disneyland

We are still probably a couple of years out from Star Wars Land‘s grand opening, and Disneyland Park is still packed despite a big chunk of the park being closed for the renovations. I expect we’ll be seeing a bunch of ticket and annual pass price increases over the next couple years, but a surprising move comes today as Disney announces that they will be introducing a new service that will allow guests to book Fastpasses on their mobile phones for an upcharge fee.

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Main Street Electrical Parade Commercial warehouse

The Main Street Electrical Parade is my favorite of all the Disneyland parades. Maybe it’s the retro synthesized soundtrack that accompanies the nighttime floats, or maybe it’s the fact I first saw the parade as a young boy and fell in love with it. Even though Disney’s newer versions of the nighttime show like Paint The Night are technologically better in every way, it was unable to recapture the charm of this 1972 classic.

The parade has been at Disney World’s the Magic Kingdom for the last six and a half years, and on January 20th, 2017 the parade will return to Disneyland’s Main Street for a limited time five-month run marking the 45th anniversary of the parade. And Disney has begun marketing the return with an impressive television commercial. Watch the Main Street Electrical Parade commercial now after the jump.

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godzilla ride

It was only a matter of time before Godzilla stomped his way into a theme park attraction, but it makes perfect sense that Universal Studios Japan would be the park to make it happen. Godzilla: The Real 4D has was announced a few months ago and will debut next year and the first trailer for the attraction has arrived.

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter Nighttime Show

Taking a page out of Disney’s theme park playbook, it sounds like Universal Studios is looking to beef up the attractions at The Wziarding World of Harry Potter.

A new report indicates that Universal is developing a nighttime show that will take place within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Much like the nighttime spectacular shows at Disney theme parks, they will be using projection mapping to project a visual spectacular on the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry castle.

Find out more about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter nighttime show after the jump. Read More »

Star Wars Land concept art - The Star Wars Experience

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • An updated look at Star Wars land at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
  • Universal Studios files some very interesting waterpark patents.
  • Disneyland Paris’ Big Thunder Mountain Railroad reopens following a lengthy refurbishment.
  • Universal Studios’ Waterworld show is undergoing some renovations.
  • How the Grinch stole the Universal Studios backlot tour.

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iron man experience ride footage

The theme park rights to the Marvel characters became pretty complicated when Disney acquired the comic book giant back in 2009. After all, Universal Studios already held those rights and were still making use of them in their Orlando-based Islands of Adventure park. The short version goes something like this: Disney parks east of the Mississippi couldn’t (and at the time of this writing, still can’t) utilize most of the Marvel superhero stable…but everywhere else? Well, let’s just say that we’ve been keeping our eye on the Iron Man Experience attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland for some time now.

And wouldn’t you know it? Shortly before this simulator ride is set to officially open, footage of the whole thing has arrived online for anyone hoping to take a quick peek at what to expect.

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avatar na'vi river journey

For theme park fans, Walt Disney World’s Pandora: The World of Avatar has long existed as a series of rumors wrapped in photos taken from a distance, a handful of intriguing promises that didn’t quite line up with the fact that the Animal Kingdom theme park’s newest themed land has looked like a construction site for most of the past year. So this new video, which teases this endeavor as an actual place with rides you can go on and things you can do, is a pleasant surprise after so many aerial photos tracking minuscule changes.

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Nintendo World Rides

You can learn a lot about theme park patents. Or nothing at all.

Like with any industry, Disney and Universal Studios (as well as their various competitors) tend to file many patents for technology that they don’t even intend to utilize in the near future. They just want to make sure they have a particular ride system or show mechanic or aerial entertainment drone in their library, just in case. But we do know that Universal is bringing Nintendo characters into their theme parks and that the Universal Studios Japan version of Super Nintendo World is expected to open its doors before 2020. With this knowledge in mind, a few of the company’s most recent patents start to look very, very interesting.

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Rogue One Reshoots

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Epoct temporarily transforms Spaceship Earth into the Death Star.
  • A new round of Star Wars entertainment comes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland’s Iron Man Experience sets its opening day.
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey loses its 3D.
  • Tickets to Universal’s Volcano Bay are now on sale.
  • Both Disney and Universal plunge headfirst into the aerial drone game.
  • The Secret Life of Pets comes to Universal Orlando.
  • Disneyland is getting its own Splitsville bowling alley.
  • And more!

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

nintendo land concept art

Two weeks ago, one of the most un-secret secrets in the theme park industry was officially pushed into the spotlight: Universal Studios is teaming up with Nintendo to bring the iconic video game publisher’s characters to Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Orlando, and Universal Studios Japan. Specific details were scarce, but there were promises of “expansive, immersive and interactive” attractions that would make you feel “as if you’re playing inside your favorite games – in real life.” Today, we still don’t know too much more than that, but the first piece of concept art for Nintendo Land has arrived, offering an early look at what the expect as well as the area’s full and proper name.

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