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Monday, October 25, 2010


Event Begins at 6p.m. at NASCAR Sports Grille in CityWalk at Universal Orlando Resort

WHAT:           Tony Stewart, one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers and Coca-Cola Racing Family member, will be at NASCAR Sports Grille at Universal CityWalk on October 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for an autograph session with fans. This is a free but exclusive event with only 525 tickets available beginning at 10 a.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive early on Oct. 28 to pick up their ticket at the NASCAR Sports Grille gift shop.

Stewart is the driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet and owner of Stewart-Haas Racing. In 2009, he had five Sprint Cup Series victories, including the prestigious Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Stewart has 2 victories thus far in 2010, and is currently in 7th place in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup championship points standings.  Tony Stewart merchandise will be available for purchase at NASCAR Sports Grille before and during the event.

Universal Orlando Resort partnered with NASCAR Sports Grille and Coca-Cola to host Tony Stewart, who’s next Sprint Cup Series appearance will be at Talladega Superspeedway on October 31.

WHERE:        Universal Orlando Resort

                        NASCAR Sports Grille

WHEN:          Thursday, October 28, 2010

                        6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Wild Adventures Announces Acts for 2011 Family Concert Series, Line-up Includes Lady Antebellum, Doobie Brothers and Casting Crowns

Concerts are FREE with 2011 Season Pass

Valdosta, GA- Country Music Award winning sensation, Lady Antebellum, is just one of the concerts Wild Adventures Theme Park has scheduled for the 2011 park season.  The park’s first round of announcements includes a variety of artists, such as top Christian acts TobyMac, MercyMe and Casting Crowns, music legends Doobie Brothers, Charlie Daniels, 38 Special, and Foreigner, and Hannah Montana star, Mitchel Musso.  The park plans to announce more performances soon, rounding the 2011 season out for a total 20 headlining acts.  All of the family friendly concerts are included with a 2011 Season Pass or park admission.

The best way guests can catch all of the big names in entertainment, in addition to the park’s endless thrills, is with a season pass.  Now through October 31, 2011 Gold Season Passes are $59.99 and save a family of four $160 off of peak season pricing.   Passholders also receive three additional months free as they are invited to use their passes for the remainder of 2010 including admission to popular park events like Kid-o-ween, Phobia and WA’s special Christmas days.  2011 Season Passes are offered online, via phone 229-219-7080 or at the park.

2011 Concert Schedule (as of October 21, 2010)
April 2             Charlie Daniels and 38 Special

April 9             TobyMac

April 30           Doobie Brothers

May 7              Mitchel Musso
May 14            MercyMe

May 28            Foreigner

June 11            Lady Antebellum

June 25           Casting Crowns

“Wild Adventures has the region’s largest outdoor amphitheatre and is known as the place to see high energy concerts,” said Bob Montgomery, vice president and general manager.  “With a $59.99 season pass you get to enjoy 20 concerts for the price of what you would pay for one concert anywhere else.  Guests look forward to ending their day of adventures with a family-friendly concert, all for an affordable price.”

*All performers and dates are subject to change due to circumstances beyond the park’s control.

Can you believe October is almost over? Halloween is next weekend, and the Museum has a way for you to prepare for the weekend’s festivities!

The Trick: A screening of Psycho II as part of our Red Carpet Club Series!

The Treat: A talk by set designer (and Wabash County native) John Corso following the film. (And popcorn!)

Come join us at 6pm for this spooky flick! This film is rated R, and may not be appropriate for the younger set due to gore and violence. The cost for this event is $5/person. We’d like to thank our promotional sponsors for the Red Carpet Club Series, 95.9 Kiss FM.


Local author W. William Wimberly will be at the Museum on November 3rd at 7pm to present his new book, Hanna’s Town: A Little World We Have Lost. This is a special “evening edition” of our popular History Hunters series, generously sponsored by Peabody Retirement Community. It will take place at 7pm in our multi-purpose room. This event is FREE, but reservations are requested. Call 260.563.9070 to reserve your spot! Order forms for the book will be available at the lecture.


Remember, there is still one more Tuesday left in October, and Market Street Grill has generously agreed to donate a percentage of lunchtime sales (that’s SALES, not PROFITS) to the Museum! Make plans to head down to Market Street Grill at 90 W Market Street in downtown Wabash for lunch on October 26th! Have trouble getting away for lunch? You can order yours to-go! Call 260.563.7779 to place a pick-up order. Come hungry, bring friends, and order dessert!


History Hunters Event:  Thursday, November 18 at noon.   Our speaker will be Joe Krom, author of the historical novel, Heart of a Warrior:  The True Saga of Sweet Breeze and William Wells.  His topic will be “Frontier Battles on the Eel and Wabash Rivers .”

Red Carpet Club:  Thursday, December 23 at 6 pm.   Such a busy time of year, I know, but save this date for a special treat!  We’ll be watching “A Christmas Story”!  Indiana connection?  It is set in Hammond !

Call 260.563.9070 to make your reservations for both of these events.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and see you at the Museum!

