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Friday, December 30, 2011

Actress Ginnifer Goodwin Enjoys The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort hosted television and film actress Ginnifer Goodwin today as she explored The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with friends. During her visit, Ginnifer showed off her affinity for the Harry Potter books and films by dressing up in a Hogwarts school robe and a Gryffindor scarf. Ginnifer has previously appeared in successful films such as “Mona Lisa Smile” and “He’s Just Not That Into You” and currently stars in ABC’s hit TV series, “Once Upon a Time.”


Tampa park welcomes a baby giraffe
that will become part of the herd by spring

TAMPA, Fla. (December 29, 2011) – Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed a new baby female reticulated giraffe on Tuesday, December 27, 2011. At 5 foot, 7 inches tall and weighing approximately 127 pounds, the newborn is the calf of father, Jafari and mother, Tesa, who has previously given birth to four other calves at Busch Gardens.

This new addition brings the park’s reticulated giraffe population to 18. The term “reticulated” refers to the giraffe’s net-like pattern of spots.

Mother and baby are currently in an area out of guest view so they can be closely monitored by zoo staff to ensure the baby is nursing and growing properly. The duo will join the other animals on the Serengeti Plain in about three months.

A giraffe’s gestation period is approximately 15 months, and the new baby will nurse for about one year. This birth is part of a successful long-term breeding program at Busch Gardens.     

Busch Gardens’ 65-acre Serengeti Plain is a naturalistic habitat featuring a diverse population of free-roaming African animals including giraffe, zebra, white rhinoceros, eland antelope and several other species of hoof stock and birds.

You can view these amazing animals from the Serengeti Express, the Skyride or on a Serengeti Safari, an open-truck tour during which you can hand-feed reticulated giraffes and get up-close with the other animals on the plain.

For more information, contact Busch Gardens’ Public Relations department at (813) 987-5090 or visit

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"The Hunger Games" Star Josh Hutcherson Visits The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort hosted actor Josh Hutcherson today as he visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. During his visit, Josh tasted Butterbeer and encountered students from the Durmstrang Institute, one of three schools that compete in the Triwizard Tournament in the Harry Potter books and films. Josh plays Peeta Mellark in the highly anticipated film, “The Hunger Games,” due out in March 2012.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

LEGOLAND Florida Announces Water Park Details & New Premium Pass

LEGOLAND® Florida – Just Add Water!

Central Florida’s Newest Theme Park Announces Water Park Details and

Unveils All-New Premium Annual Pass

WINTER HAVEN, Fla.  – Just six weeks after its official grand opening, LEGOLAND® Florida today released details of its first expansion – LEGOLAND Water Park. Scheduled to open in time for summer 2012, the water park will feature a wave pool, Build-A-Raft lazy river, tube slides, body slides and an interactive water-play structure - DUPLO® Safari.

“We’re very excited to share plans for this amazing new attraction,” said LEGOLAND Florida General Manager Adrian Jones.  “True to our mission, the water park attraction has been designed for families with children ages 2 to 12 and will add hours of water play to an already full day and move LEGOLAND Florida into a multi-day experience for vacationers.  The additional also adds another great value proposition for our Annual Pass members.”

Admission to the water park attraction is included with an all-new LEGOLAND Premium Pass, which offers 12 months admission to LEGOLAND Florida and seasonal access to the LEGOLAND Water Park.  Single-day LEGOLAND Florida guests may upgrade to a water park attraction ticket for an additional $12 per person (children under 3 are $3).  The Premium Pass is now available for purchase at or select AAA Auto Club Group branches.

Key areas of LEGOLAND Water Park attraction include:

·         LEGO Wave Pool – Families can catch a gentle wave or simply cool off in this perfectly sized wave pool where the waves are just big enough for all ages to enjoy

·         Twin Chasers – Friends ride tubes 375 feet down an intertwining pair of enclosed water slides before plunging into a refreshing pool below

·         Splash Out – The thrill seekers of the family can ascend to the tallest point of the water park attraction and choose from one of three unique slides, then speed down a 60-foot drop  and “splash out” into the water below

·         Joker Soaker - A fun, interactive playground with various lengths, heights and types of slides that offer something different for every member of the family.  Guests can wade in the surrounding pool and be surprised with a torrential spill from a 300-gallon bucket

·         Build-A-Raft River - Families can imagine, design and build a unique LEGO vessel and set afloat on a maiden voyage around the 1000-foot-long lazy river, set amongst  playful LEGO Friends, flowering vegetation and palm trees

·         DUPLO® Splash Safari – Toddlers will rule at this  water play area with shorter slides and interactive, larger-than-life DUPLO creatures

“This newest attraction is just one of many ways we will continue to evolve LEGOLAND Florida over the next several years,” said Jones.  “Creating a multi-visit proposition for families adds another dimension to the LEGOLAND Florida offering.  Adding the water park attraction will fulfill this criteria as well as offering a unique attraction in Central Florida. ”

**Important: Please check operating schedule at for park days and hours.

Busch Gardens Cheetah Visits Local Schools for Great American Teach In

TAMPA, Fla. – Busch Gardens’ cheetah cub Kasi and his puppy pal Mtani helped their keepers connect with kids about cheetah conservation and wildlife preservation during a series of classroom visits on Thursday, Nov. 17, during The Great American Teach-In. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s famous cheetah/puppy duo teach-In tour included stops at Heritage Elementary in New Tampa, Wilson Middle School in South Tampa, Quail Hollow Elementary in Wesley Chapel (pictured) and Schwarzkopf Elementary in Lutz.

Celebrate New Year's Eve at Universal CityWalk with Live Concerts by Two, Multi-Platinum Bands - Smash Mouth and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy


Guests Can Also Enjoy Unlimited Access to Seven of Universal Orlando ’s Hottest Nightclubs, Live Entertainment, All-You-Can-Eat Gourmet Cuisine and More

Tickets Are On Sale Now for One of the Hottest Parties of the Year

ORLANDO, FL. (November 14, 2011) – On Dec. 31, Universal Orlando Resort guests can ring in 2012 at one of the hottest parties of the year – Universal CityWalk’s New Year’s Eve celebration. As the clock approaches midnight, partygoers will rock out to live concerts by Smash Mouth and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, dine on gourmet cuisine and dance the night away at some of Orlando ’s best nightclubs.

The night will begin with a performance by contemporary swing sensation Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, who recently released their eighth studio album, “HOW BIG CAN YOU GET? A Tribute to Cab Calloway.” Their signature, big band swing sound has captivated millions of fans and been featured in television sitcoms, films and even reality shows like “Dancing With the Stars.” With hits like “Go Daddy-O” and “Mr. Pinstripe Suite,” their breakout musical sound will send guests swingin’ to the dance floor.

To top off the celebration, multi-platinum rock band Smash Mouth will hit the stage with their nonstop party vibe and hits like “Walkin’ on the Sun” and “All Star.” With more than 10 million albums sold, Smash Mouth has also brought new life to popular classics like “Can’t Get Enough of You Baby” and “I’m a Believer” – which was featured on the “Shrek” motion picture soundtrack. Smash Mouth continues to play headlining events across the country and is currently working on their sixth studio album.

In addition to live concerts by some of today’s most popular bands, guests can enjoy access to seven of CityWalk’s hottest clubs, including CityWalk’s Rising Star, the groove and Red Coconut Club. Partygoers can also indulge in all-you-can-eat gourmet cuisine and decadent desserts and raise their glass to 2012 with a midnight champagne toast and celebratory confetti burst.

Tickets to Universal CityWalk’s New Year’s Eve Celebration

Admission to Universal CityWalk’s New Year’s Eve celebration includes:

·         Access to both live concerts, featuring Smash Mouth and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

·         All-night admission to seven of Universal CityWalk’s hottest clubs

·         All-you-can-eat gourmet cuisine – including filet mignon, jumbo shrimp and decadent desserts

·         Midnight champagne toast

If purchased by Dec. 15:

Tickets are $119.99 plus tax per person

If purchased between Dec. 15 and Dec. 31:

Tickets are $139.99 plus tax per person

Universal CityWalk’s New Year’s Eve celebration takes place from 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit           

SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team Uses Special Orthopedic Equipment to Care for Once-Stranded Pilot Whale

SeaWorld Orlando is using a custom orthopedic brace to care for once-stranded pilot whale.  The whale has scoliosis – or curvature of the spine – that prevents her from swimming normally.

To treat the whale’s curvature of the spine, SeaWorld Orlando animal experts and veterinarians worked with Orlando-based Jewett Orthopaedic Clinic to develop a custom-fitted brace that could be adjusted slowly over time, during daily physical therapy sessions. Vets and animal care experts hope the brace will help straighten the whale’s spine and tail, allowing it to regain use of its tail and allowing it to swim normally.

This is the first time a custom-fitted orthopedic device of this kind has been used on a large whale.

