Theme Park Central

A site for theme park junkies everywhere.

Archive for the month “August, 2010”

1st Annual Theme Park Central Awards

Ok since the theme park “season” is almost over, I thought it would be a good idea to post the very first Theme Park Central Awards! *applause* Ok, the first award is Best Attraction. Now, many rides deserve this prestigious award, but there is one that definitely earns this award. The new, the hip, the one and only…Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Islands of Adventure! This ride is just stunning, so I think it deserved this award. The next award is Best Roller Coaster. Lots of roller coasters out there are amazing, yet terrifying. It was hard for me to choose one since I hate roller coasters, but I had to go with….Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg! It is a scary roller coaster, even just looking at it, so I believe it deserves this award. Up next is Best Theme Park Resturant. This is tough. Lost of theme parks have very good resturants, but the one that most people think is the best one is none other than….Mythos at Islands of Adventure! This resturant is just amazing, according to most reviewers. Next award is Best Live/3D Show. This one is very hard to decide. I love just about every 3D show out there, but I can only choose one. The one I choose is…..Terminator 2-3D at Universal Studios Florida! Many people may disagree with me, but I really love this show. Then again, it is my opinion :P. Anywho, the next award is Best Hotel. This one had to go to….Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World! It is a splendid hotel, and has a great theme. The last, but definitely not least award is Best Theme Park. This one is exceptionally tough. Sooooooo many theme parks are wonderful, it is just too hard to decide. But the one that I choose is the one, the only………………………ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE!!!!!! Congratulations to our winners! Stay tuned every August to see who wins the awards. Thank you for visiting Theme Park Central. Please check back for more exciting news!

Recap:
Best Attraction-Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Islands of Adventure
Best Roller Coaster-Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Best Theme Park Resturant-Mythos at Islands of Adventure
Best Live/3D Show- Terminator 2-3D at Universal Studios Florida
Best Hotel-Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World
Best Theme Park-Islands of Adventure

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Harry Potter Studio Will Become Theme Park

Well, Orlando now has the Wizarding World in it’s possession. What about the UK, where HP was actually shot? What are they, chopped liver? Not anymore. The Leavesden Studios is set to be turned into a tourist attraction with fans able to tour the sets where the films were shot. Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, told the fans of the big news for the Brits. Rupert said: “We used to write on the walls and they’re actually recreating [them] and turning the studio into an attraction, actually recreating all the rooms so you can go in them.” Obviously it won’t be a patch on the Orlando theme park but they’re still excited to have a slice of Potter history in the UK.

Man Drops From Tower Of Terror

A man was injured on August 20th after he fell 25 feet from a staircase Wednesday evening while waiting in line to ride the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s California Adventure park in Anaheim, California. He was taken to the hospital for minor injuries and was then released, reports local television KABC. The unnamed 19-year-old man fell after he attempted to climb over a barrier but lost his balance. Police did not release his name. Before toppling over, he told his friends, “Wouldn’t it be funny if I fell,” KABC reported. Ironic, eh? Police officials say that the man had most likely been drinking. “The guest was standing in line with friends on a second-floor platform when he climbed over a barrier to the area below and lost his balance and fell approximately 25 feet,” said Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown, CNN reported. His fall caused the theme park ride to shut down temporarily.
“The guest was transported by ambulance to the hospital,” stated Brown. “We understand his injuries were minor and he has been treated and released.”

Pittsburgh Officer Charged With Theme Park Theft


Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper says an officer will likely be moved to desk duty during an internal investigation of charges that he shoplifted more than $300 worth of Harry Potter merchandise from Islands Of Adventure theme park. Police at Universal Studios in Orlando say 49-year-old Officer Henry Rogowski stuffed the items in a bag he was carrying on Sunday. Police say the officer told them his family visited the park in April but returned this month because the Harry Potter ride was not open on the prior visit. Police say Rogowski told them he was going to pay for the items, but the cash “registers were busy and he did not feel like waiting.” Rogowski was reportedly still on vacation Tuesday. His mother, reached at her Pittsburgh home, says her son won’t commenting about the incident.

