Staten Island FunPark Opens for the 2018 Season

By | March 19, 2018

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Staten Island’s only outdoor attractions park returns for the 2018 season with your favorite, fun-filled family entertainment: Go Karts, Mini Golf, and Batting Cages!

Let FUN do the driving in a single or double kart on the SI Raceway! Meet the challenge on uphills and downhills of the FunPark Mini Golf course (18 holes), and step up to the plate in your own private batting cage in one of 9 softball or baseball Batting Cages!

“The Fun is Back!”, says Mark Blumenthal, Operations Manager. “Our timeless attractions have undergone detailed maintenance improvements and are ready to go. We have lots of great specials running throughout the season and look for special announcements to come.”

Get the most out of your visit and enjoy all three attractions with the  $18 FunPark Combo pack. Other attraction prices are  : $7 Mini Golf (per round), $7 Go Kart (per race), $3 per Batting Cage token (20 pitches).

Forest Park Carousel Amusement Village Opens for the 2018 Season

By | March 19, 2018

QUEENS, N.Y. — “The Crown Jewel of Queens” returns for the 2018 season with exciting kid-friendly rides: The Woodhaven Express Choo-Choo Train and Frog Hopper. NYC’s only historic Designated Landmark carousel, The Forest Park Carousel, will begin its 115th year of rides. In addition, the Forest Park Carousel Amusement Village offers classic games and the Carousel Cafe featuring tasty snacks and drinks.

“The 2018 season could not arrive any sooner”, says Daeshawn Grimes, Operations Manager. “We are very excited to share our off-season work with all our Guests. Last year we introduced the Frog Hopper ride and have a grand surprise in store for returning and new visitors which will debut early Summer.”

Tickets start at $3.50 per ride or game, and can be purchased individually or in bulk at discounted rates: $10 for 3 tickets, and $30 for 10 tickets.

Sea Life Aquarium at Legoland California Resort opens new exhibits

By | March 19, 2018

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Guests can now take a splash in the ocean without ever getting wet and become a shark explorer at SEA LIFE aquarium’s two newest exhibits: Sea at Night and Shark Mission! Open just in time for spring break, both exhibits allow guests to learn about marine life in a fun and interactive way.

Sea at Night invites guests to jump, leap and “splash” into simulated bioluminescent waves that react to their footsteps. The reaction created by the guests’ movements demonstrates the effect of a glowing tide similar to ones often seen along the Pacific coastline.

Shark Mission allows kids to come face to fin with six different species of sharks and rays on three giant touch screens. Young explorers can learn about anatomy, conservation and other cool facts through interactive activities and games. Guests can also hold a shark’s tooth, learn about shark skin and eggs, plus step into a shark cage.

Kidz Bop Kids bringing live concert tour back to Legoland Florida Resort Nov. 10-12

By | March 19, 2018

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – For the second year in a row, The KIDZ BOP Kids will bring their national concert tour to the place #BuiltForKids during KIDZ BOP Weekend, a music-filled event set for Nov. 10-12 at LEGOLAND Florida Resort.

Following the success of last year’s “Best Time Ever” tour, which sold out multiple shows across the country, The KIDZ BOP Kids are hitting the road again in 2018. KIDZ BOP announced the launch of the all-new North American Tour, “KIDZ BOP Live 2018,” kicking off June 1 in Toronto, with dates in more than 30 cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Boston.

During the three-day KIDZ BOP Weekend, The KIDZ BOP Kids will perform two live concerts each day at LEGOLAND Florida’s KIDZ BOP Stadium, an outdoor venue on the picturesque shore of Lake Eloise, followed by an exclusive meet-and-greet with the performers. All activities during KIDZ BOP Weekend, including the concerts and meet-and-greets*, are included with all forms of theme park admission. No extra ticket required!

This spring, KIDZ BOP will debut an original musical collaboration with LEGOLAND, one that highlights all the awesomeness that awaits at the popular vacation destination. In 2016, LEGOLAND Florida Resort named KIDZ BOP its official music partner as part of a multi-year alliance that included the creation of a music video for The KIDZ BOP Kids’ performance of “The Weekend Whip,” the theme song of the long-running animated TV series, “LEGO® NINJAGO®: Masters of Spinjitzu.”