According to Jon Peterson, a senior member of SeaWorld Orlando’s animal rescue team, it’s too soon to know if the brace will work but staff remain committed to doing anything possible to help care for the recuperating animal.


Interactive Application Puts the Park in Your Hands!

Tampa, Fla. (Dec. 19, 2011) – Over the summer, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay put the park in guests’ hands with the launch of its first-ever interactive iPhone application. In response to popular demand, the free app is now available in the Android Market as well.
The Busch Gardens app utilizes GPS technology to guide guests through the park. The free app is designed to make guests’ experience even better by giving them park details at their fingertips and helping them get the most out of their day.

The interactive map shows guests where they are located in the park and allows them to highlight the quickest real-time route to their next destination by clicking the “Take Me There” button on any destination page. Whether the destination is a restaurant, show, roller coaster or animal habitat, the app provides information on its location, menu, restrictions, wait times and more. Guests can also search for the nearest restrooms, lockers and ATMs.

It’s as easy as searching the word “Cheetah” to find a path to the new Cheetah Run habitat. Along the way guests are able to uncover fun facts about our animals. They can also connect to social media sites to share photos with friends and keep up with Busch Gardens’ Facebook and Twitter feeds.

New Busch Gardens App Features:

    * Interactive real-time map
    * Updated ride wait times and height requirements
    * Detailed information pages for all major shows, rides, animal habitats and restaurants
    * Important contact information to make reservations or schedule tours
    * Ways for guests to connect to social media sites
    * General park information and operating hours
    * Live local weather and forecast updates

To download the free app, search the keyword “Busch Gardens” in the Android Market and iTunes App Store.

We want to know what you think about the app! If you have any comments or suggestions, please email our digital team at Your feedback is greatly appreciated.


BUENA PARK, Calif. – Knott’s Berry Farm will have something for the entire family this New Year’s Eve with a variety of dance music, a family friendly comedian, a Beatles tribute band and a live performance by the popular band, The Clueless Remix featuring DJ Reeso.  All this plus Knott’s rides, attractions and a Midnight Mayhem Fireworks Show in Calico Square will make Knott’s New Year’s Eve celebration the place to ring in 2012.

               Guests can put on their dancing shoes and get on the dance floor as Knott’s rolls out not one, but two dance parties in the park.  The evening will include salsa instruction in Knott’s Fiesta Plaza and line dancing in Knott’s Wilderness Dance Hall. For those who love the music of the 60’s, Beatles tribute band Abbey Road will be performing as well as Caravan’s Steel Drum Band and The Clueless Remix featuring DJ Reeso!

               The whole family will enjoy a special performance of Snoopy on Ice and family- friendly comedian Dick Hardwick who has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for his hundreds of performances as the star of Disneyland’s “Golden Horseshoe Review.”  In addition, Camp Snoopy will be open with rides and shows for the young and the young at heart including “Snoopy’s Magical Nights of Lights” featuring thousands of beautiful lights and holiday music.  When the clock strikes twelve, the skies above Calico Square will be ablaze with color as Knott’s rings in the New Year with a Midnight Mayhem Fireworks Show.

               Knott’s New Year’s Eve celebration is included with regular daytime admission.  Park hours are 10 am to 1 am. Knott’s season pass holders will be able to renew their passes for only $59.99 on New Year’s Eve, guaranteeing another year of family fun.  For Knott’s Theme Park information, please call (714) 220-5200 or visit

San Diego Zoo's Pandas, Polar Bears Go Mobile with Mobile App

New App Provides Animal, Planning Information for Zoo's Fans and Visitors

     Just in time for the holidays, the San Diego Zoo is giving its fans the chance to take the world-famous Zoo with them wherever they travel this season. Launched today, the new mobile application gives users access to animal information, photos and videos.

     The app also features real-time streaming of the Zoo's Polar Cam and its recently upgraded high-definition Panda Cam. This new app is powered by leading self-service mobile app platform Mobile Roadie for the iOS and Android operating system.

     For those planning to visit the Zoo, the new app can also provide real-time information on the Zoo's animal presentations, shows, dining choices, gift shops and ticketing options. Users can also explore exhibits for the Zoo's more than 4,000 animals. The Map shows points of interest within the Zoo including guest services, shopping, dining and a walking trail of the Zoo's exhibits. In the app's Google map feature, users can get customized directions to the Zoo.

     Fans and visitors can also share their experiences by posting comments and stories on the Fan Wall.

Six Bears, Two Species, One App

     The Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge is home to three adult polar bears: Kalluk, Tatqiq and Chinook. With the new San Diego Zoo app, polar bear fans can watch these white giants dive and swim around their pool, lounge on the sandy "shore" of their summer tundra exhibit or sit on the rock outcroppings and munch on vegetables - their favorites are carrots. And on the days when they have their favorite balls to play with, Kalluk can be seen "dribbling" against the glass, to the delight of on-ground guests on the other side.

     The Zoo's giant pandas have the largest online following of the species and recently had their Panda Cam upgraded to high definition. The four new cameras can capture all of the eating and sleeping action from these black-and-white bears. Female Bai Yun, male Gao Gao and two-year-old male Yun Zi each have their own exhibit and the camera tracks whomever is most active.

     "This is our gift to all the fans and guests of the San Diego Zoo," said Ted Molter, corporate director of marketing for San Diego Zoo Global. "This app gives people greater access to the Zoo when they're planning their visit or spending a day with us. We expect that the mobile access to our live animal cams, combined with detailed descriptions and beautiful images, will add up to family-friendly entertainment and an educational resource that can be used again and again."

     "The San Diego Zoo has delighted and educated the millions of people who have walked through its front gates," said Michael Schneider, CEO, Mobile Roadie. "We are honored to be powering the app that is going to bring the joy and wonder of the San Diego Zoo to animal lovers' smartphones everywhere."

     The application is available now for download at the iTunes App Store and the Android store. Search for "San Diego Zoo" or go to to download.

     The San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to bringing endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The work of the Conservancy includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, and international field programs in more than 35 countries. In addition, San Diego Zoo Global manages the Anne and Kenneth Griffin Reptile Conservation Center, the Frozen ZooTM and Native Seed Gene Bank, the Keauhou and Maui Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Centers, San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike Breeding Facility, Cocha Cashu Biological Research Station, the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center, and a 900-acre biodiversity reserve adjacent to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.

About Mobile Roadie

     Mobile Roadie ( is a powerful self-service mobile app engagement platform that allows anyone to create a fully customizable iPhone or Android app in minutes.

     Apps created on the Mobile Roadie platform are professional, effective, and most importantly, drive fan engagement.  Mobile Roadie powers over 2,000 apps with more than 13 million end users for brands worldwide including Katy Perry, Madonna, Taylor Swift, The Beatles, Linkin Park, Chris Brown, P!nk, Bon Jovi, Avril Lavigne, Drake, Harvard Law School, Wynn Las Vegas, Dallas Mavericks, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, and World Economic Forum. Mobile Roadie is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in London.


Featuring performances by kids’ favorite entertainers, party zone area and more

ORLANDO, Fla. (December 2011) – With an all-new festival featuring awesome concerts by LazyTown, Max & Ruby, the Doodlebops and Choo-Choo Soul and tons of family-friendly fun and activities, SeaWorld Orlando is the place for kids, Saturdays January 14 – February 4.

The best way to experience all of the fun, music, treats and more at Just For Kids is with a Fun Card, where Florida residents pay for a day and play all year through Dec. 31, 2012.  Fun Card holders can enjoy all four weeks of Just For Kids and all of the other amazing special events throughout the year, plus the unforgettable animal encounters, world-class thrill rides and family fun found only at SeaWorld.

Super Kid Savings
This is a celebration that really is just for kids!  And that means not only will kids have the most fun-filled experience enjoying the concerts, but there are numerous special offers too.  On event days, parents can rent strollers at half-price, and the following items are free for kids with each paid adult: all-day dining deal, sky tower ride, and free Penguins Up-close, Dolphins Up-close or Behind-the-Scenes tours.

The concert lineup includes:

Saturday, January 14    LazyTown
Things are upside-down in LazyTown! Stephanie, Sportacus and others take kids on a fun journey while also promoting healthy lifestyles for children in a positive and catching way.

Saturday, January 21     Max & Ruby’s Musical Playdate
Celebrate the universal nature of sibling relationships in Max & Ruby’s Musical Playdate. Max & Ruby never quite want the same thing and their plans always collide – with hilarious results. Featuring upbeat and original songs, this playdate is sure to have the whole audience singing and hopping along!

Saturday, January 28    Doodlebops’ Musical Playdate
Get movin’ and groovin’ with the Doodlebops, a real favorite of all kids. Rock stars DeeDee, Rooney and Moe sing their favorite songs, tell their wackiest jokes and show off their funkiest dance moves.

