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Theme park news round-up - April 5, 2013

SeaWorld Orlando killer whales

Alton Towers only brought back The Sanctuary horror maze last month, as a way to compensate for the late opening of The Smiler roller coaster. Now, it has revealed that the maze will close on April 14, at the end of the Easter holidays. Meanwhile, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment will be floated on the stock market later this year, while the Orlando Sentinel has investigated a myth about the Toy Story characters at Walt Disney World.

Alton Towers

Alton Towers has revealed on its official website that The Sanctuary horror maze will close on April 14, ahead of the debut of The Smiler roller coaster in May.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

Paramount theme park, London

Plans to build a £2 billion Paramount theme park in the Thames Estuary have been delayed after a colony of rare spiders was discovered on the site.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

Drayton Manor

Drayton Manor has revealed that the new ride to be added to Thomas Land in summer 2013 will be themed around Winston, the inspection vehicle seen in the Thomas & Friends series.

Full story: Theme Park Tourist

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Owner Blackstone has reportedly decided to move ahead with an Initial Public Offering for SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., which operates the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks in the US. It is hoped that the move will raise significant funds for the business, with marketing of the sale set to begin in late April.

Full story: Bloomberg

Walt Disney World

Full credit to the Orlando Sentinel, which wasn't content to simply go along with rumors that shouting "Andy's coming!" at Toy Story characters at Walt Disney World would cause them to drop to the floor. Instead, it went to the resort and tried it out.

Full story: Orlando Sentinel

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