Universal Studios Florida Review

Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida is a great park all in all. It has a great mix of thrill rides, gentler rides for kids, play areas for toddlers, and roller coasters. The 3 main rides in Universal are The Simpson’s Ride, Men In Black: Alien Attack, and Revenge of the Mummy. These rides are definitely worth seeing, and cam get pretty crowded later in the day. The Simpson’s Ride is a simulator attraction that takes you flying through Krustyland, a theme park based on the goofy clown from the animated series. The ride can be thrilling at parts, so kids may want to skip this attraction. Men In Black: Alien Attack is a dark ride through the streets of New York, where you are given a blaster that you shoot the aliens with. Nothing is too thrilling about this ride except sudden spins that aren’t expected. Revenge of the Mummy is an indoor roller coaster with all kinds of special effects. I haven’t been on this ride, so I have no idea what it is about or what might scare people. Some other rides that aren’t as popular are as follows: Terminator 2-3D, a 3D show featuring Arnold. Nothing is too bad in this film except some action sequences that can get pretty loud and some smoke and other special effects..and, of course, the 3D effects. Jaws is a simulated tour of Amity where you encounter the old Great White (I guess he can’t die!). Anywho, the ride isn’t too thrilling, considering the anamatronic shark isn’t too scary except to younger kids. Some effects, like fire and the boathouse effects, might scare younger kids. Disaster is a mix between a show where you learn how some movie effects work, and a subway ride during an earthquake. The movie effects part is not bad at all, but the subway effects might scare kids. The scary parts: fire, a simulated flood, and a tanker that almost hits the train. E.T. Adventure is a dark ride that takes you to the little alien’s home planet. nothing is too bad in this ride except one part where police cars come out of nowhere and startle you. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is, of course, a roller coaster, so I skipped it. Shrek 4D was also skipped because of very long lines during the day. It is your typical 4D show, thrilling effects, plus the 3D stuff. USF is one of my favorite parks, and it is definitely worth visiting if you love movies.

Woman Sues Disney, Says Pervy Donald Duck Molested Her

A Pennsylvania mom is suing Walt Disney World, claiming an actor dressed as Donald Duck copped a feel when she asked for an autograph for her kids.
April Magolon, 27, of Upper Darby, Pa., said she approached the iconic duck while at Epcot in May 2008, and the actor inside the feathery suit got happy with her. “Donald Duck proceeded to grab [her] breast and molest her and then made gestures making a joke indicating he had done something wrong,” said the suit, which was filed in federal court. Magolon says she suffered “severe physical injury” as result and has been plagued with anxiety, headaches, nightmares, digestive problems and cold sweats. She is demanding more than $50,000 in damages. Donald Duck could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman for Walt Disney World said the amusement park “will respond appropriately in court.” The suit claims that the local sheriff’s office had fielded 24 complaints of similar alleged sex acts by costumed characters since 2004. A spokesman for the sheriff couldn’t confirm the claim but did say Magolon never filed a complaint. In 2004, a man dressed as Tigger was arrested on charges he groped a 13-year-old girl and her mom. He was later acquitted after wearing the costume in court to show how little can be felt through its mitts.

Lord of the Rings Theme Park?


A number of people over at the Disney bulletin boards have been receiving surveys from Universal that are essentially testing the enthusiasm for a Lord of the Rings themed park a la The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Posts on blastr quote the survey as saying:

Imagine if you will a world unlike any you’ve ever visited before: it’s Middle Earth, the ancient and beautiful land forged by J.R.R. Tolkien as the backdrop for his two most well known creations, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Walk as a human among dwarves, elves, orcs and hobbits—all faithfully recreated and portrayed in the spirit of the original characters as they appeared in both the books and the movies.

In this land you’ll experience one-of-a-kind rides and attractions that bring to life some of the most memorable experiences of Tolkien’s world including Bilbo’s hobbit hole, the fortress at Isengard (before it was destroyed) and even the dark world of Mordor—including the terrifying volcanic Mount Doom.

