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Park News

Kitty power! Best year ever for Drusillas

The British animal park Drusillas has just finished its busiest season on record, welcoming some 400,000 visitors – a whopping 35% increase over 2013. Park owners Laurence and Christine Smith (pictured) attribute the high volume of guests to a number of contributory factors, including the opening of the new Hello Kitty Secret Garden together with an upturn in the economy and some reasonable weather. “We invested £1million in our new Hello Kitty attraction,” notes Christine. “It was our largest project to date and we are delighted that it has been so well received. The regular meet and greet events with Hello Kitty have proved extremely popular and our younger visitors love looking in the Hello Kitty House and visiting the Parlour. The Hello Kitty rides have also been a triumph, enjoyed by boys and girls alike.” Based near the South Downs national park in West Sussex, Drusillas Park is open every day of the year except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day And Boxing Day. In 2015, it will celebrate its 90th anniversary. The Smith family took over in 1997.

Polar Ocean World planned for Shanghai

The Goddard Group is currently designing a project in Shanghai called Polar Ocean World for Haichang Holdings Group. A 297,155 sq m site has been secured for the park next to city’s Dishui Lake. "The goal has been to create a park that will offer a uniquely different experience than the Disney park, providing a complimentary yet equally compelling attraction for families the world over,” notes Gary Goddard. Scheduled to open in 2017, Polar Ocean World will become the Haichang group’s seventh polar-themed attraction in China. The development will consist of a marine theme park with 18 rides, four large “animal interaction plazas,” four cinemas, and space for additional animal- themed exhibitions and parades. It will also feature a themed hotel. “We are determined to ensure the project will be on par with the

industry’s global first-tier standards in the areas of animal science exhibition,

Expansion confirmed for Tokyo Disneyland

Plans for the further development of the Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea parks have been announced by their owner, the Oriental Land Co, which ahs committed a total investment of ¥500 billion ($4.2bn/ €3.7bn) over the next 10 years. Taking a lead from the recent New Fantasyland additions at Walt Disney World in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland will see its Fantasyland area nearly double in size. Major new attractions, restaurants and shops are being considered, including a restaurant situated on the parade route so that guests can leisurely enjoy dining while watching a parade. Under consideration for Tokyo DisneySea is the development of a new eighth themed port and attractions in the expansion site located south of Lost River Delta. Although few other specifics have been announced, one project already underway at Tokyo DisneySea is a moveable stage in the Mediterranean Harbor to increase visibility of shows and the areas from which they can be viewed. It will open in March 2015.


Do something unique – blend in!

Blnd-in (“blend in” in case you didn’t work it out) is a new product that makes guests the main character in a story using video and green screen technology. Imagine you are in a fairytale environment and birds will fly to you and sit on your hand – or almost any other situation you can imagine (preferably family-friendly)! Users are projected into the picture or movie in front of them and can influence the storyline by motion tracking. With help of augmented reality the story will respond to the movements of the main character.

The product has been developed by the Dutch company Blndr (formerly BK2 Fotografie), which has deploying hundreds of green screen products over the years, and officially launched at September's Euro Attractions Show (EAS) in Amsterdam. But don’t worry if you missed it, you can see a video of the system in use on the firm’s website. “EAS was a great show for us and the launch went well!” says marketing manager Lianne van Lith. “The parks that we spoke where impressed about the possibilities.”

education, theme entertainment and high technology,” says Haichang Holdings CEO Wang Xuguang.

Other changes at the two Tokyo parks include the development of hardware that will enhance the guest experience, further restaurant improvement, the easing of congestion, and development of measures to protect guests from hot and cold weather. Furthermore, investment will be made to strengthen the theme parks’ backstage support functions and operational base.


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