Author Archives: Rick West

Universal Orlando Unveils The Compound for HHN 24

The CompoundUniversal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights 24 has introduced a new social media experience that gives fans the opportunity to join The Compound and win prizes on each event night.

To enter, fans must join The Compound, gather their Recon Squad of friends and RSVP for a Recon Mission on a select event night. On the night of their choosing, fans must execute a number of in-park photo challenges on Twitter or Instagram to complete their mission.  Fans who submit the photo of their Recon Squad at Halloween Horror Nights will be entered for a chance to win one of the Halloween Horror Nights nightly giveaways, including Halloween Horror Nights 24 gear.

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Knott’s Scary Farm 2014 Opening Night

Knott's Scary Farm First Night 2014Knott’s Scary Farm in Buena Park, California, officially welcomed its first guests of the Halloween season on Thursday night, September 25th. One of the most beloved and highly-anticipated major theme park Halloween events in the world, Knott’s Scary Farm promised a season more intense and innovative than ever before with the introduction of new mazes, and interactive zombie shoot-em-up experience, and a maze featuring multiple paths that would give guests an option to choose their own destiny. Wrapped up with a really slick marketing campaign, Knott’s made it clear that it’s stepping things up, and ready to haunt the hell out of Southern California!

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TPA Announces Sinister Pointe Visit for October Mixer

Sinister Pointe: Beyond The MirrorThis month’s TPA Halloween Mixer will be held Sunday, October 12th, on the patio between Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar and Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel beginning at 7 P.M. As usual, we will have free buttons to give the first 30 TPAers on hand, and we’ll hold our monthly raffle at approximately 9 P.M. It will be a fun-filled evening of networking, great food, tantalizing tiki drinks, and yes… candy! It is Halloween, after all!

Once we’ve raffled off some ghoulish gifts, the tiki torches will dim, and a dark force will flow over the gathering. For those interested, we have a special trick-or-treat in store! At approximately 9:30 P.M., we will depart Trader Sam’s and regroup in Fullerton (just a short drive from The Disneyland Resort) at Sinister Pointe Haunted Attraction. At a discounted rate of $15 per person, TPAers will not only get to experience Sinister Pointe’s terrifying 2014 experience, Beyond The Mirror, but once everyone has made it through, our group will get an exclusive lights-on tour of the attraction, followed by a Q&A with Jeff Schiefelbein and the rest of the crew!

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SeaWorld Kids Launches New Mobile Games

SeaWorld Kids Mobile AppsGet ready to plunge into fun, as SeaWorld has launched a collection of three mobile games designed to engage the imaginations of preschool and elementary aged children. These apps are the latest mobile offerings from SeaWorld Kids, where imagination meets nature, and have been designed to continue the fun of learning about nature and conservation into the school year and beyond.

As an extension of the company’s in-park mission, SeaWorld Kids and the new app collection are aimed at educating users about animals and their habitats, while empowering and engaging the user to do their part to help wildlife and nature. Little actions add up, and the SeaWorld Kids apps reinforce that we all can make a difference. Not to mention, these games are seriously fun.

Launched on September 25th, the collection includes:

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Boo at the L.A. Zoo Weekends 2014

GL-BooTrick-or-Treating, Jack O’ Lantern carving demonstrations, strolling characters and magicians, crafts, interactive musical entertainment and up-close encounters with “crawly” insects and reptiles will be among the Halloween Adventures at two Boo at the L.A. Zoo weekends this year!

Sponsored by 99 Cents Only Stores, weekend events also include feedings for zoo residents served in pumpkins filled with treats, and special Touch-If-You-Dare “Creepy Cauldrons” filled with “worms”, “maggots”, the Frankenstein Monster’s “brain”, and “zombie eyeballs”!

The dates for these special Boo at the L.A. Zoo events and happenings are Saturday, October 18; Sunday, October 19; Saturday, October 25; and Sunday, October 26 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

Sponsored proudly by 99 Cents Only Stores, the two “spooky and safe” weekends also include the opportunity to see special feedings for gorillas, elephants, orangutans, giant otters and other Zoo residents as they enjoy pumpkins filled with treats to eat and play with; spider-themed crafts such as make-your-own paper headbands and pipe-cleaner rings; strolling magicians and jugglers; and a live karaoke band that invites Zoo youngsters to perform favorite songs.

