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Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns Coming to San Diego Zoo Safari Park in 2015

Rise_Lanterns_2014_4518The San Diego Zoo Safari Park parking lot will be glowing orange every weekend during October, when it hosts Rise of the Jack O’lanterns. This is the first year the Safari Park has hosted this experience, which features more than 5,000 intricately hand-carved jack o’lanterns, crafted by artists into striking displays—along a winding trail that spans a third of a mile.

Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns is a family friendly event featuring themed carvings that include enormous dragons, larger-than-life crabs, classic cars, favorite characters and, of course, animals. The event also features music scored exclusively for The Rise, delivering a multi-sensory experience for participants.

In addition to viewing the completed displays, guests can watch as top sculptors for The Rise transform 100-pound pumpkins into artistic creations during a live carve. The surface of the trail where the event takes place is stroller- and wheelchair-friendly.

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First Look: 17th Door Haunted House Coming to Tustin for Halloween 2015

17th Door Haunted House (6)Meet Robbie and Heather Luther. They’re the typical couple from Orange County, California. Well-educated, a beautiful family, financially comfortable, extremely motivated with multiple businesses that they own, and hell-bent on crushing souls this Halloween season and making adults scream for mercy.

The Luthers are the newest members of the Southern California haunt community, and admittedly, are quite the enigma thus far. They don’t fit the typical mold of what a “haunter” is; they didn’t grow up working or building haunted houses with friends, they’re not necessarily huge fans of the horror genre, and while they’ve attended major haunts such as Knott’s Scary Farm and Universal Studios Hollywood over the years (a few times as casual guests), they’ve never become involved in the haunted attraction community and are, by design, fairly oblivious to how it all works here and elsewhere around the country.

For a few years, Robbie thought it would be fun to create a haunted house, combining his skills and know-how learned from other businesses he has his hands in – including fabrication, sound design, and architecture. Basically, Robbie comes to the table with an incredible knowledge base perfect for designing haunted attractions. The idea of creating a haunt however, has always taken a back seat to “real” projects; it’s always been the “nice to have” thought lurking in the back of his mind. Recently, his wife, Heather, said that she wanted to start up a new project, and when they began brainstorming what their next venture would be – bingo! The 17th Door finally had a green light!

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Raptors Encounter Thrilling Guests at Universal Studios Hollywood

Raptor Encounter Universal Studios HollywoodThe ferocious predatory Velociraptors that gained notoriety in the Jurassic Park blockbuster movies and sprang to life in Jurassic Park—The Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood will be unleashed in an all-new exciting Raptors Encounter experience at The Entertainment Capital of L.A. that pits guests in a daring face-to-face standoff with these terrifying, now free-roaming carnivores.

Tipping the scales at a hefty 750 pounds, towering 15 feet in height and 13 feet from tail to snout, the aggressive Cretaceous-era dinosaurs will each succumb to highly skilled handlers who adeptly guide them to within feet of guests in a specially themed area of the park, located adjacent to Jurassic Park—The Ride.

Highly intelligent creatures, Raptors—short for Velociraptors—are notorious hunters, who in recent years have undergone intense training by adept handlers as part of these unusual guest interactions. This Universal Studios Hollywood introduction marks their first West coast theme park foray with guests.

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Rockin’ Round the Zoo at Zoofari High at Santa Ana Zoo Tickets on Sale

Santa Ana Zoo ZoofariThe Friends of Santa Ana Zoo (FOSAZ), a non-profit organization, are pleased to announce tickets sales, media and sponsorship opportunities for its 23rd annual Rockin’ Round the Zoo at Zoofari High fundraising event are now generally available for purchase online or by calling (714) 953-8555 x10.

Tickets to this year’s exclusive black-tie gala under the stars are $250 each or $2,500 for a private table of 10. All tickets must be purchased in advance of the event, which will take place Saturday, August 29 from 5:30 pm to midnight at the Santa Ana Zoo in Prentice Park located at 1801 Chestnut Avenue in Santa Ana. Space is limited and tickets will not be sold at the door.

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Savage House Haunted Attraction Returns to San Diego This Halloween

Savage House Haunted Attraction LogoSavage House Haunted Attraction in San Diego is returning for its second year! Unlike most haunted attractions filled with multiple themed rooms, Savage House has put a unique twist on the old recipe by creating San Diego’s ONLY themed haunt.

Savage Productions, the masterminds behind Savage House, immerse you in a storyline complete with a plot that begins from the moment you’re in line until you exit the last room. From the characters to the sets, costumes and makeup, Savage House is a unique and impressive experience. What’s even more impressive is that Savage Productions has found a way to contain this experience in a free standing structure in a public space.

