Thursday, June 30, 2011

GREEN LANTERN: First Flight Extreme Thrill Coaster In New DC UNIVERSE Debuts at Six Flags Magic Mountain

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Six Flags Theme Park Now Boasts "Most Coasters on the Planet!"

Haga clic aquí para ver este comunicado de prensa en Español.
 


IPM Editors' note: Watch for Martin Palicki's review of Green Lantern - coming soon on the InPark Editors' blog.

Valencia, CA — (June 30, 2011) /PRNewswire/ — Six Flags Magic Mountain, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment, today launched its record-breaking 18th coaster with the debut of the new first-in-the-U.S., vertical track, spinning GREEN LANTERN: First Flight. GREEN LANTERN: First Flight is the third of three new epic coaster experiences introduced at the Valencia theme park this year. Located in the new DC UNIVERSE themed area, GREEN LANTERN: First Flight is a “must ride” experience for all thrill seekers this summer.

“As the park’s history-making roller coaster, GREEN LANTERN: First Flight is the perfect complement to our coaster dynasty,” said Bonnie Rabjohn, Six Flags Magic Mountain Park President. “With this addition, Six Flags Magic Mountain now has the most comprehensive collection of thrilling roller coasters anywhere in the world. There’s no better way to celebrate the Park’s 40th anniversary!”

Reaching far beyond traditional thrills, the DC Comics Super Hero GREEN LANTERN focuses the might of his Power Ring and takes the coaster-riding experience to another galaxy with GREEN LANTERN: First Flight. Before boarding, riders experience what it was like for Hal Jordan as they follow in his footsteps as a test pilot at Ferris Aircraft to being chosen as Green Lantern of sector 2814 to training on the planet Oa. Two unique pre-show rooms, produced exclusively for Six Flags, give anxious riders instructions on how to overcome their fears and become like a Green Lantern.

Once they’ve recited the Green Lantern oath, fearless riders brave a never-been-done-before completely VERTICAL zigzag pattern while sitting in eight-person vehicles, four abreast and back-to-back, each rotating independently. The two-minute thrill begins with riders going up the 107-foot lift hill before spinning their way down through 825-feet of twisted vertical track, featuring up to three, 360-degree, head-over-heel spins.

Guardians of peace and justice, the GREEN LANTERN CORPS is an intergalactic police force charged with the protection of the universe. A GREEN LANTERN must be someone who has the ability and willpower to overcome great fear. Recognized as the greatest member of the GREEN LANTERN CORPS, HAL JORDAN was the first Earthman ever inducted into the corps and also became a founding member of the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. Green Lanterns are outfitted with a weapon unlike any other in existence: a ring that channels pure willpower in the form of solid green energy that can manifest any construct the bearer imagines.

First published by DC Comics in 1941, GREEN LANTERN currently appears in over 100 comic books distributed worldwide annually. GREEN LANTERN has also appeared in Warner Bros. animation, home videos and interactive games, and stars in his first feature film, “Green Lantern,” from Warner Bros. Pictures, starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively which opened June 17.

“GREEN LANTERN: First Flight is truly a unique thrill. Not only is the coaster out-of-this-world, but it brings the excitement of Green Lantern to life in new ways for everyone to enjoy,” stated Geoff Johns, Best selling Green Lantern comic book writer and Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment. “For me personally, it’s the ultimate calling card to say there is a ride of this magnitude representing a character I’ve worked on and am so passionate about.”

The new DC UNIVERSE features newly themed rides, branded merchandise and specialty food. As guests enter the grand portal, they’re greeted by a bright and colorful comic-book-inspired world, featuring WONDER WOMAN Lasso of Truth, where riders twirl high in the air plastered to the wall at a 45-degree angle; THE FLASH Speed Force, a fast-spinning ride that sends you to the edge of your seat; and the popular BATMAN The Ride, where riders fly at intense speeds with nothing but air beneath their dangling feet. Super hero shoppers can find all their gear at the new DC UNIVERSE store and when park guests have worked up an appetite, they can enjoy hot, delicious pizza at Teen Titan Tower Pizza, fresh roasted corn at Kent Farms and frozen lemonade.

Six Flags Magic Mountain is located at 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, in Valencia, north of Los Angeles off Interstate 5 at the Magic Mountain Parkway exit. The Park is open daily. For information call (661) 255-4111 or visit us online at sixflags.com.
 

About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest regional theme park company with 2010 revenue of nearly $1.0 billion and 19 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. Six Flags Over Texas, the company’s flagship location, is celebrating its 50th anniversary season in 2011. On Twitter at twitter.com/sixflags. On Facebook at facebook.com/sixflags
 

About Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world. 


About DC Entertainment
DC Entertainment, home to such iconic DC Comics properties as Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, MAD Magazine and Fables, is a creative division charged with strategically integrating across Warner Bros. and Time Warner. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its super-heroic characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment and interactive games. Publishing over 1,000 comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Comics is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world.

DC SUPER HEROES and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics. (s11)

All Three Proxy Advisory Firms Support Cedar Fair's Board-Recommended Proposals

SANDUSKY, Ohio, June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced that the three leading proxy advisory firms – ISS, Glass Lewis & Co. and Egan-Jones – have issued recommendations in favor of the Cedar Fair Board-backed proposals under consideration for the Company's Annual Meeting of Unitholders on July 7, 2011. The proposals include: the election of new independent director Gina France to the Company's Board of Directors, the ratification of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company's independent accounting firm, and the approval of executive officers' compensation through a "Say on Pay" advisory vote.

"We appreciate the thorough analysis and recommendations of the proxy advisory firms and are pleased by their support in favor of our proposals," said Dick Kinzel, chief executive officer of Cedar Fair. "With the Annual Meeting less than a week away, I encourage all unitholders to vote their units now as every vote is important."

The Annual Meeting of the limited partner unitholders of Cedar Fair, L.P. will be held on Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) at the Cedar Point Center at BGSU Firelands College in Huron, Ohio. All unitholders are invited to attend the meeting.

About Cedar Fair
Cedar Fair is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio, and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, six outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. Amusement parks in the Company's northern region include two in Ohio: Cedar Point, consistently voted "Best Amusement Park in the World" in Amusement Today polls, and Kings Island; as well as Canada's Wonderland, near Toronto; Dorney Park, PA; Valleyfair, MN; and Michigan's Adventure, MI. In the southern region are Kings Dominion, VA; Carowinds, NC; and Worlds of Fun, MO. Western parks in California include: Knott's Berry Farm; California's Great America; and Gilroy Gardens, which is managed under contract.

Additional Information
This may be deemed to be solicitation material in respect of the Company's Annual Meeting of Unitholders scheduled for July 7, 2011. On June 2, 2011, in connection with the Annual Meeting, the Company filed a definitive proxy statement and a form of proxy with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and the definitive proxy statement and a form of proxy were mailed on or about June 3, 2011 to the Company's unitholders of record as of May 27, 2011. In addition, the Company will file with, or furnish to, the SEC all additional relevant materials. BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING DECISION, INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF THE COMPANY ARE URGED TO READ ALL RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH, OR FURNISHED TO, THE SEC, INCLUDING THE COMPANY'S DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT ON SCHEDULE 14A, BECAUSE IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE ANNUAL MEETING. Investors and security holders are able to obtain a copy of the definitive proxy statement and other documents filed by the Company free of charge from the SEC's website, www.sec.gov. The Company's unitholders are also able to obtain, without charge, a copy of the definitive proxy statement and other relevant documents by directing a request by mail or telephone to Investor Relations, Cedar Fair, L.P., One Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky, OH 44870, telephone: (419) 627-2233, or from the Company's website, www.cedarfair.com or by contacting Morrow & Co., LLC, at (203) 658-9400 or toll free at (800) 662-5200.

