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LIVE/ Updated Keeping you up to date with the latest breaking news and events from around the world, welcome to the Planet Attractions daily news feed
Summary
Netflix’s first immersive entertainment venues to open in 2025

Baton Rouge Zoo to reopen following three-year renovation

Greece’s museums and archaeological sites enjoy strong start to year

Just Stop Oil protests cover Stonehenge in powder paint

DreamWorks Land now open at Universal Orlando as resort debuts collection of new experiences across its Florida parks

Dundee’s £130m Eden Project gets council approval

Plans to turn London spy tunnels into visitor attraction approved by City

Cedar Fair and Six Flags expect to close merger next month

Oklahoma City Zoo unveils decade-long US$230m masterplan

Intamin’s single rail ‘Muhaka’ Hot Racer opens at Walibi Rhone-Alpes

Euro 2024 worth €1bn in football tourism to Germany

Paris welcomes France’s first cheese museum

Universal’s upcoming Epic Universe expands development district

Chester Zoo announces aquarium closure

Disney ends DeSantis conflict with official withdrawal of lawsuit

King Charles III becomes Royal Patron for UK’s Art Fund

Two-thirds of UK museum directors concerned over funding shortfalls

Merlin’s Gardaland opens Wolf Legend drop tower ride

Hyperia reopens as tickets sell out at Thorpe Park

Ukraine museums plan for a postwar future

Men deny felling famous Hadrian’s Wall tree

Inquest says British teen drowned in Discovery Cove tragedy

Fiji applauds pioneering approach to combat coral bleaching with BULA reef launch

Leading Madrid opera house enhances visual performances with Christie technology

Triotech reaches landmark with 3,000th installation of coin-op simulator

Registration open for IAAPA Expo Europe 2024

Museum plans included as Italy begins major redevelopment of one of Europe’s largest historic buildings

Egyptian Prime Minister reviews final preparations ahead of Grand Egyptian Museum launch

Remote Scottish distillery welcomes immersive Cirque du Soleil experience

Hyperia remains closed at Thorpe Park



20 Jun 2024

Netflix’s first immersive entertainment venues to open in 2025


 The first Netflix House attractions will open in Dallas and Pennsylvania in 2025    Credit: Netflix

Netflix is set to open its first two permanent experiential entertainment venues in 2025, with the attractions coming first to the US in Dallas, Texas and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Dubbed ‘Netflix Houses’, the new venues will feature experiences based around previous Netflix attractions, including Bridgerton, Money Heist, Stranger Things, Squid Game, and Netflix Bites. The venues will also feature themed retail outlets, as well as F&B options. Outside the venue, “fans will be treated to some eye-popping sculptures and a mural mash-up of characters from their favourite Netflix titles.”


Read more


20 Jun 2024

Baton Rouge Zoo to reopen following three-year renovation


 

Following a US$50m renovation and upgrade process, Baton Rouge Zoo is set to fully reopen to the public with new animals, new exhibits and significant enhancements.

Expected to reopen before the end of the month, the zoo now features seven new animal exhibits, 12 new buildings and 11 renovated enclosures.

The zoo has changed its display model from grouping animals by species to a display model based on the geographical preferences of each animal.

In addition to new exhibits, the zoo’s former train tracks are being repaired with a view to start running a train through the attraction in the coming months.

More from The Advocate


20 Jun 2024

Greece’s museums and archaeological sites enjoy strong start to year


 

Museums and archaeological sites in Greece have had a strong start to the year, with historic sites in particular performing well.

According to ELSTAT - the national statistical service of the country - Greece’s museums have seen ticket revenues rise by 7.9%, while paying visitors has risen year-on-year by 11.8%. Free access visitors - such as students - has also risen by 16%.

For archaeological sites, paying sites skyrocketed, with paying visitors increasing by 34.2%, while ticket revenues rose by 23.9%. Non-paying visitors surged by 56.8% in the first two months of the year, with a mild winter attributed to part of the rise.


20 Jun 2024

Just Stop Oil protests cover Stonehenge in powder paint


 

Two Just Stop Oil protesters have vandalised the historic Stonehenge, covering the ancient monument in orange powder paint.

Occurring the day before the Summer Solstice, which celebrates the day of the year with the longest period of sunlight, the two supporters began spraying the iconic rocks at the World Heritage site near Salisbury in the UK.

Named as Niamh Lynch, a 21-year-old student from Oxford, and Rajan Naidu, a 73-year-old from Birmingham, the protesters were arrested on suspicion of damaging the ancient monument.

In a statement, Just Stop Oil said the orange powder paint was cornflour and thay it would “wash away with rain”.

A spokeswoman for English Heritage said the incident was “extremely upsetting” and confirmed the site remains open to the public.

More from the BBC


19 Jun 2024

DreamWorks Land now open at Universal Orlando as resort debuts collection of new experiences across its Florida parks


 Guests can now step into the vivid worlds of some of their favourite animated films in DreamWorks Land - a colourful new area featuring attractions, character meet and greets, and more    Credit: Universal

Visitors to Universal Orlando can now enjoy new experiences with characters from Shrek, Trolls, Kung Fu Panda and more following the official opening of the resort’s new DreamWorks Land alongside spectacular new shows at both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.

