Friday, July 29, 2011

Theme park food service: Chiquita & Walt Disney World Resort Announce Multi-Year Alliance to provide healthy edibles to guests

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., July 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Chiquita Brands International (NYSE: CQB) and Walt Disney World Resort announced an agreement today that will bring premium, healthy fresh Chiquita® and Fresh Express® products to a number of retail points at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. and the Disney Cruise Line. This new strategic alliance represents the commitment of both companies to provide consumers with healthy food options.

"We are pleased to work with Disney to offer healthy, nutritious Chiquita and Fresh Express products to the millions of guests who visit Walt Disney World Resort as well as the Disney Cruise Line each year," said Fernando Aguirre, Chiquita chairman and chief executive officer. "This alliance joins two companies with the shared commitment of providing quality experiences to consumers. This is yet another step in Chiquita's efforts to improve world nutrition by extending distribution of our healthy fresh products, now to include the world's favorite vacation destinations."

Throughout Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line, Chiquita and Fresh Express products will receive brand exclusivity within their respective categories and enjoy significant exposure to important consumer segments. The new agreement continues Chiquita's expansion into distribution points beyond traditional channels as well as providing an opportunity for Chiquita to educate consumers about the benefits of proper nutrition.

"This alliance complements our company's commitment to providing guests with high-quality, healthy food options," said George Aguel, senior vice president, Corporate Alliances for The Walt Disney Company.

As part of the agreement, Chiquita will serve as the sponsor of both the "Crush 'n' Gusher" at Typhoon Lagoon, themed around a tropical fruit processing center, and the "Living with the Land" attraction, where Chiquita will join forces with Disney to help teach guests about nutrition. In another joint effort, Chiquita will also participate in the "runDisney" marathon series to help promote healthy living and active lifestyles. Beginning with the upcoming Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend in September, Chiquita will share with guests and participants how its fresh and convenient products can help improve personal nutrition.

Chiquita and Fresh Express products add to Disney's existing portfolio of nutritious snack items as well as its ongoing effort to promote healthy lifestyles and nutrition for kids and families. Chiquita bananas and Fresh Express salad items will be featured throughout Walt Disney Resort and offer visitors convenient low calorie snacks.

The Walt Disney Company first pioneered groundbreaking nutritional guidelines in 2006 aimed at giving parents and children healthier eating options. Disney Magic of Healthy Living, a comprehensive initiative launched in 2010, builds on that commitment by inspiring kids and families to explore simple and fun ways to eat right and be active. Today, more than 85 percent of Disney's licensed food portfolio consists of healthier options, including produce and low-fat dairy.

ABOUT CHIQUITA BRANDS INTERNATIONAL, INC.

Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB) is a leading international marketer and distributor of high-quality fresh and value-added food products - from energy-rich bananas and other fruits to nutritious blends of convenient green salads. The company markets its healthy, fresh products under the Chiquita® and Fresh Express® premium brands and other related trademarks. With annual revenues of more than $3 billion, Chiquita employs more than 21,000 people and has operations in nearly 70 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit our corporate web site at www.chiquitabrands.com.

ABOUT WALT DISNEY PARKS AND RESORTS
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are where families experience and enjoy the magic of Disney's beloved characters and where dreams come true. More than 50 years ago, Walt Disney created a new kind of entertainment families could experience together, immersed in detailed atmospheres and vibrant storytelling. His vision now includes a collection of five of the world's leading family vacation destinations - Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, Calif.; Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; Tokyo Disney Resort, Urayasu, Chiba, Japan; Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallee, France; and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, located on Lantau Island. In addition, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts includes the world-class Disney Cruise Line; Disney Vacation Club, with more than 475,000 members; Adventures by Disney, a guided group vacation experience to some of the world's most popular destinations; and Walt Disney Imagineering, which creates and designs all Disney parks, resorts and attractions.

Hawaii Offers Over a Mile of Zip Line Adventures


Five zip lines are combined with a giant swing for a half day experience.
Maui’s unique combination adventure tour has been taken up another notch. The tour begins with a signature 360’ long suspension bridge, Hawaii’s largest suspension bridge. The five dual track Zip lines with comfortable harnesses allow a user to enjoy the expansive views of neighboring islands and their zip partner. With lines of varying lengths: 985 ft, 525 ft, 2,060 ft, 835 ft and 1,615 ft, this tour provides customers more than a mile of zipping.
 

Of the Giant Swing, promoters say "it will take you back and unleash your inner child." The two person Swing pulls guests up to a maximum height of 40 feet and then you self-release down and across the valley. This allows the guest to experience the thrill of free fall while enjoying breath-taking views of West Maui and Lanai.

The Giant Swing’s new location is steps away from an 1,400-elevation observation deck from which guests can enjoy epic views and cheer on their new friends in style.


The Giant Swing element is said to be unique to the islands, with no comparable zip line or adventure course in Hawaii. Go Zip/Experimental Resources, Inc invented the “Giant Swing” – in which over 45 are in operation across the United States.


This experience is about 4 hours long and the $199 price (per person, plus tax) includes a gourmet picnic lunch. Reservations are required. Guests must be at least 10 years old and weigh 60-250 lbs to participate. Other restrictions and limitations may apply. 


Go Zip, LLC is the operator of the award winning Kapalua Adventures, Maui Pineapple tours and Bay View zip line (Oahu). Sister company Experiential Resources Inc. (ERi) specializes in designing and building adventure courses and zip line canopy tours. To date, ERi has built over 1,000 individual zip line spans and has worked in 40 states and 12 countries. Visit www.goziphawaii.com.

Universal Orlando targets UK visitors with special 3-day Potter package Nov 11-13


Special Event Hosted by Warner Bros. to Feature Three Days of Cast Member and Filmmaker Appearances, Autograph Signings, Q&A Sessions and Film Screenings

Universal Orlando Resort announced
"A Celebration of the Harry Potter Films, " a special UK holiday package hosted by Warner Bros. and tied to Virgin Holidays travel. It goes on sale Sunday the 31st of July. This special event will take place from Friday, 11 November to Sunday, 13 November, at Universal's Islands of Adventure, home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 

Pricing for the special event package begins at
£1,299 per person and includes exclusive benefits such as:
  • An evening gala in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Autograph signings with stars from the Harry Potter films
  • Q&A sessions with Harry Potter filmmakers and cast members, along with the creators of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Screenings of all eight Harry Potter films - including "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" - at the AMC Universal Cineplex 20 in Universal CityWalk. Access to the screenings can be added to the holiday packages for an additional fee.
Throughout the three-day celebration, guests will also be able to explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Packages are extremely limited and go on sale at 5 p.m. on Sunday the 31st of July in the UK. 

