Monthly Archives: July 2014

Night Lizards on Display Soon at San Diego Zoo

ntlizmedA recently recovered endangered species, the island night lizard, has been added to the list of reptile species at the San Diego Zoo. Five night lizards arrived at the Zoo on July 25, 2014, brought by the U.S. Navy to be available for guest viewing. The species was removed from the endangered species list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on May 1, 2014.

“It is one of the few species that visitors to the Zoo will see that was recovered under the Endangered Species Act, and the only one estimated to occur in the millions on U.S. Navy Lands,” said Dr. Robert Lovich, senior natural resource specialist at Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) SW, Desert Integrated Product Team.

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D23 Celebrates 23rd Issue This Fall

disneytwenty-three_6.3-fall-2014_cover-sm-copyrightTo celebrate 23 issues of its collectible publication, Disney twenty-three, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club circles the planet to experience Disney’s worlds from Europe, South America, and Asia to the fantastical fictional realms of San Fransokyo and Once Upon a Time’s Enchanted Forest. The cover of the issue features a spectacular photo mosaic with a classic image of Walt and Roy O. Disney with Margie Gay of the Alice Comedies shorts series, courtesy of images of D23 Members from around the globe.

Disney twenty-three’s Fall issue, available exclusively to Gold Members of D23, starts the journey with a visit to France for an in-depth look at how the creative team at Walt Disney Imagineering brought the spectacular world of Ratatouille to life at Disneyland Paris for Ratatouille: The Adventure. Then it’s off to Japan where Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives is touring the country with a dazzling exhibit featuring more than 70 props, costumes, images, and artifacts. In “It’s A Disney World After All,” D23 goes on a non-stop tour from Latin America to the Middle East to look at Disney’s indelible mark on the rich cultures of many nations. And, in true Disney fashion, we visit the stunning and sleek fictional city of San Fransokyo for a look at spectacular concept art that inspired the upcoming Walt Disney Feature Animation release Big Hero 6.

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Disney Cruise Line – Halloween on the High Seas

treeDisney Cruise Line will treat guests sailing this fall to a wickedly good time as the Disney ships transform into a ghoulish wonderland filled with frightfully fun events and activities, special decorations, unique menu items in the restaurants and themed parties on deck.

In 2014, Halloween on the High Seas takes place on most voyages aboard all Disney Cruise Line ships from September through October. This extra-spooky celebration features Halloween-themed parties, lively entertainment and elaborate décor, including The Pumpkin Tree, which magically transforms throughout the cruise. Other special experiences include:

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Baby Visayan Warty Pigs at San Diego Zoo

Rare Visayan Warty Pigs Born at San Diego Zoo A four-week-old Visayan warty pig appears to pose for the camera under the watchful eye of its mother at the San Diego Zoo. The piglet, one of two born on June 26, is still nursing from its mother and is justTwo energetic, four-week-old Visayan warty pigs showed off their running, jumping and climbing skills earlier today at the San Diego Zoo. The piglets, born on June 26, are still nursing from their mother but are beginning to eat solid foods of fruits and vegetables and particularly seem to enjoy lettuce. Keepers describe the piglets, whose genders are yet to be determined, as extremely curious and playful.

“These piglets are full of energy, running almost immediately after they are born,” said Bob Cisneros, animal care supervisor. “They are continually learning new behaviors and spend most of their day engaging in play behaviors, though like any newborn, they sometimes take the time to nap in their beds of hay.”

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LA Haunted Hayride 2014 – Echoes From The Rift

riftLocated in Griffith Park’s Old Zoo area, the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride will become a portal to the planet’s deepest and most legendary rift, The Underworld. Larger than life portrayals of the seven deadly sins and their consequences will become “echoes from the rift” and come out to play in one of the most paranormally active sites in all of California. Celebrating its sixth season, Los Angeles Haunted Hayride boasts NEW experiences including two Apocalyptic-themed mazes (“House of the Horsemen” and “Seven Sins Sideshow”), a 40-foot long Leviathan, an interactive theatre production (“Theatre Macabre”), the world-renowned Street Drum Corps (“Blood Drums”), and the FIRST sway polers to the United States.