“KIDZ BOP Live 2018” is the ultimate family concert experience, “sung by kids for kids.” The KIDZ BOP Kids – Billboard Magazine’s No. 1 Kids’ Artist for eight consecutive years (2010-2017) – will headline the new show, performing some of today’s biggest hit songs. Just in time for the new tour, three new talented young performers – Olivia (12), Shane (13), and Indigo (11) – are joining the existing group of KIDZ BOP Kids: Ahnya (13), Cooper (14), Freddy (14), Isaiah (11) and Julianna (13). Four KIDZ BOP Kids will take the stage for each performance.

Spotlight shines bright on Dollywood’s “Season of Showstoppers”

By | March 19, 2018

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — Dolly Parton helped launch Dollywood’s “Season of Showstoppers” with a special preview today. Designed just for season passholders, the preview day marks the opening of the park’s 33rd season, one which surely will be remembered for the amazing quality of entertainment offered each day throughout the year. Dollywood’s entertainment team has invested $1 million more in its 2018 offerings than any other single year of entertainment in its history.

Dollywood has won Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Entertainment for nine years, and with 2018’s commitment, the park again looks to lead the way for the award. Dollywood guests know each season offers a completely new experience for families to enjoy, thanks to festivals and events which always provide exciting new opportunities to create lifelong memories. With so much world-renowned talent in one place, this is the perfect season to take advantage of a Dollywood season pass or new multi-day ticket options.

The year begins with Dollywood’s Festival of Nations (March 17-April 9). Guests can tour the world through this fascinating festival which offers a captivating glimpse at a number of cultures from across the globe. Guests experience the excitement of traditional music, dance, food and crafts from a wide array of countries while also enjoying internationally-known performing groups. The National Dance Company of Siberia, The Flamenco Kings starring Los Vivancos, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo bring three unique, high-energy shows to Dollywood. Festival of Nations is a fun, educational and exciting experience for families. Authentic international cuisine and daily celebrations by visiting nations throughout the park provide guests with an escape around the world without leaving the heart of the Smokies.

Dollywood’s all-new Spring Mix music series (April 11-29) brings three weeks of performances by award-winning artists across multiple music genres. The first week features classic country talent including Crystal Gayle, Suzy Bogguss, Shenandoah, Pam Tillis, T.G. Sheppard and Connie Smith. Inspirational artists such as Amy Grant, David Phelps, Carman, Selah, and The Blind Boys of Alabama perform during the series’ second week, while a number of classic artists take to the stage during the third week. Classic artists include The Marshall Tucker Band, The Drifters, Orleans, Atlanta Rhythm Section and Debby Boone. Different artists are scheduled to appear every day during the Spring Mix concert series. All concerts are included with park admission. For a full concert schedule, visit dollywood.com/themepark/Festivals/Spring-Mix

Dollywood’s popular Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’S® (May 25-June 10) adds an extra week in 2018, giving fans of the genre even more great talent to enjoy during this kickoff to summer. This year’s festival features an impressive bluegrass lineup with a multitude of free daily concerts from an amazing collection of talented performers. More than 350 concerts take place during the festival. Grammy and International Bluegrass Music Association winner Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, IBMA winners Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Dailey & Vincent, and The Grascals are just a few of the headliners which make this one of the biggest bluegrass events around. This annual tradition wouldn’t be complete without pounds of saucy pulled pork, barbequed chicken and ribs by the slab. This guest-favorite event is music to the ears—and a treat for the taste buds!

Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 16-Aug. 5) is just that—a time to celebrate making memories with family at a place everyone enjoys! This summertime event features extended park hours, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, giving families a unique chance to ride Dollywood’s world-class attractions, including Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle, all day and well into the night! A multitude of options keeps families entertained with iLuminate and DRUMLine Live!, thrilling guests with their unique shows during the festival. America’s Got Talent finalists iLuminate come to Dollywood June 16-July 4 with their electrified glow-in-the-dark costumes to perform dynamic dance routines and illusions. From July 7- July 21, DRUMLine Live! creates a synchronized musical masterpiece based on the hit 2002 movie Drumline—but it’s not the typical halftime performance! To complete the day, the park’s festive nightly fireworks show is a colorful extravaganza set to uplifting music which celebrates the fun of Dollywood after dark!

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 28-Nov. 3) provides more fall family fun with the expansion of the new guest-favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights and the largest Southern gospel event in America. Dollywood is open until 9 p.m. every night during the festival. More than 600 performances by award-winning Southern gospel acts take place during the festival, while each night, thousands of carved pumpkins illuminate the dark with an expanded number of displays and activities for families to enjoy.  Dollywood guests also can enjoy the spectacular artistry of visiting crafters from across the country, or sample the special harvest-themed food items from Dollywood’s award-winning foods team. Each day is a picture-perfect opportunity for your family to enjoy the traditional experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!

