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Theme park news and notes: On the road to Orlando

Written by
Published: November 9, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Sorry that I've been a bit scarce over the past couple of weeks. I've been finishing a journalism textbook that I've been writing over the past several months, and that final push is really eating most of my writing time. I will promise you quite a bit more theme park coverage next week, as I'll be flying to Orlando for the annual IAAPA [International Associate of Amusement Parks and Attractions] convention. Watch the Blog Flume next week for reports from the IAAPA show floor, conference sessions featuring leading park designers, and trip reports highlighting new developments at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando.

I'll also be testing a birthday present I got, which I hope will lead to some fun blog posts in the future. That's all I'll say about that now. ;^)

On to some news and notes:

I've seen several reports on discussion forums around the Web that Universal Studios Hollywood has decided to close Terminator 2: 3-D on December 31 this year, to make way for a new attraction. I've emailed USH for comment, but haven't heard anything in response. (Update: Now confirmed. Go see it soon, if you want. Or head to Orlando, too!) If you work for or with anyone at USH and have heard about this, drop me a note, please. The T2 rumor's been flying for months now, and I've written that the attraction needs to go, especially given its star's toxic lack of popularity in California now.

Walt Disney World has announced another opening for Dec. 6, the day that the new version of Test Track and the already soft-opened Fantasyland Expansion will officially debut. That'll also be the day for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie exhibit to open at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Disney also announced its quarterly financial results yesterday. The parks continue to rake in the bucks, led by the Disneyland Resort, where attendance continues to grow. But attendance is off at Walt Disney World, which might be why we're hearing so many leaks about new developments at that resort (Avatar, Cars Land East, Star Wars, etc.) WDW needs some buzz to drive some bookings.

Have a great weekend, and I'll see you soon in Orlando!

Readers' Opinions

From Dominick D on November 9, 2012 at 2:29 PM
Enjoy Robert! On a side note, has anyone heard about Test Track soft openings? I assume November 19, right?
From 166.205.55.22 on November 9, 2012 at 2:50 PM
I hope they soft open test track before thanksgiving because I'm going that weekend.
From 173.65.144.192 on November 10, 2012 at 7:29 AM
Disney statement;

"Rasulo indicated that fiscal 2013 will be a transitional year that won't include the introduction of hefty new investments."

Seems to not make sense due to the blockbuster announcement UO will be making next year for the new HP. WDW will have to have something BIG soon.

From Manny Barron on November 10, 2012 at 10:20 AM
If you check the official USH website, they already posted on the T2:3-D attraction page that Dec. 31 is the last day to experience this attraction.
From Dominick D on November 10, 2012 at 7:48 PM
I think I know what that present is ;)
From O T on November 10, 2012 at 8:05 PM
Are you also going to cover the construction at Sea World. They are doing a awesom job and their christmas additions are awesome!
From Sylvain Comeau on November 10, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Cars Land East?? That's just a rumor, right?
From KJ Simpson on November 12, 2012 at 4:55 PM
Will you be dining at Be Our Guest? I look foward to your review....
From 216.53.156.131 on November 12, 2012 at 9:46 PM
I am currently at WDW and while the "magic" still holds strong throughout the parks, the obvious fact is all 4 parks are desperately needing more E-Ticket attractions. I got to visit the new Little Mermaid attraction at new fantasyland during a dress rehearsal.....First off the theming of the attraction is outstanding, really grade A++. However the actual ride is T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E!!.....honestly its an embarrassment of an attraction. No thrills,No cohesion,CHEAP moving characters, and dolls. Honestly I am a big fan of Disney, but this is an insult to everyone who goes to these parks. Very poor.

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