Alton Towers’ 40th birthday; V&A Museum of Childhood revamp; New Jersey SEA LIFE Aquarium opening; Disney’s Cinderella Castle makeover; Disney Channel Fan Fest expansion; Regal Eagle Smokehouse debuts; Universal Beijing opening; Toverland attendance; Hersheypark’s Candymonium; Genting quits Osaka IR; Aquarium of Niagara expansion; Manchester Zoo; Saudi Arabia’s AlUla; and Nickelodeon Adventure.
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Toverland welcomed a record number of visitors in 2019. The theme park in the Netherlands hopes to host more visitors in the coming years by adding a hotel, as well as new expansions.
Disney shared that the Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park will receive a ‘royal makeover’. The iconic castle is set to undergo a major transformation in the coming months.
Hersheypark placed the final piece of track for its new coaster, Candymonium. The hypercoaster is part of the $150m Hershey’s Chocolatetown expansion. It will be the tallest, fastest and longest coaster at Hersheypark.
Universal Beijing Resort is expected to open as scheduled in May 2021 despite the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Beijing municipal government. The attraction is set to complete construction in 2020.
Alton Towers Resort is celebrating its 40th birthday this year, and has teased its biggest programme of events ever for 2020. The party starts in March with the launch of Gangsta Granny: The Ride.
Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue has now officially opened at Walt Disney World Resort’s Epcot. The restaurant serves BBQ and brews, and is inspired by The Muppets’ Sam Eagle.
Cedar Fair has reported record results for 2019. Attendance and revenue both continue to grow, and last year was the most successful in Cedar Fair’s history. The company generated record net revenues of $1.47 billion.
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation has reported its Q4 and full year earnings for 2019. For the full year, revenue and attendance increased 2 percent. In Q4, attendance and revenue were down 3 percent.
Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans to develop AlUla into the world’s largest living museum by 2035. As part of Saudi Vision 2030, AlUla will be a major heritage, cultural, arts and adventure tourism destination.
The V&A Museum of Childhood is closing for a £13 million transformation. It will reimagine its collections, buildings and public programmes to become a world-class centre of creativity for children.
Zoos and aquariums
Manchester Zoo and Rochdale Council are in advanced discussions to develop 100 acres of land near Hopwood Hall College. The council confirmed a planning application is expected later in 2020.
The Aquarium of Niagara is expanding to improve its seal and sea lion habitats. The expansion involves building a larger, more naturalistic habitat for the seals and sea lions over the next three to five years.
New Jersey SEA LIFE Aquarium revealed its official opening date at American Dream. The upcoming attraction, which also shared a sneak peek at the ‘City Under the Sea’, is set to open on April 23, 2020.
Ocean Park Hong Kong announced a new educational YouTube channel called Redd’s Nature Play Party, which boasts fun animal-themed content for children to learn at home.
Disney Channel Fan Fest is returning to Disneyland Resort – and expanding to Walt Disney World Resort from May 2020. Guests will get the chance to meet stars from the Disney Channel.
Nickelodeon Adventure has opened at intu Lakeside. The attraction comes from Parques Reunidos and features PAW Patrol, SpongeBob and Rugrats. It boasts 50,000 square feet of indoor space and various themed zones.
Genting Singapore and Galaxy Entertainment have exited the race to develop a theme park and integrated resort in Osaka, Japan. MGM Resorts and Orix were the only party to submit a bid in Osaka’s RFP.
Epson has released a new report entitled The Experiential Future which shows that three-quarters of consumers would change their shopping habits if offered more immersive retail experiences.