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Disney World's ongoing battle against nuisance alligators

BY JEFFREY DASTIN of Reuters

June 27, 2016 - Daniel Westfall

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Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) has had more than 240 "nuisance" alligators captured and killed over the last 10 years at its Florida theme park property, according to state records. The records reveal the park's constant struggle to keep alligators away from humans in a region where the creatures live and breed. Last week, a 2-year-old boy at the Walt Disney World Resort died after an alligator attack at the edge of a hotel lagoon. Critics questioned why Disney hadn't posted signs warning guests of the presence of alligators in the area; the company has since installed such signage. "You'll never be able to get them all," said Florida trapper Ron Ziemba, who helped trap and kill nuisance alligators on Disney World property for five years until late 2015. Continue article...

M&Ds Theme Park Tsunami Rollercoaster Derails

Tsumani Rollercoaster plunges 30ft to floor in front of horrified spectators

June 26, 2016 - Daniel Westfall

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Early eyewitness reports say the carriage on the Tsunami ride came off the tracks and plunged 30ft to the ground Nine children and two adults are injured after a rollercoaster derailed and smashed into a children's ride. The Tsunami carriage plummeted 30ft to the ground and landed on top of a smaller attraction, leaving casualties trapped in the wreckage. It is estimated eight to ten people were on board, although the extent of the injuries is not yet known. The park has since been evacuated and emergency services are on the scene in M&D's theme park, Motherwell. The Tsunami rollercoaster carriage plummeted to the ground and landed on top of a child’s car ride, leaving casualties trapped in the wreckage, reports the Daily Record. Continue article...

Universal Hollywood to Expand Theme Park Further in Next 5 Years

Building new soundstages to make way for more theme park attractions

June 25, 2016 - Andrew Rybarczyk

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Universal Studios is embarking on a new five-year plan that will reorient many of its production soundstage facilities to the east near its backlot, as it makes way for additional space to expand its theme park. In the works is a new complex of ten soundstages, to be built in 2017 and 2018, as a cluster of smaller stages on the front and west portion of the lot are removed to make way for new theme park attractions. Also in the works is a new childcare facility, an expanded fire station and sheriff’s substation, and a trail head park and bike path along the Los Angeles River. Continue article...

Devin Olson Media's Lightning Rod Documentary Releases

Building Dollywood's Lightning Rod

June 23, 2016 - Andrew Rybarczyk

Its opening may have been delayed a bit, but folks who've finally gotten the chance to ride Dollywood's newest roller coaster are finding it was worth the wait!! The Lightning Rod was supposed to debut when the season opened this year, but the ride's builders asked for a little more time to make sure the ride was perfect. It was finally opened to the public this week, and has been drawing big crowds. The 1950's era thrill ride lasts just over two minutes, but it took almost two years to take the innovative ride from concept to reality. Lighting Rod is the world's fastest wooden roller coaster, powered by new technology. Continue article...

Universal Orlando reveals details on Volcano Bay's 18 attractions

Possible opening June 1, 2017

June 21, 2016 - Andrew Rybarczyk

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Universal Orlando Resort has raised the curtain on new details regarding its Volcano Bay water park. Universal describes the new 28-acre water theme park attraction as a "lush, tropical oasis unfolds before you, instantly transporting you to a little-known Pacific isle. In the distance, a colossal volcano rises above a sparkling beach, boasting majestic waterfalls by day and blazing lava by night." The park will have 18 attractions, such as a multi-directional wave pool, a winding river, multi-rider raft rides, body slides that drop from the top of the volcano and a "state-of-the-art marquee attraction that will be revealed at a later date" divided among four areas, said a release. Continue article...

1,200-foot amusement ride proposed for NY's Penn Station

11 Drop Towers that match your thrill level

June 20, 2016 - Andrew Rybarczyk

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Catching a train at New York's crowded Penn Station is no thrill. But a development team has proposed a novel plan to overhaul the station: Build a 1,200-foot thrill ride on top of it and pay for renovations by charging $35 a ticket. The plan submitted to state officials envisions a transparent tower called the Halo with 11 gondolas offering free-fall rides of varying speeds. "You're experiencing New York City in an unforgettable way," said Alexandros Washburn, president of Brooklyn Capital Partners, the partnership behind the plan. "It's something you will not be able to do anywhere else in the world." John Gerber, chairman of Brooklyn Capital Partners, said the ride is feasible from an engineering standpoint, but he acknowledged that government agencies and New Yorkers might not embrace the idea. Continue article...

RMC Coasters Shut Down for Recalled Part

Rocky Mountain finds a flaw in a train part on Lightning Rod

June 19, 2016 - Dwain Sponseller

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Dollywood has posted on its website that it has closed its newly-opened coaster Lightning Rod due to a part recall from manufacturer Rocky Mountain Construction. The park also said that RMC has ordered all of its coasters closed until the parts can be replaced. However, that turned out not to be the case, and only a few RMC coasters have been affected by the recall. One of those is RMC's newest coaster, Wildfire, which was scheduled to open today at the Swedish park Kolmarden. The park posted to its Facebook page today that the ride would not open due to the fact that "producers have drawn attention to a risk of a manufacturing defect on a part that's sitting in the trains." FULL STORY Continue article...

Kalahari Resorts to build $250 million resort near Austin, Texas

New venture into area dominated by outdoor waterparks

June 16, 2016 - Andrew Rybarczyk

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The indoor waterpark sensation that has engulfed Wisconsin Dells and a few other parts of the country is expanding to a suburb of Austin, Texas. Todd Nelson, owner of Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Lake Delton, announced Wednesday with city officials in Round Rock, Texas, plans for a $250 million resort. The 350-acre project would include nearly 1,000 rooms, a 150,000-square-foot convention center, entertainment center, spa, restaurants and indoor and outdoor waterparks. The project would mirror the company’s other resorts that opened in Lake Delton in 2000, Sandusky, Ohio in 2005, and in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains last year. The latter development is a $230 million resort with 457 rooms, a 100,000-square-foot indoor water park, 100,000 square feet of convention space and 6,000 square feet of retail. Continue article...

The Battle for Cedar Point is On!

New app allows for guests to play in park and earn rewards

June 15, 2016 - Andrew Rybarczyk

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Press Release: The virtual realm of augmented reality collides with the tangible, traditional guest visit to Cedar Point with the debut of “The Battle for Cedar Point,” an interactive, competitive gaming experience inside the new Cedar Point mobile app. Developed by UK-based, sensory experience design experts Holovis, in partnership with Cedar Point, the free game allows guests to compete against each other in a fun new way as they walk through the park, wait for their favorite ride or sit down to enjoy a meal. Guests who choose to play The Battle for Cedar Point will first join one of five “clans” on the day of their visit – Valravn, GateKeeper, Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster or Maverick. Continue article...

Raging Bull to Receive the VR Treatment

SFGAm announces new twist to the hypercoaster

June 15, 2016 - Dwain Sponseller

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This is an all-new way to ride the Bull. This Virtual Reality experience will be paired with our tallest, steepest, and longest coaster Raging Bull. This ride has been a fan favorite since its opening in 1999...get ready to ride in a whole new way. Challenging the Raging Bull is enough of a feat, this hyper-twister coaster will take you up 202 feet and drops you down and extra five feet underground for a whopping 207 foot drop! You think you can handle the Bull, want even more thrill? Then this will be the perfect thrill for you. Put on the Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus headset and you will transported to another world. Continue article...

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