Friday, October 22, 2010


Starting this weekend, Halloween meets the sea during SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular.  Families and friends will discover an underwater "fantasea" where children can trick-or-treat, meet amazing sea creatures, catch silly and spooky shows and help Sesame Street 's Abby Cadabby through an amazing adventure to find her magic wand.

SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular takes place October 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, and 29-31. The daytime event begins at 12 p.m., leaving the littlest of trick-or-treaters wide-eyed for the fun-filled activities.  Visit for more details. 

Go Behind the Screams of Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights' La Llorona!

Halloween Horror Nights 2010 is still going strong at Universal Studios Hollywood, and you can go behind the screams in this latest video of the history and creation of one of the event's many attractions, La Llorona!

Spanish legend tells that La Llorona, "The Weeping Woman," was a beautiful woman who drowned her children to be with the man she loved. But he rejected her, so she drowned herself too. Her ghost is doomed to wander, vainly searching for her children for all of eternity. According to the tale, she will kidnap wandering children or children who misbehave. Some also believe that those who hear the wails of La Llorona are marked for death.

Get a glimpse into the terror and the fun in the video (links below), and come face to face with La Llorona herself at Halloween Horror Nights, going on now through Halloween, October 31, only at Universal Studios Hollywood!

Syfy Channel's "Ghost Hunters" Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango Experience Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights XX

Last night, Syfy Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango confronted the haunts of Halloween Horror Nights XX, including Legendary Truth: The Wyandot Estate, one of eight haunted houses at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights.

“Ghost Hunters” has become one of the highest rated reality shows on the Syfy Channel.  The popular show documents real-life paranormal researchers Gonsalves, Tango and others as they investigate haunted places across the nation.

Click here to see “Ghost Hunters” Gonsalves and Tango brave the country’s best, most intense Halloween event – Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights XX.


  Thursday night, the San Diego Zoo  released the last of 150 endangered Stephen's kangaroo rats at the Southwestern Riverside Multispecies Reserve as part of a conservation program aimed at saving a species endemic to San Diego and Riverside counties.

    Since 2008, Debra Shier, Ph.D., San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research scientist, has been donning night vision goggles, carrying radio antennas, catching and moving the 4-inch-long Stephen's kangaroo rat to the reserve allowing her to develop a new method of translocating the 62-gram rodent from areas where development or non-native predators can kill it.

    This year is different. Shier now understands the movements and behavior of the species. In 2010 she refined the program with the species' needs in mind. The kangaroo rats were released into six areas in which habitat was restored using various methods, including mowing, burning and grazing.

     "We are looking for conditions that will make the species thrive," said Shier. "What is most important is moving towards restoration of native grasslands, and do so efficiently from the animal's perspective."

     This diminutive rodent has been found in Southern California for thousands of years. Unfortunately, the species has been drastically affected by human development and has lost much of its habitat in the past two decades. Fortunately, translocating the kangaroo rat out of harms' way has been successful in recent years, and after developing new methods and tools, the sixth generation of translocated kangaroo rats is alive and well. The kangaroo rat project also includes efforts to restore the native bunch grass and chaparral habitat the animals need for food and cover.

    Kangaroo rats play a vital role in their environment by dispersing native plant seeds and digging burrows used as shelter by lizards, amphibians and other small rodents. Shier has observed that areas where the kangaroo rat is no longer found have seen an increase in exotic plants overtaking native species.
     Conservation work with the Stephen's kangaroo rat is just one of many local San Diego Zoo science. The Zoo is also involved with the California condor, pacific pocket mouse, cactus wren and mountain yellow-legged frog conservation programs.

     The San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research is dedicated to generating, sharing and applying scientific knowledge vital to the conservation of animals, plants and habitats worldwide. The work of the Institute includes onsite research efforts at the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (historically referred to as Wild Animal Park), laboratory work at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Conservation Research, and international field programs involving more than 180 researchers working in 35 countries. In addition to the Beckman Center for Conservation Research, the Institute also operates the Anne and Kenneth Griffin Reptile Conservation Center, the Botanical Conservation Center, the Keauhou and Maui Hawaiian Bird Conservation Centers and the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center. The Zoo also manages the 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which includes a 900-acre native species reserve, and the San Diego Zoo. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.


Saturday, Oct. 9 (ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Katina, a 34-year-old killer whale, gave birth Saturday, October 9, at 7:28 p.m. in SeaWorld Orlando’s multimillion-gallon Shamu Stadium.

Katina gave birth to the 7-foot-long, 350-pound calf in Shamu Stadium's main pool following a 45-minute labor.  Moments later, the baby whale instinctively swam to the surface for its first breath.

This is the seventh calf born to Katina, an 18-foot-long, 5,400-pound killer whale.

“It’s a terrific day for all of us at SeaWorld,” said Kelly Flaherty-Clark, curator of animal training.  “Katina is an experienced mom and she appears to be bonding quickly with her baby.”

