Saturday, June 30, 2012

Butterflies: Made in the USA

New Orleans, LA, USA -- In a most unusual salute to Independence Day, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium created a patriotic display made out of red, white and blue butterflies and visitors are invited to celebrate the Fourth of July with two full days of Red, White & Butterfly themed activities! The fun flutters in on Saturday, July 7 through Sunday, July 8 from 10am - 5pm.

In celebration of the newly renovated Butterfly Garden, guests will learn about the interesting life histories of several butterfly species, life spans, butterfly gardening, butterfly farming in other countries, and the differences between butterflies and moths. A butterfly release and chat are scheduled on Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.

Throughout the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, visitors will enjoy unique butterfly themed activities including up close views of butterfly wings using a "scope-on-a-rope" camera, butterfly specimen identification by the Entomology staff in the Field Camp, and hands on butterfly crafts.

Additional butterfly activities include:

  • Butterfly-shaped balloons - 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Beautiful butterfly dancers in the lobby - 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Caricature portraits in butterfly form - Noon to 3:00 pm
  • Butterfly face painting - 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Roaming magician - 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

All Red, White & Butterfly activities are included in general admission cost.

Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
Audubon Butterfly Garden Insectarium prices are $16.00 for adults, $13.00 for seniors and $11.00 for children and free for Audubon Nature Institute members. Advanced tickets are recommended and can be purchased by visiting AudubonInstitute.org or at any Audubon Nature Institute attraction. Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is located at 423 Canal Street in downtown New Orleans in the U.S. Custom House and is open from 10am to 5pm.

Now Open at Discovery Cove: A Fresh Approach to Animal Encounters


Orlando, FL, USA (June 29, 2012) -- Now open at Discovery Cove in Orlando is Freshwater Oasis, an all-new attraction featuring wading adventures and face-to-face encounters with playful otters and curious marmosets.

Just across the street from SeaWorld Orlando is Discovery Cove, a limited-admission tropical day resort where guests swim with dolphins, hand-feed exotic birds in a free-flight aviary, snorkel among thousands of colorful fish and rays and relax on pristine beaches.

Freshwater Oasis

Designed with a rainforest canopy above and sparkling-clear springs below, Freshwater Oasis is a natural fit within Discovery Cove’s tropical vibe. Guests can relax and explore. They’ll wade, wander, swim and float in the water-filled trails and discover marmoset monkeys and playful Asian otters. No matter where they turn, they’ll find endless discoveries.
  • Unique waterways … With most of the water at waist-deep level or shallower, Freshwater Oasis invites families to explore all of its nooks and crannies. 
  • In-Water Relaxation Station … The warm water is perfect for relaxing and soaking up the Orlando sunshine or to enjoy an ice-cold drink from the brightly colored sunken chairs that are built into the area. 
  • More features … There are multiple entries into the water, and many pathways to discover something new at every turn. 
The animals

Asian small-clawed otters
  • The smallest of all otters, the Asian-small clawed otter weighs between two and eleven pounds. Native to Southeast Asia - in areas from Indonesia, to China, to India – these playful animals can be found in the most scenic of surroundings in Freshwater Oasis. 
  • Wade past rocks and trees to encounter the thriving, lush habitat of the Asian small-clawed otter. Watch as these active mammals romp and play their way through their naturalistic environment, and swim figure-eight’s around tree stumps. Experience the lively energy of the otter in an up-close-and-personal way, without ever having to leave the refreshing water. 
Marmosets
  • Marmoset monkeys are native to the rainforest and upper canopies of South America. If they can’t be spotted up in the tip-top of the trees, these highly-active animals can be heard communicating through a variety of unique sounds including whistles, squeaks, clicks, and trills. Only weighing a pound when fully grown, marmosets are unique animals to take in. 
  • Swim through waist-deep water to the center of Freshwater Oasis, or view from a scenic pathway, an island abundant with life. There will be no glass separating guests from the marmoset monkeys that call the idyllic island home. Look and listen as these agile animals leap from tree to tree, and watch in wonder as they run upside-down on the branches. Experience a whole new world, right in front of your eyes.
More about Discovery Cove
  • Discovery Cove is a paradise of rocky lagoons surrounded by lush landscaping, tropical reefs, winding rivers, a resort-style pool complete with waterfalls, and white-sand beaches. 
  • The Grand Reef features multiple levels of exploration, from shallow waters to deeper swimming adventures, from white sandy beaches and hammocks swaying in the breeze, to snorkeling among canyons inspired by reefs from around the world. 
  • SeaVenture is an underwater walking tour where guests, wearing dive helmets, find up-close encounters with sharks (safely behind massive panoramic windows), one-on-one touches with unique animals and schools of fish and gentle rays. 
Freshwater Oasis is included with admission to Discovery Cove, which is an all-inclusive, full-day experience featuring the best animal experiences, all-day dining, and first-class amenities plus unlimited admission for 14 days to sister parks SeaWorld and Aquatica in Orlando.

Limited to approximately 1,000 guests per day, Discovery Cove requires advance reservations which can be made at DiscoveryCove.com or by calling 1-877-434-7268.

Seasonal rates for Discovery Cove’s Dolphin Swim Day Resort Package start at $229 (rates for Day Resort Package without dolphin swim experience and guests ages 3-5 start at $149).

Prices vary seasonally.

Discovery Cove is part of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, which operates 10 parks across the U.S. including SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va.; Aquatica in Orlando; Sesame Place near Philadelphia, Pa.; and water parks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg.

The 10 parks play host to 25 million guests each year and employ 26,000 people nationwide. To learn more, visit SeaWorldParksandEntertainment.com or call toll-free 1-888-800-5447. Additionally, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment created the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, a non-profit, private charitable foundation committed to supporting wildlife and habitat conservation, research, education and animal rescue programs worldwide. Learn more at SWBG-ConservationFund.org.

Independence Visitor Center and National Park Service Invite the Public to Experience Independence Day at Its Home

Philadelphia, PA, USA (June 29, 2012) /PRNewswire/ -- The Independence Visitor Center Corporation (IVCC) and Independence National Historical Park (INHP) are excited to host a diverse selection of events and offer extended hours of operation for Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell Center and the Independence Visitor Center during INHP's Freedom Week (July 1-July 8) leading up to and on the Fourth of July.

Extended Hours at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center (July 1-4, 9:00 a.m.
- 8:00 p.m.)
In celebration of the country's independence, the National Park Service is extending hours for visitors to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center. Both sites will be open from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. fromJuly 1-4. Tickets will not be required for Independence Hall after 5:00 p.m. No tickets are needed to visit Independence Hall all day on July 4. Tickets are never required for the Liberty Bell Center. To visit Independence Hall from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on July 1-3, stop by the Independence Visitor Center or reserve tickets online at www.nps.gov/inde. National Park Service rangers also offer professionally researched accounts of the founding of the United States in Philadelphia.

Extended Hours at the Independence Visitor Center (June 29 – July 4, 8:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.)
The Independence Visitor Center is gearing up to welcome those celebrating Independence Day on America's Most Historic Square Mile with extended hours of operation. Located at 6th and Market Streets, the Visitor Center will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. from June 29-July 4.
Normal summer hours of operation resume on July 5 and are from 8:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. daily through Labor Day.

