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Tag: Theme Parks (1-10 of 14)

'Hunger Games' touring exhibit in the works, theme park still a possibility

It may be a while before anyone gets the chance to test their archery skills at a Hunger Games-inspired theme park, but by next summer, fans will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a touring exhibition dedicated to the popular franchise.

During a conference call discussing Lionsgate’s fourth-quarter earnings on Friday, studio CEO Jon Feltheimer announced the first step in extending the brand beyond the screen is to launch The Hunger Games: The Exhibition, set to trek across the U.S. in summer 2015. The traveling museum will feature costumes, props, and other elements from the Hunger Games universe.

Theme park creator Thinkwell Group has been tapped to spearhead the project and develop other extensions of the Jennifer Lawrence-led franchise — including additional theme park attractions and other location-based entertainment opportunities. READ FULL STORY

Universal's 'Harry Potter' theme park reveals Diagon Alley details, Hogwarts Express, new ride

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Forgive me Firenze, but I have sinned. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened three and a half years ago at Universal Orlando, and I still have not made the pilgrimage down to Florida to experience the wonders of tasting butterbeer and letting a wand choose me.

As if I needed even more reason to Apparate to the Sunshine State, Universal has announced new details for expansions to the theme park, which this summer will welcome the addition of Diagon Alley, a new ride, and a Hogwarts Express that ought to put Mickey’s non-magical Monorail to shame. READ FULL STORY

It's a Disney all-nighter! Disneyland and other parks to stay open for 24 hours on one day in May

Get ready for ’round-the-clock Disney.

Three Disney theme parks will have extended hours for one day next month, staying open from 6 a.m. Friday, May 24 to 6 a.m. Saturday, May 25. The announcement for the 24-hour “all-night party” came on the official Disney Parks blog last week. Participating parks are Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and Florida’s Disney World.

Dance parties, characters making appearances in pajamas, and new Monsters University-themed additions to parades are among the ways the parks will celebrate the extended hours. READ FULL STORY

Disney World officially opens new Fantasyland, perfect for discerning beauties and beasts

Look at this stuff! Isn’t it neat?

Disney World has given its Fantasyland section an extreme home makeover — corporate synergy! — nearly doubling the area’s size and adding new attractions including the Enchanted Forest, the little-kid friendly Storybook Circus (inspired by Dumbo), and a castle that’s home to characters from The Little Mermaid. The revamped wonderland officially opened today, meaning that it’s likely already covered with exhausted adults sleeping in broad daylight.

The coolest thing about Fantasyland 2.0 may be the Be Our Guest Restaurant, which lies within the Beast’s Castle. As CNN explains: “During lunch hours, guests order at touch-screen kiosks and take radio-frequency devices to their tables. Once the pager is placed on the table, servers know exactly where to deliver the food. And voila, meals arrive within minutes via a glass-enclosed cart.” At night, the eatery magically transforms into a classy French bistro that serves dishes like steak frites. Try the gray stuff, guys; it’s delicious. No wonder Belle and her Beast — wait, shouldn’t he be a prince by now? — decided to move here:

READ FULL STORY

'Transformers the Ride 3-D' at Universal Studios Hollywood: Just like the movies, but better -- VIDEO

Whether you love the Transformers movies or you spend hours online composing detailed take-downs of its many perceived flaws, you’ve likely said the following words regarding them: “It was just like a theme park ride!” Well, starting Friday, you can experience first hand what a Transformers theme park ride is actually like, when the imaginatively titled Transformers the Ride 3-D officially opens to the public at Universal Studios Hollywood. I got a chance to preview the ride already, though, let me just spoil things for you right now (UNNECESSARY SPOILER ALERT): In every way that matters, riding the Transformers ride is exactly like watching a Transformers movie, but better.  READ FULL STORY

Which Disney ride do you want to see turned into a movie?

Movies-turned-Broadway-musicals-turned-movies are old hat in Hollywood — see Hairspray or The Producers, for example. (Actually, on second thought, don’t see 2005’s Producers.) Now Disney’s taking a new spin on that cyclical formula: Deadline writes that the studio is prepping a film based on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, an attraction that’s been thrilling Disneyland visitors since 1955. The twisty ride is based on Disney’s 1949 feature The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, half of which is an adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, which is itself based on The Sorrows of Young Werther.*

Will the new Mr. Toad follow in Pirates of the Caribbean‘s cheeky footsteps and launch a giant, beloved global franchise? Or will it be critically panned and generally ignored, along the lines of most Disney attractions-turned-films (The Country Bears, The Haunted Mansion, and Mission to Mars come to mind)? Only time will tell. Honestly, though, I’m more concerned with another question altogether: Which other Disney attractions deserve the cinematic treatment? READ FULL STORY

Disney moving ahead with ‘Avatar’ theme-park plans: What rides would you want to see?

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I see you, Bob Iger. According to a Deadline report, Disney CEO Iger allegedly let slip at the company’s annual shareholders meeting today that preliminary design is “just beginning” for the previously announced Avatar theme park, which is planned for Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando.

The park is set to explore both familiar and as-yet-unseen settings from creator James Cameron’s Avatar universe (including environments from the two sequels in development), and is the result of a licensing deal between Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and Fox Filmed Entertainment, allowing the Imagineers at Disney World to develop attractions based on the film as an extension of the Animal Kingdom area of the park. Iger reportedly said the park “in all likelihood” won’t open until 2015 (initial plans for the park call for construction to begin in 2013).

READ FULL STORY

Walt Disney World Turns 40: A tribute from a life-long fan and a 40-year cast member

This month, the Happiest Place on Earth hits middle age.

Forty years ago, Walt Disney World opened in a tiny Florida town called Bay Lake, about 20 minutes outside Orlando, a place that was just a smattering of orange groves in the middle of nowhere.

Walt Disney had already revolutionized in-person, multimedia entertainment in 1955 with Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., but the space limitations of the park had hobbled his original vision. Not to mention that it still relied upon some old-fashioned assumptions about amusement parks: the park should be open only five days a week; it should be primarily oriented towards kids; and it’s a one-day experience — you show up in the morning and leave at night.

Uncle Walt’s “Florida Project” was going to change all that with a completely immersive environment: READ FULL STORY

Disney World opening 'Avatar'-themed land. James Cameron, should we be concerned?

It’s been almost two years since James Cameron taught us all a valuable lesson about the effects of pollution on adorable blue monsters in Avatar, which became the highest-grossing film ever made thanks to its horrifically influential use of 3-D technology. But we all knew that virtual 3-D was never going to be good enough for Cameron, and now we have proof: A joint press release from Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and Fox Filmed Entertainment has just announced plans to open an Avatar-themed land in Florida’s Walt Disney World, inside of the conservation-themed Animal Kingdom park. Cameron even teased that the park would involve settings from the upcoming Avatar sequels: “With two new Avatar films currently in development, we’ll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore,” said the filmmaker. READ FULL STORY

Ryan Gosling lets Conan O'Brien in on a dirty Disney secret

Wouldn’t it be nice if Ryan Gosling made the talk-show rounds at least once a week? Granted, it’s certainly starting to feel that way considering he’s had three movies to promote (Crazy Stupid Love, Drive, The Ides of March) over the past few months, but the guy is one seriously entertaining talk-show guest. Plus, he’s easy on the eyes, if you catch my drift. (Pssst, it means he’s very, very handsome.)

Gosling proved all this once again Monday night when he visited Conan and chatted about, among other things, his gripe with Disney (which, surprisingly enough, had nothing to do with The Mickey Mouse Club.) READ FULL STORY

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