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Remember Freestyle Music Park/Hard Rock Park? Martin & Vleminckx recently dismantled and shipped 16 rides from the ill-fated park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to two parks in Vietnam, one a new park and the other an existing facility.

Europa-Park's Ammolite restaurant has secured a second Michelin star, just two years after opening as part of the German amusement park's Bell Rock Hotel. “Head Chef Peter Hagen has conquered the hearts of gourmets,” notes Europa-Park executive board member Thomas Mack. “Hagen’s priority is a modern, contemporary, international cuisine that stays in touch with its roots and keeps its relationship with the region.”

Nine new Angry Birds family entertainment centres will open in China following a deal between Rovio Entertainment and the Guogou Group. The first will be located in the province of Anhui, with the remainder set to follow over the next four years. The first Angry Birds Activity Park in Asia opened recently at Johor Baru City Centre mall in Malaysia.

Merlin Entertainments CEO Nick Varney is set to become chairman of the British Hospitality Association (BHA) this month.

Warwick District Council has rejected an application from Merlin Entertainments to build 12 semi-detached lodges and five treehouses at Warwick Castle in England. "Warwick Castle is not Legoland,” Councillor Holland told a meeting of the council's planning committee in November. Merlin – which famously operates Legoland – took over the castle in 2007 and inists such development, in addition to exisitng activity including a Dungeon attraction, are necessary for it to be sustainable as a tourist attraction and meet its ongoing restoration costs.

As well as the world's tallest and fastest giga coaster – Fury 325 from B&M – Carowinds (North Carolina) is adding a SlingShot for 2015. Opening this spring, the Funtime-built construction will stand 300ft tall and operate as an additional charge attraction.

Legoland Calfornia Resort is to welcome a Lego Star Wars Death Star to its Miniland model city for 2015, as well as launching an entirely new area called Heart lake City. The latter, opening in the summer, is based on one of Lego hottest current toy lines, Lego Friends, which focuses on the lives of five girls. The new area within the park will invite feature the Heartlake City fountain, a carousel, tour bus, horse stables and, of course, various Lego building opportunites.

Technical Park is to supply a family motorbike ride with lifting arms to Kongeparken, Norway.

Two new family rides, Woodstock Gliders (Larson Flying Scooters) and Snoopy’s Space Buggies (from Zamperla), are part of the plan for 2015 at Kings Island, Ohio, together with one of the largest Starbucks stores in the US Midwest. Other F&B improvements are planned, together with improved landscaping and restroom facilities. Kings Island is part of the Cedar Fair group.

Another Cedar Fair-operated property, Pennsylvania’s Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom will be also be adding a Larson Flying Scooters ride for 2015. This particular version will be called Cedar Creek Flyers and located near the Stinger rollercoaster in the bottom portion of the park. Also planned are a new barbeque experience and all season dining programme.

As well as its high profile Laff Trak themed ride at Hersheypark in Pennsylvania, Maurer Söhne is to build a second indoor spinning coaster in 2015, for a shopping mall in Ukraine.

IAAPA has hired Rebecca Turner as its vice-president of education, professional development and training services. She will also oversee the Brass Ring Award programme. Stephanie Robert is now VP of global membership development, marketing and services, meanwhile brand management and marketing for IAAPA's trade shows and conferences in the US and Asia is to be managed by David Mandt, now senior VP, marketing and communications.


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