News update: New ending for Paris' Thunder, plus 'Pets' on parade at Universal

December 20, 2016, 1:20 AM · Let's catch up with some theme park news that I didn't get the chance to post while I was flying for 16 hours from Dubai back to Los Angeles. (Hey, I flew over the north pole! I looked for Santa, but I guess he didn't pay his power bill, because everything was very, very dark up there.)

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has reopened at Disneyland Paris, after a lengthy refurbishment that allowed Disney to install the "explosive" finale first used at Disneyland in Anaheim. Those with long memories might recall that five guests were injured in 2011 when rockwork from Thunder's "C" lift fell on one of the trains. Disney shut down the earthquake sequence on Thunder's final lift after that, leaving a fairly static show finale for the ride. But the new sequence, which uses projection mapping, lighting and fog effects, provides an even more visually exciting climax for the "wildest ride in the wilderness." Here's a look from Disney at what its Imagineers did on the ride:

Universal Studios Florida has added The Secret Life of Pets to Universal’s Superstar Parade, which runs daily in the park. The new unit includes a Central Park float for the main characters from last summer's Illumination Entertainment animated hit, as well as a crew of parkour gymnasts running around the float.

Across the country at Universal Studios Hollywood, the park released a promo video showing The Grinch picking up some extra Who-liday cash by subbing as a Studio Tour guide.

Grinchmas runs at the park through Jan. 1, though the Grinch stealing the tour bus appears to have been a one-shot deal. But hey, ya never know.

Replies (6)

December 20, 2016 at 1:03 PM · I would like to hear why Parade's are popular in Theme parks.

Yes I have seen a few but personally I do not stand there waiting for one. And if there were no Parade's would folks really care...?

I am just asking why are they so popular?

December 20, 2016 at 5:58 PM · Brian, I would have agreed with you 100% up until a year and a half ago. "Paint the Night" changed everything in my opinion.
December 20, 2016 at 10:09 PM · Does anyone know why the Magic Kingdom version of Big Thunder doesn't have the explosive ending? I thought that was part of the plans in the lengthy refurb it just completed.
December 21, 2016 at 3:53 PM · Brian,

Parades are popular because they soak up crowds and make the ride lines shorter for the rest of us. ;^)

December 22, 2016 at 8:20 AM · Brian, when you're at Disney or Universal the parades are a way to see some of your favourite characters up close, interacting with guests, and picking up the mood. People love them because they see Mickey, Donald, Elsa, etc on some fantastic vehicles and settings. But when you're Alton Towers and all you've got is a work experience lad driving a vintage car it's not so exciting - and that's why they don't have parades any more!
December 23, 2016 at 7:25 PM · Why do people watch musicals? It's not what brings me to a park but I do like that the lines drop when the parade starts. Some people like the arts and a good parade is a combination of music, dancing, and sculpture

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