August 2022

By | July 28, 2022

The August 2022 issue includes:

  • Adventureland debuts Fireball
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas unleashes Dr. Diabolical’s Cliffhanger
  • Rocket Rapids launched at Quassy’s Splash Away Bay water park
  • Beech Bend Park’s 2022 season brings improvements
  • Glenwood Caverns adds mountainside Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter
  • Fun Spot America parks tackle multiple expansions
  • Birmingham Zoo adds new electric Chance CP Huntington train
  • Malibu Jack’s acquired by Five Star Parks
  • California’s Alameda County Fair enjoys successful run in 110th year
  • New attendance record achieved at 2022 Red River Valley Fair
  • WhiteWater West’s Endless Surf teams with Italy’s Myrtha Pools
  • Cedar Fair sells Great America land, will operate under new lease
  • Rich with colorful detail, Lost Island is America’s newest theme park
  • Closed system makes Schlitterbahn’s lagoon safer, more efficient
  • Kennywood gets a refresh from Palace, new signage and décor
  • New Farmhouse restaurant elevates Cedar Points F&B operations
  • WWA continues the World’s Largest Swim Lesson for 13 years
  • Industry gathers in Pennsylvania for IAAPA Presents: Hersheypark … and much more!

2022 Golden Ticket Awards registration & reservations are open!

By | May 12, 2022

Amusement Today is excited to bring back the Networking Event of the Year in 2022. The Golden Ticket Awards will return September 9 and 10. The host parks are Morgan’s Wonderland and Six Flags Fiesta Texas. While the ongoing planning is focused on making the event an engaging and entertaining one among industry colleagues, much information is already available. Interested industry professionals can find tentative schedules, registration information and more at www.goldenticketawards.com

San Antonio is both historic and alive with entertainment. In addition to numerous amusement industry venues, such popular tourist attractions such as the Riverwalk, Spanish Missions and historical sites can extend one’s visit into a fantastic getaway. 

The Golden Ticket Awards celebrate the Best of the Best. The weekend event allows the industry to shine and professionals to share ideas and best practices. Attendees will find the networking opportunities to be invaluable. Check out the website and began making plans to be a part of one of the year’s most exciting event.

IAAPA Expo Europe: Mobaro to showcase why their unique digital workflows between maintenance and operations are preferred by so many attractions globally

By | August 18, 2022

When the CMMS and ride operations solution providers from Mobaro visit this year’s expos, their audience should expect an abundance of valuable changes that makes the offering even more appealing to visitor attractions. At the same time, the return of the company’s famed Mobeero is set to spark a great mood at booth #2218 at IAAPA Europe.

Having won the hearts of maintenance managers and engineers throughout the years, Mobaro concluded a milestone in their overall development plan last year. The software company could unveil their ride operations app that connects the ride operators with the CMMS.

  • This last year, we have experienced a truly uplifting reception of both our ride operations application and the competency module. At the same time, we have worked tirelessly with clients to refine and develop features to build an even stronger system for them to handle their attraction safety, maintenance, and operations, says Henrik Have, CEO at Mobaro.

Since the beginning, digitizing safety and maintenance routines has been the main priority, and clients enjoy the efficiency and high-quality processes yielded by the system. And with the CMMS solidly integrated in the daily operations at the client attractions, the planned next step was to include another very important domain, Ride Operations:

  • Our promise to the industry is a digital environment where you can integrate workflows, increase transparency, remove time-consuming processes, and build better connections across teams. Attractions need to work holistically to ensure the highest level of safety and quality. That’s why RideOps came as a natural next step, and now we can present the continuation of that work, which is e.g., a stronger connection between maintenance and operations, says Henrik Have.  

Ride performance and training
From the outset, RideOps delivers a means of recording and monitoring the performance side of the ride operations. This equips the attraction with overview and transparency from queue time, and ride cycle count, to capacity utilization, and other vital metrics.

Furthermore, with the Competency Module launched earlier this year, Mobaro now also facilitates dynamic training, certification, and access control to e.g. rides. In effect, only operators with training for the specific ride can log in to RideOps.

Digital handover and in-app statistics
One of the most crucial steps in ensuring safe operations is the handover from maintenance to ride operators, which must be done through a well-planned and documented process. Already, preopening maintenance and safety inspection decide the ride readiness state in RideOps. This way, it is clear to the operator whether the ride is safe to operate. And with the most recent additions to the platform, users will have access to new and bespoke tools for ensuring safe and controlled processes.

Newly added features include:

  • Operator checklists: Now the ride operator will be prompted to perform a pre-opening check that has been set up and distributed by e.g. a maintenance manager
  • Ride notes: During their shift, operators can register observations related to the ride and create automated assignments that will be delegated to a predefined department.
  • Shift timer: To keep track of how long an individual operator has been handling a specific ride. 
  • In-app statistics: To give an operator an idea of how they are doing, a new performance statistics module is available.           
  • Auditable Ride log: With the addition of the ride log in Mobaro, you will be able to get a centralised overview of all entries in a ride’s operations, including who was operating, when it was opened/closed, number of dispatches and how many riders per dispatch.

