Below are the 10 most anticipated new USA theme park rides set to open in 2012.
In no particular order –
Universal Studios Florida will replace Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast motion simulator ride with a digital upgrade themed to “Despicable Me,” for which a movie sequel is already in the works.
The Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom drop tower at Six Flags Magic Mountain will be attached to both sides of the park’s 415-foot-tall Superman: Escape from Krypton coaster tower. The new thrill ride will rank as the world¿s tallest (400 feet) and fastest (85 mph) drop tower.
Hersheypark will add a first-of-its-kind $25-million steel roller coaster in 2012 that will be the tallest, fastest and longest at the Pennsylvania theme park. The 200-foot-tall Skyrush coaster will feature a near-vertical 85-degree first drop followed by four high-speed banking turns and five airtime hills at speeds reaching 75 mph.
SeaWorld San Diego will add the $10 million-plus Manta roller coaster in 2012 that marks the U.S. debut of a highly anticipated prototype ride. SeaWorld San Diego’s 30-foot-tall Manta will feature dual launch zones, a 54-foot drop into a subterranean trench and a dramatic wing dip into a shallow lake over a 2,800-foot-long track. Launched from a tunnel filled with manta ray projections, the inversion-less family coaster will reach a top speed of 43 mph and pull 4 Gs during the two-minute trip.
The Superman: Ultimate Flight launch coaster at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will rocket riders at 60 miles per hour through a towering 150-foot-high inversion and a pair of vertical twists.
The Verbolten multi-launch roller coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg will take riders on a high-speed drive along the German autobahn before detouring through the forbidden Black Forest. The themed family coaster will feature two launch zones and an indoor section of the ride with special effects and a free-fall platform.
Six Flags Great America (X-Flight) and Dollywood (Wild Eagle) will both add similar wing coasters by Bolliger & Mabillard in 2012. With riders sitting on either side of a 3,000-foot-long track in a winged formation, both coasters will feature multiple inversions and high-speed drops.
Universal Studios Hollywood will add a Transformers dark ride featuring 3-D high-definition footage with special effects and robotics.
The Magic Kingdom will transform Fantasyland into a magical fairy tale forest with character meet-and-greet areas, a themed restaurant and several new attractions, including the Little Mermaid dark ride.
Cars Land, the 12-acre themed land under construction at Disney California Adventure, will feature three new rides set amid a faithful re-creation of the isolated red rock desert town populated by Lightning McQueen and other animated vehicles in the Pixar movie “Cars.”
Disney handles over 30 million visitors per year! Top of everyone’s pet hate list is queuing… so what are Disney doing about this?
According to the New York Times Disney have been busy in 2010 equipping an underground nerve centre to tackle our favourite pet peeve.
In one corner, employees watch flat-screen televisions that depict various attractions in green, yellow and red outlines, with the colors representing wait-time gradations.
An example of how this would work is given as…
If Pirates of the Caribbean, the ride that sends people on a spirited voyage through the Spanish Main, suddenly blinks from green to yellow, the center might respond by alerting managers to launch more boats.
Another idea which is not exactly scientific is…
Another option involves dispatching Captain Jack Sparrow or Goofy or one of their pals to the queue to entertain people as they wait. “It’s about being nimble and quickly noticing that, ‘Hey, let’s make sure there is some relief out there for those people,’ ” said Phil Holmes, vice president of the Magic Kingdom, the flagship Disney World park.
What if Fantasyland is swamped with people but adjacent Tomorrowland has plenty of elbow room? The operations center can route a miniparade called “Move it! Shake it! Celebrate It!” into the less-populated pocket to siphon guests in that direction. Other technicians in the command center monitor restaurants, perhaps spotting that additional registers need to be opened or dispatching greeters to hand out menus to people waiting to order.
Today Disney have launched a new way to explore and enjoyDisneyland Florida, teaming up with Gowalla a place sharing website, Disney are encouraging visitors to “check in” at their favourite Disney locations to make their visit even more magical.
Disney wrote on their blog
The fun starts with our new digital Passport Stamps. Hundreds of locations within Disney Parks will feature these exclusive Stamps created by Gowalla – it’s the largest number of custom Stamps ever developed for a brand. The Stamps can be collected and kept as a virtual scrapbook by using Gowalla and checking-in around the parks. Take a look at some of my favorites.
You’ll also be able to view what’s happening at the park with custom Disney Passport pages that include maps featuring a check-in stream, a list of popular places and Trips.
Some very interesting results coming out of Disney’s full yearaccounts. With net profit across the board increasing by 19.8%
Overall revenues rose by 5.3% to $38.1bn, while operating income improved by 13.7% to $7.6bn.
Revenues from Disney’s Parks and Resorts group increased by 0.9% to $10.8bn, however operating profit fell 7.1% to $1.3bn.
Disney have stated that the decrease is attributed to a decline in the U.S. market, but was actually added by improved results at its international parks.
Disney attributed this loss to the following
1 less business week compared to last year.
Lower hotel occupancy.
Decrease at Disney Cruise Line.
Lower Disney World Attendance
increased operating costs
These reasons were partly offset by higher visitor spending, primarily due to higher average ticket prices and increased attendance at Disneyland Resort (Anaheim).
Meanwhile, the growth in international operations reflected improvement at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, driven by increased attendance, guest spending and hotel occupancy, and an increase at Disneyland Paris, due to higher guest spending and a real estate sale, partly offset by lower attendance.
Higher guest spending at both resorts resulted from higher average ticket prices and average daily hotel room rates.
For the fourth quarter alone, the group saw net profit slip by 6.7% to $835m, on revenues down 1.3% at $9.74bn. Operating profit fell 7.3% to $1.7bn.