Disney Reopening Long-Closed Park, Closing Another

Disney World is adding a “Frozen” theme to one of its parks.

Long-term or permanent closures of theme parks are rare occurrences in the industry.

The new Lost Island Theme Park near Waterloo, Iowa, abruptly closed in late August, suffering from low attendance after only being open for a little over two months. The park opened for business June 18 hoping to attract about 2,500 to 3,000 guests a day, but the owner told The Gazette in Cedar Rapids that they were seeing only 100 to 300 visitors a day, Theme Park Insider reported.

The Midwestern theme park, which is the sister park to Lost Island Water Park just down the road in Waterloo, includes rollercoasters and thrill rides, water rides, kids’ rides, an arcade and playgrounds. The new Lost Island didn’t make it through the summer, but the park’s website message to fans says: “Thanks For A Great Season! See You In 2023.” So, it looks like the park isn’t permanently closed

Cedar Fair  (FUN) – Get Cedar Fair L.P. Report, which owns California’s Great America in Santa Clara, Calif., said on June 27 that it has sold the land beneath that theme park to developer Prologis for $310 million, according to a company statement.

Theme Park Will Permanently Close

The sale includes a lease agreement that allows Cedar Fair to operate Great America for up to 11 years and then close the park operations permanently at the end of the lease. 

California’s Great America was originally developed in 1976 by Marriott Corp. to coincide with the nation’s bicentennial celebration. Marriott sold the park operations to Paramount Communications in 1992, the parent company of Paramount Pictures, which renamed the park Paramount’s Great America. Cedar Fair bought the park from Paramount in 2006 and renamed it California’s Great America.

Disney World’s Blizzard Beach, which first opened in April 1995, has been closed since Jan. 3 for an extended refurbishment that included slide replacement at the family Teamboat Springs raft ride and a slide conveyor belt lift at the Runaway Rapids slides. Before closing for refurbishment, it had reopened March 7, 2021, after being closed during the covid pandemic, according to WDWMagic.

Popular Water Park Reopening

Disney plans to reopen Blizzard Beach again on Nov. 13 for arctic adventures in the former Florida ski resort (yes, it has a past life as a ski resort) and new “Frozen”-themed features in the park’s Tikes Peak area, a Disney statement said. The water park features heated water throughout the facilities and will offer limited-time holiday offerings, including holiday-themed treats, snowfall and festive inner tubes. There will even be a tropical dressed Santa Claus at the park.

While Blizzard Beach is reopening and celebrating the holidays, another Disney World water park will close on Nov. 13 to begin refurbishment. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon website declared it would be closed that day, but did not list a reopening date. It also doesn’t list any other details about the refurbishment plans.

Typhoon Lagoon’s attractions include a massive Surf Pool, Crush ‘n’ Gusher raft ride, Miss Adventure Falls whitewater ride and Ketchakiddee Creek water playground for kids. For those who just want to relax in the sun on the sand, there are open-air Beachcomber Shacks and plenty of umbrellas to provide shade.

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