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Wizarding World

BUSINESS
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.
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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
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)
NEWS
October 10, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
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.
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.
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
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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