Regional Updates - January 2019


New Sea Crossing to Boost Hong Kong and China Attractions

Attractions on both sides of the world’s longest sea crossing anticipate a jump in visitor arrivals now that a long-awaited 55-kilometer bridge-and-tunnel system is open.

The Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge “brings western Guangdong closer to Hong Kong Disneyland,” says Hong Kong Disneyland Managing Director Samuel Lau. “We will fully leverage our geographical advantage ... and strengthen our promotions ... for guests from the western Guangdong region.”

The system required the construction of four artificial islands and cost an estimated $19 billion. It took nine years to construct. The road takes about 45 minutes to traverse, reducing transit time by two hours. Hong Kong Disneyland is located just 10 minutes from the end of the expansion route on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island.

The sea crossing will “enhance the region’s attractiveness for external investment and bring in tourists from the Greater Bay Area and beyond,” adds John Tse, chief executive of Novotown, an attraction located on the mainland China side of the bridge.


Blue is the New Green

Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) partnered with a subsidiary of France’s Bolloré Group to offer visitors a new energy-efficient way to travel in and out of the resort. RWS is promoting BlueSG, an electric car-sharing service, which added charging points for the cars in the parking lot, in a highly visible spot near the taxi stand.

“As a socially conscious lifestyle destination resort, it is important that our business operations are closely aligned with sustainable practices,” says Keok Tong San, RWS vice president of security and transport, adding RWS welcomes guests to “be part of the global movement to champion zero-emission and sustainable mobility.” In addition, BlueSG users do not have to pay RWS parking fees.

“Walking the talk on green sustainability, this latest avenue of transportation to RWS also supports the Singapore government’s push toward car-light, green urban mobility,” says Keok.



4.-Efteling-impression-Max-&-Moritz---Credit-Efteling (1)

Efteling’s New Coaster: Naughty but Nice

Efteling in Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands, is debuting a new dual-tracked family roller coaster, “Max & Moritz,” for spring 2020. The new coaster from Mack Rides is named after the two mischievous boys in Wilhelm Busch’s much-loved illustrated tale, “Max und Moritz,” a German poem dating back to 1865. The family ride is designed for children aged between 4 and 10 years.

A separate attraction planned for the east side of the fairy-tale-themed park will be delayed by a year to 2021, as Park Director Coen Bertens wants to “take more time to open a completely new themed area, instead of just one new attraction.”

“Max & Moritz” replaces Efteling’s 34-year-old “Bob” bobsleigh coaster. Efteling’s team plans to keep “Bob’s” Swiss theming and station building. Work will start on the new track in September 2019 at a cost of 15 million euros.

The developments will build on Efteling’s progress to date. In 2017, the park resort welcomed almost 5.2 million visitors, achieved 532,904 overnight stays, and boasted an 8.57 guest satisfaction rate.


Tuscany’s ‘Loko’ Slide Blends Fire and Water 

“Loko: The Fire Slide,” a new volcanic-themed attraction, erupted at the Hawaiian-style Acqua Village Cecina water park in Livorno, Italy. “Loko” combines a water slide with 360-degree, 3D projection mapping and dramatic theming to take riders inside the heart of a volcano. The project transformed the existing water slide, produced by Polin Waterparks for Myrtha Pools. Located in the park’s Lua Pele, the island of the volcanoes area, the “Loko” slide features a new 17-meter-high volcano with a fiery show inside.

The vision started with Marco Bressan, owner of Ozlab Funfactory, and Riccardo Fara, creative director of Acqua Village Water Parks. Guests raft through a funnel that looks like a 12-meter-wide crater, filled with glowing magma and lava flows. Working with Ozlab Funfactory, virtual scenery specialists 4DODO carried out laser scans of the new volcano structure and provided 3D projection-mapped video to bring it to life. A team of sculptors led by Raffaele Lattuada crafted the volcano’s interior, creating giant Tiki masks and sculptures, which are animated digitally during the display. 

