Welcome to another edition of In the Loop, the Los Angeles Times' theme park newsletter. I'm Funland theme park blogger Brady MacDonald, and this week we chronicle the continuing impact of "Blackfish" on SeaWorld, prepare for the crowds at Wizarding World of Harry Potter, take a ride on a virtual reality coaster, taste-test the foods at Knott’s Boysenberry Festival and say farewell to one wooden coaster and hello to another.
SeaWorld plans to end all orca breeding programs this year in addition to phasing out the theatrical killer whale shows.
"Blackfish" filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite "never imagined" her 2013 documentary on SeaWorld would have such a major effect.
The biggest challenge facing Universal Studios Hollywood when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens will be how to handle the expected crowds.
Meanwhile, Universal has quietly raised daily ticket prices by as much as 20% ahead of the opening of the new themed land on April 7.
Wired takes a ride on the world’s first fully dedicated virtual reality roller coaster: Galactica at the United Kingdom’s Alton Towers.
Alton Towers reopens the Smiler coaster nine months after an accident on the ride critically injured five people.
Knott’s Berry Farm
I taste a dozen of the food offerings at the Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Festival and somehow avoid turning purple.
Coming and going
Demolition begins on Florida’s standing-but-not-operating Dania Beach Hurricane wooden coaster in order to make room for an $800-million shopping center.
The international expansion of Six Flags continues with the announcement of plans to build an amusement park and water park in Vietnam by 2020.
Ferrari signs a preliminary deal to build a Ferrari World theme park in China.
A bird standing on a safety sensor strands 26 riders upside down on a roller coaster for 20 minutes at Happy Valley amusement park in Beijing.