If you missed it last summer, the From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience walk-through exhibit is returning Universal Studios Hollywood's Globe Theater. The display of stop-motion animation models from the studio's films will run from December 21 through January 15, which, probably not coincidentally, roughly corresponds with Oscar voting season. With so many Academy voters in the area, perhaps Laika is hoping the display will return some attention to its critically acclaimed Kubo and the Two Strings animated feature. For the rest of us, it's still a good show, and well worth seeing.
On the east coast, Universal Orlando today announced that Matthew Lewis and Warwick Davis will attend January's "A Celebration of Harry Potter" event at the resort. Universal promises more actors from the film series will attend as well, plus panels with filmmakers, and an expo that will include displays from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The event runs January 27-29.
Walt Disney World has announced the return of Disney After Hours at the Magic Kingdom. This hard-ticket event allows participants to enter the park at 7pm, then stay for three hours after the park's official close to other guests. More than two dozen attractions will be open for event visitors, and there's free ice cream and popcorn, too. It's like an extra Extra Magic Hours, but open to anyone who buys a ticket — not just to Disney hotel guests. The event will run January 20 and 27, February 2, 9 and 16, and March 2 and 9, 2017. Tickets are $119 per person, but just $89 for annual passholders and DVC members. Call +1-407-827-7185 for tickets.
Fun Spot America in Kissimmee is stepping up its game for 2017 with today's announcement that it is partnering with The Gravity Group to build a 2,256-foot wooden coaster. The $6 million ride will offer an 80 foot drop, top speed of 48 mp, 11 airtime moments... and the first 360-degree barrel roll on a wooden coaster in the southeast. Here's the concept video:
Also in roller coaster news, Disneyland Paris posted this look at its Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which is just days away from emerging from a major refurbishment, which includes the addition of the Disneyland-style "exploding" finale on the "C" lift.
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