Archive for the ‘Non-Disney theme & amusement parks’ Category

Universal vs. Disney: The Tolkien Round!

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Universal did it again! At least if these rumors are indeed correct as no official announcements are made yet. Universal gets the rights to build the Lord of the Ring attractions in their park. This is yet another fantastic move that will bring over even more people to the parks. Harry Potter already proofed success and with Lord of the Rings they will do it again. This franchise is so big, popular and timeless that guest numbers for the park will grow for sure.

Queues for the Harry Potter attractions are stupendously long and will get even bigger once the second phase is in place. Once Lords of the Rings and the Hobbit will make it to the park another big fan followers will find their way to the Universal Studios getting those visitor numbers way up. Orlando visitors will need to find a way to see all the stuff and while their holiday might not get extended, a visit to Universal might. As guest might have to find that extra day for Universal, this could cost Disney some visitors.

OK, Disney just got the big Star Wars deal, the new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, the rumored Carsland for Hollywood Studios and… Avatar for Animal Kingdom. Fantasyland is already proofing to be a success for Disney and depending on their Star Wars plans will have another crowd pleaser. As long as it will be spectacular and the Imagineers get to do something with it. Avatar is still another story in my honest opinion. Avatar might still see two more movies and although this will keep the franchise alive, it is in no way as timeless as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

Never the less, it is exciting to see how the theme parks are creating new wonderful stuff. The Lord of the Rings deal will make Disney work their hardest to bring out their best of the best and the real winners are we, the fans and the guests.

Make sure to visit us regularly as we will report on all the new Orlando area park stuff once we know more.

New Harry Potter Movie

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

The success of Harry Potter continues…  in a theme park near you. After all books have found their way to the big screen it come to a little surprise that Warner Brother is filming another Harry Potter movie. However, it has a little twist. It will be a mini movie especially taped for the theme parks. More specifically the Universal Studios park in Orlando, and the new, under construction, Harry Potter sections in California (2016) and Japan (2014).

One of the stars that will be featured in the new film will be Helena Bonham Carter. She will reprise her role Bellatrix Lestrange. Filming has been done at the Warner Brothers’ studios in Hetfordshire. There is nothing know about the story or the plot as they are keeping their lips tight for now. But that will not stop the rumor mill once everybody starts talking on the web on what to expect of this new movie.

Source Daily Mail UK

Raptor – the new Wing Coaster at Gardaland

Friday, April 8th, 2011

The creature has flown out of its hidding place and is devastating the lake if Garda….

it is a winged green creature which kidnaps 28 brave sould and sends them flying over a desolated landscape filled with moist, water, broken trees, brunt landscape due to his firebreath and traps to stop it from devastating further the area!

RAPTOR, the new Winged coaster of Gardaland; Italy’s premier themepark operaitng since 1975 on the shors of the beautifull Garda alke, and owned by Merlin entertainment since 2009, has opened and in less then 1 week already proved to be THE attraction to ride in the already stunning Italian themepark.

Its a B&M design wing coaster, extremely themed (for non Disney or Universal levels) around this idea of a creature flying around. (more…)

Harry Potter is Moving back to London

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

It looks like Harry Potter is moving back to London, England where the movies where taped. According to the news the film studios in Leavesden will be transformed to a real haven for the Harry Potter fan. No need to fly accross the ocean to visit Harry Potter in the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the Universal Studios Orlando anymore. Although the attractions will not be the same and the castle in the sunny Orlando weather might just look that “little bit” nicer too.

Warner Brothers will invest 82 million Euro for the new attractions. Work on the attraction could start this year. The rumors has been there before but according to the Daily Mail the project is now been given the green light. It was Rupert Grint, who played the character Ron Weasly in the movies, that spilled the news during a greet and meet event.

More offers for those stuck in Orlando

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

The flights in Europe are resuming but airlines expect it to take several days till regular operations will be fully established and all guests that were impacted by the air service interruption forced by the volcanic ash will finally be moved to their original destinations. In other words: there are still thousands of toruists worldwide stuck away from home. For those stuck in Orlando respectively the Orlando area the Tourism Bureau has collected a list of special offers as we already reported on Tuesday. In the meantime the list maintained by the bureau has grown substantially with new offers. And certainly there is something new for everyone interested in theme parks …

It all started with SeaWorld giving away free tickets for SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. In the usual game of reactions in the Orlando theme park business Disney matched the offer by SeaWorld and started offering free tickets as well (even so the offer was limited to just two dates). The only one missing in the game was the Universal Resort. But no need to be afraid – just as the three major theme park players react to each other’s price increases, Universal did react to the free theme park ticket offer for stuck international guests as well …


Stuck in Orlando?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The volcanic ash that has been blown from Iceland across the northern half of Europe since the middle of last week has caused serious interruptions not only to the air traffic in Europe, but also to the holidays of thousands of vacationers across the globe. While many may end up missing their vacations somewhere in Europe due to the cancellation of their outbound flights at the start of the vacation (which most probably will also hurt Disneyland Paris in a year that is shaping up to be far from stellar so far) there are also thousands of Europeans stuck at their vacation destinations long past their original return date.

