The theme park industry continues to perform well, despite the woes that have hit the global economy since 2008. In fact, there are dozens of new theme parks under construction (or soon to be) all over the world, including new parks from the likes of Disney, Universal and Six Flags. Although many of them are in the growing Asian market, there are also plans for new parks in Europe and the USA.
For globe-trotting theme park fans, there'll be a whole host of new destinations to travel to by 2018. Take a look at what could be in store, and let us know which new theme parks you are most excited about in the comments section below!
18. Twentieth Century Fox World (Genting, Malaysia)
Status: Under constructionOpening in: 2016
Located at Resorts World Genting in Malaysia, Twentieth Century Fox World will boast 25 rides and attractions based on Fox movies such as Alien vs. Predator, Ice Age, Night at the Museum, Planet of the Apes and Rio. It will be spread across 25 acres, making it a very compact park, with a modest budget of $300 million.
For comparison, Universal Studio Singapore at sister resort Resorts World Sentosa is believed to have cost more than $1 billion to construct, and covers 49 acres.
Here's a piece of artwork for an Ice Age-themed roller coaster, which looks it may have been inspired by Disneyland's Matterhorn Bobsleds.
17. Marvel Experience (various locations, USA)
We're still waiting for Disney to announce its first big Marvel theme park attraction in the US after acquiring the comic book firm in 2009, although a Marvel-based land is on its way to Hong Kong Disneyland. But Los Angeles-based Hero Ventures is planning to bring a travelling experience (which - at a stretch - we can just about call a roaming theme park) dubbed the Marvel Experience to the US throughout 2014.
Located inside the 80,000-square-foot, six-story-high "Mobile Command Center" (similar to that seen in Thor) will be a 4-D simulator ride, several 3-D animated short films, virtual reality and holographic simulators and - of course - a bunch of retail stores. The total cost is estimated at $30 million.
16. Paramount Park (Murcia, Spain)
Status: Planning phaseOpening in: 2015/2016/2017
Plans for a new Paramount-branded theme park in Spain have been mooted for several years, but construction is finally set to begin ahead of a 2015 opening (we think 2017 is probably more realistic...if the park opens at all). If the work really does go ahead this time, then the park will be only one element of a massive resort boasting no fewer than seven hotels, a "lifestyle" centre, a convention centre, an exhibition hall, condos, a casino and a mall.
Paramount Park will be made up of several themed lands, each hosting attractions based on movie and television franchises. The first of these will be Paseo Paramount, a larger-than-life avenue of shops and restaurants. It will empty into a "hub" on the edge of a lagoon. Adventure City will sit to the left of the hub, with Plaza Futura on the right (clearly, "inspired" by Disneyland's Adventureland and Tomorrowland).
Adventure City will not, in fact, be set in a jungle a la Disney. Instead, it will be anchored by a ride based on Mission: Impossible, based on the same technology as Universal's Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.
The park's equivalent of Frontierland will be Rango's West, based on the 2011 animation by Gore Verbinski, which starred Johnny Depp as a pet chameleon lost in the Mojave Desert. This will be anchored by a family mine train roller coaster named Spirit of the West, similar in style to Disney's Big Thunder Mountain.
Plaza Futura, meanwhile, will be primarily themed around Star Trek. It will host a Star Tours-style simulator ride, as well as a 100-foot-tall outdoor roller coaster dubbed "Warp Speed Coaster". It will also host a War of the Worlds themed restaurant.
You can find out more about Paramount Park in this original write-up of the plans.
15. Universal Studios Beijing (Beijing, China)
Status: In negotiationsOpening in: 2018
Universal has seen a number of theme park projects collapse or stall in recent years - Universal Studios Dubailand, Universal Studios Korea and Universal Studios Moscow are all locked in development hell. Perhaps the most promising project is Universal Studios Beijing, which would become the company's third Asian park after Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Singapore if it goes ahead.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Beijing park would cost around $2 billion and would be built in collaboration with a local state tourism company. Construction is said to be due to start in late 2014, although we've heard such rumors before. The Beijing Tourism Group will provide the land, while Universal will design the park.
14. IMG Adventure World (Dubai)
Status: Under constructionOpening in: 2014/2015
The Marvel Experience won't be the only Marvel theme park to open in 2014 without the involvement of Disney's Imagineers. Back in 2012, the Disney-owned firm signed a deal with Dubai's IMG Group to open a 350,000-square-feet indoor attraction containing retail outelts, restaurants and "interactive entertainment experiences".
Marvel will only be represented in one of the lands at IMG Adventure World. The other three areas will be Lost Valley-Dinosaur Adventure, IMG Boulevard and the child-friendly Cartoon Network (based on another set of licenses properties).
Although construction work is well underway, we think that the mooted 2014 opening date is a little ambitious. 2015 seems more likely.
13. Red Sea Astrarium (Aqaba, Jordan)
Status: In planningOpening in: 2017
Though it is often referred to as the "Star Trek theme park", The Red Sea Astrarium will actually consist of a combination of dining, retail, nighttime entertainment venues, shows and rides. The headline attraction, though, will indeed be the Star Trek Experience. The whole shebang will be located on the shores of the Red Sea, hence the name.
Among the attractions promised for the resort are a "time-travel flight simulator" to the Wonders of the World, a huge fountain show, a show in a 3-D dome, a themed dining show featuring stage magic and illusion, a 600-seat theater and the Star Trek attraction. This is set to feature a "space-flight adventure", and will be developed in conjunction with Paramount Recreation.