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Last Week At Your Amusement Park......December 6

A digest of amusement park news and rumors...and a couple of rants...with a sense of humor...

From Jeff Elliott
Posted December 6, 2011 at 3:01 PM
Not much happened this last week.....so I am ending this quickly and going out for a coffee.....I even delayed this whole thing by a day to see what may come out of the Universal press conference, but it was a big yawner......with Butterbeer.....

Create My Caption - In the discussion thread below, post your best caption(s) for the following picture showing the world exploding:

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What? You want more? Ok, ok.....yeah, I know there were a couple of big announcements this week.....Unfortunately, they are all rumors and insider information at this point and we have very little official and I really didn’t want to wind anyone up any more than they already are.....I don’t want anyone’s brains to explode here, because I don’t think that is covered under Robert’s business insurance.....and it is a little messy.....brain goo is really hard to clean up and uses chemicals that will probably give you cancer......not that you really care if it was your brain that exploded since it will be your brains that someone else is cleaning up......but let’s try to be considerate to the custodial staff around here, they have a hard job already and wouldn’t appreciate brains all over the place......unless you were the one that kept clogging the urinal and then they are probably happy that your brain exploded.....even if they have to clean it up.....umm......where were we?.......oh yeah......the news.......

Universal Studios – It seems like the Walt Disney Company didn’t pay their press fee this week and in the lull, Universal Studios decided to not only do one big announcement, but four underpants soiling announcements. All of these have been mentioned already on this site, but I would be remised if I didn’t at least mention them and let you know what the authorities are saying on the subjects.

Universal Studios Singapore – Transformers – Well, the reviews are in and according to the Theme Park Guy, the ride is not going to be piped to Florida because it is basically Spiderman v1.5. Without getting into spoilers, some of the same things that are done in Spiderman are done on this ride. On the other side of the country or the other side of the planet, it is ok, but in the same park complex, it just wouldn’t work. It looks like you lazy people in Orlando will have to start saving up for plane tickets.

Universal Studios Orlando – Jaws – The ride is closing. Get over it. Lance Hart at Screamscape made some very good points when he said, “As with any water attraction at a theme park, there is a lot of technology in the water, which means it needs a healthy budget to keep everything properly maintained. Jaws also features real fire effects as well...which have been eyeballed over the years as a possible budget cut. And finally... JAWS has a large staff required to operate the ride... featuring not only standard ride ops, but an army of Skippers to man the wheel (and grenade launcher) as well as verbally guide you through your adventure.” All summed up, it equals bye bye.

Islands of Adventure & Universal Studios Florida – Harry Potter Expansion – As you may or may not know at this point, the prevailing rumor is that Jaws is being shut down for a London Harry Potter installation with the two different lands at the two different parks connected via the Hogwarts Express using similar tunnel 360 degree technology that King Kong at Universal Hollywood uses. If you look at the overhead view of the park, the largest piece of unused land is the employee parking lot behind Jaws. With the recent dismantling of the old Hard Rock Hotel, it would seem to me that stage one would be to use the Hard Rock Hotel as the area for a new employee parking garage and expand Harry Potter into most of the existing employee parking lot.

Universal Studios Hollywood – I watched the press conference and there was nothing that was added to the discussion other than Harry Potter is on his way (something that was surmised in a single headline a couple of days ago) and a couple of bloated politicians who have never read the books or seen the movies (great choice of representatives, Universal.....well played). What I think we all wanted were the answers to a couple of important questions, like:
1. Where is it going to go?
2. Are any rides going to close to make way for the wizard?
3. What are the attractions that are going to be installed?
4. What is going to be unique for the Hollywood installation?
5. What attractions are also going to be installed in Orlando for phase 2?

But alas, there was not a single shred of new information....thanks for wasting our time.