On top of those specific ride operations features, the Mobaro API has now been furnished with support for several new ways of integrating with system.

And with the new Single Sign On option, handling centralized onboarding and offboarding of users can be done efficiently and securely through 3rd party systems.

Return of the Mobeero
The list of new features is long, and Mobaro will be demoing the different tools in their software at booth #2218 where the expo audience are encouraged to stop by for a chat and a popular refreshment:

  • We had a blast in Paris 2019 where we offered our signature beer, and our guests loved it. So, we are very pleased to be able to bring back the Mobeero once again to London and talk about the needs of attractions for managing safety, maintenance, and operations, says Henrik Have. 

He and the team deliver the go-to-tool for more than 150 visitor attractions like theme parks, water parks, zoos and FECs worldwide, including major European parks like Liseberg, Tivoli Gardens, PortAventura, and Efteling.

Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops founder and noted conservationist, continues to celebrate and share the beauty of the Ozarks with new Thunder Ridge Nature Arena at Big Cedar Lodge

By | August 18, 2022

RIDGEDALE, Mo. — Heralded as one of the most iconic amphitheaters and arenas in all of North America, the newly expanded Thunder Ridge is set to re-open in September hosting Thunder Days, a Professional Bull Rider team series competition.

The breathtaking, nature-based outdoor venue is a pet project of noted conservationist Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops and Big Cedar Lodge, and is a natural amphitheater that overlooks Table Rock Lake and the Boston Mountains of Arkansas. 

“We are so excited for Thunder Ridge to help showcase the true beauty of the Ozarks to our guests,” Johnny Morris said. “This will be a place for visitors of all ages to come and experience some of the best events and biggest names in entertainment, in a truly awe-inspiring environment, surrounded by nature.”

Located on about 1,200 acres near Ridgedale, Thunder Ridge is adjacent to the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Academy on land originally purchased by Johnny Morris almost 30 years ago. For the past decade it has accommodated large gatherings including concerts by Hank Williams Jr., Chris Janson, Dierks Bentley, Tracy Lawrence and other major acts. 

It also has hosted air shows, hot air balloon shows, the US Open Bowfishing Championship, the US Open National Bass Tournament, the National 4-H Youth Council gathering, rodeos, conventions, symposiums, special events and weddings, and is set to host nature-based activities for all ages and interests for years to come.

The expansion of Thunder Ridge, increasing capacity from 10,000 to approximately 50,000, is the latest in Big Cedar Lodge’s proud tradition of hosting world-class hospitality and entertainment experiences that span a variety of recreational markets. These enhancements – which have been done without any tax dollars – will more than double the previous seating capacity, without sacrificing the venue’s stunning nature-based charm. It provides another grandiose outdoor venue for a resort that hosts 7 million guests per year, and a Branson community that attracts 10 million visitors every year.

Thunder Ridge land has been set aside as part of the not-for-profit Johnny Morris Conservation Foundation, so all proceeds from events held at the Nature Arena will go to further enhance Thunder Ridge and support conservation. The vision for the future is to host a wide variety of world-class, outdoor events.

STUNNING NATURE-BASED ENTERTAINMENT VENUE
Johnny has personally worked closely with contractors to transform Thunder Ridge Nature Arena, taking inspiration from visits to some of the most well-known outdoor venues across the country, including The Gorge Amphitheater in Quincy, Washington, Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver, and to the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming.

Thunder Ridge immerses guests in nature, with features such as large sloping grass lawns and fire pits for groups of all sizes to enjoy. This expansion provides additional capacity without sacrificing the venue’s stunning nature-based character.  Shaped into the hillsides of the Ozarks and overlooking Table Rock Lake, the setting of the arena, near the Missouri-Arkansas border, allows visitors views into the Boston Mountains of Arkansas and to be totally immersed in nature. Even the parking lots are tucked into the hillsides. Crews have been working around the clock to prepare for upcoming major events.

GET THE FIRST LOOK AT BASS PRO SHOPS RED HOT PROFESSIONAL BULL RIDING TEAM, MISSOURI THUNDER
The host team Missouri Thunder, started by Johnny Morris and coached by bull-riding legends and Hall of Famers Ross Coleman and Luke Snyder, is currently in first place in the standings in the PBR Team Series, which has proven to be a wildly popular addition to the sport. 

The area has hosted bull-riding events in the past, but nothing on the scale and excitement that the Missouri Thunder and other PBR teams will generate. This will be the first opportunity for local fans to get a taste of the sport that is surging in popularity. “Thunder Ridge is one of the most unique and beautiful venues that I have ever seen. It is truly breathtaking,” said Colten Fritzlan, one of the top individual riders in the PBR Team Series. “We can’t wait for Thunder Days to be able to put on a show for our fans, and for bull-riding fans everywhere.”

Kennywood and Idlewild now hiring hundreds for bigger and better Halloween events in 2022

By | August 18, 2022

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. — Spooky season at Kennywood and Idlewild starts in little more than a month, and park leaders need more than 350 new recruits to bring the fall fun and frights to life. 

