In the last few years, animation has played a thrilling role in bringing
many theme park attraction 'visions' to life. Take for example the popular
Terminator 2 3D ride at Universal Studios, or the new Spiderman attraction
completed by Kleiser-Walczak Construction Company. One player in the game
of theme park animation is Iwerks Entertainment, a huge ridefilm company
whose clients include Universal Studios, Disney, and the IMAX Corporation.
Exactly 2 years ago they announced they would team up with visual effects
animation studio Will Vinton Studios. The pair would prove to be a
successful duo working on IMAX theaters, and Iwerks went on in the
following two years to recover from some huge financial losses.
Once again we see that Iwerks is expanding. Last week the company announced
that they are opening a new office in London, England to provide Cheshire
Oaks Warner Village Cinemas in the north of England with an Iwerks Extreme
Screen, and to complete more projects and installations in various places
throughout the UK and Europe. Strangely enough, Disney is following suite
with yet more Disneyland expansions. With the proven popularity of
Disneyland Paris the Walt Disney Company have teamed up with the Hong Kong
Government to build a new Hong Kong Disneyland. This development is
currently in a conceptual phase, and if everything goes as planned, the
park should open in 2005. Two theme park giants announcing expansion
overseas in the same week...coincidence? We think not. It seems theme parks
really do export well.
Joe Szadkowski wrote about the Spider-Man ride in "Watch Out Disney! Spider-Man is Coming to Orlando,"
in the May 1999 issue of Animation World Magazine.
Animation World Magazine's December 1998 issue features two articles on
Disney amusement parks. One discusses Walt's dreams to create his first
"park," while the other describes Disney's newest park, Animal Kingdom.
In "Disneyland: From Dream to Reality,"
Katie Mason relates Disneyland's history from Walt's dream to an attraction which has drawn over 400 million visitors since its opening day, July 17, 1955.
In "The Mouse's Wild Side: Disney's New Animal Kingdom,"
Szadkowski reports on this new destination which combines adventure,
education and fun.
In our November 1996
issue, Bob Swain interviewed director Jim Cameron's
reworking of Terminator 2 for Universal Studios theme park in Orlando,
Terminator 2 3D.