AU ABROAD

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PARKS

Universal Studios in L.A to open 'The Wizarding World of Harry Potter' in 2016

It has been officially announced that on April 7 next year, Universal Studios in Hollywood, California, will open the doors to their newest attraction, The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter. To announce the opening date, the team at Universal Studios celebrated by illuminating the grand centerpiece of the Harry Potter-themed installation, Hogwarts Castle.

Banksy opens Dismaland in English town; recruits Run The Jewels, Massive Attack, Pussy Riot, and more

Renowned, mysterious artist Banksy has made a bold, bizarre move and went and created his own anti-theme park - dubbed 'bemusement park' - in what he is calling Dismaland. Opening earlier this week, the large-scale project can be found in the English seaside town Weston-super-Mare and features a curiously named attractions: Water Cannon Creek, Guerilla Island, Grim Reaper Bumper Cars, and some sort of fire pit designed for book burning. If that wasn't enough, Banksy has curated a very good-looking line up of live music to help start the show with a bang.

Toy Story Land is coming to Hollywood Studios in Orlando

In addition to Star Wars Land, which was also announced today at Disney's D23 Expo in California, Orlando's Hollywood Studios will be seeing another 11 acre expansion in the form of Toy Story Land. Unlike Star Wars Land, however, Toy Story Land has already been a tested formula among Disney Parks in Paris and Hong Kong.

Disney announce "Star Wars Land" expansions for their USA theme parks at the D23 Expo 2015 in Anaheim

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It was perhaps a destiny Disney signed into action the minute they took over the iconic franchise - but it still has us very, very excited. As Universal Studios has done with the Harry Potter series' Wizarding World, Disneyland will be expanding both Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios in Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim, California, to introduce Star Wars Land to guests.

Harry Potter and Hogwarts are coming to Universal Studios Hollywood in Spring 2016

Following its success at The Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, and at Universal Studios Japan, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is set to open at the world's original Universal Studios Park, in Hollywood, in Spring 2016 (Autumn in Australia, should we get technical). Though this has been known for a while, earlier this month more details were announced about what we can expect from the largest addition to the park in years.

A world first Puss in Boots family coaster and the return of Battlestar Galactica at Universal Studios Singapore

The world's newest Universal Studios Theme Park - Universal Studios Singapore - turns five years old this year, and there have been a few new additions to the park to celebrate. Towards the end of last year, a new Puss in Boots themed show "The Dance for the Magic Beans" launched that preceded "Puss in Boots' Giant Journey", the world's first Puss in Boots themed attraction which opened in April. And just last month, the park re-opened what is described as "the world’s tallest dueling roller coasters".

Universal Studios Hollywood celebrates their 50th anniversary with Springfield, a new Fast and the Furious ride and more

Following the massive success of the seventh installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise, which is currently the fourth highest grossing film of all time on the international box office charts (and the number one film of all time in China!?), Universal Studios Hollywood have revealed more details about their forthcoming "Fast & The Furious: Supercharged" attraction, set to be unveiled on June 25th.

The Theme Park Traveller: Six Flags Fiesta Texas (San Antonio)

I've always been fascinated by Theme Parks, especially in America. The stories of how the parks originated and have since grown and thrived is often as interesting as the rides themselves. Six Flags: Fiesta Texas, located just outside of San Antonio, is no exception, with the origins of the park dating back some 25 years, and the topography of the location - once part of the Beckman quarry which went into operation in the early 1900s - makes for some of the most unique ride architecture you'll find at any park, anywhere in the world.

The Theme Park Traveller: Hong Kong Disneyland

Disneyland Hong Kong is the iconic brand's second home in Asia, after launching its Tokyo location back in 1983. It's also the Disney Theme Park that's geographically closest to Australia - and with the park originally opening in September 2005, that means that this year they will be celebrating their 10th Birthday!