Monthly Archives: April 2015

House of Nightmares Opens at Grona Lund

House-of-Nightmares-Grona-LundSally Corporation’s all new haunted attraction, House of Nightmares, opened April 25, 2015 at Grona Lund, Stockholm’s historic seaside amusement park.  Hundreds of visitors lined up outside the evil Dr. Morphio’s house to be the first to step inside and experience the terrifying new attraction. Some were even outfitted with self-facing cameras to capture their reactions…horrified, mortified, completely freaked! One-by-one, they ran out of the house, screaming with delight.

Public interest had been building for months. “Leading up to the opening, Grona Lund did a superb job of teasing the public with posters that came alive, creepy pictures from inside the house, a zombie kiss-cam scare prank inside a movie theater, and even a House of Nightmares commercial so frightening that it was banned from airing before 9pm!” says Lauren Weaver, Marketing Director at Sally Corporation.

As visitors approach the exterior of an old Victorian mansion, they see a large, neon sign drawing them closer.  Special effects, lighting and sound help set the mood for the terrors that await inside.  Scenic elements enhance the back story of Dr. Morphio and his hideous experiments.

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Universal Studios Hollywood Brings Christmas in Spring 2015

Christmas in SpringHundreds of Universal Studios Hollywood volunteer employees, a tropically-clad Santa Claus and a menagerie of mischievous Minions from the theme park’s popular Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride, come together to bring warm holiday cheer to over 1,000 M.E.N.D low income family members as part of its 24th annual Christmas in Spring event on Saturday, May 2 from Noon to 2 p.m.

Christmas in Spring will be held at M.E.N.D – Meet Each Need with Dignity, located at 10641 San Fernando Rd, Pacoima, CA 91331.

The event is sponsored by Universal Studios Hollywood’s philanthropic Discover A Star Foundation and is designed to offer less fortunate families the opportunity to enjoy a fun outing during a time of year when the needs of these families are often overlooked.

This year’s Christmas in Spring program will include a scrumptious menu, custom prepared by Universal Studios Hollywood’s award-winning Executive Chef, Eric Kopelow, and served by employee volunteers. In keeping with Universal Studios Hollywood’s ongoing Wellness initiative, the feast will feature 600 pounds of skinless chicken, 600 pounds of vegetables, 600 pounds of salad, 4,000 fresh strawberries and freshly baked bite-size chocolate chip cookies.

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Disneyland Diamond Days Sweepstakes Coming in May

Castle-Disneyland-Diamond-CelebrationImagine winning a Disney Diamond or a Cinderella glass slipper, or enjoying a private excursion and dinner in Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park. Those are a few of the exciting prizes that will be awarded to some lucky guests during the Disneyland Diamond Days sweepstakes, part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration that begins May 22, 2015.

Celebrating the 60th anniversary, Disneyland Diamond Days is an exciting sweepstakes in which daily prizes are awarded to some Disneyland Resort visitors as part of the Diamond Celebration. Each daily prize package for that day includes an individualized tour of the parks with preferred access to select attractions, dining and VIP viewing at some of the dazzling, new nighttime spectaculars.  Daily prize winners must be present on the Disneyland Resort premises at the time of entry and at the time of prize redemption in order to be able to enjoy these special experiences, and theme park admission is not necessary to enter or win the sweepstakes.*

In addition to the daily prizes, Disneyland Diamond Days will offer guests a weekly opportunity to win exceptional Disneyland Resort prizes and experiences. Appropriately enough, the most exciting prizes are authentic diamonds, custom-engraved for Disney! One- and two-carat Disney Diamonds will be awarded throughout the celebration, and some will commemorate dates with particular significance to the Disneyland Resort. One-carat Disney Diamonds will even be paired with a stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite.

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BRC Imagination Arts Creates The Golden Ear for Expo Milano 2015

golden-ear-brcBRC Imagination Arts, an experience design agency that Turns Brands Into Destinations, has completed and delivered The Golden Ear the latest in a long list of successful expo films created by BRC Imagination Arts. The film, a charming, animated story produced by two-time Academy Award nominee Bob Rogers and directed by BRC Imagination Arts Executive Creative Director, Christian Lachel, will appear at Expo Milano 2015.

The film is part of an overall media and asset package created by BRC Imagination Arts. “The EU wanted to provide their main message through a more comprehensive story-driven approach, something that is a lot more fun, with character, heart, and entertainment,” said Christian Lachel Executive Creative Director at BRC Imagination Arts.

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Renee West Retires as President & COO of Luxor and Excalibur

Renee West

Renee West, President and COO of Luxor and Excalibur – photo by Anthony Mair

I must have been living under a rock to somehow miss this information in the past few weeks as it was coming to light – but one of the greatest individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of working for has retired today. Renee West has stepped down as the President and COO of both Luxor and Excalibur resorts in Las Vegas.

This hits close to home, because while I lived in Las Vegas, I worked in the casino at Excalibur under Renee’s management, and it was absolutely one of the most exciting, inspiring experiences I have ever had. Renee was a true leader; visionary, exciting, incredibly personable, strong, and passionate as well as compassionate about Vegas, her employees, and the betterment of the resorts she managed.

