DECEMBER ISSUE: Digital Version available at www.AmusementToday.com --- Print Version mailed Nov. 26, 2019!
Disney's Riviera Resort welcomes guests with the sights, sounds and flavors of Europe
Disney Vacation Club announced the grand opening of the all-new Disney's Riviera Resort on December 16, 2019, at Walt Disney World Resort during a dedication ceremony on the resort's promenade with media guests and Cast Members. Welcome and dedication remarks were given by Terri Schultz, senior vice president and general manager, Disney Vacation Club, and Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president of resorts, premium services, Disney Springs and sports at Walt Disney World.
Inspired by Europe and Imagined by Disney, Disney's Riviera Resort is the 15th Disney Vacation Club property and immerses guests in the grandeur and enchantment of the European Riviera. The deluxe resort is also the first dedicated Disney Vacation Club resort at Walt Disney World since the opening of Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort in 2004.
"Blending the flavors and flair of the Italian and French Riviera with the creativity and imagination that only Disney can deliver, this new resort pays tribute to Walt and Lillian Disney's amazing European travels while connecting Disney artistry and storytelling to this region's renowned art heritage and inspiration," said Schultz. "Not only will Disney's Riviera Resort delight families with its gorgeous architectural details and wide range of accommodations, but members and guests will simply fall in love with the sights, sounds and flavors of Europe around every corner. Our team is excited to welcome families to this relaxing destination inspired by the world-famous sun-drenched Mediterranean Coastline."
Still time to explore theme park?s wonderland at Lightwater Valley
This immersive Christmas lights trail is perfect festive fun for all the family, whatever your age.
From a life-size chessboard with an Alice pawn to the iconic Mad Hatter?s tea party, there?s ways to get involved throughout the experience.
Hundreds of giant illuminated light sculptures will illustrate stories from Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass.
SeaWorld?s Orlando water park now is a certified autism center
Aquatica Orlando ? SeaWorld?s water park ? has put staff through training and added more resources for visitors to become an official certified autism center, the company said Tuesday.
?Guests will also be provided with specific information about attractions and experiences along with in-park accommodations to help them plan their day and make informed choices best suited to their individual needs,? the company said in a press release.
Visitors can also use a quiet room inside the park with adjustable lighting to take a break, the press release said.
Special look at Mickey & Minnie?s Runaway Railway coming to Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort
During the Disney Channel holiday special, ?Disney Channel Holiday Party @Walt Disney World,? viewers got a special look at Mickey & Minnie?s Runaway Railway rolling into Disney?s Hollywood Studios in Florida on March 4, 2020, and coming to Disneyland park in California in 2022.
As we?ve previously shared, this will be the first Disney ride-through attraction featuring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse that will draw guests inside a Mickey cartoon for a fun-filled adventure where ?Mouse rules apply? and anything can happen. Check out the first-look video below, hosted by Disney Channel?s ?ZOMBIES 2? stars Meg Donnelly and Milo Manheim.
accesso Partners with Technovation to engage with global community of tech-driven Changemakers
accesso Technology Group plc, a leading solutions provider for attractions and venues worldwide, is entering into a multi-faceted, charitable partnership with Technovation, a global tech education nonprofit that empowers children and adults to become more confident leaders, creators and problem-solvers in their communities.
In partnering with Technovation, accesso will support the organization?s unique approach to helping girls and families learn, dream and build a better future using technology. In collaboration with its partners, Technovation works with communities around the world to engage all-girl teams and families to identify real-world issues and develop high-tech solutions to solve them, building problem-solving and leadership skills every step of the way.
To kickstart the partnership, accesso has made a charitable contribution in place of traditional holiday gifts for its international roster of clients to support the continued advancement of Technovation?s mission ? one that has impacted more than 130,000 young people and parents to-date. Beyond the contribution, this partnership will provide year-round opportunities for accessoteam members to leverage their paid volunteer time off to actively participate in Technovation?s multi-faceted educational programs, serving as contest judges, remote industry experts and in-person mentors.
