April 25, 2013, 10:37 AM · Islands of Adventure – We have started hearing rumors about what happens inside the Hogwarts Express on its drive between the two different parks. According to the latest rumors, there are 6 different shows that will play randomly. This makes sense to me since, in the books, they seemed to get to the train station relatively early in the day, but didn’t arrive at Hogwarts until dusk. With that amount of time there could probably be 6 different shows plus an inflight movie or two.
…And time to sell us a bunch of candy, too. (Image from Pottermore)
Universal Studios Singapore – After being delayed for a day because of semi-truck transporting a whale carcass dumping most of its blubbery load onto the one access road to the resort, the theme park welcomed its 10 millionth visitor to the park with the usual fanfare, parades, and whatnot.
SeaWorld – There is a saying that the rich get richer. During this last week, SeaWorld decided to sell off a bunch of shares of the chain in order to get several hundred million dollars. These shares in the company aren’t even close to half of the company’s shares, so anyone who wants to do hostile takeover can settle back down now, as 50.1% of the shares will never go on sale until Blackstone wants to unload them…so this was a plain and obvious money grab. But, if you have ever wanted the 99% to make the 1% regret their choice to make an easy buck, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) bought some shares of SeaWorld to be able to attend shareholder meetings and make a stink every three seconds for SeaWorld to release their killer whales, which PETA always seems to be trying to find ways to do. It makes me giggle just thinking about it, considering SeaWorld didn’t have to invite that into their house and let them wreck the bathroom while the paint was still drying. (Still, be careful what you wish for, PETA people. For everyone else, if you really want to do something to help animals, there's probably an animal shelter in your community that could use your time and money. Or your home as a new home for an abandoned animal. That's more important work than PR stunts.) So, anyway, SeaWorld now has a bunch of money, so maybe they'll spend some of that on rides and stuff…otherwise we might notice when Blackstone execs walk away with a high percentage of the cash.
Walt Disney World - Disney's holding another big press event this week, promoting the all same old stuff that's been open for months at the parks. But there's a new Monsters University skin on a monorail! Hey, that's new. We'd offer you pictures of the media festivities, but once again it seems that our invitation to a Disney World press event got lost in the mail. Funny how that always seems to happen.... Here's some hand-out publicity video about stuff that's not yet open, though:
Star Wars – While this is a little coarse for work, it did play on network late night TV, so it can’t be all that bad. While we don’t get any interesting news bits about the upcoming movies, we do discover a couple of things, one or two…at least…and it’s pretty funny if you let it play through to the end… Andy Kaufman asked: what is funny? His answer was “silence”. I think my answer is “anger”.
Las Vegas – MGM has decided to give the Excalibur and New York New York casinos an improved street side atmosphere, since most foot traffic goes past the front of the MGM on that side of the street and past M&M world. The New York New York side of the street is going to get a Hershey World and a bunch of restaurants that should be able to pull in some of the foot traffic. The plan is to build a new path that forces people off the sidewalk and strategically through retail areas all of the way down to the City Center. This goes along with a new concert venue that is going in behind New York New York, that will be the largest in Las Vegas. Unlike some other places that will go unmentioned, this deal was completed and approved over a three martini lunch and the final paper work was signed and registered before dinner. And if we know about it, there are probably already three bulldozers moving dirt around the area.
[It's Robert, jumping in for a moment. Here's the really big news about the NY/NY development: Vegas is getting a Shake Shack! It'll be the first Shake Shack in the western US, but more importantly, it means that there now will be a town that has both Shake Shack and In-N-Out! The ultimate fast food burger taste test can become reality! Of course, Denver will continue to have neither, so you're still pretty much screwed here, Jeff. Sorry.]
Six Flags Fiesta Texas – The Iron Rattler has some POV action! To be honest, I am a little disappointed about this. It seems fairly slow with three different bursts of speed before the break run which seems extremely high in the air. After drooling over The New Texas Giant and Outlaw Run, this seems very tame. But, keep in mind, they may still be using the “slow wheels”, so actual speed when it officially opens may be a little faster.
Nurburgring – The Ring Racer was seen doing test runs during this past week. If it finally does open, it will lose its four year reign as the Fastest Roller Coaster in the World That Has Never Opened.