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- THEME PARK ADVENTURE LATEST STORIES, NEWS AND FEATURES
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THEME PARK ADVENTURE LATEST STORIES, NEWS AND FEATURES
On September 14th, more than 200 fans, haunters, and themed entertainment industry professionals attended Theme Park Adventure’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, which was hosted by Knott’s Berry Farm at the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel in Buena Park. The occasion marked a huge milestone for TPA, the internet’s first themed entertainment fan site, and one of the very first theme park publications ever in print in the mid-’90s.
“To give you an idea of what was happening in the world when we started TPA,” said Rick West, Founder and Editor of Theme Park Adventure, “Forrest Gump, Interview with the Vampire, and The Lion King were in movie theaters. Treasure Island, MGM Grand, and Luxor were each celebrating their first anniversaries on The Strip in Las Vegas. The original Twilight Zone Tower of Terror had just opened in Florida, construction had just begun on Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Mystery Lodge had just opened at Knott’s Berry Farm and Jaguar had been announced, and construction was well underway a few miles away at Disneyland on The Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye.”
Disneyland Resort Halloween Time 2014 marks the 14th time that Jack Skellington has visited the 999 Happy Haunts who dwell in the Haunted Mansion, transforming this attraction into Haunted Mansion Holiday. Each year, Jack dresses up as “Sandy Claws” as he and his ghost dog Zero bring ghoulish delights from Halloween Town to visit Disneyland Park.
One of Jack’s holiday traditions is leaving a special treat for the ghosts who dance around the Haunted Mansion’s Grand Hall. The annual centerpiece for this “waltz of the weird” is always a huge, creepy gingerbread creation. Jack delivers new and thrilling surprises every year.
The world’s most beloved ocean liner turns 80 on September 26 and the public is invited to join a ship-wide celebration. The Queen Mary will open her gangways and ballrooms, decks and salons, attractions and eateries to a daylong celebration highlighted by a very special event. There will be no charge for admission to the ship (10:00 AM – 7:00 PM), discounted parking and discounted ship tours and attractions. The general public — especially Long Beach residents and families — are encouraged to join the festivities.
Commemorations will include the reading of letters by King George V at the ship’s launch on Sept. 26, 1934, and a recent congratulatory message from Queen Elizabeth II on the ship’s 80th anniversary. The Queen Mary will use the anniversary event to announce a groundbreaking initiative, a forward-looking plan inspired by the ship’s eight-decades of public life and overall influence on maritime commerce.
Tonight, guests’ worst nightmares will be unleashed as Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 24 opens – drawing fans from all around the country. This year, guests will come face-to-face with some of the most recognizable and terrifying names in pop culture, as well as intensely-real original content.
Fast Facts About Halloween Horror Nights 24:
Dates: Select nights from Sept. 19 through Nov. 1
- Awards: It’s been named “Nation’s Best Halloween Event” for seven consecutive years by Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards – one of the most prestigious awards in the amusement industry.
Named after a terrifying werewolf-like creature in French folklore, Rougarou [roo-guh-roo] feeds on screams and lurks in and around the swampy lagoon at the center of the park, shared with other coasters like Iron Dragon and Top Thrill Dragster.
Rougarou’s floorless trains will take riders on an epic journey at speeds reaching 60 mph as their feet dangle just inches above the track and the murky waters below. The trains will be manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, Monthey, Switzerland, the same team behind rides like Raptor and GateKeeper, and will transform the ride experience dramatically while utilizing the structure and track of the former Mantis roller coaster.
With 2014’s Halloween Horror Nights upon us at Universal Studios Hollywood, we have one more behind the scenes peek for fans – this time, it’s from the maze The Walking Dead: The End of the Line. Last week, as temperatures hit 100+ degrees outside, HHN’s Creative Director and Executive Producer, John Murdy, took a handful of media into the Walking Dead maze, where it was easily upward of 110 degrees. We had to keep reminding ourselves that it’s Halloween season – because Mother Nature certainly hasn’t gotten the memo here in Southern California.
When Universal announced the return of The Walking Dead franchise for both of its American parks, the news was met with mixed reaction from fans – obviously, those who are hard core Walking Dead fans were immediately thrilled; those who are neutral or actually don’t like the television series (I know a few – they’re rare, but they do exist) rolled eyes and voiced their dislike. And I totally get that. When you have something as popular as Halloween Horror Nights that has only a very limited capacity for new content each season, the moment you begin repeating themes or IP content, you head down a slippery slope that is often taken as creative being run by the company’s marketing machine (which sadly, should never be the case, but is a constant battle in this industry these day), or simply as being lazy. The latter certainly isn’t the case with Universal Studios, and we know for a fact that John Murdy plays a heavy role in selecting the event’s creative content from one season to another. The bottom line – Murdy really likes the franchise, its creators, and the general public is in love with The Walking Dead (isn’t your DVR set to record the season premiere!?) still.
Ruuxa, a male cheetah cub who recently underwent surgery to repair growth abnormalities in his front limbs, showed great signs of improvement as he took a walk with his trainers and puppy pal, Raina, earlier today at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The young cheetah is on limited activity to allow his limbs to heal but he is showing no signs of slowing down. After the therapeutic walk, Ruuxa and Raina found time to engage in play behavior with some jumping, pouncing and wrestling.
The young cub was diagnosed with a growth abnormality in his forelegs where the growth plate in the ulna stopped growing before the radius, causing a bowing of the limbs. He underwent surgery to correct the abnormality on Sept. 3 at the Safari Park’s Harter Veterinary Medical Center and has been recovering, with Raina, a Rhodesian ridgeback puppy, never far from his side.
Celebrate the holidays as a family when LEGOLAND Florida Resort hosts its annual Christmas Bricktacular and Kids’ New Year’s Eve Bash celebrations, beginning weekends in December. From extraordinary holiday-themed LEGO builds and models to fireworks displays that light up the night to snowfall inside the Park, LEGOLAND Florida has exciting, family-friendly activities planned for all.
The Park wraps up the month-long celebration with the ultimate Kids’ New Year’s Eve Bash on Dec. 31, featuring a LEGO brick drop at7 p.m. midnight KST, (Kid Standard Time!) to bring in the New Year. Holiday events are included with normal Park admission.
As Veterans Day approaches, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment for the second year in a row is launching a special offer to honor all the men and women who have previously served as members of the U.S. armed services. The “Waves of Honor” salute to veterans offers 50 percent off single-day admission to the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Parks, and Sesame Place for veterans and service members, and as many as five guests. Qualified service members and veterans include active duty, retired, honorably separated officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military. Tickets must be purchased by November 11 (Veterans Day), 2014 and redeemed by December 21, 2014.
Earlier this summer, the park sent out a now-famous tweet stating that it would rename one of its coasters “King James” if LeBron James returned to Ohio. That outcome is now known. But the “ball” was back in the park’s court.