Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News


October 2007

Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Resort, will present the keynote address at this year’s the General Managers and Owners Breakfast at IAAPA Attracions Expo in Orlando. Her topic will be “Creating The Year of a Million Dreams and the Future Disney Park Experience.” The event takes place at 8.30am on Wednesday, November 14, within the Orange County Convention Center, and space is limited. More details, including how to book, appear at:

As from January 2008, Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida will be called Disney’s Hollywood Studios. “Now we can say that Hollywood is literally our middle name,” notes Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort. New attractions planned for the park in 2008 include Toy Story Mania!, Block Party Bash, Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage!, Disney High School Musical 2: School’s Out!, and Meet and Greet Adds Handy Manny. “This is easily one of the most ambitious attractions rollouts in the 18-year history of the park,” Crofton adds.

Richard Rodriguez has smashed the Guinness World Record for the longest rollercoaster marathon, riding the Pepsi Max Big One at Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, 6,300 miles and nearly 8,000 rollercoaster rides. He broke the record at 00:01 on Monday, August 6 – and then chose to carry on for another week to make his new record a really tough one to beat! Richard was originally going head to head with 2 challengers at Freizeitland Gieselwind in Germany, but they dropped out early on due to medical reasons.

Swiss Road Trains banner. Produced in Europe for more than 35 years, the trains are available in several different sizes and with optional extras including air-conditioned coaches. “Swiss Road Trains will benefit from the dedication of the Premier Rides service team. Our 24-hour Rapid Response Network is one of the largest parts and service networks in the world,” says Premier Rides president Jim Seay Tschu-Tschu plans to roll out a new line of modern locomotives in time for the IAAPA Attractions Expo next month in Orlando.

Michael Lewellen, former head of corporate communications for Black Entertainment Television, has been appointed vice-president of public relations, for Universal Orlando Resort, succeeding Cindy Gordon, who was recently named Universal’s vice-president of new media partnerships. In his new role, Lewellen will serve as Universal Orlando’s primary media spokesperson.

Eric Snow has been appointed to the staff of directors at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Indiana. As director of admissions, Snow oversees the hiring, training, and daily operations of a 45-member crew. He returns to Holiday World after a spell at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Walt Disney theme parks in both Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and Anaheim, California are extending their Year of a Million Dreams promotions through until 2008. One million ‘dreams’ were expected to have been awarded to guests at the two locations by late September, helping to drive a strong year for Disney Parks and Resorts.

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