The Company and its directors and executive officers and certain other members of its management and employees may be deemed to participate in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the Annual Meeting of Unitholders. Additional information regarding the interests of such potential participants is included in the definitive proxy statement.

This news release and prior releases are available online at www.cedarfair.com.

Grand unveiling of Calypso Waterpark Summit Tower and its 10 new waterslides



Limoges, Canada – On June 28 2011 Calypso waterparklaunched its new attraction, the Summit Tower. Featuring 10 new waterslides, each more impressive than the next, and a total height of 10 storeys, the new Summit Tower is the tallest free-standing waterslide tower in North America. 


After only a year of operation, the company invested $5 million in this spectacular new attraction. “The addition of this new aquatic complex is our answer to the tremendous success we had during the 2010 summer season, explains Guy Drouin, Calypso’s president and CEO. Summit Tower features 10 new waterslides in a single tower; it’s practically a whole other waterpark in itself.”

Summit Tower features 10 waterslides that offer something for the entire family:


The Accelerators, first of their kind, consist in four 90-feet (28 metres) tall high-speed slides, two of which include toboggan boats with four person and two with double inner tubes.

Designed for thrill seekers, the AquaLoops, a Canadian exclusivity,are two slides where adrenaline and centrifugal force are combine to give swimmers an unforgettable experience. The ride starts in an enclosed cabin with a trap door. At the signal, the floor suddenly opens and swimmers are “dropped in a vertical freefall” at a height of 55 feet (17 metres), then follow a roller coaster-like ride with a 2.5 G loop.

The Family Twisters, four coiled waterslides with translucent and closed-off sections at a height of 30 feet (9 meters). Families will love sliding down the AquaSnake, Pigtail, Mellow Yellow and Twist & Shout.

Calypso VIP Experience
A new VIP Zone featuring 15 luxurious private cabanas has also been added for the summer season. Visitors will have a blast with their family, colleagues or friends in these cabanas, which come equipped with lounge chairs, a sound system, a refrigerator and much more. Rental fees are set at $99 per day. The VIP Zone also features a terrace bar open to everyone, with attentive, personalized care given to VIPs.
Boilerplate

About "Canada’s biggest theme waterpark"
Calypso offers an aquatic section covering over 100 acres and including over 35 waterslides, 100 water games, the country’s largest wave pool and all heated pools. These attractions, which include Jungle Run River, Pirate’s Aquaplay and Zoo Lagoon for kids, are each more impressive than the next and feature the latest in cutting-edge technology. Officially opened in summer 2010 following a $45 million investment, this waterpark has had a remarkable freshman year. Furthermore, Calypso won the 2011 award for New company of year as part of the Ottawa Tourism Award. Calypso Theme Waterpark is located east of Ottawa off Highway 417 and 75 minutes from Montreal. Visit calypsopark.com.

SEAWORLD AND BUSCH GARDENS GRANT MORE THAN $1 MILLION TO PROTECT ANIMALS IN NEED

ORLANDO, USA … June 30, 2011 … Cheetahs are one of the species that will benefit from more than $1 million in grants awarded this year by the non-profit SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. The Fund approved grants to more than 100 wildlife protection projects including programs to reintroduce endangered cheetahs to the African wild, protect sea turtle nests across the world, educate and connect kids with the ocean, and help restore America’s fragile coasts. Since its creation eight years ago, the Fund has granted more than $8 million to protect wildlife and wild places.

The Fund approved grants to more than 100 wildlife protection projects including programs to
reintroduce endangered cheetahs to the African wild, protect sea turtle nests across the world, educate and connect kids with the ocean, and help restore America’s fragile coasts.

“From big cats to penguins, these species are in dire need of help. SeaWorld and Busch Gardens work to educate and inspire guests to care about the plight of these animals, and these grants from the Fund support our conservation partners working in the field,” said Brad Andrews, president and executive director of the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund and chief zoological officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Together, we can make a world of difference for these extraordinary species that share our world.”

For more information on the Fund, visit www.swbg-conservationfund.org.

A non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund supports wildlife research, habitat protection, animal rescue and conservation education in the U.S. and more than 60 countries. Since its inception, the Fund has awarded more than $8 million, including animal crisis grants that provide rapid response and much-needed funding to animals and habitats in peril due to either natural or human-caused events and catastrophes. 100 percent of the donations the Fund receives go to support these efforts.

Nominations Open for the 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Plans are underway for the 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. Parents, teachers, mentors and youth can nominate U.S. high school students ages 13-19 to attend this innovative outside-the-classroom educational and mentoring program. Nominations must be submitted on www.disneysdreamersacademy.com by October 31, 2011.

Entering the search for its milestone fifth "class," Disney's Dreamers Academy continues to hold true to its mission to inspire teens and help them prepare for the future. Each year, 100 students – selected from thousands of applicants – participate in hands-on, full-immersion workshops related to a bevy of career paths. The Walt Disney World theme parks become vibrant 'classrooms' leading to career discoveries, the pursuit of dreams and fun memories to cherish for a lifetime.

"Over the past four years, we have helped more than 400 Dreamers unlock their potential and get started on their journeys in life," said Disney's Dreamers Academy Executive Champion Tracey D. Powell. "The fifth Disney's Dreamers Academy marks another year of continued motivation, education and success. Steve Harvey and Essence Communications share in our vision of enriching lives. Everyone leaves this program inspired to live their best life."

Participants and a parent or guardian will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. for the sessions. The 2012 Disney's Dreamers Academy will take place March 8-11, 2012.

Steve Harvey, syndicated radio personality, along with Essence Magazine and Walt Disney World Resort will host the selected Dreamers.

Launched in 2007 by Disney Parks, Disney's Dreamers Academy has evolved into a year-round initiative with its informational Facebook and Twitter social media platforms, an interactive website, presence at community-outreach-partner events like the Essence Music Festival, the National Association of Black Journalists Convention, the Bud Billiken Parade, and the addition of the recently formed Disney's Dreamers Academy Speakers Resource Group. This year, Dreamers also had the chance to win internships.

About Walt Disney World Resort / The Walt Disney Co.:
Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation center located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando. The Walt Disney Co. has a rich legacy of creativity and exceptional storytelling that brings families together in unique and memorable ways. The Walt Disney Co. is dedicated to making a positive impact in communities around the world, with a primary focus on brightening the lives of children.

About Steve Harvey:
Steve Harvey began doing stand-up comedy in the mid-1980s, which eventually led to a long stint as host of "It's Showtime at the Apollo." His success as a stand-up comedian led to multiple TV sitcoms." His first book, "Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man," quickly became a bestseller in 2009. Currently, Harvey hosts the nationally syndicated "Steve Harvey Morning Show."

About Essence Communications Inc.:
Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media and communications company dedicated to African-American women. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online, the Essence brand is "Where Black Women Come First". .

About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

American Institute of Architects To Develop Database of Stalled Projects Suitable for Investor Financing

At CGI America Conference, AIA Seizes Initiative on Credit in Wake of Banks' Reluctance to Lend

CHICAGO, USA /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced it would make available to potential investors a database of stalled building projects nationwide that make economic sense but which lack the financing to be completed.

The AIA is announcing this commitment here today as a participating member at CGI America, the first conference of the Clinton Global Initiative solely dedicated to economic issues impacting the United States. The database should be available in coming months.

