Star Tours 2 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Vanish Point at Water Country opens this weekend. I’m not going. Cheetah Hunt and Mach Tower opens next weekend at Busch Gardens Tampa and Virginia…I’m not going. “IT” opens next week as well at Morrey’s Piers. I’m. Not. Going. Sure we are invited, and yes we will have plenty of coverage of these events. Unfortunately I’m not the one doing the coverage. I have to do the fun stuff like work, be a dad, and do housework. Remember kids, growing up is fun. So are root canals, and car wrecks. I hope you can tell that I am being a tad sarcastic. Just a little bit.
Do ye fear my theme park news Mr. Sparrow?
This is just staggering, but Walt Disney was the top licensor of 2010, meaning that more people bought stuff with Disney characters than anything else last year. This is pretty much because of Toy Story 3. The company sold over $2.4 Billion in merchandise last year. With Pirates and Cars 2 this year, they full expect to be top dog again. Full story, including on how Universal fared.
Remember Ridley Pearson’s book Kingdom Keepers? Now it’s come to life at the Magic Kingdom with an interactive quest to save the Magic at the Magic Kingdom. The quest, described by the Orlando Sentinel, is a self guided tour and takes teams of five on an adventure into Math and Language Arts as they go from attraction to attraction.
Armie Hammer had huge success as twins in last year’s Social Network. This year he hopes to take off as The Lone Ranger in Disney’s take on the classic film. This film is already destined to be a box office smash as Johnny Depp has been signed on for quite some time as Tanto, the Masked Man’s sidekick.
Pat Finnegan is now White Water’s VP of sales for the United States. Finnegan comes from a long list of Waterparks including Wet N Wild in Orlando for over 18 years. See Pat’s full stats and bio here.
A mom is upset after her 10 year old boy won a very popular prize from Joyland…a playboy bunny. Now the mom is calling the prize inappropriate and disrespectful. The mother was not with the child when the prize was chosen. Full story, including park reaction here.
Bay Beach has big plans after they open the Zippin Pippin. They plan on adding many more rides, and a BEACH…yes because there is no beach at Bay Beach Amusement Park. The park is also quick to point out that they are not aiming to be another six flags or Disney, they just want to do a little bit more. Read the whole story here.
Theme Park Tourist is reporting that there is a last ditch effort to save Ghost Town in the Sky. The now defunct theme park had hoped to reopen and emerge from bankruptcy in 2010, but a mudslide blocking service roads flattened that idea. The group is confident that they can have the park reopened by the 2012 season.
Gulf Shores Alabama may have felt the effects of the BP oil spill, and may still yet feel them, however tourists now have yet another reason to go. Opening next year, a year round 17 acre water park will call Gulf Shores home. The park will feature all the normal features of a water park and will include a 30 foot deep aquarium that guests will be able to swim and dive in. More info
This July in Alabama, a Radison hotel will be transformed into a living breathing Nintendo theme park. Guests will be able to play their favorite games, dress up and listen as musicians play live versions of their favorite Nintendo themes. The front desk will serve as a save point. I see this being bigger than Dragon Con…more info.
Tim Burton left Angelina Jolie in Disney’s Maleficent..but he joined regular buddy Johnny Depp for the big screen adaptation of the Vampire Soap Opera (yes before stupid True Blood) Dark Shadows. Depp will play Barnabus Jones, a cursed vampire. So delicious! More details here.
The latest episode of Mortal Kombat: Legacy is out and this week features Lord Raiden. It’s gritty, it’s realistic…but is it Mortal Kombat..really?
And remember the cool backwards playing trailer where everyone ends up living in Dead Island. They have a 2nd trailer out for the game now, and though it’s not as cool, it’s a zombie game…and zombie games provide hope….okay so it’s just fun.
Ride of the Day
You board a rocket and visit Nicktoons in their homes at the studio. You face a giant chicken dinosaur and do the chicken dance. Jimmy Neutron is your ride of the day, since the replacement will be announced tomorrow. It was an okay ride, but since none of the Nicktoons…save for Spongebob are on the air anymore it kind of made no sense to keep it around. Plus the “Nicktoon Studios” fell down the toilet when Universal decided to close Nickelodeon Studios at the park. Still, it was a fun ride