Coney Island, home to hot dogs and the Cyclone roller coaster, sees a budding real estate boom
Brooklyn, which is considered ground zero of New York City?s gentrification and luxury real estate boom, has a $2.9 million penthouse on the market. The price tag is fairly reasonable by Big Apple standards, and may come as a surprise ? until you consider the neighborhood where it?s listed.
Thanks to its location on Brighton Beach, along the Coney Island peninsula, with a fireplace listed by Douglas Elliman boasts impressive oceanfront views, something most properties in Brooklyn?s hot real estate market can?t match.
The area?s demographics, which shows as being at the lower end of the city?s income range and skewed heavily toward Eastern European immigrants ? may make it an unlikely choice for a nearly $3 million home. Yet if the real estate trends of the past few years are any indication, the home to the legendary amusement park and boardwalk could be Brooklyn?s next neighborhood to undergo a development boom.
Long-anticipated ?Rise of the Resistance? ride, Avengers campus opening in 2020 at Disney Anaheim parks
The final puzzle piece of Disneyland?s Star Wars Galaxy?s Edge and a brand new land devoted to Marvel movie characters at Disney California Adventure park will highlight Disneyland Resort?s ambitious plans for 2020, the company announced this week.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, an immersive dark ride in the recently opened 14-acre themed Galaxy?s Edge land, is slated to debut on Jan. 17. And Avengers Campus, replacing the A Bug?s Land area in Disney California Adventure, has a planned but unscheduled opening date in 2020.
Rise of the Resistance has been billed as the most immersive and ambitious ride in theme park history. It?s so ambitious that its opening has been significantly delayed. Originally it was scheduled to debut when Galaxy?s Edge opened May 31 of this year but it was pushed back nearly eight months. Rise of the Resistance opened Dec. 5 in the identical Galaxy?s Edge land at Disney?s Hollywood Studios theme park in Orlando. Except for a few opening-day glitches, riders and reviewers online have hailed it as the most epic ride ever created.
As Disney opens its new Star Wars land in Orlando, another local theme park says goodbye
At Walt Disney World, the anticipation around Rise of the Resistance was met with nearly unanimous praise when it opened earlier this month. But while Disney has been preparing for their new Star Wars land rollout, another theme park chain has said goodbye to the franchise.
This is the first significant Star Wars investment for Disney Parks since Disney purchased Lucasfilm, the production company behind the Star Wars franchise. Prior to that 2012 purchase, Lucasfilm had made a number of agreements for theme park attractions, most notably Star Tours at Disney. But in 2010, Legoland announced a multi-park deal for Star Wars-themed mini-lands adjunct to their more traditional mini-lands made up of iconic buildings, both fictional and real, built out of LEGO bricks.
Unlike Disney ? which strangely opted for a Star Wars land based on an entirely new planet fans previously never even knew existed within the Star Wars universe ? the Legoland mini-lands included iconic scenes from the films and animated series. By the end of 2012, Star Wars could be found at five Legoland parks stretching from California to Denmark.
Cineplex signs definitive agreement to be acquired by Cineworld Group
Cineplex Inc., one of Canada?s leading entertainment and media companies, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement (the ?Arrangement Agreement?) with Cineworld Group, plc (LSE: CINE) (?Cineworld Group?). With over 11,200 screensi around the globe, the proposed transaction will create one of the world?s largest cinema companies, providing Cineplex with scale and all the benefits associated with a global enterprise.
Cineworld Group will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares (the ?shares?) of Cineplex for $34 per share in cash, representing a premium of 42% to the closing price on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and a premium of 39% to the volume weighted average share price on the TSX for the 30 days ending December 13, 2019. The total transaction value is approximately $2.8 billion including the assumption of net debt.