UK packages for "A Celebration of the Harry Potter Films" are only available with Virgin Holidays, Universal Orlando Resort's exclusive holiday partner.

Premier Package - Starts at £1,299 per person Holiday Package for A Celebration of the Harry Potter Films - 7-nights accommodation at selected hotels - Return Virgin Atlantic flights to Orlando, Florida - Universal 3-Park Bonus Ticket - More time to enjoy The Wizarding World of Harry Potter http://www.virginholidays.co.uk/wizarding-world-of-harry-potter with Early Park Admission starting at 6 a.m. - Reservation to one in-park Harry Potter talent Q&A session (one per person) - Commemorative pin (one per person) - Harry Potter Blu-Ray set (one per room) - Reservation to one in-park Harry Potter cast member autograph session - Admission to the exclusive night time gala event on Sunday, 13 November - Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks


Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort is a completely separate destination featuring two theme parks, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a night time entertainment complex.

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.

HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR.

Two Korean Waterparks Expand for Summer Season

DaeMyung Vivaldi Ocean World and Samsung Everland Caribbean expand with a Family PythonTM and AquaLoopsTM

Two of Korea's world-renowned waterparks DaeMyung Vivaldi Ocean World and Samsung Everland Caribbean Bay both expand this summer with support from WhiteWater, global leader in waterpark design, engineering, manufacturing and installation.


DaeMyung Vivaldi Ocean World expands with the world's first Family PythonTM, a member of the MEGAtubeTM Series. The Family Python TMgives riders an intense adrenaline-rush, swallowing them whole into its colossal 6.1 meter (20-foot) enclosed MEGAtube TMsections.

Exhilarating up-and-down oscillations provide entertainment for both riders and spectators. A tower combines two attractions: the
WhizzardTM Mat Racer and the Family PythonTM, providing a visually-stunning addition to the waterpark's topography of attractions including a Family BoomerangoTM,Master Blaster®, AquaPlay Giant RainFortessTM, AquaPlayTM AP1050, Surf Wave Pool and other thrillers.

Samsung Everland Caribbean Bay has also recently completed its third expansion since its 1995 opening with the addition of 4 eye-catching AquaLoopsTM. These near-vertical loops are completely translucent due to their SilkTekTM fiberglass bodies. The AquaLoopsTM reach high speeds, accelerating to 60 kph/ 40 mph and 2.5g in only 6.5 seconds.


Custom-themed to match its tropical theme and offering dramatic lighting for late-night-sliding, Caribbean Bay's 4 dueling AquaLoopsTM join a host of WhiteWater attractions including a Master Blaster® Complex, Family BoomerangoTM,Family Raft Ride, Surf Wave Pool and more.

For more information on WhiteWater, The Waterpark Company, please visitwww.whitewaterwest.com.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The ScareHouse Presents Pittsburgh Zombies: A New Haunted Attraction Based on Pittsburgh's Living Dead Legacy

PITTSBURGH, July 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- This Halloween season, on select dates from September 23 through October 30, Pittsburgh fright fans who brave The ScareHouse® will experience a new and unique attraction devoted to Western Pennsylvania's living dead legacy: Pittsburgh Zombies.

The Pittsburgh Zombies attraction features elaborate and Hollywood-quality recreations of iconic Pittsburgh landmarks, now infested with legions of the walking and hungry dead. An experienced team of set designers and scenic artists are working around the clock to create a real-life version of the zombie apocalypse that has been so memorably and frighteningly portrayed by the series of Living Dead films shot in and around the Pittsburgh area over the last 40 years.

The ScareHouse® Creative Director and Co-Founder Scott Simmons is a Pittsburgh native who has worked in the haunted attraction industry for more than 25 years. His unique perspective as both a veteran fright expert, and a lifelong resident of "The Zombie Capital of the World," has led to the creation of a haunted attraction unlike any other haunted house in America.

"This new attraction is packed with details, references, and recreations that any true Pittsburgher will instantly recognize," said Simmons. "It also happens to be filled with flesh-eating zombies who would like to eat your brains."

The ScareHouse® has been named as one of America's scariest Halloween attractions by Travel Channel and ranked as one of the country's top haunted houses by Haunted Attraction and Fangoria magazines. Pittsburgh Zombies joins The Forsaken and Delirium 3-D as one of three terrifying haunts offered for just one price. Tickets are on sale now at www.scarehouse.com.

The ScareHouse® is open on select dates from September 23 through October 30. Hours are 7pm to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and 7pm to 10pm on all other nights. "Pittsburgh's Ultimate Haunted House" is located just minutes from downtown at 118 Locust Street, Etna PA 15223.

Transmedia: "Hunting Season" adapted to provide a horror maze at Universal Studios Hollywood "Halloween Horror Nights"

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Eli Roth, the multi-talented director, writer, producer and actor, will adapt his enormously successful "Hostel" film franchise to create "Eli Roth's Hostel: Hunting Season," a twisted new "Halloween Horror Nights® maze at Universal Studios Hollywood(SM). The event begins on September 23 and continues on select nights through October 31.

"Hostel: Hunting Season," for which Universal will build elaborate sets re-creating locations in Slovakia, will mark the horror auteur and star's first effort at transforming his screen work into a live theme park experience. The maze will re-imagine the film's dehumanizing torture chambers and send guests on a spiraling journey through the corrupt halls of Elite Hunting's torture factory. Elite Hunting, a secret society that tortures and kills American youth for sport in exchange for large sums of money, will prowl the factory and prey on its many maze visitors.

Eli Roth, said: "Creating a maze for 'Halloween Horror Nights' is a horror fan's dream come true. I've been visiting 'Halloween Horror Nights' for years, and still remember the heart-pounding terror of going through the mazes for the first time. For me it was like going inside the world of a movie and experiencing it in a visceral environment that simply cannot be replicated, and in subsequent years I've found I'm just as scared as I was the first time.

"I am so happy to join forces with the creative team at Universal. Our collaborative vision to bring 'Hostel' to life will give both fans of my movie and horror fans a scare they could never have imagined. People will have a chance to experience some exact moments from their favorite 'Hostel' scenes, along with some new surprises.

"I was honored to receive an Eyegore Award at last year's 'Halloween Horror Nights' event, and began talking to Universal about a 'Hostel' maze even then. This is something I've dreamed of for years. I may even dress up and appear in the maze one night as a torturer. So when you say 'I scared you,' you can literally mean that I scared you!"

In addition to the "Hostel" franchise, Eli Roth is well-known to film audiences as the writer-director-producer of "Cabin Fever" and as the baseball bat-wielding co-star of Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds," for which he won a Screen Actor's Guild Award. As a producer, his film "The Last Exorcism" was a box office smash and he is currently in post-production on the "Clown" and "The Man With the Iron Fists," both of which are slated for release in the coming months.

