Author Archives: Rick West

Sex and the City Zoo Adult Event at Los Angeles Zoo

Photo - Charlie MoreyWhile the Los Angeles Zoo is best known as one of Southern California’s most family-friendly destinations, it’s ADULTS ONLY for SEX AND THE CITY ZOO, an extraordinary Valentine’s Day event celebrating romance in the animal kingdom on Saturday, February 7, 2015, 5 to 7 pm, in the Zoo’s Witherbee Auditorium.

The lighthearted affair for ages 21 and up begins with a reception featuring tempting desserts, alluring wines and “animal walk-abouts,” which include chats with keepers and the chance to observe small animals up close.  At the heart of the evening is a provocative presentation about relationships in the animal kingdom by actress Joleen Lutz, also known for her work as an interpretive naturalist of zoology, who offers insights on animal mating, dating and cohabitating.

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Mardi Gras Concerts at Universal Orlando 2015

-resources-digitalassets-Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando Resort 5Let the good times roll this spring at Universal Orlando Resort’s 2015 Mardi Gras celebration – featuring 16 nights of thrilling concerts from some of the biggest names in music, coupled with the essence of the legendary Bayou bash.

On select nights Feb. 7 through April 18, guests will experience a family-friendly version of the “N’awlins”-inspired festival at Universal Studios Florida. Guests can top off their day in the theme parks with delicious Cajun cuisine, an awe-inspiring parade and a live concert.

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Ted Walker Youth Day Coming to Old Tucson

Old Tucson schoolkids 81The Arizona Sonora Western Heritage Foundation, in cooperation with Old Tucson Company, will welcome 3,200 local fourth, fifth and sixth graders during the 25th Annual Ted Walker Youth Day on Thursday, January 29, 2015 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. The children will receive complimentary park admission and enjoy a hot dog lunch donated by the Dan Felix Memorial Foundation and Pima County Parklands Foundation.  Old Tucson will be open to the public until 2:00 pm during the event.

Co-sponsored by Old Tucson and Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation, Ted Walker Youth Day is a one-of-a-kind field trip for students. The event is dedicated to enhancing the childhood experience and knowledge of local Western heritage for Southern Arizona kids through experience-based learning.  Pima County Parks and Recreation Commissioner Ted Walker started Youth Day in 1988 and the annual event was named for him after his death in 1993 in recognition of his charitable and civic contributions to the community.

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Disneyland’s Tomorrowland 1998 – Throwback Thursday

Disneyland-Tomorrowland-Construction-1One of the biggest stories TPA covered in the late 1990s was the construction and transformation of New Tomorrowland at Disneyland Resort. Since the land remained open and accessible most of the time during the lengthy project, we were able to take photos and document the process from multiple vantage points.

Throwback Thursdays have become a “thing” now online, so we thought it would be great fun to start the year adding a feature to TPA on a weekly basis just for the heck of it. Each Thursday, we’ll dig into our archives and pull out a few images to share with you here on the site!

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Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Closing February 1

Gwazi-Busch-Gardens-Tampa (1)February 1 is the last day for thrill seekers to ride Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa as the park prepares to permanently close the wooden roller coaster.

Gwazi opened in 1999 as Florida’s first dueling wooden roller coaster, providing guests with thrilling and memorable experiences for more than 15 years.

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Penguins in Training at San Diego Zoo

Hungry to Learn: Penguins Prepare for New Role at San Diego ZooTwo endangered 2-year-old African penguins participated in a training session with animal care staff this week at the San Diego Zoo’s Children’s Zoo. Trainers hand fed capelin and night smelt to the penguins, ensuring that they have an opportunity to thrive with a well balanced diet.

Short training sessions help to build trust between the birds and their trainers and will prepare the penguins for their role as ambassadors. Eventually the male siblings will be trained to make educational appearances to bring awareness about their species.

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Concerts at Busch Gardens Tampa Food & Wine Festival

Food & Wine Festival concerts - Gavin DeGrawConcerts at Busch Gardens Tampa will keep the hits coming during the Food & Wine Festival this spring with performances for every taste. In addition to music superstars Pentatonix, Gavin DeGraw and Fifth Harmony, live concerts include:

Saturday, March 7

Gavin DeGraw

Sunday, March 8

Fifth Harmony

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Las Vegas Trip Report January 2015

las-vegas-january-2015 (40)This month, Theme Park Adventure paid a visit to Las Vegas after work and crazy schedules kept us away from Sin City for all of 2014! Yikes! As you might imagine, we were itching and twitching to get back to The Strip as well as downtown, to get caught up on all of the sights, sounds, and new things that have opened since our last dash across the Mojave at the end of 2013!

We covered a lot of ground – and so we won’t bore you (or incriminate ourselves) with all of the details, but rather, share some highlights of our trip and offer some insight on what’s new and should be seen the next time you visit Las Vegas!

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Unique Animal Friends at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Rhino (greater one-horn) Ankole calf pairingA 6-week-old greater one-horned rhino calf received a bottle feeding at the Ione and Paul Harter Animal Care Center at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park earlier today, and then was given some time to get to know a possible new playmate, an 8-month-old Ankole calf. The pair, introduced three days ago, have not yet bonded and are still getting to know each other. Animal care staff at the Safari Park hope that they will become longtime companions.

The male rhino calf, named Chutti, which means holiday in Nepalese, was born on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, to first-time mother Kaya in the Safari Park’s Asian Plains exhibit. While Kaya nursed and cared for her newborn for almost two weeks, keepers realized he wasn’t gaining weight as he should. To provide the calf with the optimal care to thrive, he was brought to the Safari Park’s animal care center where he is being hand-raised.

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SeaWorld San Diego 2015 Events Calendar

Lunar New Year Logo PrimarySeaWorld San Diego has a boatload of reasons to visit the marine park in 2015, and will start off by ringing in the Lunar New Year with an all-new celebration in February; next, animal lovers will delight in Wild Days for four weekends in March (with one weekend featuring conservationist Jack Hanna); and foodie and craft beer aficionados will find tasty delights throughout the park during SeaWorld’s inaugural Craft Beer & Food Festival in May. Plus, back are SeaWorld’s traditional seasonal favorites including Summer Nights, Halloween Spooktacular and Christmas Celebration.  All in all, there’s a whale-sized list of reasons to visit SeaWorld all year long.  Seasonal events are included with park admission, but the best way to enjoy all the fun is to purchase a Fun Card, which allows guests to return over and over, all for the price of single-day admission!

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