USA TODAY Poll Also Names Outlaw Run Top 10 Coaster
Branson, Missouri 6/28/2019) Silver Dollar City has been named as one of the Top 5 Amusement Parks in the country, according to the national USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. The 1880s-style theme park in Branson, Missouri, was chosen as a nominee by a panel of amusement and theme park experts consisting of USA TODAY editors, 10Best.com editors and additional contributors and influencers from around the country. In addition to this prestigious award, the park’s 2015 Guinness World Record-holding wooden roller coaster, Outlaw Run, is ranked in the Top 10 Best Roller Coaster poll from the media company.
This award highlights the world-class offerings at Silver Dollar City, including this year’s entertainment focus, The Year of Shows & Festivals, marking a new era of even bolder entertainment, larger-than-life shows and festival adventures. The new, original mega-production Reuben’s Swashbuckling Adventure and new fall nighttime experience Pumpkin Nights are just a few of these new adventures, joining over 40 additional rides and attractions, more than 100 demonstrating craftsmen and award-winning food.
“Being selected for this poll by the experts and editors at USA TODAY already establishes us as a premier, global destination for families, but winning a Top 5 spot solidifies the quality and scope of experiences we offer to our guests,” says Silver Dollar City President Brad Thomas. “The park’s Top 5 win follows a great first half of the year with mentions in outlets like Parents magazine, TIME, Money, U.S. News & World Report and Travel Channel.”
Silver Dollar City placed fourth in this competitive poll among some of the biggest parks in the industry, including Cedar Point, Busch Gardens and Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Profiles of the parks in the top 10 are now posted at http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/. Publication will also follow in the print version of USA TODAY, with a circulation of 1.6 million, and will be posted at www.usatoday.com, with a combined 6.6 million readers daily, according to materials from the media company owned by Gannett Co., Inc.
Silver Dollar City is currently presenting the Star-Spangled Summer festival, running through July 21, with the park open daily.
Information: 800-831-4FUN(386) or www.silverdollarcity.com.
The beloved Main Street Electrical Parade is returning to Disneyland Park Aug. 2, 2019, to bring guests of multiple generations a sense of wonder, joy and – for some – warm nostalgia. The iconic parade will travel down Main Street, U.S.A., for a limited-time engagement, through Sept. 30.
Main Street Electrical Parade made its world debut at Disneyland June 17, 1972, and later appeared at Disney Parks around the world. This spectacular pageant of nighttime magic and imagination entertained guests at Disneyland until it “glowed away” on Nov. 25, 1996. Most recently, the dazzling after-dark parade ran for a limited-time at Disneyland in 2017, and prior to that, it illuminated Disney California Adventure Park from 2001-2010. Here’s a closer look at the legacy of the Main Street Electrical Parade, by the numbers.
NOW OPEN: UNIVERSAL’S ENDLESS SUMMER RESORT – SURFSIDE INN AND SUITES ADDS EXTRA AFFORDABLE HOTEL OPTION FOR UNIVERSAL ORLANDO GUESTS
The destination’s first Value Category hotel features 2-Bedroom suites, exclusive theme park benefits, a surfboard-shaped pool, and a casual food court – all at an affordable price
ORLANDO, Fla. (June 27, 2019) – Today, Universal Orlando Resort’s seventh hotel – Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites – opened its doors to guests as the destination’s first Value Category hotel. Universal Orlando now offers a hotel for every style, every family and every budget, complete with exclusive theme park benefits and a seamless vacation experience.
Brought to life by the award-winning Universal Creative team, Surfside Inn and Suites offers guests a relaxed and easy retreat, with a surf and beach vibe woven throughout the hotel. The 750-room hotel is the destination’s seventh property in partnership with Loews Hotels & Co., giving guests the immersive experience they have come to expect at a Universal Orlando hotel with rates starting as low as $73 per night for a 7-night stay.
At Surfside Inn and Suites, guests can experience all that the hotel and Universal Orlando have to offer including:
Surfside Inn and Suites’ sister property, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites, is scheduled to open in March 2020. Universal’s Endless Summer Resort will add 2,800 rooms to the destination – bringing the total room count at Universal Orlando Resort to 9,000 rooms by the end of 2020.
To learn more or to make a reservation, call 1-888-464-3617 or visit www.UniversalOrlando.com/Surfside.
About Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort is a unique vacation destination that is part of the NBCUniversal Comcast family. For more than 25 years, Universal Orlando has been creating epic vacations for the entire family – incredible experiences that place guests in the heart of powerful stories and adventures.
Universal Orlando’s three theme parks, Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay, are home to some of the world’s most exciting and innovative theme park experiences – including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. Universal Orlando’s hotels are destinations unto themselves and include Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal’s Aventura Hotel and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites. Its entertainment complex, Universal CityWalk, offers immersive dining and entertainment for every member of the family.
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About Loews Hotels & Co.
Headquartered in New York City, Loews Hotels & Co is a hospitality company rooted in deep heritage in the hotel industry and excellence in service. The hospitality group encompasses branded independent Loews Hotels, and a solid mix of partner-brand hotels. Loews Hotels & Co. owns and/or operates 25 hotels and resorts across the U.S. and Canada, including the new Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, the seventh hotel in partnership with Comcast NBC Universal. Located in major city centers and resort destinations from coast to coast, the Loews Hotels portfolio features properties grounded in family heritage and dedicated to delivering unscripted guest moments, all with a handcrafted approach. For reservations or more information about Loews Hotels, call 1-800-23 LOEWS or visitwww.loewshotels.com.
DISNEY ON BROADWAY CELEBRATES ITS 25th ANNIVERSARY AT D23 EXPO ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 24th WITH AN EXCLUSIVE CONCERT EVENT & THE PREMIERE OF A NEW VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE
The anniversary concert will feature Disney on Broadway’s brightest stars, performing hit songs from Disney’s nine Broadway musicals, and more
VR experience brings Disney on Broadway’s biggest production numbers to the 2019 D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event
Anaheim, California – (June 27, 2019) - Disney on Broadway is thrilled to return to D23 Expo, in Anaheim, California, to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Join Broadway’s brightest stars as they present an exclusive concert, Disney on Broadway: A 25th Anniversary Celebration, in Hall D23 on Saturday, August 24, at 3:30 p.m.
Hosted by Tony Award®-nominee Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast), the 75-minute concert will feature Heidi Blickenstaff (Freaky Friday, The Little Mermaid), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, On The Record), Kissy Simmons (The Lion King), Josh Strickland (Tarzan) and Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King). A six-piece band, led by Jim Abbott, will accompany performers as they lead the audience through Disney on Broadway’s Tony Award-winning catalogue. The performance will feature songs from Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aida, Tarzan®, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Newsies, Aladdin, Freaky Friday and Frozen. (Talent is subject to change)
Disney on Broadway fans can also celebrate this milestone anniversary by visiting the VR (virtual reality) theatre on the D23 Expo floor. The brand-new VR experience puts you center stage in Aladdin, Frozen and The Lion King’s biggest Broadway production numbers, featuring Broadway’s Caissie Levy (Elsa), Major Attaway (Genie), Telly Leung (Aladdin) and Tshidi Manye (Rafiki).
About Disney on Broadway: A 25th Anniversary Celebration performers:
(Talent is subject to change)
Heidi Blickenstaff most recently created the body-swapping role(s) of Katherine (and Ellie) in Disney’s Freaky Friday for Disney Channel and Disney Theatrical Productions (Helen Hayes and Outer Critics nominations). On Broadway, Heidi was most recently seen as Bea Bottom in the 10-time Tony-nominated Something Rotten! (Outer Critics and Grammy® nominations). Disney on Broadway audiences might remember Heidi as Ursula from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Other Broadway credits include The Addams Family (Alice Beineke), The Full Monty and Tony-nominated [title of show], the original Broadway musical Heidi and her friends made about four friends making an original Broadway musical. Some favorite regional shows include Next to Normal(Diana) at the Weston Playhouse and First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb at the Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre and recorded for PBS. Heidi can be seen and heard on the DVDs of Freaky Friday and PBS’s First You Dreamas well as on many Broadway and concert albums available wherever music and DVDs are sold. www.heidiblickenstaff.com
Ashley Brown originated the title role in Mary Poppins on Broadway for which she received Outer Critics, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations for “Best Actress.” Ms. Brown also starred as Mary Poppins in the national tour of Mary Poppins where she garnered a Garland Award for “Best Performance in a Musical.” Ms. Brown’s other Broadway credits include Belle in Beauty and the Beast, as well as starring in the national tours of Jack O’Brien’s The Sound of Music and Disney's On the Record. Ms. Brown has starred in both Oklahoma! and Showboat at Chicago’s Lyric Opera and has performed with virtually all of the top orchestras in North America including the Boston Pops (twice), the New York Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at Disney Hall, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall (five times), Fort Worth Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops and Philadelphia Orchestra (twice). Ms. Brown’s PBS special called Ashley Brown: Call Me Irresponsible received a PBS Telly Award. Other television credits include NBC’s The Sound of Music. Ms. Brown is the voice of Disneyland celebrating its 60th anniversary singing the newly penned Richard Sherman song “A Kiss Goodnight.” Ms. Brown’s album of Broadway and American Songbook standards, Speak Low, and her newly recorded Christmas EP, The Secret of Christmas, are available on Ghostlight/Warner Brothers.
