As the 2005 season draws to a close we look forward to what's new for U.K. theme parks in 2006.At Thorpe Park a new 200 foot tall roller coaster is to be built where Model World and the Flying Fish are currently located. Due to open for the start of the 2006 season in March 2006, it will have a racing theme and appears to be a direct response to Alton Towers' Rita: Queen of Speed.
Acceleration from 0-80mph in around 2.5 seconds is promised followed by a vertical climb up a 205ft tall peak and descent at 90 degrees.At Alton Towers the main development seems aimed at the younger market, a new experience based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will replace the current Toyland Tours ride.
4 million is being spent.At Chessington my favourite ride, Bubbleworks, is to be given a makeover with Imperial leather soap as the sponsor. Lots more bubbles, with lots of foam flying around we hope. A welcome lick of paint too for Market Square, with Rameses Revenge possibly being re-themed to appeal to Chessington's younger audience.Not much happening, as far as we know yet, at other theme parks in England.
At Drayton Manor all efforts are concentrated on the new water park due in 2007.U.K. Theme park fans must be green with envy when they look at creation of huge new theme parks around the world. A new billion pound theme park and water park in Dubai will be called Aqua Dunya. In Hong Kong Disney is planning a 2nd park, whilst they have just opened in Japan.
And so on.But the prospects of any new theme parks in the U.K. seem remote. All that is on the horizon is the new water park at Drayton Manor and the possible expansion of attractions at West Midland safari Park. Local politicians in Norwich floated the idea of a new theme park in East Anglia earlier this year, but this has come to nothing.
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By: John Dunn