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The Backwoods Maze Home Haunt 2014

The Backwoods_2015-103848One of the most impressive home haunts we’ve ever visited exists in Burbank, California. It’s The Backwoods, and this is an attraction at a private residence that has to be seen to be believed.

Truly a labor of love, the family that lives at 1912 N. Pepper Street is dedicated to their home haunt – and it’s a good thing they’re all-in, because it consumes their entire backyard year-round. The Backwoods features an incredibly full footprint that switchbacks on itself numerous times through towering two-story sets and past a mind-boggling assortment of home-made props, ranging from grotesque to simply awe-striking.

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Zuri’s Sweets Shop Now Open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Zuri's Sweets Shop at Disney's Animal KingdomGuests can take their taste buds on a mouth-watering safari with a visit to Zuri’s Sweets Shop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This new merchandise location at Harambe Market in the Africa section of the park offers an assortment of wild new treats and eats.

Zuri’s Sweets Shop features 80 exclusive food items inspired by the sights, sounds and flavors of Africa. Guests can purchase themed decorative candy apples, assorted bulk trail mixes, uniquely flavored chocolate bars and delectable popcorn with a touch of African spices. Guests with a taste for barbeque also can find the signature sweet and spicy sauce from the park’s popular Flame Tree Barbecue.

This unique location also includes a colorful confectionary case filled with a variety of candies and baked treats. Guests with a sweet tooth will be thrilled to find tiger-shaped sugar cookies, elephant-shaped caramel apples and colorful giraffe marshmallow pops alongside Disney confectionary classics, such as Mickey Mouse chocolate chip cookies and tasty chocolate fudge.

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runDisney Stands Out Among Popular Race Series

runDisney-castleSince its rebrand in 2010, runDisney has become one of the premier race organizers in the country. From kids races to the most magical 26.2 miles on earth, runDisney offers unique race weekends at various Disney theme parks – at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla., on Disney’s private Bahamian island Castaway Cay and at Disneyland Paris beginning in 2016.

The magic of runDisney has translated to significant growth and popularity in recent years, both in terms of runners and number of events. Runners nationwide and internationally (209,000-plus in 2014) have clamored to sign up for these popular race weekends. Frequently, runDisney race weekends sell out in record time. For instance, the inaugural Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon in 2014 and the Star Wars Half Marathon in 2015 each sold out in about two hours.

As the series continues to expand (there will be eight race weekends in 2016), runDisney remains focused on providing creative ways to bring new runners into the sport of running as well as into Disney parks. First-time runners as well as aspiring Olympians can experience the legendary Disney entertainment and guest service, while ultimately celebrating their accomplishments with a Disney vacation.

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Hong Kong Disneyland Has 5th Consecutive Record-Breaking Year

Hong-Kong-Disneyland-FiscalHong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL) last week reported its results for fiscal year 2014, marking the fifth consecutive year of record revenue, attendance, and guest spending. Revenue hit HK$5,466 million, up 12% from the prior year, and net profit increased HK$88 million to HK$332 million, up 36% from the prior year.

Following the successful expansion of the resort, HKDL continued to enrich guest experiences through magical new entertainment experiences and classic Disney franchises and storytelling, which were key factors contributing to strong results.

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Spring Festival and Frozen Characters at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland-Paris-FrozenFor the second consecutive year, after a first successful edition, Disneyland Paris is to launch a colourful Spring festival, providing the opportunity to celebrate flower power and awaken guests’ senses. Get ready for new musical shows, even more flower-filled scenery and Disney characters all wearing their most beautiful spring costumes specially made by the Disneyland Paris Sewing Workshop.

The scene will be set from the Disneyland Park entrance with the first show entitled Welcome to Spring, specially orchestrated by the residents of Main Street, U.S.A. and Disney characters. Guests will be immersed in a spring universe where butterflies, flowers, topiaries and music are sure to submerge them in the magic of spring.

