With Disney’s 800-pound gorilla lurking on the horizon, Southern California theme parks have made a acutely aware choice to both lay low and wait out the storm or stand tall and put up a valiant battle towards the gargantuan beast referred to as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opening at Disneyland subsequent summer time.
Southern California theme parks are falling into one in every of two camps: battle or flight. Six Flags Magic Mountain and SeaWorld California have determine to battle again with “world’s first” curler coaster tasks. Common Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm and even Disney California Journey are taking cowl with modest rehabs to getting older rides. Legoland California is providing up free admission for youngsters on their birthdays.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is Disney’s emphatic reply to the wildly common Wizarding World of Harry Potter immersive themed lands that Common has rolled out in California, Florida and Japan. The extremely anticipated Galaxy’s Edge lands opening in Anaheim and close to Orlando promise to drop Star Wars followers right into a fully-immersive smugglers outpost on the sting of a galaxy far, distant.
The price range for every Star Wars venture is reported to be within the billion-dollar vary. That’s a couple of extra digits than your common journey rehab or new metal coaster. Which raises the query: How can SoCal theme parks compete?
“Nobody can really compete against Disney dropping $1 billion on Galaxy’s Edge,” stated James Disney, founding father of the Westcoaster theme park and journey web site. “It really turns into everyone else figuring out how to get a piece of the tourism pie.”
However the information isn’t all dangerous for the theme parks on the darkish aspect of Disney’s Dying Star.
The rising tide of Galaxy’s Edge will carry all boats within the Southern California theme park market, stated Points of interest Journal editor and writer Matt Roseboom.
“I don’t think Galaxy’s Edge will cause the other parks’ attendance to dip,” Roseboom stated in an e-mail interview. “If anything, it may rise with the overflow of visitors to Southern California.”
Roseboom doesn’t assume Disney’s Southern California rivals have something to fret about.
“Even though there are lots of Star Wars fans, not everyone is one,” Roseboom stated. “Even for those who are, they’ll likely only visit Galaxy’s Edge one day or two out of their vacation.”
Finally, the elevated competitors is sweet for the theme park business and the buyer.
“Disney, Universal, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags, Sea World all end up benefiting from the increased tourism traffic and everyone raises their game to meet the challenge,” stated Westcoaster’s Disney by way of an e mail interview.
Let’s take a better take a look at what Summer time 2019 will convey to Southern California theme parks.
Artist rendering of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. Courtesy of Disney.(Disney Enterprises, Inc./Lucasfilm Ltd.)
The 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge themed land can be set within the Black Spire Outpost on the distant planet of Batuu, situated on the outer rim of the Star Wars galaxy. Guests will work together with characters, aliens and droids from the film collection as they wander via a market, cantina and smuggler’s alley.
The Millennium Falcon journey, code-named “Big Bird,” places riders within the cockpit of the quickest ship within the galaxy as they battle Imperial tie fighters throughout a secret mission with a number of storylines. A second attraction code-named “Alcatraz” guarantees a battle between the First Order and the Resistance.
Within the new West Coast Racers, visitors are loaded into glossy West Coast Customs-designed coaster automobiles for head-to-head racing. (Courtesy of Six Flags Magic Mountain)
Six Flags Magic Mountain
The one-of-a-kind West Coast Racers racing coaster will pit two trains towards every other on a single monitor. Riders navigate the monitor twice with a pit cease within the center as these ready to board watch from the station.
With 4 magnetic launches and 4 inversions, the Premier Rides coaster will function side-by-side airtime hills, over-banked turns and a signature “high five” second. The race car-themed trains will probably be designed by West Coast Customs of “Pimp My Ride” fame.
SeaWorld San Diego
The primary-of-its-kind Tidal Tornado coaster straps riders in twin trains and sends them touring by way of a endless determine eight loop with a zero-g roll within the center.
The Skywarp Horizon coaster from Skyline Points of interest principally turns the ride-maker’s 62-foot-tall vertical Skywarp coaster flat on its aspect, with riders by no means getting greater than 16 ft above the bottom.
Artist rendering of Jessie’s Critter Carousel, a part of the upcoming modifications to the brand new Pixar Pier improvement at Disney California Journey in Anaheim, as of March eight, 2018. It replaces the now-shuttered King Triton’s carousel. (Courtesy of the Walt Disney Co.)
Disney California Journey
The quickie transformation of Paradise Pier into the rechristened Pixar Pier in 2018 concerned little greater than plastering some new Pixar names and a paint job on the prevailing rides.
The renovation and re-branding continues in 2019 with King Triton’s Carousel turning into Jessie’s Critter Carousel and the previous Flik’s Flyer spinning journey in A Bug’s Land relocating to Pixar Pier as Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind.
Jurassic Park – The Journey, which closed in September, will reopen in 2019 as Jurassic World Experience. (Illustration courtesy of Common Studios Hollywood)
Common Studios Hollywood
The 1996 Jurassic Park water journey will get a face-lift and a narrative improve to the newer “Jurassic World” films with new animatronic dinosaurs and up to date know-how.
The renovated Jurassic World experience lets Common Studios Hollywood hit pause for a yr because the park reportedly prepares main points of interest tied to “The Secret Life of Pets” movie franchise and the Tremendous Nintendo World video game-centric themed land.
Knott’s Berry Farm will open Calico River Rapids in summer time 2019. (Photograph courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm).
Knott’s Berry Farm
The Buena Park theme park will reopen its Bigfoot Rapids water experience, which closed in September, will reopen subsequent summer time with the brand new identify of Calico River Rapids.
The brand new attraction will tie in thematically to the Ghost City space of the park and can function animatronics and particular results created by Garner Holt Productions, Inc.
A 7-foot-tall birthday cake constructed of 51,000 Lego bricks commemorates the 20th birthday of Legoland California. (Courtesy of Legoland California)
The Carlsbad park will have fun its 20th anniversary in 2019 with 5 “birthday presents” for guests, together with free admission all year long for youngsters 12 and beneath on their birthdays.
The other Legoland “gifts” deliberate for 2019 embrace a brand new 4D film, a brand new stay present, a refurbished toddler space and an as-yet-unannounced unique attraction tied to the brand new “Lego Movie.”