Universal Studios Hollywood unlocked the iconic “Don’t’ Open, Dead Inside” doors to usher in its all-new “The Walking Dead” permanent daytime attraction, based on AMC’s top-rated television series and the most watched show in cable television history, which officially opens to the public on Monday, July 4.
Joining in the celebration was Greg Nicotero (Executive Producer, Director of “The Walking Dead” and owner of KNB Efx), Kyla Kenedy (“Mika Samuels” on “The Walking Dead”), Ross Marquand (“Aaron” on “the Walking Dead”), Brighton Sharbino (“Lizzie Samuels” on “The Walking Dead”), Michael Traynor (“Nicholas” on “The Walking Dead”), Scott Wilson (“Hershel Green” on “The Walking Dead”), and Yvette Nicole Brown (actress and “The Walking Dead” uber fan).
A horde of 100 ravenous walkers were also on hand to help bring the event to life.
Universal Studios Hollywood has worked collaboratively with AMC’s “The Walking Dead” as a signature “Halloween Horror Nights” maze for years. This newly enhanced venture takes the highly sought-after experience from a seasonal, limited time offering to an exciting 365-day opportunity, raising the bar for themed walk-through attractions.
“‘The Walking Dead’ is a phenomenon that has successfully and consistently affected the psyche of viewers on a global basis since its debut,” said Larry Kurzweil, President of Universal Studios Hollywood. “We’re taking its authenticity to the next level by collaborating with the show’s award-winning production team to create a thrilling, living representation of the series that can only be experienced at Universal Studios Hollywood.”
To ensure authenticity of the attraction, Universal Studios Hollywood partnered with “The Walking Dead’s” creative team, including Greg Nicotero and KNB Efx to develop prosthetics, utilize original molds and painstakingly apply paint and detailing to attraction walkers. The integral involvement of the creative team not only inspires the emotional connection fans experience, it will be among the attraction’s key distinguishing characteristics that define it as a living representation of the show.
“After six years of working on ‘The Walking Dead,’ we have this great opportunity to take ‘The Walking Dead’ out of the studio, off the soundstage and into this amazing and truly one-of-a-kind attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood,” said Greg Nicotero. “Guests can now come face-to-face with live and animatronic Walkers that are indiscernible from the Walkers from the show. It’s very exciting, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”
Coupled with authentic walker make-up effects, sophisticated animatronic walkers, substantially more detailed set design and costuming, and highly recognizable props replicated from the series, “The Walking Dead” attraction delivers an uncompromised realistic environment that brings guests even further into the most watched show in cable television history.
“The Walking Dead” attraction is located within an entirely new, custom-built structure, situated within an expansive building complex just inside the theme park’s main entry. Due to the intense nature of this experience, the attraction is not recommended for guests under the age of 13.
The past five years have been a remarkable time for Universal Studios Hollywood as the destination embarked on an unprecedented revitalization that has substantially altered over 75 percent of its familiar footprint to effectively characterize it as an entirely new theme park experience. The introduction of the all-new “The Walking Dead” attraction continues the theme park’s unparalleled investment in its ambitious epic transformation.
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” depicts the story of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by hordes of terrifying flesh-eating walkers. It is the #1 show on television among adults 18-49 for the last four years and will debut its seventh season this October.
M&Ds Theme Park Tsunami rollercoaster derails plunging 30ft to floor in front of horrified spectators
Motherwell, United Kingdom - Early eyewitness reports say the carriage on the Tsunami ride came off the tracks and plunged 30ft to the ground
Nine children and two adults are injured after a rollercoaster derailed and smashed into a children's ride.
The Tsunami carriage plummeted 30ft to the ground and landed on top of a smaller attraction, leaving casualties trapped in the wreckage.
It is estimated eight to ten people were on board, although the extent of the injuries is not yet known.
The park has since been evacuated and emergency services are on the scene in M&D's theme park, Motherwell.
The Tsunami rollercoaster carriage plummeted to the ground and landed on top of a child’s car ride, leaving casualties trapped in the wreckage, reports the Daily Record.
