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Theme park news round-up - March 5, 2013

GateKeeper concept art
GateKeeper is almost ready to begin testing at Cedar Point ahead of its debut in May 2013.

Alton Towers has promised that The Smiler roller coaster will boast a "world's first" when it debuts in May, and it now appears that the ride will boast at least 14 inversions. This would comfortably break the current record of 10, held by Colossus at sister park Thorpe Park. Meanwhile, Universal Studios Florida has opened a new store dedicated to Transformers merchandise, while Cedar Point is almost ready to begin testing of its new GateKeeper coaster.

Alton Towers

Alton Towers has promised that its new The Smiler roller coaster will "marmalise" riders, with the attraction set to feature a record-breaking number of inversions.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida has opened a new store dedicated to Transformers merchandise, ahead of the debut of Transformers: The Ride - 3D later this summer.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

Disneyland Resort

The Orange County Register reports that six attractions will be out of action at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure various periods during March, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Silly Symphony Swings. You can see the latest refurbishment schedule in our Rehab Watch section.

Full story: Orange County Register

Cedar Point

As we reported last week, the circuit of the GateKeeper roller coaster is now complete. The Morning Journal reports that testing is expected to begin within the next few weeks, with the project as a whole ahead of schedule.

Full story: Morning Journal

Canada's Wonderland

Screamscape reports that Canada's Wonderland is set to update its version of Starlight Spectacular, renaming it as "Starlight Spectacular: Illumination of Water". This had led to speculation that new water effects could be added to the show.

Full story: Screamscape

Drayton Manor

With the park's 2013 season set to kick off on March 15, Drayton Manor has revealed that a new ride will open in the Thomas Land area this summer.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

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