Being forced to extend their vacation indefinitely (as even once international flights to Europe will resume it will take up to a week according to current estimates till the regular flight schedule can be reestablished and most probably even longer till everyone has been moved back to their original destination) not only brings up the question what to do with the extra time to keep the mind of the problems caused (e.g. missed work etc.) and relieve the stress, but also the question how to finance the extra time away from home. The Orlando Tourism Bureau and its members have reacted to this by offering services and experiences to guests affected by the European air service interruptions for free or at greatly reduced rates. (more…)

SeaWorld Trainer Killed

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

In what seems to be an accidental death a 16 year veteran SeaWorld trainer has died during one of the live shows in SeaWorld. The victum is identified as 40 year old Dawn Brancheau. Investigation is under way to find out the cause of the incident. According to first witnesses the trainer was pulled into the water by one of the killer whales who then started to shake her violently forth and back. It was Tilikum a nearly 30-year-old, 12,300-pound bull orca who dragged Dawn into the water. This was the third death cause by Tilikum. In 1991 he was blamed for a 1991 drowning of a trainer in Sealand of the Pacific in British Columbia and in 1999 a death body of a man was found lying across his back.

The Mousekingdom Blog team would like to express their condolences to the  family, friends and all the co-workers at Seaworld.

More about the incident on Orlando Sentinel.
Photo gallery of Seaworld from Orlando Sentinel.

Disney, Marvel and Universal

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Once Disney bought Marvel it was to be expected Universal would be used in the same article more than once. It’s even possible to open it with the three names in the first sentence. They will be linked with each other from now one, something not everybody might like, but unavoidable. Unsurprisingly the three names in one article will refer to the difficulties the new deal of Disney buying Marvel will be for the Universal theme Park. The question of what will happen to Marvel Super Hero Island was one of the first to pop up on many forums. No worries there, as most people already know, Marvel and Universal had signed a contract about 15 years ago where Universal had the sole right to use the characters in a theme Park. This contract has now been inherited by Disney when they bought Marvel and can’t be change. And if it could be change, would they want to? (at this time). The royalties that need to be paid for the use of the licensed characters is a nice bonus for the Walt Disney Company.


Marvel Comics Theme Park Concept Art

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009


OK, I admit, I’ll use the fact that Disney bought Marvel to get some of this artwork on the blog. But I must tell you, I am a big comic buff and love the marvel universe, so I had to share these with you. Not trying to convince you to trade Disney with Marvel, but just have a look at this amazing artwork for the Dubai Marvel Theme Park project…

More pictures here.

Artwork copyrights Chimera Design – Marvel Entertainment

Harry Potter vs Walt Disney World

Friday, July 10th, 2009

WDWcastle1In my previous one park vs other park blog entry I talked about Disneyland Hong Kong vs. Disneyland Shanghai. (read about it here). Now I would like to have a look at two parks even closer together, two parks that might be fighting for a lot of kids; Walt Disney World vs. Islands of Adventure, or should we say vs. Harry Potter.

Disney World might have had the (big) edge on many levels, especially for the younger once, with IoA being more the teens and adult park (even with Seuss Landing), but with the coming of Harry Potter we might see a shift that could surprise many. There are already pictures of the new Harry Potter project starting to find their way on the web… and they look impressive (already and the project is far from finished).


Disney’s “Soarin'” to come to Abu Dhabi

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

“Soarin’ over California” in Disney’s California Adventure respectively it’s WDW-incarnation “Soarin'” in EPCOT has been one of the most stunning additions to the line-up of Disney theme park attractions in the last years – from a technical point of view as well as from the point of view of guest experience. The unique ride system allows guests of all ages to experience a flight over California on a huge concave screen with synchronized movements of the suspended seats simulating the experience of a hang glider flight. Even so guests frequently return over and over to re-ride “Soarin'” especially the arrival of the attraction at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT, where its title was shortened to “Soarin'” made fans wonder: when will Disney pioneer a new movie for the attraction – and what will it show?