Kennywood and Idlewild will give guests the largest and longest Halloween seasons ever in 2022. Phantom Fall Fest at Kennywoodand HallowBOO! at Idlewild begin Saturday, September 24, and each park will hold special hiring events to bring in Scare Actors and OTHER POSITIONS beginning with a job fair at Idlewild this Saturday, August 20. A Phantom Fall Fest job fair follows on August 31.

Opportunities are available for applicants ages 14 and up, though professionals and senior citizens are encouraged to apply, as the flexible hours of both fall events fit well around school, primary jobs and other commitments. The Job Fair will be held at Idlewild on August 20 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and at Kennywood in the Parkside Café on August 31 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Applicants can apply online at any time via the Kennywood and Idlewild websites.

“Few jobs are as fun as being paid to scare people!” says Kennywood Human Resources Director Joe Barron. “Working at Kennywood or Idlewild offers a unique environment, flexible and engaging schedules, and the ability to deliver smiles – and screams – to thousands of guests during the fall season.”

Phantom Fall Fest and HallowBOO! will be bigger and better than ever before in 2022. At Kennywood’s Phantom Fall Fest, you can play all day and fright all night. Come for family-friendly fun and your favorite coasters and rides during the day and stay for the extreme screams when the sun goes down, with brand new haunted houses and scare zones. Idlewild’s HallowBOO! will feature trick-or-treating through Story Book Forest, Meet and Greets with Princess Lily and Daniel Tiger, mazes, live entertainment, a ghoulish dance party, and more. More monstrous information on each event will be revealed soon – stay tuned if you dare!

Phantom Fall Fest opens September 24 with a special night for Passholders only September 23. The guest-favorite event runs select nights through October 30. HallowBOO! is open Saturdays and Sundays from September 24 – October 30. For more information, please visit Kennywood’s and Idlewild’s website.

Innovative FOTO welcomes back the Zoos and Aquariums Conference with expansive photo booth showcase

By | August 18, 2022

CONCORD, N.C. — Dedicated to serving the attractions industry with cutting-edge photo booth technology to leverage the guest experience and venue profitability, DNP Imagingcomm’s Innovative FOTO today announces its participation in the upcoming Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conference (AZA) on Aug 30th – 31st in Baltimore, Md.

“After two years without an in-person AZA show, we could not be more excited to reunite with zoo and aquarium leadership teams from across the nation,” said Suzanne Seagle, Director of Marketing, DNP Imagingcomm Americas. “Photo booths continue to be a highly-profitable and integral part of any attraction destination, and we look forward to engaging in conversations about how zoos and aquariums can best implement booths in their venues!”

AZA attendees will have the chance to experience Innovative FOTO’s industry-renowned digital imaging photo kiosks including its indoor and outdoor booths, along with its signature Remote Foto Zones.

Powered by DNP’s Smart Capture technology, Remote Foto Zones engage guests by creating unique photo opportunities that cannot be captured using their cell phone cameras. Remote Foto Zones enable venues to activate special locations in their facility and reinforce their brand in the final images received by guests.

Following a two-year hiatus, Winchester Mystery House returns with its popular Halloween show — Unhinged

By | August 18, 2022

SAN JOSE — Following a two-year hiatus, Winchester Mystery House announced today that its popular immersive Halloween show will return this fall with an entirely new chapter, Unhinged: Nightshade’s CurseAnticipated to be the premier Halloween haunt in the South Bay, this years’ experience invites guests into a real-life paranormal thriller. Featuring a new storyline and terrifying new scares, this suspenseful walk-through haunt features multiple routes through the darkened corridors of the infamous mansion, where guests will confront malicious spirits, and encounter terrifying scenes that will reveal the twisted tales and secrets of the haunted home. Before entering the haunt, guests will enjoy a variety of activities, including Madame Nightshades Spirit Carnival, the Spookeasy Bar, and more. Unhinged: Nightshade’s Curse will take place on 13 select evenings from Friday, September 30 through Monday, October 31, 2022. Press night will be held on Friday, September 30. General admission tickets start at $64.99 and are available now online at winchesterunhinged.com.

“The pandemic forced us to scale back our Halloween offerings the past two years,” said Winchester Mystery House General Manager Walter Magnuson. “Locals and loyalists have been clamoring for us to bring back the popular Unhinged show. With many of our neighbors’ seasonal events moving more family-friendly, we saw an opportunity to go the other way, and return to a more frightening haunt. With amazing sensory effects and intriguing, suspenseful story lines, Unhinged: Nightshade’s Curse will truly bring one of the world’s most famous houses to life for a thrilling experience unlike any other in the Bay Area.”

UNHINGED: NIGHTSHADE’S CURSE
The year is 1949 and the estate has changed hands several times since the passing of Sarah Winchester. Its most recent isolation is broken by the arrival of Madame Nightshade, an entrepreneurial owner of a small traveling carnival and self-proclaimed investigator of supernatural phenomena. She has convinced the owners of the Winchester Estate to set up her show for 13 nights.

Madam Nightshade’s takeover includes self-guided haunted tours through the world’s most infamous home. Local residents are inexplicably drawn to Madame Nightshades’ Spirit Carnival and the House of Mystery. An evening at a vintage traveling carnival where food, drinks, and roaming sideshow entertainment await…but is all what it seems? Guests will be left to wonder who called them to the house—Madame Nightshade and her band of carnies or the restless spirits of the Winchester Mystery House?

