February 7, 2013, 3:09 PM · Islands of Adventure - While we have been trying to keep tabs on how the Lord of the Rings is going, it seems that there is now a court battle between the different owners of the licenses over who has control of what types of activities in regards to the use of the Middle-Earth name. Unfortunately, this may spell the demise of any hope to see the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings in a theme park, as this may be extremely lengthy legal wrangling. No one is going to spend a cent on building anything until this is all settled, and with movies, there is a certain "sell by" date that an attraction needs to be opened by before the public is bored with the property.
Disneyland – There are some rumblings that the Main Street Electrical Parade could be heading back to Disneyland in 2014 as soon as it completes its run in the Magic Kingdom.
More Disneyland – Mickey and the Magical Map – It seems like Disneyland shares some of the same feelings that I have about Epic Mickey, namely: great concept, bad execution. This new show at Disneyland's Fantasyland Theater is taking a couple of pages out of Epic Mickey and gives Mickey a paintbrush to fill in the missing portion of a magical map. While we are little sparse on details, I am thinking that it revolves around cast members who glare at Mickey for not being able to figure out what is written on the map and are disappointed that Mickey didn't read the fine print.
Star Wars – While Episode 7, 8, & 9 are currently being worked on, Disney has confirmed that they are also proceeding with other Star Wars Universe movies, the first of which will be a movie about Yoda. I have heard that a Boba Fett & Han Solo movie are also in the consideration stage. Unfortunately, I'm sure to follow the Yoda movie will be a movie about Jar Jar, because that is just what Star Wars needs is more &^$%#$ Jar Jar.
Marvel – We have found out that Marvel is currently putting together a pilot for a TV show called S.H.I.E.L.D. with Joss Whedon (The Avengers & Buffy the Vampire Slayer) that ties directly into the movies.
Disney Movies – Attack of the Sequels – I really hate to draw a parallel here between what Bob Iger is doing and what Michael Eisner did. Uncle Mike was fired because he was diluting the Disney name by making crappy sequels to every property that Disney owned…and everything that Disney touched seemed to be cheap and crappy, including any new properties they had. The only thing that didn't suck toward the end of Uncle Mike's tenure was Pixar, who were allowed to work completely outside of the Disney system…and then even that relationship broke down, despite the fact that Pixar was propping up the entire Disney company. Now the Uncle Bob is in charge of the Kingdom, I see him stepping in some of the same potholes that Uncle Mike stepped in. Really the only difference here is that Uncle Bob is handing out huge budgets as if they were on a roll in the lavatory. I really hate to see Disney become the land of the sequels, and had no idea how bad it was getting. Check out the list of sequels:
Spiderman 7, Avengers 2 & 3, Muppets 2, Hulk 4, Captain America 2, Star Wars 7, 8, & 9 + Yoda movie, Pirates of the Caribbean 16, Wreck it Ralph 2 (with Tron), Iron Man 3, Wizard of Oz 3, The Lone Ranger, Monster Inc 2, Live Action Cinderella 2, X-men 23……and this list is only a partial list of movies that have been confirmed and are in some stage of production.
Shanghai Disneyland – This has been a good week for rumors for this rising park. We are mostly hearing what will not be at the park. There will be no train, no Main Street USA, no Frontierland, no Thunder Mountain, and no Space Mountain. The entrance area will be a cross between a hybrid of Toontown with an international flavor and character meet and greets. There's nothing like jamming up the entrance area with slow moving lines everywhere. Since most of these things have been discovered by people making wild theories on the Internet, let's throw one out there and have them disprove it for us. Wild Theory #1: Since Chinese labor is so cheap, Shanghai Disneyland is going to save a bunch of money on animatronics and have real people in costume at different points in the rides to save on costs.
Monty Python – OK, I realize that this has nothing to do with theme parks, but since this at least attempts to be a humor article, I figured you might want to know this. The Pythons are teaming up to do a new movie called "Absolutely Anything." Terry Jones will be directing. Former Pythons Terry Jones, John Cleese, Michael Palin, and usually director Terry Gilliam are already on board. They are currently talking with Eric Idle, but he has not signed yet. Talks with Graham Chapman appear to have hit a dead end. Robin Williams has also signed on as the voice of a dog, while the Pythons play aliens that give someone the godlike ability to do absolutely anything. This has my curiosity peaked, but it doesn't make up for the crappy Mr. Toad movie.
Cedar Point - Gatekeeper construction continues. While the video title implies that it shows construction, it actually shows the crane operator playing "keep away" from the people on the ground.
Abbottabad – The Mythbusters have experimented and decided that it is possible to polish a turd. It seems that Abbottabad has decided that if the Mythbusters can do it, then they should be able to do it too. The city is more commonly known is the one where they hid the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden for nearly 5 years before the US Special Forces decided in the middle of the night to propagate an international assassination. Aside from that it is a rising center of industry with an improving economy. To help improve the image of the city, they have commissioned a new tourist center complete with amusement park and sports facilities. Based on some of the other amusement parks in the area, this is not a Disney-quality amusement park. At a cost of $30 million, we are talking about maybe a single smaller-scale roller coaster and a handful of flat rides, after steps have been taken to secure the land, hire workers, and all of the other things that need to go into a new amusement park. I am thinking this is a completely non-issue…and certainly not anything approaching a theme park. Next…
Las Vegas – Circus Circus – The Rim Runner splashboat ride at the Adventure Dome looks to be closed for good. There is a silver lining here, though. Rumor has it that they are getting an S&S El Loco coaster.
Freestyle Music Park/Hard Rock Park – There is some activity going on at the park involving moving trucks. We will keep you posted.
The Centrifuge Brain Project – I understand that this starts off a little dry, but trust me, you will find yourself watching it at least twice. This is a research project that is trying to analyze brain activity as people ride new and extreme rides. Even if you are not interested in the science, at least check it out for the amazing rides they are showing. And if anyone knows where they have some of these built, please let us know.
Sources: Amusement Today, Screamscape, & Ain't It Cool NewsTweet
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(And cool to see Vegas get some TPI shout outs!)