"We are committing to developing this database not just with the fortunes of architects in mind," said AIA President Clark Manus, FAIA. "In large part the fortunes of the entire U.S. economy rest on the jobs-creating potential of the design and construction industry, which accounts for $1 in $9 of U.S. Gross Domestic Product, according to the U.S. Census Bureau."

"For months, our industry has continued to suffer solely because banks won't lend," Manus said. "With this innovative, unprecedented commitment, the AIA has decided to step up and do something about that."

The AIA commitment comes as the design and construction industry is plagued by a continuing dearth of credit for otherwise credit-worthy projects. Almost two-thirds of architects responding to a recent AIA survey reported at least one project that is stalled due to lack of financing, despite record low interest rates.

Of the 63% of firms surveyed with stalled projects, the average value of each stalled project was almost $50 million per firm. To make matters worse, the AIA's May Architecture Billing Index (ABI) report, which provides a nine-to-12-month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity, shows a continued deterioration in business conditions. The May ABI score announced last week was 47.2, a decrease from a reading of 47.6 in April. One factor cited in the continued decline is the chronic lack of financing.

In order to build and analyze the database of stalled projects, the AIA will establish a new survey that will begin to identify and analyze stalled projects from around the country that could be moved forward on almost any front but for the lack of financing. The commitment by the AIA involves soliciting information about stalled projects around the country from its members and allied professionals.

The AIA will then analyze and categorize the identified projects by various factors, including building type location (including those locations with a strong, skilled workforce), new construction versus retrofit, and impact on sustainability and livability goals. The AIA will work to identify opportunities for collaboration and financing to help move projects forward.

The Clinton Global Initiative's Chicago conference is convening diverse stakeholders - including CEOs of American companies and international companies with U.S. operations, national and local government officials, and leaders from the nonprofit sector – to identify effective ways to strengthen U.S. industries, unlock capital for innovation and entrepreneurship, advance energy efficiency, build clean energy infrastructure, and train Americans for the 21st-century workforce.

Topics covered during the meeting will include education, green buildings, the healthcare workforce, manufacturing, rural development, service corps, small business growth, smart infrastructure and workforce training.

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly "Work-on-the-Boards" survey that is sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended as compared to the prior month, and the results are then compiled into the ABI. These monthly results are also seasonally adjusted to allow for comparison to prior months. The monthly ABI index scores are centered around 50, with scores above 50 indicating an aggregate increase in billings, and scores below 50 indicating a decline. The regional and sector data are formulated using a three-month moving average. More information on the ABI and the analysis of its relationship to construction activity can be found in the White Paper Architecture Billings as a Leading Indicator of Construction: Analysis of the Relationship Between a Billings Index and Construction Spending on the AIA web site.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org. On Twitter: http://twitter.com/AIA_Media.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/AIANational

About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings, which take place in New York each September, have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, along with heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made nearly 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The 2011 Annual Meeting will take place September 19-22 in New York City.

CGI America is the first CGI meeting focused solely on the U.S. The CGI community also includes CGI University, which hosts an annual meeting for undergraduate and graduate students, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young CGI members for leadership development and collective commitment-making. For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.

dealchecker.co.uk: Orlando to Remain the Hottest US Tourist Spot in 2011

LONDON, /PRNewswire/ -- dealchecker.co.uk says a record numbers of travellers chose Orlando, Florida as their holiday destination in 2010; they expect this trend to continue in 2011.
 

Orlando has been a popular destination for tourists from all over the world for many years, but it saw a record number of visitors in 2010. Last year Orlando welcomed over 51 million visitors and according to dealchecker.co.uk, a leading online holiday specialist, these figures are set to be matched by 2011's visitor numbers.

Alex Saint, CEO of dealchecker.co.uk says, "Florida has always been a favourite destination for dealchecker.co.uk's customers, and Orlando, home of Disneyworld, Universal Studios and countless waterparks, has proven to be a particular attraction to the many families that use our services. We're already seeing a huge interest in Orlando flights and holidays and we expect this to continue as we approach the high season."


According to figures released by Visit Orlando, over 51.5 million travellers holidayed in Orlando in 2010 compared with the 46.6 million that visited in 2009, which amounts to a 10.5 per cent total increase in visitor numbers. The city has traditionally been one of the most visited holiday destinations in the USA and last year it became the first city in the country to ever hit the 50 million-plus visitors mark. Over 3.6 million of these came from abroad according to the Visit Orlando [http://www.visitorlando.com ] report - a figure that is set to increase as more premium carriers begin offering cheap flight deals to their customers.


Saint adds, "Florida was one of the original destinations of choice when package holidays initially became popular in the 1960s and the state's willingness to invest in improving their attractions, accommodation and amenities has meant that Florida holidays have remained consistently popular. Orlando in particular is seen by many as the destination of a lifetime, but in the past the cost of flights meant families could only afford to visit once. In 2011, flights to Orlando are cheaper than ever before and this means that travellers are able to come to the Sunshine State time and time again."


About dealchecker.co.uk:

dealchecker.co.uk was founded in June 2005. The site is a leading flight, accommodation, holiday and car hire price comparison service.
When a travel selection is made, the final transaction is completed in real-time, direct with the operator or agent that the customer has chosen. Alongside the price comparison search and Real Deals the website provides a price tracker, travel tips, destination content and weather trends. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Holiday World on Travel Channel June 29; 4th of July festivities over the weekend; new SplashLand

Message from Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana USA:

"The Travel Channel’s own Bert the Conqueror will show the hilarious highlights from his trip to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari this evening. Show host Bert Kreischer’s goal: to conquer The Voyage and Wildebeest. All we can tell you about our episode is Bert indeed screamed like a little girl..." Bert the Conqueror airs on The Travel Channel Wednesday, June 29, at 9:00pm Central, 10:00pm Eastern & Pacific time...

"Be sure to let the little kiddos slide their way through the brand new Safari Sam’s SplashLand, with eight kid-sized water slides and other fun water-spray features....


"Celebrate US Independence Day in the red-white-and-blue themed section of Holiday World: Fourth of July! Soar on the Liberty Launch, take a spin on Revolution and then relax on Freedom Train. Stay till closing and enjoy our spectacular fireworks show at 9:30pm CDT.
"

More details here.

How to Celebrate the Fourth of July with Audubon Nature Institute

Fireworks on the Mississippi River. Photo: Audubon Images
(New Orleans) – As part of the Fourth of July holiday experience, all Audubon Nature Institute attractions will be open Monday July 4, 2011. Audubon Zoo, Aquarium of Americas, Entergy IMAX® Theatre and Audubon Insectarium will have loads of holiday fun for the family.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides An IMAX 3D Experience  

Entergy IMAX® Theatre - Daily Screenings Beginning July 1

Red, White and Butterflies - Audubon Insectarium July 2
In a most unusual salute to our nation’s birthday, Audubon Insectarium staff creates a salute to the American flag out of red, white and blue butterflies.

Go 4th on the River - Woldenberg Park July 4 

Fireworks at nightfall on the Mississippi River. Visitors enjoy a weekend long (July 1-4) discount of $4 off any admission to Audubon Aquarium or Audubon Insectarium.

July 4th Weekend Admission Discount
 
Coupon available from www.Go4thOnTheRiver.com. More info: www.auduboninstitute.org.

Six Flags America Offers Free Military Tickets Independence Day Weekend

Maryland theme park hosts military appreciation days, music, and two nights of fireworks, July 3 and 4, 2011

BOWIE, Md., June 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- "Oh, say can you see…"thrilling coasters, sensational water slides, and a host of musical guests in a salute to America this Independence Day Weekend? Six Flags America, the Mid-Atlantic's most exciting destination for family-friendly fun, offers a full weekend of thrills, headlined by free admission for Military personnel this Sunday and Monday, July 3 and 4, and two nights of fireworks.


