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Theme park news round-up - 22nd November 2012

Alton Towers hut concept art

Alton Towers' plans rarely escape opposition from locals, and its proposal for a Lord of the Rings-style lodge development is now under attack. Meanwhile, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is showing signs of life after a difficult year, Paultons Park has shown off the interior of its new 4D cinema, and Epcot's Test Track Cast Members have a funky new outfit.

Alton Towers

As usual when Alton Towers proposes a new development, local residents have chimed in to protest against its plans to build 150 new Hobbit-style lodges. The Whiston Action Group will make a formal representation to the district and county councils against the plans, with Staffordshire Moorlands District Council due to make a decision on them within the next few weeks.

Alton Towers hole concept art

Image © Alton Towers

As shown above, Alton Towers is pursuing plans to build a new set of on-site lodges, "holes" and "huts", some of which will resemble the Hobbit houses seen in Lord of the Rings. These are expected to open for bookings in spring 2014.

Full story: This is Staffordshire

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach has had a tough year, with the poor summer weather and the impact of the London Olympics taking a toll on attendance. Cost-cutting measures, including the actual and rumoured closures of several older attractions, have already been mooted, but the park has reported an improvement in performance during the autumn season. Hopes are high that the debut of Wallace & Gromit's Thrill-O-Matic in 2013 will help improve its fortunes.

Full story: Blackpool Gazette

Paultons Park

Paultons Park has released a new image showing off the interior of its new 4D cinema attraction, which will make its debut at the start of the 2013 season.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist


With the updated Test Track - Presented by Chevrolet due to officially reopen on December 6, Disney has revealed the new costumes that will be worn by Cast Members working on the attraction.

Test Track costumes
Image © Disney

Full story: Disney Parks Blog

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