Dollywood Wins Theme Park Applause Award

Dollywood was yesterday awarded the theme park equivalent of the Oscars at the IAAPA Attractions Expo 2010 in Orlando, Florida.

The Applause Award was accepted by Dolly Parton in person who stated in an interview how “honoured and proud” she was to receive such a prestigious award. “I’m excited that this is our 25th anniversary for Dollywood, that we won it this year, and that I had a chance to be here.” She added.

The Applause Award, which has been presented since 1980 honour’s a park whose “management, operations and creative accomplishments have inspired the industry with their foresight, originality and sound business development,” according to a statement from Liseberg park in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Applause winner is decided by a board of governors chaired by Mats Wedin, Liseberg’s CEO. The board includes theme park professionals from around the world.

Dollywood beat off competition from English based Alton Towers and German Theme Park, Phantasialand.

Dollywood welcomes 2.5 million visitors a year.

Shop Price’s At Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Shop Prices

Dervish and Banges

Pins: $9.95
House Ties: $9.95
Omnioculars: $34.95
Stuffed Dragon: $21.95
Remembrall: $12.95
Quaffle Ball: $19.95
Golden Snitch: $14.95
Wizard Robe: $99.95

Sneakoscope: $14.95
Trwizard Cup: $16.95
Bludger Bat & Ball Set: $21.95

Filch’s Emporium
Hogwarts Stein: $34.95
Scarfs: $29.95
Stuffed Phoenix: $24.95
Stuffed Hippogriff: $21.95
Ministry of Magic Mug: $12.95
Stuffed Owl (Hedwig) – $29.95
Marauder’s Map Mug: $16.95

Fudge Flies: $6.95
Honeydukes Salt Water Taffy: $6.95
Chocolate Frog: $9.95
Chocolate Cauldron: $9.95
Honeydukes Milk Chocolate Bar: $4.50
Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans: $9.95
Clippy’s Clip Joint Clippings: $2.95
Honeydukes Hard Candy: $12.95
Ton-Tongue Toffee: $12.95

Ollivanders Wands: $28.95

Zonkos Joke Shop
Chattering Teeth: $4.95
Screaming Yo-Yo: $9.95
Fanged Flyer: $24.95
Zonko’s Mug: $12.95
Robot Lilliput: $21.95
Duck On Bike: $19.95
Chinese Fortune Sticks: $11.95

Disneys Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Dates Announced

Each year Disney holds a very special Christmas party, the dates have just been announced.

November 2010 December 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010 Thursday, December 2, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010 Friday, December 3, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010 Sunday, December 5, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010 Thursday, December 9, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010 Friday, December 10, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010 Sunday, December 12, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 Tuesday, December 14, 201
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Sorting Hat At Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Whilst queueing for the forbidden journey ride at the WizardingWorld of Harry Potter, the sorting hat is used to give out safety instructions here is its words….

What’s that you say, Sorting Hat?

These benches are not safe for you
If you are still too small.
You must be more than goblin-sized
48 inches tall.

Now rid yourself of objects
That might poke or scratch or fall.
Take jewelry, cell phones or loose change
And stow them one and all.

To keep your treasures safe and sound
Smart lockers are supplied.
Gringotts made them wizard-proofed
For all you need to hide.

Now, a warning:
Do not ride if flying makes you queasy.
If frightened or else sore in back or neck
Then leave. It’s easy.

You’ve come far.
You’re very near.
The waiting’s been long.
But, smoking, drinking and eating while you ride
Are very wrong.

Now thank you all for listening.
Our safety lesson’s done.
We hope you live to tell the tale.
And most of all, have fun.

Source – Orlando Sentinel

Walt Disney USA Beaten By Disney International

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.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Coming To The UK?

Are Warner Bros gearing up to launch the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the UK? Reports state that Warner Bros have completed the purchase of Leavesden Studios near Watford, Hertforshire, which has been used to produce all the Harry Potter films. They have also confirmed that the site will be operated partly as a visitor attraction.

The cost of the purchase is said to be £100 million and covers all of the 170-acre site.

What will happen there?

By pre booking tickets, memebers of the public will be offered the ability to tour several of the original Harry Potter film sets at the studio where all eight movies were produced.

Barry Meyer, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. said: “Our purchase of Leavesden and our multi-million pound investment in creating a permanent UK film production base further demonstrates our long-term commitment to, and confidence in, the skills and creativity of the UK film industry.