Part of the Universal Studios Florida theme park, the expansive new land offers several new attractions, including a family-friendly coaster and multiple interactive play areas, as well as live entertainment and character meet and greets to create an immersive DreamWorks experience.


Read more


19 Jun 2024

Dundee’s £130m Eden Project gets council approval


 Eden Project Dundee will see the city’s former gasworks transformed into an ‘earthworks’, where it is hoped to become a beacon for regeneration and green tourism    Credit: Eden Project

The highly-anticipated Eden Project Dundee has received planning permission from councillors, meaning the £130m (US$165.3m, €153.5m) project can now go ahead.

A major visitor attraction for Dundee and Scotland, the new Eden Project will be based at a former gasworks site in the city. It will feature three venues, one of which will be housed inside a giant former gas holder.


Read more


18 Jun 2024

Plans to turn London spy tunnels into visitor attraction approved by City


 

Plans to redevelop a network of Second World War tunnels 40m below central London have been approved by City of London planners.

The proposals, which would see the tunnels become an attraction, still need the green light from neighbouring borough, Camden, which is due to vote on the plans on 11 July.

The historic tunnel complex covers 8,000sq m and was built in the 1940s as shelter for Londoners during the Blitz in World War Two. It later served as the headquarters of a covert Special Operations Executive branch that employed professional saboteurs to aid the British war effort.

If the attraction gains final approval, it is expected to draw up to two million visitors a year. UK-based architecture practice Wilkinson Eyre is behind the plans, with London Tunnels Ltd helming the project.

More from BD Online


18 Jun 2024

Cedar Fair and Six Flags expect to close merger next month


 

Cedar Fair and Six Flags Entertainment have announced that the merger of the two theme park giants is expected to take place on July 1.

Immediately following the closing of the mergers, the combined company will be renamed Six Flags Entertainment Corporation with trading of the combined company’s common stock to begin on July 2.

Following the closing of the merger transaction, Richard Zimmerman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cedar Fair, will serve as president and CEO of the combined company and Selim Bassoul, president and CEO of Six Flags, will serve as executive chairman of the combined company’s board.

“We are fortunate to have a proven team of leaders who bring decades of park operating experience and significant expertise in integrating businesses and achieving synergy targets for the combined company,” said Zimmerman. “Their insights and complementary skill sets will be instrumental as we combine two of North America’s iconic amusement park companies and forge a new future together.”


18 Jun 2024

Oklahoma City Zoo unveils decade-long US$230m masterplan


 

Oklahoma City Zoo has unveiled an “ambitious” 10-year masterplan, that will see the animal attraction introduce a world-class reptile and amphibian preserve, alongside the expansion of many of its existing habitats.

The zoo is currently working on Shore to Sea - its new marine mammal habitat slated to open in 2027.

The final project in the zoo’s existing masterplan, the new plan, which lays out a decade of projects, was developed in collaboration with SHR Studios.

In addition to the reptile and amphibian preserve, plans include the addition of larger savannah habitats to the Africa Plateau and an enhancement of its elephant habitat, while plans to improve things like visitor flow have also been put in place.

The total masterplan budget is projected to be between US$115m and US$230m.

More form Journal Record


18 Jun 2024

Intamin’s single rail ‘Muhaka’ Hot Racer opens at Walibi Rhone-Alpes


 

Walibi Rhône-Alpes has welcomed the first Intamin Hot Racer model in Europe, with Mahuka now open to the public.

The Hawaiian for ‘to escape’, Mahuka is the centrepiece of the new Exotic Island-themed area of the Walibi, with the launch also celebrating the park’s 45th birthday.


Read more


17 Jun 2024

Euro 2024 worth €1bn in football tourism to Germany


 Euro 2024 is generating around €1bn in Germany thanks to football tourism    Credit: UEFA

Football fans have descended on Germany for the Euro 2024 international football tournament, with the influx of foreign visitors expected to generate around €1bn (US$1.1bn, £845m) for the country.

According to the Ifo Institute, football tourism linked to the tournament will boost Germany’s economic output by around 0.1 percent in the second quarter.


Read more


14 Jun 2024

Paris welcomes France’s first cheese museum


 The museum features a real working dairy so visitors can see the cheesemaking process up close    Credit: La Fabrique Créative

An immersive and interactive experience has opened its doors in Paris, with the Musée du Fromage representing France’s first-ever museum dedicated to cheese.

Offering visitors a chance to discover France’s cheesemaking heritage and regions, the “living” Musée du fromage not only features exhibits and educational spaces but also a real dairy established to promote cheese-making know-how and to encourage young people to take up vocations in the cheesemaking industry.


Read more


14 Jun 2024

Universal’s upcoming Epic Universe expands development district


 

Universal Orlando has expanded its Epic Universe development district, with the amount of available space expanding from 700 acres (1.1sq mi) to 2,000 acres (3.1sq mi).

Revealed in documents filed with Orange County by Universal City Development Partners Ltd, the plans were approved by the Orange County Development Review Committee on June 7.

It is unknown what the land expansion will be used for, though the plans call for a change of use to accommodate developments around the future theme park. New hotels are likely in the mix, while future expansion space and a CityWalk-style development are also possibilities.

More from Orlando Business Journal


14 Jun 2024

Chester Zoo announces aquarium closure


 

Chester Zoo has announced the closure of its aquarium facility, an attraction that has been in operation for more than 70 years.

