Monday theme park news: Orcas, Safaris, and a Grand Day Out in England

August 20, 2012, 9:50 PM · There's a new whale in town at SeaWorld San Diego. The park welcomed a new orca on Monday when the 19-year-old female, Shouka, arrived from Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.


Speaking of Six Flags parks and wildlife, Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey announced today that it will no longer allow visitors drive their cars through the park's Wild Safari exhibit, after this season. The park will announce on August 30 how the Wild Safari exhibit will operate in the future. (h/t Mike Gallagher)

Saving the best news for last, of course, Blackpool Pleasure Beach has confirmed that it will replace its old Gold Mine ride, which closed last year, with a Wallace & Gromit themed-ride: The Thrill-O-Matic.

"The four minute Thrill-O-Matic ride is set to open in 2013 and will feature many of the best know characters and scenes from A Grand Day Out, visit The Wrong Trousers, take A Close Shave and deal with A Matter of Loaf and Death. Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman features are working with Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s design and engineering team on the £5.25m ride."

Sounds like a good enough reason for a trip back to England for me!

Replies (7)

August 20, 2012 at 10:09 PM · Is this the first Wallace and Gromit attraction to show up at a theme park? If so, what took so long?
August 21, 2012 at 3:06 AM · What's h/t?
August 21, 2012 at 3:08 AM · And what did Six Flags get from SeaWorld in return? An exec to be named later?
August 21, 2012 at 7:32 AM · h/t means "heard through" or "hat tip" - just acknowledging that you submitted that link to the blog (though I ended up folding into a round-up instead of leaving it as a stand-alone piece).

Also, I think this is the first Wallace & Gromit attraction, and I'm excited for that! I'd love to see one of the US theme park companies adopt W&G for an attraction.

August 21, 2012 at 8:06 AM · Robert, thank you for enlightening this Internet-challenged coaster nut.

I really didn't expect you to accept it as a stand-alone..I figured it was more "news wrap-up" type material. Thank you for proving what I always say..even a broken clock is right twice a day!

On the topic at hand: I've been attending Great Adventure since it..and the Safari..opened in 1974. I have never gone through the Safari..just not my thing, you know? I figure one of three things will happen:

1. Safari remains as is, with only guided tours, trams and/or buses..additional fee.

2. Same as above, but with reduced acreage, allowing expansion of the ride park at that end, extending beyond El Toro, Bizarro, and the Arena, which comprise that border.

3. Create shelters/cages/habitats for the animals and run it as a walk-through zoo, with an entrance inside the ride park, ala Hershey's ZooAmerica. Maybe included with park admission. But then again, this is Six Flags, sooooo...

August 21, 2012 at 10:16 AM · It is surprising that a Wallace and Gromit attraction hasn't happened sooner. The property has a lot of potential for a variety of attractions that could make up an entire themed area, from play structures to rides and shows. I think they are pretty timeless characters, so their shelf-life should be considerable.
August 21, 2012 at 7:15 PM · If I ever leave the US for a theme park, mark my words it will be to Blackpool, and the sole reason is for Aardman and Wallace and Gromit. They could make a whole park from Aardman. Get Flushed Away in Aardman Park. Visit the North Pole with Arthur, watch a Chicken Run, take a drink from the Barnacle's Face, or check out our Creature Comforts in our zoo.

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