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London Resort Company Holdings, the developer behind the planed multi-billion pound London Paramount theme park project near the British capital, has recently been holding a number of public consultations, allowing residents of Dartford and Gravesham to view the emerging masterplans and a scale model of the resort. The consultations, which were due to finish on May 14, apparently attracted 1,500 visitors over the first three days. Get a glimpse of the plans for yourself at

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.

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.

Center Parcs is due to come to Ireland following an agreement to acquire a 375-acre site in County Longford. The holiday park will have a capacity for 2,500 guests and offer amenities including a signature subtropical swimming paradise, spa, restaurants, cafes and up to 100 other activities. The project, set to open in 2019, is being developed by Center Parcs UK, which is owned independently of the main Center Parcs group in mainland Europe.

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.”

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.

Entertainment company Lionsgate has announced that it will license some of its intellectual property to the Motiongate movie park in Dubai. One of three parks being developed by Dubai Parks and Resorts, it will feature a zone incorporating such brands as The Hunger Games and Step Up. The park will also feature a Dreamworks zone, with attractions based around popular animated films such as Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda. Along from Motiongate, Dubai Parks and Resorts will also feature Bollywood Parks Dubai and Legoland Dubai, the latter including a waterpark (see page 14)

Six Flags is looking to open an a park in Malaysia, reports Possible locations include Selangor, Penang, Melaka or Johor. The park would be operated on a franchise basis. Hear more about Six Flags’ plans for Asia when chief executive James Reid-Andersen addresses the Leadership Breakfast at Asian Attractions Expo on June 18 in Hong Kong.

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.

KMG will deliver the first of its next generation suspended seat Discovery rides any day now to Australian showman Caine Brown. The noted Dutch manufacturer also has an Inversion under construction for Chant’s Amusements in Australia. Next summer (2016) an XXL swing ride will be delivered down under to FJF Amusements. Meanwhile the Manning Organisation in the UK has ordered a Speed propeller ride for delivery in April of next year.

The Italian theme park Cinecittà Studios near Rome has introduced a new airline-style dynamic pricing system this season, meaning that tickets are available for anything from €23 (€15 for children) to €31 depending on when guests visit.

Many of the figures inside Madame Tussauds are famous faces familiar from TV and movie screens, but two recent additions to Merlin’s London outlet will be known only to those who get their celebrity fix from their phone or computer screen, namely YouTube celebrities Zoe Sugg and Alfie Deyes (us neither). "We are delighted to be working with Alfie and Zoe,” says Madame Tussauds London general manager Ben Sweet. “It's a first for the attraction and reflects just how huge these YouTube stars are."

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.

Following the success of its three existing venues in Milton Keynes, Stevenage and Leicester, DP Leisure is to open a fourth 360 Play children’s entertainment centre in the UK. The location this time is Basildon, Essex, where it will occupy a unit at the mixed use Festival Leisure Park, alongside existing leisure businesses including an Empire Cinema, Hollywood Bowl, Fitness First, Festival Wakeboard Park and a host of restaurants.

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.

WhiteWater has been recognised as one the best managed companies in Canada. “Today’s market place is not just about financial performance; it is also about the investment in the people. WhiteWater invests in its team to build up a strong and stable company,” notes Peter Brown, co-leader of the Best Managed programme and a senior practice partner at Deloitte.

Following its rapid development and major projects in all continents, Triotech has promoted one and added three to its team. Weitao Liu has been promoted to managing director for China, based in Beijing, while Harley Bostock joins the company to lead the development of its business in the Asia Pacific region exclusive of China and Joseph Joy arrives to further Triotech's presence in the US. Finall, Vincent Brie recently joined the company as vice-president for site operations, further expanding Triotech's partnerships with local operators as well as developing new sites.

MAY 2015

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