Author Archives: Rick West

D23 Announces Magical Experiences Throughout 2015

D23_Logo_Stack-LgIn 2015, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will bring back many of its beloved events while adding a selection of new experiences for members.

CINDERELLA LIGHTS UP THE PALACE OF FINE ARTS: On March 12 members will be treated to a screening of Walt Disney Studios’ upcoming release Cinderella, followed by a reception exclusively for D23 Gold Members. The event will take place following The Walt Disney Company 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. (Members do not need to be shareholders to attend the screening.)

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Busch Gardens Meerkat Cam Added to AnimalVision

meerkat-cam-busch-gardens-tampaMove over penguins, there’s a new adorable family in town (er, online).

AnimalVision – the online portal where viewers can explore the world of wildlife 24/7 through animal habitats at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens – just got even cuter with the addition of Busch Gardens Tampa’s new AnimalVision Meerkat Cam. Viewers can see these amazing animals by visiting AnimalVision.com.

Together, the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks care for one of the largest zoological collections of animals in North America: more than 86,000 animals. Viewers can watch penguins swim at show-off speeds, be charmed by the antics of meerkats, see stingrays glide by so close it feels like you could reach out and touch them, or get some perspective on some of the most ancient animals of the sea, sea turtles.

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Disneyland Resort Offers Incredible Array of Dining Options

“Flatbreads”, Storytellers Café, Disney’s Grand CaliforniFrom fast-casual fare to haute cuisine, the menu of dining options at the Disneyland Resort offers something for every guest. Here, waffles with the Disney characters are as celebrated as the spectacular creations at Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge.

“We offer innovative cuisine from our award-winning chefs that match our guests’ desire for elegant dining,” said Gary Maggetti, director of food and beverage integration at the Disneyland Resort. “But you can still find the Disneyland classics, from the Café Orléans Monte Cristo to Plaza Inn’s fried chicken.”

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ScareLA Announces 2015 Dates and New Venue

ScareLAlogoScareLA, the Southern California Halloween convention, is excited to announce its expansion to a new venue, the Pasadena Convention Center for the event’s 2015 edition on August 8 and 9, 2015. The move will increase the con’s show floor to over 100,000 sq. ft. to accommodate a growing list of vendors, attractions, and entertainment. Tickets presale is scheduled to launch within the following week with aggressive discounts for fans and e-mail list subscribers.

“ScareLA 2015 is off to a great start with our expansion into the Pasadena Convention Center,” said Lora Ivanova, ScareLA Executive Producer and Co-founder. “What that means for our fans is: more spooky vendors, easier access to classes and stage content, bigger interactive haunt exhibits and hotels within walking distance for anyone coming from out of town or wishing to make this a true mid-summer Halloween staycation. Our team is busy curating our 2015 programming and cannot wait to share our scary passion with Los Angeles this August!”

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Light Magic at Disneyland – Throwback Thursday

Light-Magic-Disneyland (2)Those who are old enough might recall the strange and ill-fated production at Disneyland called Light Magic, and those too young will no doubt probably be familiar with the unkind nickname that lives in infamy whenever the subject comes up – Light Tragic.

With the closure of Luigi’s Flying Tires at Disney California Adventure, there has been discussion of late in fan circles regarding other failed attractions or shows from Disneyland Resort’s past. Let’s face it, not everything that any theme park produces is going to be a grand slam. Indeed, theme parks – even Disney theme parks – have their share of failures, whether it be due to projects having their budgets slashed, or simply really bad creative input during development.

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Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub

St. Patrick's Day at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown DisneyAward-winning Irish and American bands and quick-stepping Irish dancers will showcase their Irish roots during the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown Disney March 13-17. The most authentic St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Central Florida also will feature inventive cuisine by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, host of the TASTE Award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking show, Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food.

Raglan Road guests ready to “get their green on” can participate in festivities that run from 4 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. March 13 and from noon until 1:30 a.m. March 14-17, including complimentary face painting for guests, and live music. The diverse band lineup headed by Scythian — playing gypsy-infused American Celtic tunes — offers something for everyone:

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Bardot Brasserie at Aria Las Vegas Now Serving Brunch

bardot-aria-las-vegasBARDOT Brasserie, Chef Michael Mina’s new French restaurant at ARIA Resort & Casino, continues its love affair with Las Vegas with the debut of a délicieux brunch experience every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Guests can indulge in decadent dishes such as Lobster Croissant Benedict and Brioche French Toast with vanilla mascarpone while enjoying rosé wine and avant-garde brunch cocktails.

“Brunch is an important part of the Parisian brasserie experience,” said Michael Mina. “Our brunch menu features the classics, brought back with our own vision and style, such as eggs benedict served atop our handmade croissants or the addition of duck confit to a traditional waffle.”

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Third Annual Shoot-Out at the Chaparral at Old Tucson

Shootout Promo ImageWhat do you get when the best gunfight reenactment groups gather, perform and compete at Old Tucson’s iconic set from TV’s classic western, High Chaparral? The biggest and most unique reenactment competition in the Wild West!

Saddle up for the Shoot-Out at the Chaparral!  See a variety of old west characters from across the southwest and beyond riding into Old Tucson on February 21 & 22, 2015, hoping to be the Last and Best Gunfight Group Standing. The Guns of Cripple Creek, Prescott Regulators & Their Shady Ladies, Spurs & Satin, Tombstone Cowboys, Doves N’ Slugs, Pioneer Gunfighters Association, Lightnin’ Fast Gunfighters, and The Grand Ladies and Gents are among the contenders for the prestigious title.

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Walk-uh-Round Beer Dinner at Mandalay Bay and Delano Las Vegas

MandalayBay_miX__InteriorMandalay Bay Resort and Casino and Delano Las Vegas will host a one-of-a-kind event as they team up with Lagunitas Brewing Company for a Walk-uh-Round Beer Dinner Thursday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. Director of Food and Beverage and Nevada’s First Female Cicerone Sarah Johnson, along with brewery representative Ron Lindenbusch, will host and guide guests through both resorts during this traveling dinner extravaganza.

A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Fleur by Hubert Keller at Mandalay Bay to give guests the opportunity to meet Johnson and Lindenbusch and to mingle with other participants. The event will begin promptly at 6 p.m. at Fleur as guests enjoy delicious offerings of Black Risotto with Grilled Octopus, Hangover Sliders and more paired with two refreshing Lagunitas beers.

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Two-For-One Weekend Events at Old Tucson

loop-rawlinsJoin Old Tucson and the Arizona Sonora Western Heritage Foundation on Saturday, February 14 thru Monday, February 16 for the Old Two son Two-for-One weekend.  In celebration of Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day, guests who purchase one admission will get a second admission of equal or lesser value free!  Kids ages 3 and under are always admitted free.

Families will enjoy a great day together with special activities planned for the weekend including:

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