Eli Roth is the first star to be announced as a collaborator in this year's Halloween Horror Nights event and will be a key member of a Hollywood horror "dream team" assembled by Universal Studios Hollywood to create the ultimate "live" Halloween nightmare. He is also serving as a judge in Universal Studios Hollywood's annual "Halloween Horror Nights" short film competition, which will culminate in a presentation to a winning filmmaker during the "Eyegore Awards" on the event's opening night, September 23. "The Thing: Assimilation," a new maze inspired by Universal Pictures' upcoming thriller, has also been announced and will add to the Hollywood horror clout.

"Halloween Horror Nights" 2011 will bring unprecedented star power to an array of unrivaled, film production quality mazes uniquely themed to today's most definitive horror properties and deliver the most compelling, spine-chilling, haunted attractions. All-new terror filled "scare zones," original shows and the popular "Terror Tram" will be among the ""Halloween Horror Nights" offerings. Additional new content for the 2011 "Halloween Horror Nights" mazes and attractions will be announced shortly.

The theme park's favorite thrill-ride attractions will also remain open for "Halloween Horror Nights" as well, many with menacing twists. Favorites include "The Simpsons Ride®," "Revenge of the Mummy(SM) – The Ride" and "Jurassic Park® In the Dark."

Updates on "Halloween Horror Nights" are available at Halloween Horror Nights.com and also on Twitter and Facebook, as Creative Director John Murdy reveals a running chronicle of exclusive information. Fans are invited to follow John Murdy on Twitter at: Twitter.com/HorrorNights or via Facebook at: "Halloween Horror Nights - Hollywood (Official)."


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 holding a 49% stake.

Kings Island Aims to Break Guinness World Record For Largest Human Awareness Ribbon July 31

 

KINGS ISLAND, Ohio, July 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- For more than four decades, Kings Island has been shattering world records for having the longest, fastest and most-thrilling rides on the planet. Kings Island has also been the site for world-record riding attempts, motorcycle jumps and high-wire walks.

On Sunday, July 31, park guests will be able to get in on the record-breaking fun when Kings Island attempts to break the Guinness World Records title for the Largest Human Awareness Ribbon at 5:00 p.m. as part of the second annual Kings Island for the Cure campaign. The current world record was achieved when 3,952 people gathered to form a giant pink human ribbon as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on October 28, 2010, taking the record from a group in Germany of 3,640 in 2007.

Officials from Guinness World Records will be at Kings Island to officiate and certify the world-record attempt. All guests planning to participate July 31 are asked to register in advance online at www.visitkingsisland.com/record and come to the park dressed in pink.

Guests planning to participate July 31 can purchase general admission tickets to Kings Island for just $19 online. Free t-shirts will be given to the first 3,000 participants in the world-record attempt. A memorable day at the park will be capped off with an expanded fireworks show at 10:00 p.m.

The Largest Human Awareness Ribbon world record attempt at Kings Island is part of a partnership between Cedar Fair Entertainment Company and Guinness World Records' new division, GWR Live!, for a summer-long series of interactive record-breaking-events at the Company's amusement parks across North America.

Kings Island is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FUN." In addition to Kings Island, Cedar Fair owns and operates ten other amusement parks, six water parks, one indoor water park resort and five hotels. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in Gilroy, Calif. under a management contract.

PGAV Destinations was a creative contributor to Busch Gardens Tampa's new Cheetah Hunt ride


PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the planning and design of entertainment and cultural destinations, was a member of the creative team that produced Cheetah Hunt, a recently opened new attraction at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. 


Said to be Florida’s first triple-launch coaster, the Cheetah Hunt uses state-of-the-art technology to deliver three adrenaline-fueled surges of speed inspired by the world’s fastest land animal. These surges propel riders up the iconic 102-foot Windcatcher Tower, down into four subterranean trenches, over Busch Gardens’ historic Skyride, around a rocky canyon rushing with whitewater currents, and through a heartline roll inversion.

“PGAV is pleased to create this world-class family attraction in collaboration with SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment,” states Jim Moorkamp, Principal PGAV Destinations.

Cheetah Hunt’s 4,429 feet of steel track holds the record as Busch Gardens’ longest coaster, and its 13-acre footprint makes it the most expansive thrill-ride in the park’s history. The iconic coaster offers amazing views to both watch it and ride it, as it joins the park’s other legendary thrills provided by SheiKra and Montu.

Cheetah Run is home to 14 agile cats that inspired the project. This new habitat features more than 11,000 square feet of grassland, natural rock formations, shaded alcoves, a waterfall and a 220-foot path for the cheetahs to do what they do best – run. Glass-panel viewing windows allow guests to get closer than ever before to these highly endangered animals.

Video panels and interactive touch-screen stations educate visitors of the plight of cheetahs. Guests learn about Busch Gardens’ partnership with the Cheetah Conservation Fund in South Africa. Busch Gardens is a long-time supporter of cheetah conservation and research through the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. Cheetah Hunt and Cheetah Run further cement Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s reputation as Florida’s thrill-ride leader and one of North America’s premier zoological institutions. For more information visit www.CheetahHunt.com.

About PGAV Destinations
PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. The firm uniquely combines award-winning storytelling and creativity with business strategy to create some of the world’s most important cultural, heritage, and natural destinations. Now in its fifth decade, the firm has authored hundreds of highly successful projects in places such as SeaWorld, the Grand Canyon, Biltmore Estate, The Gettysburg Battlefield, the Georgia Aquarium, Kennedy Space Center, and the Hoover Dam. www.pgavdestinations.com

Aqua Fantasy Waterpark Adds New Polin Waterslide

The new variegated blue slide sits between Polin's two 2010 installations
New Slide is a Combination of a Rafting Slide and Uphill Flying Boats
Just last year Aqua Fantasy Waterpark (Izmir, Turkey), located in Selcuk ancient city, along the Aegean cost, celebrated its 10th year by adding two unique water rides designed, manufactured and installed by Polin. This included the L-RTM (Light-Resin Transfer Molding) manufactured "Family Rafting Slide" and "Wave Slide". Now less than one year later, Aqua Fantasy decided to expand once more and kept Polin as the designer, manufacturer and installer of the new ride.

The new ride especially designed for the park is located between the two rides added last year. The new ride with dark blue-turquoise color combinations is a fast, surprising, double-tube slide with double uphill portions. The height of the slide is 14.68 meters (48 feet) and length is 131 meters (430 feet).


"The design of this third slide is a combination of our Rafting Slide and our Uphill Flying Boats. This ride is also very unique because it has 2 uphill portions. The great thing about this design is that it uses the same tower as the previous slides and it works without water jets. This lowers the operating costs for the waterpark." says Zeynep Canbaz, Senior Architect, Polin.