Celebrating a decade of being honored as the Best Christmas Event at any theme park worldwide, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 10-Jan. 5, 2019) provides the perfect holiday atmosphere to put families in to the Christmas spirit. Wander through the park’s more than four million holiday lights, enjoy the spectacular holiday performances and warm Christmas atmosphere, or taste the holiday-themed food, and it is easy to understand why it has become a family tradition for so many. From the cheer of Dollywood’s Parade of Many Colors, to traditional holiday shows like It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas helps families create memories to share for a lifetime.

Majorie “Marge” Chance passes at 93

By | March 16, 2018

WICHITA, Kan. — Marjorie Esther Chance, wife of the late Harold Chance, founder of Chance Manufacturing Co, Inc., passed away on March 15. She was 93. ​Marjorie, known to everyone as “Marge,” was born on Oct. 11, 1924 in Wichita to John and Marian Westwood. She was the oldest of five children. She grew up in Wichita and graduated from East High in 1942 before attending nursing school.

Marge married Harold Chance in 1946. They had five children and enjoyed 63 years of marriage before Harold’s passing in 2010. They had 13 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
​Many would say that Marge was the backbone of Harold’s success in business. In 1960, Chance Manufacturing was born out of Harold’s love of trains and grew into a world-renowned maker of carnival and amusement park rides. They both worked hard to make Harold’s dream come true and provide for their family.

​Marge was a philanthropist who helped those in need and supported many programs in Wichita. She was a generous benefactor for Newman University, where, in 2011, she received an honorary doctorate degree in Humane Letters. She was instrumental in bringing the nursing degree program to Newman and created the Marjorie Chance Nursing Scholarship fund.

​An open viewing for Marjorie Chance will be held Sunday, March 18, at Resthaven Mortuary. Her Rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, March 19, and her Mass of the Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 20. The two latter memorials will take place at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 3636 N. Ridge Road, Wichita.
​Memorial donations may be made to A New Hope, A New Home: Built of Living Stones, Care of: Holy Savior Catholic Church, 1425 N. Chautauqua, Wichita, KS, 67214, and the Wichita Children’s Home, 7271 E 37th St. N., Wichita, KS, 67226.

Time Traveler Opens — World’s Fastest, Steepest & Tallest Spinning Coaster Debuts in Branson, Missouri

By | March 14, 2018

Branson, Mo. — Never before in the history of Silver Dollar City theme park has there been such excitement, such enthusiasm over the opening of a new attraction.  With its March 14 debut, Time Traveler, the World’s Fastest, Steepest and Tallest Complete-Circuit Spinning Roller Coaster, marks a new era in coasters, delivering ride experiences unlike any before, with no two rides alike. A major difference is the spin, which is not a teacup-ride fast spin but a 360-degree controlled spin that delivers high dimension, sensations and perspectives that differ with every car, every ride, every time.

The draw for coaster lovers seeking the newest, best, most exciting ride elements is global — the experience will be available nowhere else on the planet except Branson, Missouri, the entertainment town that is home to Silver Dollar City, the 1880s style, internationally-awarded theme park, established by the Herschend family in 1960.

This custom-designed, custom-engineered ride that introduces a new generation of thrill coasters for families was more than two years in planning and construction, and is Silver Dollar City’s biggest attraction ever with an investment of $26 million. For concept, design and development, Silver Dollar City chose renowned coaster manufacturer Mack Rides of Waldkirch, Germany, founded in 1780 and family-owned for eight generations.

“This coaster’s state-of-the-art controlled spin provides riders a unique thrill experience while still appealing to families,” said Brad Thomas, President of Silver Dollar City Attractions, the initial advocate for delivering a ride like no other.  Thomas says Silver Dollar City partnered with MACK because of their long-standing reputation of delivering many of the best and most innovative rides in the entire industry.

Christian von Elverfeldt, CEO of Mack Rides, traveled to the United States for the Time Traveler debut. “The car is the most advanced roller coaster car in the industry, featuring a free-spinning rotation on a launched roller coaster,” said von Elverfeldt.  “For the utmost comfort, an on-board magnetic brake limits the rotation speed to allow the most enjoyable ride experience.”

What makes Time Traveler truly unique is the combination of spinning vehicles combined with such thrill factors as a vertical drop, double launches and multiple inversions. And unlike most coasters that begin with a slow, chain-clacking ride to the top of a lift, Time Traveler’s thrills start in the first seconds of the ride with a hushed rush, as the cars leave the load station with a spin and a 10-story drop straight down, racing down a mountainside and through the trees in the mountainous terrain.

