Theme Park Insider

Insider's Update: Fix 'er Up and Let 'er Fly

October 23, 2014, 2:12 PM · A few news items as you get ready for Friday:

The Swan and Dolphin hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort have announced a $125-million room-renovation plan, now underway at the hotels. The 758-room Swan goes first, with renovations to 500 of its rooms expected to be completed by the end of this year. Renovations at the 1,509-room Dolphin start early in 2015. The entire project is expected to be completed in 2016. Renovations will include the addition of newer, larger, high-definition televisions, additional power outlets, new beds, and a back-lit mirror in the bathroom.

New room at the Swan Hotel
The new Swan room. Image courtesy Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Harry Potter continues to pay off for Universal Parks & Resorts, as the debut of the The Wizarding World and Harry Potter - Diagon Alley pushed Universal Orlando to record attendance for the third quarter and Comcast's theme park division to a nearly 19 percent increase in revenue over the same period last year.

The Disneyland Paris Resort will offer a free fireworks show on Lake Disney for three nights early next month. Mickey’s Magical Fireworks and Bonfire will run on November 3rd, 5th and 7th, starting at 8.30pm on the Lake Disney at resort's Disney Village. Here's a teaser video from the resort, which is worth watching just to see the difference in PR production value withe Disney's U.S. theme parks.

Finally, Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the United Kingdom today announced a new ride for 2015: Skyforce. Themed to the Royal Air Force's aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, Skyforce will give riders the ability to control the spinning of their own fighter-themed cockpit seat. From the park's press release:

Skyforce
Image courtesy Blackpool Pleasure Beach

The 72-ft high, 12-seat white-knuckle ride will take you on a 360-degree tour of the skies and sits in the shadow of the world famous Big One rollercoaster. Stepping into your very own Red Arrows cockpit, you take control of the plane and spin, glide and take formation in your very own display.

Replies (4)

October 23, 2014 at 2:29 PM · That coaster looks incredibly cool.
October 23, 2014 at 7:42 PM · That spinner ride at Blackpool is just like the TMNT ride at Nick Universe (Mall of America). It's an okay flat, but nothing to write home about. It is best if you can get the seat to do rolls, though it takes some work to make it happen. The ride is kind of like Luigi's at DCA in that once you get it going, if you get it going, it is decent fun.
October 24, 2014 at 6:21 AM · "You will rememberrr..." My kids and I love that cheesy promotional video they show at Swan & Dolphin. Hope they don't renovate that.
October 25, 2014 at 3:44 AM · Swan and Dolphin is getting a makeover? Will they repaint it a less hideous colour? Puke green and orange isn't doing it for me.

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