Saturday, February 4     Choo-Choo Soul with Genevieve
Starring Genevieve Goings, Choo-Choo Soul allows parents to enjoy the same music their kids do. Featuring soulful and current renditions of the ABC’s, 1-2-3’s, and learning how to be polite, Choo-Choo Soul is a diverse and incredibly hip duo, teaching children through music on an animated train.

Concerts are included with park admission, with show times at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at SeaWorld’s Nautilus Theater. Guests will need to pick up concert tickets across from Nautilus Theater in order to attend the shows. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis starting at 9 a.m. each event day.

And, “Just For Kids” has even more fun in store!

Shamu’s Party Zone
Located at Lakeside Patio, this happening spot lets kids sing, dance and play the day away with a DJ spinning to a kid beat while bubbles float overhead.  There are loads of interactive games, too, and kids can sit down for a face-painting session or make a sea-themed sand art souvenir with jewels and sea glass in the shape of dolphins, tropical fish, turtles and starfish. The Shamu character and others will be on hand for meet and greets, dancing and photos. (Please note: there will be a small fee to participate in face painting and sand art).

Elmo and Abby’s Treasure Hunt
Sesame Street’s Abby Cadabby and her friends Elmo, Cookie Monster, Rosita and Grover are off on a treasure hunt—and all kids are invited to come along!  This 25-minute show will get everyone laughing and cheering along at SeaPort Theater.

Breakfast with Elmo and Friends
Elmo and his Sesame Street friends will perform a short song and dance number and then visit every table for an up-close meeting at this amazing breakfast buffet. Cost is $29.99 for adults and $24.99 for children ages 3-9. Times are 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. at SeaFire Inn at The Waterfront. This fun-filled breakfast also includes reserved seats at the concert of the day – attending the 8:30 a.m. breakfast includes reserved seats at the 11 a.m. concert, and the 10:30 a.m. breakfast includes reserved seats at the 2 p.m. concert.

Fun Cards are available at the front gate, online at or by calling 1-888-800-5447. Event dates, times and artists are subject to change. Performances are included with any daily admission or annual pass. Concert seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Concert dates and artists are subject to change.


BUENA PARK, Calif. (January 2012) – With an estimated 400,000 people at risk of facing hunger every month in Orange County, 42% of whom are children, Knott’s Berry Farm has once again partnered with the Orange County Food Bank to help the community.  This year marks Knott’s Berry Farm’s tenth year coordinating the food drive that feeds thousands in the Orange County area.

           To  adequately serve the growing list of those in need, Knott’s Berry Farm is asking every guest to donate 2 or more cans at the park January 2-31 and in return will offer a Regular adult admission for the price of  $27.99. This special discount offer saves $29 off of the Regular admission which is $56.99 for adults (over age 11).

The collected food will be used by the Orange County Food Bank to help meet the needs of Southern California’s most destitute families and to provide needed donations beyond the traditional holiday period when the demand is great and food supply is low.  Thanks to their guests, Knott’s Berry Farm donated over 42,895 lbs of food during last year’s food drive.

For more information on assisting those in need throughout the community, please contact the Orange County Food Bank at (714) 897-6670.

For Knott’s Theme Park information, please call (714) 220-5200 or visit


WHAT: Highlighting some of the most popular residents of the San Diego Zoo, the Discovery Days: Absolutely Apes offers guests a chance to get to know a variety of interesting personalities.

Gorillas, orangutans and bonobos (pygmy chimpanzees) are a few of the endangered species highlighted over this long weekend celebration.  Including birthday surprises for one of our oldest primate residents, animal meet and greets, special shows and booths.  Children can stop by the Orangutan Outpost and have their favorite plush primate given a “check-up” by real San Diego Zoo veterinarians.

WHERE:                   San Diego Zoo

WHEN:                      February 17-20, 2012

COST:                       Activities are free with paid admission except for additional charge for VIP tours.


Win a Prize Every Day During SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s “25 Days of Giveaways”

-- Online Consumer Promotion Culminates with $25,000 Grand Prize --

Orlando, Fla. (Dec. 1, 2011) -- This December 1 - 25, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (SEA) is celebrating the spirit of giving with an online consumer promotion that will feature 25 different prizes.

During the “25 Days of Giveaways,” a different prize will be awarded every day, culminating with a $25,000 giveaway on Christmas Day. Entrants can win behind-the scenes animal adventures at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens including a Serengeti Safari ride with animal expert Jack Hanna; a day of relaxation for four at Discovery Cove in Orlando; a set of Panama Jack beach bicycles; a home and garden makeover from Costa Farms; VIP tickets to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers home game; VIP tickets to a high-profile concert in San Diego (artist TBD); and seats to the “Live On Letterman” concert series held in New York City.

The ten parks are partnering with valued SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Corporate Sponsors such as Pepsi, CBS, Jack Hanna, Southwest Airlines, Panama Jack, Fathead and Costa Farms for prizes.

To enter, participants must fill out the online entry form at, or There is a limit of one online entry per valid e-mail address. The consumer promotion officially begins December 1 at 9 a.m. EST and concludes December 25 at 5 p.m. EST.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Warner Bros. and Universal Parks & Resorts Bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Universal Studios Hollywood

Warner Bros., Universal Parks and Resorts and honored guests celebrated today’s partnership announcement to bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – the enormously popular themed entertainment environment which debuted in Orlando in June 2010 – to Universal Studios Hollywood, with an official Butterbeer toast. Plans to significantly expand The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort were also announced. Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter features multiple themed attractions, shops and a restaurant – all faithful to the films.


Warner Bros. and Universal Parks and Resorts to Bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Universal Studios Hollywood

Significant Expansion Also Planned for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort

Hollywood, CA (Dec. 6, 2011) - Warner Bros. Entertainment and Universal Parks and Resorts today announced a partnership to bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – the enormously popular themed entertainment environment which debuted in Orlando in June 2010 – to Universal Studios Hollywood.

The two companies also announced their plans to significantly expand The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood will be as impressive as what has been created in Orlando – and is expected to transform tourism in Los Angeles for decades to come. It will be a fully immersive environment for the entire family that brings the stories of Harry Potter to life and is faithful to the visual landscape of the films, including a majestic Hogwarts castle to serve as the centerpiece of the themed environment.  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood will be created with the same commitment to authenticity and the same level of talent and resources as its Orlando counterpart.

“I am delighted that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been so popular with fans since the opening in Orlando last year and I am sure that the teams at Universal and Warner Bros. will bring their expertise and attention to detail to Hollywood to make this new experience equally as exciting,” said J.K. Rowling.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort opened in June 2010 and immediately captured global attention.  It is a spectacularly themed land that includes Hogwarts castle, Hogsmeade and multiple themed attractions.  Specific details of its expansion will be announced over time.

“The announcement of our partnership with Universal to bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Hollywood and expand what already exists in Orlando is probably the best holiday gift we could give to the legions of Harry Potter fans worldwide,” said Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros.  “Everyone involved with these projects is committed to continuing the enchantment of J.K. Rowling’s masterful books as they were brought to life on screen in our eight films and dedicated to extending the magic of the experience for generations of fans to come.”

“This is an incredible moment for Universal Studios and the millions of guests who visit our theme parks,” said Ron Meyer, President & COO, Universal Studios.  “The Harry Potter stories are some of the most powerful of our time and we are honored to expand our Orlando experience and bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Hollywood, forever changing family tourism in Los Angeles.”

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is an entirely new level of themed entertainment that brings the stories of Harry Potter to life in incredible ways,” said Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO, Universal Parks and Resorts.  “We are thrilled to be able to share this experience with our guests in Hollywood.  And we are thrilled to take what has been created in Orlando to even greater levels.”  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

SEA LIFE Carlsbad Aquarium Invaded by Clawed Creatures

CARLSBAD, Calif. (Nov. 11, 2011) – Coming this spring, crustaceans will scuttle to SEA LIFE™ Carlsbad Aquarium at the LEGOLAND® California Resort with the opening of its newest interactive exhibit, “Claws”. The five new displays include Japanese spider crabs, which can grow to 13-feet across, and coconut crabs, named for their ability to crack open coconuts with the power of their claws.

For the first time, SEA LIFE Carlsbad Aquarium allows guests to see the extraordinary weapons and defenses of these fascinating clawed creatures. Along with the gigantic Japanese spider crabs and coconut crabs, the exhibit features land crabs, lobsters and nephrops, commonly referred to as “prawns”. Claws also includes an interactive floor projection that reacts when kids move over it; a touch display allowing guests to feel the shell textures of different crabs; plus a new daily educational presentation and feed.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to showcase these mysterious animals to our guests,” said Bob Burhans, Curator of SEA LIFE Carlsbad Aquarium. “Claws will not only amaze visitors with its remarkable creatures and beautifully designed displays, it also will make learning fun.”

More than a standard Aquarium, SEA LIFE provides an educational and interactive dynamic unlike any other. The SEA LIFE experience incorporates LEGO® models into a child’s voyage to the depths of the ocean, presenting the wonders of the underwater world to them in a way specially designed for their understanding. Featuring play zones, fun facts and quiz trails, SEA LIFE is designed to be a child’s guide to the life of the sea.

