Author Archives: Rick West

Baby Masai Giraffe at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Masai Giraffe Calf Receives Warm, Wet Kiss from Mother at San Diego Zoo Safari Park A 16-day-old male Masai giraffe at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park gets a kiss, in the form of a lick, from his doting mother. The calf, named Gowon (pronounced Go-wan), MaA 16-day-old male Masai giraffe and his mother were released into the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s South Africa exhibit earlier this month. The lanky youngster was cautious when keepers first opened the gate into the field exhibit, but it didn’t take long for him to acclimate to his new surroundings as he followed his mother to meet the rest of the giraffe herd, which includes his 3-week-old half-brother.

The calf, named Gowon (pronounced Go-wan), Masai for maker of rain, was born on July 31 to mother Genny in a protected area, where the two remained until today, when animal care staff felt Gowon was strong enough to venture into the larger space and meet the herd. His older brother, Kamau (pronounced Kam-mao), whose name means little warrior in Masai, was born on July 26 and was released into the field with his mother last week.

Read More »

Leave a comment

ScareLA 2014 – From the Inside Out

IMG_0569ScareLA 2014 brought thousands of guests to The Reef in downtown Los Angeles to check out its massive show floor, world-class panels and presentations, unique workshops and classes, and amazing entertainment celebrating everything related to Halloween!

More than 100 members of the media came to ScareLA as well from national to international representatives, shooting scores of photos and hours of video – much of which is available online already with a quick Google search. While this is something that usually would be a must-cover event for Theme Park Adventure, we’re in the rare position of not being able to shoot the event or partake as media. This is because TPA makes up 1/2 of the ScareLA core production team, which consists of David Markland, Lora Ivanova, Johanna Atilano, and myself. As producers of the event, there is no way possible for us to spend the weekend tweeting images, stopping to take many photos, or even pausing to shop at any one of our 125+ vendor booths on the show floor; we’re simply too busy ensuring that the convention is running smoothly to stop and really soak it all in – a really ironic twist for us, since Halloween and haunted attractions are our favorite thing to cover as Theme Park Adventure each year!

Read More »

5 Comments

Christmas Town 2014 – Busch Gardens Tampa

ct2x439Busch Gardens Tampa’s Christmas Town , the Bay area’s biggest Christmas celebration, is returning this year and is now included with any annual pass, Fun Card or daily admission to the park.

“Since 2012, Busch Gardens has offered the ultimate Christmastime experience for families, and we’re excited to continue that tradition again in this year,” said Park President Jim Dean. “And with all of this Christmas fun included with any annual pass, Fun Card or daily admission, all guests receive an even greater value during their visit. We’ve created a season-long celebration unlike any other event our guests have ever seen – the kind of Christmas fun only Busch Gardens can provide.”

Read More »

Leave a comment

Knott’s Scary Farm 2014 Overview

Witch Photo JpegThis year’s Knott’s Scary Farm conjures up unprecedented experiences and show-stopping entertainment, including the debut of Special Ops: Infected, where guests fight zombies in an interactive six acre war, and the return of Elvira – Mistress of the Dark in an all-new stage show.

Hunt Zombies in an All-Out War
This ambitious new attraction is the first of its kind in North America and will challenge guests to exterminate the infestation of zombies who threaten mankind’s existence. Armed with specially designed laser guns, brave groups of Knott’s Scary Farm guests will embark on missions, led by their Squad Leader – a loud-mouthed, take-no-prisoners commander charged with turning guests into soldiers. Groups must work together to fend off zombies and complete various missions before time runs out. If zombies drag their bodies too close, the un-infected’s guns temporarily deactivate, compromising the safety of the entire team. Soldiers with the deadliest aim will be celebrated with a tally of the number of zombies killed on a display board for other survivors to see each night in base camp.

Read More »

1 Comment

SeaWorld Announces Blue World Project

SEA_Beach ViewSeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. announced today that it plans to build new, first-of-its-kind killer whale environments and that it will fund new programs to protect ocean health and killer whales in the wild. The new projects will build on SeaWorld’s legacy of providing state-of-the-art, innovative homes for its animals, and will offer park guests unique and inspiring killer whale encounters for generations to come. As part of its vision for the future, the company also pledged $10 million in matching funds for killer whale research and is embarking on a multi-million dollar partnership focused on ocean health, the leading concern for all killer whales and marine mammals.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Celebration of Harry Potter Announced for Universal Orlando

CoHP Release ArtworkUniversal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. announced today that they will host the second annual “A Celebration of Harry Potter” event – a special event for fans celebrating the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter.

Beginning January 30, 2015, fans will enjoy three days of incredible experiences – including the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo, Q&A sessions with Harry Potter film talent and more. Special vacation packages, including annual passholder packages, will go on sale August 21 and will include exclusive benefits such as access to an exclusive evening event in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and the all-new The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

All general admission park guests will have the opportunity to:

  • Attend Q&A sessions with Harry Potter film talent and other special guests (talent attendees will be announced at a later date)
  • Experience and participate in the interactive and unique exhibits of the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo
  • Enjoy special discussions regarding various aspects of the Harry Potter franchise
  • Visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Plus, ride the Hogwarts Express between the two lands with a park-to-park ticket.
  • And much more!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley officially opened in Universal Studios Florida on July 8, 2014 bringing even more of Harry Potter’s adventures to life at Universal Orlando Resort. The new land features incredible shops with windows full of magical surprises, authentic dining experiences, a fire-breathing dragon and the new multi-dimensional thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Guests with a park-to-park ticket will also be able to board the iconic Hogwarts Express and enjoy a unique journey as they travel between London and Hogsmeade. The new immersive area expands upon The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, launched in 2010 in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and doubles the size of the sweeping area already dedicated to Harry Potter’s adventures to create a spectacularly themed environment across both Universal theme parks.

While most of the activities for “A Celebration of Harry Potter” will be open to all Universal Orlando park guests and annual passholders, only guests who purchase the exclusive event vacation package or annual passholder package will enjoy certain special benefits and reserved seating for select events. Packages are limited and will go on sale at noon EST on Thursday, August 21, 2014.

For information about the event, tickets and vacation packages, visit
www.universalorlando.com/celebration.

To book special annual passholder event vacation packages, please call 1-888-343-8991 starting August 21, 2014 at noon EST.

Access to select events within “A Celebration of Harry Potter” is included in regular admission to Universal Orlando or with an annual pass.

Leave a comment

Fireman’s Landing Announced for Silver Dollar City

SDC2015 Birds Eye art with logoIn a major announcement, new for 2015, Silver Dollar City presents Fireman’s Landing, an $8 million development with 10 new family adventures in an all-new area, plus the world famous Harlem Globetrotters in their first-ever extended-run show, making 2015 the park’s biggest family year ever.

Set to open in Spring 2015, Fireman’s Landing substantially increases the park’s attractions, adding 10 family adventures in all. The new area has six family rides and four interactive play zones for kids and families in a highly themed area, saluting the spirit and training activities of community volunteer firefighters. The area, with theming recognizing the contributions of community heroes who serve as firefighters, is an 1880s volunteer recruitment fair, with rides and attractions for ages 3 to 93.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Summer Nights at Sam’s 2 Mixer Recap

TPA's Summer Nights at Sam's 2 MixerOn July 13th, Theme Park Adventure hosted its Summer Nights at Sam’s 2 mixer at Trader Sam’s, located at the Disneyland Hotel. TPA’s monthly gatherings are free and open to all themed entertainment fans, haunters and industry professionals – and there is always a fantastic blend of each representing! July’s gathering was no different, as everyone socialized and mingled under the tiki torches on the patio outside of Sam’s and Tangaroa Terrace! Our Summer Nights 2 gathering was the final mixer before ScareLA 2014, so the crowd was extra-excited and pumped by the up-coming Halloween convention, which was held August 9th and 10th in downtown Los Angeles. So, there were lots of really excited Halloween fans in attendance, as Theme Park Adventure makes up 1/2 of ScareLA’s production team.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Clowns 3D Music by SLASH – HHN Hollywood 2014

HHN 2014 Clowns 3D image with txtCelebrated Grammy Award-winning musician, SLASH, hailed as one of the 10 best electric guitar players of all time by Time magazine, is joining forces with Universal Studios Hollywood to compose an original score for the theme park’s hypnotizing new 3D maze, Clowns 3D Music by SLASH at Halloween Horror Nights, beginning Friday, September 19, 2014.

While partnering with top recording artists has become a signature of Halloween Horror Nights, this collaboration with prolific guitarist, SLASH, marks the first time a musician has created an original maze score for the popular event. This inspired effort comes at a demanding time for SLASH, whose new album “World on Fire” debuts on September 16, 2014, on the heels of his “Let Rock Rule” World Tour performing with Aerosmith.

Read More »

Leave a comment

BGT Howl-O-Scream 2014 Event Overview

Blood_Asylum_3_HOSAs the lights dim and the fire dwindles, a sinister song in perfect pitch curses all who hear its tormenting tempo. Survive the curse this fall, for 18 select nights, as Howl-O-Scream 2014 returns to Busch Gardens Tampa with unexpected terrors around every corner.
Freaky Preview returns this year with Howl-O-Scream 2014’s opening weekend on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26 and 27. The event then runs Thursday through Saturday nights, Oct. 2-Nov. 1. Howl-O-Scream will also be open on Sunday, Oct. 19. Operating hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. for all event nights.

Read More »

Leave a comment