THEME PARK ADVENTURE LATEST STORIES, NEWS AND FEATURES

For the past 20 years, Theme Park Adventure has been an industry standard for fans and professionals alike. Predating the internet, TPA began as a printed newsletter that reached enthusiasts around the globe as we covered such stories as Luxor Las Vegas’ First Anniversary, the construction and opening of The Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Resort, the creation of Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World, and the Farewell Season of the Main Street Electrical Parade in Anaheim. At the same time, Theme Park Adventure was also unintentionally becoming the pioneer of covering Halloween events, such as Knott’s Scary Farm in Buena Park, California. Over the past two decades, TPA has indulged in the haunted attraction industry, from small home displays to professional stand-alone Halloween events and major theme park productions such as Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights! Our fan base consists of many haunt enthusiasts and producers – an unintentional portion of the themed entertainment industry that we are thrilled to be a part of on an on-going basis! TPA owners Rick West and Johanna Atilano are both professionals within the themed entertainment industry, making this site not only an incredibly fun hobby, but a valued and important part of their lives; a creative and informative extension of who they are and what they do professionally. Each month, Theme Park Adventure hosts large mixers, which fans and themed entertainment professionals attend in a virtual who’s who that is absolutely open to everyone! Theme Park Adventure has become more than just a magazine or fan site; we are a community of creative individuals who share a love of entertainment, theme parks and the spookiest season of them all – Halloween! We invite you to sit back and enjoy all that we have to offer here, from stories and reviews to videos and image galleries; partake, discuss, and become part of the TPA community we we take you on a ride through the past, present, and the future!

Cedar Point Partnership with LeBron James Family Foundation

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promiseIt’s time to make good on a promise – and it’s bigger and better than expected.

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.

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Nightfall Returns to Old Tucson

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OT_NF_300x250Nightfall is back at Old Tucson!  The zombies and ghouls have been working all summer long to bring Southern Arizona another haunting Nightfall event.  This year’s scarefest features new and improved “frights” for its many fans and newcomers alike.

Nightfall is unlike any other Halloween themed event.  No one else presents live shows that entertain and amaze tens of thousand of visitors.  This year’s offerings range from family-friendly magic to a dramatic other-worldly struggle to raucous comedy.  Nightfall shows include:

Nightfall Opening Ceremony:  A gathering of Nightfall residents hosted by the devilishly funny Gargoyles devolving into mayhem sets the stage for what is to come as the sun fades – NIGHTFALL!

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Four Lion Cubs on Display at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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"Mom, Here I Am" Ernest, a three-month-old male African lion cub at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, gets playful with his mother, Oshana, as sisters Miss Ellen, Marion and Evelyn bask in the sunshine. Oshana, who gave birth to the four cubs on June 22 inFour African lion cubs cautiously followed their mother out of their den onto their new exhibit last week at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. To the delight of Safari Park visitors, the cubs provided lots of ooh and aah moments, and plenty of photo opportunities, as they approached the viewing windows at Lion Camp and then began exploring the habitat. The cubs mostly followed mom’s lead while exploring, but occasionally, bravely ventured off on their own to check out the long grass to play in and logs and rocks to climb.

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A Future for Cheetahs Conservation Speaker Series at Oakland Zoo

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cheetahOn Thursday, September 18, 2014, from 6:30pm – 9:00pm, the public is invited to attend a Conservation Speaker Series featuring author Dr. Laurie Marker and wildlife photographer Suzie Eszterhas. Dr. Marker wrote “A Future for Cheetahs,” with striking photography by Suzie Eszterhas. The pair will present the problems facing cheetahs in the wild – with a focus on human wildlife conflict and what’s being done right now to save this species from extinction. “I am thrilled to have Dr. Marker and Suzie Eszterhas here at the Zoo to share their work and experiences with the community,” said Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at Oakland Zoo. “Cheetah Conservation Fund sets a wonderful example for other wildlife conservation issues, large and small. We are ready to be inspired.”

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An American Werewolf in London Maze Preview 2014

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Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors… That warning lives on in the hearts of An American Werewolf in London Fans everywhere. And in just a matter of days, fans of the John Landis film will get a chance to live the American Werewolf experience at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights!

An American Werewolf in London at Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights 2014On Friday, September 12th, Theme Park Adventure joined Creative Director/Executive Producer of Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights, John Murdy, for a special behind-the-scenes look at arguably the most highly-anticipated maze this year at the theme park’s event, An American Werewolf in London. A handful of selected media outlets piled into a waiting van and were driven to the park’s Lower Lot, where the maze has been built in the extended queue of the Jurassic Park attraction.

While Halloween certainly hangs heavy in the air, it was hard to ignore that it was over 90 degrees here in Los Angeles as we stood outside the facade of the maze – a perfect reproduction of the Slaughtered Lamb pub, as featured in the movie. Inside the maze, temperatures rose to probably close to 110 degrees as the finishing touches were being put on the attraction. We have utmost respect for the folks that have put the Halloween Horror Nights mazes together in really nasty heat the past several weeks; there are no fans, no ventilation, or reprieve from the oppressive temperatures within each maze.