MADAME NIGHTSHADE’S SPIRIT CARNIVAL
The Spirits have called to one and all. Wander the Midway and play games of chance and skill. Stop into the Tent of Mystery to hear your fortune.  Be horrified by M. Nightshade’s Cabinet of Oddities and Curiosities, her collection of truly haunting, unsettling objects.  Finally, you will come upon the dark beating heart of The Midway and the proprietor herself, Madame Nightshade.

SPOOKEASY BAR
The Spookeasy Bar (21+) offers enchanting elixirs and blood curdling cocktails all nights of Unhinged: Nightshade’s Curse. Cafe 13 in the main courtyard will serve a variety of delicious food and dessert items for guests looking to grab a bite before or after the show.

ADDITIONAL OFFERINGS  
Axe Throwing at the Stables and Sarah’s Attic Shooting Gallery will also be available for an additional fee.

Unimaginable Horrors revealed as part of sinister slate of original experiences coming to Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights 2022

By | August 17, 2022

ORLANDO, Fla. — Universal Orlando Resort reveals more gruesome details about the impending terror that awaits guests brave enough to face Halloween Horror Nights 2022 – including the six horrifying original concepts that complete this year’s lineup of 10 haunted houses, five sinister scare zones and two live shows. The event kicks off Friday, September 2 and runs select nights through October 31.

As the world’s premier Halloween event turns 31 this fall, a haunting conglomerate of unfathomable experiences inspired by traditional Halloween elements and some of guests’ worst fears come to life in this year’s collection of original haunted houses and scare zones – unleashing everything from vengeance-seeking pumpkins and witches to twisted trick-or-treaters and grotesque bugs to prey upon guests. When guests need a break from the scares, they can watch two outrageous live shows, satiate their appetite with sinfully delicious food and beverage, shop the latest merchandise in an all-new Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store and enjoy Universal Studios’ most exciting rides and attractions.

Here’s an overview of the remaining experiences coming to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 2022: 

SIX NEW ORIGINAL HAUNTED HOUSES
Six spine-chilling and unnerving stories will envelop your clients in original haunted houses where they will:   

  • Enter an unsettling 1920s speakeasy only to discover that they are the main ingredient of witch’s brew in “Spirits of the Coven”
  • Face a putrid, skin-crawling infestation of spiders, roaches, flies, bees and more in “Bugs: Eaten Alive” 
  • Escape or become prey to a no-longer mythical, fanged creature in “Fiesta de Chupacabras”
  • Attempt to survive visiting hours for horrifying monsters serving time in “Hellblock Horror”
  • Endure a petrifying winter thunderstorm in a seaside village ruled by an undead fisherman in “Dead Man’s Pier: Winter’s Wake”
  • Encounter bloodthirsty mutants living in a post-apocalyptic subway system in “Descendants of Destruction”

These original experiences complete the lineup of 10 terrifying haunted houses coming to Halloween Horror Nights 2022, which also include “The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare,” “Halloween,” “Universal Monsters: Legends Collide­” and “The Horrors of Blumhouse.”

FIVE SCARE ZONES
There’s nowhere to hide in the streets of Universal Studios Florida as hordes of menacing creatures from Halloween’s past infiltrate five all-new scare zones, where your clients will:

  • Encounter The Pumpkin Lord and all his devious subjects in “Horrors of Halloween”
  • Reap the wrath of scarecrows who will stop at nothing to harvest their souls in “Scarecrow: Cursed Soil” 
  • Experience a terrifying 1950s Halloween parade-gone-wrong alongside bloodthirsty trick-or-treaters in “Sweet Revenge”
  • Venture through an ominous Halloween thunderstorm within a ghastly cemetery in “Graveyard: Deadly Unrest”
  • Escape an evil sorceress bringing forth an army of ravenous monstrosities in “Conjure the Dark”

TWO LIVE SHOWS
When guests need a break from the scares, they can enjoy two brand-new, outrageously entertaining shows:

  • Halloween Nightmare Fuel Wildfire – the sequel to last year’s fan-favorite “Halloween Nightmare Fuel” show featuring the world-famous performance group, The Fuel Girls – highlighting a new Dreamer in the depths of a new nightmare set to a heart-pounding metal, rock and electronica score. 
  • Ghoulish! A Halloween Tale, an all-new show taking place in the Universal Studios lagoon that follows the Grim Reaper on the undertaking of what happens beyond the grave – all set to eerily-remixed music by some of today’s most iconic artists.  

THE HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS TRIBUTE STORE
For the first time ever, the scares taking root in the streets of Universal Studios Florida will bleed into the theme of the Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store with a collection of incredibly detailed environments inspired by the iconic Halloween haunts featured throughout the event. Guests will shop the latest Halloween Horror Nights merchandise and treats as they venture through a Pumpkin Patch, Cemetery and Witch’s Cottage – eventually making their way to the final room – an elaborate Halloween festival set in the same town as the store’s neighboring scare zone, “Sweet Revenge.”  

