Attractions industry news

27 Dec 2019

Attractions Review 2019: September

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 August 2019, today we move on to September 2019, considering some of the biggest stories that made the headlines that month.

King Kong was to the fore as the Empire State Building, one of New York's most iconic landmarks, unveiled its new visitor experience. Disney batted away lower than expected visitor numbers following its launch of Galaxy's Edge, and in the UK, Chester Zoo looked to bring a touch of the African savannah to the north-west of England.

No sweat for Disney over visitor numbers

With the launch of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland in California, significant attendance increases were expected. However, initial visitor figures fell well short of expectations, with attendance dropping by 3 per cent, drawing comment from Disney’s parks and resorts chair Bob Chapek in September 2019.

While Disney chair Bob Iger blamed the decline on visitors staying away because of expected overcrowding, hotel price increases and a significant increase in entry fees for the park, Chapek told CNBC that a lack of extremely long lines despite the hugely hyped launch was a good thing for both Disney and its customers, and that a 10-hour queue line should be seen "as a sign of failure".

The reference to 10-hour waits was interpreted as a swipe at Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – a new rollercoaster at Universal's Island of Adventure in Orlando – where visitor reports following launch suggested queues for the ride were more than 10 hours long.

Empire State experience reimagined

A new observatory experience at the Empire State Building was completed in September 2019, following a multi-phase redevelopment costing US$165m (€149m, £128m).

The visitor experience at the iconic New York City landmark has been reimagined by design firm Thinc, with a new visitor entrance, a glassed-in observation deck on the 102nd floor, and galleries that tell the story of the Empire State Building and its impact on pop-culture over the last 90 years.

Tom Hennes, principal at Thinc, said: "From start to finish, we made the whole thing experiential. The aim was to create memorable moments that visitors could hang onto, really treasure and really associate with the Empire State Building. It clearly had to involve its construction and its place in popular culture, but we wanted to look at life inside as well."

Most importantly, King Kong is present, with his eyes peering menacingly through a set of 1930s windows as his gigantic fingers break through the walls.

Chester's African savannah

Chester Zoo received approval to its plans to build an extensive African savannah habitat as part of its 217-acre expansion masterplan.

The expansion – called the Grasslands – could open in 2022, and will feature multiple rare and endangered species including zebras, giraffes, antelopes and ostriches, while existing buildings will be transformed into 28 lodges,14 tents and a restaurant, which gives visitors a view of the new area.

The project will boost the zoo’s work to prevent species extinction, with the creation of conservation breeding facilities, and more natural habitats for endangered animals. Plans also include an option for the zoo to develop overnight accommodation which would incorporate an additional 42 traditional discreet African-themed lodges overlooking the Grasslands.

Check back with Attractions Management tomorrow for a look back at the highlights from October

<< Back

News powered by attractionsmanagement.com

Shortlist revealed for National Railway Museum's Central Hall

Five proposals have been shortlisted for the design of the National Railway Museum's Central Hall in York, UK, which is scheduled to open in time for the museum’s 50th anniversary in 2025. [more...]

Eden Project announces £67m attraction for Northern Ireland

A new £67m (US$86.9m, €79.8m) cultural and environmental Eden Project tourist attraction is to be built along the banks of the River Foyle, near Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, with organisers hoping it will help to bring social, economic and environmental regeneration to the city. [more...]

City council wrangles cause robust debate on Belfast Zoo's future

The future nature of Belfast Zoo is uncertain after a motion was tabled by a city councillor to phase out the display of caged animals and return the animals "to their natural habitats". However, the motion also envisaged transforming the zoo into a "world-class visitor attraction by 2025". [more...]

Niall McLaughlin Architects to design Somerset House auditorium and public space

Niall McLaughlin Architects have been chosen to design a new, multi-purpose auditorium and public space for London's Somerset House arts centre. [more...]

Smithsonian announces partnership with V&A East

The Smithsonian Institute has announced a new partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) that will see the curation of a new gallery at its V&A East campus. [more...]

Heritage Great Britain to invest £1.1m in Snowdon Mountain Railway

Heritage Great Britain (HGB) has announced plans to invest £1.1m (US$1,4m, €1.3m) in new hybrid diesel locomotives at its Snowdon Mountain Railway attraction in Snowdonia, Wales, in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint. [more...]

In brief:

UK's youth heritage programme wins new government funding @HeritageFundUK @DCMS #KickTheDust [more...]
World-first Duplo coaster coming to Legoland Windsor in March @LEGOLANDWindsor @mackridescom [more...]
London's Natural History Museum announces new strategy to tackle climate change after declaring 'planetary emergency' @NHM_London [more...]
Chessington plans rainforest addition @CWOA @AndersenPress @worldlandtrust [more...]
Welsh government to invest £60m in tourism @visitwales [more...]
3D printing could democratise heritage and help museums in repatriation debate [more...]
See you later alligator: plans announced for an alligator park on the Old Kent Road @AvantonL #oldkentroad #alligatorpark [more...]
Fantastic Beasts to go on display at the Natural History Museum @FantasticBeasts @NHM_London [more...]
Plans for the £337m ($438m, €394m) Museum of London (@MuseumofLondon), designed by Stanton Williams (@_SW_News), Asif Khan (@asif_can) and Julian Harrap Architects, have been submitted to the City of London Corporation. [more...]
More news from attractionsmanagement.com>>
<< Back