This weekend, Six Flags America, salutes the Armed Forces with the return of its popular Military Appreciation Days program. Active duty, retired, and disabled members of the US Armed Forces will receive free admission to Six Flags America on Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4, 2011. Eligible service personnel may show their military ID cards at Six Flags America ticket booths to receive a complimentary one-day admission to the park. Family members can receive special discounted admission by purchasing tickets at participating Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) offices or Information, Tickets, and Tours (ITT) offices throughout Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia.

Military Appreciation Days are just one part of a spectacular weekend that salutes the nation and provides added fun for every guest. On Sunday, July 3, pop-rock favorites The Downtown Fiction (Fairfax, VA) and Hotspur (Rockville, MD) rock out at Six Flags America's GOTHAM Arena, beginning at 6:00 p.m., part of the STARBURST Summer Concert Series. The concert is FREE with admission to Six Flags America and preferred floor access is available online at sixflags.com/America. Additional musical performances, sponsored through Six Flags America's Live & Local series, include appearances by Marcus Johnson on July 3 and Beyond the Veil on July 4.

Your day of thrills is capped off with brilliant fireworks and a "Salute-to-America" musical spectacular on Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4. Performances begin each night at dusk, overlooking Hurricane Bay wave pool in Hurricane Harbor water park. The performances are free with park admission.

Six Flags America is the region's family fun headquarters and located just minutes from the DC Beltway at Exit 15-A. This giant theme park boasts more than 100 rides, games, shows, and family attractions, including seven world-class roller coasters, headlined by the three-star lineup: SUPERMAN: Ride of Steel, BATWING- Maryland's first flying coaster- and Mind Eraser, and Hurricane Harbor, a FREE-with- admission water park. Hurricane Harbor is home to one of the world's largest wave pools, and ZoomAzon Falls, a new thrilling body slide experience that zooms sliders through an Amazon rainforest.

Six Flags America opens each day at 10:30 a.m.; Hurricane Harbor opens at 11:00 a.m. For more information, please visit sixflags.com/America.

About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation:
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world's largest regional theme park company with 2010 revenue of nearly $1.0 billion and 19 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. Six Flags Over Texas, the company's flagship location, is celebrating its 50th anniversary season in 2011.

Two Nights of Fireworks Highlight Cedar Point's 4th of July holiday Celebration


SANDUSKY, Ohio, June 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- To celebrate the Fourth of July holiday, Cedar Point will present eye-popping fireworks on two nights: Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4th.

The fireworks displays are scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. on both evenings.

During the holiday weekend, the Sandusky, Ohio, amusement park/resort will also be open later each evening so there will be even more time to enjoy the fun and festivities. On Sunday, July 3, Cedar Point will be open until 1 a.m. giving guests nearly three more hours to enjoy all the park's rides and attractions after the fireworks display comes to a close. The park will also be open until 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 2 and Monday, July 4.

In addition to the fireworks displays, special entertainment, delicious meals and money-saving deals will also be available throughout the weekend.

Some of the special activities planned for the holiday weekend include:

Fourth of July Fireworks

  • On two nights, Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4, Cedar Point will set the sky ablaze with amazing colors and lights with their spectacular fireworks display beginning at 10 p.m. each night.
  • Presented by Zambelli Internationale, Inc., of New Castle, Pa., one of the oldest and largest companies in fireworks displays in the United States, the program is synchronized to patriotic music.
Salute to the Armed Forces
Cedar Point will salute members of the armed forces, Saturday through Monday, July 2-4. Any active, honorably-discharged or retired member of the military with a valid ID can receive one free regular admission ticket valid for one day during the holiday weekend. They may also purchase discounted tickets for members of their immediate family for only $37.99.

Special Entertainment
On Saturday, July 2, the Singing Angels, Cleveland's world-famous children's choir, will be performing by the fountain on the Main Midway. This non-profit coral youth group consists of 120 students who range in age from 8 to 18. They will be performing from 9:40 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Point Patrol Giveaways

For additional excitement, the park's Point Patrol will be distributing prizes at select live shows from Friday through Monday. Giveaways will include prizes from Red Gold Ketchup, Toft's Ice Cream and Johnsonville.

Great Eats
Back by popular demand will be the Johnsonville Big Taste Grill. From Friday through Monday, July 1-4, the world's largest touring grill will be at Cedar Point cooking up Johnsonville bratwursts in front of the Dodgems from 11 a.m. to closing each day.

Hungry guests will also be able to enjoy a good-old-fashion all-you-can-eat picnic with broiled Johnsonville Brats, fried chicken, hot dogs, baked rigatoni, potato salad, baked beans, cookies, ice cream and ice-cold Pepsi beverages. Picnic at the Point will be served Saturday through Monday, July 2-4, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Coral Courtyard.

For more information about Cedar Point's Fourth of July celebration, please log on to cedarpoint.com.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Lights up the Sky for Independence Day

Photo: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Busch Gardens invites guests to "Celebrate Independence Day with Fun, Fireworks and Live Entertainment"
 

TAMPA, Florida, USA - On July 2, 3 and 4th Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will illuminate the sky with a massive fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. The fireworks show will be visible from all over the park, but the best seats in the house are in Gwazi Park. 

The fireworks will be set off following the award-winning Kinetix show: an energizing 30-minute non-stop performance that includes live musicians, singers, dancer and artist from around the world. Their thrilling performance – along with modern music and fire effects – will pump up the crowd every night in Gwazi Park at 9 p.m. 


Magician Christopher Cool performs “Cool Allusions” street magic every Tuesday through Sunday during Summer Nights and will be making a special appearance on July 4. Stop by the Moroccan Village to check out what tricks Christopher Cool is up too.
 

Park hours for Summer Nights are extended until 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and ‘til 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Stay late to enjoy special entertainment such Kinetix and high-energy DJs, and ride all of Busch Gardens’ exciting attractions. And new this year, guests will have the chance to be launched through the dark of the Serengeti Plain on Busch Gardens’ newest roller coaster, Cheetah Hunt.

And right across the street, Adventure Island is open until 9 p.m. all summer long, with special entertainment and a taste of the islands every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night with Island Nights, now through August 13.

 

Busch Gardens’ Summer Nights and Adventure Island’s Island Nights are included with a day’s paid admission or any annual pass. For more information, visit BuschGardens.com, Adventureisland.com or call 1-888-800-5447

IAAPA reports successful Asian Attractions Expo 2011 in Singapore

Sold-out trade show floor and record participation in events and education program among highlights of "Asia’s premier attractions industry conference and exhibition"
 

A record-breaking trade show floor, sold-out special events, packed education sessions, and a strong turnout from serious buyers marked the continued growth and success of Asian Attractions Expo. The four-day conference and exhibition, owned by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), took place at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) in Singapore June 21-24.

Preliminary estimates indicate 4,900 people, including 3,500 buyers, participated in education programs and networking events, took behind-the-scenes tours of area attractions, and saw a variety of new products and services for the attractions industry on a sold-out trade show floor. Delegates from 46 nations around the globe participated in the event. Developers, owners, managers, and leaders from theme parks, waterparks, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, and resorts met with a record-breaking 236 companies from 30 countries at the Resorts World Convention Centre. The exhibits covered 4,461 net square meters of space.

IAAPA President and CEO Chip Cleary said he is pleased with this year’s event: “The growth of IAAPA’s Asian Attractions Expo mirrors the growth of the attractions industry in Asia. We look forward to continuing the trend as we take the Expo to Hong Kong in 2012.”

