Written by Russell Meyer
Published: November 25, 2004 at 7:21 PM
Zap 2 It 11/24/04
With Thanksgiving comes full bellies, tryptophan, football, and the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. No, the sky is not falling this year, but if you keep your eyes peeled on NBC Thursday morning, you may catch a glimpse of the newest balloon in the New York Thanksgiving tradition. Chicken Little, the star of Disney’s first completely computer animated picture done without Pixar, will be a 60 foot tall, 493 pound helium balloon floating down the traditional parade route. While the kiddies will be thankful that a giant cow voiced by Roseanne Barr will not be featured in the parade, Disney will be thankful if Chicken Little can be half as successful as their collaborations with Pixar.
ABC News 11/22/04
Disney is also thankful this holiday season that Hong Kong Disneyland has set a hard opening date of September 12, 2005 (a date chosen with the assistance of a feng shui master). The park is opening ahead of schedule at a cost of $1.8 billion. Chinese tourism to Hong Kong should increase exponentially since the government relaxed restriction for citizens to travel to the former British territory. While the park will feature many of the rides, attractions, and shows found at other Disney parks, it will be the only park in a communist country. In 2010, Disney will be thankful that its Tora Bora Disneyland will be opening ahead of schedule and under budget.
Thank Jeb Bush
St. Petersburg Times 11/24/04
Thanks to $14.5 million of taxpayer money invested by the State of Florida and a $50+ million investment from Kent Buescher, Cypress Gardens is ready to re-emerge into the competitive central Florida theme park business. The park is set to open its gates this Friday for a Kenny Rogers concert and then its grand opening on December 9, 2004. The park will feature 38 carnival-style rides including a wooden roller, recently renamed Triple Hurricane, to pay homage to the three major storms that disrupted the reconstruction of Florida’s oldest theme park. The park has already sold a number of season passes, and is hoping for an annual attendance in the 1 million-visitor range to break even in its first year. Guests of Cypress Gardens will be thankful that Triple Hurricane will not make them feel like they went through those three costly storms that ravaged the Sunshine State mere months ago.
Thank Bolliger & Mabillard
Busch Gardens Tampa Guide 11/22/04
You should always be thankful for roller coaster designers, especially one with such a great track record as B&M. SheiKra has started to go vertical with its overbanked turn over the new smokehouse. Busch Gardens hopes to have the smokehouse operational by December 17, 2004, so the swift construction of this particular section of the track is by design. While an opening date for the western hemisphere’s first dive machine has yet to be announced, if construction continues at this rate, it’s difficult to see this coaster opening any later than May of 2005. I’ll be thanking my wife if we get an opportunity to make it to BGT next year to ride this awesome looking roller coaster.
In a completely unrelated story, everyone should be thankful such a great website exists. Sites that offer a mix of information, criticism, and witty commentary are hard to find, especially in the theme park world. If no one’s ever looked before (I know everyone only visits this site, and NEVER goes anywhere else for theme park news), most other theme park sites are childish roller coaster message board sites, Disney-hugger sites, or straight news sites. So let’s thank Robert, Kevin, and all the regulars here at TPI for a unique outlet on something we all love!
Now open, or date announced:
Still waiting on these: