Monthly Archives: January 2015

Delusion: Lies Within 2014 Review

Delusion_PosterRetail_19X27Without a doubt, one of the most popular heavyweight champions of Southern California’s Halloween season is Delusion. Whether you consider it a haunted attraction or simply a spooky play that you star in that happens to take place during the haunt season, there are no two ways about it – Delusion has become a national and international sensation that a very broad range of fans are drawn to each year here in Los Angeles, and coming off of an amazingly successful 2014 run, there are no signs whatsoever that Delusion is slowing down in momentum; on the contrary – this might just be an experience that could survive here year-round in Southern California.

Delusion’s creator, Jon Braver, does not readily embrace the idea that his Haunted Play concept is a haunted attraction or Halloween-specific event. This is something that he and I have discussed and debated for years, ever since Delusion debuted in 2011 right here in Los Angeles, taking the haunt season by storm. Part interactive play, part haunted house, Delusion places guests in the story and immerses them in a lengthy, completely satisfying production that leaves your head spinning. Dazzling special effects, a very detailed story line, and top-notch actors are the hallmarks of what makes Jon Braver’s Delusion experience so different than anything we’ve ever covered.

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Voyage to the Iron Reef Opening at Knott’s May 15, 2015

Voyage to the Iron Reef On-Ride 2Knott’s Berry Farm has announced the opening date of its new interactive attraction, Voyage to the Iron Reef! Guests will be able to take on the Reef and its mysteries beginning May 15th, 2015!

Voyage to the Iron Reef will be a spectacular new interactive 4-D attraction for the entire family.  Save Knott’s from mysterious creatures emerging from the seas beneath the Boardwalk in a cutting edge media-based battle. Through enchanting underwater forests, disorienting ocean current tunnels, and mysterious mechanical wreckage, high definition 3-D animation will surround guests at every turn.

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Chinese New Year at Bellagio Conservatory in Las Vegas

bellagio-conservatoryBellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens invites guests to celebrate Chinese New Year with a captivating display commemorating the Year of the Yang, now through March 15. Brought to life by 22,000 flowers in vibrant hues of red and gold, the display features an assortment of silk-lantern chandeliers and unique Asian vignettes that incorporate elements of Chinese design.

In Chinese and other Asian cultures, the upcoming new year is the celebration of the Year of the Yang which simultaneously honors the Goat, Sheep and Ram. Paying homage to the different forms of the Yang, the Conservatory will recognize the Goat while the Ram will be honored elsewhere around the resort.

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Busch Gardens Tampa Expecting Another Gorilla Birth

BUSCH_GARDENS_TAMPA - BOLINGO with MARYAfter a successful gorilla birth last December, Busch Gardens Tampa is excited to announce the pregnancy of 27-year-old endangered western lowland gorilla, Mary. Mary is expected to give birth in March 2015.

Mary came to Busch Gardens in February 2010 from Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas with daughter Pele, who gave birth to a male this past December. While Mary has given birth five times, this is her first pregnancy at Busch Gardens, and would be the park’s third successful birth. Bolingo, the suspected sire, was Busch Gardens’ first gorilla birth in 2005.

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Winter Nights at Don’s 2 TPA Mixer Announced

TPA-Winter-2014-Winter-Nights-webIt’s been a long, cold, bitter winter here in Southern California (yeah…), and as the season begins to change (yeah…), it’s time we bid farewell to winter 2015 as we come together on Sunday, February 15th at 7 P.M. at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach for a night of networking, laughter, great tiki drinks, and mouth-watering eats!

TPA’s Winter Night’s at Don’s 2 will be our final winter mixer of 2015, and will make for the perfect ending to Valentine’s Day weekend! Talk about a nerdy love fest! Couples, groups, and single folks are encouraged to come out for the evening – who knows… your nerdy soul mate just might be there waiting for you! As usual, our monthly mixer will take place at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach, and is open to all theme park fans, haunters, and industry professionals alike – you never know who’s going to show up!