Gripers – For those of you who are complaining about Harry Potter’s expansion into Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood, I have to make a simple comment that I think people are missing. Harry Potter nearly doubled the attendance of Islands of Adventure with a single new ride and a mini-mall. That kind of success has got to be rolled out to the rest of the other parks; there is no other way around it. With phase 2, I think that they understand that a single new ride is not going to cut the mustard. As much as the rumor mill keeps circulating a Gringotts rollercoaster we must be really correct or really wrong. My thoughts on the expansion into California is that the final product is not going to be finished until right after phase 2 has completed in Florida, therefore it would not surprise me if Hollywood not only gets a Forbidden Journey ride, but also their pick of whatever phase 2 has in store for Orlando. With more people to spread the development costs around to, this is a very good thing for both parks as the budget will be larger for the final product. One more thing, if the idea of a Hogwarts Express train is true for Orlando, this could be the way that people in Hollywood get to the new land, with the possible installation going into the dirt lot north-east of the Studios right off Barham Blvd. This would also serve as a pinch point to regulate the level of people that are in the Harry Potter section of the park.

BREAKING NEWS! We have an exclusive first look at the concept art of the new Harry Potter Land! Enjoy!

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Sorry.....it was the best I could get with the budget that Robert gives me. We obviously need more money to bribe the right people to get something better than this, but what can you do?

In other less important news........

Thorpe Park – The Swarm is getting its theming underway. This is going to be a vicious coaster once they get done with it.

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Paramount Park (Spain) – The Theme Park Guy was able to get a first look at the concept art of this pre-construction theme park.

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Disney’s Magic Kingdom – The new Dumbo ride base has been completed in its new location where two Dumbos will be right next to each other.


So let's try this again....

Create My Caption - In the discussion thread below, post your best caption(s) for the following picture showing the world exploding:

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If I have missed anything (and I have, so no worries there) please post below. If you have some inside information, more news, more rumors, first rides, please share with the rest of us.


Sources: Screamscape, Amusement Today, and whatever else I happened to read this week...


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Manny Rodriguez
Posted December 6, 2011 at 2:35 PM
Caption: well I guess without jaws the world is nothing

From Mike Gallagher
Posted December 6, 2011 at 2:43 PM
Caption: Rao solves the Great Muppet Dilemma..THE HARD WAY!!!

From Jason Jackson
Posted December 6, 2011 at 3:04 PM
Caption: "Disney's new fireworks show features an exploding Universal Studios logo in the finale."

From Jeff Elliott
Posted December 6, 2011 at 3:06 PM
James Rao moments before the world explodes....

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From Andy Milito
Posted December 7, 2011 at 1:12 PM
Caption: This is my mind after watching "Inception"

From Derek Potter
Posted December 7, 2011 at 5:10 PM
Caption...The image of a Universal fanboy's head after reading this column....or what this week's column would look like if Universal didn't have any parks.

From Robert Niles
Posted December 7, 2011 at 5:54 PM
The Disney Dream?

From James Trexen
Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:59 PM
Caption- Spielberg found out that Jaws is closing too.

From Amanda Jenkins
Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:19 PM
Caption: The Result of Disney's Maleficient Battling Universal's Harry Potter for the "true" Magical Place on Earth.

From Anthony O'Neal
Posted December 9, 2011 at 5:39 AM
Why would they release concept art showing a stick figure getting trampled?

From Mike Gallagher
Posted December 9, 2011 at 6:50 AM
Please say that wasn't a serious comment, Anthony.

From luke rainey
Posted December 9, 2011 at 7:20 AM
Anthony, dont be silly, thats a dog :P

From Jeff Elliott
Posted December 9, 2011 at 9:02 AM
I can't believe that someone is harshing on my....um....I mean The Artist's beautiful concept drawing.....

.....and maybe it is someone getting trampled in the crowd as they open the gates up on opening day.....poor guy has even already lost an eye....

....or it's a dog.....

Even Picasso is misunderstood....

From James Trexen
Posted December 11, 2011 at 10:03 PM
^^ Now there's a good reason as to why the world's exploding.

From Anthony O'Neal
Posted December 11, 2011 at 10:36 PM
No, I was not being serious.

From Andy Milito
Posted December 12, 2011 at 1:58 PM
I will ponder suicide if Universal goes through with that idea.

From Giovanny Cruz
Posted December 12, 2011 at 3:13 PM
Universal cant do this they cant I never heard of that movie in my life.

This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.

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