Andrew Lee, Executive Director for IAAPA’s Asia Pacific office in Hong Kong, shares Cleary’s optimism: “We’ve had a good show here in Singapore. We were very honored by the tremendous participation from exhibitors and buyers from throughout the Asia-Pacific region. As we continue to expand IAAPA’s operations in Asia Pacific, we look forward to additional growth for Asian Attractions Expo.”

Exhibitors say serious business took place on the trade show floor

“IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo again provided authentic, high-value leads, through a mutually beneficial and well thought platform for both exhibitors and buyers,” said Luke Riley with Australia-based attractions design firm, Sanderson Group International.

Junnie and Charles Sublett, owners of Mediak from New Albany, Indiana, United States, were visibly pleased with the buzz surrounding their photo personalized DVD product. “Last week we had 22 dealers around the world, but in these two days at this show alone, we have signed about 12 new deals,” said Charles Sublett, who summed up the response as “exceptional.” Junnie added she was impressed by the fact that the buyers came from different places throughout Asia and elsewhere including Czech Republic, Turkey, and Russia.


Oliver Vincent of Alterface, an interactive company from Belgium, gave the thumbs up to this year’s event. “We have good leads from this show,” he said, adding that Asia is the right market to target the growing industry.

Exhibitors Cosmic Animation Entertainment from Penang, Malaysia, showcased new products at the industry event. “We had better response this year in terms of sales query,” enthused company representative Lee Soo Lan. “Interested parties have come from Malaysia, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, China, Japan, even Russia and Spain,” she added.

Record turnout for education programs
Attendance at Expo education programs reached a record 1,280. Industry leaders participated in seminars and roundtable discussions on a variety of topics including: employee engagement, reducing attractions’ carbon footprint, family entertainment centers, reinventing attractions, marketing strategies, integrated resort development, and risk management.

A total of 205 delegates participated in the IAAPA Safety Institute to learn about best practices, safety standards, and government regulations in Singapore. More than 400 people attended Leadership Breakfast keynote presentations by Mario Mamon, President and Chairman, Enchanted Kingdom, in the Philippines, and Mike Barclay, CEO, Sentosa Leisure Group.

Other Asian Attractions Expo 2011 highlights


Asian Attractions Expo 2012 will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre June 5-8. More than 140 companies have already reserved 80 percent (3,700 net square meters) of the space available on the trade show floor. Information on the 2012 event will be available in the weeks ahead at www.IAAPA.org.

About IAAPA

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded more than 90 years ago, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the amusement industry. IAAPA represents more than 4,000 attraction, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries. The association’s global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States. The association maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, and Hong Kong. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Celebrating Independence Day at Kings Dominion

www.kingsdominion.com
DOSWELL, Virginia, USA June 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Kings Dominion will celebrate America's Independence Day with three expanded installments of the nightly fireworks display, Night of Fire, on July 2, 3 and 4. Celebrating over 35 years of family fun and excitement, the Mid-Atlantic's premier amusement park is proud to salute the 'Stars and Stripes' and everything they stand for!

To add to the weekend Kings Dominion is offering free admission to our Military personnel with the "Tribute to the Armed Forces" program. All active duty, retired and former members of the armed forces will receive free admission to Kings Dominion on Sunday July 3 and Monday July 4. Proper ID or discharge paperwork is required and family members can receive special discounted admission.

"Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular," a million dollar nighttime walk-through light and sound experience featuring Snoopy and the PEANUTS™ gang continues to light up the nights at Kings Dominion beginning at dusk around 8:45pm.

Designed using a dazzling mixture of low energy and high efficiency LED lighting, this immersive light and sound spectacular is located around the park's Eiffel Tower, along the Center Walkway to The Grove area, and features more than 1.2 million LED lights. The colorful lights and spotlights adorn the Eiffel Tower and surrounding trees up to 80 feet in height. The entire experience is accented by vibrant animated and stationary light displays, vivid theatrical lighting and other cutting edge special effects, all orchestrated to a custom designed audio soundtrack.

Kings Dominion and Water Works waterpark are open daily until through September 5. Kings Dominion is a 400-acre amusement park and waterpark, that is home to over 60 total rides, slides, live shows and attractions. The park features one of the largest roller coaster collections on the East-Coast, with 15 World-Class scream-machines, two children's areas, and Water Works, a 20-acre water playground. Kings Dominion is located at exit 98 on I-95, north of Richmond. For more information about Kings Dominion and complete operating hours, please visit www.KingsDominion.com.

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: "FUN") is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio. The Company, which owns and operates 11 amusement parks, six outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels, is one of the largest regional amusement park operators in the world. Its parks are located in Ohio, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, and Toronto, Ontario. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in Gilroy, California under a management contract. Cedar Fair's flagship park is Cedar Point.

Universal Studios Hollywood Dares Filmmakers to Submit Their Most Twisted Horror Short Films as Part of Annual "Halloween Horror Nights" Short Film Competition

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., June 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal Studios Hollywood(SM) invites aspiring filmmakers to compete in its annual "Halloween Horror Nights" short film competition, offering budding directors an opportunity to have their most disturbing horror short films judged by a panel of industry insiders, including horror film auteur Eli Roth, Daily Variety senior writer, Marc Graser and "Halloween Horror Nights" Creative Director John Murdy. The winning film will be awarded a premiere showing on Chiller, a posting on Syfy.com, a cash prize of $1,000, and a trip for two to "Halloween Horror Nights'" opening night "Eyegore Awards" at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Contest entries will be accepted from June 27 through August 1, 2011. Prospective filmmakers can submit short films from 90 seconds to three minutes in length on DVD (two copies of each film must be submitted). Films will be judged based on storytelling skill, originality and scare factor. The top 10 horror shorts, as determined by the panel, will be posted online at HalloweenHorrorNights.com from August 22 to September 9, 2011 for public voting. The winning film will be announced on September 12, 2011.

Eyegore Award recipient and horror filmmaker, Eli Roth said: "As a producer I'm always looking for new talent, and happy to help a first time director get their big break. New blood, so to speak, is vital for the continuation and growth of our beloved genre, and programs like this one can help deserving people get noticed. I am excited to see the competing films, and whoever makes me lose the most sleep will win."

Returning film contest judge, Marc Graser, Daily Variety, said: "As a studio known for bringing the horror film genre to life, it's a thrill to help Universal Studios identify the next generation of filmmakers that will scare audiences. I can't wait to see who steps forward with their creepy visions this year."

John Murdy, Creative Director, Universal Studios Hollywood, said: "Just as 'Halloween Horror Nights' interprets horror filmmakers' visions into living horror movies for the most ardent fans, our film competition provides a platform for future horror film directors to showcase their work to an audience of influential entertainment industry professionals."

Entries must be sent to: "Halloween Horror Nights" Short Film Competition, 100 Universal City Plaza, Building 5511-5, Universal City, CA 91608. Additional information on the contest, including a complete list of rules and regulations, is available online at the Halloween Horror Nights website.

Last year's "Halloween Horror Nights" Eyegore Award recipient, Eli Roth is a renowned award-winning, horror-genre filmmaker and actor. His credits include "Cabin Fever," "Hostel," "Grindhouse," "The Last Exorcism" and "Inglorious Basterds." For the past 10 years, Marc Graser has been a reporter at Daily Variety covering the entertainment industry. John Murdy, Universal Studios Hollywood's Creative Director, oversees the theme park's attractions, including its very intense annual "Halloween Horror Nights" event.

Universal Studios Hollywood hosts the Eyegore Awards annually on opening night of the theme park's popular "Halloween Horror Nights" event to honor individuals for their significant contributions to the horror film genre.

