Most-anticipated tourist attractions opening in 2014

2014-01-03 15:03


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Locally there has been talk about a new Cable Car planned for the Drakensberg, but the question of getting enough feet through the door and whether the attraction can cover its massive investment costs of R500 million has made it unclear if it will open in 2014 or not.

You can however check out any one of these most anticipated new museums, theme parks and tourist attractions that will be going ahead across the globe. Know of anything we should be including in this list, email us to let us know -

Cartoon Network’s Amazone - Bang Saray, Thailand

Opening Date: Late 2014

With more than a 11 million people visiting Thailand in 2013, the Cartoon Network's first theme park, Amazone can only add to the destination's appeal.

Set to be a  14-acre water park that allows visitors to splash around with their favorite Cartoon Network friends, like Ben 10 and his aliens, Adventure Time’s Finn and Jake, The PowerPuff Girls and Johnny Bravo, it could see Thailand earning family-holiday brownie points.

Located 20 minutes from Pattaya and 90 minutes from Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok) International Airport, the $30 million park will become the biggest landmark attraction in the tourism hotspot of Bang Saray.

IMG Worlds of Adventure - Dubai, UAE
Opening Date: Late 2014

Dubai developments have become synonymous with world-record setting status and the IMG Worlds of Adventure is to be no exception.

In 2014 you can expect to visit Dubailand Worlds of Adventures, pegged as world’s largest indoor theme park, spanning 1.5 million square feet and comprising of four main zones: Marvel, Lost Valley; Dinosaur Adventure; Cartoon Network and IMG Boulevard.

But the record setting status doesn't end there. Promoters are promising a number of world firsts in addition to the standard amusement park lineup of adrenaline-pumping roller coasters, immersive themed experiences and dazzling live performances. It is expected to draw 20 000 visitors a day when it opens in the second half of 2014.

Funtasy Island -- Riau Islands, Indonesia

 Opening Date: Late 2014

Located off the coast of Singapore, a new development project known as Funtasy Island is set to become the largest "eco theme park" and first gated island community in the world when it opens in 2014.

Made up of 413 hotel suites and villas , eco-themed activities included on the 810-acre complex are aquaculture tours in the surrounding waters, nature trails and adventures into the islands’ unspoiled areas.

Developer Meritus Hotels & Resorts plans to preserve 70 percent of the archipelago as a nature sanctuary and with its completion, visitors will now have one more reason to visit Singapore, besides the usual attractions such as Universal Studios, Resorts World, Marina Bay Sands.

Universal's The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Osaka, Japan

Opening date:  July 2014

The sprawling Osaka attraction is modeled after the original Wizarding World that opened to the public within the Universal Orlando Resort in 2010, in the United States.

The Harry Potter theme park will feature Hogsmeade Village where visitors can enjoy a pint of Butterbeer, Ollivanders Wand Shop where aspiring wizards go to get their, well, magic wands, and a toy store that will have among others, Screaming Yo-yos. Total construction costs are estimated to run in the region of 45 billion yen ($440 million).

Wing Rider Heide Park, Germany 

Opening date: April 2014

Heide Park will open Germany's first Bolliger & Mabillard Wing Rider roller coaster in April 2014. The ride will be installed at a cost of €15 million.

The coaster's trains will feature "wings" that protrude over the sides of the track. This enables the creation of "near-miss" experiences, and the ride is likely to interact with the surrounding scenery.

The Wing Rider will feature a relatively short 2,532 feet circuit, but will pack in five inversions including an Immelmann loop, a zero-g roll and a pretzel loop. Riders will hit a top speed of 62 miles per hour, with the coaster's lift hill standing at 131 feet tall.

Mystetskyi Arsenal - Kiev, Ukraine
Opening Date: Late 2014 (certain parts are already open)

An 18th century arms store, once used for top-secret military purposes by Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union, is set to become Europe’s largest art center.

It is spread across 25 acres and will contain digital libraries, art laboratories and, for its opening, exhibitions featuring the works of Edvard Munch, Gustav Klimt and Frida Kahlo. The museum is set to establish Kiev as an international arts center and add to its appeal as design and creative destination.

High Roller Ferris Wheel - Las Vegas, USA

Opening Date: July 2014

This 550-foot High Roller Ferris wheel is the centrepiece of  Las Vegas' $550 million Linq project from Caesars Entertainment Corp and it will eclipse the Singapore Flyer by about 10 feet to become the world’s tallest observation wheel when it opens to the public in early 2014.

The ride’s 28 enclosed cabins, expected to be fitted out with flat-screen TVs featuring audiovisual shows, can carry up to 40 passengers and an entire revolution will take about 30 minutes to complete.

In true Vegas fashion, designers will outfit the futuristic pods with ; passengers will whet their whistles with an array of cocktails onboard; and the wheel will

Reports reveal that Vegas' glory which will light up the Sin City night with 1 500 LED bulbs, is going to be short lived as a 625-foot wheel will rise above Staten Island, NY in May 2016.

Cinecitta World - Rome, Italy

Opening Date: First half of 2014

Rome’s $800 million off-again-on-again Cinecitta World theme park looks like it will finally open in the first half of 2014. It is set to feature rides based on some of the 3 000-odd movies and television shows produced by Cinecitta Studios such as “Ben-Hur,” “La Dolce Vita,” “Gangs of New York” and HBO’s “Rome”.

The park will open in four phases, with the first featuring rides designed for children and families. Later sections of the cinema-themed destination will boast theaters, shops and restaurants, roller coasters and film sets. When completed, it will become the first large-scale modern attraction near Rome, attracting an anticipated 1.5 million visitors each year.

One World Trade Center & Memorial Museum - New York, USA

Opening Date: June 2014

The One World Trade Center will finally open for business in 2014 as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

The new National September 11 Memorial Museum  will be dedicated to the memory of the nearly 3 000 people who died at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan and the soaring skyscraper will offer tourists the chance survey the city.

The museum will display victims' possessions as well as recorded messages about them from family and friends - allowing visitors to reflect on the events of 9/11 and consider a range of issue that continue to define the world we live in.

SkyScreamer Six Flags, New England

Opening Date: Early 2014

Six Flags New England is planning to install the world's tallest spinning tower ride for the 2014 season, with its version of SkyScreamer set to stand at some 400-feet-tall. The new ride is set to stand just two feet taller than the Funtime Star Flyer ride at Austria's Prater Park, which is currently the tallest ride of its type.
Like other versions of the ride, Six Flags New England's SkyScreamer will offer a vertigo-inducing variation on the traditional "Chair-O-Plane" ride experience. Guests will be seated in chairs that dangle from a circular gondola, which will spin as it rises to the top of the tower, offering views across the park and beyond.

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