Muharrem Atilla, Waterpark Manager at Aqua Fantasy adds, "The adrenaline is high, people are happy and the lines are very long. It is amazing to see that once the riders leave the slide their faces are glowing with joy!"

Lane Bender Joins Zuber & Taillieu



Seasoned Trial and Appellate Litigator Joins as Partner

Lane Bender joins Zuber & Taillieu as a Partner in its litigation department, where he will focus on complex commercial litigation, intellectual property disputes, and employment matters. His clients include businesses and individuals involved in a wide array of commercial and business-related disputes, including disputes and litigation involving civil RICO claims, trademark, trade secret, and copyright claims. Litigation matters that he has handled include computer data theft under California and federal law, unfair competition, disputes involving non-competition agreements, and misappropriation of trade secrets.

Mr. Bender’s employment expertise includes counseling clients in pre-litigation matters and conducting state and federal court litigation involving a variety of claims, including wrongful termination, and harassment and discrimination based on sex, gender, pregnancy, race and physical disability. He also handles employment-related tort claims. In addition to his counseling and litigation practice, Mr. Bender conducts workplace training with a view to liability management.

“Lane adds a significant depth of knowledge and experience to Zuber & Taillieu’s already deep litigation department,” says Thomas Zuber, co-founder of Zuber & Taillieu. “Lane will play an important role in servicing Zuber & Taillieu’s growing roster of Fortune 100 and other world class clients. We are pleased to welcome him.”

Mr. Bender is a First Lieutenant in the United States Army, Retired. He earned his law degree in three years, in the course of his military service, while working full-time and raising a family.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Geoff Chutter Celebrates 30 Years of Whitewater


Whitewater West's CEO Helped Build Company After Life as an Accountant

Geoff Chutter is a man of many hats. He wears the hat of President & CEO of WhiteWater West Industries, the global leader in waterpark design, engineering, manufacturing and installation and wears the hat of deal negotiator. He's still integral to the day-to-day operations of the company and still gets excited every time a new product is introduced to the market. Outside of the office, Geoff has worn the hat of an enthusiastic political participant in Canada's political scene for almost 20 years, and he also wears the hat of happy husband and father. He's a busy guy and he is very proud of his and WhiteWater's journey to success over the past 30 years.

Geoff's curiosity and tenacity launched him into the waterpark industry 30 years ago. Professionally educated and working as a Chartered Accountant, Geoff visited Canada's first waterpark in development and saw an amazing opportunity in the marketplace. This visit led him to a considerable change of course from Geoff Chutter, CA to Geoff Chutter, start-up entrepreneur and founder of The Waterpark Company.

WhiteWater started business on December 15th, 1980 building its own waterpark in Penticton, Canada. "I saw an opportunity", recalls Chutter. "Thirty years later, WhiteWater is the global waterpark company. We're very proud of how far the company has come. We now have 450 employees across the globe, 15 offices and over 4000 projects completed".

Today, WhiteWater has the most diverse mix of products and services in the waterpark industry,thanks to its dedication to constant innovation and cultivation of strategic partnerships. In 2011 alone, WhiteWater has introduced more than 10 innovative products including the recent openings of the ConstrictorTM and the Family PythonTM.

Other notable feats for Geoff and WhiteWater over the past 30 years include being chosen this year as "World's Greatest...!" Creator, Builder and Designer of Waterpark Attractions, being inducted into WWA's Hall of Fame in 2000 and winning WWA's Industry Innovation Award for the AquaLoopTM.

For more information on WhiteWater and its 30 year anniversary as The Waterpark Company, please visit http://www.whitewaterwest.com/30years.html.

California Zoo Brings T Rex to Life

Visitors Delighted by Dinosaur Designed by Hollywood Create Shop

(
TRAVPR.COM) - Summer visitors to the Santa Barbara Zoo are delighted with its newest resident: a life-sized, adolescent Tyrannosaurus Rex that runs, roars, snorts, blinks, growls and even poops in the show "How to Train Your Dinosaur" running three times daily.

Fifteen-feet from nose-to-tail and 7-feet tall, this amazingly lifelike dinosaur, named “Duncan,” was designed by the Chiodo Brothers, one of Hollywood’s top creature shops ("Dinner for Schmucks," "Elf," "Gremlins.").

During the family-friendly 15-minute lively show, the human hosts introduce Duncan and attempt to demonstrate the special care received by the Zoo’s animals – with hilarious results. Just as keepers have trained the Zoo’s gorillas to allow their teeth to be brushed, Duncan is given a chance to improve his oral hygiene. But it’s going to take a lot of patience and positive reinforcement, just like with pets at home and the Zoo’s animals, before he is trained.

“Duncan is a perfect example of the evolution of an idea,” said Zoo CEO Rich Block. “We wanted to give our guests a behind-the-scenes look at the ways we work with our animals, but in a fresh and focused way. We can’t bring the gorillas out every day and show their teeth getting brushed, but we can show Duncan getting the same positive reinforcement we use with the gorillas and other animals here at the Zoo. The fun part is – he learns anew every show, as does the audience.”

"Anytime we can make a dinosaur, we’re happy,” says Edward Chiodo. “We love dinosaurs, and learn something every time we make one. This time, we learned more about weight distribution through the way we had to counterbalance the tail to allow for the head movements.” Duncan’s designer is Dave Barrington Holt, former Creative Supervisor of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

Duncan's operator wears the backpack and has full control of the T. Rex’s actions, including his head and jaw, and tail movements. Eye blinks are run by a computer program, and he poops from a preloaded cylinder controlled by the operator. The operator sees ahead via images from a pinhole video camera located in the tip of Duncan’s nose. The operator also wears a headset that allows him to make sounds through a voice synthesizer.  Duncan is sponsored by the Duncan Family.

"How to Train Your Dinosaur" is performed daily at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. and is free with Zoo admission. For more information, visit 
www.sbzoo.org.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Disney twenty-three Magazine Fall Issue Hits Stands August 2 - dedicated to 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World


  • The Story of How Walt's Dream Destination Became a Reality 
  • A Rare Glimpse into the Magic Kingdom's Underground Labyrinth 
  • A Peek Back at Early Attractions Plus an Exhilarating Hint of the Park's Future
BURBANK, Calif., July 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The special fall issue of Disney twenty-three magazine, on stands August 2, is dedicated entirely to the 40th anniversary of Walt Disney World.

