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NEWS
July 17, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
The first of 10 theme parks planned for a 2,000-acre resort billed as the "Orlando of China" is expected to open in late 2013 after three years of construction. The $2-billion marine-based Chimelong Ocean Kingdom theme park on Hengqin Island in China is to be connected by bridge to Macau and by ferry to Hong Kong. Chimelong Group already operates a resort about 75 miles northwest of Hong Kong, in Guangzhou, that includes the Chimelong Paradise theme park as well as a safari park, water park, crocodile farm and hotels.
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NEWS
July 7, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
At first I thought it was too early to look ahead at the new attractions coming to U.S. theme parks in 2014, but then I realized a number of big rides have already been announced and many more are already in the planning stages. Photos: Most anticipated new U.S. theme park rides for 2014 It already seems like 2014 is shaping up as a good year for ride enthusiasts and theme park fans. Big industry players have announced major projects, and several smaller parks are planning to roll out significant additions.
NEWS
June 2, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
I was overjoyed when I first heard SeaWorld San Diego was going to build an Aquatica water park. The original Aquatica at SeaWorld Orlando in Florida was an instant success, setting a new standard for excellence and excess in the water park industry when it opened in 2008. Today, Aquatica Orlando's combination of one-of-a-kind water slides and up-close animal interactions attracts 1.5 million visitors per year, making it one of the Top 10 water parks in the world . Photos: SeaWorld San Diego's Aquatica water park After a preview visit on Thursday, it pains me to say all Aquaticas are not created equal.
NEWS
March 26, 2014 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
In the hyperbolic battle for the self-proclaimed title of "Roller Coaster Capital of the World," Six Flags Magic Mountain will jump out to a seemingly insurmountable lead this summer as rival Cedar Point continues to fade in the race for amusement park supremacy. The Valencia, Calif., and Sandusky, Ohio, parks have fought for decades over the grandiose title bestowed on the park with the most coasters. The current score: Magic Mountain 19 and Cedar Point 16 (or 17, depending on who's counting)
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.
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.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2014 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
The new Despicable Me Minion Mayhem motion simulator attraction coming to Universal Studios Hollywood puts riders through a relentless and chaotic minion training course full of slapstick humor. PHOTOS: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Hollywood Set to open in April, the 3-D attraction follows a story based on the "Despicable Me" animated films that starred Steve Carell as the super-villain Gru. The first two installments in the movie franchise grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide with a third installment planned for 2017.
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.
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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