America's Birthday Party hosted by Termini Bros. Bakery at the Visitor Center (July 4, 1:00 p.m.)
Join us for a celebration of America's Birthday hosted by the Independence Visitor Center and Termini Brothers Bakery on July 4 at 1 p.m. Termini Bros., a third generation family run business was founded byGiuseppe Termini who came to Philadelphia from Enna, Sicily in 1921. The Termini family is excited to share their story of American freedom and celebrate Independence Day at the Visitor Center with a five-tier cake and cupcakes for all to enjoy.

The spectacular five-tier cake will be decorated at the Visitor Center throughout the day prior to the celebration at 1 p.m. This will be the first time Termini Bros. will be off-site decorating one of their cakes in plain sight for passers-by to observe and get a sneak peak at the inner workings of what makes Termini Bros. a local icon and one of a kind. In addition to a custom designed cake, Termini Bros. will also give-away 2,500 cupcakes!

As if you were at Termini's main location in South Philadelphia, they will bring the same exceptional customer service and signature Termini Bros. experience at the Visitor Center on July 4th in the heart ofPhiladelphia's historic district. For more information and event updates, check out the event listing on Facebook.

Additional Visitor Center and INHP activities include:
A dramatic Reading of the Declaration of Independence will take place on Independence Mall next to the Visitor Center on June 30, July 1 and July 4 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The reading will be performed by costumed performers and re-enactors with a fife and drum accompaniment.

A park ranger-led walking tour, Stories from the Past, will take place every day during Freedom Week from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Join a park ranger for a walking tour and hear about the people, both famous and forgotten, who played a role in establishing Philadelphia as the preeminent city of 18th century America. This walking tour starts at the Signers' Garden on the corner of 5th and Chestnut Streets.

Let Freedom Ring, a ceremony of inspiring music and patriotic presentations on Independence Square isJuly 4 and begins at 1 p.m. The ceremony will conclude with a symbolic tapping of the Liberty Bell at 2 p.m. The ceremony begins on Independence Square (outside secure area between Walnut and Chestnut Streets and 5th and 6th Streets) at 1 p.m. and continues inside the Liberty Bell Center at 1:45 p.m. for the Liberty Bell tapping. This programming is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society Sons of the Revolution and the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Extended Hours at Crosswalk Cafe (June 29 – July 4, 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.)
Crosswalk Cafe offers light bites and refreshments. The cafe will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.from June 29-July 4.

More Fourth of July Events
Wawa Welcome America! is also hosting events on Independence Mall throughout the week and on July 4:

  • Independence Day Picnic & Military Change of Command (June 30)
  • Mural Arts Paint Day (July 3)
  • POPS! On Independence (July 3)
  • Celebration of Freedom Ceremony (July 4)
  • Philadelphia Independence Day Parade (July 4)
  • Let Freedom Ring Ceremony and Liberty Bell Tapping (July 4)

Visit http://www.welcomeamerica.com/ for more information.

The celebration continues on Independence Mall after July 4:

Free Concert featuring Payton Taylor at Crosswalk Cafe (July 7, 1–3 p.m.)
Crosswalk Cafe, located on Independence Mall across from the Visitor Center, is excited to host country singer Payton Taylor for a free concert on July 7 at 1:00 p.m. Taylor is a Southern New Jersey native who has been gaining national attention through multiple TV appearances, newspaper and magazine interviews, and online music retailers. This summer, she is touring and has appeared at "CMA Fest" inNashville, TN. She will be appearing at other festivals such as "Summerfest" in Milwaukee, WI, and "Country on the Beach" in Key West, FL.

A re-enactment of the First Public Reading of the Declaration of Independence at Independence Square will take place on July 8 from 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Join the crowd to hear a costumed Park Rangerportraying Colonel John Nixon (who read the Declaration of Independence to the public for the first time onJuly 8, 1776). Free copies of the Declaration of Independence will be given out so that you can follow along and cheer or jeer!

The Independence Visitor Center is Independence National Historical Park's and the region's welcome center for people from all over the nation and the world offering visitor amenities including trip planning service, easy onsite ticketing for area attractions, multilingual concierge staff, comprehensive daily listing of area events, attraction displays and regional maps, free, informative historical and orientation films, free wireless Internet access and much more. Follow @PHLVisitorCntr , the Visitor Center's virtual concierge service on Twitter, and like us on Facebook . For more information, visit http://www.independencevisitorcenter.com/ .


The Independence Visitor Center Corporation is a Pennsylvania non-profit, 501(c)3 organization which operates in cooperation with the efforts of the National Park Service, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


A unit of the National Park Service, Independence National Historical Park was created by an Act of Congress on June 28, 1948. Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Independence NHP covers almost 54 acres in Philadelphia's Old City, and includes Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Congress Hall, Franklin Court, and other historic buildings associated with the founding of the United States. The park is open from 9:00 am daily with the exception of Christmas day. A visit to Independence National Historical Park should start at the Independence Visitor Center, located at 6th and Market Streets. Here, visitors can pick up a park brochure, park map, and the free, timed tickets required for Independence Hall. For more information visit the park's website, http://www.nps.gov/inde or follow us at twitter.com/independencenhp or facebook.com/independencenhp.


Crosswalk Cafe, located in the heart of Independence National Historical Park, is a seasonal outdoor cafe managed by the Independence Visitor Center Corporation (IVCC) and operated by Brulee Catering. The menu features a full-line of fresh cafe items including specialty salads, sandwiches and small bites. Crosswalk Cafe offers a selection of hand-crafted beers and savory wines. For more information about Crosswalk Cafe, visit www.crosswalkcafephilly.com .

Friday, June 29, 2012

Celebrate the Fourth at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens

Here's what's in store for guests to SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks on the Fourth of July:

SeaWorld San Diego
Open 9 am - 11 pm
SeaWorld San Diego will celebrate the Fourth of July with the “Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular,” an extended display set to patriotic music, at 9:30 p.m. July 4, 2012. During the rest of Summer Nights at SeaWorld, guests may enjoy the park’s fireworks display, “Into the Blue,” which caps off an evening full of amazing nighttime animal shows. The fireworks aren’t the only patriotic festivities during Summer Nights at SeaWorld: the park’s landmark 320-foot Skytower Flag of Lights is be decked out in red, white and blue lights, from dusk to midnight, through Sept. 3.

SeaWorld San Antonio
Open 9 am - 10 pm
SeaWorld San Antonio will celebrate Independence Day on July 4th with a fabulous fireworks display over Ski Lake. The best way to view the fireworks is from a seat in Ski Stadium. Come early for family fun and entertainment! Fireworks begin at 9:45 p.m. Stadium opens at 7:45 p.m.While you're here, don't miss the exciting shows and festivities of Summer Nights, including Shamu Rocks! and Sea Lions Tonight.


SeaWorld Orlando
Open 9 am - 11 pm
Head over to SeaWorld Orlando this Fourth of July for a special Summer Nights celebration! Enjoy an extraordinary performance at Bayside Stadium by the Navy Band Southeast’s Wind Ensemble, a 40-piece group performing a variety music ranging from patriotic fare to classical favorites and Broadway hits. The celebration will conclude with awe-inspiring fireworks at 10:30 p.m. that include Reflections and an honorary tribute to the United States.

