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Thursday, April 21, 2011


Extended Lineup Includes Top Names In Contemporary Christian and Christian Rock

TAMPA, Fla. (April 20, 2011) — Busch Gardens Tampa Bay presents the biggest names in contemporary Christian, gospel and Christian rock music with Glory at the Gardens – festival packed with music and fellowship – on May 7 and 14.

The festival kicks off May 7 with Christian Hip-Hop solo artist Lecrea and Mary Mary, a three-time Grammy-award winning and seven-time Dove Award winning gospel music duo. Then on May 14, the lineup features performances by the 2010 Dove Award New Artist of the Year and popular contemporary Christian group the Sidewalk Prophets and gospel legend Michael W. Smith, a three-time Grammy-award winner and 44-time Dove Award winner. These top Christian acts will perform in Busch Gardens’ Gwazi Park beginning at 5 p.m. each day.

Guests can reserve the best seat in house for their favorite acts with the Glory at the Gardens VIP Ticket. The VIP ticket is $27.95 and includes a meal (entrée and any one item from a selection of side salads, side dishes or desserts, plus a regular-sized non-alcoholic beverage) and priority reserved seating at center stage. The VIP ticket is available for sale online at and in-park at the Adventure Outpost store, located at the front gate.

Don’t miss a beat this summer when Busch Gardens opens Cheetah Hunt, Florida’s first triple launch coaster brings guests face-to-face with the world’s fastest land animals, and then invites them to race across the Serengeti. Catch both weekends of Glory at the Gardens and Cheetah Hunt’s opening with a 2011 Busch Gardens Fun Card. Just pay for a day and come back all year to catch all the excitement! It’s the best value for again-and-again access to all of the amazing animal encounters, world-class thrill rides, exciting big-name entertainment and family adventure Busch Gardens has to offer.

The 2011 Busch Gardens Fun Card is valid from the date of purchase through Dec. 31, 2011 and is available at the Busch Gardens’ front gate, online or by calling (888) 800-5447. Event dates, times and talent are subject to change. Performances are included with any daily admission or annual pass. Visit for more information.

Busch Gardens Announces Winning Names For Baby Cheetah and Puppy

More than 2,400 Guest Votes Helped Name Young Cat and Yellow Lab Via Facebook Poll

Monday, April 18, 2011 (Tampa, FL) – Busch Gardens’ cheetah cub and his new puppy companion have been receiving plenty of attention recently, and now guests will have a name to put with the face.

At noon today, the park closed a Facebook poll that went live Thursday, offering the public an opportunity to vote for their favorite of four names for each of the animals. This afternoon, the 8 ½-week-old male cheetah cub will officially be named Kasi, which is Swahili for “one with speed.” The 16 ½-week-old female yellow Labrador puppy will be named Mtani, Swahili for “close friend.”

The name Kasi received 44% of the 1,103 votes entered in the cheetah’s poll; Mtani received 51% of the 1,360 votes entered in the puppy’s poll. More than 100 Facebook fans also offered their own suggestions for names, from “Sugar and Spice” to “Will and Kate” in honor of the upcoming Royal wedding.

Guests were able to see the pair for the first time over the weekend during supervised visits in their new playroom at Jambo Junction. Kasi and Mtani will continue to live in Jambo Junction for the next several months. Eventually, they will live together in a large outdoor area near the Cheetah Run habitat and make regular “sidewalk” appearances in the park, helping the park’s education team to teach guests about the plight of cheetahs in the wild and the importance of Busch Gardens’ conservation efforts.

Cheetahs are included on both the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of vulnerable species as well as on the US Endangered Species Act list of threatened species. Only approximately 12,400 cheetahs remain in the wild.

Busch Gardens supports the conservation of and education about cheetahs through the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, which has donated nearly $100,000 to cheetah efforts in Africa since 2005 and also helps fund conservation programs for white rhinos, marine animals and many other species around the world.

PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Marriott/Busch Gardens Tampa Bay


Last Chance To Experience Mardi Gras 2011 at Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando ’s Mardi Gras goes out to the sound of propulsive and melodious guitar this Saturday with Thirty Seconds To Mars performing their electric hits live in concert. This weekend’s concert marks the conclusion of Universal Orlando’s 2011 Mardi Gras event.

The popular rock trio is comprised of guitarist Tomo Milicevic, drummer Shannon Leto and lead singer and guitarist Jared Leto. The band’s three studio albums have sold more than 3.5 million copies and include top songs like, “Closer to the Edge,” “The Kill” and “A Beautiful Lie.” The group also won the “Best Rock Video” award for their single, “Kings & Queens,” at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.


