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Theme park news round-up - 12th December 2012

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

There's intense interest from fans in the latest progress on the new Harry Potter land at Universal Studios Florida, and work appears to be progressing at a rapid pace. Not only are buildings rising from the ground, but the stars of the movies themselves have begun recording footage for use in the new rides. Meanwhile, there's new hope for a rescue of Kentucky Kingdom, and a major new bowling complex is now open at Walt Disney World.

Universal Studios Florida

Stars of the Harry Potter movies have reportedly descended on the Warner Bros. Studio in the UK to begin filming footage for under-construction new rides at Universal Studios Florida.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

Meanwhile, work on the rides themselves is also progressing well. Orlando Attractions Magazine has posted photos of the partially-built ride building for the planned Gringotts Bank coaster, as well as an update on progress on Transformers: The Ride - 3D.

Full story: Orlando Attractions Magazine

Kentucky Kingdom

The Governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear, has expressed confidence that a deal with former owner Ed Hart to rescue the shuttered Kentucky Kingdom theme park will go ahead.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

Walt Disney World

A new 50,000-square-foot entertainment center has opened at Walt Disney World's Downtown Disney. Known as Splitsville Luxury Lanes, the new complex offers bowling, billiards, dining, music and evening entertainment. Inside the Magic's Ricky Brigante offers his usual comprehensive look at the new addition to the area.

Full story: Inside the Magic

Meanwhile, the resort is continuing to invest in RFID technology - a trend we looked at in-depth earlier this year. Orlando Attractions Magazine reports that all resort guests are now receiving RFID-enabled "Key to the World" cards, while sensors are cropping up in a number of retail outlets and at theme park entrances.

Full story: Orlando Attractions Magazine


The Disney Parks Blog offers an in-depth look at the food that will be on offer at the newly-renamed Monsieur Paul restaurant when it reopens on December 11. The popular eatery was formerly known as Bistro de Paris, and will receive an entirely new look as well as an overhauled menu.

Full story: Disney Parks Blog

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