October 5, 2023, 8:11 PM ·
Get ready for another season of behind-the-scenes looks at popular Disney theme park attractions.
Disney+ has announced that a second season of “Behind the Attraction” will drop on November 1. The first, 10-episode season in 2021 featured Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, Star Tours, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and Space Mountain. [Disney Invites Fans to Peek ‘Behind the Attraction’] This new six-episode second season will highlight Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Indiana Jones Adventure, EPCOT, Food, and Nighttime Spectaculars. And I use the verb “highlight” intentionally. Created by Brian Volk-Weiss (“The Toys That Made Us”), “Behind the Attraction” featured a brisk, breezy style designed to pull in casual Disney fans. It’s highlights rather than deep dives, and we should expect more of that style this season. Stay tuned for more about these new episodes – which include two of my old Walt Disney World attractions – later this month.
On Sunday, Sesame Place Philadelphia will open its new 6,800-square-foot Sesame Place Store, which the park is calling the largest Sesame Street-themed store in the world. Season Pass Members will get a sneak peek at the store on Friday. The store will be open year-round.* * *
SeaWorld San Antonio is the latest theme park to go solar in its parking lot, beginning construction of a solar canopy that will shade approximately 1,200 spots in the VIP section of its parking lot. The canopy’s solar panels will have a capacity of 4.3 megawatts and generate 16% of the park’s electricity consumption, according to SeaWorld.Construction is expected to be complete by April, with the solar power coming online by August.* * *
In financial news, entertainment and design firm Falcon’s Beyond Global will begin trading on Nasdaq Friday morning. To celebrate, representative from the company will ring the opening bell at the stock exchange on October 10. The company’s Falcon’s Creative Group worked on Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Battle for Eire, SeaWorld Orlando’s Turtle Trek, SeaWorld San Diego’s Manta, Motiongate Dubai’s Lionsgate Zone, and the IMG Worlds of Adventure theme park, among many other projects around the world.* * *
Finally, Merlin Entertainments has announced the impending retirement of its Chief Financial Officer, Alistair Windybank. (That’s a borderline aptronym there.) Alistair joined Merlin in 2008 from Deloitte and have served as the company’s CFO since 2020. “Even before he was CFO, he was a key member of the team, and has played an important part in Merlin’s international growth and success,” CEO Scott O’Neil said. “Notably, he played a key role in taking the company public back in 2013 and more recently in helping steer Merlin successfully through the pandemic. We will all miss Alistair enormously and are reassured that we have many months with his guidance and support, while his successor is found, and an orderly handover takes place.”To keep up to date with more theme park news, please sign up for Theme Park Insider’s weekly newsletter.