Attractions industry news

31 Dec 2019

Attractions Review 2019: December

It has been another momentous year in the attractions industry, and Attractions Management has been there reporting the big news, good and bad, all the way. After yesterday's look at the events of November 2019, today we move on to December 2019, considering some of the biggest stories that made the headlines this month.

Disney's Star Wars attraction portfolio expanded with the opening of a new ride in Florida, and in Seattle there was approval for funding towards a new aquarium pavilion. In the UK, astronaut Tim Peake called for more government funding for science attractions.

Rise of the Resistance ride opens

In the last month of 2019, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida.

Located in the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge area of the park, Rise of the Resistance is a trackless dark ride and motion simulator, billed as one of the "most ambitious attractions ever created for a Disney Park". It features a heavily-themed, immersive queue line that brings riders face-to-face with Rey, BB8 and Kylo Ren before the ride has even begun.

After boarding an eight-seater vehicle, guests find themselves trapped on a First Order ship, at the centre of an epic battle between The Resistance and the First Order. To escape riders must travel through a series of elaborately designed sets, encountering druids, stormtroopers and Kylo Ren as they make their way through.

Seattle Aquarium funding

Construction of a new pavilion at the Seattle Aquarium moved closer, after the city council approved a US$34m (€30.7m, £25.8m) contribution towards the project.

The US$113m (€102m, £85.8m) 50,000sq ft (15,240sq m) Ocean Pavilion development will see a 325,000-gallon martini glass-shaped tank built to house sharks, stingrays, and schooling and reef fish from the South Pacific's Coral Triangle area.

The project will be part of a wider redevelopment of the Seattle waterfront that aims to triple the number of visitors to Seattle's downtown piers and increase attendance at the aquarium. With construction scheduled to start in 2021, Ocean Pavilion is expected to take two years to complete.

Astronaut Peake urges science funding

British astronaut Tim Peake has urged the UK government to invest more in science, education and research and development.

Since 1994, players of the UK National Lottery have raised more than £596m (€703m, $780m) for science-related projects, and speaking at an event celebrating the National Lottery's 25th birthday, Peake told the PA news agency that lottery funding enables children to visit science centres and museums for free, encouraging an interest in these subjects that could lead to them working in a scientific field.

"It's played a significant part in furthering science and education over the past 25 years and this can be seen in abundance through these attractions," said Peake. "I think slowly that the government is realising what our future is, whether it's around autonomous vehicles, whether it's around quantum computing, artificial intelligence, potential future energy sources such as nuclear fusion."

Check back with Attractions Management tomorrow for a look ahead to some of the top attractions set to open in 2020

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