Attractions news: American Dream | Lionsgate | Hagrid | Fantasy Springs

Welcome to the blooloop briefing; a roundup of attractions news from the last seven days.

In the news this week – American Dream announces Fall 2019 opening, Lionsgate teases details of Novotown attractions, Universal gives a sneak peek of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and OLC reveals the name and more details of the Fantasy Springs expansion project at Tokyo DisneySea.

Watch the news in 3 minutes

For a quick run through the week’s most eye-catching stories see our briefing video:

Read the news in 5 minutes

VR and esports

GameWorks has partnered with JLL to bring its integrated entertainment centres and esports lounges to more locations in the US. GameWorks currently operates seven entertainment centres in seven states.

VRstudios and location-based entertainment (LBE) operator Dave & Buster’s have announced new virtual reality VRcade Arena experiences, including VRcade PowerPlay and Barking Irons Gunslinger.

Disney-backed VR company Tyffon has raised $7.8 million to expand its location-based, ‘free roam’ virtual reality locations from Japan to the US.

Retailtainment

american dream opening 2019

American Dream, a mega mall for retail, dining and attractions, will open in New Jersey in fall 2019. The project, from developers Triple Five Group, includes a theme park, water park and snow park.

Dubai-based developer Majid Al Futtaim is set to spend $4 billion on shopping centres in Saudi Arabia. Vox Cinemas, owned by Majid Al Futtaim, has also pledged $500 million to build 600 screens in Saudi Arabia.

Theme parks

OLC, owners and operators of Tokyo Disney Resort, has unveiled the Fantasy Springs expansion project at Tokyo DisneySea. Attractions and restaurants will be themed on Frozen, Tangled, and Peter Pan.

Chinese theme park operator Fantawild is building China’s first Boonie Bears Town in Linhai, Zhejiang. Fantawild has signed an agreement with the Linhai government to create the attraction, based on the Boonie Bears brand.

Sanrio is opening a Hello Kitty theme park in Vietnam in 2021, in partnership with local property firm BRG Group. Sanrio Hello Kitty World Hanoi will feature other favourite characters like My Melody and Pompompurin.

Cora Alpha has shared a progress update on Elysium City. The sustainable smart city in Spain, with a theme park and water park, is on schedule and plans on breaking ground later in 2019.

The 2018 AECOM and TEA Theme Index and Museum Index Report has been released showing strong results for theme park attendance thanks to effective IP use, resort hotels and second gates.

New rides

Universal Orlando Resort has released sneak peek images of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – its most thrilling and innovative coaster experience yet.

Lionsgate Entertainment World has unveiled new details about attractions and rides from some of the studio’s most popular film franchises, including Hunger Games, Twilight, and Escape Plan.

Universal Studios Hollywood has revealed Jurassic World stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are reprising their roles for Jurassic World – The Ride. Universal has also teased more details about the Mosasaurus.

More attractions

eden alcoa anglesea

The Eden Project and Alcoa have announced plans for an AU$150 million (£81.5 million) eco-tourism attraction within Alcoa’s former coalmine in Anglesea, Victoria, Australia.

Plans have been revealed for a huge zip wire attraction across Cardiff Bay, with “unique” views of the waterfront. Two zip wires would launch from the roof of St David’s Hotel, landing in front of the Norwegian Church.

Merlin Entertainments has announced it will open its first Madame Tussauds franchise in Prague, Czech Republic, later this year, partnering with Czech company Wax Museum – Svet Zabavy.

Merlin has also responded after US-based shareholder ValueAct Capital wrote to the attractions operator urging it to go private.

Meow Wolf has raised more than $158 million to expand its footprint across America, with new attractions in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Washington, DC. It hopes to open 15 locations in the next five years.

The Science Museum has started construction on a new facility at the National Collections Centre in Wiltshire, which will house more than 300,000 objects that have been in storage.

Zoos and aquariums

The Saint Louis Zoo has announced plans for Primate Canopy Trails, an $11.5 million outdoor expansion of the Primate House, scheduled to open in 2021.

Sea World Cruises is debuting the Gold Coast’s newest and most advanced whale watching vessel. The AU$4 million, state-of-the-art vessel has six external viewing platforms and tiered stadium seating.

Images: American Dream, Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea and Eden Project