LIMITED-TIME HALLOWEEN EXPERIENCES AT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO’S HOTELS
Guests can maximize the fear by staying near the screams at one of Universal Orlando’s hotels, where they can enjoy exclusive benefits like access to a dedicated entry gate for the event (with valid event admission) and complimentary transportation to the theme parks and Universal CityWalk. Hotel guests also get exclusive access to limited-time Halloween Horror Nights experiences taking place at select Universal hotels, including “Universal Monsters Gallery of Legends” at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort – featuring a collection of immersive photo opportunities inspired by the terrifying trio of Universal’s classic Monsters that guests will face at the event – The Mummy, The Wolf Man and Dracula. Guests can take advantage of scary good rates on hotels and vacation packages to enjoy Halloween Horror Nights and the limited-time Halloween experiences at Universal’s hotels. 

Embed to enable amusement industry in UK and Europe to transition from ‘coins to cashless’

By | August 17, 2022

DUBAI, UAE — Transforming the business of fun since 2001, Embed, the ultimate cashless solutions provider for the amusement, entertainment, and leisure industries is set to bring their latest breakthrough innovations to the IAAPA Expo Europe show in London, United Kingdom on September 13 to 15. With over 1,000 customers and more than 3,000 installations around the world, Embed is equipped and ready to empower family entertainment center (FEC) businesses in Europe and UK. 

Embed in the Europe Market
Known as an industry leader with a global presence across 56 countries, Embed has successfully established deep roots in the EMEA region. As one of the major players in Europe, Renee Welsh, CEO at Embed, says: “We are lucky to be at the forefront of the tech transition of business processes from coins to cashless in Europe. For a region rich in tradition that still includes regular use of physical currencies in daily transactions, we are in a position to be partners for those who are ready to take a plunge into the era of digitalization and cashless through the use of Embed’s tech of transformation.”

As per Allied Market research, the family/indoor entertainment centers market in UK is projected to reach US$1,755.06 million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 12.8% from 2020 to 2027. Also, as per market research, the European FEC equipment market size is expected to reach US$ 755.03 million by the end of 2025.

Just this year, family entertainment titan Veltmeijer Group took the first step to future-proofing their business by adopting Embed’s Mobile Wallet. “We are excited to see the changes that the Mobile Wallet will bring to the business. With it, our guests have cashless options to pay and play because it’s a virtual game card they can use on their phones. It’s easy and secure, and there is no doubt that the user data that we can derive from the Mobile Wallet will help us make better business decisions in real-time,” shares Roger Tubee, Co-CEO of Veltmeijer Group. “We are already using a mix of Embed’s hardware and software solutions so we are confident that they will continue to empower us through our robust expansion plans across Europe,” he continues.

Even before cashless was the norm, the European market witnessed how Embed values its customers – some of which include the biggest names in the industry like Coral Island, Funstation, Hollywood Bowl, Genting UK, Adventure Island, and more.

These are all made possible with Embed’s long-standing relationship with Bandai Namco as its official distribution partner. “Embed just being present in the region makes a world of difference,” says Steve Short, General Manager at Bandai Namco. “It is a privilege to change the face of the amusement and entertainment industries one FEC at a time with business solutions that level up the guest experience,” he continues.

The Tech of Transformation
The solutions provider will again champion its latest tech innovations at the upcoming IAAPA Expo Europe to propel businesses to become an FEC of the Future:

On the roster are: The cutting-edge self-service KIOSK+, with one of the largest touchscreen displays in the industry, a dramatically sleeker design, and expandable modularity. The Breakaway Game Card will also make its Europe debut and wow prospects with the cutting-edge combination of the traditional game card and wearable media.

EVENTS
After its launch in June 2022, the newest addition to Embed’s TOOLKIT suite will be introduced to the EMEA region. EVENTS, the industry’s first publishing-to-payment events marketing platform, automatically syncs to customers’ calendars – driving more revenue, foot traffic, traction, and conversion to events.

Making the Switch
After helping customers on the road to recovery in 2020, Embed is empowering FECs through reinvention and rejuvenation, to make smarter and sound business decision thanks to Embed’s long-running industry leadership, breakthrough tech innovations, data, and outstanding results.

The 49th season of Knott’s Scary Farm turns nightmares into reality with new signature scares

By | August 16, 2022

BUENA PARK, Calif. — The most immersive Halloween experience in Southern California, Knott’s Scary Farm, returns with unimaginable new scares and terrifying twists for its 49th frightful year. Every inch of the park transforms into everyone’s worst nightmare as the most horrendous monsters await around every corner ready to turn you into their next victim. This year, guests will come face to face with their most horrifying fears as they brave through the park’s 17 haunted experiences, including five spine-chilling scare zones, nine monstrous mazes, and three sinister shows. Knott’s Scary Farm is back for 26 terrifying nights from September 22 – October 31.

There is nowhere to hide as hair-raising scares are looming around every turn, with the debut of our newest mysterious mazes and a gruesome lineup of new shows. These new haunting experiences add to the original scares that can’t be found anywhere else.