Mardi Gras Event Dates

Headliners (performing in the Music Plaza )

Friday, April 1
Sean Kingston

Saturday, April 2

Saturday, April 9

Saturday, April 16
The Beach Boys

Saturday, April 23
Thirty Seconds To Mars

At Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras, nationally renowned musical acts combine with an authentic Mardi Gras parade, dozens of colorfully costumed performers, authentic Cajun cooking, and hand-picked New Orleans bands to capture the look, feel and fun of New Orleans – all inside Universal Studios Florida. This year’s ultimate street party concludes this Saturday, April 23, and is included in regular admission to Universal Studios Florida. For more information, visit

WHEN:                       Saturday, April 23, 2011
WHERE:                    Universal Studios Florida
MARDI GRAS           Saturday, April 23, 2011
SCHEDULE:              5 p.m. – 8 p.m.: Daddy Mack Blues Band (New Orleans Band)
8:30 p.m.: Mardi Gras Parade Starts
9:30 p.m.: Thirty Seconds To Mars

Tipi Painting on Display at Fairytale Town April 21 & 22, 2011

Sacramento artist Andy Graham, who is also Fairytale Town's resident artist, will be painting classic Native American images on the park's new tipi. Children are invited to watch the new tipi and the painting process during normal park hours of 9AM to 4PM on April 21 and 22. Graham will be using modern paints and techniques as he gives the 10 foot tall tipi a Plains Indian motif.

The Native American Village inside Fairytale Town is one of the most popular spots upon entering. This area  includes a water wise native garden and totem pole inspired by Pacific Northwest Native Americans. Children visiting Fairytale Town's Native American Village have the opportunity to see and step inside a real tipi and appreciate Native American culture first hand.

The tipi painting and installation is the last phase of the Native American Village restoration project. This project was made possible in part by a generous contribution fom Ken Stieger and family. A long time supporter, Mr. Stieger served on Fairytale Town's board of directors for many years. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Carrie Fisher Returns to “A Galaxy Far, Far Away” for the Grand Opening of STAR WARS(TM) Miniland at LEGOLAND California

CARLSBAD, Calif. (March 31, 2011) – Actress Carrie Fisher, known for her portrayal of Princess Leia in Star Wars Episodes IV, V and VI, made a special appearance in Carlsbad today to commemorate the grand opening of STAR WARS™ Miniland at LEGOLAND® California. The ceremony, held prior to Park opening, was attended by community leaders and celebrities with their families and featured dramatic unveilings of each of the seven scenes built with more than 1.5 million LEGO® bricks revealing 2,000 Star Wars LEGO models.

Fisher, currently serving as the Jenny Craig spokesperson, granted an out-of-this world wish for 9-year-old Carson Wiener, who suffers from Leukemia. In addition to providing Carson with a chance to meet one of his Star Wars heroes, Fisher presented a $5,000 check from LEGOLAND California to Make-A-Wish Foundation San Diego Chapter. Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Carson was able to fulfill his wish last year by coming to LEGOLAND California and spending time with Master Model Builder Gary McIntire.  LEGOLAND California asked Carson to help break the red ribbon today - using a lightsaber – to officially open STAR WARS Miniland.

To commemorate their participation, Model Shop Supervisor Tim Petsche presented both Fisher and Carson with replicas of the LEGO minilander model of Princess Leia from the Hoth scene of STAR WARS Miniland.

When asked what it was like meeting Carrie Fisher, Wiener replied, “It was cool because she was in Star Wars and I would have really wanted to be in Star Wars too, if I could.”

Also in attendance were cast members from Lucasfilm’s animated TV series, STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS™ – James Arnold Taylor, who voices Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Plo Koon, and Catherine Taber, who voices Padmé Amidala. Other attending celebrities included Christian Slater, Brooke Burke, Corey Feldman, Nolan Gould, Tony Hawk, Andy MacDonald, Sharon Leal, Lisa LoCicero, Shawn Hatosy, Atticus Shaffer, Gail O’Grady, Mark Feuerstein, Sharon Leal, Kiptyn Locke and Tenley Molzhan.

Visitors to the all-new STAR WARS Miniland can follow a chronological path through the STAR WARS timeline and retrace the major events of the beloved Saga. Some of the 2,000 LEGO models will be more than 8-feet-tall and interactive buttons will allow children to activate animations throughout the scenes.