Unlike most other haunted attractions that are in permanent locations year round or a vacant building that’s been temporarily converted, Savage Productions has found a way to create this experience in a temporary structure while still meeting all local building codes including earthquake and wind requirements as well as fire safety requirements, and also meet all ADA (American Disabilities Act) requirements, an impressive task considering they construct the entire haunt in 14 days, operate for the month of October, and then tear down in 14 days leaving the site looking as though they were never there.

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Walt Disney World Offering Fall Kid-Size Package Vacation Getaway

Fun with Little Ones at Magic KingdomDisney makes little dreams come true in big ways with the Fall Kid-Size Package ideal for preschool families. The vacation package provides special savings to experience all the fun of stories, characters and attractions that little ones love at Walt Disney World Resort, including the fun of Disney Junior during the golden days of the harvest season.

The fall Kid-Size Package includes three nights at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort and two-day theme park tickets for a family of three for $903*. Guests can book this package beginning July 20 through September 18. This package is available for Sunday – Thursday nights during select travel dates: Oct. 4- 8, Oct. 12- Nov. 5, Nov. 9-19, and Nov. 29- Dec.10, 2015.

There’s a bounty of festive offerings just right for preschool families. Guests can play along with favorite experiences including many Disney Junior offerings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

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Old Globe Way Project Complete, Connecting San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park

Old Globe WaySan Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilmember Todd Gloria joined San Diego Zoo Global staff this week to officially open the newly renovated Old Globe Way, on the south side of the San Diego Zoo. The widened and landscaped roadway leads to the Zoo’s new employee parking structure and the Old Globe, past the Casa del Prado and the San Diego Museum of Art.

“This Old Globe Way project is a gift to all of San Diego, creating a wonderful connection between two of the City’s most cherished landmarks: historic Balboa Park and the world-famous San Diego Zoo,” said Mayor Faulconer. “It’s fitting that the project opens during the Balboa Park Centennial as we elevate, celebrate and promote the park for 2015 and beyond.”

The Old Globe Way project—including a renovated roadway that leads to the Old Globe theater complex and Village Place (an improved turnaround and unloading zone that serves the Casa del Prado)—cost more than $2 million to build.

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Bands, Brews and BBQs Event Coming to Carowinds July 31 – August 16

Bands Brews and BBQs Carowinds LogoAs the place where the Carolinas come together, Carowinds knows a thing or two about having a good time.  The park is holding an end of summer party, Bands, Brews and BBQs, beginning Saturday, July 31.  This inaugural festival combines three things Carolinians love: the best ale, sounds and barbecue eatin’ around.

Bands, Brews and BBQs will be held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from July 31 through August 16.  Food booths will be open beginning at 11 a.m.

“We are excited to continue the enhancements we have made this year to our culinary programs with the introduction of another signature food event.  It truly makes it a ‘best day ever’ park experience for our guests”, says Kris Suita, Carowinds executive chef.  “And after the positive response we received from our Taste of the Carolinas event this past spring, we felt it was the perfect opportunity to end the summer with something that defines the Carolina experience – mouthwatering BBQ.”

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World’s Largest Matchstick Model – Plane Loco – Purchased by Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Ripley's Plane LocoA train bound for New York City is an ordinary event – but not when it’s a train made from one million matchsticks and its destination is Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square Odditorium.  Then you’re talking extraordinary!

The train measures 22 feet long, 13 feet wide and 9 feet high. It will become one of signature exhibits at Ripley’s Times Square after its installation on July 29.

Ripley’s commissioned the train from master matchstick artist Pat Acton. This is not just his largest creation, but it’s the biggest matchstick model in the world.

Acton spent 14 months building the locomotive in a steampunk style, complete with wings and interactive, working parts.

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Oakland Zoo Donation Opportunity for Feast for the Beasts 2015

Oakland Zoo Feast for the BeastsSaturday is one of Oakland Zoo’s semi- annual Feast for the Beasts events, where the public is invited and encouraged to donate fresh fruits and veggies to the Zoo animals. To kick off this family friendly event, the first 250 guests that arrive will receive a golden ticket that allows them the special opportunity to spread produce, such as bananas, pineapple, sweet potatoes, cabbage, melons, and more, throughout the elephant exhibit. As soon as all the food is in place, guests will exit the exhibit in order to watch the Zoo’s four African Elephants ( Lisa, M’dunda, Donna, and Osh) enjoy the donated treats.

“Feast for the Beast is such a great event! It is the one event where our guests bring amazing produce for all of our animals to enjoy,” said co-elephant manager Jeff Kinzley. “But, for the Elephants it is by far their favorite day of the year! The day starts as any other, until the guest start arriving with all of that food. The elephants start getting anxious and exited because of all the produce they can smell being hidden around their habitat. They know what this day is! When we release them from the lower yards to the Exhibit, it is the one day they all run to the exhibit to be the first one to gorge on the feast that has been prepared for them! For me, I love watching their reaction, their excitement.”

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