Big changes for Disney, Universal and more in 2016

Disneyland embarks on their biggest ever single expansion, The Incredible Hulk is stripped bare at Islands of Adventure, weather closes Knott's and Cedar Point's record-breaking Dive Coaster progresses.

Image: Disney. Concept art for Disneyland's new Star Wars Land

The Incredible Hulk coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando has had its track completely removed in a virtually unprecedented refurbishment taking place right now. The park have promised revised trains and a newly improved ride experience. There's no official word on whether the layout will change, though with the drastic removal of most track and supports, plus the demolition of some footings and the laying of new ones, it's pretty clear that the changes will be significant.

The Incredible Hulk in action. The Bolliger & Mabillard looping coaster is set to return vastly reimagined with all but the iconic launched lifthill gone.

Interestingly, rain during the typically quiet January weekdays means that Knott's Berry Farm has been closed for two consecutive days. While full closure is something reserved for only the wettest, stormy days here in Australia, it's something the Californian park does occasionally, citing low attendance and a poor guest experience from excessive ride closures due to the weather.

Rain makes for a quiet Knott's Berry Farm, so operators have decided to close the park for several days this week.

Valravn the record-breaking Dive Coaster from Bolliger & Mabillard due to open later in 2016 at Cedar Point is looking very vertical as work progresses during the bleak Ohio winter. You can view a time-lapse of the latest work below:

Valravyn is touted as the world's tallest, longest and fastest Dive Coaster. 24 riders in 8-across trains will plummet down a 90deg first drop and into a twisted 1 kilometre course featuring three inversions.

Making way for the much-hyped Star Wars Land, Disneyland gets ready to break ground with a staggering 14% of the park's attractions closing either premanently or temporarily. Starting next week, Disneyland will be permanently closing Big Thunder Ranch, plus temporarily close the Rivers of America section that includes the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Davey Crocket Explorer Canoes, Tom Sawyer Island and the Fantasmic! show. The iconic Disneyland Train will also be temporarily shut while construction is underway. It's not yet clear when the new 14 acre (5.7 hectare) area will open, but it is apparent that the area will be every bit the blockbuster that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is.

Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios will also be opening a similar 14 acre Star Wars Land.

The Millennium Falcon ship is a major theming element of the new section at both parks, and will also form the basis of one of two major attractions.


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