“This is a really exciting day for LEGOLAND California -- we are the first LEGOLAND in the world to introduce Star Wars Miniland,” said Peter Ronchetti, General Manager of LEGOLAND California Resort.  “In the new area, you follow a chronological path through the Star Wars timeline to retrace the major events of the amazing saga. There are interactive elements and features that really create what we call the hands-on-minds-on experience of LEGOLAND California.”

During the grand opening ceremony, members of the 501st Legion of Stormtroopers guarded each scene until pyrotechnics exploded and each was described in full detail:

The models for the new STAR WARS Miniland were developed and built by eight model designers and two animation electricians in LEGOLAND Deutschland. A team of three Master Model Builders at LEGOLAND California spent the last few months bringing the scenes to life with the help of animation electricians, technicians and landscapers – all working to ensure the LEGO models appear as realistic as possible with special effects and landscaping.

In honor of the grand opening of STAR WARS Miniland, Park guests can also enjoy an enormous sand sculpture created out of 40 tons of sand for a new series titled “The Sand Guys,” premiering on the Travel Channel this summer. Also on display in the Park is a LEGO mosaic featuring memorable images from The Empire Strikes Back created out of 165,888 LEGO bricks and constructed by Park guests.

For the first time ever at LEGOLAND California, a live Web Cam has been set up atop the Model Shop for fans to visit STAR WARS Miniland anytime just by logging onto

Scene-by-Scene Breakdown:

Episode 1: Naboo
The epic Battle of Naboo pits Gungan forces against the Trade Federation’s battle droids for control of the planet and its capital city, Theed. The Royal Palace, home to Queen Amidala, is constructed of more than 15,000 LEGO® bricks. In the Theed hangar bay, young Anakin Skywalker saves the day by flying his Naboo starfighter to victory while Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn battle the Sith apprentice, Darth Maul.

Episode II: Geonosis
In the Geonosis execution arena, Padmé Amidala, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker battle three ferocious creatures: the massive reek, the terrifying acklay and the ravenous nexu. The Geonosis arena itself is built to 1:180 scale; if the LEGOLAND® Model Builders had built it to a scale of 1:20 like the other Miniland models, it would have been more than 29 feet high!  Also depicted is the Battle of Geonosis, where the Separatist Droid Army clashes with the Grand Army of the Republic in the first conflict of the Clone Wars.

Episode III: Kashyyyk and Mustafar
Two planets are shown here: The Battle of Kashyyyk depicts the Droid Army’s amphibious assault on the home planet of Chewbacca and the Wookiees. The scene features two AT-APs (All Terrain Attack Pod) plus the massive Clone Turbo Tank, which is constructed from 10,180 LEGO® pieces and took 168 hours to build.  On the opposite side is the volcanic planet of Mustafar, where the fateful duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker takes place.

Episode IV: Tatooine
This desert planet is the childhood home of Luke Skywalker. In the spaceport city of Mos Eisley, you will find the Cantina where Luke and Obi-Wan Kenobi first meet up with Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, and his copilot Chewbacca. As the band plays on, Greedo corners Han Solo just before the group narrowly escapes the planet with C-3PO and R2-D2. It took LEGOLAND® Model Builders 143 hours to design and build the Millennium Falcon, using 19,200 pieces.

Episode V: Hoth
The Rebels establish a secret base on this frozen planet, which is home to wampas and tauntauns.  But an Imperial probe droid discovers their location, and the Empire sends massive walkers to attack Echo Base. Inside the base, Rebel snowspeeders and Luke Skywalker’s X-wing fighter can be seen. Outside, Luke’s snowspeeder has crashed, but the young Jedi uses his lightsaber to single-handedly bring down the giant AT-AT.

Episode VI: Endor
The forest moon of Endor is home to the Ewoks. These small but resourceful creatures join forces with the Rebel Alliance to destroy the shield generator and prevent completion of the second Death Star.  The Imperial shuttle can be seen on the landing platform, where Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, has just arrived.  Next to the landing platform is the massive shield generator, which stands 8 feet tall.

THE CLONE WARS: Christophsis
The animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars takes place chronologically between Episodes II and III and follows the adventures of Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. This scene represents Christophsis, a crystalline planet where Republic clone troopers battle the Separatist army.  Anakin single-handedly attacks an Octuptarra droid, while Obi-Wan prepares to repel the advancing droid army.  The Crystal City building is the largest Star Wars Miniland LEGO® model and is made of more than 70,000 pieces.

