Attractions news …
Marvel Studios and ILMxLAB announce Avengers: Damage Control; Disney Skyliner transportation system opens at Walt Disney World; Merlin confirms opening date for Legoland New York Resort; Millennial Esports to create the world’s first dedicated esports racing arena; Saudi Arabia unveils a $27bn plan to transform tourism; Six Flags approaches Cedar Fair to merge; Disney creates the Epcot Experience; Super Nintendo World construction photos emerge; Efteling opens The Six Swans; and Super 78 announces a partnership with Microsoft.
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As Walt Disney World Resort continues its historic transformation of Epcot, Walt Disney Imagineering has created the Epcot Experience, an immersive attraction for visitors to get a look at the upcoming changes.
Disney Skyliner has opened at Walt Disney World. Guests will ride through the air in the new transportation system’s gondolas, which feature iconic Disney characters, scenes, movies and attractions.
Six Flags Entertainment Corp has reportedly approached Cedar Fair LP in a bid to merge the companies. This move would unite two of the biggest theme park operators in the US.
Merlin Entertainments has announced the opening date for Legoland New York Resort. The world’s largest Legoland theme park will welcome guests from the Fourth of July, 2020.
OLC has released attendance figures for Tokyo Disney Resort’s first six months of the fiscal year 2019. Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are bringing in a record amount of visitors.
Construction images of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan have emerged online. The expansion will have immersive rides and attractions, and is taking shape ahead of its opening in spring 2020.
Nagasaki/Sasebo IR Promotion Council has launched its Request for Concept for developing an integrated resort at Sasebo’s Huis Ten Bosch. Registration period for applicants runs from October 2 to November 22.
In 2020, the V&A is marking the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death with a refurbished Raphael Cartoons gallery and an enhanced visitor experience. The Raphael Court will reopen in late 2020.
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco announced an artificial intelligence (AI) exhibition. Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI is opening in 2020 at San Francisco’s de Young Museum.
The Peabody Essex Museum has celebrated the opening of its new 40,000-square-foot wing, which includes three major galleries with 18,000 square feet, as well as a light-filled atrium.
Google Arts & Culture has joined forces with the Palace of Versailles to offer a private virtual reality (VR) tour of the former home of French royalty. The new VR app is called ‘Versailles: The Palace is Yours’.
The Wave in Coventry has announced the opening date for its second phase. After opening the first phase of fitness and spa suites in July, the attraction will open its water park and slides on October 21.
Blackstone is buying a 65% controlling interest in Great Wolf Resorts from its current private equity owner, Centerbridge Partners. The firms will form a new $2.9bn joint venture to own the company.
Zoos and aquariums
Cincinnati Zoo is raising money to fund its ‘Roo Valley’ project. The attraction is selling personalised pavers as part of its ‘More Home to Roam’ campaign. Roo Valley is set to open in 2020.
The Aquarium of Niagara has announced another major expansion, called M&T Bank Shark & Ray Bay. The $1.85m shark and ray exhibit will offer interactive experiences, as well as animal feeding.
TripAdvisor and its subsidiary, Viator, will no longer sell tickets to, or directly generate revenue from, attractions or experiences where cetaceans are captive and put on public display.
Tech and more
Marvel Studios and ILMxLAB have announced Avengers: Damage Control, an immersive and multi-sensory virtual reality (VR) experience, coming to The VOID. The attraction will take fans inside the MCU for the first time.
Elon Musk has provided an update on the design and development of SpaceX’s Starship. Musk says the rocket could reach orbit within six months. He also spoke about the construction of SpaceX and Starship specifics.
Millennial Esports is planning to create the world’s first dedicated esports racing arena in Miami. The state-of-the-art attraction, set to open in 2020, will train esports and real-world racing drivers.
Saudi Arabia has announced a $27 billion plan to transform tourism. It will build entertainment destinations with local and international investors, including Triple 5 and Majid Al Futtaim.