Baby Boom Continues on Busch Gardens’ Serengeti Plain with the Birth of Baby Grevy’s Zebra

TAMPA (Nov. 9, 2011) — A new Grevy’s zebra was born on Busch Gardens’ 65-acre Serengeti Plain on Friday, November 4.  Within an hour after its birth, the female foal was running with the rest of the herd and nursing from its mother.

Just last week, Busch Gardens announced two other additions, a male Cape buffalo, and female Sable antelope.

The buffalo was born to mother Semara on Sept. 21. At the time of his birth, the calf weighed approximately 45 lbs. The playful and explorative youngster now weights 75 lbs. Once full grown, Cape buffalos can weigh up to 2,000 lbs. The Sable Antelope female took her first steps within a few minutes of birth. Though Sable Antelopes are shaky at first, newborns can run fast enough to keep up with the herd within 3-5 days.

Busch Gardens’ guests can view all of the new babies from Rhino Rally, the Skyride or Serengeti Express train ride. For an even closer look, the Serengeti Safari offers guests an open-bed truck tour Serengeti Plain, with opportunities to get up-close to antelope and rhinos and hand-feed giraffes.

For details, visit


Annual Run Supports Families of Fallen and Wounded Special Operations Forces Soldiers

TAMPA, Fla. (November 8, 2011) – For the seventh consecutive year, a team of 25 military personnel, police, firefighters and community leaders will complete a four-day, 550-mile benefit relay run from Duluth, Ga. to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on Friday, Nov. 11, to raise awareness for and remember the families of fallen and wounded Special Operations Forces soldiers. Runners will cross the finish line around in Cheetah Hunt Plaza around 11 a.m. Friday, and this year’s run will honor Staff Sgt. Robert James Miller and his family.

The Special Operations Forces Run is led by Lieutenant Bill Stevens of the Duluth Police Department and founder of the Georgia-based charity, Operation One Voice. The non-profit organization, managed by public safety professionals and community leaders, supports children and families of fallen and wounded Special Operations Forces soldiers.

Operation One Voice honors the contributions of Special Operations Forces soldiers, which include Army Rangers, Green Berets, Spec Op Aviators, Navy Seals, Air Force Special Operations pilots, para-rescue and Marine Force Recon.

        What:    Special Operations Forces Run

        When:    11:00 a.m. Friday, November 11, 2011

Where:   Cheetah Hunt Plaza, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

For additional media information, contact the Busch Gardens Public Relations department at (813) 987-5090, or visit


Tuesday 8th November 2011


·         TurtleTrek: Nose-to-nose animal encounters and state-of-the-art entertainment opening at SeaWorld Orlando Spring 2012

·         Freshwater Oasis: All new tropical rainforest attraction at Discovery Cove, featuring playful otters and curious marmoset monkeys, opening Spring 2012

·         Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin: The coldest theme park attraction in the world to take to the ice at SeaWorld Orlando 2013

Guests to SeaWorld and Discovery Cove in Orlando will soon be able to embark on a journey of a lifetime through the eyes of some of the world’s most charismatic animals, from the deepest corners of the sea, to the lush tropical rainforests of the Amazon and onto the coldest continent on earth.

TurtleTrek... Hatching at SeaWorld Orlando

Using new technology, TurtleTrek gets guests closer than ever before to the lives of one of the worlds’ best loved and most vulnerable reptiles – the sea turtle.

This visual conservation experience allows guests to learn more about the plight of the sea turtle and the incredible life journey they take from hatching on a beach and making the mad dash to open waters, to the dangers and hazards they face as they mature and return to the very same beach to lay their own eggs, their tales of life underwater have in the past been impossible to show – until now.

Coming to life in front of the guests is a first-of-its-kind 3-D and 360-degree dome theatre that is completely immersive. Guests will experience a 360º view of the film, from above and all around, where they will be given a turtle’s eye view of the ocean’s wonders.

Back in the real world, visitors can get up-close to the sea turtle at two extensive habitats next to the dome, one saltwater area which will also house more than 1,500 fish and over a dozen sea turtles, and the other a freshwater habitat where guests can discover hundreds of freshwater fish and gentle manatees.

Many of the manatees and sea turtles were rescued by the park’s animal team.  Since SeaWorld Orlando’s rescue programs began, the team has cared for and returned to the wild nearly 240 manatees and more than 1,200 sea turtles.

Freshwater Oasis... Otterly Fresh New Area at Discovery Cove, Orlando

Opening at Discovery Cove in spring 2012 is Freshwater Oasis, an all-new attraction featuring swimming and wading adventures and face-to-face encounters with playful otters and curious marmosets.

Designed with a rainforest canopy above and sparkling clear springs below, Freshwater Oasis is a natural fit within Discovery Cove’s tropical vibe.

All of the family can experience this tropical setting, with most of the water at waist height and various levels of exploration where they can wade, swim and float in the water-filled trails and discover marmosets and Asian otters.

For a spot of après-animal exploration guests can soak up the Orlando sunshine in the warm waters in the In-Water Relaxation Station, a secluded pool including comfy in-water chairs.

Freshwater Oasis is included with admission to Discovery Cove, an all-inclusive tropical getaway where guests can swim with dolphins, hand-feed tropical birds in a free-flight aviary, snorkel among thousands of colourful fish and rays and relax on pristine white sandy beaches.

Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin... Subzero at SeaWorld Orlando for 2013

Never has there been a theme park so cold – until now. Spring 2013 sees the launch of SeaWorld Orlando’s most incredible attraction, Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin.

Explore the frozen wildernesses of the Antarctica through the eyes of the world’s most loved bird - the penguin.

Antarctica - Empire of the Penguin will take guests on a journey like no other to the coldest and most barren place on earth with a state-of-the-art interactive ride combined with an animal attraction.

More details to follow.... for now it’s on ice.

Tickets for 2012

The Discovery Cove Ultimate Package includes one day reservation at Discovery Cove (with 30 minute dolphin swim experience, all meals, snacks and beverages) plus 14 day unlimited entry to SeaWorld, Busch Gardens AND Aquatica – offering customers more savings and flexibility for their Florida holiday. Prices start from just £164 per person, for more information and bookings go to

Holiday package

7 nights in Orlando from £869 per person

Travel City Direct is offering seven night holidays Orlando from just £869 per person.  Price is based on two adults and two children sharing at the Hard Rock Hotel on a room only basis for seven nights for departures June 2012 and includes transfers, and scheduled flights on Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick or Manchester to Orlando.

For more information please call 0844 557 6965 or book online at

Busch Gardens’ Welcomes Two New Babies On the Serengeti Plain

TAMPA (Nov. 2, 2011) — Busch Gardens’ newest addition, a female Cape buffalo, was born to mother Semara on Sept. 21. Cape buffalos are extremely social; members of the same group will stay in direct contact with each other and will often sleep with their heads resting on one another.

At the time of his birth, the calf weighed approximately 45 lbs. The playful and explorative youngster now weights 75 lbs. Once full grown, Cape buffalos can weigh up to 2,000 lbs.

Two days earlier, the park’s Sable Antelope herd welcomed the third new baby of the month, a female who took her first steps within a few minutes of birth. Though Sable Antelopes are shaky at first, newborns can run fast enough to keep up with the herd within 3-5 days.

Busch Gardens’ guests can view all of the new babies from Rhino Rally, the Skyride or Serengeti Express train ride. For an even closer look, the Serengeti Safari offers guests and open-bed truck tour of the 65-acre Serengeti Plain, with opportunities to get up-close to antelope and rhinos and hand-feed giraffes.

For details, visit


Give the gift of SeaWorld this holiday season – pay for a day, come back and enjoy the park’s events all year

ORLANDO, Fla. (November 2, 2011) – The perfect gift for friends and family this holiday season is the gift that keeps on giving all year long -– a SeaWorld Fun Card!

It’s SeaWorld’s best value, just for Florida residents: Pay for a day’s admission and come back again and again – with no blackout dates -- to experience all of SeaWorld’s remarkable 2012 events, plus this year’s Christmas Celebration.

SeaWorld’s 2012 event line-up includes:

    * NEW!  Just for Kids!

Spend super-fun Saturdays at this all-new kid festival for ages 2-9. Performances by kid-favorite entertainers, such as Choo Choo Soul and Max and Ruby, as well as fun, family activities will take place Saturdays, Jan. 14 – Feb. 4.

    * Bands, Brew & BBQ
      2012’s Bands, Brew & BBQ will be twice as fun when the park hosts rockin’ concerts Saturdays AND Sundays this year, on Feb. 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, and March 3-4. That’s four weekends of smokin’ hot concerts, sizzling BBQ and a thirst-quenching beer garden to wash it all down.

    * Jack Hanna Weekend
      Join celebrity animal expert Jungle Jack Hanna for a fantastic weekend on the wild side, March 24-25, featuring amazing animals from all over the world.