Busch Gardens Tampa
Open 9 am - 10 pm
Celebrate the perfect end to the evening with an amazing fireworks finale. Busch Gardens Tampa lights up the sky every night of the event with an incredible aerial display set to popular music. The best views are in Gwazi Park, right after the nightly Kinetix show, but the fireworks are visible from all over the park. There will be an extended fireworks show on July 2, 3 and 4.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Open 10 am - 11 pm
Busch Gardens Williamsburg is the source for nighttime fun this summer when IllumiNights: A Busch Gardens Encore returns with 50 nights of spectacular live performances throughout the park followed by nightly fireworks.

IllumiNights begins Sunday, July 1 with extended operating hours, and continues nightly through Aug. 19. Guests can visit Ireland for The Legend of Killarney, where larger-than-life puppets spin a magical tale of leprechauns and a lost fortune. In France, Voila! transports families to the bustling streets of Paris where outdoor performances including exciting ladder walkers entertain park guests. In Italy, lush gardens transform into a stage for an Italian strength troupe at Giardino Magico.

In addition to the other night-time entertainment, Germany’s Oktoberfest Plaza is turned upside down with colorful characters and crazy critters at the all-newWunderbarn!. Henrik and Helga, owners of the zany Black Forest Farms lead the German festivities that build to a rollicking finale with park guests’ favorite,The Chicken Dance.

Park performances begin nightly at 5:30 p.m. and culminate with the park’s signature Tour de Force: Fireworks Finale at 9:30 p.m. This spectacular fireworks show blends dazzling color with an original score that can be viewed throughout the park. It’s the perfect summertime capstone to a wonderful day at the Williamsburg theme park.  An extended fireworks presentation will take place on July 3 and July 4.

Sesame Place
Open 10 am - 9 pm
In the evening, a Fourth of July BBQ will take place at Big Bird's Riverside Pavilion, featuring a buffet dinner and character visits, followed by a Fourth of July fireworks show set to Sesame Street music at 9:25 pm. Fireworks are free with admission while an additional charge applies to the BBQ.


Compiled by IPM News

Three New Directors Join Cedar Fair Board


Sandusky, OH, USA (June 27, 2012) /PRNewswire/ -- Cedar Fair, a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced that unitholders have elected three new members to the Board of Directors of its general partner, Cedar Fair Management, Inc., for three-year terms expiring in 2015.

The limited partners also confirmed the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company's independent registered public accounting firm and approved an advisory vote on the compensation of the Company's named executive officers.

The new directors are:

Daniel J. Hanrahan, 54, brings more than 30 years of experience, including a variety of sales and marketing, general manager, president and chief executive officer roles across the consumer packaged goods, retail, travel and hospitality sectors. Currently, he serves as the president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, a division of Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE: RCL).

Lauri M. Shanahan , 49, is a seasoned retail executive with more than 20 years of senior-level experience across global, multi-channel, multi-brand enterprises and other specialty retail, including Gap, Inc. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Deckers Outdoor Corporation, a footwear, accessories and apparel lifestyle company with a portfolio of premium brands and over $1.3 billion in revenues, and Charlotte Russe Holding, Inc., a growing specialty retailer of fashionable, value-priced apparel and accessories with over 500 stores. In addition, Ms. Shanahan is a principal with Maroon Peak Advisors, which provides a broad range of advisory services in the retail and consumer products sector.

Debra Smithart-Oglesby , 57, is a former certified public accountant with more than 30 years of financial and corporate leadership experience in the food service and retail industries. Since 2006, she has served as the chair of the Board of Directors of Denny's Corporation, a full-service, family-style restaurant chain with approximately 1,680 eateries throughout the United States and nine countries.

"We are pleased to have Dan, Lauri and Debra join our Board of Directors," said Eric L. Affeldt, Cedar Fair's newly appointed Independent Chairman of the Board. "Their industry expertise and leadership experience will benefit our board and we look forward to their participation."

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. www.cedarfair.com.

New Sea Lion Exhibit Opens June 30 at St Louis Zoo

St. Louis, MO, USA (June 28, 2012) /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Saint Louis Zoo's new Sea Lion Sound exhibit, bringing visitors nose-to-nose with swimming sea lions, opens to the public on Saturday, June 30. Sea Lion Sound features a walk-through, transparent tunnel into the sea lion habitat – the first in North America – and a landscape inspired by the rugged Pacific Northwest Coast.

Located in the center of the Zoo, the 1.5-acre, $18 million habitat and arena for 11 California sea lions includes two state-of-the-art marine mammal exhibits.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car Family Sea Lion Landing features a spectacular 35-foot-long underwater viewing tunnel, where visitors can see animals swimming around them. A harbor seal is expected to join the sea lions at Sea Lion Landing later this summer.

The Lichtenstein Sea Lion Arena­­, home to the First Bank Sea Lion Show, features an 811-seat amphitheater, the large Ann Lux Family Stage, a 40,000-gallon see-through pool, a rock bridge extending into the audience and a high diving platform and slide – all designed to show off the sea lions' natural abilities.

"At Sea Lion Sound, visitors will see our sea lions close-up. They will be able to interact directly with these magnificent marine mammals and learn from that contact. We believe this experience will build a new understanding of these highly adaptable, social creatures and the need for their conservation," said Dr. Jeffrey P. Bonner, Dana Brown President and CEO of the Zoo.

Funding for the exhibit comes from The Living Promise Campaign, launched in 2010 to raise $120 millionto be used to build dynamic new animal exhibits, enhance the visitor experience, improve the Zoo's infrastructure and strengthen its endowment.

About Saint Louis Zoo:
Named America's #1 Zoo by Zagat Survey and Parenting Magazine, the Saint Louis Zoo is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to animal management, wildlife conservation, research and education. One of the few free zoos in the nation, it attracts about 3,000,000 visitors a year. More info at www.stlzoo.org.

Celebrate the 4th at America's Traditional Amusement Parks

Here's what's on tap for the 4th of July at some of America's traditional and historic theme parks:

KENNYWOOD
Open 10:30 am - 11 pm daily
Star-spangled excitement is yours during Celebrate America! Special entertainment daily, antique cars, music groups and, of course, fireworks nightly (weather permitting).  Celebrate America! runs June 30 - July 5.

IDLEWILD
Open 10:30 am - 10 pm
Fireworks 10:00

LAKE COMPOUNCE
Open 11 am - 10 pm
Fireworks 10:00

HERSHEYPARK
Open 10 am - 10 pm
Fireworks 10:00

HOLIDAY WORLD
Open 9:30 am - 9 pm
Fireworks have been canceled to due hot and dry weather conditions

www.palaceentertainment.com
www.hersheypark.com
www.holidayworld.com

Compiled by IPM News 


KSC Visitor Complex Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Kennedy Space Center July 1

Cape Canaveral, FL, USA (June 27, 2012) /PRNewswire/ -- Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kennedy Space Center on Sunday, July 1 with a program that includes NASA officials discussing the historic spaceport and the dynamic transformation underway to support the next generation of space exploration.

Beginning the program at 2 p.m. Sunday is the panel discussion, "Kennedy Space Center: Past, Present and Future," at the Astronaut Encounter Theater. The select NASA panel is scheduled to include Carol Scott of the Program Control and Integration Office within the Commercial Crew Program, and Stu McClung of the Orion Crew/Service Module Office.

