Skip to main content

Attractions news: Expo2020, sharks and Teletubbies

blooloop briefing attractions news damien hirst shark empathy suite

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

This week we saw new theme park attractions, stunning Expo 2020 pavilions, an airport becoming a destination and a $100k a night hotel room complete with a shark.

Watch the news in 2 minutes

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

Read the news in 5 minutes

Theme park attractions

This week Alton Towers announced two new themed attractions for CBeebies Land this spring: a ‘Peter Rabbit Hippity Hop’ ride and a Teletubbies live show.

Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando announced it is to open on March 27 with rides, attractions, parades and interactive experiences, including Elmo’s Light-Up Bubble Wand.

Liseberg unveiled details of a major new SEK150m ($16m) family dark ride – Underland.

Now in its fifth edition, the Theme Park Design Competition run by students at Cornell University is back with $6,500 in cash prizes awaiting the winning teams.

And it wouldn’t seem right to end the week without news of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The opening date has been announced: May 31 in Anaheim, California and August 29 in Orlando, Florida.

New developments

Shinsegae Property Consortium announced the development of a $4bn dinosaur and K-pop Hwaseong International Theme Park in Korea.  The plans have been around since 2007 with both Lotte Group and Universal Studios linked to the project before pulling out. The new consortium intends to finish the theme park by 2026.

The biggest indoor waterpark in the southern hemisphere is just part of the A$100m Zagame’s Wild Water Park to be built in SE Melbourne.

The city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania is planning a large waterpark as part of a larger Masterplan Zona Verde activity project.

Oregon Coast Aquarium is raising funds for a $20m expansion which includes galleries, STEM and play area.

Snøhetta has proposed mountain-top museum quarter in Italy, and  SPPARC has revealed its eye-catching cantilevered designs for a Golden Hinde Visitor Centre and Museum.

London Zoo has issued a tender for the construction work on the iconic aviary building.

Dubai Expo 2020

Expo2020 Dubai Mobility Pavilion

We’ve put together a guide to the spectacular designs for 16 pavilions at the Dubai Expo 2020 here.

Ahead of 2020, Dubai Tourism have launched a B2B Attractions Marketplace website to connect attractions with channels partners.


Field of Light at Sensorio is a huge walk-through, solar powered, light installation by British artists Bruce Munro opening in Paso Robles in May. This is the first part of a more ambitious plan for Sensorio – an elaborate garden and other artainment plus a hotel and conference centre.

Damien Hirst has designed a $100k a night Empathy suite at Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, including of course a shark and cantilevered butterfly pool.


Smithsonian visitors who are blind or have low vision will soon be able to access to groundbreaking new technology. Aira uses AI and AR technology via guests’ smartphone cameras or smart glasses to get free on-demand verbal descriptions.

Airports and tunnels

Changi Airport, Singapore, is to become a destination in its own right as the S$1.7 billion Jewel brings “a new dimension to the travel and leisure experience”. The Jewel boasts the world’s largest indoor waterfall as well as 10 storeys of food, retail, hotels and attractions. This is not the first airport to add entertainment –  Chubu Centrair International Airport in Japan recently opened an “airport theme park”. We’ve also seen retired planes being turned into attractions at hotels and even underwater.

Jewel Changi Airport
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has announced plans for a $55m tunnel by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company, to run with autonomous electric vehicles at high speeds.

New kinds of attraction

Tencent is increasing investment in eSports tournaments in China. Local governments are to subsidise the events which Tencent sees as key to increasing the longevity and appeal of its games.

Tapping into two trends – adult adventure play and accessibility – Big Bounce America (aka the largest bounce house in the world) is returning to the US for its 2019 tour, with separate adult only and sensory sensitive sessions.

And two sites have been announced for The National Enquirer Live. Branson and Pigeon Forge will house the immersive family attractions which will dish the dirt on the sensational tabloid.

Share this
Rachel Reed

Rachel Read

Rachel is Finance Director. She has a degree in engineering from Cambridge University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Deloittes in London. She worked in finance in industry for twenty years. She oversees our news and also manages our events.

More from this author

Search for something

More from this author

Related content

Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Find out how to update