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Volcano Bay

Technology elevates new theme park experiences

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For more than a moment, you feel the way “Avatar” hero Jake Sully felt plunging down the side of a floating mountain and coming just close enough to a giant wave to feel the mist on your face – all while on the back of a flying banshee that then swoons and soars high above the land of Pandora. Flight of Passage, the new signature ride of Disney World’s $500 million Pandora-World of Avatar experience, has been designed to make…

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Where’s the line? Theme parks aiming to eliminate them

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At Universal Orlando Resort’s new “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” ride, waiting in line has been replaced by lounging on couches and listening to a racy barbershop quartet sing until it’s time to enter the ride. Universal is leading the theme-park charge into “virtual lines” that give visitors options for exploring a park or watching live entertainment instead of the tedium of looking at someone’s back as you inch forward step by step to the thrill ride. “It’s…

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Orlando water park Wet ‘n Wild will close Dec. 31

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A pioneering water park in Orlando is closing after nearly 40 years of splashes. Wet ‘n Wild opened in 1977. It’s now owned by Universal Studios Water Parks, which is closing the attraction Dec. 31 to make way for a new water park called Volcano Bay that will open next summer. Wet ‘n Wild was developed by George Millay, who also founded SeaWorld in San Diego. Walt Disney World had already opened a water park in Orlando, but Wet ‘n…

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