Scott will discuss how the Commercial Crew Program is facilitating commercial vehicle development and certification to enable the safe transportation of NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station and other low-Earth orbit destinations. McClung will talk about the Orion spacecraft being developed to carry astronauts farther into the solar system than ever before. On July 2, NASA is marking the arrival at Kennedy Space Center of the first space-bound Orion spacecraft.

At 3 p.m. Sunday at the visitor complex's NASA Central area, the 65-member Orlando Concert Band will present a musical salute to Kennedy Space Center with patriotic music and marches. Associate Music Director Aaron Lefkowitz will lead the band in such selections as "Armed Forces Salute," "Apollo 13," "America the Beautiful," and "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

Completing the program is Scott Bolton, principal investigator for NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter, who will take visitors on a visual journey of recent scientific discoveries made as a result of exploration of the solar system. The presentation begins at 4:30 p.m. at Exploration Space.

The 50th anniversary programming is complimentary to guests with paid admission.

"This is a great occasion for everyone who loves John F. Kennedy Space Center," said Bill Moore, chief operating officer of the visitor complex. "For 50 years, Kennedy has been the gateway to space, carrying astronauts into space aboard rockets and space shuttles, launching space exploration devices and constructing the International Space Station.

"We're celebrating the many historic achievements of the space program over the last 50 years – which visitors can experience here like nowhere else – plus the exciting things going on today to prepareKennedy Space Center for commercial space flight and the Orion deep-space program," Moore said.

On July 1, 1962, the space center was officially acknowledged as an operating spaceflight center under the name Launch Operations Center. The name was later changed to John F. Kennedy Space Center in honor of the president and his vision of Americans visiting the moon.

Earlier this year, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex celebrated another milestone in space history with the 50th anniversary of Americans in Orbit. On February 20, 1962, launching aboard a Mercury-Atlas rocket in the Freedom 7 capsule, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. Glenn circled the Earth three times, followed by a successful splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is offering guests two special offers that can save up to 30 percent on admission, food and merchandise, as well as secure access to view rocket launches. Details of Kennedy Space Center's 50th Gold Admission Package and a$50 Annual Pass are available at http://kennedyspacecenter.com/annual-pass-offer.aspx.

Visitors to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex currently have two rare tour opportunities. For the first time in more than 30 years, NASA is allowing guests inside the Launch Control Center – where NASA directors and engineers supervised all of the 152 launches for the space shuttle and Apollo programs, and inside the 525-foot-tall Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), the massive building where the Apollo Saturn V rockets and space shuttles were assembled.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex features many attractions and year-round interactive programs, including meeting real astronauts. The regular bus tour, included with admission, explores the history of the Apollo moon and space shuttle programs with panoramic views of launch pads and the VAB's exterior and stops at the LC-39 Observation Gantry and the Apollo/Saturn V Center, where visitors see a fully restored, 363-foot Saturn V moon rocket and relive the historic Apollo missions that saw man land on the moon.

Other Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex attractions and activities include Shuttle Launch Experience, an incredible simulated journey of vertically launching into space and orbiting Earth aboard the space shuttle, as well as the Astronaut Training Experience ® (ATX®), Rocket Garden, two IMAX® theaters, Astronaut Encounter, Lunch With an Astronaut, U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted, and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

In addition, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is the future home of the space shuttle Atlantis, with a multimillion-dollar exhibit expected to open in July 2013.

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. Closing times vary by season. Admission includes the Kennedy Space Center Tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and all exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world's largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, open from noon until 6:00 p.m. daily. Parking, wheelchairs, strollers and pet kennels are free of charge. Admission is $45 + tax for adults and $35 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander's Club Annual Pass is $58 + tax for adults and $48+ tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.


Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is operated by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts at KSC Inc., a division of Delaware North Companies, one of the world's leading hospitality and food service providers. For more information, visit www.DelawareNorth.com.

Celebrate the 4th with Merlin Entertainments Attractions

Here are the 4th of July offerings from MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS:

LEGOLAND California
Open 10 am - 9pm

The summer heats up at LEGOLAND with a star-spangled Fourth of July celebration, “Red, White and Boom!” The awe-inspiring fireworks show begins at 8:30 p.m. and blends patriotic music with dazzling pyrotechnics. Throughout the day, kids of all ages can enjoy live musical performances and participate in all-American family picnic games like water-balloon tosses, burlap sack races and building activities.

Red, White and Boom! Building Competition in the Club House
10am-5pm
One winner in each age category: 9 and Under, 10-15 and 16 and up

Patriot Brass Band
9:30am-The Beginning
10:30am-The Beginning
11:30am-The Beginning
12:30pm-Miniland Stage

Lawn Games on Miniland Lawn
1:00pm
2:45pm
4:15pm
6:00pm

LEGO Friends on Miniland Stage
1:30pm
2:30pm
5:30pm

Stroller Parade
Registration 12:00pm-4:30pm on LEGO Show Place Plaza
Parade through Miniland starts at 5:00pm
1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizing for best patriotic stroller

Karaoke on Miniland Stage
2:00pm
3:30pm
4:30pm

Anthony the Magic-Miniland Stage
7:00pm
8:00pm

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band
6:30pm
7:30pm

Uncle Sam on Stilts-Miniland Lawn
3:30pm-6:30pm

Patriotic Trio the Boom Crew-Stilts, Juggler, unicyclist-Miniland Lawn
5:00pm-7:00pm

Nalukai-The Water Park
1:00pm-4:00pm

Fireworks
8:30pm

LEGOLAND Florida
Open 10 am - 9 pm

LEGOLAND Florida’s special glasses turn ordinary fireworks into millions of exploding LEGO® bricks making this show a must-see. The park will have extended hours with four nights of fireworks at 9pm.

A special all-American blow-out bash is reserved just for the fourth with atmospheric entertainment, backyard games and a Party in Miniland USA. Families can also build their very own star to add to LEGOLAND Florida’s first American Flag made out of thousands of LEGO bricks.

Red, Brick and Boom is included with park admission.

Red, Brick & Boom, Jul. 4, 10am-9pm:
Backyard games on the Mansion Lawn10am – 5pm
Build your own star to add to LEGOLAND Florida’s first LEGO American Flag at the Fun Town Plaza10am – 5pm
Meet and Greet with LEGO Friends Olivia at the Fun Town Plaza11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm
Party in Miniland USA with DJ Renee5pm – 8:30pm
Battle for Brickbeard’s Bounty Pirate-themed Pre-Show in the North and South Ski Stadium8:30pm – 9pm
Fireworks Finale turns fireworks into millions of exploding LEGO bricks9pm

President's Gallery by Madame Tussaud, Washington DC
Open 8 am - 10 pm

In celebration of our nation’s independence, The Presidents Gallery by Madame Tussauds is hosting its 1st Annual Celebrate America event, inviting children and families to join wax figures of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Ben Franklin and other “Founding Fathers” for a fun and educational journey through American history and pop culture.

Free for all children under 12 years-old and $10 for those 13 and older, all visitors will receive complimentary American flags to carry along their journey through American history at the attraction, which will be fully decorated for the holiday. Attendees will have the opportunity to try their luck at a fun and challenging 50-question American history-themed scavenger hunt; free to all visitors. Those who answer all questions correctly will be entered to win a Madame Tussauds prize pack.

