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Interviewer: Good morning. Today we’re going to talk about theme parks and we’re going to hear from Andy Wells who has written a guide to theme parks around the world. Welcome to the programme, Andy.
Andy: Hi, it’s good to be here.
Interviewer: You really have a dream job, don’t you, Andy? Flying round the world all the time, visiting adventure parks ...
Andy: Well, yes, it’s pretty exciting. But it’s really hard work too, you know.
Interviewer: I bet. So, what’s the number one theme park in the world?
Andy: That all depends what you’re looking for. In terms of numbers, it has to be Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Florida, the most famous theme park. But the most popular park for people who like adventure rides is Cedar Point in Ohio, USA. It has the biggest number of rollercoasters in one park, 17, and three water rides. There are lots of other attractions too. Last year they introduced 50 animatronic dinosaurs. You know, life-size models that move and look real.
Interviewer: Cool! Have they got anything lined up for this year?
Andy: Yeah, there’s a new rollercoaster called the Gatekeeper. Well, actually it’s not a rollercoaster, it’s a wingcoaster. It’ll be the biggest in the world.
Interviewer: What’s a wingcoaster?
Andy: With a normal rollercoaster you are sitting on a seat with the track under you. With a wingcoaster the seats kind of stick out at the side so the passengers have nothing below or above them. You feel as if you’re flying.
Interviewer: So it’s more frightening?
Andy: More exciting! Way more exciting.
Interviewer: What other attractions have you seen recently?
Andy: I’ve just been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. It’s great! You know those shops that sell magic sweets and things in the Harry Potter books? Well, they have those, just like you’ve imagined. There’s a fantastic tour of Hogwarts School where you meet characters from the books. It’s so well done.
Interviewer: Right, sounds interesting. In your book you have a lot of theme parks in Asia too. Can you tell us about them?
Andy: Sure. Tokyo has had a Disneyland for quite a long time, which attracts a lot of people. Ocean Park in Hong Kong has also been going for a long time – that has a lot of marine animals as well as rides. Lotte World, a huge park in South Korea, has the world’s biggest indoor theme park. And then there’s Universal Studios in Singapore. That’s expanding with additions to its New York street section. There’s going to be a Sesame Street dark ride. A dark ride’s a ride inside a building.
Interviewer: I see. New York in Singapore?
Andy: Yeah, it’s weird, but it works. But the place to watch at the moment is China – they’re really expanding. Lots more parks will open in China in the next few years, including another one with dinosaurs in the north, and Ocean Kingdom in the south. That will have the world’s longest roller coaster and tallest Ferris wheel, as well as boat rides and a night-time zoo.
Interviewer: Wow, so that’s opening soon?
Andy: Yes, this year. I’ll be there!
Interviewer: Have a ride for me, then.
Worksheets and downloads
Do you like theme parks? What kind of rides do you like?