If you’ve never been to one of our mixers, now is the perfect time; even if you come alone! You’ll be welcomed into the community and instantly surrounded by like-minded individuals. Plus, it’s Valentine’s weekend… we’ll have candy. Oh, yes; there will be candy.

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Jimmie Van Zant Kicks Off Velvet Sessions at Universal Orlando

Jimmie-Van-ZantHard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando’s 2015 Velvet Sessions lobby concert series will kick off with Jimmie Van Zant performing hits Sweet Home Alabama, Free Bird, Simple Man, Traveling Man, What’s Your Name?, Southern Rock and more!

Velvet Sessions is Hard Rock Hotel’s special rock ‘n’ roll cocktail party and lobby concert held the last Thursday of the month (January through October). Log onto velvetsessions.com to buy your tickets and to receive monthly updates on who’s playing.

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Arciniaga Wins Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort

star-wars-marathon-disneylandThe Force was obviously with Nick Arciniaga at Disneyland Resort. The Fountain Valley, California native blasted along an intergalactic journey last weekend to win the inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon presented by Sierra Nevada Corporation at Disneyland Resort, his second runDisney victory here in the past five months.

Arciniaga, 31, who now lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, won the Disneyland Half Marathon in August before breaking the finishing line tape first again Sunday, this time greeted at the finish by Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy dressed as their favorite Star Wars characters. Jason Ryf of Oshkosh, WI was second (1:10:56) and Jacob Abrego of Corpus Christi, Texas, was third (1:14:49).

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Winter Nights at Don’s Kicks Off 2015 TPA Mixers

Winter-Nights-2015-2_0221On Sunday, January 18th, Theme Park Adventure hosted its first mixer of 2015 at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach! Our Winter Nights at Don’s event was attended by many fans, haunters and themed entertainment industry professionals as we ate, drank and laughed the night away!

There were many new faces this month, in addition to familiar “regulars”, signalling a very positive increase in support and growth for the TPA community; we love that, and are thrilled that we met so many new friends this month at our Winter Nights gathering!

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Bardot Brasserie Now Open at Aria Las Vegas

bardot-aria-las-vegasBARDOT Brasserie, Las Vegas’ debut French concept from James Beard award-winning chef Michael Mina, is now open for dinner and weekend brunch at ARIA Resort & Casino. Paying homage to the skillful culinary techniques, celebrated libations and sexy atmosphere for which The City of Light is renowned, Chef Mina has created a stylish and unforgettable interpretation of a Parisian brasserie in the center of The Strip.

“Upon entering BARDOT, every detail transports guests to a café along the Champs-Élysées in the 1920s,” said Mina. “I am thrilled to introduce this restaurant to Las Vegas and for it to be a part of one of the most dynamic culinary scenes in the world.”

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Jurassic Park & Easter EggMazeMent – Throwback Thursday

Jurassic-Park-Opening-USH (2)This week, we put our Throwback Thursday content to our TPAers via our Facebook page, as well as Twitter: did they want to see images from the opening of Jurassic Park: The Ride from Universal Studios Hollywood, or Easter EggMazeMent at Knott’s Berry Farm, circa 1996? What we ended up with, was a dead heat among our theme park fans – and so, we will combine the two this week, and instead of four images, we’ll present three from each event – you get two bonus images this Throwback Thursday! Amazing!

On June 21, 1996, Theme Park Adventure attended the red carpet media/VIP opening of Jurassic Park: The Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. It was hot that day, and it was very crowded with media; in fact, it was one of the very first (if not the first) large-scale media events that TPA ever attended. A red carpet extended between sound stages on the property’s Front Lot, and into the lower part of the park, where the attraction was waiting, all shiny and new! Celebrities and Universal’s invited guests arrived by walking the carpet, past at least 100 media cameras and reporters – probably more like 150 media reps.

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