Opened in 1952, the aquarium at Chester Zoo currently houses sea creatures including seahorses, anemones and clownfish. The aquarium also grows its own corals.

As announced by the zoo, the aquarium will close its doors in 2026.

“With such advancements in building methods, technology and requirements for modern zoos, our expert team of structural engineers agree that from 2026 our aquatic species in the aquarium will be finding new habitats to flourish in, under the care of our dedicated aquatic team,” said a statement.


14 Jun 2024

Disney ends DeSantis conflict with official withdrawal of lawsuit


 

Disney asked a federal appellate court to dismiss its lawsuit against Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis, a day after a deal was approved to develop Disney World over the next 20 years.

The move was an expected one after the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District approved plans for Disney to invest US$8bn (€7.3bn, £6.2bn) into its Florida theme parks, with a long-term plan seeing the company invest as much as US$17bn (€15.6bn, £13.3bn) into a resort-wide expansion of the site.

“This new development agreement paves the way for us to invest billions of dollars in Walt Disney World Resort, supporting the growth of this global destination, fueling the Florida economy, and allowing us to deliver even more memorable and extraordinary experiences for our guests,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort.

More from AP News


13 Jun 2024

King Charles III becomes Royal Patron for UK’s Art Fund


 King Charles III played a key alongside the Art Fund to save Dumfries House in Ayrshire for the nation    Credit: John Paul

The UK’s Art Fund has announced King Charles III as its new Royal Patron.

Marking the first anniversary of his Coronation, the King has accepted the patronage, which had previously been held by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II since 1952.

The late Queen was Royal Patron for seven decades, with the former monarch supporting the charity across multiple decades. The new King will now take up the position, which mirrors his keen passion for both arts and heritage.


Read more


13 Jun 2024

Two-thirds of UK museum directors concerned over funding shortfalls


 A decline in local authority funding has had a big impact on the UK’s museums    Credit: Canva

Two years ago half of museum directors in the UK expressed concerns about funding shortfalls. In 2024 that figure has now risen to two-thirds, according to recently released research.

Art Fund’s annual Museum Directors Research, now in its fourth year, found that although 51% of respondents have seen a rise in commercial income in the past year, only 15% had seen local authority investment increase, with the general consensus being that they need a 10-20% funding increase in funding overall just to stabilise finances. 28% of respondents said local authority investments had decreased, while 4% revealed it had stopped entirely.


Read more


13 Jun 2024

Merlin’s Gardaland opens Wolf Legend drop tower ride


 Wolf Legend is now open at Gardaland    Credit: Gardaland

Gardaland in Italy has welcomed its latest attraction following the launch of its new Wolf Legend drop tower ride.

Drawing inspiration from the giant 16m (52ft) wolf head, whose jaws surround the drop tower, the ride “summons visitors to perform a daring ritual” by throwing themselves into the jaws of the stone animal to break the curse that imprisons it.


Read more


12 Jun 2024

Hyperia reopens as tickets sell out at Thorpe Park


 Hyperia is finally open to the public following an unexpected closure    Credit: Thorpe Park

After an unexpected two-weel closure just after its launch, Hyperia has reopened at Thorpe Park.

With the reopening expected to draw large crowds, the Merlin-operated attraction limited ticket sales for the day to ensure all visitors enjoy the experience to the fullest.


Read more


12 Jun 2024

Ukraine museums plan for a postwar future


 

Representatives of museums in Ukraine met at the end of May for a two-day conference held in Berlin. Called “From Crisis to Future: New Responsibilities for Museums in Ukraine,” the event was created by OBMIN - a Warsaw-based foundation set up as a platform for more than 100 museums across Ukraine.

The event, described as the largest gathering of Ukrainian museum workers since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, saw experts from Ukraine, Poland and Germany share ideas for restoring cultural heritage sites in the country in the near and distant future.

In the meeting, delegates created 10 proposals highlighting how museums can contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine and strengthen its civil society.

The proposals are currently being presented at the Ukraine Recovery Conference, an international annual meeting held in Berlin from June 11 to 12.

More from DW


12 Jun 2024

Men deny felling famous Hadrian’s Wall tree


 

A second man has denied illegally felling the UK's most famous tree.

Daniel Graham, 38, and Adam Carruthers, 31, are accused of causing £622,191 damage to the tree at Sycamore Gap in Northumberland, which was cut down in September.

The pair are also accused of causing £1,144 damage to Hadrian's Wall, a Unesco World Heritage Site, which was hit by the falling tree.

Mr Graham, from Carlisle, had previously denied both offences. Appearing at Newcastle Crown Court, Mr Carruthers, of Wigton, Cumbria, entered... More from the BBC


12 Jun 2024

Inquest says British teen drowned in Discovery Cove tragedy


 

A British girl aged 13 was found to have drowned after being discovered “unresponsive” in a pool at the United Parks and Resorts-operated Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida.

Anna Beaumont from St Fagans, Cardiff, Wales, was on holiday in Florida with her family when they visited the attraction on May 28. Despite the efforts of lifeguards and doctors after rushing her to hospital, she died on May 31.

A post-mortem examination was carried out at the hospital, with the cause of death given as drowning, followed by seizure disorder, the inquest was told.

