Welcome to our first monthly news reel for the Family Attraction sector! Find out all the stories that you missed, from within the industry.
July has been a very big month for the Family Attraction sector, with water parks and theme parks opening up all over the shop! To keep up with the industry, it’s important to know what other businesses are doing, and where. So, let’s dive right in...
A Walk in The Park For Water Parks
With the summers getting hotter and hotter, it’s no surprise that cities and states across the UK and America are keeping their cool with brand new water features. Inflatable water parks, full-frontal water parks with all the latest modcons, as well as water slides, have all opened up to the masses.
Starting with inflatables, we’ve had numerous new inflatable water parks making an appearance. In Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama, for example, a collection of new inflatables have surfaced on the waters of their Flipside Aqua Park.
What’s more, we’ve had new water parks opening in a number of places, including Island H20 Live! in Orlando, and another in Auburndale. Others are also set to open in the near future, namely the first ever water park in the Isle of Wight, others in Tapnell Farm and Bedford, and a record-breaking one in Qatar. We also can’t forget the new waterslide to be opened up in Sydney’s Raging Waters, following their rebranding plans.
However, it’s not just all fun and games, as the Portsmouth council will be flying a £70,000 inflatable water park in from America to combat tombstoning! Portsmouth youngsters often take the leap of faith off historic battlements, like the Camber and the Hotwall, into the murky depths below. By implementing this new park, the council hopes to prevent these dangerous activities.
Sad Summer Stories
For the Alton water park, in Suffolk, happy endings were not so easy to come by. For the second summer in a row, Alton has been plagued by toxic blue-green algae, which can kill wild animals and plants, and cause major sickness, like diarrhoea and muscle pain, in humans. It seems their summer holiday dreams were cut short.
They weren’t the only ones whose holiday fun was cut short. A tragic water park accident, in Benidorm, has left a young man paralysed, causing controversy between the two parties. The young man’s family demand answers, but the water park insists their water park rules weren’t adhered to, causing the fatal incident. The matter seems to be an ongoing issue.
Finally, and a cheeky addition to our water park news, is the upholding of gender equality in water parks in Ontario and Quebec. Here, they’ve embraced the “Free the Nip” campaign, now welcoming toplessness at all water parks in the area. Good news for many.
Time For Theme Parks
It’s not just water parks that are having their month in the spotlight; the theme park scene is just as jam-packed!
A number of theme parks have already opened up this summer, including Swampy Jack’s Wongo Adventure amusement park at Panama City Beach. We’ve even had some insight into Universal Studios new Jurassic world ride, which is said to be scarier than ever! Expect a more modern alternative to the dated ride from yester-year, taking us right back into the 21st century.
We can also expect a huge number of new theme parks to open in the near future. Some of these include a Legoland on the European continent, a bubble tea themed amusement park to open in Harajuku, Japan, and a movie related theme park to open in China, at the end of July. So, if you’re a Twilight or Hunger Games fan, this will definitely be a pit-stop to head to on your next trip to China.
To add to this, the Lost Island waterpark, in Waterloo, Iowa, is to set to expand, becoming a theme park by 2022. The project is estimated to cost £80 million. Otherwise, there have been numerous plans to open new inflatable theme parks across the UK, set to make their debut in Essex, Taunton, and Derby. And, after problems with opening up a theme park in Kent, it is now scheduled to open in 2024.
Museums Are Making a Mark
A day out to a museum has to be one of the greatest privileges the modern world has been graced with. There’s nothing quite like walking through artefacts from the past, experiencing the voices of our ancestors.
With St. Fagans, in South Wales deemed the greatest museum in the UK, it’s clear that museums are bettering themselves constantly. Indeed, plans for new museums seem to be littering the country!
For example, London’s £332 million design ideas for a museum in Farringdon demonstrates the importance of these buildings to our cultural heritage. Additionally, plans to open a Roman museum in the historical town of York seems only fitting, considering the impact the Romans had on our country.
However, Britain is not the only place expanding their educational prospects. With a new museum displaying artefacts from the American arts and crafts movement set to open in St. Petersburg, Florida, exploring one's artistic self has never been easier. Even more exciting - the Great Barrier Reef is getting an underwater museum, designed by a Brit! The weirder the better, we say.
What’s more, after a very successful pride festival this year, the British Museum gets on board by launching guided tours of LGBTQ treasures. It just goes to show that the LGBTQ+ community has always been prevalent but, with our newfound inclusion, we can appreciate the artefacts even more.
Finally, for those history nerds out there, an underground discovery, at the Garden Museum in London, unearthed 34 lost coffins, including those of four Archbishops of Canterbury! Hidden in a secret vault, renovators discovered the grave whilst attempting to carve out disabled access. The discovery has led to an appeal for a further £300,000 to be put towards the redevelopment program.
Zoos, Aquariums and… Cheronbyl?
In the animal world, we’ve also had some interesting developments. Chester Zoo made news twice this week, by welcoming 1 million visitors in record time, and being named one of the best attractions in the world… again. Otherwise, we can look to welcome a new ‘21st century aquarium' in the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, worth £10 million in a few years time.
But, the most surprising news update of all? Well, after the whopping success of Chernobyl, HBO’s television series surrounding the tragic disaster during the late 1980s, Chernobyl is set to become an official tourist attraction. The health risks are certainly questionable but, for the thrill seekers out there, this should make for a fun day out.
And That’s a Wrap...
Otherwise, our monthly newsreel will have a breakdown of all the things you missed. See you next time!