FunCamps for Kids this Summer

Open Enrollment begins April 1
What are your children doing this summer? Sign them up for FunCamps this summer at Fairytale Town. June through August, Fairytale Town is offering week-long programs where children can explore topics in art, drama, music, gardening, food, animals, and more. New this year is a special parent and tot class designed for toddlers.  Children ages 3-12 can explore new areas of interest or dive deeper into old favorites.
Open registration begins April 1 and Fairytale Town members receive a discount.  For more information call 916-808-7462 and online registration available at
Children Ages 3 - 4

...Got Tots?:

August 8 - 12, 10AM - 12PM, Ages: 3 - 4

Introduction to FunCamps designed for pre-Preschoolers! One-hundred percent parent interaction is required as they lead their toddlers through specific routines and play interactive games designed to help children transition into class and group settings.
Children Ages 4 - 6

Farmer Brown's Barn-Owls

June 13 - 17 & July 18 - 22, 9AM - 12PM, Ages: 4 - 6

Introduction to the daily regimens that keep our friendly flock of farm animals fit and healthy. Campers will have plenty of hands-on contact with our fuzzy, furry barnyard buddies, learn historical information and participate in related hands-on activities. Please note: Campers will have direct contact with Fairytale Town animals and animal feed. Some children may be allergic to natural oils found in animal fur/hair and feed.

Earthworks Garden FunCamp

June 20 - 24, 9AM - 12PM, Ages: 4 - 6

Green thumb fun with a special guest gardener. Learn the basic essentials of home gardening with an accent on environmentally "green" themes. Campers will also receive an up close perspective on Fairytale Town's own unique gardens and plants.


June 27 - July 1, 9AM - 12PM, Ages: 4 - 6

Channel your inner rock star! This camp features hands-on experience with several instruments including, guitar, bass, drums and keyboard. Campers will also learn lots of rock history and participate in rock-related art activities. RockSchool is perfect for beginner musicians (no previous experience is necessary), please note this FunCamp gets loud!

Art Start

July 11 - 15, 9AM - 12PM, Ages: 4 - 6

Introduction to art and basic art concepts to beginning budding artists. Campers participate in a wonderful week of art projects featuring wall to wall drawing, cutting, pasting and painting in a relaxed environment. Topics explored may include primary and secondary colors, drawing, sand art and patterns.

Once Upon A Puppet

July 25 - 29 & August 1 - 5, 9AM - 12PM, Ages: 4 - 6

Every playset at Fairytale Town tells a story, and every story can be told with puppets! This FunCamp teaches students the original nursery rhymes and fairytales that inspired Fairytale Town and our various playsets. Campers are then inspired to retell the classic tales through a variety of techniques using puppets that they create.
Children Ages 6 - 12

Zap! Boom! Pow! Comic Book Basics

June 20 - 24, 1PM - 4PM, Ages: 6 - 12

The perfect FunCamp for budding artists who want to draw, draw and draw some more! A special emphasis is placed on dynamic anatomy, character development and sequential story telling techniques using both the Golden Age & Silver Age historical data and profiles. Campers will have the option to create their own comic book or a freestanding art piece to display in a "comic book convention" setting!

Art Tricks & Techniques

June 27 - July 1 & July 18 - 22, 1PM - 4PM, Ages: 6 - 12

An exciting variety of adventures in mixed media including painting with water colors, printmaking and clay sculpture. Plus, an added exploration into "Found Objects" and "Environmental Art". This camp is specifically designed for the young artist who wants to try it all!

Sing! Sing! Sing!

July 11 - 15, 1PM - 4PM, Ages: 6 - 12

Young singers will learn to hit the high notes in this musical, magical FunCamp! Features plenty of one on one instruction at the piano as well as introducing group choral techniques. This camp is perfect for the beginning crooners or seasoned song stylists who wish to hone their craft.


July 25 - 29, 1PM - 4PM, Ages: 6 - 12

 This camp features hands-on experience with several instruments including, guitar, bass, drums and keyboard. Campers will also learn lots of rock history and participate in rock-related art activities. RockSchool is perfect for beginning or seasoned musicians (but no previous experience is necessary), please note this FunCamp gets loud!


August 1 - 5 & August 15 - 19, 1PM - 4PM, Ages: 6 - 12

A beginning Theatre Arts FunCamp that emphasizes self-expression, public speaking, teamwork, and self confidence through a variety of exercises and theatre games. Campers will be introduced to pantomime, diaphragmatic breathing, the works of William Shakespeare, and prepare a talent show that features group-led activities and showcases individual performance strengths.