Gavin Lee just finished playing Lumière in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. In New York, he most recently played the Grinch at Madison Square Garden. Before this, he originated the role of Squidward in SpongeBob SquarePants the Broadway Musical (Drama Desk Award and Tony Award nomination). Before that, he played Thenadier in the Broadway revival of Les Misérables. He originated the role of Bert in the West End and Broadway productions of Mary Poppins (Drama Desk and Theatre World Awards, Olivier and Tony Award nominations). Gavin has appeared at Carnegie Hall in Showboat and in the world premiere of Holiday Inn at Goodspeed Opera House. TV credits include Law and Order: SVU, The Good Wife and White Collar. His favorite London theatre credits include Top Hat, Crazy for You, Peggy Sue Got Married, Me and My Girl, Over My Shoulder, Oklahoma!, Contact and Singin’ in the Rain. Gavin has performed his solo cabaret in New York, Chicago and on Disney Cruise Line.
Kissy Simmons is a native of Floral City, Florida, and graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Speech Communications. She was also a NCAA Division 1 Track and Field athlete. Kissy grew up playing the keyboard and singing in church, and was a State Champion high jumper at Citrus High School. After graduating from the University of South Florida, she got her professional theatre debut at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts where she was seen in Little Shop of Horrors (Ronnette), Jacques Brel and other seasonal cabaret shows. Broadway credits include: The Lion King (Nala). First national tour: The Lion King (Nala). Las Vegas: The Lion King (Nala). TV credits include Smash, Hope & Faith, 30 Rock, 6 Degrees and many commercials, voiceovers and print. Thank you, God for your grace and to my biggest fans Anthony and Sadie!
Josh Strickland is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. In 2006, Strickland created the leading role of Tarzan in Disney’s musical Tarzan® on Broadway. In 2009, he made his starring Las Vegas debut in Peepshow at Planet Hollywood Casino & Resort while concurrently co-starring in the hit E! reality show Holly's World. Strickland debuted his first single "Report to the Floor," which skyrocketed to the top five on the iTunes Dance Charts the first week of its release, followed by “Last Dance.” In 2013, Strickland joined the cast of Vegas! The Show at the Planet Hollywood Casino & Resort in Las Vegas in a starring role. Strickland has also appeared internationally with the all-star cast of Disney’s Broadway Hits, including the Emmy -winning concert at Royal Albert Hall in London, England. He most recently reprised his role as Tarzan in Disney’s musical Tarzan® in Oberhausen, Germany at the Stage Metronom Theatre. Twitter & Instagram: @joshuajstrick
Alton Fitzgerald White performed a record-breaking 4,308 performances as King Mufasa in The Lion King on Broadway. Alton recently added author and keynote speaker to his list of titles. His book, My Pride: Mastering the Challenge of Daily Performance, filled with secrets to fulfillment and joy in work and life, was recently published by Disney Editions. Other Broadway starring roles include Mister in The Color Purple, Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime, Ken in Smokey Joe’s Cafe, John in Miss Saigon and The Hawker in The Who’s Tommy. Alton has performed concert dates all over the world. His best-selling CD Disney My Way!, along with autographed copies of his Disney book, are available at www.altonfitzgeraldwhite.com. Alton has had guest star roles on the hit TV series Law & Order, Bull, The Blacklist, The Good Fight, Code Black, Elementary, Mindhunter and Madam Secretary. He was most recently featured in the Pulitzer Prize-winning production of Rent which was performed live on Fox television. Please join him on his Facebook fan page, @WhiteAlton on Twitter, and @Alton2459 on Instagram.