“If you like rides, if you like unique experiences, and if you like thrills, you will love Time Traveler,” said Nick Breithaupt, Silver Dollar City Attractions. “No matter which car you choose, your ride experience will be different every time.”

The track twists and loops, reaching heights of 100 feet, crossing over itself 14 times in total. Fans of the super acceleration of launch rides get two launches on Time Traveler: 0 to 47 mph in 3 seconds, and 30 to 45 mph in 3.5 seconds. Plus, the highly-themed cars create the experience of an actual “Time Machine.”

“Since Silver Dollar City’s opening day in 1960, guests have taken a journey back in time with unique and world-class experiences.  We strive daily to continue that tradition through our rides, our festivals, our crafts and our food. That pursuit continues in 2018 with Time Traveler – a Revolutionary Coaster Ahead of Our Time,” said Thomas.

Time Traveler is open with the park’s Spring Ride Days, March 14. More information is available at 800-831-4FUN(386) and www.silverdollarcity.com.

SeaWorld’s Seven Seas food festival brings Latin beats & eats to Orlando

By | March 14, 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. — SeaWorld Orlando’s popular Seven Seas Food Festival will be introducing new Latin-inspired menu items starting Saturday, March 31. The event will also feature performances from the hottest Latin artists every Saturday and Sunday through April 15.

Seven Seas Food Festival Headline Entertainment:
While new flavors tempt guests’ taste buds throughout the park, live entertainment will have guests out of their seats, dancing and singing to the beat. Popular reggaeton, salsa, Latin pop and merengue concerts will excite attendees each weekend at SeaWorld Orlando’s Bayside Stadium. All concerts start at 3 p.m. and are included park admission.

· To Be Announced – March 31

· El Gran Combo – April 1

· Yandel – April 7

· Jerry Rivera – April 8

· To Be Announced – April 14

· N’Klabe- April 15

Seven Seas Food Festival Coastal Cuisine:
Beginning Saturday, March 31, the event takes delicious inspiration from Latin American flavor and tradition. Brand new menu items, prepared exclusively by SeaWorld’s Executive Chef Hector Colon, bring the distinct flavor of Latin American cuisine to life. Guests can savor:

· NEW- Empanadilla Loca- Pizza Empanada with Cheese, Beef, Mayo-Ketchup, Lettuce and Tomato

· NEW- Mofongo with Carne Frita- Garlic Mashed Plantains with Onion Mojo, Served with Fried Pork.

· Lechón Asado- Traditional, Roasted Pork Rubbed with Caribbean Seasonings, Pigeon Peas and Choice of Ripe or Sweet Plantains

· Pincho con Tostones- Skewered, Flame-grilled Chicken or Pork with a Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce and Served with Fried Plantains

· Empanadilla de Pizza- Pastry Filled with Mozzarella Cheese and Zesty Tomato Sauce

· Empanadilla de Carne- Pastry Filled with Savory Ground Beef

· Empanadilla de Pollo- Pastry filled with Seasoned Pulled Chicken

· Bacalaítos- Thin, Crispy Salted Codfish Pancake

The new menu items compliment the Festival’s existing 12 culinary markets and their unique Asian, Mediterranean, North Atlantic, Polynesian and locally inspired dishes. To accompany each plate, guests can also enjoy 70 local and international craft brews and 50 wines and spirits including flavored mojitos, margaritas and sangria. A complete menu of the Seven Seas Food Festival delights can be found online at SeaWorldOrlando.com/SevenSeas.

SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival begins at select markets around the park at 11:00 a.m. with all locations in full operation by 12:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through April 15.

Like all special events at SeaWorld, the Seven Seas Food Festival is included with park admission – including the festival’s concerts and performances at Bayside Stadium.

New virtual reality ride punctuates exciting season for Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 2018

By | March 14, 2018

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Busch Gardens Williamsburg will pop the cork on a new season filled with virtual reality, a new summer show and major milestones beginning March 24.

Opening early spring, Busch Gardens will unveil its new virtual reality ride, Battle For Eire™—Action VR Ride. This innovative VR attraction is a marriage of a motion-based theater simulator with state-of-the-art 360-degree virtual reality headsets, creating an Otherworldly experience unlike any other in the theme park industry. Riders will be completely immersed in the story of Addie, the last fairy guardian of Ireland, as she tries to recover the sacred Heart of Eire from the evil villain, Balor.