Additionally, the first 50 visitors attending the celebration on July 4th will receive a free slice of good ‘ole American apple pie courtesy of Pie Sisters of Georgetown and the first 100 will also receive a Buy One Get One Free coupon for hot dogs compliments of Ollie’s Trolley. Children at the event will also enjoy face painting, music and get to make and take home their own clay apple pie souvenirs, courtesy of Be With Me Playseum.


Compiled by IPM News


Celebrate the 4th at Disney Parks

Here are the 4th of July offerings from WALT DISNEY PARKS AND RESORTS:

Disneyland
Open 8 am - Midnight
Voices of Liberty schedule varies throughout the day
Mickey's Soundsational Parade 4:00, 6:00
Fantasmic! 9:00, 10:30
Disney's Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky 9:30

Disney California Adventure
Open 8 am - 11 pm
Pixar Play Parade 2:00, 5:00
World of Color 9:00, 10:15

Magic Kingdom 
Open 8 am - 1 am
Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade 12:30, 3:00
Main Street Electrical Parade 10:00, Midnight
Disney's Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky 9:00

EPCOT
Open 9 am - 10 pm
Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps 11:30 am, 12:15, 1:00, 1:45, 2:30, 3:15, 4:00
Voices of Liberty 11:45 am, 12:30, 1:15, 1:45, 2:00, 2:45, 3:00, 3:30,  5:00
Illuminations: Reflections of Earth featuring "The Heartbeat of Freedom" 10:00

Disney's Hollywood Studios
Open 9 am - 10 pm
Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun! 3:00
Fantasmic! 9:00, 10:30
Rockin' 4th of July Celebration (fireworks w/live rock) 9:45

www.disneyparks.com


Compiled by IPM News


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Alcorn McBride Provides A/V Systems for New Nature Center

Orlando, FL, USA (June 28, 2012) – The new Nature Center at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples opens with Alcorn McBride video, audio and show control selected for the Dalton Discovery Center and Jeannie Meg Smith Theater.

The Conservancy is dedicated to marshaling the combined forces of environmental policy, advocacy, research, education and wildlife rehabilitation to protect the region’s land, water and wildlife. The Nature Center offers many attractions, including two theaters for multimedia presentations, daily programs and featured speakers.

Shawn Sessions, AV/electrical interactives coordinator for Maltbie of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, installed an Alcorn McBride V16 Pro frame-accurate controller for serial and network devices, a ShowTouch control panel interface, two Digital Video Machine HD video players, and four Digital Audio Machines for use in the theaters.

“The V16 Pro controls all of the shows,” says Sessions. “One of the DVM-8400HDs runs a 15-minute video in Dalton Discovery Center; a motion sensor triggers the show controller to start the presentation. The five-minute shows in the Smith Theater are also motion sensor-activated and run by the second DVM-8400HD.”

Two AM4s run ambient audio throughout the day; another pair is attached to a push button that triggers animal sounds. The ShowTouch panel is mounted in a room where staff can start and stop equipment at the beginning and end of the day and control gear located in a separate equipment room.

“We’re very happy with all of the Alcorn McBride equipment,” says Sessions. “It’s working great, and the programming is simple and easy. We love it!”

About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications. Staffed by some of the industry’s best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market. A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design. The company’s products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.alcorn.com.

Deadlines Looming for Thea and GSTA Award Nominations

InPark Online News Editor Joe Kleiman and GSCA Executive Director Tammy Thurmon  visit the  Esquire IMAX Theatre, site of the GSCA 2012 International Conference
Burbank, CA and Lake Anna, VA, USA -- July 6 is the deadline to submit applications for the TEA's Thea Award 2012 - 2013 judging cycle.  To be eligible for consideration, the project must have opened or the event must have taken place between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2012.   A guideline to the nomination process and a link to the nomination form can be found on the Thea Awards Blog.

The annual Thea Awards recognize large and small accomplishments and outstanding achievements of projects that demonstrate the power that the creation of compelling places and experiences can have on the guest and visitor experience.  The next Thea Awards Gala will take place April 6, 2013 at the Disneyland Hotel.

The deadline to submit marketing campaigns and education programs for consideration in the GSCA 2012 Achievement Awards has been extended to July 13. Categories include:
  • Best Film Launch by a Theater
  • Best Marketing Campaign by a Distributor
  • Best Theater Marketing Campaign
  • Best Educational Program
The GSCA 2012 Achievement Awards will be handed out during the Association's International Conference and Trade Show in Sacramento, CA, USA this September.  For more information, visit the GSCA's website.

The core purpose of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) is to advance the business of producing and presenting educational giant screen and immersive cinema experiences globally. GSCA's membership includes more than 250 organizations in nearly 30 countries. Member organizations include giant screen filmmakers, distributors, theaters, suppliers, manufacturers, and students from around the world.

Chip Cleary Stepping Down as President and CEO of IAAPA; Paul Noland to Take Reins

Paul Noland
Alexandria, VA, USA (June 26, 2012) -- The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) today announced IAAPA President and CEO Chip Cleary has decided to return to a leadership position within the theme park industry after the end of the year. Paul Noland, theme park consultant, IAAPA Board member, and former Walt Disney Parks and Resorts executive, will take over as IAAPA President and CEO on Jan. 1, 2013. The leadership transition will begin this fall.

Noland is currently Principal and CEO of RPN Associates, a consulting and project management firm in the attractions industry.

From 1995 to 2011, Noland was an executive with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts serving in various senior management capacities including Senior Vice President, Global Business Development where he led a cross-functional team in the identification, evaluation, and negotiation of future growth opportunities for Walt Disney World, the Disneyland Resort, and the Disney Vacation Club. Noland also led Walt Disney World’s financial team as Senior Vice President, Finance, Planning, and Business Development and served as Vice President, Revenue Management and Business Development.

Noland was in leadership positions with Marriott International from 1983 to 1995, including serving as Senior Director, Lodging Revenue Management and Director, Sales and Catering Systems.

Noland has a Master of Business Administration degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Speech Communication from Radford University in Radford, Virginia.

He has been a member of the IAAPA Board of Directors since 2009 and he is chairman of the IAAPA Audit Committee. He has also served on the School Advisory Board for St. John Vianney Catholic School in Orlando, Florida. and been co-chair of the school’s Annual Fund campaign.

“Chip has accomplished a great deal as president and CEO of IAAPA,” said Managing Partner of Europa-Park and Mack Rides in Germany and 2012 IAAPA Chairman of the Board, Roland Mack. “He restructured the association’s global sales team; upgraded IAAPA’s technology and critical operating systems; led the development and introduction of a new intellectual property program; overhauled the organization’s budget and expense management processes; and ensured the success of the association’s trade shows around the world … an impressive list of accomplishments in a short period of time.”

“We are fortunate to have Paul lined up to lead IAAPA after Chip leaves,” Mack added. “Chip has made a real difference in our association and we greatly appreciate all he has done. Paul’s proven track record, analytical acumen, and leadership skills will allow him to build on Chip’s success so we can accomplish the aggressive strategic initiatives the board has established for IAAPA’s future.”

