PIGEON FORGE, TN
Dollywood's Harvest festival is in full swing for the fall season!
It started Friday Sept. 25 and will go on until Halloween, Oct. 31.
This year, Dollywood has a few additions to its Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights including an expansion into its Wildwood Grove, a new sunflower pumpkin display and a dozen new colossal pumpkins.
The colossal pumpkins range from 800 lbs to more than 1,500 lbs and come from growers across the East Coast.
It’s official: Universal Orlando announced Friday that its latest thrill ride, Jurassic World VelociCoaster, is opening in summer 2021.
It’s the first time Universal had revealed any details about the roller coaster under construction at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, but the secret was hard to hide. Theme park fans have admired the latest progress as the track has been built this summer, and they’ve posted on social media about construction milestones.
ORLANDO & TAMPA, FL
SeaWorld Entertainment is in hiring mode shortly after it permanently laid off about 1,900 furloughed employees in Orlando and 1,000 in Tampa Bay earlier this month.
SeaWorld spokeswoman Lori Cherry said the company encourages terminated employees to reapply and hopes they fill up the majority of the new positions. It comes as the company undergoes a restructuring that changes job descriptions and whether positions are full-time or part-time. The company also is hiring more for the upcoming holidays.
Well, at least they're finally now admitting it. A webpage on Universal Orlando's website is confirmed that big new roller coaster construction project on the Jurassic Park shores of the Islands of Adventure lagoon is, in fact, the new, officially named Jurassic World VelociCoaster.
And it's opening next summer.
HONG KONG, CN
Walt Disney Co DIS.N will lose its option to buy a plot of land next to its Hong Kong theme park that was to allow for future expansion after the city's government said on Wednesday it would not extend the option due to current economic conditions.
The announcement comes as the Chinese-ruled hub tries to bolster its flagging economy and badly hit tourism sector, which was impacted heavily by anti-government protests last year and more recently, the coronavirus.
Acknowledging that 2020 is an extraordinarily unusual year, Amusement Today understands that its traditional core categories are not the direction to take for the Golden Ticket Awards in a year of such globally challenging developments. However, there is still much to honor and acknowledge within the amusement industry.
The 2020 Golden Ticket Awards will feature five new Leadership Awards, which acknowledge best practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Industry Leaders will be acknowledged in these categories: FEC, Supplier, Amusement/Theme Park, Outdoor Entertainment and Association. Also featured will be four Publisher’s Picks: Person of the Year, Supplier of the Year, Renaissance Award and Turnstile Award. Innovation of the Year will be revealed with a surprising twist and AT is delighted to honor its latest Golden Ticket Awards Legend.
On Wednesday, September 23, Amusement Today will release timed announcements in the afternoon between 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (Eastern)/12 noon to 2 p.m. (Central) via AmusementToday.com and Amusement Today‘s social media channels. At the conclusion, the full Golden Ticket Awards issue will be available to read online and download for free AmusementToday.com/digital and at GoldenTicketAwards.com
Cedar Point requiring reservations for its ‘Tricks and Treats Fall Fest’ starting next month
Starting next month, Cedar Point will require reservations for anyone looking to enjoy its thrill rides and amusements.
The new requirements run every Saturday and Sunday from Oct. 3 through Nov. 1 during Cedar Point’s ‘Tricks and Treats Fall Fest,’ which kicked off earlier this month.
As with the summer, all guests are required to wear masks and submit to having their temperature checked in order to enter the park. At least one person in a group is also required to have the Cedar Point app on their phone for communication purposes.
SeaWorld: Bankruptcy Risk Is Real
SeaWorld (SEAS) is likely to be on the path to bankruptcy. The pandemic destroyed the company’s business, as its revenues in Q2 declined by more than 90% and its net loss for the three-month period was $131 million. With a cash-to-debt ratio of 0.18x, the company’s balance sheet is overleveraged, and it’s unlikely that the reopening of parks will help SeaWorld to survive. Despite the fact that it raised liquidity earlier this year at over 8% rate, the company expects to continue to burn $20-25 million monthly until the end of the year, and there’s no guarantee that it’ll be able to return to its per-COVID-19 capacity levels in the foreseeable future. While the stock has slowly recovered from its March lows, its upside is limited. The shares will likely trade in distressed levels in the next few months, and for that reason, SeaWorld is uninvestable.
A new ride is set to take flight at Silverwood in 2021.
For the first time in 10 years, the theme park is adding a new roller coaster: the Stunt Pilot.
The roller coaster will climb over 105 feet in the air and will take riders down a near-vertical dive with hairpin turns, aerobatic maneuvers and three inversions as it speeds through heart-stopping obstacles.
“The inspiration behind this new coaster comes from the beloved air shows that dominated the skies in the park’s early beginnings,” a release from the theme park said. “On June 20, 1988 guests from all around lined up to experience the train ride, pony rides, and the aircraft museum. In the first year of operation, there were about 110,000 visitors!”
We now have video footage of the vehicle testing, as well as a simulated ride POV for Universal’s Jurassic Coaster.
If you are like us, you have been tracking the new Jurassic Coaster construction progress at Universal’s Islands Of Adventure. The Jurassic Park-themed roller coaster at Universal Orlando Resort was meant to open in the summer of 2020 but has been delayed due to the pandemic.