Tag Archives: Rick West

Mark Woodbury Named Vice Chairman, Universal Parks & Resorts

Mark WoodburyIn a move that doesn’t surprise industry folks, but will resonate very nicely with hard core theme park fans, Universal has named Mark Woodbury Vice Chairman of its Parks & Resorts division.

Fans consider Woodbury to be a big deal – elevated to a place rarely occupied by anyone out of the realm of traditional industry figureheads such as Tony Baxter, Phil Hettema, or Gary Goddard. However, after being heavily involved with projects at Universal for the past 28 years – including of course, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter projects, Mark Woodbury has become a very common name throughout the fan community. He may not be as fan-accessible as other industry leaders, but he’s definitely become synonymous with Universal Creative.

Mark Woodbury will continue in his role of President of Universal Creative, and will continue to report to Tom Williams, the Chairman and CEO of  Universal Parks & Resorts.

“Mark has been a driving force for creativity, innovation, growth and development across the entire Parks group,” said Williams. “As we continue our incredible journey, I am happy that Mark will be by my side, playing a vital role in shaping our future and leading the greatest creative team in the world.”

Read More »

Leave a comment

Reign of Terror Haunted House Special Event in March Announced

Reign of Terror Haunted House in Thousand Oaks has announced that it will be open Saturday night, March 4, 2017 for a special event benefiting local animal rescue charities in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Anyone familiar with the haunted attraction scene here in Southern California is certainly aware of Reign of Terror; it is one of the largest and most elaborate haunts in the United States. We often say that we’re lucky to have ROT in our own backyard here in Los Angeles, as it truly is a spectacle to experience and appreciate year after year.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Universal Orlando Unveils Volcano Bay Virtual Line TapuTapu Band

Universal Orlando Volcano Bay TapuTapu bandUniversal Orlando has unveiled its new TapuTapu band – a wearable accessory that will allow guests to spend more time exploring the resort’s new Volcano Bay water park, and less time standing in a traditional queue while waiting for a water slide or attraction.

TapuTapu will be given to every guest with their admission to Volcano Bay, which opens to the public on May 25, 2017.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor 2016 a Grand Mix of Mazes, Monsters, and Boozy Mayhem

Queen Mary's Dark Harbor 2016There may be no place on Earth more storied than the Queen Mary when it comes to legends of paranormal activity. The massive ship now rests permanently moored in Long Beach, California, where she hosts visitors from around the world – they come to gawk at the titanic ship of yesteryear, to shop, to enjoy fine dining experiences, and they come to stay overnight in one of the cabins, as the Queen Mary was converted into a hotel in 1972 (the number of guest rooms and amenities on the ship have grown vastly since then). People also flock to the Queen Mary for much darker reasons. Paranormal investigations are on-going within the creaking hull of the ship, within her cavernous bowels, and in every narrow crawlspace – some of which haven’t been explored for years. Considered a virtual hotbed of ghostly activity, it is only fitting that the Queen Mary is home to one of the largest Halloween events in the world. Dark Harbor 2016 marked the 7th season for event, which grows in scale and popularity here in Southern California each year.

Read More »

Leave a comment

“Hurry Home” World of Color Feature Showcased During Lunar New Year Celebration 2017 at Disneyland Resort

It’s exciting to see theme parks across Southern California stepping up their game each year when it comes to celebrating cultural events and holidays. Such is the case at Disneyland Resort as they celebrate Lunar New Year 2017 at Disney California Adventure with specialty foods and beverages, beloved characters wearing festive costumes, live entertainment, event-driven merchandise, and a 6-minute feature experience called Hurry Home – Lunar New Year Celebration that is showcased each night before World of Color.

What started out several years ago as a small-scale overlay in Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland has now become a major event at DCA, found within the Lunar New Year Marketplace – the section of California Adventure from The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure to Paradise Garden.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Trick Eye Experience Comes to Monte Carlo Resort and Casino Las Vegas

Trick Eye Experience at Monte Carlo Las VegasAs if the Las Vegas Strip wasn’t bursting with crazy, cool, and unique things to see and do, there’s a brand-new experience that’s caught our attention – and is sure to be turning heads. Trick Eye Experience has come to the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, where it will continue to evolve into 2018.

What is Trick Eye Experience? It’s a series of life-sized 3-D art displays that encourage people to walk up and pose for photos in front of. The unique way in which the art has been created messes with your perception of depth and space, making for some truly fun photo ops! Trick Eye Experience is a collaboration between Monte Carlo and We Talk Chalk, a full-service art firm with West and East Coast studios that offers turnkey 3-D street painting, street art and chalk art solutions for companies and organizations around the world.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Kung Fu Panda Characters and More Part of Lunar New Year Celebration 2017 at Universal Studios Hollywood

Kung Fu Panda and more at Lunar New Year 2017, Universal Studios HollywoodDespite a fairly cold and wet weekend here in Los Angeles, Universal Studios Hollywood kicked off its Lunar New Year 2017 celebration, to the delight of thousands of guests. On Saturday, Mother Nature gave us a decent break in the rain, so we made our way up the hill to Universal to check out the park’s decorations and Lunar New Year festivities, which are held in Universal Plaza on the Upper Lot.

