Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
Disneyland – Fantasy Faire – By this time next week this new addition will be open to all visitors. I wonder if it is too late to let them know that they misspelled “fair”.
Disney California Adventure – Half of Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is closed as they replace the floor of the attraction. According to our sources, the original floor wasn’t durable enough and the surface is getting scratched up. But the closure has inflated wait-times for the working half of the ride. I think it is a bad idea to let Disney think that the long waits show this ride actually has high demand. They might think they can get away with more stuff like this in the future.
Shanghai Disneyland – The first round of fireworks were launched over the park this last week. From what we heard, it was a bit of a scheduling mistake and they were not actually supposed to be launched until the media preview day. This does let us know that they are potentially shooting for a March opening, but the year is still in question. Funny enough (and absolutely true), the neighbors are already complaining.
Hong Kong Disneyland – Not wanting to be left out of all of the new stuff the other parks are getting, Hong Kong officials announced that they are getting the first Marvel Land. According to the rumor mill, the land is going to look like the city did at the end of the Avengers movie, and the only way to see the superheroes is through the front glass of a café. While we don’t yet have an idea what the ride will be like, you can almost certainly believe that it will be based around hitting people really hard, blowing things up, and then having a biscuit in a bad-guy-free world. Rumors also mentioned that several Imagineers were thrown out of Islands of Adventure after they were caught in the park after closing time taking measurements of the Spider-Man ride.
Dollywood – We are getting some extremely early rumors indicating that Rocky Mountain Coasters may have already penciled in Dollywood as one of their next build sites. This is nothing but good news all around.
Kennywood – The park has confirmed that they purchased a swatch of land adjacent to the park behind the Jack Rabbit and Racer roller coasters. While they plan on using the existing building for storage, they have not said what the rest of the land will be used for. The park has refused to talk about an ancient Amish burial ground on the site, but our sources tell us that it will take the Halloween event up a couple of notches when you hit that dead zone where no technology works. People are going to have to run out of there screaming before they can update their Facebook status.
Six Flags New England – In case no one else is building one, this park is going to build a Sky Screamer. This is good because currently no one else is building one because all of the parks that really cared already put one up in the last two years. But Six Flags need bragging rights for something so this one is going to be the tallest in the world. Rumor has it that they are going to build it so tall that they are looking into ways to anchor the top of the ride to the moon.
Alton Towers – The Smiler – Alton Towers has a problem, well several problems. The first is that they cannot build very tall rides. The second is that they have very noisy neighbors that can’t seem to figure out that when they moved right next door to an amusement park, some of the sounds and sights might get out. The park has an answer for this. It is called Smiler. Some of agents of the amusement park rumor union have said that they have counted 14 inversion, not including the spin cycle at the end. So it looks like the coaster has been designed to put the neighbors on it and then hit them with so many inversions that their brains leak out their ears…putting a smile on the face of the Alton owners…and thus the name Smiler.
Drayton Manor – This park has decided that it can no longer stand by as Alton Towers and Thorpe Park build massive roller coasters that continue to bleed away its customer base. This week it was reported that Drayton Manor is going to put up a Thomas the Tank Engine ride. So take that!
Russia – It wasn’t but 25 years ago when the Russians were the “bad guys”, but now we have become downright friendly with the place. That’s what happens when you have a country full of really hot women running around the place who really like Americans (or at least can convincingly pretend to). First we sent them McDonalds, which is fine with me, take it. Then we slowly started sending them just about everything else. The only thing that irks me about this arrangement is that they keep sending things back. I mean why can’t they just keep some of the things we send over there, like emoticons, SUVs, Smirnoff Vodka, and Justin Bieber. But now the Russians have decided to take it one step further and take a huge stab at the theme park business. Russia really doesn’t have what we would call a theme park. Their amusement parks are few and far between and are in such a condition that they make Elitch Gardens look like Islands of Adventure. But now they have a Universal Studios park in the works and no less than three Dreamworks theme parks on the slate. Just this last week we have heard that the town where the meteorite hit is working on a theme park to cash in on their new notoriety. In addition to that, the Olympic Village in Sochi is also getting a theme park. I can’t but think that there are a lot of eggs going into the same basket.
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