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SeaWorld San Diego’s Halloween Spooktacular 2014

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seaworldWhere can kids meet some fun and funny Halloween characters, pose for pictures with mesmerizing mermaids and trick-or-treat in a sea-inspired atmosphere?  It’s all happening at SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular, where Halloween meets the sea.  Also, kids can visit the park for free in October with the purchased of a full-priced adult admission.

SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular festivities are geared for kids 12 years and under, who are invited to come in costume and enjoy trick-or-treating and colorful costumed characters from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the following weekends:  Sept. 27–28, Oct. 4–5, Oct. 11–12, Oct. 18–19 and Oct. 25–26, 2014.  Youngsters can also take in some Halloween-themed shows, including one starring SeaWorld’s prankster-loving pinnipeds Clyde and Seamore.

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Baby Rhino Makes Debut at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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Greater one-horned rhino calf at the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkA 4-week-old greater one-horned rhino calf and her mother explored the Asian Plains exhibit this week at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The female calf, named Petunia, stayed close to her mother while venturing out and exploring the 40-acre exhibit.

Petunia, born on August 1 to mother Tanaya, weighed only 128 pounds (greater one-horned rhino calves usually weigh between 132 and 176 pounds at birth), so animal care staff had to keep a 24-hour watch on the newborn rhino. After growing and gaining some strength, Petunia was ready to leave her protected yard and meet the rest of the rhino family.

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Dental Day for Giant Panda at San Diego Zoo

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Giant Panda Undergoes Dental Procedure at San Diego ZooVeterinary staff at the San Diego Zoo performed a dental procedure on giant panda Bai Yun this morning at the Zoo’s Jennings Center for Zoological Medicine. Keepers had noticed a chip in one of Bai Yun’s lower canines. After a dental exam was performed and X-rays taken, the Zoo’s veterinary team proceeded to repair the chipped tooth on the anesthetized panda.

A dental composite was used to fill in the damaged tooth, which was then cured with a light to seal the filled part of the tooth. After the tooth was smoothed and cleaned, the veterinary team performed a dental cleaning and took some images of Bai Yun’s teeth.

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HalloWeekends 2014 at Cedar Point Begins TONIGHT!

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HalloWeekends 2014 at Cedar Point“Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and caldron bubble.” If the thought of a group of wicked witches working on a mystical brew sends shivers down your spine, you may want to stop reading now. However, those with no fear of flying broomsticks will delight in the announcement that Cedar Point’s annual festival of fright, HalloWeekends, kicks off its 18th season of thrills and chills this weekend. This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever, with even more family friendly fun during the day and frightfully haunting experiences after the sun goes down.

Highlighting the lineup of scares this year will be Hexed, Cedar Point’s new witch-themed haunted house. Decrepit witches and their gaggle of small minions roam around this sinister new attraction working on spells and potions that have gone horribly wrong. Hexed will be located next to the exit of the GateKeeper roller coaster and will be Cedar Point’sfifth haunted house, joining Zombie High School, G. A. Boeckling’s Eerie Estate, Eternity Infirmary and Eden Musee.

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Hispanic Heritage Celebration at Los Angeles Zoo

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Hispanic Heritage Celebration at the Los Angeles Zoo PHOTO CREDIT:  Jamie PhamThe Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens shines a spotlight on animals from Latin America, South America and Mexico at its Hispanic Heritage Celebration weekend on Saturday and Sunday, September 27 and 28, 2014, 10 am to 4 pm, that also features live performances by the Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas, Latin American-inspired craft projects for youngsters, up-close “Animals and You” visits with Latin American animals, and mini tours and animal enrichment activities in the Zoo’s South America area and the new Rainforest of the Americas.  Other musical and dance entertainment includes performances both days by Salvadorian Folklorico group ASOSAL, Music Center on Tour artist Ballet Folclorico do Brasil, and Ballet Folklorico Maria Felix, the Mexican community group.  Author Cecilia Velastagui is featured on Saturday with a presentation and reading from her popular Olinguito Speaks Up book for children, and a giant, 21-foot iguana statue for fun photo ops greets visitors in the Zoo’s entry plaza.

The events, highlighting the diversity of Latin American cultures and animals native to the Americas, are held amid Latino Heritage Month. “The Los Angeles Zoo has one of the most diverse collections of reptiles and amphibians in any Zoo, and we are especially proud of our work in Latin America, resulting one of the largest collections of Latin American reptiles in the world,” notes Ian Recchio, LA Zoo Curator of Amphibians, Reptiles and Fish. “Mexico has more species of reptiles that any country on earth, and because of that we work with our neighbors to preserve its unique reptile species and display many of them at our LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates and Reptiles) exhibit.” The Zoo’s Rainforest of the Americas, which opened earlier this year, features an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians that inhabit the rainforests of Mexico, Central America and South America.

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