the theme park announced Friday at an event attended by Japanese and foreign dignitaries. The $500-million Wizarding World, similar to an attraction that opened at Universal Orlando Resort in 2010, will include rides incorporating environments and characters from the "Harry Potter" book and film franchises. The themed land, part of the 108-acre theme park in Osaka, will feature attractions such as Hogsmeade Village, the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, and Hogwarts castle.  Universal Studios Japan unveiled that castle -- the focal point of the Wizarding World -- at an event attended by Caroline Kennedy, U.S. ambassador to Japan, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.  ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll Universal Studios Hollywood will open a similar Wizarding World attraction in 2016.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 18, 2014 | By Daniel Miller
Universal Studios Japan's Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction will open July 15, the theme park announced Friday at an event attended by Japanese and foreign dignitaries. The $500-million Wizarding World, similar to an attraction that opened at Universal Orlando Resort in 2010, will include rides incorporating environments and characters from the "Harry Potter" book and film franchises. The themed land, part of the 108-acre theme park in Osaka, will feature attractions such as Hogsmeade Village, the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, and Hogwarts castle.  Universal Studios Japan unveiled that castle -- the focal point of the Wizarding World -- at an event attended by Caroline Kennedy, U.S. ambassador to Japan, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.  ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll Universal Studios Hollywood will open a similar Wizarding World attraction in 2016.
NEWS
April 1, 2014 | Brady MacDonald
As summer approaches, 2014 already looks like a great year for ride enthusiasts around the world as a number of new theme parks are planned for Europe and Asia and several major attractions are in the works for North America. PHOTOS: 32 best new theme park additions of 2014 Consider this a tentative and fluid list of new attractions on tap across the globe. As is often the case, some projects may get delayed while new ones get announced. Let's take a look at the 32 most anticipated additions planned for 2014 at theme parks close to home, across the United States and around the world.
BUSINESS
May 10, 2012 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Having cast a spell in Orlando and planted his flag in Los Angeles, Harry Potter is now taking his theme park magic across the Pacific. Universal Studios Japan on Thursday will unveil plans to build the first international version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the blockbuster attraction that has drawn millions of fans to Universal's Orlando resort and is expected to do the same at a planned Hollywood location. The Osaka destination, which will begin construction in the next few weeks with a planned opening in late 2014, is the latest in a series of expansions underway at major parks around the world that has followed an uptick in attendance, particularly in Asia.
BUSINESS
October 4, 2002 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The president of Universal Studios Japan resigned Thursday over operating problems that have slashed attendance, tarnished the park's image and delivered visitors thrills they hadn't bargained for: restaurants serving expired food, drinking fountains spewing unsanitary water and shows using excessive explosives. Akira Sakata, president of USJ Co., which operates the park, apologized for the trouble.
BUSINESS
October 21, 2009 | Ben Fritz and Claudia Eller
In a move that spares Universal Orlando theme parks from a potential financial jam next year, Steven Spielberg has agreed to delay by seven years his option to demand a payout worth hundreds of millions of dollars under the terms of his long-standing consulting agreement. The amended deal will make it easier for the company to renegotiate a heavy debt load that comes due in April and could ultimately net the director more money than he otherwise would have received. As part of the agreement signed in 1987 with Universal Orlando, a joint venture between General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal and private equity firm Blackstone Group, Spielberg in perpetuity receives 2% of ticket sales and a portion of gross revenue from concession sales at the two Florida theme parks.
BUSINESS
March 14, 2012 | Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Co. is looking to bring some Marvel muscle to Disney theme parks. Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger told shareholders attending the annual meeting Tuesday in Kansas City, Mo., that the company has done preliminary design work that will one day lead to Marvel superheroes appearing in the theme parks along with Disney's other familiar characters. "We haven't announced anything yet," Iger said. "But we're working on some concepts. " When Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment Inc. for $4.3 billion in 2009, the Burbank entertainment company talked about incorporating the comic book giant's library of 5,000 characters throughout its various businesses.
