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In the Loop: 32 best new theme park additions of 2016

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 bid farewell to the "Aladdin" musical, prepare to break ground on a "Star Wars" land and check out the best new rides of 2016.

The crowd reacts to an orca during a performance at SeaWorld in San Diego in 2014.
The crowd reacts to an orca during a performance at SeaWorld in San Diego in 2014. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

SeaWorld

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Are SeaWorld's whales better off staying in their glass-and-concrete enclosures? Marine biologists -- including SeaWorld critics -- agree that the whales probably will never be released to the open seas.

Also: SeaWorld sues the California Coastal Commission over a "no-breeding" clause added to the orca project. And a federal judge throws out three lawsuits that contend the theme park company falsely advertises that its killer whales are treated well.

Let's take a closer look at the 32 most-anticipated additions planned for 2016 at theme parks around the world.
Let's take a closer look at the 32 most-anticipated additions planned for 2016 at theme parks around the world. (Dollywood)

Best of 2016

We count down the 32 most-anticipated rides and attractions planned for 2016 at theme parks close to home, across the United States and around the world.

Arrow Development built many of the rides in Fantasyland before Disneyland's debut in 1955, including the Mad Tea Party.
Arrow Development built many of the rides in Fantasyland before Disneyland's debut in 1955, including the Mad Tea Party. (Disneyland)

Arrow Development

Meet the legendary ride maker that invented the modern theme park landscape of roller coasters, dark rides and water rides.

The "Aladdin" musical at Disney California Adventure comes to an end Jan. 10 after a 13-year run.
The "Aladdin" musical at Disney California Adventure comes to an end Jan. 10 after a 13-year run. (Disney)

'Aladdin' musical

"Aladdin" runs out of wishes as the curtain drops on the 13-year run of the musical at Disney California Adventure.

A celebration of “Star Wars” called Season of the Force has transformed Tomorrowland in Disneyland.
A celebration of “Star Wars” called Season of the Force has transformed Tomorrowland in Disneyland. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Star Wars Land

Disneyland prepares to shut down a significant chunk of the park to launch its largest expansion ever: a Star Wars Land.

Police blotter

A recently fired caricature artist at Universal Orlando Resort is charged with attempted first-degree murder after allegedly stabbing his manager in the head and neck with scissors, according to police.

Still need more theme park news? Check out the Los Angeles Times Funland theme park blog on Twitter, FacebookGoogle+ and Instagram. Also feel free to email me with any feedback on the newsletter.

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