SeaWorld veterinarians and trainers remain cautiously optimistic about the progress of the baby and her mother and are encouraged by the bonding they’ve already seen.  The gender has not yet been determined.

LEGOLAND® Water Park Receives Industry Innovation Award From World Waterpark Association!

CARLSBAD, Calif. (Oct. 8, 2010)  –  Today in San Antonio, TX at the world’s largest gathering of water attraction professionals and development experts, the World Waterpark Association honored LEGOLAND® Water Park with the prestigious Industry Innovation Award!

The Industry Innovation Award is judged based on how the organization has set itself apart from others in terms of moving the industry to a new or higher plane. “The Worldwater Park Board of Directors considers new services, techniques and attractions and how those offerings help advance the industry in some way to keep it fresh and inspired,” said Gina Kellogg with World Waterpark Association.

The world’s first LEGO® themed Water Park opened in May and builds on the mission of LEGOLAND® California with interactivity, imagination and fun and is geared specifically for families with children ages 2 to 12. “The fact that our Water Park is LEGO themed and geared toward young children and their families is what truly separates LEGOLAND Water Park from any other water park in the world,” said General Manager of LEGOLAND California Resort Peter Ronchetti. “I’m glad to say the reaction has been very positive and despite the rather untraditional summer weather and continuing economic stress in the market, we have had a very strong season and will be once again reporting record attendance numbers for LEGOLAND California Resort this year.”

Design of the 5.5 acre Water Park began more than 18 months ago after guest surveys indicated that a water park would be a very popular addition to LEGOLAND California Resort. The $12 million investment is the largest expansion in the history of
LEGOLAND California.

The most unique features include Build-a-Raft River where guests customize rafts using soft LEGO bricks before floating down an 850-foot-long lazy river; the Imagination Station, where kids can build bridges, dams and cities out of DUPLO® bricks and test them against the flow of water; Aqua Tune, a musical fountain where kids conduct their own water symphony with the touch of their hand and the Water Fall which dumps 500 gallons of water down from a 45-foot-tall LEGO themed tower.

Other key attractions at LEGOLAND Water Park include Orange Rush, a family tube slide where up to four people can ride together down a 312-foot-long curving track on an 11-foot in diameter half pipe; Twin Chasers, two side-by-side enclosed red tube slides that stretch nearly 130 feet, Splash Out, an open body slide that invites guests to slide 240 feet and “splash out” into the water below;  Joker Soaker, a fun interactive platform in the wade pool where kids can aim water cannons at each other as a LEGO jester model tells jokes and pours 350 gallons of water down upon them; DUPLO® Splash Safari, a water play area designed especially for toddlers with three small slides and interactive DUPLO creatures including an alligator, polar bear and an elephant; and Kid Creek, a mini lazy river built with younger kids in mind.

LEGOLAND Water Park is located at the north end of LEGOLAND California adjacent to Fun Town with the entrance located between the Factory Tour and the Adventurer’s Club. LEGOLAND guests can upgrade their Park tickets to include LEGOLAND Water Park for $15. Geared for families with children ages 2 to 12, the Water Park will be included in the price of Water Park Hopper tickets and Resort Hopper tickets which include SEA LIFE Aquarium as well. Water Park admission will also be included in Resort Memberships. To learn the latest Water Park news, see photos and video, visit  To find out more about World Waterpark Association, visit


Event Has Also Won Amusement Today’s Coveted Golden Ticket Award for the Nation’s Best, Most Intense Halloween Event – For the Third Year in a Row

ORLANDO, Fla. – Guests at Halloween Horror Nights XX have given the event its highest overall ratings ever.  They have also said it is the scariest Halloween Horror Nights in five years.

At the same time, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights has won Amusement Today’s 2010 Golden Ticket Award for the “Best Halloween Event” in the country.  This is the third consecutive year it has received this honor.

Amusement Today’s annual Golden Ticket Awards are among the most prestigious awards in the amusement industry.  Winners are chosen based on results from a poll that is sent to hundreds of experienced theme park enthusiasts around the world.

Universal’s guest ratings are based on extensive surveys of guests after they have experienced the event.  Universal uses the surveys as part of its effort to constantly improve the guest experience.  This year, more guests are giving Halloween Horror Nights the highest possible overall ratings than in any year since the company began its Halloween event surveys in 1996.  Guests are also rating Halloween Horror Nights at its scariest in five years.  Click here to see what else guests are saying about Halloween Horror Nights XX: Twenty Years of Fear.

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights XX is not an anniversary event.  Guests experience a new level of extreme and intense Halloween entertainment.  This year’s event features eight all-new haunted houses, six scarezones, two live shows, hundreds of frightening scareactors – and Fear.  Fear has been the mastermind behind Halloween Horror Nights for the past 19 years, and now he has emerged from the shadows to reign over all he has created.

“We set out to make this Halloween Horror Nights scarier, more intense and more entertaining than any other year,” said Jim Timon, Senior Vice President of Entertainment for Universal Orlando Resort.  “We’re glad our guests are having a great time.”