This immediately raises a lot of questions; questions that need answering. Like “Will it ever actually happen?” and then “Will it be any good?” and ultimately “Would you even go?”. Sounds ok to me. I have recieved this survey and it did show lots of enthusiasm towards the park.

20 Questions for 20 Years

From the opening of Universal Orlando in 1990.


Twenty years ago this summer, Universal Studios theme park opened its doors in Orlando. Universal Orlando didn’t make a big fuss about the anniversary this year. It was busy launching a little thing called the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and it was probably hoping we’d all forget the early days of the park, which were plagued with dead-in-water attractions and long lines — by 1990 standards. Here’s a 20th anniversary quiz for Universal buffs. Feel free to leave any answers you know in a comment.
1. Name the character on the first distinctive Universal billboard, which caused a traffic jam on Interstate 4.
2. Which celebrity did not attend the grand opening? Michael J. Fox, James Stewart, Sylvester Stallone or Drew Barrymore?
3. True or False: Because some attractions were not working at first, guests who bought a ticket to Universal received a free ticket for a return visit.
4. What was the distinctive shape of the foundation of the original Hard Rock Café (from a bird’s-eye view)?
5. What Ron Howard movie shot at Universal Studios before the theme park opened?
6. In 1990, how much did a cheeseburger cost at Mel’s Drive-In?
7. In 1990, how much did parking cost at Universal?
8. What attraction previously resided in the soundstage that houses Twister?
9. What was the original name of Halloween Horror Nights?
10. Universal started celebrating Mardi Gras in 1996. How many nights was the event that year?
11. Wayne Brady and Joey Fatone performed in what Universal show?
12. What aroma was dominant in Kongfrontation?
13. How many still images of Lucille Ball — including movie posters, slides and paper dolls — are there in the exhibit called Lucy — A Tribute? 25, about 100, almost 250 or 1,950?
14. On the stars of Hollywood Boulevard, which is the first on the street (and the first alphabetically)?
15. What is the name on the theater marquee over the entrance of the Horror Make-Up Show — Pantages, Palace or Palladium?
16. What three creatures lurk above a kiosk outside Classic Monsters Café?
17. In the Disaster attraction, what actor appears as a ghostly image and what character does he play?
18. What amusement park name is now across the front of the old Back to the Future attraction?
19. What is the name of the after-dark show projected onto globes on the park’s lagoon?
20. Which is not a storefront along the streets of Universal Studios — Adrienne’s Pet Shop, the Kitty Kat Club, Walgreen Drug or Jack’s Joke Shoppe?

Universal Follows Disney’s Price Increase

Universal Orlando will raise ticket prices, matching Walt Disney World’s price increase a few days ago. One-day, one-park passes rise $3, from $79 to $82, just like Disney’s. Two-, three- and four-day tickets will increase $5. The “park-to-park” ticket (Universal’s version of the park hopper, for those of you who speak only Disney) prices will increase $3 for the one-day ticket and $5 for the three- and four-day tickets. The two-day, park-to-park ticket will remain at $144.99. This price increase goes into effect August 7th, so if you are going to Universal soon, buy your tickets today, unless you want to spend an extra $3, which isn’t too bad.

Disney Ticket Prices Increase


At a time when people are spending less and saving as much as possible, Disney is taking us in the opposite direction. As of today (August 5th), admission to Disney theme parks in California and Florida will have higher prices for all ages. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida will now charge $82 (previously $79) for a one-day, one-park passes for ages 10 and up while tickets for children ages 3 to 9 will be $74 ($68). The additional fee for park-hopper tickets will jump by $2 for one-day access, to $54. One-day, one-park tickets to Southern California’s Disneyland Resort will now be $76 ($72) for ages 10 and up and from $68 ($62) for ages 3 to 9. Prices for one-day park-hopper tickets will go up by $4 for both age groups. Prices for annual passes will also increase by $10 to $18 at Disney World and by $20 for premium annual passes at Disneyland. But Disney wanted to stress that the prices for previously purchased tickets and passes will not be affected. Luckily, the prices are only increasing by 1% to 3%, so it is not too bad of an increase. These prices are nothing compared to the price hikes of about five or six years ago.

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