california

NBC TV Special on the Making of Transformers The Ride 3D

Transformers: The Ride

Do you love Transformers: The Ride as much as we do? Then check out this making of special about the technical & Hollywood magic that went into bringing this epic attraction to life! We also have been hearing rumours that this will be the next attraction to open at Universal Studios Florida. Awesome! Continue reading

Cars Land at DCA opens June 15…plus more magic!

After five long years of construction, renovation and refurbishment, Disney California Adventure will be debuting 4 new attractions on June 15. The biggest expansion in its history, Cars Land, is set to be the biggest draw. If you haven’t heard, Radiator Springs Racers is the big “E” Ticket attraction, building upon the technology and innovation of Test Track at Epcot. The area is said to be the latest of many “hyper themed” lands at theme parks worldwide, a trend started by The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando.  In addition, the brand new entrance area of Carthay Circle will showcase Hollywood as Walt would have experienced it in 1923. It’s going to be great to see the park the way it was meant to be, after over 10 years of growing pains. Disney has finally fixed the problems with the park and can now call it a world class destination. The park will be closed to guests on June 14 to prepare for the media event the next day. It should be quite magical! Find out more details below…. Continue reading

Highlights for 2012 at Disneyland Resort

The year 2012 promises even more fun and adventure across the Disneyland Resort, with new experiences highlighted by the unveiling this summer of Cars Land, Carthay Circle Theatre and the Buena Vista Street entry into Disney California Adventure park. With these and other recent additions at both theme parks, guests of all ages will enjoy more magic than ever at Disneyland Resort, a premier, multi-day vacation destination in Southern California. Continue reading

It's Official: Hogwarts is coming to Hollywood


As we posted about yesterday, here is the official press release from Universal Studios Hollywood:
HOGWARTS IS COMING TO HOLLYWOOD!
Warner Bros. and Universal Parks and Resorts to bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Universal Studios Hollywood
Significant Expansion Also Planned for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort
Hollywood, CA (Dec. 6, 2011) – Warner Bros. Entertainment and Universal Parks and Resorts today announced a partnership to bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – the enormously popular themed entertainment environment which debuted in Orlando in June 2010 – to Universal Studios Hollywood.
The two companies also announced their plans to significantly expand The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood will be as impressive as what has been created in Orlando – and is expected to transform tourism in Los Angeles for decades to come. It will be a fully immersive environment for the entire family that brings the stories of Harry Potter to life and is faithful to the visual landscape of the films, including a majestic Hogwarts castle to serve as the centerpiece of the themed environment. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood will be created with the same commitment to authenticity and the same level of talent and resources as its Orlando counterpart.
“I am delighted that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been so popular with fans since the opening in Orlando last year and I am sure that the teams at Universal and Warner Bros. will bring their expertise and attention to detail to Hollywood to make this new experience equally as exciting,” said J.K. Rowling.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort opened in June 2010 and immediately captured global attention. It is a spectacularly themed land that includes Hogwarts castle, Hogsmeade and multiple themed attractions. Specific details of its expansion will be announced over time.
“The announcement of our partnership with Universal to bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Hollywood and expand what already exists in Orlando is probably the best holiday gift we could give to the legions of Harry Potter fans worldwide,” said Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. “Everyone involved with these projects is committed to continuing the enchantment of J.K. Rowling’s masterful books as they were brought to life on screen in our eight films and dedicated to extending the magic of the experience for generations of fans to come.”
“This is an incredible moment for Universal Studios and the millions of guests who visit our theme parks,” said Ron Meyer, President & COO, Universal Studios. “The Harry Potter stories are some of the most powerful of our time and we are honored to expand our Orlando experience and bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Hollywood, forever changing family tourism in Los Angeles.”
“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is an entirely new level of themed entertainment that brings the stories of Harry Potter to life in incredible ways,” said Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO, Universal Parks and Resorts. “We are thrilled to be able to share this experience with our guests in Hollywood. And we are thrilled to take what has been created in Orlando to even greater levels.”

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter goes Hollywood…and expands in Orlando

Major updates for Harry Potter fans. Universal Studios Hollywood is expected to announce a major Harry Potter attraction/expansion similar to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida. They are holding a media event tomorrow to officially announce the project. In addition, we also hear of the possible expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. Read on for details.

First, the Universal Studios Hollywood News from the Los Angeles Times:

“Harry Potter is making his Los Angeles debut on Tuesday. Executives from Universal Studios and Warner Bros. will unveil and for the first time publicly discuss their plans to build the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood at a late-morning news conference.Universal announced the event, stating in an email that it would be “hosting a Butterbeer toast to celebrate a very special announcement.” People close to the matter but not authorized to discuss the event beforehand confirmed it would be the unveiling of plans to duplicate the massively successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction from Universal Studios Orlando at the L.A. theme park. Top executives from Warner Bros., which made the “Potter” films and controls licensing rights to author J.K. Rowling’s books about the boy wizard, will be in attendance along with those from Universal. They will include the leaders of both companies: Warner Chairman Barry Meyer and Universal President Ron Meyer (no relation). In addition, demonstrating the significance of what will likely be a huge investment in building the Potter-themed rides and shops, along with the longer-term boost to tourism, California Gov. Jerry Brown will be in attendance.The Orlando Wizarding World of Harry Potter has brought in more than 7 million people in its first year and was the main driver in a 36% increase at Universal’s park there in the first three months of 2011. The attraction isn’t expected to open at Universal’s Los Angeles location — right next to its film and television studio in Universal City — until 2015 at the earliest.”