Universal Studios Hollywood is a unit of the Universal Parks & Resorts division of NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE (NYSE: GE) holding a 49% stake.

Steve Thorburn is Named Educator of the Year by InfoComm International

Steve Thorburn is immediate past president of the Themed Entertainment Association. Congratulations on receiving this honor from InfoComm! -- IPM editors

InfoComm International, the trade association serving the professional audiovisual and information communications industries, has named Steven J. Thorburn CTS-D, CTS-I, Educator of the Year, for his dedication to the education and training of the AV industry. The InfoComm International Educator of the Year award was created to recognize an individual who has made important contributions to the professional development, education, and training of the AV industry on AV topics and values.

Educator of the Year, Steve Thorburn is the cofounder and Director of Engineering at Thorburn Associates Inc. As an industry expert and thought leader of the AV industry, he has dedicated over 35,000 student hours in teaching acoustics and audiovisual technology. Since 1995, Steve has taught at least two or more courses annually at the InfoComm conference, developed and taught multi-day sessions under the original IPD program and co-taught sessions with fellow faculty members of the InfoComm Academy. Steve participated in the development of the CTS-Installation and CTS-Design curriculum courses, and designations which ultimately became industry standards. He is a member of the Senior Faculty for InfoComm Academy and was on InfoComm’s Install School Committee and Design School Committee. Active in the AV industry for over thirty years, Steve has volunteered his knowledge, energy, time, and passion to the AV industry and InfoComm.

What makes Steve Educator of the Year is his ability to teach acoustics and audiovisual system design with passion and clarity such that all of his students respect him as a knowledgeable presenter, bringing real world experiences to each session. Because Steve is such an organized, clear, and engaging teacher he has many repeat students attend his courses. Time and time again students say Steve is a well-respected, knowledgeable, technical and engaging teacher. His students call him, “a deep well of knowledge and a very good speaker that makes even the most complicated topics understandable.”

Steve is a dedicated designer and educator known for his valuable principals on acoustics and audiovisual technology, and he is honored to share it with the rest of the AV industry. Steve’s educational umbrella extends beyond InfoComm. He is also a writer and frequent presenter at industry conferences and educational seminars. Steve is constantly finding different outlets to share information regarding acoustics and audiovisual technology.

At InfoComm 2011 Steve Thorburn is teaching “Acoustics in Architecture,” on June 15th and “AV System Integration Issues for Owners/Facilities Managers,” on June 16th. In addition, he will be teaching a workshop on Planning for Technology on July 24th in National Harbor, Maryland, prior to the SCUP National Conference and again on October 17th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, prior to the EDUCAUSE National Conference. For more information see http://www.TA-Inc.com/planning.

About InfoComm International
InfoComm International® is the international trade association of the professional audiovisual and information communications industries. Established in 1939, InfoComm's 5,000 members including manufacturers, systems integrators, dealers and distributors, independent consultants, programmers, rental and staging companies, end‐users and multimedia professionals from more than 80 countries. InfoComm International® is the leading resource for AV market research and news. Its training and education programs, along with its separately administered Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) and corporately administered Certified Audiovisual Solutions Provider (CAVSP) credentials, set a standard of excellence for AV professionals. InfoComm International is the founder of InfoComm, the largest annual conference and exhibition for AV buyers and sellers worldwide. InfoComm also co‐sponsors the Integrated Systems show in Europe and Russia and the InfoCommAsia shows InfoComm China, InfoComm India and InfoComm Asia. Visit http://www.infocomm.org.

About Thorburn Associates
Thorburn Associates Inc. (TA) is a professional service firm providing acoustical, technology and lighting design for commercial, corporate, leisure, residential, retail, and houses of worship. TA works in both new construction and renovations. TA is an independent consulting firm - not associated with the sale of any specific brand - offering unbiased designs to improve communication and fully realize the functionality of all projects.

Headquartered in Castro Valley, CA, with regional offices in Los Angeles, Orlando and Raleigh-Durham, NC, TA specializes in highly technological projects. Thorburn Associates has been recognized as one of the leading firms in the acoustical and audiovisual system design industry. In the course of 19 years in business, TA projects have received multiple awards, from the International Communications Industry Association (ICIA-InfoComm), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). Visit http://www.TA-Inc.com.

The Walt Disney Company Executives to Discuss Fiscal Third Quarter 2011 Financial Results via Webcast

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) will discuss third quarter 2011 financial results via a live audio Webcast beginning at 5:00 p.m. EDT / 2:00 p.m. PDT on Tuesday, August 9, 2011.

Results will be released at approximately 4:15 p.m. EDT / 1:15 p.m. PDT.

To listen to the Webcast, point your browser to www.disney.com/investors. The discussion will be available via re-play through August 23, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. EDT / 2:00 p.m. PDT.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Transmedia: SeaWorld Pictures' "Turtle: The Incredible Journey" hits US theaters as SeaWorld San Diego opens Turtle Reef attraction


Turtle: The Incredible Journey - Trailer from Rockfish on Vimeo.

Blue-carpet premiere and rescued turtle release kick off summer movie launch
 

ORLANDO, Fla., The weekend of June 24, 2011, SeaWorld Pictures and Hannover House launched "Turtle: The Incredible Journey," an award-winning film that follows the life and migration of a loggerhead turtle from hatchling to maturity. The movie opened June 24 in New York, Los Angeles and cities with SeaWorld parks (Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio), and is expected to expand to 50 markets and 300 to 400 theaters over the next two months.

"Turtle: The Incredible Journey" opened the same week as SeaWorld San Diego's Turtle Reef, a new attraction that showcases this extraordinary species through a 300,000-gallon aquarium with a massive underwater viewing gallery, a touch-screen interactive tracking map and a new ride.

Festivities to celebrate the launch included a star-studded "blue carpet" premiere and gala at SeaWorld San Diego for 700 VIP guests including 42 celebrities and professional athletes as well as SeaWorld's feathered, furry and finned friends. Bringing to life the film's mission of sea turtle conservation awareness, narrator Miranda Richardson and director Nick Stringer also assisted SeaWorld in returning to the ocean a rescued sea turtle that had undergone a 16-month rehabilitation at SeaWorld's rescue facility.

To create "Turtle: The Incredible Journey," Stringer's documentary team follows the loggerhead turtle on an adventure of more than 9,000 miles guided only by instinct. The loggerhead turtle, a threatened species, has one of the longest and most difficult migratory patterns of any marine animal: Sea turtles newly hatched on the East Coast of the United States (usually in Florida) make their way from the sand into the ocean, and then begin a voyage that can span the entire Atlantic Ocean, only to return decades later to that same beach. Stringer and his camera crew spent two years following loggerhead turtles on their trips across the ocean, and have captured on film the remarkable life cycle of a beautiful creature that struggles to survive in an increasingly unforgiving environment. The film is narrated by Academy Award nominee Miranda Richardson, and will be released to theaters in both standard theatrical formats as well as 3D in selected locations.


A complete listing of theaters, and the film's trailer, can be viewed on the film's official website:
www.Turtle-Film.com

HANNOVER HOUSE
Hannover House has been active in DVD distribution since 2002. The company added theatrical distribution operations last year with the release of the documentary "Racing Dreams" and the thriller "Twelve" to theaters nationwide. During 2011, Hannover House is scheduled to release eight films to theaters in America, with 36 titles slated for home video release.