?Since Cineplex went public in 2003, we have been committed to delivering value to our shareholders. We believe this transaction today is both financially compelling and in our shareholders best interest,? said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex. ?Cineworld Group shares our passion for entertainment and mirrors our commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences through state-of-the-art technology. The entertainment industry continues to transform and we are pleased that through this agreement we are ensuring Cineplex is part of the next era of global entertainment.?
10-year-old?s dream comes true after meeting Walt Disney Imagineering team behind Star Wars: Galaxy?s Edge
?What do you want to be when you grow up??
At just 10 years old, Dominick (Dom) Masi from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida knows exactly how to answer that question: He wants to be a Disney Imagineer. So, when his parents took him to Disney?s Hollywood Studios to be among the first to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, imagine the excitement in Dom?s eyes when he found himself face-to-face with a few of his role models from Walt Disney Imagineering just seconds after disembarking the attraction!
Whether the moment happened by magic, or through the Force, Dom was in total awe. As a lifelong Annual Passholder and creative kid with a booming imagination, Dom?s hero has always been Walt Disney, or as he calls him, ?Mr. Walt.? He loves spending his free time learning about the magic behind the scenes and brushing up on Disney history ? from the engineering of beloved attractions, to backstories of adored Disney characters and the creation of Disney parks around the world. Lately, he?s been watching (and re-watching) ?The Imagineering Story? on Disney+.
Universal Studios Hollywood and bravo team up to host Top Chef Food & Wine Festival
Universal Studios Hollywood is teaming up with TV channel Bravo to launch the first-ever Top Chef Food & Wine Festival. The festival will be held on March 19 ? 20, 2020.
Visitors at Universal Studios during the weekend of the festival will be able to tuck into an all-inclusive menu comprising of food inspired by the popular TV series. Guests will also have the opportunity to watch and participate in live challenges, food and wine pairing activities and listen to panels with ?Top Chef? alums present at the festival.
There will also be a host of stations selling wine, craft beer and spirits, as well as a diverse range of food.
All aboard the 2020 hype train for Cheetah Chase
As 2019 winds down, let's get ready for the 2020 theme park season by looking ahead to our top 10 most anticipated attractions for the new year.
We start today with our number 10, Cheetah Chase at Indiana's Holiday World. This ProSlide RocketBLAST water coaster will have two sides that "race" each other, starting with a horizontal launch. That's a unique set-up for a water coaster, but it's the fact that this will be Holiday World's third water coaster in its Splashin' Safari water park that has us excited.
Universal Orlando to build new creative team world HQ, create 150 jobs
The company's future 187,000-square-foot facility will cost nearly $350 million to build.
ValoClimb can now be controlled with shadows ? new puzzle game Shadowlings released
We have launched our newest game Shadowlings for the ValoClimb augmented wall climbing game platform! Shadowlings is a multiplayer puzzle game that introduces many brand new technological advancements to the ValoClimb system, mainly allowing the players to interact with these fluffy fellows just by using their own shadow!
The game is played on the ValoClimb climbing wall with cute Shadowlings that have gotten lost in the Shadow realm. The players use their own shadows to nudge, carry and fling the creatures across dozens of levels. The game challenges the players mentally and physically. The players need to figure out the puzzles as quickly as possible and compete against other players on the leaderboards. As is true for all of our games, after each game the player can share their game videos on social media by using the touchscreen that come with ValoClimb system.
The game is designed for entry-level climbers that want to work together and solve climbing challenges. It?s perfect for parents to play with their children or small groups of friends. The experience of working together and helping each other is a first for ValoClimb games so far.
Last chance to catch spectacle at Gallier Hall tonight
You have one more chance to take part in a spectacular holiday event in New Orleans.
Gallier Hall is center stage, as the striking Luna Fete display will be presented tonight (Sunday) from 6 to 10 p.m.
"We do projection mapping on Gallier Hall which, basically uses light to turn the facade into swamps. And, this year, we're featuring a circus. So, we'll have a whole circus experience," says Lindsay Glatz, Creative Director for the Arts Council of New Orleans.
