Tag Archives: Christmas

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Christmas Programming Announced for Universal Orlando Resort

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Christmas is coming to Universal Orlando Resort!It’s the stuff of dreams, really: Universal announced today that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando would receive an extensive Christmas holiday overlay at both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.

Since Universal began rolling out their Wizarding Worlds, fans have been begging for a Harry Potter Christmas celebration, which would transform both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley into holiday spectacles, even more enchanting than they are already.

Between November 18, 2017 and January 6, 2018, visitors to Universal Orlando Resort are in for a huge holiday treat as both theme parks – Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure – are transformed into a winter wonderland with all the sights, sounds, and sweet treats that come with an epic Harry Potter Christmas celebration for the whole family!

Read More »

Leave a comment

Holiday in the Park 2016 Showcases Christmas and Coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain

Holiday in the Park 2016The mention of Six Flags Magic Mountain may instantly conjure mental images of some of the best roller coasters in the world… and rightfully so. However, in recent years, Magic Mountain has really stepped up its game – as has many of the other Six Flags properties – and has focused a great deal of attention on special seasonal events such as Holiday in the Park.

Holiday in the Park transforms much of Magic Mountain into a festive winter wonderland of twinkling Christmas lights, whimsical walk-around characters, sweet treats, Santa Claus, and of course, amazing thrill rides. While many of our readers have Magic Mountain on their radar because of Fright Fest, it certainly should be noted that we really love what they do each year now with Holiday in the Park – and we think you will, too.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Knott’s Merry Farm 2016 Brings Classy Christmas Festivities to Buena Park

Knott’s Berry Farm certainly knows how to do holidays. Immediately following its world-famous Scary Farm event each year, the park transforms into a winter wonderland, becoming Knott’s Merry Farm. While you’d think the team behind the scenes at Knott’s would be exhausted this time of year (and you’d be right making that assumption), they go up and beyond to deliver an event that is nothing shy of world-class.

Merry Farm 2016 is the best we have ever seen the park look during the Christmas season, and we’ve grown up with Knott’s. Each year, Cedar Fair management works with Knott’s, raising the bar and really pushing everyone involved to dig deep and go big. The company doesn’t throw millions at the Christmas season the way Disney or Universal do – but they go head-to-head with those very companies by way of live entertainment and quaint, classy decorations that truly resonate with guests and create a gorgeous setting to celebrate the holidays in with friends and loved ones of all ages.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Grinchmas 2016 Brings Wholiday Cheer to Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood is trimming up the tree once again with its annual Grinchmas event, which continues to take place select dates now through January 1, 2017.

Grinchmas is of course, based on the classic book by Dr. Seuss, How The Grinch Stole Christmas! Universal Studios Hollywood has hosted the annual event for years now, and while aspects of it may be losing some of its luster, guests visiting the Los Angeles theme park certainly seem to enjoy the celebration.

The star attraction of Grinchmas is The Grinch, followed by all of the Whos that populate Whoville, which has a temporary home in Universal Plaza on the parks Upper Lot, as well as the more permanent set location on the Backlot, which is seen by guests riding the Studio Tour. Visitors on the Studio Tour stop at the set from the 2000 Ron Howard re-telling of the popular Christmas tale, and are treated to a short song and dance medley which features the beloved classic, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Sinister Pointe’s Not So Merry Holiday Haunt 2016 Delivers Adult Humor and Twisted Surprises

Sinister Pointe has always been on the cutting edge of innovative haunt-centric attractions here in Southern California. In 2011, the company broke through the traditional Halloween season barrier and introduced its Not So Merry Holiday Haunt concept for the first time – an adults-only event using the same footprint as the existing haunted attraction, but redressing much of it with Christmas props, costumes and soundscape. Everyone went nuts for the Holiday Haunt, and curious fans came from far and near to see the raunchy spectacle for themselves.

The Holiday Haunt continued for two more Christmas seasons in the company’s long-time location in Orange County before going dark after the 2013 Christmas season. In the years that followed, Sinister Pointe has explored other ventures and opportunities despite fans asking without fail each year if the Holiday Haunt would return. When Jeff Schiefelbein and his crew announced the return of the Not So Merry Holiday Haunt for Christmas 2016, fans were thrilled; we were too, as this over-the-top holiday attraction had also become one of our favorite annual events.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story contains images and a video that are not suitable for children. Please exercise care when browsing in mixed company or around minors. Some of the content below is NSFW and will be considered offensive to some individuals. The embedded video is Age Restricted, as to add a layer of protection for our readers.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Queen Mary’s CHILL 2016 Features Enchanting All-New Alice in Winterland Theme

queen-mary-chill-2016_6One of the biggest holiday events in Southern California is CHILL, held each year at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. We went this past weekend to check it out, and although Mother Nature decided it was time for some much-needed rain here in the Southland, we had a really fun time exploring everything offered at this year’s CHILL. The popular winter event takes place just off the ship, including the massive dome where Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose used to reside.

