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Robert Niles
Editor

Insider's Update: Angry Birds and angry Britons

Published: May 31, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Many theme park fans have longed for a video game themed park. While an entire park devoted to video-game IP remains a dream, England's Thorpe Park this week debuted a new game-themed land for families, with its new Angry Birds Land:

The land includes a retheme for the park's Detonator drop ride, an Angry Birds 4D theater (now that is what we should be using 4D for, people), bumper cars, and some themed play areas.

OK, fans want video games in theme parks. We got that. Now, how about dystopian young adult novels? The Hunger Games moves one step closer toward that possibility with this week's announcement that Thinkwell Group will be developing a Hunger Games traveling exhibition. Thinkwell created the popular Harry Potter studio tour in the United Kingdom and has worked closely with Universal and other theme park companies on a variety of show and attractions around the world. (We've interviewed Thinkwell's Dave Cobb several times for Theme Park Insider, and he lurks on the site. Hi, Dave!) The Hollywood Reporter article stated that Hunger Games rights owner Lionsgate is considering the possibility of developing actual theme park attractions based on the franchise. While Panem doesn't strike me as the sort of place where a lot of people would want to spend their leisure time, the prospect of getting to off some annoying teenagers might have pretty widespread appeal.

Queen of Hearts
That's one ticked-off Briton at Disneyland Paris

It seems that some tourists in the United Kingdom are more than a bit upset after discovering that Disneyland Paris has been quoting would-be visitors from the UK quite a bit more for vacation packages than it has quoted visitors inquiring via the French version of Disneyland Paris' website. The Daily Mail found that UK website visitors were being charged 300-500 pounds more for four-day packages than visitors from France who booked through the French version of the website.

If you'e looking for a freebie for a change, instead of an upcharge, Six Flags Magic Mountain has you covered, provided you drive a Honda. On Fridays starting June 9, continuing through August 29, the first 50 Honda cars arriving at the park will get free parking and lockers for the day. Also, the park will open two rides at 9:30 each Friday during that period, exclusively for Honda drivers, as part of a "Helpful Fridays" promotion with Southern California Honda dealers.

Now for some Orlando news: The Festival of the Lion King returns to Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World tomorrow. And Disney last night previewed the after-hours, hard-ticket Harambe Nights event to local reporters and invited guests. Anyone booked a ticket for that yet?

Over at Universal, the Cat in the Hat ride now has a 36-inch height requirement. However, visitors are reporting that some of the spinning has returned to the ride, though not nearly to wild levels the ride offered long ago.

In case you missed it, last week brought several reveals about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley. Universal offered a backstage video about the Gringotts ride from Universal Creative, and the resort also revealed the menus for The Leaky Cauldron and other Diagon Alley eateries.

Finally, thank you to everyone who participated in our big giveaway yesterday. The response blew me away, with all items claimed within minutes of the event's start. We'll have a Busch Gardens Williamsburg season pass voucher to give away early next week, so stay tuned — and register now if you haven't already — as the giving continues here on Theme Park Insider!

Replies (3)

David Ackerman

Published: June 1, 2014 at 7:59 AM

I'm sorry to hear that Cat in the Hat is really spinning again. DW has problems with vertigo and won't be able to ride without the risk of a "protein spill".
79.251.145.55

Published: June 1, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Särkänniemi in Tampere, Finland deserves a mention. They opened their Angry Birds Land in 2012 with a lot more rides than Thorpe's version. And while Thorpe is marketing only to teens and young adults, Särkänniemi is a park for the whole family, so that land fits the park very well.
N B

Published: June 2, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Never noticed anything different on Cat in the Hat... that is a "ride once" for us... along with everything else in Seuss Landing.

There are some attractions we visit several times per day on every trip, but others are "once is enough".

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