    * Viva La Música
      This Hispanic festival spices up SeaWorld Saturdays in April and early May while showcasing traditional Latin food, specialty drinks, and Grammy and Latin-Grammy-award winning performances. Join the fiery fiesta on April 14, 21, 28, and May 5.

     * Summer Nights
      The after-dark excitement at SeaWorld continues all summer, June through August. When the sun sets, waves of fun wash over the park with fantastic nighttime shows, thrilling coasters under the stars, and a nightly fireworks and fountain finale.

    * Halloween Spooktacular
      Orlando’s favorite family-friendly Halloween event is back and better than ever, as an underwater “fantasea” takes over SeaWorld weekends in October.  Children (and adults, too) can trick-or-treat, encounter whimsical sea creatures, and catch silly and spooky shows on Oct. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, and 27-28.

    * SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
      From elves to Elmo, and Santa to Shamu, SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration inspires lifelong family memories as waves of holiday spirit splash over the park in a watery, wintery wonderland. This heart-warming holiday event takes place select nights from Nov. 23 – Dec. 31.

    * New Year’s Eve at SeaWorld
      Celebrate our connection to the sea, sea life and the world we share as we ring in the New Year, SeaWorld style. Kick off the New Year on Dec. 31, with a spectacular musical celebration and bold fireworks that create an unforgettable evening.

Regular, single-day SeaWorld admission is $81.99 for adults/$73.99 for children ages 3-9.  The Fun Card is valid from the date of purchase and good throughout all of 2012 with no blackout dates.

Fun Cards are available at the park’s front gate, at or by calling (888) 800-5447.

Visit for more information.

Winter Wonderland at Fairytale Town

December 10, 2011 - 11AM to 3PM 

Father Christmas will be making a special holiday stop this season at Fairytale Town  for its Winter Wonderland event on Saturday, December 10.

Father Christmas will take the center stage, listening to holiday wish lists, and welcoming families to take holiday pictures for $5 each. The Children's Theater will become Santa's Workshop filled with holiday decorations and cheer.  Also happening throughout the park will be free arts and crafts celebrating the seasonal holidays from around the world.  

To enjoy this Winter Wonderland affair regular  weekend park admission is only $4.50 (Children 1 years of age and under will be admitted free). For more information please call 916-808-7462 or visit our website at

What: Winter Wonderland at Fairytale Town
When: Saturday, December 10
Time:  11AM to 3PM
Where: Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95822
Cost:  $4.50  Weekend General Admission (Children 1 and under are free) 
Contact Phone: 916-808-7462
Contact e-mail:


Start a New Family Tradition This Season at Universal Orlando with Grinchmas, Macy’s Holiday Parade, The Holiday Village and Nightly Holiday Music

Enjoy the Timeless Classics by Holiday Music Masters Mannheim Steamroller as they Return for

Six Concerts on December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18

ORLANDO, Fla. (November 1, 2011) – There’s no better place to enjoy the Holidays with your family this year than at Universal Orlando Resort. It’s the only place you can come face-to-face with The Grinch and the Whos from Whoville, watch a cheerful holiday parade filled with big, colorful Macy’s balloons and sing along to the classic sounds of the season as you stroll through a holiday-trimmed theme park with your loved ones.

The Holidays fanfare runs from December 3, 2011 through January 1, 2012, offering guests incredible entertainment themed for the season at both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

At Islands of Adventure, adults and children alike will be entertained when the popular Dr. Seuss book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is brought to life in Grinchmas. Guests can see the heartwarming live stage show, “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular,” starring The Grinch and the Whos from Whoville with an original recorded musical score by Mannheim Steamroller. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet The Grinch and the Whos, and on select dates, purchase a spot at a special character breakfast with the mean, green one himself.

At Universal Studios, the Macy’s Holiday Parade will celebrate its 10th Anniversary of partnership with Universal Orlando by filling the streets every evening with some of the same iconic elements seen winding through New York City each year at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The beloved event features colorful holiday characters, fantasy-filled floats – including one specially-designed to commemorate the 10-year milestone – a tree-lighting ceremony by Santa Claus and dozens of larger-than-life balloons.  The Macy’s Holiday Parade also welcomes select park guests to participate in the procession as real balloon-handlers guiding the helium giants, a truly unique and exclusive experience to Universal Orlando.

Returning this year with more concerts than ever before is Mannheim Steamroller – the masters of Christmas music with more than 40 million albums sold worldwide. The acclaimed musical group will take to the Music Plaza stage in Universal Studios six times this year to play their memorable holiday hits for guests, performing on December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18.

Also at Universal Studios, guests can enjoy special holiday-themed versions of their favorite shows, and nightly a capella holiday music in the nearby Holiday Village , which is filled with hand-blown glass ornaments, caramel apples, hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts and a cupcake decorating location.

The celebration continues at Universal Orlando’s three on-site hotels – Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort – all of which will glisten with holiday decorations. Hotel guests will be immersed in the spirit of the season with tree-lighting ceremonies, special musical performances, holiday pool-side "dive-in" movie presentations and holiday buffets and dining events. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel kicks off the season on Friday, November 25 with 'Holiday Harbor Nights', a wine tasting, food and jazz celebration on the piazza, along with a tree lighting ceremony. Hard Rock Hotel welcomes Santa to The Kitchen restaurant on Fridays in December and Loews Royal Pacific Resort rings in the new year with a family-friendly dinner and celebration.

All holiday entertainment – including the Mannheim Steamroller concerts – is included as part of any annual pass, two-park or multi-day admission to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. There’s never been a better time to start a new family tradition at Universal Orlando’s Holidays event, as guests can take advantage of these special Florida resident offers:

‘Tis the Season for Florida Resident Holiday Offers

Florida Resident 2-Park Annual Pass Offer

• Purchase a 2-park annual pass and get 2 months FREE with a UPC code from any Coca-Cola, Diet Coke or Sprite can or specially-marked cups from Firehouse Subs

Starting at $164.99 plus tax per person

*Must be purchased by January 1, 2012

Also available on Flexible Payment option

Florida Resident On-site Holiday Getaway Offer
• 2 night stay at a Universal Orlando on-site hotel

• Florida Resident 2 day park-to-park ticket to both theme parks

• Complimentary Universal Express access to skip most regular attraction lines – a FREE benefit worth up to $87 per person, per day

• PLUS early park admission to Islands of Adventure and MORE

Starting at $139 per adult, per night, tax inclusive

For more information on Universal Orlando’s holiday celebration and Florida resident offers, guests can visit


Guests Can Pay For a Day, Come Back All Year For Exciting Acts and Non-Stop Excitement with a 2012 Fun Card

TAMPA, Fla. (November 1, 2011) – Some of the biggest names in country, Latin and classic rock are coming to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in 2012. It’s our biggest lineup yet, including music’s most memorable acts at Real Music, rock legends at Bands, Brew & BBQ, and Viva La Música’s award-winning salsa and meringue. PLUS you won’t want to miss the debut of Busch Gardens’ all-new ice show and your chance to go behind-the-scenes with our animal care experts.

Can’t decide which event to attend? With a 2012 Fun Card, you can “pay for a day, play all year” and never miss a thing! It’s the best value for again-and-again access to all of the amazing animal encounters, world-class thrill rides, exciting entertainment and family adventure Busch Gardens has to offer. AND, if you buy your 2012 Fun Card now, you can celebrate the holidays at Busch Gardens, New Year’s Eve and the remainder of 2011 for no additional cost.

NEW THIS WINTER: In February, Busch Gardens will debut its biggest ice show ever. Iceploration combines world-class skaters, larger-than-life puppets, amazing costumes, original music and even animal stars to tell the story of tech-savvy pre-teen Austin and his grandfather – and old-world adventurer – who encourages him to put down the smartphone and “explore the world.”

ALSO NEW IN 2012: Busch Gardens will welcome guests to observe and even take part in the animal care experience when the Animal Care Center opens this winter. From nutrition to treatments and check-ups to surgeries, much of Busch Gardens’ veterinary care will be conducted in guest view in this new state-of-the-art facility.


Jack Hanna:  January 13
Join “Jungle Jack” Hanna for a day of wild animal shows, autograph signings and special meet and greets when he visits Busch Gardens on Jan. 13. The internationally-known animal expert will share animal facts and his travel tales during animal shows in the Stanleyville Theater. He will also join families for a memorable Serengeti Night Safari and make special appearances at a family sleepover that evening.

Real Music Concert Series:  January 18 – March 24

        The Real Music Concert Series presents notable names from music’s most memorable eras every Wednesday through Saturday at the Stanleyville Theater. From swingin’ big bands to sock-hop era idols, the lineup features something for everyone:

January 18-21                   The Terry Myers Orchestra with The Swing Sisters
January 25-28                   The Glenn Miller Orchestra with The Diamonds 
February 1-4                     Tony Orlando
February 8-11                   Frankie Avalon
February 15-18                  The Osmond Brothers
February 22-25                  Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
February 29 – March 3           The Ventures  
March 7-10                       Rita Coolidge      
March 14-17                     The Grass Roots 
March 21-24                     Marylin McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. 