Halloween Horror Nights XX runs select nights now through October 31.  Tickets are on sale now for $74.99 plus tax.  The On-Site Gory Getaway vacation package is available for as low as $480 per person and includes three-night accommodations at one of Universal’s on-site hotels, a two-day ticket to both Universal Orlando theme parks, one-night admission to Halloween Horror Nights XX and more. For more information, visit


WHAT: Use your bird brain and test your wings at the San Diego Zoo during Mission Fed’s Discovery Days: Festival of Flight. The four-day event is filled with fun activities for the whole family, from scavenger hunts to keeper talks to an amazing aerial feeding frenzy in the Scripps Aviary and more. Festival of Flight takes off on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 14. To observe the holiday, get up close with the national bird, the bald eagle, or celebrate 100 years of naval aviation at the military, USS Midway Museum and San Diego Air & Space Museum booths.

For the brave who are all aflutter to see things from a bird’s-eye view, the Zoo is offering four daily flying trapeze classes, where guests will swing to new high-flying limits. The 1.75-hour experience is $69 per person.

For those who are more like emus and other birds that keep their feet on the ground, reserve a spot on a bird-themed VIP tour of aviaries, behind-the-scenes areas and the possibility of feeding birds some special snacks. VIP tours are $69 per person.

WHERE: San Diego Zoo

WHEN: November 11 to 14

COST: Most activities are free with paid admission. Additional charge for VIP tours and trapeze school.


Discovery Cove Adds The Grand Reef in 2011

ORLANDO, Fla. (October 13, 2010) -- Discovery Cove, the ultimate, all-inclusive tropical retreat where guests swim with dolphins, takes immersion to new depths when it opens an all-new addition -- The Grand Reef -- in June 2011.

The new 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.

“The Grand Reef takes Discovery Cove’s world-class animal encounters to an all new level -- several, actually,” said Stewart Clark, the park’s vice president.  “It’s what our guests expect from us, unforgettable connections with the sea and making memories that will last forever.  This could only be created by Discovery Cove.”

Visitors just need to get their feet wet to enjoy The Grand Reef, or they can choose to go deep.  They can step into tranquil, shallow waters to discover a below-the-surface world teeming with sea life, or they can snorkel in deeper waters as thousands of exotic fish and graceful rays swim around them. 

Surprises abound.  Families can seek discoveries along the water’s edge or cross a bridge to see sharks swimming below.  They’ll play hide-and-seek with thousands of beautiful fish, from small colorful wrasses to large spotted eagle rays. Further out in the reef, stunning habitats create the feeling of swimming right alongside venomous lionfish and sharp-toothed reef sharks, each safely behind glass.  Guests can take paths and bridges to the reef’s islands and hidden grottos as they delve into the reef from above, around and below.

Those looking for an even more exhilarating adventure can take part in The Grand Reef’s innovative experience, SeaVenture, an underwater walking tour.  Wearing dive helmets, guests find up-close excitement around every corner, each step yielding a new discovery.  They’ll come across lionfish and sharks (safely behind massive panoramic windows), one-on-one touches with unique animals and schools of fish and gentle rays swimming by. SeaVenture is a once-in-a-lifetime, undersea experience available for a nominal fee.

The Grand Reef is the perfect balance between adventure and relaxation, a fully immersive tropical escape, new to discover in Orlando in 2011.

Discovery Cove is a full-day experience where guests can swim with dolphins, hand-feed exotic birds, snorkel through beautiful fresh and salt water lagoons and relax on pristine, white-sand beaches. In addition to the park’s one-of-a-kind animal interactions and lush natural beauty, Discovery Cove delivers superlative, personalized service, and unlimited access to an unparalleled array of first-class amenities.

Discovery Cove amenities include meals, snacks and beverages throughout the day’s adventures, towels, wet suits and swim gear, plus a pass for unlimited admission* to either SeaWorld or Aquatica in Orlando or Busch Gardens in Tampa to be used surrounding a Discovery Cove visit. Guests can upgrade to the Ultimate package which includes admission to all three sister parks for an additional fee.  Advanced reservations are required.

Seasonal rates for Discovery Cove’s Dolphin Swim Day Resort Package start at $199 (rates for Day Resort Package without dolphin swim experience and guests ages 3-5 start at $129).  Prices vary seasonally.  

For reservations or more information, visit or call 1-877-434-7268.


Family theme park kicks off two week campaign with American Red Cross during Brick-or-Treat!

CARLSBAD, Calif. (Oct. 13, 2010) – Twenty “vampires” and “vampiresses” squealed with delight as they took a private ride on The Dragon coaster at LEGOLAND® California today. The children of blood donors donned capes and fangs to remind people that vampires aren’t the only ones in need of blood this Halloween. In fact, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion – more than 1,200 people need transfusions daily in Southern California alone. That’s why the family theme park in Carlsbad is teaming up with the American Red Cross to lure blood donors from seven different counties into becoming heroes by saving a life.