The group has secured permission for its development plans from the Three Rivers District Council. Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, will open in mid 2012.

Ferrari Consider Theme Park Expansion

Ferrari are said to be considering further Theme Park developments insiders revealed after their successful launch of Ferrari World Abi Dhabi

Pignatti Morano , head of new business for Ferrari said “We started with a white piece of paper developing this project, it is a dream come true for us as Ferrari. This is our first one, we may have plans for more.”

Ferrari World is the largest covered (indoor) theme park in the world and already boasts the fastest coaster at 150mph the Formula Rossa ride is the parks flagship ride and Ferrari believe the park will boost its already impressive brand exposure.

Pignatti Morano added “We are not doing this to sell more cars” leading us to speculate on further Theme Park plans…

We’ll keep you posted…

Disney Theme Park To Open In Shanghai

Disney have signed a deal with the Shanghai government to build a Disney Theme Park , according to reports on Friday the park could be open as early as 2014.

The move is seen as a real boost for Shanghai’s tourism.

Disney stuck the deal on Friday with Shanghai Shen Di Group Co. Ltd. who will act as its joint venture partner. has heard that Disney would hold 43% of the equity shares in the joint venture and the rest of the 57% will belong to the new holding company, Shanghai Shen Di.

Disney World in China has for years been a topic of great interest but the idea was sidelined due to the Olympics in 2008. The project was approved by the Chinese government in November 2009 and the new joint venture deal takes the project one step closer to becoming a reality.

Disney said in a statement on Friday that they are still waiting for approval of the Chinese government about the incorporation of the related joint venture companies and also the necessary regulatory processes. The theme will cover a total area of 4 square kilometres and will come up near the new international airport in Pudong. Though Disney has ventured on similar territories before with its theme parks in Tokyo and Hong Kong, none of them have lived up to the expectations of the company.

Shanghai’s Disneyland is expected to cover about four square kilometers and cost about $3.75 billion

Thorpe Park

Thorpe park is a theme park located in Chertsey, Surrey, England, UK. It was built in 1979 on the site of a gravel pit which was partially flooded with the intention of creating a water based theme for the park.

In 2009, the park had 1.87 million visitors, making it the second most visited amusement/theme park in the United Kingdom, after Alton Towers with 2.7 Million Visitors. It was the 11th most visited in Europe.

The rides at Thorpe Park are based loosely around eight themed areas. In 2008, the park expressed their aim to give each ride a stronger identity rather than being part of an area. However, the sections of the park still keep a rough setting and theme.

Port Atlantis

Port Atlantis is a large dome located at the entrance to the park after the bridge and has an underwater theme. This building contains facilities such as guest services, shops, toilets, lockers, a bar and staff areas. It includes the park’s main restaurant called ‘The Glasshouse’ and a Nestle Sweet Shop, which opens on busy days. When the park initially opened the dome was known as the Mountbatten Pavilion. The Coffee Shack opened in 2010 and is a coffee shop selling hot and cold drinks as well as snacks. A large arcade is also located in the dome.

Lost City

Lost City is the largest area in Thorpe Park, hosting the majority of the rides in the park. It has a Mayan/Aztec theme. Rides in the Lost city are Colossus, Samurai, Vortex, Quantum, Zodiac, X:\No way out, Rush and Slammer.

Calypso Quay

Calypso Quay is home to – Nemises Inferno, Detornator, Time Voyager and Rumba Rapids.

Canada Creek

Themed around a Canadian creek. This area is home to – Loggers Leap, Rocky Express and Canada creek railway.

Saw Island

Themed around the Saw film franchise, found here is – Saw the ride, Saw Alive and Saw Store

Amity Cove

Themed around a 1950s New Hampshire fishing village devastated by a tidal wave. It has its own park radio station, WWTP Radio, hosted by ‘Big Bob’. The rides in this area include – Tidal Wave, Stealth, Flying Fish, Storm in a tea cup and The Arena.

Ranger County

Ranger County is themed around the old “Thorpe Park Rangers” mascots. It is the smallest area in the park and is all that survives from the original Thorpe Park family areas. Here you will find – Mr Monkey’s Banana Ride and Chief Ranger’s Carousel.

Neptune’s Kingdom

Themed around the mythical kingdom of Atlantis. The area is the smallest in the park with only one major ride. The area is home to – Depth charge, Neptune’s Beach, Wet wet wet, Big bashing balls and Battle Beam.