Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News


August 2007

Following the two-year masterplan handed over last October, the Prater in Vienna, Austria, is to get a new entrance plaza celebrating the city’s golden era. Local supplier Explore 5D has been awarded the contract to develop the 16,000 square metre area which will carry the theme “Vienna in the 1900s.” Up to four new attractions, including a cultural exhibit, as well as shops and restaurants, are believed to be part of the plans. All will be designed and built by Explore 5D or one of its international partners. “The concept is content driven, which means that we have created a strong storyline which will run throughout the experience,” says Dr Gerhard Frank, Explore 5D’s CEO and also head of research & development. It is envisaged that the new area will fold seamlessly into the existing Prater.

Chinese animation idol Doraemon, a cat-like robot created 37 years ago, now has his first theme park. The 4,500 square metre facility, located at the East Asian Exhibition Hall in Shanghai, recreates everything in the popular cartoon series. Inside the “air houses,” visitors will be treated to an exciting experience of Doraemon’s famous adventures.

The Eagle Nest Depot at the San Antonio Zoo is now home to a third CP Huntington train from Chance Morgan. CPH number 349 arrived just in time for the summer season and will help the zoo manage riders during the peak season. The Brackenridge Eagle winds through Brackenridge Park for an 18-minute ride.

Another Chance Morgan double-decker carousel is operating in the Crossroads Mall in Portage, Michigan. The ride was delivered in May and celebrated its grand opening on June 2. The carousel replaces a single-decker model located in the mall since 2001. It will be owned and operated by HQ Entertainment of Culver City, California. Ocean Amusements of Ocean City, Maryland, has partnered with Jolly Roger Amusement Park and re-branded the pier as Jolly Roger At The Pier. New attractions this year include a Slingshot previously owned by the Catanoso’s Atlantic Pier Amusements and a Wisdom Tornado. Jolly Roger now offers a combination pass for both the 30th Street park and the pier.

Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, Ocean City, New Jersey, has added 14 electric bumper boats from Foster Manufacturing to replace its old gas-powered boats. “The new boats are cleaner, better for families and with more gradual acceleration,” explains Jay Gillian. “The response from our guests has been great.” Gillian also said the pier was trying to boost group sales by adding a double-decker area next to its Giant Wheel and Runaway Train to accommodate more birthday parties and other group events.

Universal’s US theme parks and New Line Cinema have agreed to bring the legendary horror film series, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights events in Orlando and Hollywood. Universal’s Halloween events have been horrifying guests for 17 years. Jason, Freddy Krueger and Leatherface have haunted horror fans for more than 25 years. This year, for the first time ever, they come together. New Line’s films and characters will be integrated into all aspects of Halloween Horror Night’s creative content.

Dunkin’ Donuts has opened its first ever theme park store, at a park famous for its chocolate. Located inside Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania, the store will serve many goodies including iced drinks, smoothies and coffee, in addition to donuts. A second location, serving cold beverages and snacks, is located in the new Boardwalk at Hersheypark water play area. The concessions are run by franchisee Brijesh Patel.

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