From Oct. 14 through 28, every person who donates blood to the American Red Cross in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and Imperial Counties will be entered into a drawing for a family four-pack of tickets to LEGOLAND California’s Brick-or-Treat celebration. Multiple winners will be chosen at each location from among all presenting donors who fill out an entry form. LEGOLAND is donating 5,000 tickets valued at $335,000 dollars – that’s the largest amount ever donated by LEGOLAND California to any non-profit organization at one time.

Any healthy person age 17 or older and weighing at least 110 pounds may be eligible to donate blood. To find a blood drive near you, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit

The “vampires” range in age from 4 to 12 and were given return tickets to experience the biggest kids’ Halloween celebration in San Diego during the three remaining weekends of Brick-or-Treat. Every Saturday and Sunday in October revelers 12 and under can trick-or-treat on the Park’s Brick-or-Treat Trail gathering goodies such as a commemorative LEGO® brick, delicious treats and other surprises.  The kid-sized cul-de-sac features LEGO-themed treat stations and offers a safe, fun and entertaining trick-or-treating experience.

Brick-or-Treat Party Nights presented by Verizon is bigger and better than ever this year with a new interactive show  “Mail Order Monsters”, a new musical light show “The Spirits of Brick-or-Treat”, a second Brick-or-Treat Trail atop the Model Shop and for the first time, SEA LIFE™ Aquarium gets into the spirit of Brick-or-Treat Party Nights with its own Brick-or-Treat Trail bonus station.  Brick-or-Treat Party Nights is every Saturday in October from 5 to 9 p.m. when the family theme park transforms into a not-too-spooky Halloween haven featuring costume contests, nighttime trick-or-treating on the Brick or Treat Trails, festive music, entertainment, interaction with the “Boo Crew” and fantastic lighting effects.

Several monstrously fun areas of LEGOLAND are open late for Party Nights: Land of Adventure, Castle Hill, the Imagination Zone and Park favorites Coastersaurus, Safari Trek and Fairy Tale Brook. Every day throughout the month of October, families can climb aboard a giant LEGO jack-o-lantern which is more than 7 feet wide, is made of 22,000 DUPLO® bricks and weighs 850 pounds!

All Brick-or-Treat and Party Nights festivities are included in the price of regular one-day admission to LEGOLAND California.  During Brick-or-Treat, LEGOLAND is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. SEA LIFE is staying open until 8 p.m. on Saturdays for those wanting to explore the Aquarium after dark. New this year, guests can pre-purchase Brick-or-Treat tickets online which include SEA LIFE for $59 and receive a complimentary second-day ticket valid through Dec. 25. Guests planning to attend Brick-or-Treat Party Nights only can purchase special tickets online or at the front gate in advance for just $30 at or call 760-918-LEGO.

Wild Adventures Receives International Award

World Waterpark Association Names Splash Island a Wave Review Award Winner

Valdosta, GA – Wild Adventures Theme Park is the recipient of a major industry award for Splash Island, the region’s largest water park.  The award, presented by the World Waterpark Association (WWA) during its annual convention, named Splash Island the winner in the Brochure category for parks with 250,000 and up in annual attendance.  This is the first WWA award for Wild Adventures Theme Park and comes on the heels of the park’s announcement to expand Splash Island for the 2011 park season.

Wild Adventures is currently in the beginning stages of its Splash Island Water Park expansion which will increase the size of the water park from seven to ten acres.  It is the water park’s largest expansion, since opening in 2002.  Scheduled to open April 2011, the expansion includes two new giant family water slides and nearly a dozen private cabanas.

 “Designing materials to showcase the park’s endless family adventures is fun and rewarding, and we are truly honored to be recognized by WWA in this category,” commented Linda Jensen, vice president of marketing.  “Considering we were measured against nearly 300 others entries, it makes it an even more meaningful award for us.”


Conservation biologists working to save endangered bird species in Hawai`i are celebrating an important achievement this year. Eleven Hawaiian crow chicks, or `alala, have been successfully raised at the Keauhou and Maui Bird Conservation Centers  in 2010. These new birds bring the population to 77, which is a significant increase for a species that numbered as few as 20 birds in 1994.

     The captive breeding activities for `alala are managed by the Hawai`i Endangered Bird Conservation Program. This is a field program of the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research and works in collaboration with the State of Hawai`i Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Together, these organizations are working to restore populations of critically endangered Hawaiian forest birds, with primary focus on the `alala.

     The `alala is considered extinct in the wild and has been difficult to propagate in captivity because the hatch rates are impacted by embryonic mortality and congenital abnormalities. The species is managed using the intensive techniques of behavioral analysis, artificial incubation and hand-rearing, in order to maximize reproductive success. This year's success provides a level of productivity where conservation biologists can begin to develop plans for future reintroduction efforts.

     "A flourishing captive population is the first major phase towards the ultimate goal of re-establishing a viable population of `alala in the wild," said Richard Switzer, conservation program manager for the Hawai`i Endangered Bird Conservation Program. "With the rearing of these eleven youngsters, we are delighted to have taken a significant step away from the potential of `alala extinction."