Anna was previously described by her family as “a beautiful soul”.

More from the BBC


11 Jun 2024

Fiji applauds pioneering approach to combat coral bleaching with BULA reef launch


 BULA Reef is supporting the growth of heat-adapted ‘super corals’    Credit: Tourism Fiji

Fiji’s tourism body has praised an initiative to promote environmental sustainability with BULA Reef - an ambitious coral nursery created to combat coral bleaching - expected to become a significant tourist attraction for the island nation.

With tourism contributing around 40 percent of Fiji’s GDP, its reefs and marine life are a vital asset and draw for guests from around the world.

Located in Fiji’s Malolo District on the Plantation Island Resort, BULA Reef (BULA is a Fijian greeting which also means ‘life’) is the largest rescue reef of its kind in history.


Read more


11 Jun 2024

Leading Madrid opera house enhances visual performances with Christie technology


 

Christie is helping to power performances at the famous Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain, with the venue acquiring Christie technology to help enrich its opera, dance, concert, and recital programming.

First opened in 1850, the Teatro Real, known colloquially as El Real, is considered the top institution of the performing and musical arts in the country and is one of the most prestigious opera houses in Europe.

The theatre acquired three Christie lamp-based 3DLP projectors nine years ago, and recently upgraded to more modern and efficient models with improved colour performance. More recently, it has added five Christie M 4K25 RGB pure laser projectors.

“Artistic directors have realised that projection technology perfectly complements the set design, and in some cases, replaces part of it,” said Fernando Valiente, head of Audiovisuals at the Teatro Real.

“This combination enriches the show and delivers a wow factor that impresses audiences.”


11 Jun 2024

Triotech reaches landmark with 3,000th installation of coin-op simulator


 

Triotech is celebrating a landmark for its Typhoon coin-op simulator, with the company having installed 3,000 of the machines worldwide.

The Typhoon model features motion, wind effects, and high-definition content, creating an immersive arcade experience that encourages repeat visits and sustained profitability.

“As we hit this milestone, we're not just celebrating numbers – we're highlighting countless memories of laughter, excitement, and pure arcade magic,” said Ernest Yale, founder and CEO of Triotech. “Typhoon's longevity is a testament to its unbeatable fun factor and enduring appeal.”


11 Jun 2024

Registration open for IAAPA Expo Europe 2024


 

The return of IAAPA Expo Europe, the premier event for the EMEA region’s attractions and leisure industries, to Amsterdam, is coming later this year, with registration now open for the showcase spectacle.

Returning to RAI Amsterdam from September 23-27, this year’s event will welcome attractions professionals from across the world to a location featuring a number of iconic attractions.

With an 18,500sq m tradeshow floor, IAAPA Expo Europe 2024 will feature over 650 exhibitors from across Europe. Attendees will have the chance to engage with some of the world’s most acclaimed manufacturers and suppliers, exploring a wide range of cutting-edge products, services, and solutions.

“This year’s IAAPA Expo Europe is an absolute must-visit for everyone involved in the attractions industry,” said Peter van der Schans, executive director and vice president for IAAPA Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

“I’m delighted to see it returning to my home country, The Netherlands, with its rich cultural history in theme parks and vendors. We are excited to showcase the latest innovations, delve into diverse educational programs, and foster new connections.”

Register here


10 Jun 2024

Museum plans included as Italy begins major redevelopment of one of Europe’s largest historic buildings


 In 1752, Ferdinando Fuga began construction on the massive, seven-story Real Albergo dei Poveri    Credit: ABDR Architetti Associati

Italy has started work on what its government is describing as “the biggest cultural infrastructure in Europe”, with the nearly €150m project representing a major highlight of the city’s heritage offering.

Once a sprawling hospital complex, the newly renovated Albergo dei Poveri in Naples will be home to the National Archaeological Museum of Naples (MANN) when work is completed in 2026.


Read more


07 Jun 2024

Egyptian Prime Minister reviews final preparations ahead of Grand Egyptian Museum launch


 

Egypt’s Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly, has assessed final preparations for the opening of the highly-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) and the development of its surrounding areas.

Covering more than 500,000sq m (5.4 million sq ft) the museum will be home to the world’s largest collection of Egyptian artifacts and was designed to exhibit an inclusive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities.

In a meeting attended by key government officials and project stakeholders, Madbouly stressed the importance of enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the surrounding areas, including roads leading to the museum, to create a welcoming environment for visitors.

While an official opening date has not been confirmed, the anticipated full opening is expected to take place in mid-2024.

More from Zawya


07 Jun 2024

Remote Scottish distillery welcomes immersive Cirque du Soleil experience


 

Macallan - a famous manufacturer of scotch whisky - has celebrated its 200th anniversary with a series of immersive performances by Cirque du Soleil.

Located in northern Scotland, the Macallan Distillery in Speyside celebrated its marquee year with the experience, which told “the tale of what is possible when we open ourselves to the ultimate sensory experience that is our natural world.”

Called Cirque du Soleil Spirit, the audience was encouraged to walk around a darkened space - one of the distillery’s warehouses - as they explored and even painted one of the art “labs.” Meanwhile, multiple acts were performed, including aerial silk, hair suspension, tightwire, contortion, juggling, and hoop diving. This was complemented by a tree affixed with Macallan for visitors to take and sample.

