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More theme park attractions to roll out in Southern California

05-14-2010 14:58 BJT

Buoyed by an improving economy, most major Southern California theme parks have made multimillion- dollar investments in new attractions opening this summer to help attendance numbers rebound from last year's slump, the Los Angeles Times reported on its website on Thursday.

Most theme park managers won't disclose the cost of the new attractions, but industry experts say any investment signals confidence that theme parks are pulling out of the recession slump, the Times said.

"There's certainly a sense of optimism returning to the 2010 season," said David Mandt, a spokesman for the International Assn. of Amusement Parks and Attractions, a trade group that represents parks and museums nationwide. "I think the parks have weathered the storm well."

Southern California theme parks last year had few new attractions but lots of discounts, bargains and two-for-one deals for recession-weary vacationers. But this summer get ready for a 3- D King Kong, 200-foot-tall (61 meters) animated waterspouts and a 45-foot-tall (13.7 meters) Lego water slide, according to the newspaper.

Two superpowers, Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland, are expected to unleash the summer's most popular attractions in the battle of the Southern California parks.

In July, Universal Studios opens King Kong 360 3-D, the latest addition to the back lot studio tram ride. Designed by Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson, the attraction uses massive curved movie screens, hi-tech 3-D projectors, fans and a "tram mover" system to make visitors believe that they are watching Kong battle a 35-foot (10.67 meters) Tyrannosaurus rex.

Disney's California Adventure Park, meanwhile, will offer a nighttime attraction called World of Color that opens on June 11. A choreographed light show, it displays Disney movie scenes on curtains of water that shoot up to 200 feet (61 meters) in the air from a lagoon called Paradise Bay, the newspaper said.

In Valencia, Six Flags Magic Mountain plans to add a family- style roller coaster called Mr. Six's DanceCoaster as well as a new interactive play area at its adjacent water park, Hurricane Harbor.

Next week, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach opens the new 5.5-million-U.S.-dollar Molina Animal Center, where visitors can watch veterinarians treat aquarium animals. San Diego's SeaWorld has renovated an existing stadium for a new dolphin show opening on May 29.

A 15-million-U.S.-dollar, 5.5-acre (2.23 hectares) water park addition featuring a 45-foot-tall (13.7 meters) slide at Legoland, the biggest expansion since the theme park opened in 1999, opens on May 28, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source:

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