      The `alala is a keystone species of the Hawaiian forest, playing an important role in seed dispersal. However, it was almost exterminated by the threats of introduced predators, habitat destruction by humans and introduced livestock as well as novel avian diseases, which have already caused the extinction of many endemic Hawaiian bird species.

     "The last two years of captive production are truly exciting and bring us a step closer to our goal of reintroducing `alala again to the wild," said Loyal Mehrhoff, Field Supervisor of the Fish and Wildlife Service's Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office. "Our long-term goal is to restore this missing piece to Hawai`i's unique ecosystems."

     "The challenge now is to continue that successful growth while we work to protect forest habitats as we gear up for the re-introduction of the birds back to the wild," said David Leonard, wildlife biologist for the Hawai`i Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

     The San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research is dedicated to generating, sharing and applying scientific knowledge vital to the conservation of animals, plants and habitats worldwide.  The work of the Institute includes onsite research efforts at the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (historically referred to as Wild Animal Park), laboratory work at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Conservation Research, and international field programs involving more than 180 researchers working in 35 countries.  In addition to the Beckman Center for Conservation Research, the Institute also operates the Anne and Kenneth Griffin Reptile Conservation Center, the Botanical Conservation Center, the Keauhou and Maui Hawaiian Bird Conservation Centers and the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center. The Zoo also manages the 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which includes a 900-acre native species reserve, and the San Diego Zoo.  The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.

About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.  For more information about the Fish and Wildlife Service visit

About the Division of Forestry and Wildlife
The mission of Division of Forestry and Wildlife is to responsibly manage and protect watersheds, native ecosystems, and cultural resources and provide outdoor recreation and sustainable forest products opportunities, while facilitating partnerships, community involvement and education. 

Half Pint Brawlers attempt to ride roller coasters at Kings Island

The Half Pint Brawlers have been attracting standing-room only crowds in the Festhaus every Friday and Saturday night during Halloween Haunt at Kings Island .  See what happens when they try to ride the park’s roller coasters.


    The Association of Zoos and Aquariums  (AZA) announced that the San Diego Zoo's Elephant Odyssey received awards for significant achievement in exhibit design and top honors in marketing for budgets over $175,000.

     "The San Diego Zoo is leading the way in exhibit design and promotion," said AZA president and CEO Jim Maddy. "These awards provide well-deserved national recognition to the San Diego Zoo's dedication to the best in animal care and public education."

     The exhibit began with an idea to build a new home for the San Diego Zoo's elephants and became an extraordinary $45-million project that took four years to create. The Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey spans 12,000 years, 7.5 acres and is home to more than 35 species of animals, some of which have been around since the Pleistocene epoch.

     "To see the same diversity of animals when mammoths and saber-toothed cats roamed Southern California, you would need to travel the world," said John Dunlap, director of the San Diego Zoo. "Elephant Odyssey offers fun, up-close animal encounters with elephants and jaguars, relatives of those now-extinct animals."

     Elephant Odyssey is the San Diego Zoo's largest exhibit undertaken at one time. The cornerstone species of Elephant Odyssey is the elephant. Instead of the Columbian mammoth that wandered through San Diego thousands of years ago, Asian elephants meander a 2.5-acre exhibit that includes a 137,000-gallon pool, gentle rolling hills, hidden drinkers and feeders to entice foraging, and the half-acre Conrad Prebys Elephant Care Center.

     For the first time, special viewing at the Elephant Care Center provides guests with an insider's view, seeing keepers and veterinarians using protected contact and a positive animal-management style to work alongside elephants. The animals have access to heaters, shelter and shade during inclement weather, while some areas in the care center include a floor with rubber coating for medical care.

     Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. The AZA Exhibit Award recognizes excellence in the area of live animal display and exhibit design by an AZA-accredited facility. The Excellence in Marketing Award recognizes marketing campaigns developed and executed by its AZA member institutions. Campaigns must utilize a marketing mix with a minimum of three communication channels, such as television, radio, print advertising, outdoor, internet, direct mail, etc.

Behind the Screams Footage from Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood

Guest Reactions Video:
YouTube Link:

Behind the Screams: Vampyre: Castle of the Undead:
YouTube Link:



Twitter: @horrornights


Friday, November 26 from 10AM to 4PM (The Day After Thanksgiving - families are encouraged to donate canned goods in-lieu of admission fees )
Friday, December 24 from 10AM to 2PM (Christmas Eve) 

Fairytale Town gives thanks to the Sacramento community by offering Free Admission to the public on Friday, November 26, 2010 - the day after Thanksgiving - from 10AM to 4PM (weather permitting). In return, Fairytale Town is encouraging families to bring canned and packaged goods for donation to benefit the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services: Holiday Spirit of Giving Food Drive, in exchange for free admission.

Also as a special Winter Holiday Gift, Free Admission is offered on Friday, December 24, 2010 (Christmas Eve) from 10AM to 2PM.  It's a great way to let children run off some steam before the holiday festivities begin.