“I have enjoyed my experience as President and CEO of IAAPA and I am proud of all we have accomplished. We have more work to do and we will continue to move the association forward between now and the end of the year,” said Cleary. “I look forward to once again planning and developing attractions and entertaining guests so I am excited about returning to the theme park industry.”

“I have gotten to know Paul very well through our work on the IAAPA board and Audit Committee and I am confident the transition will be seamless,” Cleary added.

“I am excited about this great opportunity with an organization I respect in an industry I love,” said Noland. “I look forward to working with our members and their diverse businesses around the world to move our association forward together.”

About IAAPA
IAAPA is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions worldwide and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents more than 4,300 facility, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries. Member facilities include amusement/theme parks, waterparks, attractions, family entertainment centers, arcades, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, resorts, and casinos. IAAPA is a nonprofit organization. Funds generated for the association by its involvement in trade shows and other activities are returned to the association to fund services for its members and the industry. IAAPA maintains regional offices in Asia, Europe, and Latin America, and the association's global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States. www.IAAPA.org

World's Largest Flatline Loop Waterslide Opens in Maine


Richmond, BC, Canada (June 26, 2012) - - WhiteWater is pleased to announce the opening of the world's first Flatline Loop! Debuting at Funtown Splashtown USA, in Maine, this exciting new attraction brings together a true combination of sensations!.



The rider climbs into the AquaLaunch at the top of the tower... waits anxiously for the countdown...3!...2!...1!... then plummets into a heart-stopping 60 foot (18 m) freefall... then speeding into a looping waterslide at 26 feet per second (9 meters per second) before a final splash into the shutdown lane!

The Flatline Loop is made of SilkTek™Translucent, clearly the world's finest fiberglass! Our Translucent waterslide technology has been developed to produce unparalleled clarity and strength, providing riders and spectators alike with a unique 'wow!' experience.

SilkTek™ is an IAAPA award-winning innovation where a closed-moulded process is used to engineer the ultimate opaque or translucent fiberglass waterslide - smooth on both sides, visually appealing and requiring little maintenance.



The Flatline Loop is so translucent that spectators can watch as riders race through the attraction!

While the new Flatline Loop is the highlight, this tower also offers a 4-lane Whizzard mat racer and an AquaDrop. All attractions were designed and manufactured by WhiteWater.

For more information on WhiteWater, The Waterpark Company, and its innovative products, please visit www.whitewaterwest.com.

Physics Forest Set to Engage Young Minds at Kidspace Children's Museum July 12

Pasadena, CA, USA (June 26, 2012) /PRWEB/ -- After two years in development, and six months of construction, the newest, largest expansion of Kidspace Children’s Museum, since opening in Brookside Park in 2004, will open to the public, Thursday, July 12, 2012. On the morning of July 12, Kidspace will invite the gathered crowd to be among the first to experience The Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest. This memorable event will be marked by speeches and appearances from political dignitaries, community officials, and friends and donors of the Museum, as they help to celebrate this major milestone in the Museum’s 33-year history.

On Grand Opening day, Thursday, July 12, The Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest will open to the public at 11 a.m., and Kidspace will issue timed tickets, on a first-come first-served basis, throughout the day. In honor of the Grand Opening, the Museum will be open to the public from 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest will add 30,000 square feet to the current 3.5-acre facility, located in Brookside Park, in Pasadena, California, just south of Rose Bowl Stadium, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratories. The Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest will feature 13 brand-new, interactive exhibits all specially created for Kidspace and the unique, outdoor setting that The Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest is designed to be. Each exhibit will display a fundamental principle of physics, providing guests with the opportunity to interact with those principles in a manner that is both educational and fun.

The exhibits were designed and constructed by Florida-based exhibit designers, Hands-On Interactive, who are internationally renowned for their commitment to quality, and craftsmanship, and who also share Kidspace’s commitment to creative and informal educational methods. This innovative approach to education has enabled Kidspace to establish itself as an indispensable resource to children and families, as well as local schools and teachers. Kidspace is proud to continue that relationship and broaden its educational offerings to newer and older audiences with the opening of The Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest. In particular, this latest expansion will offer tremendous opportunities for interaction, and engagement for children five years of age and up.

Though the current CEO, Michael Shanklin, was not with Kidspace during the initial planning stages of The Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest, Michael is very excited for the Grand Opening and what this expansion means for Kidspace.

“There were many factors that initially drew me to Kidspace. The opportunity that The Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest represents is one of the major ones. Professionally, it is extremely gratifying to see a project move from concept to construction to the point where our guests are fully engaging and enjoying it. Seeing the look on a child’s face when they are completely absorbed by an exhibit, and the moment when comprehension finally dawns never gets old to me. Personally, as a parent, I am really looking forward to sharing this space with my own kids, to see them captivated by what we’ve created, and for us to learn and have fun together,” said Michael Shanklin, Kidspace’s Chief Executive Officer.

Initial funding for The Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest was provided by a grant from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment, which was supplemented by major gifts from the Annenberg Foundation, GGE Foundation, Ayrshire Foundation, and other generous contributors. With the generosity of Kidspace Board Member, Dr. Gail Galvin Ellis, and Galvin family foundations, Kidspace has recently launched a $13 million capital campaign, The Campaign for the Future of Kidspace, to continue fund-raising efforts for The Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest, as well as create a plan for the future of Kidspace (http://kidspacemuseum.org/contribute/campaign-future-kidspace).

View live video of the exhibit installation from The Robert & Mary Galvin Physics Forest Camera at http://www.kidspacemuseum.org. Find us at http://www.facebook.com/kidspacechildrensmuseum for the latest news and up-to-date information.

About Kidspace:
Located on almost four acres in Pasadena, California, Kidspace Children’s Museum has more than 25 indoor hands-on exhibits, in addition to its outdoor spaces, programs and activities that are designed to encourage a child’s growth and development through exploration of the environment, investigation in science, and artistic expression. Kidspace is located at 480 N. Arroyo Boulevard, in Brookside Park, Pasadena, California, adjacent to the Rose Bowl Stadium. Free parking is available in Rose Bowl Parking Lot I. Kidspace is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Kidspace is open seven days a week between Memorial and Labor Days). Admission for all adults and children one year and older is $10.00. Children under one year and members are free. Kidspace Children's Museum is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that exists to enrich the lives of children. Kidspace is an interactive learning environment that is fun for children, families, educators and caregivers. For sign up information and for a calendar of events, please visit: http://www.kidspacemuseum.org.

Give Kids the World and Breyers Hosting Global Ice Cream for Breakfast Contest

GKTW President Pamela Landwirth
Kissimmee, FL, USA (June 26, 2012)/PRWEB/ -- Give Kids The World (GKTW) and Breyers Ice Cream announced today a Global Ice Cream for Breakfast Contest that will take place from July 13-15. Global Ice Cream For Breakfast Weekend encourages individuals, families and corporations around the world to host ice cream socials for the chance to win an all-expense paid volunteer vacation to the GKTW Village – a nonprofit “storybook” resort in Central Florida dedicated to making wishes come true for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

“For over 20 years, Give Kids The World has served up smiles and memories in the Village’s Ice Cream Palace with all-you-can-eat ice cream all day, every day. Wish children and their families enjoy unlimited cones, sundaes and shakes, with a buffet of topping options whenever they want —even for breakfast!,” said Give Kids The World President Pamela Landwirth. “For the third year in a row, this campaign brings that joy to the entire world, and ensures that we can keep making magical memories for our wish children and families.”