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Its opening may have been delayed a bit, but folks who've finally gotten the chance to ride Dollywood's newest roller coaster are finding it was worth the wait!! The Lightning Rod was supposed to debut when the season opened this year, but the ride's builders asked for a little more time to make sure the ride was perfect. It was finally opened to the public this week, and has been drawing big crowds.
The 1950's era thrill ride lasts just over two minutes, but it took almost two years to take the innovative ride from concept to reality. Lighting Rod is the world's fastest wooden roller coaster, powered by new technology. It was designed especially for Dollywood, using the park's mountainous terrain to take riders up more then 20 stories, then dropping them 165 feet at 73 miles per hour.
Dollywood followed the progress of the Lighting Rod roller coaster, from the drawing board to its first ride. Watch the documentary video, produced by Devin Olson Media, attached to this story to see the months of hard work that went in to making this newest ride a reality.
Universal Studios is embarking on a new five-year plan that will reorient many of its production soundstage facilities to the east near its backlot, as it makes way for additional space to expand its theme park. In the works is a new complex of ten soundstages, to be built in 2017 and 2018, as a cluster of smaller stages on the front and west portion of the lot are removed to make way for new theme park attractions.
Also in the works is a new childcare facility, an expanded fire station and sheriff’s substation, and a trail head park and bike path along the Los Angeles River.
In the first phase of its expansion plans, Universal and its parent Comcast invested $1 billion in the lot and theme park, including the recently opened “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” as well as extensive upgrades to its infrastructure, such as a bridge over Lankershim Boulevard to accommodate visitors coming with the Metro, a new parking structure and new and widened ramps along the Hollywood Freeway. Two new soundstages are under construction and are scheduled to be completed later this year.
Rocky Mountain finds a flaw in a train part on Lightning Rod
Pigeon Forge, TN -
Dollywood has posted on its website that it has closed its newly-opened coaster Lightning Rod due to a part recall from manufacturer Rocky Mountain Construction. The park also said that RMC has ordered all of its coasters closed until the parts can be replaced. However, that turned out not to be the case, and only a few RMC coasters have been affected by the recall.
One of those is RMC's newest coaster, Wildfire, which was scheduled to open today at the Swedish park Kolmarden. The park posted to its Facebook page today that the ride would not open due to the fact that "producers have drawn attention to a risk of a manufacturing defect on a part that's sitting in the trains."
The virtual realm of augmented reality collides with the tangible, traditional guest visit to Cedar Point with the debut of “The Battle for Cedar Point,” an interactive, competitive gaming experience inside the new Cedar Point mobile app.
Developed by UK-based, sensory experience design experts Holovis, in partnership with Cedar Point, the free game allows guests to compete against each other in a fun new way as they walk through the park, wait for their favorite ride or sit down to enjoy a meal.
Guests who choose to play The Battle for Cedar Point will first join one of five “clans” on the day of their visit – Valravn, GateKeeper, Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster or Maverick. Each clan is signified by its own unique character avatar, along with a custom battle shield.
They will then “battle” against other guests inside the park that day as they earn points by scanning select ride signs, t-shirts and game symbols located throughout the park. Once scanned, these items will come to life on the guest’s Apple® or Android™ mobile device, enabling them to see characters, animated signs and achievement symbols as they appear to co-exist with the real world. They can then share these interactive experiences on social media, encouraging others to join their clan.
In addition, players who ride the new world-record-breaking Valravn dive coaster will have the opportunity to earn even more points by unlocking the “Secrets of Valravn” as they walk the queue line. Hidden clues are located along the path; the more secrets that are found, the more points players will achieve. Points can also be earned by answering park trivia questions inside the game.
Throughout the day, guests can scan park maps located throughout the park to see which clan is leading the battle. They also have the opportunity to purchase their chosen clan’s souvenir pin, located at select gift shops, once they reach a specific point level. Guests in the clan claiming victory at the end of the day can purchase an additional “victory pin,” signifying that they reigned supreme from the day’s battle. A special t-shirt is also available for purchase. When scanned inside the game, the front of the t-shirt will appear to transform, adding even more points to the selected clan’s total.
The victor of the day’s crusade will be revealed nightly at the park’s Luminosity show, a multi-sensory musical experience featuring talented aerialists, live singers and dancers, mesmerizing pyrotechnics and dramatic visual elements. The Battle for Cedar Point will reset each operating day.