Readers are offered a look at how the resort was created, including revealing details behind the mysterious operation to acquire the vast expanse of Florida land needed to build Walt's "vacation kingdom of the world." With its nostalgic look back at attractions that have vanished but remain in the hearts of multiple generations, this commemorative issue also takes readers on an exclusive visit to the Magic Kingdom's underground "city." Readers are privy to a host of little-known facts that contribute to Walt Disney World's remarkable history and give the Florida theme park its unique identity. An illuminating all-encompassing interview with Imagineering dynamo Eric Jacobson rounds out the issue, as he tours the Magic Kingdom with Disney twenty-three , pointing out some of his park favorites and giving readers a preview of the new, expanded Fantasyland.

In addition to the look back at the excitement leading up to the spectacular opening of the Walt Disney World Resort in October 1971, Disney twenty-three' s fall issue includes an intimate, never-before-told portrait of Walt's brother Roy, by his grandson Roy P. Disney. Roy O. was the executive responsible for making sure that the park opened on time … and on budget.

Also featured:

  • WE SAY IT'S DISNEY!: Bob Foster played a key role in the acquisition of the land that would become Walt Disney World. With Bob's insights and recollections, Disney archivist Steven Vagnini takes us back to the twinkle in Walt's eye that eventually became a reality.
  • REMEMBERING 1971: Disney twenty-three relives the historic events leading up to that unforgettable day in October when Walt Disney World welcomed its first guests.
  • MAKIN' MEMORIES: From The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter to Kitchen Kabaret, the Magic Kingdom and Epcot have been home to countless attractions that left guests with the warm fuzzies. Here are some of Disney twenty-three 's all-time favorites.
  • IN A CLASS BY HERSELF: Readers are welcomed aboard Empress Lilly, the Disney Village Marketplace riverboat that served up culinary delights from 1977 to 1995. Readers are even given the exclusive secret recipe for the Chicken Crepes Lilly that became so popular on the floating attraction.
  • 40 THINGS (YOU JUST MIGHT NOT KNOW!) ABOUT WALT DISNEY WORLD: Even the most avid Disney fan might be surprised by the trivia uncovered about Walt Disney World in this feature. The parks are filled with vibrant history and little-known gems.
To become a D23 Member, and learn more about membership and the fall issue of Disney twenty-three, visit www.disney.com/D23. Beginning August 2, Disney twenty-three is available at select retail locations for $15.95.

About D23
The name "D23" pays homage to the wonder and excitement that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official community for fans in Disney's 88-year history.

Pearson's Hospitality & Tourism Interactive (HTi) Wins the CODiE Award for Best Education Game or Simulation

www.allthingsmedia.com
NEW YORK, July 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Hospitality and Tourism Interactive (HTi) has been named the Best Education Game or Simulation at the Software & Information Industry Association's (SIIA) 2011 CODiE™ Awards, one of the software industry's most prestigious honors.

Developed in collaboration with multimedia development company All Things Media LLC, HTi is the first-ever comprehensive multimedia resource that provides students with a media-rich overview of various careers paths within the hospitality Industry.

HTi uses the fictional, animated "Little Wolf Island" as a microcosm of the hospitality industry, with different locations on the island representing various sectors of hospitality including: Hotels, Fine Dining, Casual Dining, Buffets, Bars, Sports Arenas, Casinos, Theme Parks, Golf Clubs, Cruise Ships, Spas, Ecotourism, Marketing/HR and Event Planning.

Students use their computer's mouse to enter virtual locations around the island to learn about all aspects of each hospitality sector. HTi combines learning modules, skill- based simulation activities, assignable and gradable homework and review materials — all within an engaging and interactive graphic interface.

"Building an entire 3D world was a daunting task, but it truly was a labor of love. Our 3D team, combined with our animators, programmers and editors, are some of the best in the business and they each put a little of themselves into this product, the CODiE Award just confirms that," said Ben Spierenburg, All Things Media project manager.

In 2008 All Things Media created its first e-leaning multimedia experience for Pearson, which was called Criminal Justice Interactive, or CJI.

The CODiE Awards have honored the software and information industry's finest products and services since 1986. Nominated products underwent intensive review by subject matter experts with deep expertise in education technology. SIIA, the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, selected 30 winners from 113 CODiE Award finalists. Finalists were drawn from more than 425 nominations.

CODiE's Best Education Game or Simulation category recognizes the best application designed for students that uses entertaining or scenarios that imitate real-life environments to educate students. This solution can be an instructional, diagnostic, or assessment tool designed for students or instructional/administrative leaders.

Visit http://allthingsmedia.com/pearson/HI/trailer/HTIdemo.html

Monday, July 25, 2011

With $970k renovation, Irene W Pennington Planetarium upgrades to 3D digital dome; facility to host 2012 conference of International Planetarium Society

www.lasm.org
Sky-Skan is providing the new stereoscopic 3D digital dome video projection system being installed at the planetarium.

BATON ROUGE, LA — The Irene W. Pennington Planetarium at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum (LASM) will undergo a $970,000 renovation this fall that will enable Baton Rouge’s star attraction to offer new 3-D programming, to continue to be a leader in planetarium technology, and to better meet the interests of museum visitors.

The project, scheduled to begin Monday, August 1, 2011, includes: installation of digital projectors with 3-D capability; installation of new seats, increasing capacity from 143 to 170; painting of the dome to increase reflectivity; and installation of new carpet and safety lighting. The planetarium will close to the public on August 1 and is scheduled to reopen before Thanksgiving. The art galleries, interactive children’s galleries, and the Ancient Egypt Gallery will not be affected by the project and will remain open.


Once the renovations are complete, new planetarium programming will include Wildest Weather in the Solar System, a 3-D adventure that lets visitors experience some of the most exotic weather phenomena in space, including solar storms, tornadoes on Mars, and hurricanes on Jupiter. Wildest Weather in the Solar System is produced by National Geographic Cinema Adventures and will premiere in 3-D for the first time in North America at Pennington Planetarium. Planetarium staff members are on the show’s production advisory panel and contributed to the script.


Other new shows will include One World, One Sky, featuring Big Bird from Sesame Street, and Wild Ocean, a symphonic documentary about ocean inhabitants off the coast of South Africa that captures the feeding frenzy of whales, sharks, and numerous other underwater creatures.
“Enhancing the way we visually present astronomy and earth sciences results in the public’s better understanding of the world around us and increased enjoyment of the experience,” says planetarium director Jon Elvert. “The planetarium’s vision of keeping up with technology and relevant programming are prime examples of why we were selected to host the IPS2012 conference.”


IPS2012, the 21st biennial conference of the International Planetarium Society, takes place at LASM July 22–26 of next year. About 400 international delegates are expected to attend the conference, which is anticipated to have an economic impact to Baton Rouge of nearly a half-million dollars.


The Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation made a lead gift in support of the planetarium renovation. Additional funding has come from ExxonMobil Baton Rouge, and a major gift has been pledged by the Albemarle Foundation. Other gifts are pending.