Bands, Brew & BBQ: Saturdays and Sundays, February 11 – March 4

Bands, Brew & BBQ offers four weekends of smokin’ hot fun – now on Saturdays AND Sundays! New this year, you have two days to sample dozens of craft and international beers and fire up your taste buds with food from your favorite local restaurants as well our own famous, blazing barbecue. And every Sunday, enjoy sizzling live performances from award-winning country and classic rock artists.

February 12                      Lynyrd Skynyrd
February 19                      Brett Michaels
February 26                     38 Special
March 4                         REO Speedwagon

Viva La Música:  Sundays, April 15 – May 6

Join the fiesta every weekend as award-winning acts from perform salsa, meringue and more on the Gwazi Park stage. And don’t forget the popular, regional Latin cuisine and authentic arts and crafts throughout the festival area. Stay tuned as Busch Gardens reveals the artist and more details this spring!

Summer Nights:  June 9 – August 12

The award-winning Kinetix will return to Summer Nights with energizing shows full of live musicians, singers, dancers and artists from around the world. Their thrilling performance – along with modern music and fire effects – will pump up the crowd every night in Gwazi Park. Adding to the amazing coasters-after-dark lineup, guests will launch into the night on Busch Gardens’ newest roller coaster, Cheetah Hunt, and enjoy more fireworks than ever before, including a special July 4th celebration in Gwazi Park!

The 2012 Busch Gardens Fun Card is valid from the date of purchase through Dec. 31, 2012 and is available at the Busch Gardens’ front gate, online at or by calling (888) 800-5447. Prices are $79.99 for adults and $71.99 for children ages 3 to 9. Event dates, times and artists are subject to change. Performances are included with any daily admission or annual pass. Visit for more information.

Tony Hawk Puts Down His Board to Flip a Switch Lighting the World's Largest LEGO® Christmas Tree at LEGOLAND® California!

WHAT: LEGOLAND® California is proud to announce local skateboarding legend Tony Hawk as this year’s special guest to light the world’s largest LEGO® Christmas tree at the family theme park’s ninth annual Tree Lighting Ceremony honoring the Tony Hawk Foundation.

Hawk, father of four and life-long Ambassador Pass Member to LEGOLAND, launched the Tony Hawk Foundation in 2002 with the goal to increase the number of safe, legal skate parks for youth in low-income communities across the U.S. To date, the Tony Hawk Foundation has helped fund 493 public skateboard parks in these communities, which now service 3.5-million youth annually.

In honor of Hawk’s efforts to help youth nationwide, Master Model Builders at LEGOLAND California are adding new ornaments to the LEGO tree this year: 50 blue, red and yellow skateboards, each made of more than 250 LEGO bricks, will hang from the LEGOLAND California tree.

After the 30-foot-tall LEGO tree is lit, fireworks light up the sky and snow showers Park guests from above kicking off LEGOLAND California’s month-long Holiday Snow Days presented by Western Dental. During Holiday Snow Days, Fun Town will be transformed into a magical, winter wonderland where the weather forecast calls for real snow every day and guests can build snowmen using LEGO carrots and other fun LEGO elements, throw snowballs at LEGO themed targets and play with large, soft LEGO bricks in the snow. Holiday Snow Days runs Nov. 19 – Jan. 2.

More than 245,000 forest green DUPLO® bricks click together to create this one-of-a-kind holiday tree at LEGOLAND California. Adorned with nearly 400 LEGO ornaments including colorful bulbs and 1,000 lights, this LEGO brick tree towers over Fun Town in the 128-acre family theme park in Carlsbad.

The Tony Hawk Foundation seeks to foster lasting improvements in society, with an emphasis on supporting and empowering youth. Through special events, grants, and technical assistance, the Foundation supports recreational programs with a focus on the creation of public skateboard parks in low-income communities. The Foundation favors programs that clearly demonstrate that funds received will produce tangible, ongoing, positive results.

SeaWorld Sets First Section of Manta Track!

WHAT:      Today marks a major milestone in the construction of Manta: the first section of track was set into place! A total of 98 sections will be placed in the coming months, with most of the sections installed by the end of the year.  Manta, SeaWorld’s new double launch coaster shaped like a giant manta ray, will open to guests in spring 2012.

WHEN:    Monday, Oct. 31, 2011

WHERE:    SeaWorld San Diego

DETAILS:     The 98 Manta track sections will be set upon 100 columns, the tallest being more than 26 feet.  The longest section of track is 36 feet and the heaviest weighs 7,700 pounds. The ride, which will last about two minutes, will include more than a half of a mile of track.

Swooping over sea and sky, Manta will not only inspire riders with amazing underwater animal habitats, but take them on an exhilarating ride on a coaster shaped like a giant manta ray.

Gliding, flying and diving through more than a dozen twists and turns, riders will feel as if they are a ray, taking flight from sky to sea — so close at times that the Manta’s wings skim the waves.  Riders and non-riders alike will enjoy the graceful beauty of more than 60 California bat rays, which will be seen through a glass window and can be touched in a shallow lagoon area.  The exhibit will also feature diamond rays, guitar fish and more than 1,000 fish native to the California coast.
Manta will be located just north of Rocky Point Preserve.  SeaWorld is working with German ride design company MACK, which also engineered the marine-life park’s popular ride, Journey To Atlantis.  Guests at SeaWorld’s sister park in Orlando have been enjoying a similar version of Manta since it opened there in 2009.

Vampire Diaries Actor Takes the Ultimate Gamble at Howl-O-Scream

TAMPA, Fla. (October 28, 2011) – Actor Michael Roark, who was featured in the recurring role of Frank on TV’s The Vampire Diaries, faces a sin-city clan of bloodsuckers in the new Ultimate Gamble: Vampire Casino haunted house at Howl-O-Scream.

The actor, who also a graduated law school at the University of Florida, visited Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream on Thursday night with friends.

He is also known for his recent role as Donovan Peck in Dolphin Tale and his upcoming role as Ryan in Magic Mike that was partially filmed in Tampa.

Photos by Matt Marriott/Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Infamous Cheetah/Puppy Duo Explore Their First Halloween Pumpkins

TAMPA, Fla. (October 27, 2011) – Actually, cheetahs are strict carnivores, but the residents of Busch Gardens’ Cheetah Run were curious to explore the new smells and textures that three oversized pumpkins provided.

Busch Gardens’ zookeepers introduced the pumpkins to the cheetah habitat on Tuesday for some special Halloween-themed enrichment for Kasi and Mtani, and Cheetah Run’s adolescent female cheetahs.

Enrichment can take many forms and is usually something different, unusual and challenging that stimulates the animals. Food and toys are used daily by zookeepers at Busch Gardens to keep the animals engaged and stimulated, both mentally and physically.

Celebrate the Season with Candy Cane Treats for San Diego Zoo Creatures

People who donate $250 for animal enrichment will be recognized on Candy Cane Lane during
 San Diego Zoo's Jungle Bells holiday celebration

     People who love animals, or just love the San Diego Zoo, can treat the roaring, squealing, snorting wild things to some holiday cheer this year --- and be recognized with a 5-foot-tall candy cane for a $250 donation. All money raised in this holiday-themed fund-raiser goes toward animal enrichment toys and treats for the Zoo's critters. The wooden, brightly painted candy canes will be along "Candy Cane Lane," a path that leads to a light show at the Zoo's Treehouse Plaza.

     Donors to this fund-raiser will be recognized with an engraved plaque on the front of the candy cane.  While they can't lick the peppermint sweetness from these elephant-sized candy canes, donors can certainly share the holiday spirit. A limited number of these candy canes will be available for purchase.

     People interested in donating can go to the Zoo's Wish List (

     Now in its third year, the Zoo's holiday celebration, Jungle Bells, runs December 9, 2011, through Jan.1, 2012. This year's celebration will feature extended evening hours, acrobat elves, violin sing-a-longs, a trolley ride, a nightly tree-lighting ceremony, bell ringers, lots of chances to meet our wintery animals up close, and much, much more.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Buccaneers Cheerleaders Get the Spirit(s) Going at Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream 2011

Tampa, FL (Oct. 18, 2011) –  Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders Karen Bittinger, Elisa Eichbauer, Darla Faye Nolan, Milly Figuereo, Kelli Jones, Meagan Praden, Lauren Rasys and Amber Rehman took a break from the sidelines to visit Howl-O-Scream 2011 at Busch Gardens over the weekend.

During their evening at the nationally ranked event, the cheerleaders toured the brand-new Zombie Mortuary, Nevermore and Ultimate Gamble: Vampire Casino haunted houses and met several of The Dark Side of the Gardens’ zombie hoards, including the event’s infamous cheerleader zombies.

