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Wizarding World

NEWS
November 5, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
During a recent visit to Paris I made my first pilgrimage to a Disney theme park outside the United States.  For years I have been reading about the majestic beauty of the Magic Kingdom-style park at Disneyland Paris, the dysfunctional violation of all things Disney that is Walt Disney Studios next door and the promise of what the future holds for both parks. TOP 10: Disneyland Paris | Walt Disney Studios So let's step back for a moment and take a long, hard look at what's right, wrong and next at the two theme parks serving as Disney's European outpost in France.
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NEWS
September 23, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
Success has finally caught up with Universal's Horror Nights as the gold standard of Halloween theme park events has grown too predictable, complacent and popular for its own good. After years of defining and redefining the bleeding edge of theme park terror, a combination of overwhelming crowds, shrinking space due to construction and a weak collection of haunted mazes delivered a triple whammy to Halloween Horror Nights this year at Universal Studios Hollywood. Photos: Halloween Horror Nights 2013 at Universal Studios Hollywood Crowds have become an increasing problem as Horror Nights has grown in popularity, but this year was unbearable.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times
Universal Studios Orlando on Thursday announced plans to retheme its Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast attraction with a new " Despicable Me " story line, and to digitally refresh the Amazing Adventures ofSpider-Man motion-simulator ride for 2012. With no new attractions set for 2011, Universal continues to ride the "Wizarding World" wave of Pottermania, which has helped drive up attendance at the tandemFlorida theme parks by an astonishing 68% so far this year.
NEWS
March 11, 2014 | Brady MacDonald
Only at Disneyland would they tear down an old and dilapidated gold mining town in order to build a new and identical gold mining town and make it look old and dilapidated again. "The goal was to bring it back to exactly the way it was," said David Smith of Disneyland's facilities and maintenance department, which oversaw the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster rehabilitation project. The "wildest ride in the wilderness" is expected to reopen to the general public on March 17 after a 14-month rehabilitation, the most extensive overhaul since the ride opened in 1979.
BUSINESS
April 8, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Universal Studios Hollywood is putting the pedal to the metal on a new attraction based on the popular "Fast and Furious" movie series. The theme park announced Tuesday plans to add a high-definition, 3-D feature to the park's long-running Studio Tour tram ride by the summer of 2015. The addition is part of a larger $1.6-billion, 25-year expansion that will include a highly anticipated Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction in the next two years and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, set to open Saturday.
NEWS
January 18, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Walt Disney World has gone back to the drawing board for its ambitious Fantasyland expansion plan after weathering the arrival of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter . Back in September 2009, Disney Imagineering rushed out plans for a girl-centric makeover of Fantasyland in a hasty effort to counterprogram the Boy Wizard's imminent takeover of Orlando, Fla. Photo gallery : View concept art...
NEWS
January 20, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
I was honored and thrilled to be a guest on the most recent edition of the Season Pass Podcast , a weekly discussion about theme parks and roller coasters. I spoke with co-hosts Doug Barnes and Brent Young for more than an hour about past, present and future rides and attractions at theme parks in Southern California, Florida and around the world. You can listen to the podcast using the player above, at the Season Pass website or by visiting iTunes . It was a wide-ranging conversation that focused on the virtues of Disneyland , the sins of Disney California Adventure , the rise of Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the ongoing coaster war between Six Flags Magic Mountain and Ohio's Cedar Point . Along the way, we also touched upon what's new and what's next at Legoland Florida , Disney World and Hong Kong Disneyland . Toward the end of the podcast, I ran through my Top 10 new theme park attractions for 2011 (and threw in my new No. 1)
NEWS
March 31, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Hard-core Harry Potter fans who devoured the books, camped out for the movies and trekked through the theme park now have a new way to relive the boy wizard's adventures. PHOTOS: Making of Harry Potter studio tour Debuting Saturday, the Making of Harry Potter behind-the-scenes tour at theWarner Bros.studios in England will let wizards, mudbloods and muggles pull back the curtain on the movie-making secrets of the most successful film series of all time. Located 20 miles outside of London, the three-hour self-guided tour will take visitors past sets, props, costumes, models and special effects exhibits from the eight "Harry Potter" movies.
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