LASM opened the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium and ExxonMobil Space Theater in 2003. The planetarium is regarded as one of the most sophisticated multimedia presentation theaters in the country. 

In pilot program, Novato Space Fest will utilize vacant retail space for temporary exhibition

NOVATO, Calif., July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A California education foundation and a large commercial property owner have formed an alliance to have a museum-quality space exploration exhibit in a prime Marin County retail space.

The W Foundation (TWF) and The Walter Kieckhefer Company (WKC) have established a pilot program in which TWF will establish a space education exhibit in one of WKC's marquee retail spots located in the upscale Ignacio neighborhood of Marin County.

"This is a "win, win" for our organization, the property owner and the community. Hopefully, this idea will gain traction with other groups across the country because there are so many vacant retail spaces that need to be filled. Museums gain access to high traffic areas through temporary exhibits in secure locations, and the public gains a new education venue in their neighborhood." Says Ken Winans, co-president of The W Foundation.

The event called, "Novato Space Fest" will be held at the Pacheco Plaza (366 Ignacio Blvd, Novato) from July 29-31. For more information, contact The W Foundation www.thewfoundation.org


The W Foundation is a volunteer staffed and privately funded 501c3 non-profit corporation founded in 2004. It owns and displays one of the largest private collections of U.S., Russian and Soviet space exploration artifacts in existence. Artifacts have been on display for many years at such Bay Area institutions as Chabot Space Science Center, The USS Hornet Museum, and it sponsors the "Navy in Space" exhibit during Fleet Week.

The organization has attracted legendary figures such as Apollo 12 Astronaut Dick Gordon, award winning actor Bill Pullman and video game designer Will Wright to its Board of Advisors.

Snoopy, Hello Kitty & Sesame Street populate the 3 zones of "Universal Wonderland" - Universal Studios Japan's 30,000 m2 expansion for 2012

New "Universal Wonderland" will be located mainly on the former "Land of Oz" area

In spring 2012, Universal Studios Japan will open a new area called "Universal Wonderland," where guests of all ages - from small children to adults - can have fun with their families. Based on the image of a town where popular characters live, the new area will be established on a spectacular scale as the final segment of the happy surprise-filled Park's 10th anniversary programs.

Universal Wonderland comprises three zones that feature Snoopy, Hello Kitty and Sesame Street™ characters, respectively. Its total area will be approx. 30,000 m2, which will be wider than the former "Land of Oz" area. There are a variety of elements such as a small children-friendly ride attraction in which even three-year-old children can have fun safely, a play area where children can enjoy playing with soft blocks by piling them up or carrying them around, as well as athletic facilities, a greeting area, shops and restaurants. Not only children but also adults will be satisfied with the Universal Wonderland in terms of its scale and quality. As soon as guests step into the area zone they will feel as if they were inhabitants of the fantastic world of characters in each.


About Universal Wonderland

*Snoopy Studios™

"Snoopy Studios" was established based on the concept of a movie studio where Snoopy as film director shoots films with guests. Another new ride-type attraction for small children will be added to this zone in addition to "Snoopy's Great Race™", a very popular attraction since the Park's Grand Opening.


*Hello Kitty Fashion Avenue

This zone will be established based on the concept that Hello Kitty, just returned from Hollywood, opens a fancy ribbon-themed boutique (ribbons are her favorite!). In this area reproducing the cute and fashionable world of Hello Kitty, a variety of ingenuities are seen everywhere to attract Hello Kitty fans from small girls to mature female guests.


*Sesame Friendly Town

This zone, the widest in "Universal Wonderland", comprises two spaces: an outdoor space and an indoor space where guests can have fun at ease without worrying about weather. There are ride attractions and play areas featuring Elmo, Cookie Monster, Big Bird and other Sesame Street™ characters in this zone, as well as an area featuring Moppy, a new Sesame Street™ character you can meet only at the Park.


Augmented Reality Technology: Panasonic Uses Aurasma to Bring New Camera Campaign to Life





CAMBRIDGE, England and SAN FRANCISCO, July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Aurasma, the world's leading augmented reality platform, today announced that Panasonic, one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world, is using Aurasma to bring the new Lumix G3, 'Small Camera, Epic Shots' campaign to life.

The Panasonic creative puts the new camera in the hands of two professional UK photographers in different locations in the USA. By downloading Aurasma Lite and pointing the device at the creative, the static image is animated and viewers are instantly able to follow the photographer around their designated and inspiring location.

The Lumix G3 campaign was produced by creative agency Brave and has appeared in the Telegraph Magazine, the Independent Magazine and the Guardian Weekend, as well as most major photography magazines and POS. For the first time, Aurasma has allowed Panasonic to overlay engaging, additional content to print advertisements, in the context of the page.

"Aurasma is one of the most exciting technologies I have seen for years," said David Bonney, Advertising and Sponsorship Manager at Panasonic. "Photography is all about telling a story visually, and we have been able to deliver that experience to our consumers, by bringing a static image to life, and unfolding the journey behind it."

"We have experienced a whirlwind of activity since Aurasma Lite was launched," commented Martina King, Managing Director at Aurasma. "Panasonic is at the very cutting-edge of what is possible today, and we are delighted that Aurasma has allowed the company to tell a unique, visual story that really engages its targeted audience."

Go to www.aurasma.com for more information.

About Aurasma

Aurasma is an augmented reality platform that uses advanced image recognition technology to merge the physical and virtual worlds. Using a smart phone or tablet computer, Aurasma is capable of recognizing objects in the real world and overlaying this view with an interactive layer of the virtual world.

Aurasma was created using industry-leading technology from Autonomy (LSE: AU. or AU.L). It is currently in use by over 150 partners including film studios, TV chains, online retailers, media agencies, newspapers, magazines, museums and billboard advertisers and has already been installed on over one million smart devices globally.

Now at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute, traveling exhibition Mummies of the World retains blockbuster status

(PRNewsFoto/Mummies of the World, Mathew Imaging)
Mummies of the World is on a seven-city U.S. tour that commenced in Los Angeles in July 2010. After it closes in Philadelphia October 23, 2011, Mummies of the World will travel to Charlotte, North Carolina's Discovery Place, opening November 11, 2011. 

 PHILADELPHIA, July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Franklin Institute announced today that visitors from every state in the nation and more than 20 other countries have attended Mummies of the World – The Exhibition. This announcement comes a mere month after the exhibition opened at The Franklin Institute on June 18.

"This milestone is a testament to the tremendous draw of this groundbreaking exhibition and The Franklin Institute," said Troy Collins, Senior Vice President of Programs, Marketing and Business Development.