New Offerings
Bloodline 1842 (Maze) – Armed with the latest Bellatorian weaponry, you can choose to heed the call to action and embark on a perilous journey with the immortal Daybreakers. Travel through the busy city streets of Valdonia while hunting the bloodthirsty Valhymphri in an all-out war. Bring light into the darkness, survive the vicious onslaught of vampires, and bring honor to your order!

The Grimoire (Maze) – Turn the page and enter the world of an ancient relic whose dark stories exist purely to turn your greatest nightmares into a reality. Enter the world of a mysterious spell book and escape the demonic creatures inside or be eternally trapped within!

Beyond the Fog: A behind-the-scenes tour of Knott’s Scary Farm
Behind the scenes of Knott’s Scary Farm, an army of talented builders and creators work hard to make California’s original and most haunting Halloween event a success. For the first time, you can pull back the veil for a Lights On, Frights Off Tour. Join us for a 3-hour behind-the-scenes look at Knott’s Scary Farm where you’ll learn the history of Scary Farm and take part in a walking tour of multiple Knott’s Scary Farm mazes with the lights on! Grab your walking shoes for a one-of-a-kind opportunity to go Beyond the Fog.

Le Magnifique Carnaval du Grotesque (Show) – Calico Mine Stage 
Step right up and walk into the mystique and darkness of the malevolent Le Magnifique Carnaval Du Grotesque. This reimagined show features a collection of death-defying feats and dangerous carnival acts to delight your darkest desires and fill your senses with terror.

Conjurers: Dark Magic (Show) – Bird Cage Theater
The fog in Calico is thick. The screams of the denizens of the night echo all around. The only safe place to take refuge is in The Bird Cage Theatre with this newest evolution of the Conjurers magic show. You know the place, right next to the Undertaker. It seems that with death no longer the end, the Undertaker has nearly been run out of business. Fortunately, in all his dealings with death and the afterlife, he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve. Tricks will come in handy as he crosses over to the other side to show our still-living guests what he’s learned.

Returning Mazes
Mesmer: Sideshow of the Mind – Within the canvas tent lies the secret of the most potent force in the universe: the human mind. Give in and succumb to the hypnotist Mesmer and his sinister sideshow, as it preys on your hidden fears. Release your inner thoughts and descend into a world of madness, torture, and eerie enlightenment. There you will uncover the grotesque secrets hidden as you brave through the most terrifying show ever created.

Wax Works – Mysterious lights and strange noises have begun to emanate from the eerie abandoned wax museum. It’s rumored that blood-curdling screams can be heard echoing through the halls of Wax Works as victims are horrifyingly submerged into a scorching hot cauldron of bubbling wax. The once prominent plastic surgeon, Dr. Augustus Scratch, has been seen tinkering at night and is now ready to show off his beautiful yet terrifying life-like masterpieces of hot molten wax and bloody flesh. Take a closer look at his gruesome works of art and try to escape his deadly grip or become the newest masterpiece to add to his collection.  

Origins: The Curse of Calico – Pierce the veil of time and discover the secret of the evil fog that hangs over Knott’s Scary Farm in Origins: The Curse of Calico. Unearth the sinister paranormal activity that plagues the town as Sarah Marshall is put on trial for her suspected crimes of witchcraft. All will be unveiled when the Green Witch rises and curses the townsfolk, transforming all who have accused her into a wicked horde of malicious creatures with an eternal quench for the living.

Pumpkin Eater – Watch your head as you navigate the twisted passages as you come face to face with the pumpkin monsters that lurk in the dark of the Pumpkin Eater maze. The notorious creature is on the prowl, hidden within the dark confines of the haunted town he once terrorized. To escape the sinister Pumpkin Eater’s wrath, all who enter must go on a quest through the silent town of victims, face a cave of crawling insects and solve the labyrinth of thorns that blocks the way out. Enjoy one last slice of terror as this legendary journey through a colonial nightmare comes to a horrific end.  

Dark Ride – Pull down that lap bar for one final spin through an abandoned carnival ride where cruel carnie folk still linger in the shadows in Dark Ride: Castle of Chaos. The carnival has become a refuge for freaks and carnies. Now those shunned performers have created a dark world of terror which they plan to unleash on those who enter. Dark Ride will lead brave visitors through a treacherous path and into the bowels of a long-neglected attraction, as sinister shadows and horrifying scenes cast the gloom over the once pleasant ride. It’s everyone’s worst nightmare, being helplessly trapped inside an abandoned carnival ride without a way out. Escape quickly, as the ol’ carnival ride is about to be shut down for good and with it any chance of ever getting out alive.

The Depths – A heavy fog drapes over an abandoned port village where ancient creatures lurk inside the pitch-black underground caves hidden below the seaside shores. The Nightwatch Mining Crew has mysteriously disappeared, and village rumors point to the eerie tunnels the town sits upon. But be warned, all who have entered have never resurfaced. Myths of the terrifying horrors that lurk within the cave have often been whispered but never confirmed.  Did the crew meet their demise at the hand of vicious creatures that live within the cave? Journey into the ominous caverns to discover if the superstitions revolving around the cave are true or not.