The experience ran from May 9-31, with tickets selling at £200 per person.



07 Jun 2024

Hyperia remains closed at Thorpe Park


 

The UK’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster remains shut after opening for just one day at the Merlin-operated Thorpe Park.

Hyperia, which opened for a preview event on May 24 has been closed since launch on May 25 “due to unforeseen circumstances”.

Thorpe Park had said it was “unable to commit to re-opening Hyperia before Saturday, June 8”, but the ride looks to be remaining shut for the foreseeable future.

“Understandably, many of you have been eagerly anticipating further updates and fairly assumed that the 8 June would be reopening day for the ride,” said a statement from the park. “However, unfortunately that is not going to be possible.”


The Merlin-operated park said the closure followed “standard technical pre-opening procedure checks”, but has not given further details.

A Mack-manufactured steel hypercoaster, the record-breaking addition reaches a maximum height of 236ft (72m) and travels at a top speed of 80mph (130kmph), taking the number one spot in the UK from Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s The Big One.





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Keeping you up to date with the latest breaking news and events from around the world, welcome to the Planet Attractions daily news feed
20 Jun 2024

Netflix’s first immersive entertainment venues to open in 2025


 The first Netflix House attractions will open in Dallas and Pennsylvania in 2025    Credit: Netflix

Netflix is set to open its first two permanent experiential entertainment venues in 2025, with the attractions coming first to the US in Dallas, Texas and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Dubbed ‘Netflix Houses’, the new venues will feature experiences based around previous Netflix attractions, including Bridgerton, Money Heist, Stranger Things, Squid Game, and Netflix Bites. The venues will also feature themed retail outlets, as well as F&B options. Outside the venue, “fans will be treated to some eye-popping sculptures and a mural mash-up of characters from their favourite Netflix titles.”


Read more

20 Jun 2024

Baton Rouge Zoo to reopen following three-year renovation


 

Following a US$50m renovation and upgrade process, Baton Rouge Zoo is set to fully reopen to the public with new animals, new exhibits and significant enhancements.

Expected to reopen before the end of the month, the zoo now features seven new animal exhibits, 12 new buildings and 11 renovated enclosures.

The zoo has changed its display model from grouping animals by species to a display model based on the geographical preferences of each animal.

In addition to new exhibits, the zoo’s former train tracks are being repaired with a view to start running a train through the attraction in the coming months.

More from The Advocate

20 Jun 2024

Greece’s museums and archaeological sites enjoy strong start to year


 

Museums and archaeological sites in Greece have had a strong start to the year, with historic sites in particular performing well.

According to ELSTAT - the national statistical service of the country - Greece’s museums have seen ticket revenues rise by 7.9%, while paying visitors has risen year-on-year by 11.8%. Free access visitors - such as students - has also risen by 16%.

For archaeological sites, paying sites skyrocketed, with paying visitors increasing by 34.2%, while ticket revenues rose by 23.9%. Non-paying visitors surged by 56.8% in the first two months of the year, with a mild winter attributed to part of the rise.

20 Jun 2024

Just Stop Oil protests cover Stonehenge in powder paint


 

Two Just Stop Oil protesters have vandalised the historic Stonehenge, covering the ancient monument in orange powder paint.

Occurring the day before the Summer Solstice, which celebrates the day of the year with the longest period of sunlight, the two supporters began spraying the iconic rocks at the World Heritage site near Salisbury in the UK.

Named as Niamh Lynch, a 21-year-old student from Oxford, and Rajan Naidu, a 73-year-old from Birmingham, the protesters were arrested on suspicion of damaging the ancient monument.

In a statement, Just Stop Oil said the orange powder paint was cornflour and thay it would “wash away with rain”.

A spokeswoman for English Heritage said the incident was “extremely upsetting” and confirmed the site remains open to the public.

More from the BBC

19 Jun 2024

DreamWorks Land now open at Universal Orlando as resort debuts collection of new experiences across its Florida parks


 Guests can now step into the vivid worlds of some of their favourite animated films in DreamWorks Land - a colourful new area featuring attractions, character meet and greets, and more    Credit: Universal

Visitors to Universal Orlando can now enjoy new experiences with characters from Shrek, Trolls, Kung Fu Panda and more following the official opening of the resort’s new DreamWorks Land alongside spectacular new shows at both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.

Part of the Universal Studios Florida theme park, the expansive new land offers several new attractions, including a family-friendly coaster and multiple interactive play areas, as well as live entertainment and character meet and greets to create an immersive DreamWorks experience.


Read more

19 Jun 2024

Dundee’s £130m Eden Project gets council approval


 Eden Project Dundee will see the city’s former gasworks transformed into an ‘earthworks’, where it is hoped to become a beacon for regeneration and green tourism    Credit: Eden Project

The highly-anticipated Eden Project Dundee has received planning permission from councillors, meaning the £130m (US$165.3m, €153.5m) project can now go ahead.

A major visitor attraction for Dundee and Scotland, the new Eden Project will be based at a former gasworks site in the city. It will feature three venues, one of which will be housed inside a giant former gas holder.


Read more

18 Jun 2024

Plans to turn London spy tunnels into visitor attraction approved by City


 

Plans to redevelop a network of Second World War tunnels 40m below central London have been approved by City of London planners.