To enter the contest, Ice Cream For Breakfast hosts must hold their social on July 13, 14 or 15, and raise a minimum of $150 in donations. All socials must be registered on http://www.icecreamforbreakfast.org and hosts must share a picture from their social on GKTW’s Facebook or Flickr sites before midnight on August 30, 2012. One lucky winner will receive roundtrip airfare for two to Orlando, a two-night hotel stay near the GKTW Village, a weekend car rental, and the opportunity to create magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families as a volunteer in the Village’s Ice Cream Palace.

For complete contest rules, or to learn more about GKTW’s Global Ice Cream For Breakfast Contest, please visit http://www.icecreamforbreakfast.org.

About Give Kids The World:
Recognized as the highest rated charity in America by personal finance site MainStreet, and also reported by MSN Money, 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 115,000 families from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. For more information about GKTW and its mission, visit givekidstheworld.org.

Dave Cobb of Thinkwell speaks at Gamification Summit in San Francisco

David Cobb
Gamification Summit held in San Francisco June 19-21
The third Gamification Summit took place at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco, chaired by Gabe Zichermann. With the gamification industry said to be on target to generate over $2.5Bn in the US alone by 2015, this year’s conference brought together a lineup of industry titans, startup pioneers, academic researchers and design experts for three days of hands-on workshops, sharing of best (and worst) practices, showcases of new products and ideas, information exchange and networking.

Sessions included WRITING ROLLERCOASTERS: Stories, Spectacle & Games in Physical Places, presented by Dave Cobb, senior creative director of Thinkwell Group. His presentation is now available on SlideShare, at this link.

For more information about the Summit, visit http://GSummit.com

About Gamification Co
Gamification Co is a transmedia company dedicated to Engagement Science and Gamification. The group publishes the Gamification Blog and related books, organizes the Gamification Summit & Workshops and provides consulting expertise to facilitate this burgeoning industry. Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics to solve problems and engage audiences, and its power is radically reshaping industries from marketing to HR, education to health care, improving lives, solving problems and generating unprecedented growth. Gartner Group forecasts that Gamification will be used by 70% of the Global 2000 by 2015, spending over $2Bn on related products, services and technologies according to M2 Research. For more information on Gamification Co and how to leverage the power of game mechanics, visit http://Gamification.Co.

New Exhibit at Museum of the City of New York to Showcase Design Proposals for NY Waterfront


New York, NY, USA (June 26, 2012) /PRWEB/ -- The Museum of the City of New York will present a new exhibition that explores potential redesigns of the East River Esplanade, from 60th Street to 125The Street. Reimagining the Waterfront will feature the work of eight architects and urban planners from around the world who participated in a design competition sponsored by CIVITAS in an effort to spur the redevelopment of the deteriorating stretch of parkland on Manhattan’s East Side. The exhibition runs through October 28.

The bold and innovative design proposals featured in Reimagining the Waterfront include concepts ranging from a series of interlocking canals that weave through Harlem and the Upper East Side (Wood), a saltwater estuary created from dredged sediment, a system to engage the public in dialogue about the park’s future via art installations, replacement of the Esplanade’s hard, concrete edge with vegetation and long-lost natural habitats, creation of new activities via modules that move along the riverfront, and park extensions to allow for new uses such as agricultural fields and a bioluminescent bay, and a renewed connection between the Manhattan and Queens waterfronts.

Susan Henshaw Jones, Ronay Menschel Director of the Museum, said “The waterfront is a vital resource for the city and a crucial component in the city’s past, present, and future. This exhibition features designs for the Esplanade that dream big; it allows visitors to explore and imagine what life on the waterfront could be.”

The East River Esplanade suffers from age and deterioration as well as limited planning. The CIVITAS Reimagining the Waterfront: Design-Ideas Competition, launched in the fall of 2011, was developed to incite designers and architects to explore the possibilities for the waterfront, to encourage a sense of community, and to inspire debate about the site’s future. The international competition received over 90 entries from 24 countries.

The design competition was further prompted by several recent developments, including Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, which seeks to connect the Esplanade with Manhattan’s existing riverfront parks to the south, creating a continuous bike/running path around Manhattan.

On view in the exhibition will be eight winning designs – the top three design proposals and five honorable mentions – featuring a range of ideas including sweeping sidewalks, restored natural shoreline and grand promenades that integrate the waterfront into the city streets. The proposed designs also move beyond the Esplanade as a recreational space and suggest uses for the site that address issues facing the city: rising water levels, access to open space, and preserving the island’s natural ecology. The exhibition will invite visitors to look beyond the existing space and explore a less restricted waterfront.

Felipe Ventegeat, CIVITAS president said, “The exhibition makes an effective case for the historical evolution of the East River waterfront. With every new century it has been reimagined and rebuilt to suit the needs of New Yorkers. We are not endorsing any particular approach in the exhibition, but we want to get creativity and interest flowing in the future of the East River Esplanade. Our hope is that park users from New York and abroad will visit the exhibition, be inspired by the creativity of the many designs on display and then make the short walk to the East River Esplanade. Visitors can then develop their own vision of how they want to improve the Esplanade and share those ideas with CIVITAS and at Museum programs. ”

The exhibition features the work of the following designers and planners:
  • Joseph Wood, New Jersey, USA (first place prize) 
  • Takuma Ono and Darina Zlateva, New York City, USA (second place prize) 
  • Matteo Rossetti, Italy (third place prize) 
Honorable Mentions:
  • Gerard Cadger and Xenia Semeniuk, Canada 
  • David Elzer, Virginia, USA 
  • Nestor Lebron Gonzalez, Puerto Rico 
  • Jorge Manuel López, José María Echarte, Victoria Marrero, José Luis Llaca, María Ortiz, and María Andés, Spain 
  • Mohammad Ali Behbahani, Marco Corazza, Francesco Fusillo, Vincenzo Marcella, Roberta Nardi, Italy 
Reimagining the Waterfront was curated by Andrea Renner, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of the City of New York. The Reimagining the Waterfront: Design-Ideas Competition was sponsored CIVITAS, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Upper East Side and East Harlem, with U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and New York City Council Members Jessica Lappin and Melissa Mark-Viverito.

About the Museum of the City of New York
Founded in 1923 as a private, nonprofit corporation, the Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. The Museum connects the past, present, and future of New York City, and serves the people of the city as well as visitors from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications, and collections.


About CIVITAS
Founded in 1981 to improve the quality of life for residents of both Manhattan’s Upper East Side and East Harlem, CIVITAS is a non-profit organization that has worked successfully to transform the urban environment, advocating for better land use, zoning and urban planning, public access to the waterfront, clean air and water, affordable housing and public transportation. For more information about CIVITAS, visit http://www.civitasnyc.org.

Orange County Great Park Celebrates Seven Years of Community Fun

Irvine, CA, USA (June 26, 2012) /PRNewswire/ -- The Orange County Great Park hosts one of this summer's premier free family events to mark the Park's 7th anniversary at the Growing the Park celebration, a mid-afternoon through evening community festival on Saturday, July 14 from 3:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The event offers families the opportunity to watch vintage military planes honoring 100 years of Marine aviation and the daring Silver Wings Wingwalking team soar through the skies, enjoy community performances and live music, and test their athletic skills with sports activities, including exhibits from the LA Galaxy and Cal South Soccer. In the evening, visitors can watch the skies light up with a spectacular fireworks finale capping off a day at the Great Park filled with art, entertainment and family activities.


