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Wizarding World

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.
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.
September 21, 2011 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Co. has struck a deal to bring flying banshees, giant blue aliens and other fanciful creatures from the blockbuster "Avatar" to its global theme parks, seeking to capitalize on the most successful film in Hollywood history. Disney reached a long-term, exclusive licensing agreement with "Avatar" director James Cameron and his producing partner Jon Landau, as well as the film's financier and distributor, 20th Century Fox, to develop theme park rides and attractions based on the 2009 hit and its two planned sequels.
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.
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.
July 11, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
Knott's Berry Farm will add six new haunted mazes for Halloween Haunt 2013 and bring back Elvira Mistress of the Dark for her first show at the Buena Park theme park in more than a decade. The 41st annual Knott's Scary Farm will start Sept. 26 and run on select nights through Nov. 2. The granddaddy of Halloween events will feature 12 mazes, six shows and four scare zones scattered throughout the theme park. Knott's has made the wise decision to trim the quantity of its mazes in favor of quality as Halloween Haunt continues to compete with Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, which has delivered an increasingly superior haunted event in recent years.
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)
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...
March 5, 2014 | By Brady MacDonald
It's no fun to visit a theme park and not get to go on the rides. And that's the big problem with Camp Snoopy at Knott's Berry Farm: Far too many rides that parents can't experience with their kids. But that will begin to change this summer when the Buena Park theme park gives the 30-year-old kiddie land a much-needed facelift and removes a number of rides with height maximums that prevent families from having fun together. PHOTOS: Camp Snoopy at Knott's Berry Farm Gone are the Log Peeler kiddie scrambler ride (48-inch maximum)
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