Ratatouille ride

Updates on lots of new, exciting rides and attractions at theme parks around the world are in this edition of Theme Park Bits. Below, read about the following:

  • Meet the animatronic characters in the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and see the interactive queue.
  • The Ratatouille ride officially opens July 10; see a new video.
  • Four new, limited theme-park t-shirts are available from Disney.
  • You can meet Spider-Man in a Disney park.
  • The Frozen princesses have officially moved to the Magic Kingdom.
  • Second Harry Potter land to open July 15 in Japan.

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Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride

Last week I attended the grand opening of the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. The new ride, which originally debut at Universal Orlando, features a bigger exterior and also includes a Super Silly Fun Land playground, based on the boardwalk pier where Gru  falls in love with the three girls he adopted in the movie Despicable Me. After the jump you can find photos I took from the event, giving you an early look at the new ride, playground and store, all of which are now open.

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Maleficent Preview

This weekend WonderCon took place in Anaheim California. Despite the fact that the Anaheim Convention Center is a few steps away from Disneyland, Disney decided not to have a presentation at the convention. Instead they launched a 20 minute preview of Maleficent in their theme park across the street. The preview is being shown in the Bugs Life Theater in Disney California Adventure theme park until June so all park visitor will have a chance to experience the magic complete with 4D effects. Germain Lussier and I are both card carrying members of the Disneyland annual passholder club, so after walking the show floor at WonderCon on Friday, we visited the park to take in the sneak preview. After the jump you can watch a video blog where we give our reaction to the Maleficent Preview footage, along with a brief written description of the footage screened.

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Gusteaus Ratatoille Ride

Lots of updates and videos on new rides in this latest edition of Theme Park Bits. Below, read about the following:

  • Watch video of James Franco riding the new Despicable Me ride…
  • …and you can too with a new ride video.
  • Star Wars won’t replace Finding Nemo at Disneyland.
  • A CGI ride video of Disney’s latest, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, is out.
  • Updated Jungle Cruise ride is coming to Tokyo Disneyland.
  • New photos from the construction of the Disneyland Paris Ratatouille Ride.
  • Disney parks accused of discriminating against Autistic children.
  • Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is now in Disney parks, at Tokyo Disneyland.

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Harry Potter universal studios hollywood expansion

Universal Studios Hollywood is getting a major expansion culminating in the 2016 opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The movie-themed park announced this week not only the date for Potter land, but a significant expansion to The Simpsons area, a new Fast & Furious Supercharged ride on the studio tour, and more. Read the full press release for the Universal Studios Hollywood expansion and see tons of brand new concept art below. Read More »

Fast & Furious Supercharged Ride

I always thought it was very strange that Universal Studios theme parks don’t feature a Fast and the Furious ride. The films have earned almost $2.4 billion worldwide — Fast and the Furious is the biggest franchise in Universal Studios’ history, yet they can’t even build a ride in the domestic theme parks? Yes, they’ve had that lame stop on the studio tram tour that features a bunch of cars spinning on turntables, a cross promotion for their earlier film The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. But the tram stop is one of the stupidest parts of the tram tour, and by the way, Tokyo Drift is the lowest earning movie of the franchise — seems like an odd choice.

Finally, Universal Studios Hollywood has announced a new Fast and the Furious ride which will be called Fast & Furious Supercharged (we mentioned the trademark in an earlier Theme Park Bits).  More details on the Fast & Furious Supercharged ride revealed after the jump.

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Star Wars Episode VII Camera

Star Wars Episode VII has received two custom made Panavision cameras nicknamed “Death Star” and “Millennium Falcon.” Below, check those out as well as these additional Star Wars Bits:

  • Peter Mayhew drops of out convention appearance during Star Wars Episode VII filming.
  • Lost and Lord of the Rings alum Dominic Monaghan spoke to J.J. Abrams about Star Wars.
  • Meet Jedi Mickey Mouse during Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World.
  • Billy Dee Williams dances with Chewbacca on The Tonight Show.
  • Has J.J. Abrams officially made the move to London?

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Elsa Anna Frozen Disney World

From Fast and Furious to Frozen, this edition of Theme Park Bits is packed with goodness. There are ride videos, new worlds, and juicy rumors. Below, read about the following:

  • Disney announced a full Pirates of the Caribbean land for Shanghai Disneyland, including a brand new attraction.
  • Universal trademarks Fast and Furious: Supercharged for a possible ride.
  • Video and details revealed of the new, working Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios Orlando.
  • Could Star Wars Land end up at Disney’s California Adventure?
  • A logo for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is revealed along with new details and images.
  • See Michael Giacchino scoring the Ratatouille ride.
  • Universal is building a new theme park in Beijing.
  • Check out a video of the new Disneyland Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
  • You can get a Fastpass to meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen.
  • Watch a behind the scenes video of the audio hub at Disney’s California Adventure.

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