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Theme Parks

Holiday Destinations

Ferrari Land theme park revs up in Spain

Car brand marketing usually means slapping a badge on a tote bag and asking a thousand dollars for it, but Ferrari has gone one better by applying its badge to not one, but two theme parks. Ferrari and PortAventura Entertainment S.A.U have signed an agreement to build a second Ferrari-themed park, Ferrari Land, as part of the PortAventura resort and theme park outside Barcelona, Spain. Expected to open in 2016, the 7.5 ha (18.5 acre) site is billed as “an opportunity for the whole family to experience and discover the world of Ferrari.”Read More

Holiday Destinations

South Korea's plan for a robot-themed amusement park switches back on

Since 2007, the South Korean government has dreamed of Robot Land, a robotics research park and themed destination with rides, exhibitions, shopping, and even housing. Although the originally planned open date of 2012 has come and gone, ground was officially broken for the 300-acre park last year and a new timeline seems to indicate that Robot Land may now be on target to deliver on its promise of a themed world dedicated to robots.Read More

VR

South Korea opens a Kinect-powered theme park

New media entertainment company, d'strict, is pushing the concept of virtual reality to a new level with the "Live Park 4D World Tour," a new theme park that recently opened in South Korea. The park is comprised of 65 different attractions over a 10,000 sq. foot (929 sq m) space, which houses several large interactive displays as well as some installation art pieces. Visitors wear RFID wristbands that allow the displays to identify them, while Kinect sensors detect their movements, voices, and faces. Many of the attractions center around having users create an avatar of themselves that they can interact with and take on a virtual adventure, which is portrayed using 3D video, holograms, and augmented reality technology. Read More

Holiday Destinations

Star Trek ride to headline new theme park in Jordan

Trekkies might soon find themselves donning Starfleet-issue jumpsuits and beaming off to the Middle East with news that funding has been secured for an entertainment resort in Aqaba, Jordan, where the main attraction will be a Star Trek themed adventure ride. Work is due to start next year on the US$1.5 billion, 184-acre resort called the Red Sea Astrarium project with completion slated for 2014. Read More

Holiday Destinations

China's other aircraft carrier is a hotel

After the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 90's three of its most powerful aircraft carriers sat rotting in a Kiev dock. With disputes over ownership and no money or crew to maintain them, the ships were eventually stripped of their weapons systems and engines by the Ukraine and one was sold to a Hong Kong based company, ostensibly to become casinos off the coast of gambling-crazy Macau. As we now know the Varyag ended up in the Chinese port of Larian and spent 10 years being refitted as a fully functioning modern aircraft carrier, much to the consternation of its China Sea neighbours and of course the US. As the Varyag starts sea trials it's sister carriers have suffered a somewhat different fate.Read More

Holiday Destinations

Sharp piles 156 LCDs into multi-screen theme park attraction

A new immersive video experience is about to open in Japan that offers visitors the chance to be almost completely surrounded by a huge multi-screen display system while an underwater love story unfolds before them. Sharp has provided the 156 LCD monitors and transmission system for the 5D Miracle Tour's walk-in adventure that's said to offer customers a virtually seamless 200 to 300-inch video experience in front, above and below, and at either side of them. Read More

Holiday Destinations

Behind the scenes at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Many Muggles, fans and aficionados of the Harry Potter franchise would no doubt be aware that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park and Resort opened last June. And judging by the fact that the park just sold its one millionth Butterbeer (non-alcoholic) beverage, its popularity doesn’t seem to be waning. The success of Universal’s newest park, located in Orlando, Florida, like most theme parks, will be judged on the experiences it offers its guests. Often this boils down to the teeth-rattling speed, stomach-churning loops and turns, or the full-on "shock and awe" of its rides. Gizmag spoke with Senior Vice President, Creative Studio for Universal Parks and Resorts, Thierry Coup, to get a behind-the-scenes insight into the creation of the park’s rides, namely the Dragon Challenge, Flight of the Hippogriff and The Forbidden Journey.Read More

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