"Growing the Park has been an annual event that celebrates the progress of the Great Park and its connection to the diverse community that surrounds it. This year's celebration honors the history of MCAS El Toro and offers visitors a day of free family fun in every part of the Great Park," said Beth Krom, Chair, Orange County Great Park Corporation.


Five Fun-Filled Zones


Every section of the Great Park will be programmed with fun and engaging family activities across five themed zones.


  • The Runway Zone honors military history featuring vintage aircraft and military vehicle displays, the Silver Wings Wingwalking team, skydiver performances, bi-plane acrobatics, and aerial entertainment, a Retro Air Designs shopping area, a flight simulator and more.
  • The Great Park Gallery Zone includes the Palm Court Arts Complex and showcases the preview of the Farmers to Flyers exhibition in the Great Park Gallery, featuring historic photographs, artifacts, audio and video displays that tell the MCAS El Toro as part of the dramatic changes that occurred in Southern California in the second half of the 20th century. Visitors can also enjoy interactive storyteller Jim Cogan as he presents a fascinating, dramatic and adventurous journey through the history and lore of Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. The Artists Studios will feature current Great Park Artist-In-Residence Andre Woodward and his unique sculptures.
  • The Back Forty Zone includes the Farm + Food Lab and celebrates Orange County's agricultural history with hands-on agricultural craft activities, cooking demonstrations and interactive community partner booths.
  • The Outfield Zone features sports, health and wellness activities and includes field games and soccer demonstrations by representatives of the LA Galaxy and the Cal South Soccer on the North Lawn. LA Galaxy representatives will challenge visitors to improve their soccer skills with an interactive exhibit, soccer clinics and demonstrations from the LA Galaxy Futboleros. Other activities on the North Lawn will include an obstacle course and a preview of games to be featured at the Great Summer Games 2012 on July 28, including vertical jump, broad jump and SNAG golf.
  • The Sky's the Limit Zone includes the Kids Rock Playground, kite flying and kite making, a variety of exhibits and activities, food trucks, live music performances and offers a great place to view the aerial performances and the fireworks spectacular.


Growing the Park takes place Saturday, July 14 from 3:00 to 9:30 p.m. Admission is free. Parking is $10. For this event, the entrance to the Great Park will be from Trabuco Road. Take the Jeffery Road exit from the 5 or 405 and turn right on Trabuco. Follow us on Twitter @OCGreatPark to receive traffic and event updates on the day of the event. For program details or more information, visit www.ocgp.org.


About the Orange County Great Park
Hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over Southern California enjoy the Orange County Great Park's current array of recreational and educational opportunities, including views from the iconic Great Park Balloon that rises 400 feet in the air and provides a panoramic view of Orange County. Other Great Park features include the Carousel, Farm + Food Lab, Kids Rock Playground, Walkable Historical Timeline, Palm Court Arts Complex, North Lawn recreation area and historic Hangar 244. The Great Park also hosts a variety of special events that provide unique experiences for the entire family, including the Growing the Park Anniversary Celebration, annual Pumpkin Harvest, Great Night! Family New Year's Eve, Flights & Sounds Summer Festival and the weekly Great Park Farmers Market. The Great Park, with its approximately 1,300-acre master plan, is the centerpiece of the redevelopment of the publicly-owned portion of the 4,700-acre former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. For more information, please visit www.ocgp.org.

Smart Destinations Introduces Smartphone-Based Ticketing with Go Select Pass

Boston, MA, USA (June 26, 2012) /PRNewswire/ -- People are using smartphones as airline boarding passes, taxi trackers and hotel check-in tools. Smart Destinations, a leader in innovative, money-saving attraction passes, today announced the release of the Go Select Pass, which allows travelers to custom-build their own discount attraction passes and leave long lines and high admission prices behind. The powerful and simple new app turns any smartphone into a money-saving pass, allowing travelers to save on top activities, attractions and tours while using their phone as their admission pass.

It's easy to use: instead of standing in line at the gate and paying full price, travelers can use any smartphone to visit GoSelectPass.com and purchase admission to more than 400 popular attractions in America's top tourist destinations. iPhone and iPad users can also download the app from the App Store. Either way, anyone with a smartphone can then skip most entrance lines and go straight to the gate, using their smartphone as their admission pass.

Not only does Go Select Pass give travelers a way to avoid long lines and the hassle of printing, carrying (and possibly losing) tickets, it helps travelers save on the price of admission to popular destinations. Visitors who purchase passes with two or more attractions are guaranteed to pay less than the gate price, and the more attractions they choose, the more they save – up to 40 percent off.

"According to travel research firm PhoCusWright, 60 percent of visitors still buy their attraction tickets by going to the front gate, standing in long ticket lines and paying full price," said Kevin McLaughlin, CEO and co-founder of Smart Destinations. "The mobile capabilities of the new Go Select Pass make it easy to pay less. Now, you can use your phone to create your personalized, money-saving Go Select Pass while sitting at breakfast on the first day of your vacation. Then you scan the QR code on your phone at the gates. It's the easiest way to get attraction tickets on your phone – you just build a pass, save some money and skip the lines."

As the only app in the world that lets travelers use any smartphone as an all-in-one savings and admissions pass, Go Select Pass makes it fast and easy to create a custom itinerary on a smartphone to see the country's top attractions. Travelers can choose from more than 400 of the most popular attractions in seven U.S. destinations: Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York, Orlando, San Francisco and the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Go Select Pass is already accepted at many top U.S. attractions, includingBoston's Museum of Science, Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bay Cruise and the NBC Studio Tour in New York.

"Go Select Pass is the only mobile app that delivers tickets on a smartphone, where customers are guaranteed to pay less," noted McLaughlin. "Smartphones have changed the way we travel in so many ways, and with this cool new mobile app, travelers can forget about long lines and full gate admission prices."

Since 2004, Smart Destinations passes have delivered over six million money-saving attraction admissions to budget-conscious families. Today's mobile Go Select Pass launch now provides instant access to savings, perfect for smart, cost-conscious on-the-go travelers and spontaneous adventures.

Learn more about Go Select Pass at www.GoSelectPass.com. Find out more about Smart Destinations at www.SmartDestinations.com.

About Smart Destinations
Smart Destinations is revolutionizing the travel industry with its proprietary technology that offers the only mobile multi-attraction passes that maximize the fun, savings and convenience of sightseeing with flexible purchase options for every type of traveler. Available on any smartphone, online and at walk-up retail outlets, Smart Destinations passes, including Go City Cards, Go Explorer and Go Select, provide guaranteed savings at more than 400 attractions across nine North American destinations, including New York, Orlando, San Diego, Chicago and Boston. All passes come with valuable extras, including the ability to skip the line at select attractions. Smart Destinations passes leverage the company's patented technology and the industry's largest network of attraction partners to save consumers up to 40 percent compared to purchasing individual tickets. The company is headquartered in Boston, MA. For more information, visit www.smartdestinations.com .