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Remembering Lion Country Safari – Throwback Thursday

Lion-Country-Safari-Irvine (2)People who grew up in Southern California fondly remember the theme parks of their youth – including Lion Country Safari. The original Lion Country park opened in Loxahatchee, Florida in 1969 near West Palm Beach. The drive-it-yourself safari park was an instant success; so much so, that additional locations across the United States were scouted by the company, and the second park opened just a year later in 1970, in the foothills that create the Irvine/Laguna Hills border in Orange County.

Lion Country Safari in Irvine thrived for many years and was welcomed by neighboring attractions such as Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Movieland Wax Museum, and the Japanese Village and Deer Park. The company itself experienced extremely aggressive growth, and other LCS parks opened around the US, including properties in Texas, Virginia, and Ohio.

Shortly after opening, Lion Country Safari purchased an old lion from a travelling Mexican circus, and in a brilliant twist of fate, a character that at one time, rivaled Mickey Mouse’s celebrity was the center of attention in Irvine – Frasier, the Sensuous Lion! Frasier was old, and was missing most of his teeth; this caused his tongue to hang out of his mouth most of the time. Yet, he was a lover not a fighter – and the company’s Vice President and PR guru, Jerry Kobrin, developed Frasier’s hot-blooded persona as a mean, lean sex machine! In part, it was truth – and even lionesses would help prop Frasier up while the big cat mated with his pride; he sired many offspring.

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Disneyland Diamond Celebration Details Revealed!

Disneyland-Paint-The-Night-TinkThree sensational new nighttime spectaculars will dazzle guests at the Disneyland Resort when the Diamond Celebration begins Friday, May 22, 2015. Nighttime will glitter as never before when the latest technology and immersive special effects lift the Paint the Night parade and Disneyland Forever fireworks spectacular beyond anything seen in the past at Disneyland Park. In Disney California Adventure Park, a new World of Color show featuring Mickey Mouse will tell the story of Walt Disney and the Happiest Place on Earth through fountains, film, animation, a stirring musical score and amazing visual surprises.

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FAN MAIL: TPA Knott’s Haunt Maze DVD & Rufus Mystery

Special Ops: Infected 2014Hi,

Can I buy a DVD, or better yet, a Blu-ray of your 2014 Knott’s Halloween walk-throughs of all the mazes, without the big white TPA logo in the lower right ?

How much would that be?

Thanks,
Dave

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The Darkness to Open for TransWorld 2015

darkness-haunt-tourThe Darkness Haunted House located in St. Louis, Missouri, is set to open for the haunted house industry during TransWorld’s Halloween & Attraction Show March 19-22, 2015.

Take one of three different tours through one of the most detailed haunted houses in America. Go behind the scenes Thursday, March 19th and take photos, videos, and experience seminars on how to build amazing sets.

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Celebrate Harry Potter This Weekend at Universal Orlando

CoHP Release ArtworkThis weekend, fans from around the world will come together to celebrate Harry Potter’s adventures at the second annual A Celebration of Harry Potter. Hosted by Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros., this three-day event will allow fans to enjoy incredible experiences from Q&A sessions with some of their favorite Harry Potter film talent to exploring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and more.

The event will include unforgettable experiences, such as:

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Big Game Celebrations Planned at MGM Resorts in Las Vegas

ThePubAtMonteCarloRestaurants at MGM Resorts International will offer football fanatics a celebratory lineup of Big Game specials. Guests at Bellagio, ARIA, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Delano, The Mirage, Monte Carlo and New York-New York are invited to enjoy a front row seat in Las Vegas to cheer on their favorite team.

The Big Game is even bigger at Bellagio. With multiple VIP seating packages and a full menu of delicious food, guests can experience the ultimate viewing party at Hyde. Cheering fans at Lily Bar & Lounge can enjoy limitless signature cocktails, prime seating and a satisfying spread of delicious food offerings.

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Baby Gorilla Named by Fans at Busch Gardens Tampa

Baby Gorilla at Busch Gardens TampaBusch Gardens Tampa Facebook fans have spoken, and the name of the baby male gorilla is Enzi. The name was chosen after nearly 2,000 votes were submitted in a Facebook poll.

Enzi means “power” in Swahili, which is spoken by various communities living in Eastern Africa. The other name options were Birungi, meaning “bringer of good things,” and Bem, meaning “peace.”

The baby gorilla was born on Dec. 16 at Busch Gardens to 12-year old endangered western lowland gorilla, Pele. Both Pele and baby, along with Busch Gardens’ other gorillas, can be seen in the Myombe Reserve habitat at select times throughout the day.

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Delusion: Lies Within 2014 Review

Delusion_PosterRetail_19X27Without a doubt, one of the most popular heavyweight champions of Southern California’s Halloween season is Delusion. Whether you consider it a haunted attraction or simply a spooky play that you star in that happens to take place during the haunt season, there are no two ways about it – Delusion has become a national and international sensation that a very broad range of fans are drawn to each year here in Los Angeles, and coming off of an amazingly successful 2014 run, there are no signs whatsoever that Delusion is slowing down in momentum; on the contrary – this might just be an experience that could survive here year-round in Southern California.

Delusion’s creator, Jon Braver, does not readily embrace the idea that his Haunted Play concept is a haunted attraction or Halloween-specific event. This is something that he and I have discussed and debated for years, ever since Delusion debuted in 2011 right here in Los Angeles, taking the haunt season by storm. Part interactive play, part haunted house, Delusion places guests in the story and immerses them in a lengthy, completely satisfying production that leaves your head spinning. Dazzling special effects, a very detailed story line, and top-notch actors are the hallmarks of what makes Jon Braver’s Delusion experience so different than anything we’ve ever covered.

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Voyage to the Iron Reef Opening at Knott’s May 15, 2015

Voyage to the Iron Reef On-Ride 2Knott’s Berry Farm has announced the opening date of its new interactive attraction, Voyage to the Iron Reef! Guests will be able to take on the Reef and its mysteries beginning May 15th, 2015!

Voyage to the Iron Reef will be a spectacular new interactive 4-D attraction for the entire family.  Save Knott’s from mysterious creatures emerging from the seas beneath the Boardwalk in a cutting edge media-based battle. Through enchanting underwater forests, disorienting ocean current tunnels, and mysterious mechanical wreckage, high definition 3-D animation will surround guests at every turn.

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Chinese New Year at Bellagio Conservatory in Las Vegas

bellagio-conservatoryBellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens invites guests to celebrate Chinese New Year with a captivating display commemorating the Year of the Yang, now through March 15. Brought to life by 22,000 flowers in vibrant hues of red and gold, the display features an assortment of silk-lantern chandeliers and unique Asian vignettes that incorporate elements of Chinese design.

In Chinese and other Asian cultures, the upcoming new year is the celebration of the Year of the Yang which simultaneously honors the Goat, Sheep and Ram. Paying homage to the different forms of the Yang, the Conservatory will recognize the Goat while the Ram will be honored elsewhere around the resort.

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