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Compared to the other large-scale haunted attraction events in Southern California, Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor is the new kid on the block. While there have been haunts hosted at the Queen Mary for quite some time, Dark Harbor and its very specific theme and character roster has only been there for 6 seasons. Aging like a fine wine, I’d have to say that 2015 was my favorite so far for Dark Harbor; it is maturing and coming into its own so nicely, that many fans are declaring it to be their favorite “theme park haunt” for numerous reasons.
The Queen Mary is, as I have said in the past, arguably the most unique setting for a large-scale haunt event anywhere in the world. With an established history of paranormal activity and ghoulish happenings, having some of Dark Harbor take place on the actual ship itself is worth the price of admission right off the bat. The more recent “dark carnival” element that has been added to the surrounding area – has been embraced and lauded by fans from far and near for the most part. The combination of haunted passenger ship and twisted carnival is so strange that it works – it works beautifully together, and is pulled off by an unparalleled cast of original characters; home-grown intellectual properties (IP) that have amassed huge popularity in just a few years; more so than any other haunt we’re familiar with here in Southern California.
A very, merry Grinchmas returns to Universal Studios Hollywood as the theme park celebrates the Who-lidays with The Grinch, his faithful dog Max and a roster of Whos from the town of Who-ville.
Grinchmas runs weekends on December 5-6 and 12-13, then continues daily from December 18, 2015 through January 3, 2016.
Knott’s Berry Farm Serves Traditional Thanksgiving Offerings and a Winter Wonderland of Seasonal Fun
When it comes to holiday dining, no one does it better than Knott’s Berry Farm! Starting Thanksgiving Day, a bounty of delectable choices await hungry guests, from freshly made Thanksgiving Take Home Dinners, an all-you-can-eat champagne buffet at Spurs Chophouse, or an elegant Thanksgiving meal at the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel. The Thanksgiving holiday is only the start of delicious dining on the farm.
Guests who plan to host Thanksgiving at home this year, can take advantage of Knott’s Thanksgiving Take Home Dinner. The delicious meal serves between six – eight people, and includes the choice of a 12 – 14 lb. whole-roasted turkey or an 8 – 10 lb. honey glazed ham, for $124.99 (price excludes tax). Fixings include: mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, buttered whole kernel corn, country apple stuffing, cranberry sauce, candied yams, one dozen farm baked dinner rolls, bread and butter pickles, butter and boysenberry preserves, and pumpkin or boysenberry pie. Now through November 24, guests can order online or by calling (714) 220-5006. Pick-up will be available on November 25 from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and November 26 from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Since the news of the death of Nola, a critically endangered 41-year-old northern white rhino who died yesterday at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park was announced, San Diego Zoo Global has received an overwhelming outpouring of sympathy from around the globe.
“There are no words to adequately express the depth of the loss of Nola”, stated Randy Rieches, curator of mammals at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “All of us at San Diego Zoo Global are grateful for the outpouring of condolences we have been receiving. Nola was truly an amazing animal and her story resonated with people not only in San Diego, but globally. It is a very difficult time for our staff right now as they have worked with and cared for Nola for 26 years. Our hearts are broken over the loss of Nola and knowing her subspecies is now three individuals from extinction makes it even more difficult for of all of us who work with and love rhinos. But, we are not willing to give up.”
Hundreds of Universal Studios Hollywood’s employee volunteers and a medley of Minions from the theme park’s popular Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride banded together to pay it forward and give back to six LA-based non-profit community organizations as The Entertainment Capital of L.A. marked its 11th annual Day of Giving on Thursday, November 12, 2015.
The inspirational Day of Giving event is Universal Studios Hollywood’s yearly tradition designed to connect employees with diverse community organizations, many of which are beneficiaries of the company’s philanthropic foundation, Discover A Star, whose mission is to empower individuals and families to lead more productive and fulfilling lives.
Universal Orlando Resort has launched a new Hero ticket just for Florida residents – designed to give them huge savings on multi-day ticket options to Universal’s award-winning theme parks. Offers are available for a limited time and include:
Three-Day Ticket – can be used for THREE DAYS between now and Jan. 31, 2016. Blockout dates apply.
· 3-day base ticket (access to one theme park per day) for $129.99 plus tax, per person
· 3-day park-to-park ticket (access to both theme parks on each day) for $163.99 plus tax, per person
Epcot invites guests to experience the magic of the season and time-honored traditions from around the globe during Holidays Around the World. This year’s festive celebration rings in a new entertainment offering as well as seasonal favorites from Nov. 27 – Dec. 30, 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort.
One of the most beloved holiday traditions during this special seasonal event is The Candlelight Processional. This poignant performance allows guests to experience the Christmas story through masterful storytelling by celebrity narrators, accompanied by a mass choir and the Walt Disney World orchestra performing traditional and contemporary Christmas songs.
This morning, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) inducted Fred Hollingsworth III, Jack Lindquist, and Tom Williams into the IAAPA Hall of Fame. The IAAPA Hall of Fame honors individuals for their significant and lasting contributions to the worldwide attractions industry. The inductions were announced during the Kickoff Event for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2015 in Orlando, Florida, the premier annual conference and trade show for the global attractions industry.
“We are pleased to welcome Fred Hollingsworth III, Jack Lindquist, and Tom Williams as the newest inductees to the IAAPA Hall of Fame,” said Jack Morey, 2015 chairman of the IAAPA Hall of Fame and Archives Committee and executive vice president of Morey’s Piers. “They are dedicated to creating unique experiences for our industry’s guests, and the products and events they’ve directed have delighted people around the world for decades. Their passion for our business is unmistakable and they deserve this prestigious recognition for their contributions.”
As the Force awakens at the Disneyland Resort, Star Wars Season of the Force debuts Nov. 16, bringing exciting new experiences to Disneyland Park to celebrate all things Star Wars. Adding to the annual Holidays season and the dazzling 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration, Season of the Force in Tomorrowland will entertain fans of the famous film saga and guests looking forward to the future Star Wars-themed land.
Among the elements entering this galaxy are Star Wars Launch Bay, an interactive space in the newly named Tomorrowland Expo Center; Star Wars: Path of the Jedi, a cinematic overview of the Star Wars saga; a new adventure in Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, and the reimagined attraction, Hyperspace Mountain. Opening Dec. 8, Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple enhances this popular show with new characters and a new villain.
Recently, the ambitious plans for 20th Century Fox World theme park were announced, setting fan and industry-related sites abuzz with commentary and activity around the world. The new resort, which is set to be built in Dubai, is a much larger project than Fox has ever taken on, and by all accounts, this project certainly has teeth.
Theme Park Adventure has scrutinized the project’s press release, tracked down multiple quotes by employees of Rethink Leisure & Entertainment, and has gone over every inch of the fairly-detailed concept art of Fox World Dubai. We’ve drawn our own conclusions and thought it would be fun to share them with you. Whether or not any of them are correct certainly is anyone’s guess. However, it’s helpful sometimes to come at these things from our professional background, to explain our thoughts and educate fans as to why we see things the way we do from time to time. In the end, we simply want our enthusiastic speculation to come off as interesting and thought-provoking to you. TPA usually doesn’t get into this territory; on occasion, something comes along that is so juicy, we can’t resist rolling up our sleeves and getting into the thick of it just for fun!