|by Sean O'Neill||Amusement and Theme Parks, Family Travel||2|
A Harry Potter theme park is in the works. Universal Studios is in talks with novelist J. K. Rowling to build a Harry Potter theme park in Florida, according to news first reported by the Scotland on Sunday and since confirmed by other sources. The new rides will probably become part of Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando. If the deal is signed, the half-billion-dollar park could open as early as 18 months from now. Feel free to propose names for the rides that should be created for "Hogwarts World" by posting comments below.
Meanwhile, The Simpsons will get their own attraction at Universal Studios Florida next spring. "The ride will use the 80-foot-tall movie screens and motion-simulation vehicles from Back to the Future: The Ride, to give visitors a virtual-reality trip through a cartoon theme park called "Krusty Land," says the Orlando Sentinel.
Kids get more respect: Starting on May 19, 2007, Royal Caribbean cruise line will begin to allow parents to enroll their children in their frequent cruisers reward program. Kids who are enrolled will be able to get a gift of Crayola Twistable crayons or a messenger bag, plus a coloring book. Meanwhile, starting Memorial Day, Omni Hotels will begin offering free gift packs full of toys to the children of guests, upon request, at any of its locations in the U.S. and Canada.