The proposals, which would see the tunnels become an attraction, still need the green light from neighbouring borough, Camden, which is due to vote on the plans on 11 July.

The historic tunnel complex covers 8,000sq m and was built in the 1940s as shelter for Londoners during the Blitz in World War Two. It later served as the headquarters of a covert Special Operations Executive branch that employed professional saboteurs to aid the British war effort.

If the attraction gains final approval, it is expected to draw up to two million visitors a year. UK-based architecture practice Wilkinson Eyre is behind the plans, with London Tunnels Ltd helming the project.

More from BD Online

18 Jun 2024

Cedar Fair and Six Flags expect to close merger next month


 

Cedar Fair and Six Flags Entertainment have announced that the merger of the two theme park giants is expected to take place on July 1.

Immediately following the closing of the mergers, the combined company will be renamed Six Flags Entertainment Corporation with trading of the combined company’s common stock to begin on July 2.

Following the closing of the merger transaction, Richard Zimmerman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cedar Fair, will serve as president and CEO of the combined company and Selim Bassoul, president and CEO of Six Flags, will serve as executive chairman of the combined company’s board.

“We are fortunate to have a proven team of leaders who bring decades of park operating experience and significant expertise in integrating businesses and achieving synergy targets for the combined company,” said Zimmerman. “Their insights and complementary skill sets will be instrumental as we combine two of North America’s iconic amusement park companies and forge a new future together.”

18 Jun 2024

Oklahoma City Zoo unveils decade-long US$230m masterplan


 

Oklahoma City Zoo has unveiled an “ambitious” 10-year masterplan, that will see the animal attraction introduce a world-class reptile and amphibian preserve, alongside the expansion of many of its existing habitats.

The zoo is currently working on Shore to Sea - its new marine mammal habitat slated to open in 2027.

The final project in the zoo’s existing masterplan, the new plan, which lays out a decade of projects, was developed in collaboration with SHR Studios.

In addition to the reptile and amphibian preserve, plans include the addition of larger savannah habitats to the Africa Plateau and an enhancement of its elephant habitat, while plans to improve things like visitor flow have also been put in place.

The total masterplan budget is projected to be between US$115m and US$230m.

More form Journal Record

18 Jun 2024

Intamin’s single rail ‘Muhaka’ Hot Racer opens at Walibi Rhone-Alpes


 

Walibi Rhône-Alpes has welcomed the first Intamin Hot Racer model in Europe, with Mahuka now open to the public.

The Hawaiian for ‘to escape’, Mahuka is the centrepiece of the new Exotic Island-themed area of the Walibi, with the launch also celebrating the park’s 45th birthday.


Read more

17 Jun 2024

Euro 2024 worth €1bn in football tourism to Germany


 Euro 2024 is generating around €1bn in Germany thanks to football tourism    Credit: UEFA

Football fans have descended on Germany for the Euro 2024 international football tournament, with the influx of foreign visitors expected to generate around €1bn (US$1.1bn, £845m) for the country.

According to the Ifo Institute, football tourism linked to the tournament will boost Germany’s economic output by around 0.1 percent in the second quarter.


Read more

14 Jun 2024

Paris welcomes France’s first cheese museum


 The museum features a real working dairy so visitors can see the cheesemaking process up close    Credit: La Fabrique Créative

An immersive and interactive experience has opened its doors in Paris, with the Musée du Fromage representing France’s first-ever museum dedicated to cheese.

Offering visitors a chance to discover France’s cheesemaking heritage and regions, the “living” Musée du fromage not only features exhibits and educational spaces but also a real dairy established to promote cheese-making know-how and to encourage young people to take up vocations in the cheesemaking industry.


Read more

14 Jun 2024

Universal’s upcoming Epic Universe expands development district


 

Universal Orlando has expanded its Epic Universe development district, with the amount of available space expanding from 700 acres (1.1sq mi) to 2,000 acres (3.1sq mi).

Revealed in documents filed with Orange County by Universal City Development Partners Ltd, the plans were approved by the Orange County Development Review Committee on June 7.

It is unknown what the land expansion will be used for, though the plans call for a change of use to accommodate developments around the future theme park. New hotels are likely in the mix, while future expansion space and a CityWalk-style development are also possibilities.

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14 Jun 2024

Chester Zoo announces aquarium closure


 

Chester Zoo has announced the closure of its aquarium facility, an attraction that has been in operation for more than 70 years.

Opened in 1952, the aquarium at Chester Zoo currently houses sea creatures including seahorses, anemones and clownfish. The aquarium also grows its own corals.

As announced by the zoo, the aquarium will close its doors in 2026.

“With such advancements in building methods, technology and requirements for modern zoos, our expert team of structural engineers agree that from 2026 our aquatic species in the aquarium will be finding new habitats to flourish in, under the care of our dedicated aquatic team,” said a statement.

14 Jun 2024

Disney ends DeSantis conflict with official withdrawal of lawsuit


 

Disney asked a federal appellate court to dismiss its lawsuit against Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis, a day after a deal was approved to develop Disney World over the next 20 years.

The move was an expected one after the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District approved plans for Disney to invest US$8bn (€7.3bn, £6.2bn) into its Florida theme parks, with a long-term plan seeing the company invest as much as US$17bn (€15.6bn, £13.3bn) into a resort-wide expansion of the site.

