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Attractions jobs & news Chester Zoo announces phase two expansion

In an exclusive interview with AM2, Jamie Christon, MD of Chester Zoo, UK, has revealed the masterplan for the attraction’s second wave of expansion which will follow the completion of the zoo’s Islands project in December this year. Islands will open to the public in May 2015. The 111 acre (50 hectare) zoo has earmarked an additional 389 acres (157.4 hectares) of space for its second wave of development. Christon revealed ambitious plans are in the works,, saying “We have outline planning permission for a 150-bedroom hotel and we’re also planning to remaster the core zoo to bring it up to the same standard as our Islands project.” Once open, Islands will be “one of the top

fi ve zoo projects anywhere in the world,” according to Christon. The zoo is also planning to refurbish

Oakfi eld House – a Victorian mansion – as a tourist attraction. Visitor demand is predicted to increase following the BBC’s commissioning of a period drama, airing

Chester Zoo has big plans beyond its Islands project, which will open in May 2015

worldwide in Q3 2014, that tells the story of the founding of the zoo in the 1930s. One of the zoo’s most signifi cant develop-

ments is its Heart of Africa project – an area which will match Islands in size, with a pro-

jected opening of 2020. Designs originally in- cluded a £90m (US$151m, €111m) Rainforest Biome, though plans have been revised due to funding cuts and are still being formulated. More:

US$12m Legends of Chima waterpark opens its doors at Legoland California

The SAW-branded ride has been a big hit

Is branding worth the expense for attractions?

Is branding and themeing worth the expense? This is the question put to operators in the latest edition of the Attractions Management Handbook. Merlin CEO Nick Varney says he

believes it’s important to create a compelling theme that resonates with the target market and matches the at- tributes of the ride, with Thorpe Park’s SAW highlighted as a perfect example. The Attractions Management Hand-

book 2013-2014 edition is available online here: and in print here:

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Legoland California is continuing its expansion with the opening of a new attraction – the Legends of Chima waterpark.

The multi-million dollar

attraction, which opened on 23 May, has been designed to delight young children. Based on the popular

cartoon series “Legends of Chima,” the new waterpark – which is housed inside the park’s existing waterpark – features an 18.5 ft (5.6 m) Lion Temple arch made of 260,000 Lego bricks as a centrepiece. It will stream water into a kids’ interactive wave pool, while themed areas include Floating Mountain, Cragger’s

Twitter: @AM2jobs

The expansion is based on a Cartoon Network kids TV show

Swamp, Explorer’s Forest, Rhino Beach and interactive play-themed areas, as well as dining facilities. Merlin Entertainments –

owner of Legoland Califor- nia – invested an estimated

US$12m (£7.1m, €8.8m) in the original waterpark and the same amount again on the new 130,000sq ft (12,140sq m) Legends of Chima expansion.

More: ©Cybertrek 2014

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