Disney moving some metal detectors to Transportation and Ticket Center
Visitors to Walt Disney World?s Magic Kingdom will go through metal detectors and get bags checked at the Transportation and Ticket Center starting Monday.
The center, commonly known as the TTC, is a major hub for Magic Kingdom visitors. People driving to the Magic Kingdom park at TTC, then board monorails or ferries to cross Seven Seas Lagoon and reach the attraction. Currently, visitors can board the monorails and ferryboats without going through bag checks or metal detectors.
Guests arriving at Magic Kingdom via the monorail or ferry won?t have to go through security once they get to the theme park itself. However, the Magic Kingdom will still have some bag checks and metal detectors for visitors arriving by other transportation, such as buses.
A tiny Christmas village
Nestled in the family recroom at the home of Ron and Mary Chalmers at 45 Churchill Avenue is the most beautifully displayed Christmas village.
The village began to take shape 30 years ago when Mary received the first piece (a bed and breakfast house) as a Christmas gift. The village was originally set up for their son and is now enjoyed by the entire family especially the grandkids.
Each year it takes approximately 40 to 50 hours to set up. A 4×8 sheet of plywood was made into a table with holes to feed the cords for each lighted piece. With one flip of a switch it comes to life! Ron begins to set the village up after Remembrance Day each year and usually has it completed by the first week of December.
Man builds DIY ?Enchanted Forest? theme park in Oregon
From ?Idiot Hill? to Enchanted Forest: How one man spent the last 45 years building a fairy tale theme park after his kids got bored during a road trip in the 1960s
Roger Tofte opened Enchanted Forest to the public in 1971 with the help of his family and more than 45 years later, the park is now a staple of the Northwest attracting 200,000 visitors a year. Today the 87-year-old artist is often seen whizzing around in a moped carrying cement across the park to fix damaged attractions.
Once upon a time, in a land not far away, there was a desperate dad who was perplexed by how few local family attractions he could take his family to.
Massanutten Resort WaterPark to expand in 2020
At the start of next year, construction on the first-ever expansion of the Massanutten Resort WaterPark will begin by adding three new slides outside.
The resort said they are in the permit phase of the expansion and hope to start construction on the slides in the outside portion of the park in January.
This is the first time since the water park was built almost 14 years ago an expansion has happened.
A look inside American Dream's candy department store
The world's first candy department store officially opened at American Dream on Saturday.
The store, which IT'SUGAR described as a "completely unique retail concept," spans 22,000 square feet over three floors ? making it the world's largest non-manufacturer candy store. The store features over 10,000 choices of candy, showcasing brands such as Sour Patch Kids, Oreo, Nerds, Reese's, Peeps, Pez and Starburst.
Red Oaks Waterpark hosts holiday light show
Red Oaks Waterpark is typically closed during the long winter months when it?s too cold to go swimming. But this year, things are different. A business has set up a vast array of Christmas light displays for cars to tour, and a portion of the proceeds will go to local nonprofits.
Santa?s Rock N Lights, organized by All Community Events Inc., is located in the parking lot of the water park at 1455 E. 13 Mile Road. The drive-thru show features tens of thousands of displays, and more than 1,000 animated elements that move in sync with holiday music that plays in each car by tuning the radio to a specific station listed at the event.
Terra Lumina opens at the Toronto Zoo
This week marks the opening of our 11th Lumina Night Walk, and we are thrilled to have worked with the Toronto Zoo to create a multimedia experience that brings the real and virtual worlds together to imagine a wondrous future.
After the animals have gone to sleep, guests are invited to step through a portal of light into the year 2099, where they will discover a new vision of the future. Throughout the winter, Terra Lumina takes visitors along a 1.5-kilometre multimedia night walk with lighting effects, video projection, and an original score.
