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The latest in themed entertainment industry news…

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Fans Are a Devoted Community, Preparing to Gather at Midsummer Scream 2017

The Twilight Zone Tower of TerrorIn just days, thousands of Halloween and horror fans will pour into the Long Beach Convention Center to experience Midsummer Scream 2017 on July 29 and 30. One of the most-anticipated presentations of the weekend will kick the event off at noon on Saturday – Beyond the 5th Dimension: Creating The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. This hour-long presentation will feature several individuals key to the design of the original attraction in Orlando, as well as the subsequent versions that were installed at Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo DisneySea.

What will drive guests to this particular presentation? Their undying love of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and the fact that Midsummer Scream is going to give Southern California fans a truly fantastic way to come together as a community to listen to the attractions creators, and give it a proper farewell together as a group.

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Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor New Maze and Spirit to be Announced at Midsummer Scream 2017

Queen Mary's Dark Harbor new maze and character to be revealed at Midsummer Scream 2017As the excitement builds in anticipation of next weekend’s Midsummer Scream convention in Long Beach, the Queen Mary has just announced that it will be revealing a new Dark Harbor maze and character to fans during its hour-long presentation on Saturday, July 29 in the Terrace Theater (main stage).

Typically, each of the major theme parks and attractions that participate in Midsummer Scream thrill guests with enticing presentations and discussions of what’s to be expected come Halloween time. The biggest moments come when the attractions unveil a new maze or major component – that is the pièce de résistance as far as fans are concerned; it’s what they line up for, and it’s what they hope to witness when they pour into the theater each summer.

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Six Flags Magic Mountain Offers Free Admission for DC Comics Cosplay on July 12

Magic Mountain calling on DC Comics cosplay fans!Six Flags Magic Mountain is putting the call out for all DC Comics superheroes – and villains – to celebrate the opening of its brand-new attraction, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis! This widespread call for DC Comics cosplay at Magic Mountain is your ticket – literally – to get into the park and experience the new ride on July 12!

Magic Mountain isn’t wanting people to dress up just for fun – they’re going to attempt to break a world record for most cosplay participants in a theme park.

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Legacy of the Hallowed Haunting Grounds Panel Announced for Midsummer Scream 2017

The history of home haunting in Southern California is long and storied. However, one home haunt in particular – the Hallowed Haunting Grounds – changed the playing field dramatically in 1973, when a group of creative kids led by Gary Corb took to the front yard at 4343 Babcock Avenue in Studio City.

Over the course of 32 years, the Hallowed Haunting Grounds grew into the most elaborate and detailed Halloween yard display anyone had ever seen. What started out as a simple homage to Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, became a must-see roadside attraction each October; a virtual who’s who from the entertainment industry showing up nightly to gawk and whisper with the masses as they journeyed “beyond the graveyard of desolate souls”. The Hallowed Haunting Grounds was more than a spectacle; it became a cornerstone of Halloween in Los Angeles, attracting thousands from near and far to experience its subtle complexity – mournful spirits, crumbling church ruins, undulating graves, floating lanterns, and displaced ghosts.

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Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle Dazzles Universal Studios Hollywood Guests

Most major theme parks have their own “kiss goodnight” – an end-of-day spectacular of some sort designed to keep people around until after dark. Universal Studios Hollywood finally has theirs – The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle.

When The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Universal Studios Hollywood in April 2016, media and VIPs attending the grand opening party were treated to a stunning projection show on the Hogwarts facade, featuring a live orchestra conducted by John Williams, accompanied by fireworks behind the castle. When all was said and done, many of us in attendance agreed that it was the best projection show we’d ever seen, and that it absolutely needed to become a nightly occurrence in Hogsmeade – minus the orchestra and legendary composer, of course.