General admission for Howl-O-Scream is $77.99 plus tax. Reduced advance-purchase rates and special offers are available for Busch Gardens Pass members at Savings on general admission tickets are available in advance at participating Publix Supermarkets or with promotional codes found on select Pepsi Max and Mountain Dew products and at participating Taco Bell, Applebee's and Lifestyle Family Fitness locations in Central Florida.
The event runs Thursday through Saturday nights, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 6-8, 13-15, 20-22 and 27-29.  Operating hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. during Freaky Preview and on Thursday nights. Friday and Saturday hours are 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

For guest information, visit or call 1-888-800-5447. For media information, call Busch Gardens Public Relations at (813) 987-5097.

Busch Gardens is Now Casting Lead Acting Roles in Iceploration

Last month, we announced that Busch Gardens will debut its biggest ice show ever on 2-2-12. Starting February 2, a cast of 20 will bring to life an all-new adventure filled with world-class skaters, amazing aerial performances, master puppetry and live animal stars, with shows daily in the Moroccan Palace. Busch Gardens and Advanced Entertainment Group is now casting for the two starring acting roles: Austin—a young boy between 10 and 13 years old—and Grandpa.

Learn more about these non-skating characters below and email Rich Porter at to schedule your audition if you’re a fit for either role.

About Iceploration

The 30-minute show opens with Austin, a digital-savvy preteen, explaining how technology has made his generation more connected to the world than ever before. But his grandfather – and old-world explorer – argues that the boy is more disconnected than he realizes, and takes him on an adventure around the globe. Through their travels they visit the African Serengeti, Great Barrier Reef, the Arctic and the Amazon rainforest.

About Austin

Austin looks like any kid you might find in your neighborhood.  He’s a slightly cynical (approximately) 11-year-old boy who is armed with wireless technology that gives him access to just about anything. To Austin, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to step out into the world when you can bring the world into your room with a few clicks on a computer. In fact, Austin can play with an entire playground full of kids his age from the comfort of his favorite chair.  He’s not concerned the playground is a virtual world or that his avatar looks nothing like him, or that no one knows his real name.  The games he plays are full of adventure and he’s developed quite a few buddies who all help each other out on their various missions.  When Austin’s environmental scientist Grandpa offers to take Austin along as an assistant on his next scientific fact-finding trip, Austin isn’t interested. Although Austin loves his technology-challenged Grandpa, he thinks he’s a bit of a “dinosaur.” But Austin’s grandfather isn’t deterred by the boy’s lack of enthusiasm.  He plans to introduce his sun-starved grandson to the wonders of a first-hand experience with the natural world.

About Grandpa

Grandpa (Mr. Jones) is a seasoned explorer who has traveled worldwide to conduct research as an environmental scientist.  He is a ruggedly handsome, in his late 50s to mid 60s and is accustomed to being self-sufficient.  Equally at home in a University lecture hall or in the wilds of the rainforest, Grandpa’s innate sense of how to peacefully co-exist with all living things informs every moment of his life.  Though Grandpa has had to learn how to use modern technology in his research, he finds the constantly changing nature of technology tiresome.  It’s not that Mr. Jones is resistant to learning, it’s just that by the time he finally figures something out, it’s already been replaced by a newer version.  As a result, he often reverts back to his “old school” way of doing things.  To him it’s just simpler. When Jones decides it’s time to engage his 11-year-old grandson in the great outdoors, he knows the only way he’ll get Austin to come is if he puts him in charge of the more technical aspects of the trip.


Cobra Starship and Comedian Gabriel Iglesias will Play an Exciting Role in this Special Night Devoted to Graduating High School Seniors.

Tampa, Fla. (Oct. 17, 2011) - Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is excited to host its first annual 12th Grade Grad Nite on Friday, April 27, 2012. This once-in-a-lifetime experience for graduating high school seniors is not your average daytime “walk in the park.” This special night offers live entertainment by two popular acts, the thrill of riding world-class coasters in the dark, high-energy DJs and dance parties in the streets of Busch Gardens, and much more to amp up the celebration.

American pop rock band Cobra Starship and comedian Gabriel Iglesias will headline the entertainment, adding to the excitement of the night with special performances for the graduating high school seniors. Cobra Starship, formed in 2005, released their fourth album, Night Shades, in August 2011 with the hit single “You Make Me Feel…” The band is best known for their Top 40 hit, “Good Girls Gone Bad.”

Gabriel Iglesias is known as the “fluffy” comic in a Hawaiian shirt who coined the saying, “I’m not fat… I’m fluffy.” Gabriel hosts Comedy Central’s newest TV series, “Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution” and his credits include “Last Comic Standing,” ABC’s “My Wife & Kids,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and “The Family Guy.”

WHAT:    The park will remain open after hours for graduating seniors to enjoy high-energy DJs and dance parties, headline entertainment including Cobra Starship and comedian Gabriel Iglesias, and Busch Gardens’ top coasters in the dark, including SheiKra, Kumba, Montu, Gwazi, and our new mega-attraction, Cheetah Hunt, a one-of-a-kind launch coaster that offers a new breed of speed.

DATE/TIME:      Friday, April 27, 2012, 7:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.

ADMISSION:       $54.99 + tax (One complimentary chaperone ticket given for each 10 paid student tickets; additional chaperone tickets can be purchased for $54.99 + tax)

RESERVATIONS:   Please email OR call 1-866-781-1333
Admission to the all new 12th Grade Grad Nite 2012 is limited, so make your reservations early. Grad Nite is a separate-ticketed night event and tickets may only be purchased through the student’s school. Entertainment, rides, attractions, operating hours, and prices are subject to change without notice.

San Diego Zoo Animals Join Attempt to Break Jumping Jacks World Record

San Diego Zoo animals were stretching their wings and warming up their legs Tuesday afternoon in preparation to join the "Team Up and Jump Around the World" attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period.

     The Zoo wants to engage guests and join First Lady Michelle Obama as well as California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance and other health organizations to celebrate the importance of leading an active, healthy lifestyle. Similar "Jumping Jacks" events will be held nationally and worldwide from noon on Oct. 11 through noon on Oct. 12.

     People who missed out in today's event have another opportunity to take a step to get healthy and support conservation by participating in Saturday's 2.5-mile family-friendly walk through the Zoo. The annual Walk on the Wild Side, presented by Mission Federal Credit Union, will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15. Funds raised during this year's walk will support koala conservation efforts in Australia and will help build a new home for koalas at the Zoo. Visit for more information on Saturday's event.

     During Tuesday's jumping jacks record attempt, a serval showed Zoo guests how high this small African cat can jump, while a sea lion got into the mood and jumped along with participants. Churchill, a polar bear costumed character, and Tatqiq, a real polar bear, led participants in one minute of nonstop jumping jacks. San Diego State University students moderated the event to make sure participants completed their jumping jacks in order to be counted.


Fire and Police Personnel and One Guest
Get in FREE November 24 thru December 18

BUENA PARK, Calif. – As a thank you to all the men and women who assist in protecting life and property, Knott’s Berry Farm Theme Park is proud to offer  Fire and Police Recognition Days.  Starting Thanksgiving Day, November 24 through Sunday, December 18, Knott’s will once again extend free Park admission to all active fire and police personnel and one guest.  Up to six additional tickets can be purchased for only $17 each.

            “The men and women who serve as fire officials and law enforcement officers put their lives on the line everyday for our community,” said Raffi Kaprelyan, Knott’s Berry Farm General Manager.  “It is the dedication of these professionals that make our communities a safe place to live and work.”

            To participate, active fire and police personnel must present valid, photo fire or law enforcement ID at Knott’s main gate November 24 through December 18, 2011.  Fire or police personnel absolutely must be present.  Fire and law enforcement badges and identification cards are acceptable only if accompanied by photo ID.  As all IDs must reference specific fire or law enforcement duty, government-only IDs will not be accepted.

            Under promotional rules, Knott’s will admit sworn officers, civilian employees and support staff from all city and county fire and law enforcement organizations, plus the following: California Highway Patrol (CHP); County Sheriff; District Attorney; U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Forestry and other wild land fire organizations; correctional facilities (prisons); U.S. Marshals; ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); International Border Patrol; Immigration Naturalization Service (INS); ambulance company EMTs; and reserve or volunteer fire and law enforcement members with valid ID.  Please note that only individuals with proper photo ID specifically referencing fire or law enforcement duty will be accepted.

            The following organizations are not covered by the promotion:  retired fire and law enforcement employees; U.S. Armed Forces, including all U.S. veterans; private law firms; reserve or volunteer fire and law enforcement members without valid ID; American Red Cross; California Conservation Corps.; private security firms; and all employees with government-only IDs or without specific fire or law enforcement IDs.