Along their journey, a group of mystical characters encourages everyone to reflect on the human relationship to the animal kingdom. With a futuristic flare, each element is designed to inspire visitors to plant the seeds of change for a better future on planet Earth.
Disneyland fireplace: Four injured in massive fireplace at California theme park
A fierce blaze at a Disneyland car park has left at least eight vehicles scorched and four people needing hospital treatment.
Almost $180,000 (£145,000) worth of damage was caused by the fire at the theme park in Anaheim, on Monday afternoon.
Anaheim Police Department said seven employees suffered injuries from smoke inhalation, with four of them being taken to hospital. At least four of the affected cars were destroyed.
New ?Living Museum of the Sea? established in Dominican Republic Waters
Researchers from Indiana University Bloomington have teamed up with the Dominican Republic?s government to create a ?Living Museum of the Sea? within the waters of La Caleta Underwater National Park, a protected area along the island nation?s southern coast.
According to a press release, the museum aims to preserve archaeological and biological treasures in the underwater space. This particular project?the fifth of its kind?helps protect a Spanish merchant vessel that sank in the area during a storm in 1725. While marine archaeologists brought some artifacts to the surface, which are now housed at the Atarazanas Museum, the Nuestra Señora de Begoña itself, as well as an array of related items, have been left on the seafloor as part of an underwater, in situ exhibit.
The new venture isn?t the Dominican Republic?s first Living Museum of the Sea. Charles Beeker, director of IU?s Center for Underwater Science, has helped establish four others, including one at the site of the Quedagh Merchant wreck abandoned by pirate captain William Kidd, in the Caribbean nation?s waters over the past 15 years.
AROUND THE GLOBE
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi clinches world record as the largest indoor theme park
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi has been named the "Largest Indoor Theme Park" in the world by Guiness World Recrods. The park is located in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, over an area of 1.65 million square feet. Opened in July 2018, it is also the world?s first Warner Bros. branded indoor theme park. Speaking about the park's new record, General Manager of Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, Don Strickler said, "We are incredibly excited to receive yet another accolade on behalf of our world-class theme park that has captured the hearts of countless guests since opening. The record title for the world?s ?Largest Indoor Theme Park? is one that we are delighted to carry, as it only underscores the breadth of excitement and adventures that await guests at this truly one-of-a-kind attraction."
Huss announces opening of new Sky Tower attraction at Changsha OCT Window of the World
Huss Park Attractions GmbH has announced the opening of a Sky Tower attraction at Changsha OCT Window of the World in China.
Officially opened in October, the addition of the new ride continues the German company?s strong long-term relationship with OCT, with the Changsha park already operating a King Kong ride from the Huss Family Rides product range, which has proved extremely successful and popular with guests.
The largest theme park in central China, Changsha OCT Window of the World was established 1997 and features numerous miniatures of world-famous tourist attractions, historic sites and architecture. The new 120m high Sky Tower provides the venue with an iconic, modern landmark attraction and an exciting panoramic experience for park guests.
Russian version of Disneyland set to open in two months
A new theme park, set to become the largest in Europe, will open in Moscow in the next two months.
Costing $1.5 billion, Dream Island park, which commenced construction on 17 March 2016, is scheduled for commencement of operations on 29 February 2020.
The park is being built with the major participation of the Turkish Ronesans Holding, Dream Island Technical Director Ivan Scholl told Anadolu Agency.
Hip hip hooray, it?s Dreamworld?s 38th birthday
Dreamworld has kicked off its birthday month with a bang delivering its biggest summer campaign yet and now, it?s time for the ultimate celebration as the park turns 38-years-old on Sunday 15 December.
For the BIG day, Dreamworld?s fur babies celebrated in true form ? by having their cake and eating it too.
From small feet to big paws, the park?s wildlife spent their morning bounding towards specially selected treats, serving as an enriching and fun surprise for the big birthday bash.