Spend a few leisurely hours in the crisp winter air and let the hustle and bustle of the season pass you by. Relax with your family and let your imagination run wild and around the 25 oversized storybook playsets and exhibits. Say hello to Mary's Sheep, meet Peter Rabbit & family, see the Three Pigs, the Three Blind Mice, and the Three Billy Goats Gruff, pet Eeyore the Donkey and Moo-Lawn the Cow (who jumped over the Moon). Parents and children alike can explore the Crooked Mile, King Arthur's Castle, Cinderella's Pumpkin Coach, Sherwood Forest, or the Yellow Brick Road.

For more information, please call 916-808-7462 or visit our website at

What: Free Admission Days at Fairytale Town
When: Friday, November 26, 2010 - Canned foods requested for free admission
            10AM to 4PM (weather permitting)
            Friday, December 24, 2009 / 10AM to 2PM (weather permitting)
Where: Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95822
Contact Phone: 916-808-7462
Contact e-mail:

Gloria Estefan With the Chainsaw Drill Team at Halloween Horror Nights

Grammy-award winning singer and songwriter Gloria Estefan joined the chainsaw drill team lurking in the streets, scaring guests at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort on Oct. 17. Estefan and her family were hosted by Universal Orlando to enjoy Halloween Horror Nights XX where guests will face Fear – the master behind everything the event has ever been and will become. Halloween Horror Nights XX features all-new haunted houses, inescapable scarezones, hundreds of frightening “scareactors” and live shows runs select nights now through October 31


Halloween Horror Nights Wedding Featured Ceremony at a Haunted House, Frightening “Scareactor” Wedding Guests, Hearse Ride for Bride and Groom and More

Orlando, Fla. – April Richardson and Adam Cochran – the winners of Universal Orlando Resort’s first-ever Halloween Horror Nights Wedding contest – “tied the noose” today at Halloween Horror Nights XX. They shared the “wedding of their nightmares” with family, friends and menacing scareactors.

The wedding took place at one of Halloween Horror Night’s eight haunted houses. Cold fog and the sounds of an eerie bridal march filled the air as April walked down the aisle to meet Adam.  Frightening scareactors lurked throughout the ceremony as the bride and groom exchanged their vows.  Once the couple was announced husband and wife, the wedding guests cheered as scareactors snarled and the sounds of chainsaws from the Chainsaw Drill Team erupted. 

The newlyweds then boarded a hearse and rode to the wedding reception.  Chainsaw-wielding scareactors escorted the hearse as it slowly processed through Universal Studios, followed by the wedding guests dressed in black cloaks.  At the reception, everyone enjoyed a three-tier cake decorated with spider webs and a skull cake topper.  The entire wedding party also experienced the horror of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights firsthand.

To learn more about the bride and groom and view video footage and photos of April and Adam’s wedding, visit

April and Adam’s wedding was the first of the new Halloween Horror Nights themed wedding packages now offered at Universal Orlando. Universal Orlando also offers customized weddings at more than 25 unique locations around the resort. With award-winning catering, unlimited entertainment options and an experienced event team, Universal Orlando has everything needed to create an extraordinary wedding day.  For more information or to start planning a wedding, vow renewal or engagement, visit or call 1-888-331-9108.

Universal Orlando ’s Halloween Horror Nights XX runs October 15-17, 20-24 and 27-31. This year’s event features all-new haunted houses, inescapable scarezones, hundreds of frightening “scareactors” and live shows. For more information, visit

New Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights XX Video

Universal Orlando gave five groups of guests video cameras so they could record their own extreme entertainment experience at Halloween Horror Nights XX.  To see the event through their eyes, click here.


Buena Park, CA – Knott’s Scary Farm will open exclusively for Scion owners bearing gifts for Toys for Tots on Tuesday, October 26.  Thousands of Scion owners and their family and friends are expected to attend the 38th annual Halloween Haunt, a yearly Scion tradition since 2004.

The event, like many of the hundreds of Scion owner events that occur year round across the country, is designed by Scion as a way to recognize and thank their owners.  Knott’s Halloween Haunt Scion Night will be limited to the first 12,000 arriving in a Scion with an unwrapped $10 toy.  The toys will be donated to US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.  Thanks to Scion owners over 26,000 toys were collected last year for the Toys for Tots program.

In a further display of appreciation and support for armed services personnel, Scion is also inviting Service Members to enjoy the Scion Night festivities.

Scion will also be attempting to set a Guinness Book World Record™ for the largest caravan.   Scion owners are being asked to meet at the Toyota Speedway in Irwindale at 9:00 am and caravan to Knott’s.  Those not wishing to join the caravan can show up at Knott’s beginning at 3 pm with their toy, or can purchase a toy at Knott’s Berry Farm, to gain entrance into Haunt.  Full details about Scion Night at Knott’s Halloween Haunt are available at

Knott’s Halloween Haunt is open to the general public October 20-24 and 27-31.  For more information on Knott’s Halloween Haunt, visit

SEA LIFE™ Aquarium Dives into Halloween with Underwater Pumpkin Carving

WHAT: SEA LIFE™ Aquarium Carlsbad gets into the spirit of Halloween with an underwater pumpkin carving every Saturday during October, as part of the annual SEA LIFE and LEGOLAND® Brick-or-Treat celebration.

