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Theme park news round-up - 17th December 2012

SeaWorld Orlando killer whales

Disney's FASTPASS+ system has divided opinion among fans, but the company is pushing ahead with the introduction of advance ride reservations. Walt Disney World will pioneer the system, and has begun testing a new planning website to tie in with its launch. Meanwhile, SeaWorld Orlando offers another glimpse at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin and Kodak ends its long relationship with Disney.

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World has launched a new vacation planning website dubbed "My Disney Experience", as it prepares to roll out a new ride reservation system across its US theme parks.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando has released its latest preview video for Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, showing off the high-tech vehicles that will used on the new ride.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, the parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, is reported to be preparing an Initial Public Offering. This could enable the firm to raise up to $600 million, to help fund major investments at the chain's theme parks.

Full story: Reuters

Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens Tampa has introduced a separately-ticketed Christmas event for the first time in 2012, following in footsteps of sister park Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Inside the Magic's Ricky Brigante explores the park's festive offerings.

Full story: Inside the Magic

Disney Parks

Kodak, which is hoping to emerge from bankruptcy in early 2013, has opted to end its long-running sponsorship agreement with the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World. The firm was among Disneyland's original sponsors when it opened in 1955, and still backs the Kodak Picture Spots that appear at the resort.

Full story: Orange County Register

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