Saturday, November 21, 2009

Weekly Rewind 11.21.09

This week brought good news for UK coaster fans. The Dreamland Trust has received a 3.7 million pound grant from the government as part of the 2009 Sea Change program, and they plan to use the money open a new amusement park on the site featuring vintage rides. The centerpiece of this unique park will be Dreamland's own historic Scenic Railway, which will finally be rebuilt after being heavily damaged in a fire set by an arsonist last year.

The L.A. Times Funland blog has gotten a hold of some concept artwork for the Big Grizzly Mountain and Mystic Manor rides slated to be built at Hong Kong Disneyland over the next few years. Brady's commentary reveals some great details about the ride experiences as well, including a scene-by-scene tour of Mystic Manor provided by none other than one of the Disney imagineers who worked on it.

© 2009 Mike Brown, The Commercial Appeal

Members of the Save Libertyland group were shocked and appalled to discover that the city of Memphis ripped out a chunk of the beloved SBNO Zippin Pippin this week as part of their ongoing efforts to clear the site of the shuttered park for future development. It appears there is still more than a little disagreement over who owns the classic 1923 woodie. The city claims they dug into the structure to determine whether the coaster is salvageable, but between you and me, that's a load of horse manure. Relocating a wooden coaster entails replacing the great majority of the wood anyway. What's to "salvage"? End soapbox.

The notion has been batted around for several years, but this week Jeju Free International City Development Center has stepped forward and stated that an MGM theme park will indeed open in South Korea in 2013. The park, which will be called MGM Hollywood Way, will be controlled by a consortium of as yet unnamed Korean companies, with MGM itself taking a lesser stake. It will be the first MGM park outside the U.S.

They're labeled November 2008, but that didn't fool us. ACE Western PA has posted some new photos of the construction taking place at Kennywood on the former site of the Turnpike. Looks like they're mainly just pushing dirt around right now, but they'll be pushing steel around before you know it!

An $800 million movie theme park is coming to Rome, Italy. The first section of Cinecitta World, named after the city's own Cinecitta Entertainment, is scheduled to open in 2011, with the rest of the park opening by 2014. The attractions will be themed to classic titles, including the works of Federico Fellini. While few details are being revealed at this point, it sounds like some of them could be

In a move that could be interpreted as the beginning of the end of the Busch theme parks' dominance in the atmosphere department, the company has announced that it is cutting ties with the landscaping company it has used for more than 30 years, effective December 31. Starting in 2010, the Busch parks will maintain their own grounds. More than 250 jobs in Virginia and Florida are expected to be lost as a result, although a Busch spokesperson has stated that the company hopes to hire back many of those individuals.

The long discussed but as yet homeless National Roller Coaster Museum (NRCMA) has made up some ground this week. Amusement Today reports that the NRCMA Board has secured a building in Texas which will be used to house part of its distinguished collection of park memorabilia. Just for good measure, the organization has also secured parts of both the Texas Giant (Six Flags Over Texas) and the Big Bad Wolf (Busch Gardens Williamsburg) for the museum's archives.

The final sad chapter in Chicago's Kiddieland's history is in the process of being written. Two trains which ran at the park have been sold, and the rest of the rides are scheduled to hit the auction block this Tuesday. Let's hope they find good homes so they can live on elsewhere.


John said...

Thanks for including the Libertyland news in the weekly rewind. I drove past the park earlier today - what a sad sight to see. While the Zippin Pippin still stands (for the most part), the rest of the park looks like it was destroyed by a tornado.