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Theme park news round-up - January 7, 2013

Shanghai Disneyland concept art
Shanghai Disneyland is set to boast 6 on-site hotels alongside its Magic Kingdom-style theme park.

Alton Towers' highly-anticipated new SW7 roller coaster is rumoured to be facing construction delays, with large sections of track still to be installed. This could see it miss its planned March 16 opening date - and leave a trail of angry guests in its wake. Meanwhile, Walt Disney World is ready to implement large parts of its NextGen initiative, Disneyland will soon host a new musical show, and Verbolten is finally lighting up at night at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Alton Towers

The removal of a countdown clock on the official teaser site for Alton Towers' SW7 roller coaster has sparked speculation that the ride's opening date will be delayed.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

Walt Disney World

The Walt Disney World Resort is set to introduce a number of new planning tools and interactive experiences under the banner of "MyMagic+", Disney has confirmed. The move is the latest in Disney's NextGen initiative, which aims to revolutionize the guest experience at the company's theme parks and resorts.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

Disneyland

Disneyland has confirmed that a new musical show, dubbed Mickey and the Magical Map, will debut in the Fantasyland Theater in summer 2013.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

Meanwhile, the park's version of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has now closed to undergo a $4 million renovation. The ride is not expected to reopen until the fall, with large sections of the track and surrounding "mountain" due to be replaced.

Full story: CBS Los Angeles

Islands of Adventure

The Orlando Sentinel checks on progress on the construction of a new stage in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which will be used to host concerts by the Frog Choir and Beauxbatons and Durmstang students.

Full story: Orlando Sentinel

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

BGWFans reports that the headlights on the Verbolten roller coaster's car-themed trains are finally working, adding a new visual dimension to the ride at night. TPT's Brian Krosnick reviewed the coaster earlier this year (in daylight hours).

Full story: BGWFans

Shanghai Disneyland

Disney and More takes a look at recently-released plans for the Shanghai Disneyland Resort, which appear to confirm that it will boast no fewer than 6 on-site hotels.

Full story: Disney and More

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