SEAWORLD PICTURES
SeaWorld Pictures was formed in April 2011 to create and distribute original and partner-produced film content that advances the company's mission to "celebrate, connect and care for the natural world we share through the power of entertainment." SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group, owns and operates 10 parks that play host to 23 million guests each year and employs 20,000 people nationwide. A global leader in animal care and conservation, the company cares for more than 60,000 animals including 200 endangered or threatened species. They have rescued more than 18,000 orphaned, injured or ill animals over the past four decades and contributed more than $50 million to conservation, wildlife rescue and environmental stewardship programs worldwide. The company operates three SeaWorld parks; Busch Gardens Tampa, Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va., Discovery Cove and Aquatica in Orlando, Adventure Island in Tampa, Water Country USA in Williamsburg and Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa. near Philadelphia.

Miami Seaquarium Hosts Pirates Weekend

Miami Seaquarium is offering a heap of adventures for the whole family with Pirates Weekend. From Saturday, July 2 through Monday, July 4, 2011, the first 150 children each day will receive a swashbuckling gift and those sporting their favorite pirate garb will pay only $10 plus tax for admission with a paid adult. Those who complete Davy Jones' treasure hunt are in for an especially sweet treat. The park also will feature guest appearances by Salty, its resident pirate, before the exhilarating pirate high wire show.

Pirates Weekend is a part of the "Swashbuckling Summer" program. Running all summer long, the program features exciting daily high wire acts by the pillaging "Pirates of the Colombian Caribbean," a Giant Water Slide that is over 25 feet tall and a Pirate Skeleton Walk with friendly pirates that are guaranteed to put a smile on kid's faces. Guests should also prepare to hit the deck as Pirates take over the Top Deck Dolphin Show.

"Every season, we're excited to bring new and energizing themes to the park," commented Andrew Hertz, general manager at Miami Seaquarium. "Pirates Weekend is a great way to kick off the summer."

Miami Seaquarium, South Florida's most popular tourist attraction, is a family-oriented marine-life park open to the public 365 days a year. The park provides visitors with a greater understanding and appreciation for marine life through shows, presentations and marine-life exhibits. For more information on Miami Seaquarium, please call 305-361-5705 or visit www.miamiseaquarium.com.

Miami Seaquarium is an accredited member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, an international organization committed to the care and conservation of marine mammals. Accreditation by the Alliance means this facility meets or exceeds all the standards of excellence for marine mammal care, husbandry, conservation and education.

Friday, June 24, 2011

2011 Asian Attractions Expo Announces Awards - Singapore wins big

2011 Asian Attractions Award Winners

Large Attraction: Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore
 

Medium Attraction: Singapore Cable Car, Mount Grand Faber, Singapore

Small Attraction:
Sentosa 4D Magix, Singapore

Theme Park:
Universal Studios Singapore, Singapore

Waterpark:
Sunway Lagoon, Malaysia

Wildlife Park:
Singapore Zoological Garden Wildlife Park, Singapore

Grand Winner:
Singapore Cable Car, Mount Grand Faber, Singapore

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company to Host Coaster Marathon to Benefit Give Kids The World

Snowy shot of Shivering Timbers roller coaster at Michigan's Adventure
SANDUSKY, Ohio, June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN) announced today that amusement park enthusiasts across the country will have the chance again this summer to ride roller coasters for a cause. On Sunday, July 24, all 11 of the company's amusement parks will participate in the third annual "Coasting for Kids" fundraiser. This marathon roller coaster event will help raise money for Give Kids The World (GKTW), a Central Florida non-profit resort that provides cost-free, weeklong vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Park fans and roller coaster aficionados alike are invited to spend the day riding a signature thrill ride while making a difference in the lives of children. Featured rides include the legendary Magnum XL-200 and Gemini roller coasters at Cedar Point, Shivering Timbers at Michigan's Adventure, Jaguar at Knott's Berry Farm, the Racer at Kings Island and many more.

"'Coasting for Kids' is one of our favorite events," said Bryan Edwards, spokesperson for Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. "In just two years, we have raised more than $40,000 for Give Kids The World and we are hoping to double that number this year."

Interested participants can sign up and create an individual fundraising page on the "Coasting for Kids" website. Businesses or groups can also help raise money for Give Kids The World by signing up as a team. Entrants will receive complimentary admission to the park of their choice, a "Coasting for Kids" t-shirt and unlimited rides on the event's featured attraction. Each park will also offer additional event perks unique to their location. Those that take part are encouraged to reach out to their families, friends and communities to support them in this fundraising event for Give Kids The World.

"We are thrilled that Cedar Fair Entertainment Company is hosting 'Coasting for Kids' for the third year in a row," said GKTW President Pamela Landwirth. "Riding roller coasters to raise money for children in need is one of the most fun ways a family can spend a summer day. The support we receive from this event will help GKTW continue its mission to create magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses."

"Coasting for Kids" will take place at Cedar Point (Ohio); Kings Island (Ohio); Canada's Wonderland (Ontario, Canada); Dorney Park (Pa.); Valleyfair (Minn.); Michigan's Adventure (Mich.); Kings Dominion (Va.); Carowinds (N.C.); Worlds of Fun (Mo.); Knott's Berry Farm (Calif.); and California's Great America (Calif.).

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company 

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: "FUN") is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio. The Company, which owns and operates 11 amusement parks, six outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels, is one of the largest regional amusement park operators in the world. Its parks are located in Ohio, California, North Carolina, Virginia / District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, and Toronto, Ontario. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in Gilroy, California under a management contract. Cedar Fair's flagship park, Cedar Point, has been consistently voted the "Best Amusement Park in the World" in a prestigious annual poll conducted by Amusement Today newspaper.

About Give Kids The World:
Give Kids The World Village (GKTW) is a 70-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. GKTW provides accommodations at its whimsical resort, donated attractions tickets, meals and more for a weeklong, cost-free fantasy vacation. With the help of many generous individuals, corporations and partnering wish-granting organizations, Give Kids The World has welcomed more than 107,000 families from all 50 states and more than 70 countries.

Electrosonic Designs and Installs New Audio and Video Systems for Renovated Berth 93 at the Port of Los Angeles World Cruise Center

Burbank, California USA (June 23, 2011) – As part of a multi-million dollar renovation of the World Cruise Center at the Port of Los Angeles, Electrosonic has designed a new audio, video and show control system, crafted digital signage, created a kids-friendly videowall and installed a zoned sound and paging system.

The Port of Los Angeles is one of the busiest cruise ports on the West Coast, with Disney Cruise Line and other major cruise lines calling at the World Cruise Center. Electrosonic was tasked with the design of an audio, video and show control system that would meet the needs of the Port of Los Angeles and the cruise lines operating out of Berth 93. Once the design was approved by all parties, Electrosonic engineered, manufactured, installed and programmed the new system.


“One of the main challenges was scheduling,” says project manager Guy Fronte. “As is often the case, a cruise ship was scheduled to berth on a particular day, so all of the trades had to carefully coordinate and complete their work to clear the path for others to access the venue.”


Key components of the audio, video and show control system included NION n6 audio processing, QSC amplifiers, and an AMX NI-2100 controller with NXD-700Vi touchscreen.


Berth 93’s digital signage is displayed on a complement of flat-screen LCD monitors including two Samsung 650FP’s, nine Samsung 520DX’s and 24 LG M2900S-BN’s. Playback for the system is sourced from a combination of Harris DS1100 and DS500 devices. Electrosonic trained the operators on the digital signage system so that they were capable of running the equipment seamlessly.


Electrosonic was also asked to configure a videowall to entertain children waiting to board the cruise ships. The large Planar MX46L 2x2 LCD display and its content is a major attraction for the kids.


Additionally, Electrosonic created a zoned sound system for pre-recorded and live announcements for passengers. It features 24 Renkus-Heinz IC-8R audio speakers installed throughout the berth and 22 Sound Tube CM 600i ceiling speakers.