“This new development agreement paves the way for us to invest billions of dollars in Walt Disney World Resort, supporting the growth of this global destination, fueling the Florida economy, and allowing us to deliver even more memorable and extraordinary experiences for our guests,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort.

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13 Jun 2024

King Charles III becomes Royal Patron for UK’s Art Fund


 King Charles III played a key alongside the Art Fund to save Dumfries House in Ayrshire for the nation    Credit: John Paul

The UK’s Art Fund has announced King Charles III as its new Royal Patron.

Marking the first anniversary of his Coronation, the King has accepted the patronage, which had previously been held by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II since 1952.

The late Queen was Royal Patron for seven decades, with the former monarch supporting the charity across multiple decades. The new King will now take up the position, which mirrors his keen passion for both arts and heritage.


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13 Jun 2024

Two-thirds of UK museum directors concerned over funding shortfalls


 A decline in local authority funding has had a big impact on the UK’s museums    Credit: Canva

Two years ago half of museum directors in the UK expressed concerns about funding shortfalls. In 2024 that figure has now risen to two-thirds, according to recently released research.

Art Fund’s annual Museum Directors Research, now in its fourth year, found that although 51% of respondents have seen a rise in commercial income in the past year, only 15% had seen local authority investment increase, with the general consensus being that they need a 10-20% funding increase in funding overall just to stabilise finances. 28% of respondents said local authority investments had decreased, while 4% revealed it had stopped entirely.


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13 Jun 2024

Merlin’s Gardaland opens Wolf Legend drop tower ride


 Wolf Legend is now open at Gardaland    Credit: Gardaland

Gardaland in Italy has welcomed its latest attraction following the launch of its new Wolf Legend drop tower ride.

Drawing inspiration from the giant 16m (52ft) wolf head, whose jaws surround the drop tower, the ride “summons visitors to perform a daring ritual” by throwing themselves into the jaws of the stone animal to break the curse that imprisons it.


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12 Jun 2024

Hyperia reopens as tickets sell out at Thorpe Park


 Hyperia is finally open to the public following an unexpected closure    Credit: Thorpe Park

After an unexpected two-weel closure just after its launch, Hyperia has reopened at Thorpe Park.

With the reopening expected to draw large crowds, the Merlin-operated attraction limited ticket sales for the day to ensure all visitors enjoy the experience to the fullest.


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12 Jun 2024

Ukraine museums plan for a postwar future


 

Representatives of museums in Ukraine met at the end of May for a two-day conference held in Berlin. Called “From Crisis to Future: New Responsibilities for Museums in Ukraine,” the event was created by OBMIN - a Warsaw-based foundation set up as a platform for more than 100 museums across Ukraine.

The event, described as the largest gathering of Ukrainian museum workers since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, saw experts from Ukraine, Poland and Germany share ideas for restoring cultural heritage sites in the country in the near and distant future.

In the meeting, delegates created 10 proposals highlighting how museums can contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine and strengthen its civil society.

The proposals are currently being presented at the Ukraine Recovery Conference, an international annual meeting held in Berlin from June 11 to 12.

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12 Jun 2024

Men deny felling famous Hadrian’s Wall tree


 

A second man has denied illegally felling the UK's most famous tree.

Daniel Graham, 38, and Adam Carruthers, 31, are accused of causing £622,191 damage to the tree at Sycamore Gap in Northumberland, which was cut down in September.

The pair are also accused of causing £1,144 damage to Hadrian's Wall, a Unesco World Heritage Site, which was hit by the falling tree.

Mr Graham, from Carlisle, had previously denied both offences. Appearing at Newcastle Crown Court, Mr Carruthers, of Wigton, Cumbria, entered... More from the BBC

12 Jun 2024

Inquest says British teen drowned in Discovery Cove tragedy


 

A British girl aged 13 was found to have drowned after being discovered “unresponsive” in a pool at the United Parks and Resorts-operated Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida.

Anna Beaumont from St Fagans, Cardiff, Wales, was on holiday in Florida with her family when they visited the attraction on May 28. Despite the efforts of lifeguards and doctors after rushing her to hospital, she died on May 31.

A post-mortem examination was carried out at the hospital, with the cause of death given as drowning, followed by seizure disorder, the inquest was told.

Anna was previously described by her family as “a beautiful soul”.

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11 Jun 2024

Fiji applauds pioneering approach to combat coral bleaching with BULA reef launch


 BULA Reef is supporting the growth of heat-adapted ‘super corals’    Credit: Tourism Fiji

Fiji’s tourism body has praised an initiative to promote environmental sustainability with BULA Reef - an ambitious coral nursery created to combat coral bleaching - expected to become a significant tourist attraction for the island nation.

With tourism contributing around 40 percent of Fiji’s GDP, its reefs and marine life are a vital asset and draw for guests from around the world.

Located in Fiji’s Malolo District on the Plantation Island Resort, BULA Reef (BULA is a Fijian greeting which also means ‘life’) is the largest rescue reef of its kind in history.


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11 Jun 2024

Leading Madrid opera house enhances visual performances with Christie technology


 

Christie is helping to power performances at the famous Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain, with the venue acquiring Christie technology to help enrich its opera, dance, concert, and recital programming.

