Author Archives: Rick West

Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks Opens at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Thirsty River Bar and Trek SnacksGuests trekking through Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park will enjoy the new Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks. This adventurous food and beverage location rests near the foot of Expedition Everest and treats guests to an assortment of exotic drinks and eats.

The Trek Snacks menu varies throughout the day, with delicious pastries in the morning and more substantial bites such as sushi and sandwiches in the afternoon and evening. Breakfast pastries include assorted muffins and Danish, croissants and an indulgent chocolate twist. Healthful snacks offered include fresh fruit, crudité and hummus, edamame and an Asian noodle salad.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Knott’s Scary Farm Returning Mazes and Attractions 2015 Review

Knott's Scary Farm 2015 ReviewIn October, we brought you a detailed look and review of everything new at Knott’s Scary Farm, including Paranormal, Inc. and Dead of Winter. This past Halloween season was monstrous in scope for us, to say the least; with 46 stops along the way between mid-September and the beginning of November, the amount of images, video and content in general that we collected is completely nuts! Now that we’ve moved out of the Halloween season, we’ve been sorting everything out and presenting it to you bit by bit here on the site; most folks who have been Theme Park Adventure fans for any duration of time will tell you – around here, Halloween is the gift that keeps on giving! That said, it’s finally time to circle back to the granddaddy of them all, and finish our review of Knott’s Scary Farm 2015 with a look at the mazes and attractions that returned this year to Buena Park.

Read More »

3 Comments

Hyde Lounge at Las Vegas Arena Set to Debut Spring 2016

Hyde Lounge Las Vegas Arena

sbe, the Los Angeles-based leading lifestyle hospitality company that develops, manages and operates award-winning hospitality venues, announced this week the launch of Hyde Lounge at Las Vegas Arena set to open in April 2016. Hyde Lounge Las Vegas Arena will be the exclusive nightclub option at Las Vegas Arena, allowing guests to experience the height of service with views to match in an entertainment and sporting viewing experience unlike any other.

Hyde Lounge at Las Vegas Arena will be located high above the event action with two platforms extending over the arena seating for unparalleled viewing opportunities. The 18,000-square-foot space designed by Dakota Development and Design Agency, will also feature an intimate lounge experience complete with bottle service, plush couches, high-energy DJs, VIP elevator access, a selection of culinary treats, and skyline views of the famed Las Vegas Strip.

Read More »

1 Comment

L.A. Zoo Lights Ranks on 2015 USA Today 10Best List of Holiday Tradition Destinations

LA Zoo Lights Water Show - PHOTO CREDIT: Jamie PhamL.A. ZOO LIGHTS, which heralds a new standard for nighttime magic at the Los Angeles Zoo through Sunday, January 3, 2016, is named one of the Best Zoo Lights 2015 in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards.  10Best local experts and editors picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.  L.A. ZOO LIGHTS, in only its second year, was selected #10.  An instant hit when it debuted last year, attracting more than 170,000 people, the dazzling wonderland returned in 2015 to top visitors’ “holiday tradition” destination list with a trove of awe-inspiring new lights and displays for an even brighter atmosphere of wonder and delight.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Brunch at the Top Debuts at Disney’s Contemporary Resort California Grill in February

New 'Brunch at the Top' at California GrillCalifornia Grill atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort soars to new heights with Brunch at the Top, a new Sunday dining experience beginning Feb. 7, 2016. For the first time, guests can enjoy the beautiful daytime skyline of Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot and Disney resort hotels from the magnificent floor-to-ceiling windows at the California Grill restaurant while savoring a brunch of fresh, market-driven cuisine.

Brunch at the Top is an immersive dining experience where guests can interact with the culinary team in the open show kitchen while sampling charcuterie, sushi and market-inspired salads. The culinary adventure begins with an assortment of house-made breakfast pastries delivered to the table, including caramel apple Monkey bread and Tillamook Cheddar biscuits. Guests will then visit the show kitchen for an assortment of small tastes, such as house-smoked orange honey ham, deviled Lake Meadow Naturals eggs, shrimp and grits with Gulf White Shrimp,  grilled flat iron steak with soft poached eggs, and hardwood cooked salmon. The brunch concludes with an assortment of sweet mini-desserts, macarons and chocolate truffles. The decadent multi-course meal includes an over-the-top Bloody Mary Bar, cocktails and craft brews, as well as a signature brunch cocktail and faux “mimosas” for kids.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular to Close After More Than 14,000 Performances at California Adventure

Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical SpectacularFor nearly 13 years, Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular has presented the magical tale of Aladdin in a lavish, immersive production at the Hyperion Theater in Disney California Adventure Park. The dynamic stage show became an instant hit with guests and the cast has performed it more than 14,000 times. Now, guests are invited to experience the “Wonderful! Magnificent! Glorious!” musical – with words such as those from the Genie and other memorable characters – before the final, flying carpet ride on January 10, 2016. An exciting, new stage presentation of Frozen will open at Hyperion Theater in the summer of 2016.

Since its premiere on Jan. 16, 2003, Disney’s Aladdin has entertained more than 13 million visitors. Based on the popular Disney animated film, Aladdin, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice, the theme park show is filled with music, comedy, dancing and fantastic special effects — plus countless timely quips by the show’s magical Genie.

Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular performs several times a day and now has Disney FastPass service, to reserve a show time. The schedule is available in the park’s show times guide.

Read More »

Leave a comment

The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure to Debut at LEGOLAND California and Florida in Early 2016

LEGO Movie 4D logoFor the first time ever, LEGOLAND Parks are offering a first look at an exciting new theme park attraction that reunites the stars of The LEGO Movie in an all-new story appearing exclusively at LEGOLAND theme parks and LEGOLAND Discovery Centers in 2016.

The 30-second clip released last week gives fans the first glimpse of what happened after the blockbuster movie, when Emmet, Wyldstyle, Unikitty, MetalBeard and Benny reunite at the invitation of a shady new character, Risky Business, who plans to open a curious theme park bearing a suspicious resemblance to LEGOLAND.

The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure will premiere Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 at LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Haven, Fla., followed by LEGOLAND California Resort in Carlsbad, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 6. The attraction will debut later at LEGOLAND theme parks and LEGOLAND Discovery Centers worldwide.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration Airs Christmas Day on ABC

Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas LogoThis Christmas, Disney Parks celebrates not only the joy of the holiday season, but the unforgettable family moments it has helped guests create over the past sixty years. Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration airs Friday, Dec. 25, 2015 (10:00 am.-12:00 p.m ET; airtimes vary; check local listings) on the ABC Television Network.

Now in its 32nd year, the unforgettable Christmas special welcomes back Robin Roberts of ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA) as lead host. Reporting from the Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, Roberts is accompanied by Jesse Palmer, who joins the event for the first time as a correspondent. New to the GMA team as a special contributor, Palmer shares key parade updates in the midst of the action on Main Street, U.S.A. Janel Parrish, star of the ABC Family hit show Pretty Little Liars – which will debut under the new network name, Freeform for its winter premiere on Jan. 12, 2016 – serves as music correspondent alongside Stitch from Cinderella Castle.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Jungle Bells Brings a Winter Wonderland to San Diego Zoo’s Polar Bears

Sledding: No Sleigh Needed! San Diego Zoo Polar Bear Belly Slides During Polar Snow DayPolar Bear Plunge at the San Diego Zoo was transformed into a winter wonderland early this Friday, as nearly 26 tons of glistening white snow blanketed the polar bear exhibit. The three bears — Kalluk, Tatqiq and Chinook — showed their excitement by frolicking in the snow. They rolled around in the fresh powder and wrestled with each other all morning long. Animal care staff also scattered yams, carrots, melons and beef femur bones throughout the exhibit as added enrichment, and watched as the bears pounced and dug for their prizes.

This surprise snowy enrichment was made possible by donors who contributed to the animal care wish list on the San Diego Zoo website, sandiegozoo.org. Enrichment is very important for the bears, as it stimulates them, keeps them active and promotes natural behaviors.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Art of Tomorrow at Universal Orlando Resort Offers Students Hands-On Look at Creative Process

Art of Tomorrow Union Park High School OCPS Grinchmas Soundstage tourAs part of an ongoing partnership between Universal Orlando Resort and Orange County Public Schools, more than 200 students from local middle schools are visiting Universal Orlando this month for a hands-on look at real-world jobs that exist within the entertainment industry through a program called The Art of Tomorrow.

Students from Carver, Union Park and Memorial Middle Schools are joining members of Universal Orlando’s Art & Design department to walk through the processes involved in creating the many attractions and shows at the theme parks.  The students are touring soundstages where the creative team showcases several key processes, such as concept design, production, costuming and makeup – all centered around Universal Orlando’s Holidays and Mardi Gras celebrations. Students have the chance to fire confetti cannons, learn dance choreography, participate in graphic design projects, speak to performers from the popular Grinchmas show and more.

Read More »

Leave a comment