The Hogwarts Express Station

Now to the juicy Orlando details:

The second item of Harry Potter news are the rumours about the expansion for the original Wizarding World at Universal Orlando which is located in Islands of Adventure. We’ve heard from multiple reliable sources that the reason the JAWS Ride and entire Amity section of Universal Studios Florida is being closed is to prepare for a Phase 2 expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The concept here will be that you can visit London, Diagon Alley, Gringott’s Bank and The original Ollivanders Wand Shop before boarding the Hogwarts Express to the existing themed side of Islands of Adventure. These are wild rumours, but with the sucess the park has seen with the first Phase, we’re sure they are rusing to get the expansion built and ready to open as soon as possible. We’ll keep you posted as we find out more!
What do you think about possible copycat attractions in Hollwood? And how do you feel about JAWS being replaced with more magic from the realm of Harry Potter?

Big Red's Disney Bootcamp

I’d like to introduce a very good friend of mine who will be contributing her passion and love for Disney here at Theme Park Canuck. There isn’t a better qualified person on this planet who can help guide you through all the magic of the Disney Parks. Here’s an introduction from Tracey:

Let’s start at the very beginning, that’s a very good place to start….
When I was a very young girl, and for those that know me, it was a WHILE ago, Sunday night’s were very special to me.  My parents would take my kid brother and I over to my grandparents. A normal Sunday activity for a lot of families, but for me, it instilled in me what I wanted to be when I finally grew up. Ok, I didn’t want to be that saucy fairy who flew around all over the screen. Although…..

But I digress, it was where I wanted to be.
Uncle Walt presented the Wonderful World of Disney.  This TV show aired until 1979 and we were introduced to so many incredible things.

The enchanting fairy tales Disney was so well known for, but also of Pirates, the Wild West and many other beautiful things. There were animals, fantastic tales and different people featured from all over the world. Fast forward to my 20’s: with all the excitement and adventure I remembered from those Sunday night’s with Uncle Walt. With all that magic, mystery and excitement firing inside of me, I traveled to Walt Disney World for the very first time in 1995.  Late bloomer I guess, but it was truly as magical as any 7 or 8-year-old would have experienced. The best part: I will remember MY visit for the rest of my life instead of only through photos and stories my mom and dad tell me.
Since then, not only did I WORK there, yes Virginia, it is possible to work at Walt Disney World! I have also traveled back to my happy place at least twice a year ever since.  Heck, I even lived in sunny Orlando again for 6 months just so I could be closer.  I have also traveled to where the magic all began, Disneyland in Anaheim, California and been on several cruises with Disney Cruise Lines, despite having a Concierge Manager’s position that keeps me pretty busy. I haven’t been able to visit the other Disney locations throughout the world, but my step brothers have and I have many more tips & tricks for the overseas parks like Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disney.
I don’t have any children, although I am old enough to have a few, but it is truly amazing that one man created a place where both children and adults alike can come together and have remarkable experiences.  I return over and over again because I have a totally different experience every single time. Sure, I see the same things, but it is truly the people that create a different experience each and every time I visit. These people keep me, and millions of others, coming back for more time and time again. I want you to have the most fantastic experience when you visit the Wonderful World of Disney, that’s why I’ll be sharing my tips & tricks for you to have a magical visit and help plan your Disney vacation.
Now, if you don’t mind, I am off to the France Pavilion at EPCOT to enjoy an orange slushy and find some inspiration for you.
TTFN (Ta Ta for now!),

Tracey

Make sure to check back next Friday for the first session of Big Red’s Disney Bootcamp: Tips & Tricks & Advice from a former Disney Castmember!

Six Flags Magic Mountain takes terror to new heights

In what we can only predict will be the world’s most terrifying freefall ride, Magic Mountain announced they are building a double sided drop tower attached to the existing Superman Ride. This one looks amazing and really scary at the same time. We can’t wait to take a freefall on this bad boy!

LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom
The World’s Tallest Vertical Drop Ride!
Another one for the history books, Six Flags Magic Mountain, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment, announced today the world’s tallest vertical drop ride, LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom, will make its debut for the 2012 season. Named after one of DC Comics’ most dangerously intelligent super-villains and Superman’s greatest enemy, LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom will be an engineering phenomenon, attached to both sides of the iconic SUPERMAN: Escape from Krypton tower. Soaring at a sky-scraping 400 feet, LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom is slated for a spring 2012 launch.
Fearless riders will be seated inside floorless gondolas on two vertical tracks flanking each side of the SUPERMAN: Escape from Krypton tower. Passengers on the gondolas will be pulled to the top of the tower, experience a brief pause before being released and dropped at speeds of up to 85 miles-per-hour. After five seconds of freefall, the gondola will be stopped by a sophisticated magnetic braking system just a few feet from the ground.
“Six Flags is known world-wide as the industry leader in delivering world-class thrills, and Six Flags Magic Mountain is proud to be at the head of the pack, offering guests the biggest and the best,” said Bonnie Rabjohn, Six Flags Magic Mountain Park President. “We are excited to add another world record to our collection of record-breaking, first-on-the-planet attractions.”
Changing Magic Mountain’s legendary skyline, LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom will offer riders breathtaking panoramic views as they are lifted to the top of the tallest vertical drop ride ever built. Sitting eight abreast, riders will plummet 40 stories at an extreme speed before coming to a stop, all while the SUPERMAN: Escape from Krypton cars are blasted to the top of the same structure.
“Six Flags Magic Mountain continues to deliver powerful thrills to our guests year after year,” said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation. “LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom is a tremendous addition and brings a new dimension of excitement to the park’s already remarkable collection of thrill rides.”
LEX LUTHOR: Drop of Doom is being manufactured exclusively for Six Flags Magic Mountain by Intamin AG of Switzerland.