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45 Years of Knott’s Scary Farm Presentation Announced for Midsummer Scream 2017

This Halloween season marks a special milestone for our friends at Knott’s Berry Farm. When the fog begins to billow across Ghost Town, and strange creatures begin to emerge from the shadows later this year, it will be time to celebrate the 45th Halloween event the park has hosted – known around the world as Knott’s Scary Farm. Fans need not wait until late September or October to begin celebrating, however. On Sunday, July 30th, Midsummer Scream will proudly present 45 Years of Knott’s Scary Farm, hosted by author/historian Ted Dougherty.

45 Years of Knott’s Scary Farm will close Midsummer Scream 2017 with a special 90-minute presentation on Sunday, July 30th, beginning at 4:30pm in the Terrace Theater, which will accommodate up to 3,000 fans. The unique presentation will feature historical photos of Knott’s Scary Farm, and an unprecedented “rotating panel” that will spotlight individuals key to the creation of, and crucial to the continued success of the haunt that pioneered similar events at theme parks around the world.

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Voodoo Doughnut Debuts at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles

“Good Things Come in Pink Boxes!”

The signature pink boxes, multi-colored icing, that iconic voodoo doll-shaped doughnut. The legendary Portland pastry shop Voodoo Doughnut has officially opened its first-ever California location at Universal CityWalk in Hollywood.

It’s no secret that Voodoo Doughnut may be the most popular doughnut shop in the world. I’ve read, watched and heard about this original Portland creation for years. From Travel Channel to friends boasting about their jelly-filled purchases, Voodoo has been a part of popular conversation for a long, long time.

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Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle Show Coming to Universal Studios Hollywood

Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts CastleA new after dark spectacular is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter this summer: The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle!

Following the incredible grand opening ceremony of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Los Angeles last spring, fans have been begging for a similar nighttime projection show to be brought back to the theme park for everyone to enjoy as Potter’s own “kiss goodnight” each evening. Guess what? Universal listened. Beginning June 23, 2017, guests visiting Universal Studios Hollywood will be treated to a spectacular projection show on the Hogwarts exterior several times each night, after the sun has completely set and it’s dark.

According to Universal Studios Hollywood, the Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle show will showcase the four houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin, with a finale of a fan of lights beaming upward into the night sky. The dazzling visuals will be accompanied by a brand-new state-of-the-art sound system that has been installed in Hogsmeade, as well as other special effects surprises that will “wow” guests viewing the spectacle.

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Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Panel Announced for Midsummer Scream 2017

One stormy night long ago, five people stepped through the door of an elevator and into a nightmare. That door is opening once again, and this time it’s opening for fans of the iconic Disney attraction – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – as they converge on Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival at the Long Beach Convention Center this July.

Kicking off this year’s world-class presentations in the Terrace Theater at 12 noon on Saturday, July 29, is a must-see panel discussion titled, “Beyond the 5th Dimension: Creating The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror”.

Hosted by Midsummer Scream Creative Director Rick West, this thrilling panel discussion will feature Cory Sewelson, who served as the Production Designer/Art Director for the Florida version of Tower, and the Producer/Creative Director for California and Paris’ versions of the attraction; Michael Sprout, who was the Show Writer on each Tower project, including Tokyo’s, which does not carry The Twilight Zone theme; and Mark Silverman, the amazing voice actor who brought the persona of Rod Serling to life for the Florida, California, and Paris attractions.

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Universal Cinema Opens at CityWalk Hollywood During Star-Studded Ceremony

As one of the many new developments at Universal Studios Hollywood’s ongoing epic transformation, Universal Cinema is an exciting multi-million dollar renovation of its AMC Theatre at CityWalk. Boasting a state-of-the-art and contemporary design, the new theater incorporates the most up-to-date technology in audio and visual technology that truly breathes new life into the movie-going experience for guests.

Theme Park Adventure was thrilled to attend the official grand opening of this new venture. As part of the Universal Cinema grand opening, high-profile guests were able to celebrate with us including Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal; legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg; Jordan Peele of Get Out; Will Packer of Straight Outta Compton; producer Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions; and Karen Irwin, President & COO, Universal Studios Hollywood.

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