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Wizarding World

NEWS
December 6, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
With frosty mugs of Butterbeer raised in a toast, Universal Studios Hollywood officials announced plans Tuesday to bring the wildly popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the California theme park. Details were limited but officials did say the California park would see a Hogwarts Castle and visitors would ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the marquee attraction at the Florida park. Wizarding World will be built within the existing California theme park, but it was unclear if the new land might be located at least partially on the studio's back lot. > Photos: Top 10 Wizarding World of Harry Potter rides and attractions Wizarding World proved an instant hit when it opened in June 2010 at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure theme park.
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NEWS
September 2, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
Rather than a big new ride for 2014, Six Flags Magic Mountain will unveil several smaller attractions throughout the year. The Valencia amusement park will run a couple of coasters backward in the spring, add a kiddie coaster and a pair of water slides in the summer and expand its Halloween offerings in the fall. After introducing the Full Throttle looping launch coaster this year at Magic Mountain, it makes sense that Six Flags would spread the wealth to other locations in the amusement park chain in 2014.
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
May 8, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
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.
NEWS
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.
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.
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
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.
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