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 23 at 11 a.m.
WHERE: SEA LIFE™ Aquarium Carlsbad – next door to LEGOLAND California

Media:  please call Darla Davis for specific directions – 858-997-8762
VISUAL:  A SEA LIFE diver is surrounded by curious spectator fish as the diver carves a very buoyant pumpkin from 10 feet below the surface of the 200,000 gallon aquarium.

DETAILS:  A SEA LIFE™ exploration diver sporting a communication mask, a small pumpkin carver and a flashlight (to light up the pumpkin after it is carved) carves a pumpkin from below the surface of the Aquarium’s Lost City of Atlantis. During the 20-minute pumpkin carving, curious fish check out the pieces of pumpkin that float to the surface and children in the Shipwreck Gallery watch in awe as the pumpkin develops into a fun, ocean themed jack-o-lantern.

The pumpkin carving is part of the annual Brick-or-Treat celebration taking place at SEA LIFE and LEGOLAND every weekend in October. Brick-or-Treat is the biggest kids’ Halloween celebration in San Diego and for the first time ever, SEA LIFE Aquarium gets into the spirit of Brick-or-Treat with its own Brick-or-Treat Trail Bonus station and Halloween versions of your favorite SEA LIFE shows! The Southern California Tide Pool is spooked with a Bonus Brick-or-Treat station where kids receive candy and other surprises while learning about the “monsters” of the deep from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Visit or call (760) 918-5346.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Serengeti Night Safari Returns to Showcase Night Behaviors of Animals

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 5, 2010) — Beginning Nov. 5, Busch Gardens brings back its unique and wildly popular Serengeti Night Safari for seven select nights in November and December.

The Serengeti Night Safari is offered Nov. 5, 13, 20 and 27 and Dec. 4, 11 and 18.

Fall is the perfect time for an adventure into the African night. Venture through Edge of Africa to witness the active nighttime behaviors of hippos, lions and hyenas lit only by moonlight and lanterns. On the Serengeti Plain , use night-vision monoculars and special filtered lighting to view free-roaming herds of giraffes, zebra, rhinos and other intriguing African animals. The red lighting allows up-close views of animals without startling them. Then gather around the campfire for stories and up-close animal encounters.

This nighttime experience begins and ends in the exclusive Safari Club, with savory appetizers and adult beverages before the excursion and a night cap complete with coffee and desserts after.

The Serengeti Night Safari begins between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., depending on the event date and time of sunset. The cost is $60 per person, plus tax. Admission is not included and is not required. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to participate. For reservations, call 1-888-800-5447 or visit

The Serengeti Night Safari is subject to availability. Additional dates may be added. Prices are subject to change without notice. Animal interactions may vary.


Nick Lashaway, Denzel Whitaker and Paulina Olszynski To Sign Autographs for First 500 Guests on Queue Between 8:45pm-10:00pm on Friday, October 8

Universal City, California – Nick Lashaway, Denzel Whitaker and Paulina Olszynski, three stars of Wes Craven’s “My Soul to Take,” will meet and greet guests at Universal Studios Hollywood’sSM “Halloween Horror Nights®”, on Friday, October 8 from 8:45pm-10:00pm.

            The first 500 guests on queue at the event’s “Celebrity Terror Table” will receive autographed memorabilia from the film.

            Wes Craven (“A Nightmare on Elm Street ,” “The Hills Have Eyes,” “Scream” series) brings audiences closer to terror in Rogue’s 3D “My Soul to Take.”  In the sleepy town of Riverton , Massachusetts , legend tells of the Riverton Ripper, a serial killer with multiple personalities who swore he would return to murder the seven children born the very night he died. On the sixteenth birthday of the Riverton Seven, an unknown assailant begins to murder them, one by one.  “My Soul to Take,” Wes Craven's first 3D movie, is a coming-of-age story with edge, humor and pure terror in equal degrees…and a wild and gripping ride from beginning to end. Universal Pictures will release the film nationwide on October 8.

Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood takes place on consecutive weekends and select weekday nights through Halloween, Sunday, October 31.  Remaining event dates are: October 8, 9, 15, 16,17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31. The event will begin nightly at 7 p.m.; closing hours vary by night throughout the event.  Tickets are on sale with special deals on “Killer Deal Nights” offering up to $20 off regular prices. 


ORLANDO, FL (October 2010) – ACTOR/PRODUCER MARK WAHLBERG VISITS DISCOVERY COVE IN ORLANDO, FL – While spending time in Orlando, Mark Wahlberg enjoyed a day at Discovery Cove where he swam with dolphins, snorkeled with rays and hand-fed exotic birds at the all-inclusive park.  Discover more at