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Theme park news round-up - 21st November 2012

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad artwork

In a surprise move, SeaWorld has acquired one of the three Knott's Soak City water parks in California, and plans to convert it into a third Aquatica park ahead of the 2013 season. Meanwhile, a second Pirates of the Caribbean-themed attraction has "soft opened" at Walt Disney World, New Fantasyland has begun previews at the Magic Kingdom, and Kings Island has finished its demolition of the former Son of Beast roller coaster.

Aquatica San Diego

In a surprise move, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has acquired the Knott's Soak City water park in Chula Vista and plans to convert into Aquatica San Diego ahead of the 2013 season.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Walt Disney World has begun previews of the new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The walkthrough attraction opened to guests at the park this week, as part of a "soft opening" period ahead of its official debut on December 6, 2012.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

Magic Kingdom

The official preview period for New Fantasyland has begun, enabling all guests at the Magic Kingdom to explore the expanded area ahead of its official debut on December 6. Disney has launched a new website for the land, offering a fly-through animation of New Fantasyland's attractions.

Full story:

Meanwhile, Disney has revealed new details of the backstory that will accompany the new, interactive queue line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The plot will revolve around Barnabas T. Bullion, a gold magnate who runs the Big Thunder Mining Company and is struggling to extract the gold within the mountain.

Full story: Disney Parks Blog

Kings Island

Kings Island has completed the demolition of the former Son of Beast roller coaster, which has been closed since June 2009. The coaster's fate was sealed in July, when Kings Island announced that it would never again reopen. The ride has been closed since an incident in 2009 that saw a woman claim that it had caused a blood vessel in her brain to burst. You can see video footage of the ride's lift hill being torn down below:

Full story: Fox2News

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