Dark Entities – Teleport beyond earth into a realm where the darkness is absolute. In the depths of space, a lone station faces terror beyond all imagination. An extraterrestrial mutation has invaded the station, and it’s on the prowl for new hosts. The unearthly inhabitants’ force increases as it feeds on its unwilling victims. Escape the dark entities before their deadly force eliminates all living forms aboard the station. There’s nowhere to escape when time is running out!

Returning Scare Zones
Knott’s Scary Farm is far more than a collection of haunted attractions. Every night monsters spill out onto the streets and turn theme park midways into murderous scare zones. From the world-famous Ghost Town Streets to the Boardwalk area filled with evil clowns, there’s nowhere to hide in Knott’s Scary Farm.

Step back into the dark decadence of a by-gone era as the scare zone The Gore-ing 20’s terrorizes even the bravest and most brutal souls. Here gangsters run illicit hooch for the ghostly revelers as the otherworldly musicians play the music of the damned. Tell the Bouncer the secret password, and you’ll have the time of your life for as long as it lasts.

Ghost Town Streets is the original and largest, most terrifying scare zone that started it all. Bands of half-human, half-animal monsters prowl the streets and inhabit the fog, and beware the notoriously stunning sliders, who lunge from fog-filled corners of the land.

On the Boardwalk, deviant clowns crave your undying attention in the CARNEVIL scare zone.

Saddle up for one final ride through the bramble filled passageways of The Hollow scare zone. The treacherous Witches of the Hollow, and their armies of creatures have risen once again to battle with the Witch Hunter.

The Lake underneath Silver Bullet recedes to reveal the Forsaken Lake scare zone, where gothic creatures ravaged by the dark and murky waters wander from their crypts preying on unsuspecting visitors, looking for victims to drag back to their watery graves.

Returning Favorites
Puppet Up! Uncensored – Walter Knott Theatre

Returning nightly to Knott’s Scary Farm for the 2022 season, Puppet Up! Uncensored is an outrageous, off-the-cuff live show featuring a combination of improvisational comedy and the magic of puppetry performed by a cast of world-class comedian puppeteers from The Jim Henson Company. Created by legendary puppeteer and award-winning director Brian Henson and directed by Patrick Bristow (Ellen, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Whose Line Is It Anyway?), Puppet Up! – Uncensored is no ordinary puppet show. The content is driven by audience suggestions and participation in proper uncensored form, topped with the zany antics and naughty shenanigans of the colorful and brazen puppet cast.  Puppet Up! – Uncensored will be performed three times each night at Knott’s Scary Farm and is intended for mature audiences.

Timber Mountain Log Ride: Halloween Hootenanny (Attraction Overlay) – The Timber Mountain Log Ride residents celebrate the Halloween Hootenanny, which adds a seasonal twist to a park favorite. Mysterious creatures of Timber Mountain that live out in the woods and caverns join the citizens as they honor the season at the Halloween Hootenanny. The Ride’s interior features surprises as guests venture past the Calico Coffin Creeper band, the town’s green witch, and splash down Skull Mountain through a labyrinth of jack-o-lanterns all set to an original soundtrack by Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies.

Into The Fog: A Scary Farm Tribute Art Show – The Factory Store 
Into the Fog is an art show specially curated for the discerning Scary Farm fan. The show is home to a collection of original art by unique and talented artists from across the country. These artists have drawn inspiration from Knott’s Scary Farm’s rich 49-year history, and you’re sure to find an original or print you’ll want to take home with you. Along with the Scary Farm art show, you can find all sorts of souvenirs any Halloween fan will be dying to get their hands on.

Knott’s Scary Farm Admission
Single night tickets – Buy tickets at KnottsScaryFarm.com and save up to $50 off the regular main gate price of $109. Knott’s Season Passholders receive a discount on single-night tickets. Applicable taxes and fees apply to online orders.

Fright & Fast Lane – Ride and scream all night long with unlimited priority access to all mazes plus priority boarding on all Fast Lane rides. Fright & Fast Lane starts at $135 and varies by night. Separate Scary Farm park admission required and not included.

Knott’s Scary Farm Boo-Fet – Offered at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant and Spurs Chophouse. Meals include a 2022 souvenir bottle, which gives unlimited refills on the night of your first visit plus only $5 all-day refills each additional visit through 2022.”. After dinner, enjoy early entry into select areas of Knott’s Scary Farm a few minutes before it opens to other mortals. Boo-fet early entry will be to the newest maze Bloodline 1942, Dark Entities, The Depths and Wax Works, and exclusive photo opportunities with the monsters. The Knott’s Scary Farm Boo-fet dinner is $45 + applicable taxes and fees when purchased online. Separate theme park admission is required and not included.

All Season Long Parking is valid for Knott’s Scary Farm nights. Knott’s Scary Farm General parking is $30 per vehicle and can be purchased online or at the parking booth upon arrival. Applicable taxes and fees apply to online orders.

Knott’s Scary Farm has welcomed millions of visitors for over 48 years and has become an institution in the Southern California theme park landscape. This year, the event returns September 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, October 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31. Knott’s Scary Farm is open 7:00 pm – 1:00 am, excluding Fridays and Saturdays, where the event will run 7:00 pm – 2:00 am. Due to the explicit and frightening nature of the event, it is not recommended for children under 13.

