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Wizarding World

NEWS
September 3, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
Six Flags unveiled its 2014 lineup of new roller coasters, thrill rides and water slides at the amusement park chain's 13 locations. Photos: New rides coming to Six Flags parks in 2014 Six Flags' 2014 additions include four roller coasters, four thrill rides, five water attractions and a new water park. Among the highlights: Six Flags Great America (outside Chicago) By far the biggest addition at any Six Flags park for 2014 is the Goliath wood-steel hybrid coaster planned for Six Flags Great America in Illinois.
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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.
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
March 1, 2014 | By Brady MacDonald
Like art, music and fashion, roller coasters speed through trends in a never-ending pursuit of the latest and greatest record-setting feat. Over the years, theme parks have introduced all sorts of "world's first" coaster designs billed as the fastest, tallest or longest -- only to be overtaken in subsequent summers by faster, taller and longer behemoths. Photos: Banshee inverted coaster at Ohio's Kings Island So it comes as somewhat of a surprise that Ohio's Kings Island will introduce the world's longest inverted coaster in April with an under-the-track design that last reigned supreme in the 1990s.
NEWS
February 24, 2014 | By Brady MacDonald
A $10-million first-of-its-kind attraction coming to Canada's Wonderland will combine a 4-D interactive dark ride with a roller-coaster track inside the Toronto-area amusement park's decades-old Wonder Mountain centerpiece. Photos: Wonder Mountain's Guardian at Canada's Wonderland Debuting on May 4, Wonder Mountain's Guardian will carry riders up a 60-foot-tall coaster lift hill on the exterior of the man-made mountain before dipping inside a cavern and slowing down for a dark ride experience complete with wind, motion and other special effects.
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
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
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
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 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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