Renee is one of the greatest “casino bosses” Las Vegas has ever seen. In an industry where CEOs and COOs are mainly male, she broke down barriers and blazed trails during her 15 years with MGM Resorts International. She began her incredible career in 2000, where she worked at State Line as Vice President of Human Resources at Primm Valley Resorts. In a meteoric rise to power, Renee was soon named President of the three Primm casinos; the first time in MGM’s history that a woman had been given the opportunity to oversee any property, let alone several at once. In 2005, Renee was moved to The Strip, where MGM put her in charge of Excalibur. That is when I had the opportunity to be one of her employees, and I absolutely adored her style, skills, and uncommon decency that she showed to everyone, regardless of status or position within the company.

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Time Running out for Frozen Fun Resident Offers at Disneyland Resort

disneyland-resort-frozen (1)Frozen Fun is one of five great reasons to visit the Disneyland Resort this spring, when guests will enjoy several limited-time events and offers. Southern California residents have an extra special reason to visit now. Chill out with Frozen Fun at Disney California Adventure Park — There’s still a lot of Frozen Fun to be had at Disney California Adventure park! Anna and Elsa are receiving visitors in their elegant greeting location, Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome. Guests can sing-along with Anna, Elsa and Kristoff at For the First time in Forever – A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. Everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf, is ready to give a warm hug to guests of all ages at Olaf’s Snow Fest, which includes a giant play area with real snow. Olaf’s Snow Fest will conclude April 30, 2015, and Olaf will then greet guests in Disney California Adventure, at a location to be announced soon.

Limited-Time Offer for Southern California Residents — Now through May 14, 2015, Southern California residents may purchase two or three days of magic and adventure at special prices, to experience exciting attractions and entertainment throughout the Disneyland Resort. The special tickets are exclusive to Southern California residents and expire on May 21, 2015. * The offer has four purchase options: a 2-day ticket with choice of one park per day for $139; a 2-day Park Hopper ticket for $178; a 3-day ticket with choice of one park per day for $169, or a 3-day Park Hopper for $208.

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Alejandro Fernandez to Play Mandalay Bay Las Vegas

Alejandro-Fernandez-Mandalay-BayLeading Latin pop star Alejandro Fernandez will return to Las Vegas bringing his Confidencias World Tour to the Mandalay Bay Events Center for a Mexican Independence Day celebration Tuesday, Sept. 15. Fernandez, who channels Mexico’s rich tradition through his music and continues to capture the hearts of fans worldwide, is one of the most accomplished vocalists and biggest-selling artists in Latin music history. The concert is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m.

For fans anxious to purchase seats to highly anticipated concerts and events, M life – MGM Resorts International’s loyalty program – provides members exclusive access to pre-sales for sporting events and concerts. The program also features rewards, benefits and once-in-a-lifetime experiences at the incomparable collection of MGM Resorts’ world-renowned destinations. To join, or for more information, visit mlife.com.

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GES and Fox Developing Touring Avatar Exhibition Attraction

Avatar-Exhibition-Concept-ArtGlobal Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) announced today a partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products (Fox) to develop and tour an exhibition based on James Cameron’s AVATAR.  The state-of-the-art global touring exhibition, which will kick off in the fall of 2016, is inspired by the amazing creatures and environments of the world of Pandora first introduced in the record-breaking film. Fox and GES are developing the interactive attraction in consultation with James Cameron and Jon Landau’s Lightstorm Entertainment.

“This unprecedented global exhibition will create a truly memorable experience for fans,” said Jeffrey Godsick, president of Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products. “Bringing the world of Pandora to life and comparing it to the wonders of our own planet, the AVATAR exhibition will bring together immersive new storytelling and science in a tangible, engaging forum.”

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Universal Orlando 25th Anniversary Concert Series Announced

prince-royce-universal-orlandoUniversal Orlando Resort has revealed the lineup for a special concert series taking place later this spring to help mark Universal Orlando’s 25th anniversary year. On select nights May 23 through June 20, Universal Studios Florida will host a diverse lineup of award-winning, chart-topping artists.

The concert series features an array of talent with something for everyone, from the internationally-renowned artist Pitbull – whose global hit single, Timber, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, to the chart-topping band Goo Goo Dolls, which has sold more than 10 million albums and has 14 Top Ten hits. Also performing is teen sensation Shawn Mendes, and award-winning Latin idol Prince Royce – whose latest album, Soy el Mismo, debuted at No. 1 on the Latin Album charts.

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The Producers Group Names Brian Paiva as VP Business Development

The-Producers-Group

The Producers Group’s new Vice President, Business Development, Brian Paiva (right), seen here with TPG Co-CEO/Executive Producer Edward Marks (center) and Project Coordinator Patrick Zou Li (left).

The Producers Group, LLC recently announced the hiring Brian Paiva as Vice President, Business Development. The Texas-based Mr. Paiva brings over 25 years of experience to TPG as part of an ongoing company-wide expansion. Most recently with FUNA International in a similar capacity, Paiva will help TPG continue to expand their global presence as world-class international attraction development and production specialists.

“With Brian’s resources and connections in both Asia and the Middle East, as well as here in the United States, we are looking forward to continued expansion in all three markets,” said Edward Marks of TPG’s newest hire.

“We’ve known Brian for several years now, and have seen the dedication he brings to every project he finds,” said Bob Chambers. “We’re excited to see the kinds of projects he’ll be bringing through the door.”

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