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Theme Park News

Harry goes to Hollywood: second Potter park planned

Warner Bros Entertainment and Universal Parks and Resorts (UPR) have announced plans to develop a new Harry Potter- themed adventure park at Universal Studios Hollywood, California, US. It follows the success of the inaugural

Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which launched at the Universal Orlando Resort in June 2010 and is now set for a “signifi- cant” expansion. Te two companies said the new California attraction will be a fully- immersive environment which will bring the Harry Potter stories to life.

$250m share buyback for Six Flags

US-based theme park opera- tor Six Flags Entertainment Corporation has announced a stock repurchase plan that allows the company to reac- quire US$250m (€195m, £161m) worth of its stock by 2015. The announce- ment comes just a year aſter the company announced its previous share buyback - a three-year, US$60m (€47m, £39m) plan that has largely been completed already. According to a spokes-

person, the deal was made possible due to an upturn in the US visitor attractions market throughout 2011. In October 2011 Six Flags reported that third-quarter earnings for 2011 were up 44 per cent on 2010 levels. Six Flags CEO Jim Reid-Anderson said:

“Our board of directors remains extremely confident in the company’s future capabilities

Te coaster is named aſter German mythology

Europa-Park to launch new coaster and hotel in 2012

Europa-Park in Rust, Germany, will launch two new major additions to its offering in 2012 - a wooden rollercoaster called Wodan and its fiſth themed hotel offering more than 1,000 beds. Te theme park, which is owned by the

Mack family and is one of Europe’s largest with more than 4 million visits each year, will launch both new additions during the grand opening of the park on 31 March. Wodan is a 3,4km-long wooden roller-

coaster that is 40m high and reaches speeds of 62mph. (See interview on p24.)

Dollywood to open water and snow park in Nashville

Dolly Parton, owner of Dollywood theme park in Tennesee, US, has teamed up with Gaylord Entertainment to operate a 114- acre family attraction in Nashville, US. Te first phase of the project, estimated

to cost around US$50m (£32m, €39m), will include a water and snow park. Te attrac- tion is scheduled to open in 2013 and will be located adjacent to the existing Opryland Resort, owned and operated by Gaylord. Te water and snow park will anchor the

project which is set to be expanded in the future. Te owners are hoping to attract 500,000 visitors in the first year.

14 Meraas plans AED2.2bn Dubai theme park

United Arab Emirates (UAE)- based real estate firm Meraas has announced plans to develop a new AED2.2bn (£382m, E459m, US$599m) movie-based theme park. Dubai Adventure Studios

will be located at Meraas’ master development near to the Arabian Ranches inter- section and is to form the first stage in a three-phase scheme covering 8 million sq ſt (743,224sq m) of land. Te theme park itself will span 2 million sq ſt

Six Flags currently operates 17 visitor attractions across the Americas

and, with the flexibility provided by our recent debt refinancing, we are in a unique position to further enhance shareholder value.” Te theme park giant emerged from bank-

ruptcy in May 2010. Te company is currently valued at around US$2.4bn on the New York Stock Exchange. (See interview on p24.)

An artist’s impression of what Dubai Adventure Studios will look like

(185,806sq m) and comprise five zones, each of which will feature latest-in-technology games and new-generation rides and attractions. Hospitality and food/beverage areas are

also proposed as part of efforts to establish an “all-inclusive entertainment destination”. It is hoped work will commence in early

2012, with the new theme park opening in late 2014. Meraas chief business development officer Sina Al Kazim said: “Meraas recognises the need for a theme park in Dubai that will complement the UAE’s growing popularity as a tourism hub. Dubai Adventure Studios will offer a truly unique experience that will set a distinctive benchmark in the evolution of the theme park industry.”

Adventure World concept planned for Abu Dhabi

Las Palm, the company behind the proposed new Adventure World Warsaw attraction to be built in Poland, has unveiled plans to take the concept to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Te consortium has already invested more than E11m (£9.2m, US$14.3m) in the Polish

Read Attractions Management online

attraction, which aims to offer a comparable experience to other major European parks. However, it is now proposed an Abu Dhabi

theme park will be built “in parallel” to the new Grodzisk Mazowiecki destination, with the latter due to open first. (See page 52)

AM 1 2012 ©cybertrek 2012

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