In years past, the largest component of CHILL was its Ice Kingdom attraction – a collection of very impressive ice sculptures, including a reproduction of the Queen Mary’s bow and several ice slides for guests to enjoy. The ice sculptures were featured at the event for the past 4 years, and so, management decided it was time to change things up – if guests are coming back each Christmas season to enjoy CHILL, it’s got to be kept fresh and evolving, otherwise interest will begin to fade. Change things up is exactly what they’ve done this year with the introduction of Alice in Winterland, a large-scale walk-through interactive attraction developed for Queen Mary by Mycotoo, a creative design firm in Los Angeles. TPAers may recall that Mycotoo also developed this year’s new maze, Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising, for Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Santa’s Village in California Opening Date Set for December 2, 2016

sv4It’s been a long time coming, but it appears that Santa’s Village in the San Bernardino National Forest finally has an opening date – December 2, 2016.

When it was first announced that the beloved old theme park in Skyforest had been bought by businessman/realtor Bill Johnson in 2014, fans everywhere became very excited; rightfully so. After closing its gates in 1998, the defunct Christmas-themed park sat abandoned and neglected for years, its wonderful old rides and whimsical buildings falling into a sad state of disrepair and ruin. Vandals left their mark on the closed park, as did the harsh seasons on the mountain just miles from Lake Arrowhead. Over the years, occasional interest was sparked by news of a potential buyer – but nothing ever came of it. When the property was purchased by Johnson, that was a huge step in the right direction, giving us all hope that the little theme park might be restored and returned to operation with a lot of love and a truckload of investment money. The price tag in 2014 for Santa’s Village was reported to be in the neighborhood of $5-6 million. When the 154-acre property was purchased, we cautioned strongly beginning with our May 15, 2014 story about the park possibly re-opening that it would require a lot more than that to get the property back up to modern codes, rebuild its infrastructure, add new attractions, and hire a year-round team, along with seasonal employees.

Read More »

16 Comments

L.A. Zoo Lights Ranks on 2015 USA Today 10Best List of Holiday Tradition Destinations

LA Zoo Lights Water Show - PHOTO CREDIT: Jamie PhamL.A. ZOO LIGHTS, which heralds a new standard for nighttime magic at the Los Angeles Zoo through Sunday, January 3, 2016, is named one of the Best Zoo Lights 2015 in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards.  10Best local experts and editors picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.  L.A. ZOO LIGHTS, in only its second year, was selected #10.  An instant hit when it debuted last year, attracting more than 170,000 people, the dazzling wonderland returned in 2015 to top visitors’ “holiday tradition” destination list with a trove of awe-inspiring new lights and displays for an even brighter atmosphere of wonder and delight.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration Airs Christmas Day on ABC

Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas LogoThis Christmas, Disney Parks celebrates not only the joy of the holiday season, but the unforgettable family moments it has helped guests create over the past sixty years. Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration airs Friday, Dec. 25, 2015 (10:00 am.-12:00 p.m ET; airtimes vary; check local listings) on the ABC Television Network.

Now in its 32nd year, the unforgettable Christmas special welcomes back Robin Roberts of ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA) as lead host. Reporting from the Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, Roberts is accompanied by Jesse Palmer, who joins the event for the first time as a correspondent. New to the GMA team as a special contributor, Palmer shares key parade updates in the midst of the action on Main Street, U.S.A. Janel Parrish, star of the ABC Family hit show Pretty Little Liars – which will debut under the new network name, Freeform for its winter premiere on Jan. 12, 2016 – serves as music correspondent alongside Stitch from Cinderella Castle.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Jungle Bells Brings a Winter Wonderland to San Diego Zoo’s Polar Bears

Sledding: No Sleigh Needed! San Diego Zoo Polar Bear Belly Slides During Polar Snow DayPolar Bear Plunge at the San Diego Zoo was transformed into a winter wonderland early this Friday, as nearly 26 tons of glistening white snow blanketed the polar bear exhibit. The three bears — Kalluk, Tatqiq and Chinook — showed their excitement by frolicking in the snow. They rolled around in the fresh powder and wrestled with each other all morning long. Animal care staff also scattered yams, carrots, melons and beef femur bones throughout the exhibit as added enrichment, and watched as the bears pounced and dug for their prizes.

This surprise snowy enrichment was made possible by donors who contributed to the animal care wish list on the San Diego Zoo website, sandiegozoo.org. Enrichment is very important for the bears, as it stimulates them, keeps them active and promotes natural behaviors.

Read More »

Leave a comment