Related stories: 

Featuring an astounding collection of 150 objects, including real human and animal mummies and related artifacts from South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and Ancient Egypt, Mummies of the World is the largest exhibition of mummies and related artifacts ever assembled. The popular traveling exhibition, which touts "Real Mummies, Real Science, Real People," premiered to sell out crowds in Los Angeles at the California Science Center in July 2010. It quickly became a major attraction and one of the most successful exhibits in the Science Center's 13-year history. 

"Mummies of the World provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to see real mummies from around the world and to learn about the lives of ancient people and civilizations," said Marcus Corwin, President and CEO, Mummies of the World Touring Co. LLC. "We're thrilled to see that the exhibit is attracting visitors from around the globe, too."

Mummies of the World is a ticketed event and requires a timed entry. Advance reservations are highly recommended. Information and tickets are available at 1-877-TFI-TIXS, www.fi.edu. Groups of 15 or more save up to 20 percent on tickets with advanced reservations by calling 1-800-285-0684. Members can call 215.448.1231 to receive exclusively discounted tickets. More information about the exhibition is online: www.mummiesoftheworld.com.

Located in the heart of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute is a renowned and innovative leader in the field of science and technology learning, as well as a dynamic center of activity. Pennsylvania's most visited museum, it is dedicated to creating a passion for learning about science by offering access to hands-on science education. Considered one of the great science centers in the nation and the world, The Franklin Institute is known for blockbuster exhibits, one-of-a-kind theatrical experiences, and cutting-edge community learning with national influence. All are aimed at explaining science in ways that impact people's lives. For more information, visit www.fi.edu.

At King's Dominion in Richmond, Snoopy floats to support breast cancer research

RICHMOND, Virginia USA., July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Kings Dominion is teaming up with the Central Virginia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® for a four-week fundraising initiative called 'Happiness is Finding a Cure.' This special program will be held at the park and can be accessed online from July 25 through August 22.

Beginning July 25, guests will have the opportunity to adopt pink floating Snoopys in the 'Splash-A-Snoopy' raffle. Snoopys will be available either online at the park website or at the Park. Net proceeds of the raffle will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Central Virginia Affiliate. Each floating Snoopy will be tossed into the park's International Street fountain until August 22, when one floating Snoopy will be randomly chosen for the chance to win a 2011 Honda Civic courtesy of Pohanka Honda of Fredericksburg. A limited number of Snoopys will be available.

Also during 'Pink Days', guests will be able to purchase special 'Pink Days' tickets online only at www.kingsdominion.com for $38.99 each with $1.00 from each ticket sold benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Special 'Happiness is Finding a Cure' t-shirts will be available for purchase at the park with a portion of the proceeds going to Komen.

"Breast cancer has touched so many lives, whether on a personal level or by knowing someone else fighting the disease," said Pat Jones vice president and general manager of Kings Dominion. "We are thrilled to be teaming up with such an incredible organization, and I know together, we can help raise awareness and funds to find a cure."

"The Central Virginia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is thrilled to be partnering with Kings Dominion to heighten breast health awareness and raise money to meet the ever-increasing needs in our local community," explained Linda Tiller, the executive director for the Central Virginia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure™.

To learn more about Kings Dominion Pink Days and 'Happiness is Finding a Cure' including official raffle rules, or the Central Virginia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® please visit www.kingsdominion.com.

Kings Dominion is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FUN." In addition to Kings Dominion, Cedar Fair owns and operates ten other amusement parks, six water parks, one indoor water park resort, and five hotels. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in Gilroy, Calif. under a management contract.

Positive financial report from Six Flags 15 months after emerging from Chapter 11

Six Flags Reports 5 Percent Revenue Growth, 7 Percent Guest Spending Growth, and 20 Percent Adjusted EBITDA Growth in Second Quarter; Company Sets New Long-Term Profit Target

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE:
SIX) today announced second quarter 2011 revenue increased 5 percent over the prior year period to $339 million and Adjusted EBITDA(1) increased 20 percent to $114 million. For the first six months of the year, revenue grew 6 percent to $400 million and Adjusted EBITDA grew 86 percent to $65 million. Higher admissions revenue, stronger guest spending in the parks and lower cash operating costs contributed to the company's improved profitability for both the three- and six-month periods ended June 30, 2011. For the twelve months ended June 30, 2011, Adjusted EBITDA was $325 million.

"I am very pleased with our team's execution," said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO. "We registered record guest satisfaction scores in the quarter and delivered improvements in all key financial metrics including revenue, profitability and cash flow. We are successfully implementing a multi-year strategy to create value for our shareholders."

Revenue growth in the second quarter was driven by a $15 million or 9 percent increase in admissions revenue and a $5 million or 4 percent increase in in-park revenue, offset by a $3 million decline in revenue related primarily to sponsorships and international licensing. Total revenue per capita for the second quarter of 2011 was $41.12, compared to $39.00 for the second quarter of 2010, an increase of $2.12 or 5 percent.

Admissions revenue per capita of $22.28 increased $1.88 or 9 percent, in-park revenue per capita of $17.08 increased $0.62 or 4 percent, and overall guest spending per capita increased $2.50 or 7 percent. During the second quarter, guest attendance grew slightly to 8.2 million.

Revenue growth in the first six months of 2011 was driven by an $18 million or 9 percent increase in admissions revenue and a $7 million or 5 percent increase in in-park revenue, offset by a $4 million decline in revenue related primarily to sponsorships and international licensing. Total revenue per capita for the first half of 2011 was $42.04 as compared to $39.85 for the first six months of 2010, an increase of $2.19 or 5 percent. Admissions revenue per capita of $22.06 increased $1.86 or 9 percent, in-park revenue per capita of $17.19 increased $0.73 or 4 percent, and overall guest spending per capita increased $2.59 or 7 percent. During the first six months of 2011, guest attendance grew slightly to 9.5 million.

Cash operating costs during the second quarter 2011 of $208 million were $5 million lower than the same period in 2010 primarily due to a reduction in cash compensation costs. For the first six months of 2011 cash operating costs of $321 million were $12 million or 3 percent lower than the same period in 2010 primarily due to lower cash compensation and marketing costs.

The second quarter 2011 Modified EBITDA(2) margin improved 415 basis points over the same period in 2010 to 38.6 percent. For the twelve months ended June 30, 2011, Modified EBITDA margin improved 760 basis points over the twelve-month period ended June 30, 2010 to 35.5 percent.

Cash earnings per share(3) for the twelve months ended June 30, 2011 was $3.11. Since the company emerged from Chapter 11 on April 30, 2010 with a new capital structure, the prior period cash earnings per share figure is not meaningful.

Free Cash Flow(4), which for the company is defined as Adjusted EBITDA less capital expenditures, cash interest and cash taxes, was $61 million in the second quarter, and included $37 million of capital spending.