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Midnight Syndicate Thrilling Guests at Cedar Point

Midnight Syndicate at Cedar PointGuests visiting Cedar Point for HalloWeekends already know about the park’s scream-inducing haunted houses and outdoor fright zones. But this year, guests are screaming just a little louder thanks to the new “Midnight Syndicate LIVE! Legacy of Shadows” show in the Ghoul Time Theatre.

Ohio’s own Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka, of Midnight Syndicate, have been delighting fans worldwide with their Halloween music albums for almost two decades. Performing in front of a live audience for the first time ever, they have created a whole new legion of fans thanks to their multimedia horror concert at HalloWeekends. Known for producing “gothic horror fantasy soundtracks for the imagination,” these Halloween music maestros blend instrumental music,sound effects, eerie videos and on-stage adventures, taking audiences on a spell-binding journey that mesmerizes and features an ending that is both unexpected and terrifying.

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Camp Spooky 2014 at Knott’s Berry Farm

Camp Spooky at Knott's Berry FarmWeekends in October and on Halloween Day, Knott’s Berry Farm invites you and your family to join in on the Halloween fun in Camp Spooky. This daytime, non-scare celebration, of cheer rather than fear, is the social event of the season with shows, activities, costume contest all geared for kids ages 3-11.

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Rare White Ellipsen Waterbuck at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

A Stand-out Guy: Ellipsen Waterbuck Calf  at San Diego Zoo Safari Park is Leucistic  A three-week old ellipsen waterbuck at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is easy for guests to identify in the South African field exhibit. While he is clearly smaller thanA rare white ellipsen waterbuck calf stood out among his herd as he roamed his exhibit with his mother early this morning at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The Safari Park has successfully bred over 20,000 rare and endangered mammals for decades (278 of those were ellipsen waterbuck), but this is its first-ever animal born with leucism, a condition that causes an animal to have reduced pigmentation. The three-week-old calf, named Luke, was born on Sept. 6 in the Safari Park’s South Africa exhibit.

Ellipsen or common waterbuck are recognizable by the bull’s eye or ellipse-shaped ring on their rump. In Luke’s case, the bull’s eye is a brown ring on a white body, rather than a white ring on a brown body. In the wild, an animal with leucism is an easy target for prey as it stands out, unable to camouflage itself. Since Luke was born at the Safari Park, he has a good chance of survival as animal care staff can keep close watch on him.

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Old Tucson Announces Opening of 2014 – 2015 Season

Old TucsonOld Tucson is pleased to announce the opening of its 2014-2015 Season on Friday, October 3, 2014.  The new season will celebrate the history, heritage, and culture of southern Arizona with a refurbished Grand Palace Hotel & Saloon interior, its world-famous tours, shows, and attractions and a series of exciting events!

Over the summer, the Old Tucson team has been busy making improvements including: a total refurbishment of the Grand Palace interior, improvements to the set where the ground-breaking western series The High Chaparral was filmed, and facelifts throughout the park.

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REVIEW: Reign of Terror Haunted House 2013

IMG_3699Reign of Terror Haunted House is one of Southern California’s gems each Halloween season. ROT features mind-bending immersive environments that are worthy of any Travel Channel-style program, and has consistently improved each year, delivering movie-level scenes and top-notch scares at every turn.

What started out years ago as a home haunt endeavor has grown into one of the Southland’s must-see haunted attractions. The immediate and biggest challenge that Reign of Terror has, is that their location is in Thousand Oaks, which is a long drive for most folks unless you happen to live in that immediate part of the Valley. It’s a really long trek for fans living in the Inland Empire or Orange County. That said, if you’re planning a haunt bucket list, Reign of Terror needs to be on it, and you should plan on making a night of it. Our suggestion is to leave early, and check out some home haunts in the Valley nearby and then head over to the Janss Marketplace, where Reign of Terror is located, and hit that toward the end of the night. It takes some coordinated planning, but we assure you – it is worth the effort in every way, and must be part of your Halloween whistle stops!

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