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Attractions news 14.12.19: Magic Happens at Disneyland | Doctor Who | I’m a Celebrity | Novotown

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Attractions news …

Disneyland unveils ‘Magic Happens’ parade; construction starts on Shanghai Disneyland’s Zootopia expansion; Drawn to Life debuts at Disney Springs in 2020; The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland is getting renovated; I’m a Celebrity… Jungle Challenge is opening in Manchester; The WB Abu Dhabi opens in 2021; Guinness Storehouse launches premium tour; Cedar Point unveils Snake River Expedition; Doctor Who experience is heading to London; WEISS/MANFREDI is master planning La Brea Tar Pits; Novotown IR opens; Seattle Aquarium gets $34m for Ocean Pavilion; Lincoln Park Zoo starts construction on lion habitat; and the Garage Museum launches online platform for digital artists.

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For a quick run through of our most eye-catching stories see our briefing video:

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Theme parks

magic happens parade disneyland

Shanghai Disney Resort announced that construction has started on Shanghai Disneyland’s immersive Zootopia expansion, with site preparation work now completed. It will be Shanghai Disneyland’s eighth themed land.

As Cedar Point is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2020, the theme park has unveiled new attractions and special additions. These include a new boat ride, Snake River Expedition, as well as tours and a parade.

Ocean Park has announced financial results for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, posting a deficit of HK$557.3 million. This is the fourth consecutive year that Ocean Park has posted a deficit.

Disneyland has unveiled the new ‘Magic Happens’ parade, which is debuting in February 2020. The daytime event will feature floats, costumes and characters from Disney, including Frozen 2, Moana, Coco, and Sleeping Beauty.

Cirque du Soleil and Disney unveiled the name and premiere date of the new Cirque du Soleil production, called Drawn to Life, debuting at Walt Disney World Resort’s Disney Springs in April 2020.

Toverland has revealed longer opening times and more events for 2020. The theme park in the Netherlands has extended seasonal and normal opening hours, and is putting on more events than ever in 2020.

The Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland, California is closing down for an extensive restoration process in 2020. Renovations and refurbishments are set to start on January 21 and will last for approximately two months.

New developments


Hill International has been awarded a contract to manage the construction of two of SEVEN’s entertainment clusters in Riyadh. They will boast cinemas, dining, outdoor terraces, shopping, sports venues, and activity zones.

Hong Kong’s Lai Sun Group has announced the official opening of Novotown, an integrated resort and entertainment hub on Hengqin Island in Zhuhai, China. Novotown combines state-of-the-art entertainment with leisure experiences.

The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) have selected architecture firm WEISS/MANFREDI to master plan the reimagined La Brea Tar Pits and George C. Page Museum in Hancock Park.


im a celebrity jungle challenge

Miral and Warner Bros are opening the world’s first Warner Bros hotel on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi in 2021. The $112 million themed hotel is called The WB Abu Dhabi, and will feature Warner Bros decor.

Guinness Storehouse is launching a new premium tour in January 2020, called The Guinness Brewery Tour. It will offer the ultimate Guinness experience, with beer and food tasting included.

ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity… Jungle Challenge’ is opening in Manchester in 2020. It will be a permanent visitor attraction offering jungle-themed tasks and trials, as well as ziplines, parachute drops and vertical climbing walls.

Zoos and aquariums

lincoln park zoo lion habitat

St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station has set its opening date for Christmas Day (December 25, 2019). Tickets are now on sale for the attraction, which will be open for extended holiday hours.

The Seattle City Council has unanimously approved a $34m contribution to the new Ocean Pavilion expansion at the Seattle Aquarium, which will feature a 325,000-gallon tank with sharks, stingrays and fish.

Lincoln Park Zoo has started construction on the new lion habitat, the Pepper Family Wildlife Center. This is part of a $135m capital campaign, the Pride of Chicago, and includes upgrades to the Kovler Lion House building.


doctor who time fracture

BBC Studios and Immersive Everywhere announced a new immersive Doctor Who experience, launching in 2020 in London. Galifreyan Coin tokens are now available to buy for Doctor Who: Time Fracture.

The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia has launched a new experimental programme and online platform called Garage Digital, which will host works by digital artists.

CJ 4DPLEX and Cineplex are opening immersive theatre formats ScreenX and 4DX in locations across Canada, offering 270-degree panoramic and multi-sensory experiences, as well as special effects and moving seats.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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