As in years past, the physical footprint for Universal Studios Hollywood’s Lunar New Year event isn’t terribly large. There is, however, a lot of content crammed into Universal Plaza, including multiple character meet-and-greet locations, tasty treats for sale, and several spots throughout the space where guests of all ages can fill out red message cards and attach them to Chinese Wishing Trees. We watched as many visitors filled out red cards and attached them to the trees – some were sincere, while others were often humorous, including one that merely said, “Muggle Lives Matter”.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Lunar New Year 2017 Sure to Draw Big Crowds to Universal Studios Hollywood

Lunar New Year 2017 at Universal Studios HollywoodWhen you think of Universal Studios Hollywood and its signature annual events, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Halloween Horror Nights, or perhaps Grinchmas, right? How about Lunar New Year? It’s a biggie at the Southern California theme park. Beginning January 21, guests will be able to meet Mandarin-speaking Megatron, enjoy special Chinese food treats, and celebrate Lunar New Year 2017 with many of their favorite characters, who will be wearing traditional festival attire throughout the event.

Speaking of characters, Lunar New Year 2017 brings new, familiar faces to Universal Studios Hollywood – Po and Tigress, from DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda franchise!

Located within Universal Plaza, across from the entrance to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on the park’s Upper Lot, the Lunar New Year celebration is a cultural celebration that invites families and guests of all ages and race to participate and enjoy. The main entryway into the Plaza is to be adorned with classic red Chinese lanterns and a beautiful plum blossom arch. Once inside the festival area, guests will be able to partake in really fun character meet-and-greets, as well as enjoy Asian treats including as pastries as they take in the elegant decorations and banners featuring the 12 animals that make up the Chinese Zodiac.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Bone Yard Effects Invites Haunt Fans INTO THE BLACK at Pomona Fairplex this Halloween

INTO THE BLACK logoINTO THE BLACK is a brand-new haunt experience for 2017 created by Bone Yard Effects, Inc. that will take visitors on a harrowing journey this Halloween season at the Pomona Fairplex in Southern California.

In 1866, Anton and Isabella Black built a large home deep in the woods, a fair distance from any village. They were reclusive, socially awkward individuals that kept to themselves and were rarely seen in public. Once locals began disappearing, people began speaking in whispers about the Blacks. Some suggested they were murderers. Others claimed that the couple was heavily involved with the occult – and that those who had gone missing were taken as part of heinous Satanic rituals and offerings. It didn’t take long for the woods to be deemed “off limits”. The looming Victorian in the heart of those woods would become known as the House of the Devil. For decades, no one ventured into the woods and eventually, the home and its occupants faded into obscurity. The lore surrounding The Black House was passed down for generations until people began to question the validity of the information at hand.

Recently, paranormal investigation teams and curious thrill seekers have started to return to the area, searching for any sign of The Black House or clues that shed light on whatever happened to Anton and Isabella – or those unfortunate souls who entered the woods all those years ago, never to return. Despite their best efforts, everyone looking for answers emerges empty-handed, casting even more doubt on the stories attributed to “the most evil place on Earth.”

Read More »

Leave a comment

Knott’s for the Cure Begins 4th Year in Partnership with Susan G. Komen Orange County

Knott's for the Cure 2017It’s that time of year again, and while some may think they’re seeing pink at Knott’s Berry Farm because of Valentine’s Day, that’s not the case. Beginning today, Knott’s and Susan G. Komen Orange County enter into their 4th year together helping to raise awareness about breast cancer with Knott’s for the Cure.

What does this mean for park-goers? For one thing, they’ll be seeing a lot of pink. During the event, which lasts from January 9 through March 5, 2017, several of the theme park’s most iconic attractions will be washed in pink lighting after dark, altering the Buena Park skyline dramatically; this includes Supreme Scream (beginning on Valentine’s Day) and the Calico Mine Ride.

The symbolic pink color doesn’t stop there. Guests may now purchase special Pink Tickets that will grant them admission to the park, as well as earmark a portion of each admission to be donated to Susan G. Komen Orange County. Those tickets may be purchased online at Knotts.com. In addition to the Pink Tickets, guests will find pink merchandise for sale throughout Knott’s Berry Farm as well, including special t-shirts, which also provide a percentage of each sale to the foundation.

Read More »

Leave a comment