CLICK HERE to download production photos and talent headshots in support of Disney on Broadway: A 25thAnniversary Celebration.
Single-day tickets for Friday and Sunday of D23 Expo 2019 are available for $89 for one-day adult admission and $69 for children 3–9. Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets for $77 for a one-day adult admission and $59 for children 3–9. Single-day Saturday tickets and three-day passes are sold out. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2019, visit www.D23Expo.com .
About Disney Theatrical Productions
Disney Theatrical Productions (DTP), a division of The Walt Disney Studios, operates under the direction of Thomas Schumacher. The group produces and licenses Broadway productions around the world, including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida, TARZAN®, Mary Poppins, a co-production with Cameron Mackintosh, The Little Mermaid, Peter and the Starcatcher, Newsies, Aladdin and Frozen. Other successful stage ventures have included the London hit Shakespeare in Love, stage productions of Disney’s High School Musical, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame in Berlin and King David in concert. DTP has collaborated with the country’s leading regional theatres to develop new stage musicals including The Jungle Book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Freaky Friday.
About D23 Expo 2019
D23 Expo--The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 Expo 2019 news, visit D23expo.com. Presentations, talent and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 Expo conversation, be sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23Expo.
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.
Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($99.99), Gold Family Membership ($129.99), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Enjoy an extended fireworks show, a summer sale like no other and live entertainment on Independence Day
TAMPA, Fla. (June 26, 2019) – This Fourth of July, Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay is the ONLY place in Tampa Bay with world-class thrill rides and four consecutive nights of fireworks! Kicking off on Thursday, July 4th, guests will enjoy live entertainment and a breathtaking extended fireworks display. The party continues all weekend long with Summer Nights, including more fireworks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday!
For a limited time, a NEW offer is available just for Florida residents. For less than the price of regular admission ticket, guests can visit again and again the rest of the year with a 2019 Busch Gardens Fun Card, available for just $64.99* - the lowest price of the season! A two park Fun Card – Busch Gardens and Adventure Island – is available for just $30* more. This explosive new offer is available until July 4th.
Thursday, July 4 – Independence Day Celebration:
This Fourth of July, celebrate at the only place in Tampa Bay with world-class coasters and four consecutive nights of fireworks! Take on Florida’s tallest launch coaster, the ALL-NEW Tigris, as it transforms in the dark. Then dance the night away with festive DJs, and enjoy specialty food items such as the Fireworks Ice Cream Slushy – a delicious blend of blue raspberry slush, wild berry slush and vanilla soft serve.
NEW Live Music – Mighty Mongo on the Festival Field
Mighty Mongo, a Tampa based rock group was founded in 2009 by college friends. With a mix of original songs and well-known covers, their show is sure to impress. The band will perform on the Festival Field and will also sing the National Anthem prior to the fireworks show.
GRAND FINALE Fireworks Display
Finish the day with an electrifying, extended and elevated fireworks show that will illuminate the sky with a patriotic medley in honor of Independence Day!
Friday, July 5 – Sunday, July 7 – Celebrate All Weekend:
The fun doesn’t stop, because the park stays open late every night with the Summer Nights event, featuring fireworks all weekend!
Live Entertainment at the Festival Field
Join dancers and a DJ as they get the party started prior to fireworks each night. Enjoy music, games and more on the Festival Field. Complete the night with delicious desserts and drinks for all to enjoy. From Funnel Cake Fries to Handmade Cocktail Popsicles, the options to indulge are endless.
Finish the day with an exhilarating fireworks display on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The show is complete with lights and a soundtrack featuring some of today’s best hits.
Park hours are from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the Fourth of July. During Summer Nights, guests can enjoy the park from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. now through August 11, including fireworks every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the event. For complete event details and more limited time offers, visitBuschGardensTampa.com
Be the first to know about new events, special deals and future announcements by following Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
*Price is before taxes and fees.
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About Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay is the ultimate family adventure, offering 300 acres of fascinating attractions based on exotic explorations around the world. Busch Gardens is a unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country's premier zoos with thousands of animals representing more than 200 species, and live shows and events, providing unrivaled experiences for guests of every age. For more information, visitBuschGardensTampa.com. Busch Gardens is owned by SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS), a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter, and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world.