“Each year is a challenge to develop something completely unique that we know our attendees haven’t seen before…a challenge to out-do ourselves,” explains Melissa Carbone, CEO of Ten Thirty One Productions. “This year, we’re going to dizzy our attendees with mind blowing content that has never existed in this space by tapping techniques and skill sets that we had to import from other countries because they do not exist in the U.S. Even my jaw is to the ground!”

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Lion Country Safari Seeks Name for Baby Giraffe

Mom & Baby bendingWeighing in at 180 pounds (81.8kg) and measuring 73.5 inches (1.87m), Lion Country Safari welcomed the largest female giraffe ever born at the park. Mom, Pammella, gave birth during the early morning hours of July 18th.

So, what is her name? That’s where Lion Country Safari is asking for input via social media. Dust off that English to Swahili dictionary you have laying around and toss in your best suggestion for our newest little, big girl on Safari.

This baby and her mom are segregated from the herd in the maternity pen to allow bonding time. They are visible in the drive-through preserve (section 7, Hwange National Park) or from the giraffe feeding exhibit at Lion Country Safari. After three months, they will join the giraffe herd.

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Okapi Calf at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Baby Okapi Shows Off Stripes at  San Diego Zoo Safari ParkA two-week-old okapi calf is walking and getting comfortable exploring his barn at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The male calf, named Jackson, was born on July 6. He is staying close to his mother, Ayana, and has even begun to mimic some of her behaviors. While the young calf’s primary source of nutrition is from nursing, Jackson is curious about plant browse and has been mimicking Ayana and mouthing at browse as she forages.

Animal care staff monitors the young calf’s weight daily on a large scale that Jackson walks onto with guidance from a keeper. This part of his training will help ensure he has a strong, trusting bond with animal care staff. Weighing 57 pounds at birth, Jackson is now 80 pounds, a sign that he is getting enough nutrition from his mother.

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Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND Florida 2014

LEGOLAND Florida Brick-or-Treat LogoGuests will invade LEGOLAND Florida Resort during its kid-friendly Halloween celebration of Brick-or-Treat presented by Wells Fargo this Fall. This spooky event takes place weekends in October, and features trick-or-treating along the brick-or-treat trail, super brick build activities, the largest LEGO Jack-O-Lantern in the world, Halloween entertainment and an all-kids costume contest with brick-tastic prizes!

Activities this year include:

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Great American Nightmare Coming to Chicago in 2014

ChicagoGAN724Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare has announced a second engagement for 2014. The ultimate Halloween horror event will invade the Chicago metropolitan area select nights from September 26-November 1 at Odeum Expo in Villa Park, IL.

Opening night will also feature a special one-night-only concert with groundbreaking musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie.

“I am thrilled to be able to expand the Great American Nightmare to TWO new cities this year,” said Zombie. My only goal is to make it twice as sick as last year.”

The Great American Nightmare’s second city will feature three attractions based on Zombie’s own horror films: The Lords Of Salem In Total Black Out, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto 3D, and Haunt Of 1,000 Corpses. These attractions were first seen at the 2013 GreatAmerican Nightmare debut in Pomona, California and have been improved and enhanced based on visitor feedback.

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Mike Williams – A Knott’s Legend Rides Into the Sunset

Knotts_Dusty_1429Mike Williams is a name that most casual Knott’s guests or even fans won’t readily know. However, if you’ve ever had a brush with a fast-talking wiseguy robbing the park’s steam train, or stumbled upon a kooky old miner shuffling around in the fog during Halloween Haunt berating people with his bullhorn, chances are, you’ve crossed Mike Williams’ path, or even been a target in his sights.

For nearly 30 years, Mike worked in varying capacities at Knott’s Berry Farm, from a cook at Captain Kelly’s Cafeteria, to a train robber in Calico, to a performer in multiple entertainment productions at the Farm. While he’s been an asset to Knott’s in each of those roles, none stand out quite as much as his reign as “Dusty Geezer” during Halloween Haunt for more than two decades. Outrageous, hilarious, and in the end, a friend to everyone, Mike’s contributions to Knott’s for the past 30 years have been the stuff legend is made of.

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