“We can’t wait to share this ride with our guests. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind attraction with so many features and surprises, you’ll want to experience it again and again,” said Kevin Lembke, park president at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA. “And Battle For Eire is just the start of all the fun.”

This summer, an all-new laser light pyrotechnic show debuts at the open-air Royal Palace Theatre. The show takes places every evening starting July 6 through Aug. 12. The high-energy show will feature the best in laser light and pyrotechnic technology that will wow park-goers.

The Williamsburg theme park’s popular events will be bigger and better than ever throughout the year. 2018 highlights include:

Let’s Play Together-March 24 – April 29: come have a play date with your Sesame Street® friends and enjoy a heartwarming show all about the beauty of Friendship. The show is full of good times and will always bring back fond memories, especially when the audience gets in on the act. Join Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover, Rosita, Bert,Ernie, and of course AbbyCadabby, as they play, sing and dance while learning all about the wonderful things that friends do together. Daily performances in the park’s Globe Theatre.

Shopkins Live! BFF Day- May 5: the No. 1 kids toy in North America is live and on stage in Shopkins Live! BFF Day starring Jessicake, Rainbow Kate, Kooky Cookie, Apple Blossom and more! Audiences are immersed in the world of Shopville through creative onstage characters, custom designed theatrical costumes and interactive performances. With eye-popping choreography and original pop songs, it’s a party of pocket size entertainment not to be missed. Admission is included with park admission.

Food & Wine Festival- May 25 – July 1: the multi-cultural culinary experience grows to give guests a wider selection of worldly cuisines. New savory tastes will include Brazil, Cuba, South Korea and Japan.

Food & Wine Festival Concerts – big name concert acts also will take the stage on select weekends during Food & Wine Festival. Country music sensation Scotty McCreery performs June 9 and pop music star, Andy Grammer, appears on June 30. There’s more to come on other must-see musical acts this year. Concerts will be held in the park’s Royal Palace Theatre and are included with park admission.

Bier Fest- Aug. 17 – Sept. 3: guests will enjoy more than 100 craft beers from around the world. Listen to the tunes of local bands as you raise a glass to toast the end of summer.

Howl-O-Scream®- Sept. 15 – Oct. 28: celebrating 20 years as the area’s most popular haunting event will add an extra weekend of scares for visitors to enjoy. New mazes, party zones, Terror-tories™ and two interactive bars highlight the Halloween event.

The Count’s Spooktacular- Oct. 6 – Oct. 28: for the kids on select weekends, The Count’s Spooktacular returns with more meet and greets and trick or treat stations, and a new Sesame Street® show.

Christmas Town™- Nov. 17 – Jan. 1: holiday traditions come to life in splendid beauty at Busch Gardens Christmas Town now in its 10th season. To celebrate the milestone, Christmas Town will add an additional weekend to celebrate the season and increase its Christmas light count to 10 million, making this the largest light display of any holiday event in North America, and add a themed train experience for families to enjoy.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. Busch Gardens will commemorate the revered Loch Ness Monster® roller coaster this year. This nostalgic coaster has given more than 58 million rides to its fans over the past 40 years.

Hudson River Park’s Pier 62 Carousel Opens for the 2018 Season

By | March 14, 2018

MANHATTAN, N.Y. — Hudson River Park’s Pier 62 Carousel returns for the 2018 season! Enjoy a ride on New York City’s carousel on the water atop your favorite Hudson Valley creature of the land, sea, and sky. This signature 36 ft. carousel features 33 hand-carved wood creatures native to the Hudson Valley and one chariot, allowing for up to 36 passengers per ride. The carousel’s infrastructure includes a green roof and opens out to a large sprawling lawn with tree-lined pathways.

“We are very pleased to open this incredible and unique Carousel to the neighborhood and to visitors for 2018. A ride such as this has become a tradition for thousands of people annually for nostalgia, for dates, for a child’s special memory, birthday celebrations, and most importantly for fun”, says Fernando Rosario, Carousel Manager.

Tickets start at $3.50 for one ride, and can be purchased individually or in bulk at discounted rates: $10 for 3 tickets, and $30 for 10 tickets.

The Pier 62 Carousel offers free weekend entertainment after Memorial Day Weekend, from balloon-twisting clowns to awe-inspiring magicians. Carousel riders and visitors can enjoy FREE live shows while overlooking New York City’s beautiful Hudson River and Manhattan skyline. Performances are every Sunday and Holiday between May 27 and September 30, at 2pm and 4pm. Follow the Pier 62 Carousel on Instagram and Facebook for more information, including special offers.