November 5, 2013 |
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.
June 2, 2013 |
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.
October 10, 2011 |
The $1.5 billion Paramount Park in Spain hopes to rival Disneyland Paris as a European tourist destination when the movie theme park debuts in spring 2015. > Photos: Paramount Park Murcia theme park in Spain Located on the Mediterranean coast about 270 miles southeast of Madrid, Paramount Park Murcia will feature 30 attractions with an adjacent shopping center, hotels and casino. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2012 on a 100-acre theme park set around a central lake that will combine the themed lands of Disneyland with the movie backlots of Universal Studios . While not an investor, Paramount Pictures will license movie properties to the developer and provide design direction for the theme park.
March 5, 2014 |
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)
May 8, 2013 |
The eternal problem with Tomorrowland is that the commonplace reality of today inevitably catches up to and ultimately surpasses the ultramodern imagined future of yesterday. Disneyland's forward-looking land of tomorrow has seen many evolutions since opening day in 1955. Through the years, there have been major expansions in 1959 (Monorail), 1977 (Space Mountain) and 1986 (Star Tours) as well as complete makeovers in 1967 (New Tomorrowland) and 1998 (New New Tomorrowland). The current iteration has a retro-futuristic science fiction fantasy theme that was designed to be a bit more timeless but nonetheless is showing its age. Photos: Top 10 Tomorrowland rides of the past With the release of "Iron Man 3" and plans for "Star Wars" and "Tron" sequels in the works, I thought it would be a good time to do a bit of "blue sky" dreaming about what Walt Disney Imagineering might have in mind for the New New New Tomorrowland.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 2011 |
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.
April 8, 2014 |
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.
January 20, 2011 |
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 |
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...