First opened in 1850, the Teatro Real, known colloquially as El Real, is considered the top institution of the performing and musical arts in the country and is one of the most prestigious opera houses in Europe.

The theatre acquired three Christie lamp-based 3DLP projectors nine years ago, and recently upgraded to more modern and efficient models with improved colour performance. More recently, it has added five Christie M 4K25 RGB pure laser projectors.

“Artistic directors have realised that projection technology perfectly complements the set design, and in some cases, replaces part of it,” said Fernando Valiente, head of Audiovisuals at the Teatro Real.

“This combination enriches the show and delivers a wow factor that impresses audiences.”

11 Jun 2024

Triotech reaches landmark with 3,000th installation of coin-op simulator


 

Triotech is celebrating a landmark for its Typhoon coin-op simulator, with the company having installed 3,000 of the machines worldwide.

The Typhoon model features motion, wind effects, and high-definition content, creating an immersive arcade experience that encourages repeat visits and sustained profitability.

“As we hit this milestone, we're not just celebrating numbers – we're highlighting countless memories of laughter, excitement, and pure arcade magic,” said Ernest Yale, founder and CEO of Triotech. “Typhoon's longevity is a testament to its unbeatable fun factor and enduring appeal.”

11 Jun 2024

Registration open for IAAPA Expo Europe 2024


 

The return of IAAPA Expo Europe, the premier event for the EMEA region’s attractions and leisure industries, to Amsterdam, is coming later this year, with registration now open for the showcase spectacle.

Returning to RAI Amsterdam from September 23-27, this year’s event will welcome attractions professionals from across the world to a location featuring a number of iconic attractions.

With an 18,500sq m tradeshow floor, IAAPA Expo Europe 2024 will feature over 650 exhibitors from across Europe. Attendees will have the chance to engage with some of the world’s most acclaimed manufacturers and suppliers, exploring a wide range of cutting-edge products, services, and solutions.

“This year’s IAAPA Expo Europe is an absolute must-visit for everyone involved in the attractions industry,” said Peter van der Schans, executive director and vice president for IAAPA Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

“I’m delighted to see it returning to my home country, The Netherlands, with its rich cultural history in theme parks and vendors. We are excited to showcase the latest innovations, delve into diverse educational programs, and foster new connections.”

Register here

10 Jun 2024

Museum plans included as Italy begins major redevelopment of one of Europe’s largest historic buildings


 In 1752, Ferdinando Fuga began construction on the massive, seven-story Real Albergo dei Poveri    Credit: ABDR Architetti Associati

Italy has started work on what its government is describing as “the biggest cultural infrastructure in Europe”, with the nearly €150m project representing a major highlight of the city’s heritage offering.

Once a sprawling hospital complex, the newly renovated Albergo dei Poveri in Naples will be home to the National Archaeological Museum of Naples (MANN) when work is completed in 2026.


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07 Jun 2024

Egyptian Prime Minister reviews final preparations ahead of Grand Egyptian Museum launch


 

Egypt’s Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly, has assessed final preparations for the opening of the highly-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) and the development of its surrounding areas.

Covering more than 500,000sq m (5.4 million sq ft) the museum will be home to the world’s largest collection of Egyptian artifacts and was designed to exhibit an inclusive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities.

In a meeting attended by key government officials and project stakeholders, Madbouly stressed the importance of enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the surrounding areas, including roads leading to the museum, to create a welcoming environment for visitors.

While an official opening date has not been confirmed, the anticipated full opening is expected to take place in mid-2024.

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07 Jun 2024

Remote Scottish distillery welcomes immersive Cirque du Soleil experience


 

Macallan - a famous manufacturer of scotch whisky - has celebrated its 200th anniversary with a series of immersive performances by Cirque du Soleil.

Located in northern Scotland, the Macallan Distillery in Speyside celebrated its marquee year with the experience, which told “the tale of what is possible when we open ourselves to the ultimate sensory experience that is our natural world.”

Called Cirque du Soleil Spirit, the audience was encouraged to walk around a darkened space - one of the distillery’s warehouses - as they explored and even painted one of the art “labs.” Meanwhile, multiple acts were performed, including aerial silk, hair suspension, tightwire, contortion, juggling, and hoop diving. This was complemented by a tree affixed with Macallan for visitors to take and sample.

The experience ran from May 9-31, with tickets selling at £200 per person.


07 Jun 2024

Hyperia remains closed at Thorpe Park


 

The UK’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster remains shut after opening for just one day at the Merlin-operated Thorpe Park.

Hyperia, which opened for a preview event on May 24 has been closed since launch on May 25 “due to unforeseen circumstances”.

Thorpe Park had said it was “unable to commit to re-opening Hyperia before Saturday, June 8”, but the ride looks to be remaining shut for the foreseeable future.

“Understandably, many of you have been eagerly anticipating further updates and fairly assumed that the 8 June would be reopening day for the ride,” said a statement from the park. “However, unfortunately that is not going to be possible.”


The Merlin-operated park said the closure followed “standard technical pre-opening procedure checks”, but has not given further details.

A Mack-manufactured steel hypercoaster, the record-breaking addition reaches a maximum height of 236ft (72m) and travels at a top speed of 80mph (130kmph), taking the number one spot in the UK from Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s The Big One.




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