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Park News


Causeway tramway

Terra Mitica makes changes

Terra Mitica, the Spanish theme park on the Costa del Sol, is to be closed for six months by its new owners as they make a number of changes and improvements.

A new four-coach tram from Severn Lamb is now in service in Northern Ireland, offering a welcome diversion for visitors to the Giant’s Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site. Replacing the steam engines that used to run along the Giant’s Causeway & Bushmills Railway (GCBR), the tram runs up to 10 times daily along a beautiful 2-mile ( stretch of coastline. “We do still get some diehard fans asking for steam, but the new rolling stock is a million times better and really looks the part,” says GCBR managing director Kathleen Miller. “Severn Lamb were very amenable and made sure everything was up and running to our satisfaction.”

The bespoke tramcars are fitted out with wooden benches, period style features and a public address system and were designed to replicate the original hydroelectric tramcars that operated along the GCBR line from 1883 to 1949. “The finished product is a stunning example of the craftsmanship and capabilities of Severn Lamb in providing a unique product to a unique location,” notes Severn Lamb managing director Patrick Severn Lamb.

The result of an ancient volcanic eruption, the

Giant’s Causeway is an intriguing network of interlocking basalt columns overlooking the Atlantic Sea. As well as the 2-mile (3.2km) train line, the Giant’s Causeway & Bushmills Railway also includes a model railway and gift shop.

The park was acquired this summer by the operators of Benidorm’s Aqualandia waterpark and Mundomar animal park, following a troubled 10-year existence. One of a handful of major theme parks built in Spain around the time, Terra Mitica opened with ambitious annual attendance targets, yet visitors in recent years have failed to exceed half a million per season. Managed for a time by Paramount Parks, Aqualandia bought the park from a consortium including the regional government and local banks. The new owners plans three new zones, including one devoted to the “Third Age,” in recognition of the older demographic that visits Benidorm during the winter. “Probably the design and dimensions of the park were not the most appropriate,” Even Matias Perez Such, who headed the regional government’s tourism department at the time Terra Mitica opened, told a local newspaper. It is now over to the team at Aqualandia, a

smaller, less themed, but more popular attraction, to put things right.


Merlin Entertainments has appointed PCL Construction Services as the builder of Legoland Florida. The former Cypress Gardens park in Winter Haven reopens in autumn (fall) 2011, featuring more than 50 Lego- themed rides, shows and attractions. With over 200 entertainment projects completed by the Orlando area, PCL boasts extensive experience building amusement rides, rollercoasters, simulators, aquariums, restaurants and retail facilities. The 104-year-old firm boasts 27 offices throughout North America.

Fancy recreating the theme park experience in your own home? That’s what the UK-based travel company Complete Orlando has asked visitors to its website to do as part of a competition. See the, sometimes quite cringe-worthy, results at:

To mark the 10th anniversary of the London Eye, the Royal Mail in Great Britain has launched a special set of stamps. The London Eye Commemorative Sheet, issued on August 11 and priced at £13.50, features 10 patriotic 1st class Union Flag stamps alongside stunning images of the famous observation wheel. The images used provide an illustrated history of the attraction, from the original sketches entered into the 1993 competition to create a landmark for the new millennium, through to its construction and the lasting legacy it has left on London’s South Bank.

Cecil Magpuri, president and chief creative officer of Falcon’s Treehouse, has been awarded the 2010 Asian Heritage Award for Innovation and Technology. Cecil’s work has taken him all over the world, but many of his most engaging projects have been in Asia, including the Thea Award Winning Dragon’s Treasure at the City of Dreams Casino in Macau. “Asia has offered us so many exciting opportunities!” he says. “I’ve always been proud of where I come from and to create so many wonderful experiences for such a great part of the world is truly a dream come true.”

FogScreen, the walk-through mist product created by the Finnish company of the same name, has appointed a distributor in China. Nanjing Santa Claus Media will promote FogScreen products as part of various Christmas- themed experiences. “Cheap copies of our product have been available for the Chinese market for a long time,” notes FogScreen chairman Pekka Jussila. “Due to the constant R&D we’re doing and the high technology solutions we’re offering, the quality conscious Chinese are becoming convinced of the advantages in investing in the original new generation FogScreen products.”

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