“Cedar Point is once again redefining what the guest experience is like. The Battle for Cedar Point is interactive, it’s immersive and most importantly, it’s just plain fun,” said Jason McClure, Cedar Point’s vice president and general manager. “Guests have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional day at the park, or, they can take their visit to the next level by playing the game in our new mobile app. It adds a unique twist to their summer visit.”
Anne Akande, project manager of AR experiences at Holovis added, “This is a great application of our AR technology which brings the wider park story to life in a really compelling way. This is just the beginning of what can be achieved with our Extended Experience guest interactive technologies.”
The Battle for Cedar Point is now available inside the new Cedar Point mobile app, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store® or on Google Play.
Holovis creates unique, experiential experiences for theme parks and other entertainment-based venues. Its Attractions and Media Divisions design and build highly original and immersive turn-key solutions that blend real-time interactive content with complex ride/show control systems, vibrant 2D/3D displays and intense audio/SFX. Holovis is also a leader in the extended experience where virtual and augmented reality is combined into eye-popping mixed reality, transforming any passive experience such as queue lines, preshow, food and beverage waiting areas, restaurant menus and even the attraction structures themselves into interactive environments that can be gamified and integrated with the primary attraction and up-scaled to become part of a park-wide immersive experience.
SFGAm announces new twist to the hypercoaster
This is an all-new way to ride the Bull. This Virtual Reality experience will be paired with our tallest, steepest, and longest coaster Raging Bull. This ride has been a fan favorite since its opening in 1999...get ready to ride in a whole new way.
Challenging the Raging Bull is enough of a feat, this hyper-twister coaster will take you up 202 feet and drops you down and extra five feet underground for a whopping 207 foot drop! You think you can handle the Bull, want even more thrill? Then this will be the perfect thrill for you.
Put on the Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus headset and you will transported to another world. Enjoy this adventure as you ride with perfect synchronicity to the Raging Bull's twist, turns and drops.
Fastest wood coaster in the world now open for business
Pigeon Forge, TN -
It’s time to rev it up and put some miles on your 2016 Dollywood Season Pass! Lightning Rod is now open and ready to put you in the driver’s seat of the world’s fastest wood coaster.
Themed after a tricked out 1950s-era hot rod, Lightning Rod launches riders from zero to 45 mph more than 20 stories up its lift hill to one of the ride’s first airtime moments. At the crest of the hill, riders face twin summit airtime hills before tackling the daring first drop. Lightning Rod races down the 165-foot drop and propels guests along its 3,800-ft. track to a top speed of 73 mph, the fastest speed for a wood coaster in the world.
Located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction, Lightning Rod rockets riders around its massive wooden structure on an adrenaline-charged lap through the trees in the hills and valleys surrounding Dollywood. During the ride, guests experience nearly 20 seconds of airtime. The coaster train is comprised of 12 cars, carrying two passengers each, for a total of 24 people per train.
Soaring above the Cedar Point swamp may never feel the same. The Iron Dragon roller coaster is the first ride at the Sandusky amusement park to test virtual reality technology.
Park spokesperson Tony Clark tells WKYC the “early beta test” is being done on select dates and times with a handful of lucky thrill seekers.
“We’ll use this test to learn how it would impact our operations and if guests enjoy the experience,” Clark explains.
At this time, there are no official plans to roll the virtual reality option out to the general public.
Park says June 17 will be the public opening
Cobra's Curse, a new roller coaster at Busch Gardens, will open on June 17, the Tampa theme park announced Friday. The attraction, termed a "family thrill coaster" by the park, previously was scheduled to open in May.
The ride features an unusual straight-up lift that's somewhat like an elevator, a face-to-fang encounter with a large snake structure and cars that have a spinning motion along with forward motion along its 2,100-foot track. Its top speed is 40 mph. Ride time is three and a half minutes, Busch Gardens says.
Cobra's Curse was constructed in the Egypt section of the theme park, near the Montu roller coaster. Riders must be 48 inches tall to board the new ride -- or 42 inches tall when accompanied by parent or guardian.