With “Loko: The Fire Slide,” “creativity meets the most advanced technology, and the result is a one-of-a-kind attraction,” says Bressan. Marcello Padroni, owner of Acqua Village Water Parks, aims to continue investing in “important and surprising projects.”,




Amikoo Announces New Attractions as It Nears Opening

Branded as the “Spirit of Mexico,” Amikoo is a themed destination currently under construction in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Created by Grupo Gala Resorts & Entertainment and Grupo IUSA, Amikoo will celebrate the country’s Mayan culture and heritage through architecture, cuisine, art, and entertainment. Amikoo recently released development updates on the project set to open in two phases, with the first debuting in the second half of this year. 

The destination will feature a variety of offerings, including the Museum of Maya Archeology and Anthropology (M.A.A.M.), a hotel complex, shops, restaurants, a convention center, and a theme park with rides and three original attractions with unique film content. “Fly Over Mexico” will present an aerial tour of iconic Mexican destinations. “Mares de Mexico” (“Seas of Mexico”) will create a scientific expedition experience for guests through a submarine simulator, exploring marine biodiversity in the country. “Piratas de Bacalar” (“Pirates of Bacalar”) will offer a multiconcept space that recreates a fortress of the town in Quintana Roo, Mexico, recalling the region’s pirate activity in the 17th century.

Additionally, Amikoo has partnered with Visa to offer seamless consumer experiences at the destination. Once it opens, Amikoo expects to attract 4.5 million visitors annually.

Foto Prensa 1 - Expedición Jurásica - Credit Museo de los Ninos

Dinosaurs Take Over Costa Rica’s Children’s Museum

Jumping on the dinosaur hype created by last summer’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” movie, Museo de los Niños (Children’s Museum) in San José, Costa Rica, sought to capture the wonder and admiration for the extinct creatures through a limited-time exhibit. “Expedición Jurásica” (“Jurassic Expedition”) revived a number of dinosaur species in a 1,664-square-meter space, featuring 14 different environments; 16 large animatronics dinosaurs, including a Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus rex, and Parasaurolophus; fossil replicas; interactive activities; a photo booth; and shows for children and families to enjoy.

“We know that dinosaurs are a subject that children love,” said Mónica Riveros, executive director of the Children’s Museum. “It is for this reason, that for more than 10 months we worked hard to produce this ‘Jurassic Expedition,’ which we will present for two months, with the sole objective that families from all over the country can visit us and experience this magical, gigantic, and sensory experience.”


National Roller Coaster Museum Plans New Wing

As a result of the generosity of the attractions industry, the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives (NRCMA) plans to expand its facility in Plainview, Texas, with a 10,000-square-foot exhibition space. Named after the late Mark Moore, founding NRCMA board member and Uremet Corp. founder, the new wing will display a portion of the museum’s collection of artifacts, models, photographs, and ride vehicles.

The Mark Moore Memorial Wing’s nearly three-story vaulted ceiling will allow large equipment and signage to be displayed, while a planned second-floor mezzanine will hold additional exhibits. The new building will be attached to the existing 10,000-square-foot archive structure via a connector building that will serve as the main entrance. A 1930s Eyerly Octopus ticket booth, a pre-experience theater, and a multipurpose, carousel-themed meeting room will complete the expansion. Although the words “roller coaster” appear in its name, NRCMA has more than just roller coaster artifacts on display.

Construction will begin in spring 2019, with interior design and exhibition space slated for completion in summer 2021.


Walt Disney World Announces Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge

Walt Disney World Resort announced a new nature-inspired, mixed-use resort on Bay Lake that will welcome guests in 2022. Named Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge, the property will be located between Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, situated on the former site of Disney’s River Country water park. River Country was Walt Disney World’s first water park, open from 1976 to 2001. The new deluxe resort will include more than 900 hotel rooms and proposed Disney Vacation Club villas offering a variety of unique accommodation types. The resort will be the 16th Disney Vacation Club property.