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

          For more information, including operating hours and attraction availability on the day you plan to visit, please call Knott’s Information at (714) 220-5200 or visit us online at

Matching Grant and Other News from WCHM


I hope that by now many of you have heard the wonderful news that the Museum received a $10,000 challenge grant from an anonymous donor.  This donor wanted to challenge the museum and its supporters to raise $10,000 by October 31st.  This generous person will match every dollar we get until then, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000!  As we are right in the middle of our annual operating fund drive, I will take this opportunity to ask you to get out your check book and make a tax-deductible donation to the Wabash County Historical Museum!  Do it NOW and the impact of your gift will be doubled. 

If you plan to give later in the year, that is alright too.  Believe me, we will still have the need.  If I can answer any questions for you about ways to give, please call me at 260-563-9070.


For the second year, the Museum will have a booth at Chili for Charity held on Saturday, October 15, at Paradise Spring, in downtown Wabash.  We are making Prairie Hen Chili, named after a famous canal boat.  Stop by the booth and see us!  And when you’ve had your fill of chili, remember the museum is just down the street.  Our Historic Harley exhibit is still going strong!  Make a day of it!


Did you know that from now until the end of the year we are open on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.?  If you can’t get to the Museum during the week, and your Saturdays are filled with errands, laundry, and children’s sporting events, you might like to visit us on a quiet Sunday afternoon.  The best part?  If you bring a receipt, dated within the last seven days, from one of the merchants listed below, you get in at ½ price!

Participating merchants are:

    The Francis Shoppe
    Market Street Grill
    Charley Creek (including Twenty and the Inn’s shops)
    The D Shoppe
    The Crow’s Nest
    Dr. James Ford Historic Home
    Eugenia’s Restaurant


(This was so popular last month, we’ve been asked to do it again!)

Have you ever seen Judy Garland in “The Harvey Girls”? The movie is based on real-life Harvey Girls, who worked in Harvey House restaurants along the railroad lines in the western US. Harvey Girls were known for their good cooking and wholesome demeanor.  Wabash County’s Linda Kuester, whose mother was a Harvey Girl, will give a presentation about her mother’s experience and the history of this slice of Americana.  Along with the presentation, you’ll be served BRUNCH by costumed Harvey Girls! The event will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 3, in the Museum’s multipurpose room. RESERVATIONS AND PREPAYMENT ARE REQUIRED, and there is a limit of 30 participants. Cost is $10 for members and $12 for non-members. CALL NOW! THIS ONE IS FILLING UP FAST!


Join us at noon in the multipurpose room as Dr. James Glass, from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation, discusses the Frances Slocum Trail, which runs through Wabash County.  History Hunter events are about 40 minutes long, with a question and answer period after.  Come on your lunch hour, bring a sack lunch, and leave in time to get back to work!  Free for members or with a paid daily admission.


Family Fun Day will be held on Thursday, December 29.  Bring all the kids in your life and explore the entire museum, plus extra fun and games relating to our theme of archaeology!  From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free from members or with a paid daily admission.

SeaWorld Orlando Launches Social Mobile App Game SCVNGR For Halloween Spooktacular

SeaWorld Orlando is launching SCVNGR, the social mobile app game for Halloween Spooktacular where guests can win a cool prize after completing three fun and exciting challenges.  Check out our blog for all the details


SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular is about to become even more exciting!

During the park’s amazing family-friendly Halloween event, guests can play SCVNGR, a free mobile app game all about going places, doing challenges and earning points. Instead of riddles to guide you to a place, SCVNGR concentrates on completing challenges at a particular location, like SeaWorld Orlando. SCVNGR is played from a custom app on iPhones or Android mobile devices.

Those who complete three simple and fun challenges at SeaWorld Orlando during Halloween Spooktacular will win a free limited-edition Shamu lunch box.

Players can expect to have a blast and earn some sweet rewards when they play SCVNGR at SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular,” said Chris Mahl, SVP and chief brand alchemist at SCVNGR. “It’s the perfect way to bring a social element to the awesomely spooktacular activities and events SeaWorld Orlando has planned!”

SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular SCVNGR challenges are:

·         Apple Decorating Post: Head to the apple decorating station and create a delicious treat. Which of the scrumptious toppings did you use to make the perfect candied apple? Type in your favorite topping.

·         Welcome Creatures: Spooktacular’s hero is Otto the Octopus ... but did you know SeaWorld has a real octopus, too?  Snap a photo of the REAL sea creature! (Hint: Last seen inside one of Manta’s aquariums).

·         Otto Octopus: Shamu and friends are among many fanciful creatures welcoming trick-or-treaters! Snap a photo with any character at the PPZ (Penelope’s Party Zone)!

To start playing, download the SCVNGR app at the Android Market or Apple’s iTunes Store. When guests arrive at SeaWorld Orlando for Halloween Spooktacular, they’ll simply need to check-in on SCVNGR, go to “places,” and then tap on “SeaWorld Spooktacular.” Follow the prompts and have fun!

Halloween meets the sea during SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular, featuring an ocean of Halloween fun where children can trick-or-treat, dance with whimsical sea creatures, catch silly and spooky shows and create sea-themed arts and crafts.

SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular takes place October: 15-16, 22-23, and 28-30. The daytime event runs from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., leaving the littlest of trick-or-treaters wide-eyed for even more fun-filled activities.  And now, kids are half-price with a full paid adult when bought online in advance.

For more information about SeaWorld Orlando and Halloween Spooktacular visit

For more information on SCVNGR visit

Deployed soldier reunited with his Family At Busch Gardens’ Sesame Street Safari of Fun

TAMPA, FL (October 2011) – For the Hill children – 6-year-old Chrislyn, 4-year-old Christopher and 1-year-old Christian – the “A is for Africa” show at Busch Gardens’ Sesame Street Safari of Fun recently featured a surprise ending that was many months in the making.

The children’s father, Air Force Staff Sergeant Christopher Hill, had been deployed to Zabul Providence, Afghanistan since early 2011. After more than 7 months away from his family, SSgt Hill and his wife, Frances, wanted the perfect surprise homecoming to reunite him with his children – the youngest of whom started walking while he was away.

At the finale of the family-friendly show featuring the Sesame Street characters, the stage attendant announced that they had a special guest to introduce, but that they would need special help from the audience (and a wave of Abby’s magic wand) to bring him all the way back from Afghanistan.

After a tearful reunion, the family posed for photos with their Sesame Street friends onstage, and 4-year-old Christopher thanked Elmo for bringing his father home.

Ssgt Hill is stationed at MacDill Air Force Base.


Friday, November 25 from 10AM to 4PM
(families who donate canned goods receive free admission)

Fairytale Town is offering Free Admission to families who bring a canned or packaged good for donation on Friday, November 25, 2011 - the day after Thanksgiving. Fairytale Town is serving as a donation site for the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services: Holiday Spirit of Giving Food Drive. 

Activities in the park will include a hands-on activity for children and puppet shows in the Children's Theater (for a nominal fee). Families can spend a few leisurely hours in the crisp winter air and let the hustle and bustle of the season pass them by. Let your imaginations run wild around the 25 oversized storybook playsets and exhibits. Say hello to Fairytale Town's newest residents the three little piglets, and the many other barnyard animals. Parents and children alike can explore the Crooked Mile, King Arthur's Castle, Cinderella's Pumpkin Coach, Sherwood Forest, or the Yellow Brick Road.

This event is sponsored by Ronald McDonald House Charities, and Pacific Dental Services.

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

What: Free Admission Day at Fairytale Town

When: Friday, November 25, 2011 - Canned Food Drive

             10AM to 4PM (weather permitting)

Where: Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95822

Contact Phone: 916-808-7462

Contact e-mail:


San Diego Zoo to Ignite a Statewide Conversation about Environmental Sustainability and Museums

     What are the top environmental challenges for our region? Who is working to address these challenges? How can museums become involved? These are some of the questions to be posed on Friday, October 14, 2011, by a group of museums meeting at the San Diego Zoo to discuss how museums can inform their communities about environmental challenges and inspire action. San Diego Zoo Global and the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership will engage museum, environmental and community leaders in roundtable discussions as part of a statewide initiative, titled Ignite! Museums as Catalysts for Sustainability. The goals are to explore the fundamental ecological issues facing each region and to seek ways in which museums can be partners in finding solutions to these challenges. The seven concurrent discussions will be connected virtually, and environmentalist, entrepreneur and author Paul Hawken ( will give the keynote address. For more information, see

 Ignite! Museums as Catalysts for Sustainability is spearheaded by the Green Museums Initiative, a program supported by the California Association of Museums. The regional roundtables will take place concurrently at seven host institutions: Sunnylands Center and Gardens in Rancho Mirage; San Diego Zoo; Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach; University of California, Merced, Library; California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco; Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences; and Gateway Science Museum in Chico. Each site is convening museum leaders, scientists, environmentalists, community stakeholders, and artists to discuss how to preserve ecosystems and promote healthy communities in their region. Artists participating in the regional roundtable discussions will create artworks for a statewide traveling exhibition by Exhibit Envoy (