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The Walking Dead: End of the Line Maze Preview 2014

The Walking Dead: The End of the LineWith 2014’s Halloween Horror Nights upon us at Universal Studios Hollywood, we have one more behind the scenes peek for fans – this time, it’s from the maze The Walking Dead: End of the Line. Last week, as temperatures hit 100+ degrees outside, HHN’s Creative Director and Executive Producer, John Murdy, took a handful of media into the Walking Dead maze, where it was easily upward of 110 degrees. We had to keep reminding ourselves that it’s Halloween season – because Mother Nature certainly hasn’t gotten the memo here in Southern California.

When Universal announced the return of The Walking Dead franchise for both of its American parks, the news was met with mixed reaction from fans – obviously, those who are hard core Walking Dead fans were immediately thrilled; those who are neutral or actually don’t like the television series (I know a few – they’re rare, but they do exist) rolled eyes and voiced their dislike. And I totally get that. When you have something as popular as Halloween Horror Nights that has only a very limited capacity for new content each season, the moment you begin repeating themes or IP content, you head down a slippery slope that is often taken as creative being run by the company’s marketing machine (which sadly, should never be the case, but is a constant battle in this industry these day), or simply as being lazy. The latter certainly isn’t the case with Universal Studios, and we know for a fact that John Murdy plays a heavy role in selecting the event’s creative content from one season to another. The bottom line – Murdy really likes the franchise, its creators, and the general public is in love with The Walking Dead (isn’t your DVR set to record the season premiere!?) still.

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Baby Fennec Fox at San Diego Zoo

fennecA three-month-old fennec fox is full of energy and ready to play in the Children’s Zoo Nursery at the San Diego Zoo. The young male, who weighs just 1.5 pounds, is in quarantine before training to serve as an animal ambassador for his species.

The nocturnal fox pup has spurts of energy, so animal care staff have been giving him lots of toys and food puzzles to help keep him busy. For example, mealworms are hidden in cardboard boxes or in his sand mound, which encourages the fox to use some of his natural searching and digging behaviors. The fox’s favorite toys to play with are small, plush toy mice.

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Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort 2014

Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal OrlandoUniversal Orlando Resort is the perfect place for families to spend the holiday season. In addition to the pulse-pounding attractions and unforgettable experiences found at the theme parks, families can build lifelong memories together at Universal Orlando’s Holidays celebration.

Beginning Dec. 6 and running daily through Jan. 3, the Holidays at Universal Orlando features one-of-a-kind traditions for guests from one to 92 throughout the destination. At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, families will light up with holiday cheer as Grinchmas comes to life throughout Seuss Landing. Guests can enjoy a live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s classic holiday tale, “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular,” featuring the Whos from Who-ville, accompanied by an original musical score by Mannheim Steamroller. Guests can also meet The Grinch and the Whos and on select dates, enjoy a special breakfast with the characters.

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Disneyland Resort 59th Anniversary Facts & Figures

DisneylandOn its 59th anniversary, the Disneyland Resort celebrates a rich heritage of magic happening every day plus the excitement of the upcoming Diamond Celebration in 2015. Since 1955, the Disneyland Resort has grown from a single park to a world-class, family destination resort with two renowned theme parks, three hotels and the shopping, dining and entertainment district known as Downtown Disney. This magic kingdom is continually evolving and expanding. Disney Princesses recently found a new home with the creation of Fantasy Faire at Disneyland Park, and new characters joined the fun in 2012 with the addition of Cars Land to top off the five-year expansion of Disney California Adventure Park.

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Dive’n’Movies at Wet’n’Wild Vegas

WnW_DOM_LasVegas_CMYK_OutlineBack by popular demand, Dive‘n’Movies at Wet‘n’Wild Las Vegas began on Friday, June 6 at 8 p.m., kicking off with the highest grossing animated film of all time. Movie nights are free with the price of admission and are an added benefit for Season Pass holders. During the day, guests can take advantage of the park’s many slides and attractions including the new Tornado extreme funnel slide that provides a zero gravity experience, and then catch great movies under the stars every Friday night.

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