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Why do theme parks make so many rides based on movies and books?

Why do theme parks make so many rides based on movies and books?

August 25, 2016, 10:32 AM · If you're running a theme park and spending anywhere between $20-200 million on a new attraction — and you only build a new one every few years — you cannot afford for that attraction to be anything other than a big hit with fans. That is why so many theme parks these days are looking to established IP [intellectual property] to theme their new attractions.

But this isn't anything new. Theme parks have been looking to movies and other entertainment forms since Walt opened Disneyland in 1955. In my Orange County Register column this week, I look at the long history of cross-overs between movies, books, and theme parks, starting with the opening of Disneyland itself. Keep reading...

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What's the perfect way to wait for a theme park parade?

August 24, 2016, 4:38 PM · With so many people looking to see Disneyland's Paint the Night over the next two weeks, now's the time to pour fuel onto a flame war and bring up the topic of... parade etiquette. Nothing seems to spark conflict between theme park visitors as much as claiming spots to watch a parade. Fans who stake out a space well in advance get upset when others show up at the last minute. But trying to hold space for 10 people for hours with one person and a shopping bag is just asking for pushback from another group that sees that empty space and has all its people there. And everyone gets mad at the family that send its kids at the last second to stand in front of the waiting crowd.

So what's the right way to wait for a parade? Keep reading...

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DreamWorks Animation officially joins the Universal Studios family

August 23, 2016, 1:32 PM · Universal Studios owner Comcast has closed its deal to acquire DreamWorks Animation, officially making Kung Fu Panda, Toothless the dragon, and the Madagascar crew part of the Universal family.

As theme park fans learned when Disney bought Marvel, theme park rights to specific characters don't automatically switch upon a change in ownership. But in the United States, with no other parks currently using Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, or How to Train Your Dragon, Universal would appear to have a clear path forward to bring these characters into Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood. Keep reading...

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Disney celebrates 45 years of the Country Bear Jamboree

August 23, 2016, 10:02 AM · As the Walt Disney World Resort prepares for its 45th birthday this fall, Disney is saluting the attractions that opened with the Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971.

One of those is one of my former homes at Disney, the Country Bear Jamboree, which Disney is featuring this week. Here's some fun stuff about our favorite singing bears that you won't find on the official Disney blog. Keep reading...

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