Tag: universal

ThemedReality’s top three predictions for 2019

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Ducati World, opening 2019 at Mirabilandia, a flagship Parques Reunidos theme park resort in Ravenna, Italy

These predictions are different than the ones posted on the ThemedReality Facebook page, though some of them do tie together. It’s important to keep in mind that although I have my reasons for believing these predictions may likely happen, they are only speculation on my part. If you share any of this info as fact before it becomes fact, that’s all on you. Don’t forget to click the disclaimer tab at the top of the page.

I’ll be traveling internationally for the first couple weeks of 2019 and although I will be conducting work for my clients during this period, I’ll also be giving ThemedReality a break. This means if you email or direct message me any questions or place questions for me in the comments section of Facebook or in a tweet, don’t expect a response until later in January.

That said, it’s time to open the floodgates and let the predictioning commence.

1. SETTLING IN

Disney, Fox and Genting will come to an out of court settlement on Fox World Malaysia. Disney will take ownership of the park, paying Genting a leasing fee on the property. The park will be redesigned by Walt Disney Imagineering to meet Disney standards and will either see a transitional phase to the new look after opening (akin to California Adventure) or Disney will delay opening until new theming is in place. Genting’s Theme Park Hotel will be given a Fox overlay.

2. هاري بوتر

Universal will announce a resort for the UAE. While it will not have any DreamWorks characters due to an existing licensing agreement for the market, it will feature plenty of Minions and the world’s fourth Wizarding World of Harry Potter, first in the Middle East and closest to Europe.

3. MUCHOS MUNDOS MARINOS

Parques Reunidos and SeaWorld Entertainment will merge and be taken private. SeaWorld’s interim CEO John Reilly will be named CEO of the combined company. Don’t think of Zhonghong as being involved – both Zhonghong Zhuoye, which owns 21% of SeaWorld stock and Zhonghong Holdings, which had the exclusive license to build SeaWorld branded parks in Chinese territories, are pretty much out of the picture. With Zhonghong Holdings’ shares now delisted, it appears that Zhonghong Zhouye can use some of those assets to pay off its debt for the SeaWorld stock. It appears the merger is being orchestrated by Hill Path Capital, which owns just over 15% of SeaWorld Entertainment with Hill Path partners on both companies’ boards. In conjunction with the merger, the companies, either independently or as a merged entity, will purchase Argentina’s Mundo Marino (which, ironically, translates into English as Sea World), obtain the management contract for the Schlitterbahn chain of waterparks, and sell SeaWorld’s Texas properties to Six Flags.

A FINAL THOUGHT

While there’s enough evidence to make me believe these three predictions could take place, I cannot guarantee they will. Markets change, politics change, corporate management changes, plans change. Nothing is set in stone.

Eleven months before the launch of the final Apollo mission, in a January 1972 interview on DC area radio station WMAL, the great Werner von Braun made a profound statement: “I’m convinced that before the year 2000 is over, the first child will have been born on the moon.”

OBSCURE TRIVIA BREAK: B-movies and A-ttractions

It’s very appropriate that Universal Orlando is reopening The Amazing Adventures of Spider-man this Thursday with a complete HD upgrade.  After all, this marks the 50th anniversary of the famed web-slinger’s first appearance.  But sadly, another anniversary is being overlooked.  On Jan. 2 of this year, Jaws at Universal Studios Florida ceased operation in order to make way for something new.  The attraction opened in 1990, but Jaws made its first Orlando appearance much earlier than that.  Thirty years ago this Summer, filming began on the third Jaws film – in 3D  – right down International Drive at SeaWorld.

So although we won’t have the Jaws ride at Universal Orlando to celebrate this milestone, we can celebrate it with another film about other carnivorous fish attacking an aquatic park – in this case, the waterslides of Wilmington, North Carolina’s Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park.

Which brings us to ThemedReality’s first Obscure Trivia Break, for as hard as it may seem, the Piranha franchise can just as easily link the SeaWorld and Universal theme park chains as Jaws can.  Here’s how:

  • The original Piranha (1978) was director Joe Dante’s third film.  In 2003, he directed a 4D film R.L. Stine’s Haunted Lighthouse for Busch Entertainment Corporation, which played at the two Busch Gardens parks and at SeaWorld parks in San Diego and San Antonio.
  • The sequel, Piranha Part II: The Spawning (1981) was James Cameron’s directorial debut.  It was a far cry from the work he did on Terminator 2 3D: Battle Across Time (1996)  for the Universal Studios theme parks.
  • In the reboot of the series, 2010’s Piranha 3D and this year’s Piranha 3DD, the character of Mr. Goodman is portrayed by none other than Christopher Lloyd, who starred in both SeaWorld’s Haunted Lighthouse, as Cap’n Jack, and as “Doc” Emmett Brown in Universal’s Back to the Future: The Ride (1991) and its replacement The Simpsons Ride (2008).

There are plenty of other theme park connections, ranging from film tie-ins to Cameron at News Corporation parks in Australia and Mexico, Everland in South Korea, and Disney parks worldwide, David Hasselhoff’s legendary work for Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and Elisabeth Shue’s performance in that Leonard Nimoy-directed thrill ride at EPCOT.

But I don’t really want to talk about all those.  I guess when it comes down it, we can all learn something from Universal and SeaWorld.  Don’t dismiss B-movies.  After all, there might just be some good theme park talent in there.  I mean, I recall a really horrible Korean-American film from 1985 called LA Streetfighters (later renamed Ninja Turf)…

la_streetfighters_poster_01…and one of the actors from that film went on to host the Thea Awards.