Net Debt(5) as of June 30, 2011 was $829 million compared to $896 million as of March 31, 2011—an improvement of $67 million. During the second quarter, the company paid $2 million in dividends and made a $30 million arbitration settlement payment, including associated interest and fees, relating to the company's former CFO. In addition, the company repurchased approximately $22 million or 574,000 shares of its stock at an average purchase price of $38.26 under a three-year, $60 million plan approved by the board of directors in February 2011. During the first six months of 2011, the company repurchased approximately $42 million or 1,166,000 shares of its stock at an average purchase price of $35.60.

The company had $142 million of cash on hand as of June 30, 2011 and a net debt to last-twelve-months Adjusted EBITDA ratio of 2.6 times.

During the second quarter the company implemented a two-for-one stock split.

Long-Term Outlook

Six Flags also announced today a new long-term profit target, which is an aspirational goal of delivering $500 million of Modified EBITDA(5) by calendar year 2015. During the twelve months ended June 30, 2011, the company generated $354 million of Modified EBITDA.

Conference Call
The company hosted a conference call today at 8:00 a.m. Central Time to discuss its second quarter and first six months financial results. To hear a replay of the call, dial 1-855-859-2056 or +1-404-537-3406 through August 8, 2011.

About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world's largest regional theme park company with 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.

Fresh Start Reporting

In connection with the company's emergence from Chapter 11 on April 30, 2010 and the application of fresh start reporting upon emergence in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 852, "Reorganizations", the results for the three- and six-month periods ended June 30, 2011 and the two-month period ended June 30, 2010, respectively (the company is referred to during such periods as the "Successor") and the results for the one- and four-month periods ended April 30, 2010 (the company is referred to during such periods as the "Predecessor") are presented separately. This presentation is required by United States generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), as the Successor is considered to be a new entity for financial reporting purposes, and the results of the Successor reflect the application of fresh-start reporting. Accordingly, the company's financial statements after April 30, 2010, are not comparable to its financial statements for any period prior to its emergence from Chapter 11.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Resorts World Sentosa heads into 2nd phase of development with Marine Life Park for 2012 and science education curriculum with National Geographic's JASON project

A summer camp at Mystic Aquarium. © Mystic Aquarium. All rights reserved.
IPM Editor's note: The Maritime Experiential Museum and Aquarium and the Marine Life Park opening in 2012 as part of Resort World Sentosa's 2nd phase of development will include a vast oceanarium with structured education and research programs. This "integrated resort" targets multiple audiences with a remarkable mix of entertainment, education, retail and hospitality including a Universal theme park, a circus, a casino, a convention center and the new marine life complex referred to in this story.  -- J.R.

Singapore – Sea Research Foundation, which oversees The JASON Project science programs in collaboration with the National Geographic Society, has entered into an agreement with Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) to jointly develop a marine environmental curriculum for students in Southeast Asia. Contents of the curriculum will be drawn from Sea Research Foundation’s Mystic Aquarium, distinguished for its marine animal research and husbandry expertise. As part of the three-year agreement, Sea Research Foundation, a global leader in marine research, deep-sea exploration and hands-on education, and the National Geographic Society will join forces with RWS’ new Marine Life Park (MLP) in Singapore to bring the award-winning JASON Project science programs to students in the region. 


The MLP will become the exclusive manager for The JASON Project in Southeast Asia, and Mystic Aquarium will assist in developing comprehensive pre-school to tertiary school programs at the new MLP. The JASON Project is an internationally acclaimed multi-media science program that works collaboratively with schools and teachers to create hands-on and multi-media learning experiences in classrooms. 

The JASON Project was developed by the National Geographic Society and is now managed by Sea Research Foundation in collaboration with the National Geographic Society. “Set to be a world-class park with a strong focus on education, research and stewardship, we are honored to be working with RWS and its MLP,” Dr. Stephen Coan, president and CEO of Sea Research Foundation said. “We share a deep commitment to engaging young people and learners of all ages in the importance of marine conservation and the fundamentals of science as a means for understanding the ocean environment.”

Mr. Tan Hee Teck, president and CEO of RWS, said: “We are very committed to research and education, and this focus is paramount as we move toward completing and opening our new Aquarium and the MLP. Our collaboration with Mystic Aquarium and The JASON Project – both globally renowned entities of the Sea Research Foundation - as well as the well-respected National Geographic Society, will put us in the forefront of science, conservation and education programs dedicated to our oceans and marine life. These programs will undoubtedly yield important resources for the students of Singapore and other Southeast Asian nations.” 


Programs will include travelling teacher experiences that will take place in schools, on-property education programs, and interpretative and hands-on learning experiences. The MLP and Sea Research Foundation will also collaborate on various biological research programs. Sea Research Foundation specializes in studying the immune systems of marine mammals and the correlation between marine mammal immune response to human health issues. The MLP team of veterinarians, marine mammal specialists and curators will provide additional expertise and support to expand such research. 

About Sea Research Foundation 
Sea Research Foundation is based in Mystic, Connecticut, USA and is the parent organization of Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and The JASON Project. A non-governmental, mission oriented organization, it is focused on marine research, conservation, exploration and education. Sea Research Foundation and National Geographic Society, also a non-governmental mission oriented organization, work jointly in developing and implementing The JASON Project science program throughout the world. 


About Mystic Aquarium
Mystic Aquarium is a division of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, and is counted among the nation’s leading aquariums with more than 300 species and an extensive collection of marine mammals, including New England’s only beluga whales. Mystic Aquarium has been a pioneer in offering guests a variety of up close encounters with a wide range of marine animals. The mission of Sea Research Foundation is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration. www.mysticaquarium.org  www.searesearch.org


About The JASON Project
A non-profit subsidiary of the National Geographic Society, The JASON Project works with NOAA, NASA, the Smithsonian Institution and other leading organizations to develop inquiry-based science curricula and professional development. The JASON Project was founded in 1989 by Dr. Robert Ballard, the oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence best known for his discovery of RMS Titanic and who today serves as The JASON Project’s chairman and chief scientist. http://www.jason.org/public/whatis/start.aspx


About Resorts World Sentosa
Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), Singapore’s first integrated resort, is located on the resort island of Sentosa. Spanning 49 hectares, the resort has welcomed over 15 million visitors since it opened in January 2010. RWS is home to the region’s first-and-only Universal Studios theme park, a casino, four luxury hotels, the Resorts World Convention Centre, celebrity chef restaurants as well as specialty retail outlets. The resort also offers entertainment ranging from its resident theatrical circus spectacular, Voyage de la Vie, to public attractions such as the Crane Dance and the Lake of Dreams. RWS is wholly owned by Genting Singapore, a company of the Genting Group. http://www.rwsentosa.com.