To handle the new and improved audio, video and control systems, Berth 93’s original control room was renovated to incorporate two new cabinets of equipment.


Les Hill served as Electrosonic’s sales person for the project.


About Electrosonic

Electrosonic is an international AV company with a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has through its 47 year history developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Electrosonic brings a unique breadth of experience to each project; backed by solid engineering skills, project management and quality production facilities. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic can provide a wide range of services including consultancy, technical design, maintenance and operational support. Learn more about Electrosonic visit http://www.electrosonic.com

Global leisure giant MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS comes to Japan for the first time - Madame Tussauds and Legoland Discovery Centre to open in Tokyo

Tokyo, London (Thursday June 23rd 2011) Global leisure giant Merlin Entertainments (Merlin), the world’s second biggest visitor attraction operator, announced today plans to open its first two attractions in Japan. From early October this year Madame Tussauds, one of Merlin’s most exciting and iconic brands, will open an exhibition in one of Tokyo’s premier shopping and leisure complexes - Decks Tokyo Beach Mall in Odaiba, Tokyo Bay. Then, in Spring 2012, a ¥1.2 billion ($15m) LEGOLAND Discovery Centre (LDC) will also open in the Mall.

Madame Tussauds Tokyo
One of the most famous, unique and best loved leisure brands in the world, Madame Tussauds Tokyo will be the fourth to open in Asia Pacific, joining established and successful sister attractions in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Bangkok; as well as another to open early in 2012 in Sydney, Australia.

Madame Tussauds Tokyo will begin as a temporary exhibition on the 3rd floor of the Mall, featuring a collection of iconic wax figures. However if Tokyo residents and international visitors enjoy it as much as the other 12 Madame Tussauds attractions around the world, then Merlin plans to make it a permanent feature for the future with many additional figures.

Destined to be a “must do” attraction for all visitors to the City - Madame Tussauds is the ultimate celebrity experience. Its sculptors produce wax figures of such quality and so lifelike that visitors, and celebrities alike, often have to do a double take. With no bars, ropes or barriers around the figures visitors have no problem believing that they really are standing beside, or even ‘acting/competing’ with their heroes in some of the exciting interactive parts of the attraction which have become so popular.

Madame Tussauds’ expertise and painstaking research means it takes a minimum of 3 months to make every figure, and many are produced following sittings with the celebrities themselves, taking hundreds of separate measurements, hours matching skin tone, eye and hair colour - with every individual hair inserted separately. No one else has this relationship with the famous – who regard inclusion in Madame Tussauds as a huge honour and recognition of their status and achievement.

Most importantly each of the Madame Tussauds’ attractions is quite different from one another, reflecting the culture, people, history and colour of the City in which they are located. The Madame Tussauds Tokyo exhibition, although temporary, will be no exception, the company is already working with a number of top Japanese celebrities and these will be joined by other international favourites, including some exciting animated figures.

Tokyo LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

Merlin’s newest attraction concept, the permanent Tokyo LEGOLAND Discovery Centre will offer a fun, highly interactive and educational two to three-hour indoor experience ideal for families with children 3-10 years old. Based on the ever popular LEGO brick, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres provide a unique range of interactive play areas including a 4D cinema; master classes from the LEGO Master Model Builder; exciting LEGO rides; special party rooms for birthdays and other celebrations; as well as the popular MINILAND exhibit designed to reflect the iconic buildings in each individual attraction’s location – and Merlin researchers are already developing models which will depict the best known parts of the Tokyo Skyline.

Plans and designs are already being drawn up for the 4000 sqm site on the 6th and 7th floors of Decks Tokyo Beach Mall, and construction is expected to begin in September 2011, with the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre due to open in June 2012. Models for Tokyo will be made in Merlin’s specialist studios around the world and shipped in during construction.

Merlin In Japan
The attractions at Decks Mall underline Merlin’s aggressive growth plan, rolling out 6/7 new sites for its exciting brands around the world every year; and continuing to invest in new experiences and improved customer service across its existing global portfolio of more than 70 attractions. Asia Pacific offers a particularly exciting development area for the company following its recent acquisition of 6 attractions in Australia/New Zealand; and the planned opening of a major LEGOLAND theme park in Malaysia in 2012.

Commenting Glenn Earlam, Managing Director of Merlin’s Midway Attractions Operating Group, which includes both Madame Tussauds and the LDCs, said: “Japan is a very exciting marketplace and we have been looking for suitable sites in Tokyo, and other parts of the country, for some time, and believe that Decks Mall offers a great opportunity for us.

We have chosen two of our best attractions to start - unique attractions in a very special and unique City. The first, Madame Tussauds, even though initially it will only be in Tokyo for a few months, is a wonderful global brand, which can be adapted to reflect the people and the marketplaces in which we open, and I hope very much that if this project is a success then it may well become a fixture in Japan in the future.

Already successful in both Europe and in the USA, and given the popularity of LEGO toys in Asia Pacific I know people here will love the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre concept. Our experience has also shown that bringing together an exciting mix of retail, catering, and quality leisure attractions like the LEGOLAND Discovery Centres creates a whole new element to a family shopping day, delivering significant incremental business to both the Mall – and to the area as a whole.

Such projects play an important part in Merlin’s future growth strategy for our ‘midway’ or indoor City Centre attractions.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank both Sumitomo Corporation representing our landlords at Decks Mall; and our colleagues in the local office of one of Merlin’s major shareholders, the Blackstone Group who brokered the relationship. Without their support for our plans we would not have reached this stage. This was a key factor in our decision to come here, and we hope that this may be just the start of Merlin’s relationship with the City, and with Japan.”

Merlin Entertainments is continuing to look for further suitable sites across Japan and its leading cities for its brands – primarily LEGOLAND Discovery Centres and SEA LIFE – Merlin’s leading global acquarium brand.


MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS is a global leader in location-based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates over 74 attractions, six hotels/two holiday villages in 17 countries and across four continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 43.6 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 16,000 employees. Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions - SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The EDF Energy London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Blackpool Tower, Heide Park, Earth Explorer, Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World, Sydney Tower Observatory and Skywalk, Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter Underwater World, Oceanworld Manly and Hamilton Island Koala Gallery. Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.

DECKS MALL DECKS Tokyo Beach is located on the waterfront ‘Odaiba’, about 6km from the centre of Tokyo. DECKS, a ‘city-resort style mall’ is a fine mixture of retail, restaurants, and amusement attractions. It opened in July, 1996 reaching its 15th anniversary this year. As one of the landmarks of Tokyo’s bay area, in the daytime you can enjoy the nature that surrounds Tokyo Bay, at night you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo’s night view. In Tokyo, one of the largest tourist spots in Japan, DECKS located in a city-resort space with green and blue, has the following things to offer -approximately 150 shops and restaurants that interpret an urban-resort feeling, ‘Tokyo Joypolis’ the largest indoor amusement park in Japan, ‘Daiba Icchome Shotengai’ a recreation of shopping streets from the Showa-era, and the ‘Odaiba Takoyaki Museum’ a takoyaki food court which consists of popular takoyaki eateries from Osaka. Visit http://www.odaiba-decks.com/ for further information.


BLACKSTONE GROUP Blackstone (NYSE: BX) is one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, the companies we advise and the broader global economy. We do this through the commitment of our extraordinary people and flexible capital. Our alternative asset management businesses include the management of corporate private equity funds, real estate funds, funds of hedge funds, credit oriented funds, collateralized loan obligation vehicles (CLOs) and closed-end mutual funds. The Blackstone Group also provides various financial advisory services, including mergers and acquisitions advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com.