There have been rumors galore on fan-sites from “Soarin’ over the US”, to “Soarin’ over the World” or “Soarin’ over Hollywood” (complete with scenes in which guests would be soarin’ over scenes from various movies). The latter was mentioned in particular in connection with the rumor that “Soarin'” was considered as attraction for the Walt Disney Studios theme park at Disneyland Resort Paris. However, so far Disney has not confirmed any new movie for “Soarin'” – maybe because there is no need, as the current movie still generates long lines in both parks … time for the Ferrari World to step in! Ferrari World? YES – an upcoming theme park in Abu Dhabi!


Attraction Attendance Report

Friday, April 17th, 2009

wdw-nice-castle2008 has not been the best year for the theme park around the world. Parks have seen their attendance and guest spending drop. The 2008 Attraction Attendance Report from TEA ERA shows a clear picture on 2008 and it’s, mainly losses of guests for some of the big names in the business.

In the 2008 top 20 of highest attendance in Theme Parks of North America you have the Magic Kingdom on top again. It closed the year with 17,063,000 visitors. They should be happy about that, even if that number is no improvement from last year, during these dark times of recession that isn’t the worst result. On the second place we find Disneyland with 14,721,000 visitors, a drop of 1% from the previous year. Epcot, just like the Magic Kingdom, also didn’t loose or gained any more visitors then the previous year, with a count of 10,935,000 visitors. Epcot got third place.


Unraveling the Theme Park Dreams in the Desert

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Dubai could have become the world capital of theme parks – if all announced and proposed projects would be realised, including amongst others a Universal resort, a Paramount resort, a Marvel comics park, a Dreamworks Studios park and many more. After doubts about the feasibility of this cluster of leisure projects (including the climate challenge, pricing, travel affordibility, employee-availability, …) couldn’t derail the projects, the current economic climate might do just that. As recently posted the SeaWorld parks have been put on indefinite hold and question marks seem to loom (even if only unofficialy) over many of the other projects. According to reports the Formula 1 theme park project “F1-X” in Dubai, which has more than 50% of its construction already completed, got suspended in February as well – due to the “drying up of liquidity from banks and financial institutions”. However, according to the Marketing Director of F1-X “The project is founded on a strong business model that withstands recession whilst allowing for the future growth of Dubai”. The company believes that a financial partner will come forward to capitalise on the opportunity of a half constructed theme park and a project “founded on a strong business model that withstands recession whilst allowing for the future growth of Dubai”. In fact, the company believes that the recent suspension will only delay the opening till 2010…

Considering this series of bad news from Dubai it is worth looking across the border into Abu Dhabi, where just 90 minutes by car frum Dubai, two other projects had been announced: a Ferrari theme park and a Warner Bros. theme park.


Awesome Aerial Picture of Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit

Sunday, March 29th, 2009


While the Mousekingdom Blog is all about the magical world of Disney we can’t help ourself to sometimes talk about some other great stuff in the world of theme parks. For me that’s especially true when it comes to Roller Coasters. It’s never been a secret that I love Island of adventure too (although Harry Potter could change this feeling as I am not a fan of that change in the park), and when visiting Walt Disney World, a visit to the Universal Parks is a given. However, Universal Studios has not been on my list of favorites. Nor me or my family are a fan of the park and the only reason I returned there in 2007 was because of my love for Halloween Horror Night. But… then they came up with Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit and I have been following the project from the beginning. Now, I can’t wait to return to Universal on our next trip to try that monster! All it needed to convince me to visit their park again was too add a great coaster (See how easy I am pleased).

So why this long introduction? Here is one awesome picture from the new ride, taken from a helicopter above the Studios. You can find the big version on the site. Not only will you be able to gaze on the fantastic photo, but you can also follow the work done on the coaster on the site. There are always a great set of construction pictures added on regular basis. Enjoy the ride…

Picture copyrights Jordan Scarano

Universal on Attack

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Universal continues to improve its offerings for guests and thereby also encroaching Walt Disney World in what it believed in the past was its very own territory … now they just added a cruise experience! But let’s not get into this story head over heels. So from the start…

Andy already made several posts in the recent months regarding the slow or even non-existing reaction of Walt Disney World to the additions that the Universal Resort as well as the SeaWorld Resort have been premiering in the last year (in particular the outstanding “Simpson – The Ride” at Universal and SeaWorld’s new water park) and are about to premiere this year (in particular the flying coaster “Manta” at SeaWorld as well as the new coaster at Universal Studios), not to mention the upcoming Harry Potter land at Islands of Adventure in 2010 as well as numerous small but guest friendly concepts such as the free option for guests staying at the official Universasl Hotels to use their room key as unlimited “Universal Express” pass to bypass queues at the major attractions or the all “all you can eat” options valid for a full day Universal or SeaWorld. Now the pressure keeps mounting as Universal decided to go head to head with WDW in one more area: cruises! (more…)