BUSINESS
February 6, 1996 | JAMES BATES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
MCA Inc. on Monday confirmed that it will go ahead with plans to build a Universal Studios theme park in Osaka, Japan, its first outside the United States. MCA originally disclosed plans for the park in 1994. But the project came under an extensive review after liquor giant Seagram Co. bought 80% of MCA last year from Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ultimately, Seagram Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman Jr. and MCA President Ron Meyer decided to give the project the green light.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
A group of British developers has signed a licensing deal with Paramount Pictures for a planned 2-billion  pound theme park outside of London. The development consortium, London Resort Co. Holdings, has signed a deal to make Paramount film properties such as "Mission: Impossible," "Star Trek" and "Paranormal Activity" part of the park, which it intends to build in North Kent in Southeast England. The agreement is exclusive in the Britain. (Paramount does not have the right to license its "Transformers" movies, as the property is owned by Hasbro.)
BUSINESS
October 22, 2013 | By Daniel Miller
Whimsic Alley calls itself "a shopping haven for wizards of distinction," catering to "Harry Potter" fans with merchandise that includes wands, books, neckties and sweater vests for those looking to re-create the boy wizard's look. It even has a Hogwarts-style "Great Hall" that can be rented out for children's birthday parties and is reminiscent of a hall of the same name in the "Harry Potter" series' fictional boarding school for wizards. Now the Miracle Mile shop is the target of a lawsuit filed by Warner Bros., distributor of the "Harry Potter" movies and since 1998 the owner of the bulk of the "Potter" trademarks.
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.
NEWS
June 12, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
A real-world version of the "Resident Evil" video game coming to Universal Studios Japan this summer will arm theme park visitors with a gun and a limited amount of ammunition in a fierce battle against attacking zombie hordes. Scheduled to debut on July 19, the new "Resident Evil: The Real" walk-through attraction at the Osaka movie theme park will let visitors step inside a lifelike re-creation of the survival horror video game series and film franchise, known as "Biohazard" in Japan.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
A group of British developers has signed a licensing deal with Paramount Pictures for a planned 2-billion  pound theme park outside of London. The development consortium, London Resort Co. Holdings, has signed a deal to make Paramount film properties such as "Mission: Impossible," "Star Trek" and "Paranormal Activity" part of the park, which it intends to build in North Kent in Southeast England. The agreement is exclusive in the Britain. (Paramount does not have the right to license its "Transformers" movies, as the property is owned by Hasbro.)
BUSINESS
May 10, 2012 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Having cast a spell in Orlando and planted his flag in Los Angeles, Harry Potter is now taking his theme park magic across the Pacific. Universal Studios Japan on Thursday will unveil plans to build the first international version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the blockbuster attraction that has drawn millions of fans to Universal's Orlando resort and is expected to do the same at a planned Hollywood location. The Osaka destination, which will begin construction in the next few weeks with a planned opening in late 2014, is the latest in a series of expansions underway at major parks around the world that has followed an uptick in attendance, particularly in Asia.
BUSINESS
March 14, 2012 | Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Co. is looking to bring some Marvel muscle to Disney theme parks. Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger told shareholders attending the annual meeting Tuesday in Kansas City, Mo., that the company has done preliminary design work that will one day lead to Marvel superheroes appearing in the theme parks along with Disney's other familiar characters. "We haven't announced anything yet," Iger said. "But we're working on some concepts. " When Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment Inc. for $4.3 billion in 2009, the Burbank entertainment company talked about incorporating the comic book giant's library of 5,000 characters throughout its various businesses.
NEWS
February 27, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
What do you get when you cross a Renaissance fair with a Las Vegas spectacle and a few hundred Roman gladiators, swashbuckling musketeers and marauding Vikings? The one-of-a-kind Puy du Fou historical theme park in the French countryside. PHOTOS: Puy du Fou historical theme park in France After three decades of entertaining audiences with live-action chariot races, sword fights and epic battles, France's Puy du Fou will be recognized on March 17 as a "classic" theme park by the Themed Entertainment Assn . during an awards ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.
BUSINESS
June 19, 2011 | By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
To round up talent to build Universal Studios' newest theme park in Singapore, chief designer Kevin Barbee didn't look far from his Wilshire Boulevard office. After all, Southern California is a hive for independent designers and other creative types who perfected their craft at Universal Studios Hollywood, Disneyland, Six Flags Magic Mountain and others. But with the U.S. economy struggling, veterans like Barbee are packing their bags for Asia, one of the few sources of steady employment for purveyors of pixie dust these days.
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