A chaperone policy is being implemented for all Knott’s Scary Farm event nights. Under the policy, all general park guests ages 17 years old or younger must be accompanied by a chaperone who is at least 21 years old to be admitted to the park. The chaperone must present a valid photo ID with date of birth. One chaperone may accompany no more than four guests ages 17 or younger per day. Chaperones must accompany their party during entry, remain inside the park during their visit, and be available by phone throughout their stay. Guests ages 17 years old or younger who are found inside the park unaccompanied by a chaperone will be subject to ejection.

In addition, a bag policy will be implemented for Knott’s Scary Farm. Guests will not be permitted to bring bags larger than 6.5” x 4.5” x 2” into the park, including purses, backpacks, or diaper bags during Scary Farm operation. All bags will be searched prior to entry.

Red Arrows take to the skies at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

By | August 16, 2022

The Red Arrows took to the skies at Blackpool Pleasure Beach this weekend as they visited the resort to take part in Blackpool’s annual Air Show.

The world’s premier aerobatic display team took time out before their spectacular display to meet fans and pose for photos before enjoying a turn on some of the park’s most thrilling rides.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is home to the UK’s only ride themed around the famous display team, Red Arrows Skyforce. Naturally, the Red Arrows headed to the ride to try it out for themselves and experience its spins, twists and turns.

Red Arrows Skyforce sits in the shadow of the legendary Big One rollercoaster. The 72ft high, 12-seat white-knuckle ride takes pilots on a 360-degree tour of the skies. Stepping into their cockpit, guests take control of the aeroplane and spin, glide and take formation in their very own display.

Guests can also save money on their visit with Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Celebrate Summer offer. Guests can receive £5 off an eTicket when they book at least seven days in advance of their visit – a saving of up to £14 on the gate price.

Guests can plan now and save now at Blackpool Pleasure Beach this summer with this great offer. In order to redeem, guests simply need to select a date seven or more days in advance and book via Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s website. The discount will then automatically be added to the booking.

Moody Gardens introduces a new event for divers, ocean lovers, and conservationists August 19-21

By | August 16, 2022

GALVESTON, Texas — Moody Gardens invites those who appreciate, dive, study, work or play in the ocean to attend, Dive into the Gulf: An Exposition August 19 to 21. This unique event will be filled with speakers, dive equipment, vendors, opportunities to try SCUBA diving, and a Behind the Scenes Tour at the Aquarium Pyramid. A special Currents in the Gulf Dinner will feature Lionfish as the main course to focus on an important educational and conservation message. Raffles and prizes to benefit a variety of conservation efforts will also be available. 

“We’re really excited about this event,” said Jake Emmert, Moody Gardens Dive Safety Officer, Chair of the Sanctuary Advisory and Counsel for the Flower Gardens Banks Marine Sanctuary who added the focus will be new and vital conservation and dive topics relevant to the Gulf of Mexico each year. “This year the event will feature a lineup of amazing speakers ranging from a marine artist, underwater photography, and more. The focus is on marine sanctuaries, specifically the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and how opportunities to get involved or learn more about the Gulf of Mexico and its natural resources.”

Presentations will showcase a lineup of speakers from all across the country, who have come together for the first time to share their expertise, educate and inspire. Topics and speakers include:

  • “Our Marine World, Through Art,” with, Janavi Mahimtura Folmsbee, Artist 
  • “30 Years of Flower Gardens,” with, G.P. Schmahl, Superintendent of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
  • “Dive Into Texas’ Artificial Reefs,” with, Brooke Shipley, Texas Parks and Wildlife Chief Scientist for the Artificial Reef Program
  • “Blue Beacon Series: Save Spectacular with Marine Sanctuaries & Gulf Restoration,” with, Kris Sarri, President and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Dr. Larry McKinney, retired Texas Parks and Wildlife Senior Director for Aquatic Resources and Kelly Martin, Program Analyst at NOAA
  • “Environmental Stewardship for Divers,” with, Christine Tamburri, Risk Mitigation Coordinator at Divers Alert Network
  • “Using Photography to Capture the Essence of the FGBNMS,” with, Jesse Cancelmo, Diver, Underwater Photographer, and Author
  • “Dive Into Twilight with the Moody Gardens Dive Program,” with, Jake Emmert, Moody Gardens

The Currents in the Gulf dinner Saturday evening will feature speaker Mehgan Heaney-Grier. Mehgan Heaney-Grier is a pioneering free diver, ocean explorer, and longtime conservationist with more than 20 years of experience working both above and below the waterline, Mehgan has built a career as a professional speaker, marine educator, podcast host, and television personality.

This team of speakers and community members share the goals of conserving and restoring the planet’s aquatic and terrestrial environments in a responsible manner. Through living collections, property-wide conservation and research efforts, and emerging initiatives the event encourages guests to be a part of this positive impact. This also serves as a fundraising event for the Moody Gardens Conservation Fund. This fund provides critical support for field conservation, species preservation, and habitat restoration. Guests have the opportunity to stay at the Moody Gardens hotel to enjoy these experiences, along with many others all weekend long.