This weekend is Independence Day in the U.S. and that means a nice long weekend for many of us and a time for Theme Parks and other destinations to roll out special 4th of July events.
We've been posting about these for a few weeks in our Industry News section but we figured we'd give you a run-down on the fun you can have this weekend. But beware, these parks will be busy, so take advantage of these ERT opportunities. We'll be adding more as we get more releases this week.
For full details on any of these events click the links provided.
Six Flags July 4th Fest
Early ride time is from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Park admission is required.
Sea World Orlando
This week, the new “Celebrating America” Concert Series at SeaWorld Orlando announces patriotic musical artists for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, and the addition of special summer discounts for both active-duty military and veterans. During the summer series, every Saturday and Sunday guests will enjoy musical performances and daily happy hours. Plus, pass holders receive a complimentary sample of a tasty brew. Concerts take place in the air-conditioned Nautilus Theater at 5:00 and 7:30 PM, and are included with park admission.
Weekend Concert Schedule:
This Fourth of July, families and friends can enjoy one of Orlando’s most magnificent fireworks displays during SeaWorld Orlando’s Fourth of July Celebration. The night sky will light up as bursts of bright colors fill the air.
The fireworks display will take place at Bayside Stadium and will include a spectacular, patriotic-inspired show featuring the Navy Band Southeast of Jacksonville, Fla. This patriotic ensemble of musical professionals is one of 11 official U.S. Navy Bands in the country.
The Fourth of July Celebration begins at 10 p.m. and is included with park admission.
The Queen Mary
The Queen Mary’s 2015 All-American July 4th Celebration will be a festive all-age party presenting 100 years of American spirit and tradition. The decades will come alive through entertainment, music, activities, food and fun the whole family will enjoy. As night falls, The Queen Mary’s decks will become front row seats to one of the best fireworks shows in Southern California.
When Britain's most famous ocean liner was still a dream, the Cunard Lines recruited the John Brown shipyard in Scotland to build what would become the world's most famous ocean liner. When Britain's certified LEGO builders, Bright Bricks Inc. decided to commemorate the ship in LEGO Bricks - they never dreamed the huge model would someday come to Long Beach and be displayed on the actual Queen Mary. "The agreement to display our model on the ship is the perfect end to a wonderful LEGO adventure," said Bright Bricks co-founder, Ed Diment.
Busch Gardens Tampa
On Independence Day, Busch Gardens® Tampa celebrates the red, white and blue all day, and even when the sun goes down, with thrill rides in the dark, live entertainment and an incredible fireworks show.
Open until midnight, guests can celebrate the Fourth of July festivities all night long. Challenge Florida’s top thrill rides, like North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower Falcon’s Fury® or Florida’s first and only triple-launch coaster Cheetah Hunt®. Plus, fireworks illuminate the sky at 9:30 p.m., with the best views in Gwazi Park right after the rock-fueled acrobatics show, Kinetix.
A star-spangled salute to the red, white and blue featuring patriotic music, special daily entertainment, hot dog eating contest, and FIREWORKS nightly (weather permitting). Save $10 off full-price gate admissions with coupons from participating Giant Eagle locations. Don't miss all the great family fun, especially the 10th annual running of the Weiner 100! This popular Kennywood tradition, a hilarious dog race, takes place on June 30, the first day of Celebrate America.
Military members receive FREE admission on June 30, 2015 and their dependents pay just $21.00 for FunDay tickets when valid military identification is presented at time of purchase.
July 1st - July 5th, Military Members receive 50% off the already discounted Military rate of $21.00 (pay just $10.50) while their dependents pay $21.00 for FunDay Tickets when valid military *identification is presented at time of purchase. Tickets must be purchased at Kennywood's Guest Relations Office. Click here to see list of accepted Military Photo IDs.
The Weiner 100 Race takes place on Tuesday, June 30 at 3 p.m. near the Merry-Go-Round. The Silver Star Meats Hot Dog Eating Contest takes place on Wednesday, July 1 at 2 p.m. at the Kennyville Stage. Interested in eating and competing? Sign up at Kennywood that day! Classic cars will be on location throughout the park until 5 p.m. throughout Celebrate America.
Knott's Berry Farm
Celebrate Independence Day at Knott’s Berry Farm with world class live entertainment and a spectacular fireworks show the whole family will love. In addition to the full lineup of summer shows, like the all new ice show Blockbuster Beagle, the Mountain Fifes and Drums musical group will hold special patriotic performances at Knott’s Berry Farm in Calico Square at 12:00pm & 2:00pm. With extended hours, 10am – 12am, there is more time to enjoy all that Knott’s has to offer. Please visit knotts.com for the entertainment show schedule.