First-Ever Disneyland Paris Princess Run coming in May 2020
In tribute to all of our beloved Disney Princesses, guests can now sign up for the very first edition of the Disneyland Paris Princess Run next year from May 8-10! Enjoy a weekend of festivities for every level all while discovering the magic of the resort and taking home a few exclusive souvenirs.
Guests will find themselves under the sea with Ariel on a 5K run and singing Be Our Guest with Belle on an 8K run, while kids can take part in 100M, 200M and 1KM runs with the princesses? loyal friends such as Cinderella?s adorable mice Suzy and Perla or Pocahontas? mischievous raccoon Meeko.
In honor of the film?s 70th Anniversary, athletes and challenge enthusiasts alike can even participate in the Cinderella Challenge 13K by taking part in two runs to receive a new, additional medal. And along the way, Disney characters will be cheering guests through the winding routes inside the resort.
New dinosaur attraction announced by Mk Themed Attractions
Danish theming experts MK Themed Attractions has announced it has a new themed concept that?s ready to be installed at amusement parks that?s centred on real-sized dinosaurs.
The dinosaurs are made to look real and include 5.5 metre-high brachiosaurus, velociraptors, various sized T-Rex heads and other dinosaurs, which can be projected onto walls, entrances and other places to create an exciting, immersive experience for guests.
The dinosaurs have been created by MK Themed Attractions? highly skilled team of sculptors, designers and painters.
Ride investment sees Ocean Park rack up another year of deficit
Hong Kong theme park Ocean Park has announced a fourth consecutive year where it has posted a deficit, attributing the latest loss to investments in edutainment and the upgrading of rides.
The HK$557.3 million (US$77.5 million) loss for the financial year to 30th June is the fourth consecutive deficit by the leading attraction, which it attributes to investments in edutainment offerings and the reinvention of rides with digital technologies.
Despite the loss, revenues rose 2.89% from HK$1.68 billion (US$215 million) the previous year to HK$1.73 billion (US$222 million) in 2018/19.
Jora Vision: Pushkin Theme Park Russia
Jora Vision signs contract to develop Pushkin Theme Park ?Lukomorye? in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet of all times and the founder of modern Russian literature. His literary poems have entertained and inspired children and adults for over 200 years. A.S. Pushkin's fairy tales center around an imaginary land called "Lukomorye" where many wonderful stories take place.
In December 2018 Svetoch LLC, a company based in Pushkin City St. Petersburg, asked Jora Vision to assist in the development of a brand new theme park that celebrates A.S. Pushkin's fairy tales. CEO of Svetoch LLC, Mrs. Goloverova, is successfully running Hotel ?Natali? (named after A.S. Pushkin's wife) including a Family Entertainment Centre and Spa. Besides this, for years she has been preparing plans to develop a magical place where one can step into the fairy tales of A.S. Pushkin in a modern, immersive and spectacular way, yet with the typical flair of Russian folklore and tradition.
Trikala?s ?Mill of Elves? expects to welcome more than a million visitors this Christmas
Greece, of course, is not especially well-known for its Christmas attractions, right? Well, that may have been true in the past.
But this year, the city of Trikala intends to overturn this tradition, by attracting more than a million visitors both from Greece and abroad, to its ?Mill of Elves? (Milos ton Xotikon), the country?s largest free-admission Christmas theme park.
Perhaps most unexpectedly, it all began in 2011, at the very peak of Greece?s financial crisis, when the local authorities of the city of Trikala, in Thessaly, decided to offer something bright at a particularly gloomy time for the citizens of the country.
Three UK museums nominated European Museum of the Year Award 2020
Three UK museums have been nominated for the European Museum of the Year Award 2020.
Two Scottish museums, the V&A Dundee and the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, are in the running, alongside St Fagan?s National Museum of History in Wales.
The awards ceremony will take place at Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales) in Cardiff in April and May next year. Applications are open to new museums that have opened to the public in the last three years, or established ones that have completed substantial modernisation, extension or reorganisation in that period.