Yesterday we were invited out to Adventure City for the grand opening of their new family coaster, Rewind Racers.
This delightful little park in Stanton (just a few miles west of Knott's on Beach Blvd) is really a nice family park and Rewind Racers is a great addition to the park.
Pictures and Words by Gregg Condon
I'm actually kind of ashamed to admit that this was my first visit to the park, we had passed it on many occasions but for one reason or another had never taken the time to actually go in and experience the park.
Adventure City is charming, clean and the staff at the park is excellent. You really get the feel that this is a true family park, stuck in the middle of the sprawling metropolis that is Orange County.
We'll start off this report with the opening of Rewind Racers and then we'll take a look around the rest of the park later this week.
For the opening of Rewind Racers, the Mayor of Stanton as well as some City Council Members were on hand to celebrate the opening.
The mayor reading a proclamation for Adventure City.
After a few test runs, it was time for the first official ride. Here's the ride in action.
The first official ride, forgive my hand, I was also trying to Periscope at the same time. Learning process and all. =)
How about some off-ride pics of the ride in action.
Not sure if backwards or forwards, it doesn't really matter. It's all fun!!!
Be sure to check out our front seat and back seat POV of the ride. The park was really great about allowing us to get all the pics and video we needed.
The following pictures are for a very specific audience. You know who you are. =)
The safety sign ... a couple of things stand out:
1) The height requirement of 39" (with an adult). Awesome that they get another inch off from some other local rides. =)
2) First rule "Do not force a person to ride" ... that means you parents who have kids who don't want to ride.
So that's it for our look at Rewind Racers. The ride is very thrilling, very fun and it's great that it's a family shuttle coaster that can be enjoyed by many.
It's so great to see a small park like this doing something different. Nobody would have blamed them had they just gone with a standard roller-skater but they wanted to do something new and unique, and for that they should be applauded.
Be sure to get out to Adventure City this summer and ride Rewind Rewind Racers, you won't be disappointed.
For more information on Adventure City, be sure to check out their website.
Later this week we'll take a look around the rest of the park.
It's that time of year again folks, time for the TEA Park Attendance Figures, time for some to gloat that their favorite park is the best thing ever, others to show off that while their favorite park chain did nothing they are still #1.
Us, we're going to show you the numbers and share a few comments. We'll leave the rest for you all. =)
For the full TEA Press Release, click here. It's rather wordy.
So it should come as no surprise that Walt Disney Attractions is still in the number one spot. They are more than double their nearest competitor in terms of attendance despite having the smallest percentage of growth in the Top 4.
Universal Parks and Resorts continue to grow at a double digit rate due to the addition of quality attractions year after year. One has to wonder how long they can keep up their rate of addition when Disney seems to have figured out how to maintain it's attendance without adding anything of substance year after year.
This isn't a dig at Disney mind you, just an observation and really a testament to their loyal fanbase.
Below are the top 25 parks worldwide, their percentage of change and 2014 Attendance numbers.
So again, no surprise that Magic Kingdom is on top, it's been the #1 park for years and the 4% increase can most likely be attributed to the New Fantasyland which completed it's multi-year transformation last year, while most of the other parks at WDW saw negligible increases at 2%.
Obviously the biggest jump was at Universal Studios Florida which added Diagon Alley last year and Songcheng Park which is growing at a crazy rate.
But the most interesting number IMO is Universal Studios Hollywood at 11%. This is just with adding Despicable Me last year. Their biggest addition is of course coming next year with Harry Potter. I don't think it's out of the question for them to move up in the top 12 at some point in the very near future.
Ok, enough numbers, below we're just going to run down some rankings of parks in different area's. If you want to see all of the numbers you can find them here.
Once again, Disney dominates all three major continents where there are Amusement/Theme Parks with their parks taking the top spot in each.
Interesting enough, the 14-19 spots in North America are almost fully dominated by seasonal parks except for Magic Mountain which despite being year-round is behind some seasonal parks.
In Asia, the parks in China continue to grow at an amazing rate and in Europe we see the regular players year after year as they are all pretty consistent. One has to wonder if Universal Studios is ever going to make it's way to Europe, it seems to be the one market they could expand to and give the Disney parks the kick they need.
So what are your thoughts on these numbers? Any surprises here? Be sure to check out the full report and give us your thoughts.