Kitchen Chemistry

August 8 - 12, 1PM - 4PM, Ages: 6 - 12

Cooking is just the tip of the iceberg! Campers will learn nutritional theory and explore the science and history of food preparation through a series of fun hands-on experiments utilizing  "Kitchen Chemistry". Please note: Campers will not be using a stove or cooking with an open flame at any time.

All FunCamps and schedules are subject to change.

Live Sheep Shearing at Fairytale Town

Farms, Friends & Fairytales
Saturday, May 21, 2011- 11AM to 3PM

Farmer Brown showcases Fairytale Town's friendly barnyard animals at the Fourth Annual Farms, Friends and Fairytales event. On Saturday, May 21, visitors can see Fairytale Town's twin Babydoll sheep, Lucy and Ethel, lose their winter coats with an old fashioned sheep shearing. Then the fun continues as a wool spinner, spins the wool on a spinning wheel to create yarn. Another unique activity is a yummy one! Children can learn how to make their very own ice cream. Farms, Friends & Fairytales is an annual event that is not to be missed.

Children and parents alike during the event will learn about each of the facility's animals, which include unique and miniature breeds such as Fairytale Town's latest addition, a Hereford Cow who just turned 1 year old, and others such as a miniature Sicilian Donkey, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pigs, and rabbits. Farmer Brown will showcase Fairytale Town's animals and share information on their care and maintenance, and their daily lives interacting with park guests.

Farms, Friends and Fairytales is a celebration of everything agriculture. Families can visit with a variety of organizations who help bring agricultural products to market. While you wander the grounds learning all about agriculture, you can listen to live music provided by the Loose Acoustic Trio, and visit with our Barnyard Buddies who live at Fairytale Town. At this event children will not only recall the familiar nursery rhymes that include these animals, but learn how they contribute to our society and lives.

"Most urban children don't have the chance to see live farm animals. Fairytale Town is a unique environment where we can combine teaching how these animals contribute to our society and represent the fairytales children know so well. It's one more opportunity to help promote literacy and education - which is our core mission," said Kathy Fleming, Fairytale Town's Executive Director. 

Event Details

What: Farms, Friends & Fairytales

When: Saturday, May 21, 2011

Time: 11AM - 3PM
Cost: $4.50 per person; children age 1 & under are free

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

Contact phone: 916-808-7462


Cheryl Hines and Daughter Hand-Feed Giraffes at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Friday, April 1, 2011 (Tampa, FL) – Cheryl Hines, best known for her role as Larry David's wife Cheryl on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, was unable to contain her enthusiasm when she and her daughter Catherine handfed a reticulated giraffe at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay this week.


Summer Fun on the Horizon
Jackie Greene in Concert

Saturday, June 4

Gates open at 6:30PM, Concert Begins at 8PM

Kick off the summer with an exciting night of music, Jackie Greene performs LIVE on the Mother Goose Stage!  Tickets go on sale April 1. Ticket prices are $25 in April, $30 in May, and $35 in June. All proceeds benefit nonprofit Fairytale Town. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, adult beverages will be available for purchase with valid ID. This event is sponsored in part by MTI College, Capital Public Radio, Berryessa Gap Vineyards, and Sudwerk Brewery. For concert rules and restrictions please visit

Annual Puppet Festival - Last Week!

June 8 - 26
Wednesdays - Sundays
Weekdays at 10:30AM, 11:30AM & 12:30PM
Weekends at 12:30PM, 1:30PM & 2:30PM

Catch Jack & The Beanstalk puppet show during the last week of the Annual Puppet Festival. In addition to paid park admission, show tickets are $1 members and $2 nonmembers, children 1 and under are free. All shows are performed by Puppet Art Theater Company. 

Humpty's Western Round-Up

Saturday, June 11
6PM - 10PM

Giddy up for this Western themed annual fundraiser! The event features live entertainment provided by The Dave Russell Band, B.B.Q. fixins', Crystal ice cream, children's western activities, and more! Tickets go on sale April 15. Tickets in advance are $25 for adults and $10 for children (2-12) and include a meal; children 1 and under are free. On the day of the event, tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children (2-12).  This event is sponsored in part by Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP, Jordan Blair, Sacramento Coca-Cola, Foster Farms Dairy, Scott Naake Paper Company, Securitas Security Services, Southwest Airlines, Tony's Fine Foods, KNTY The Wolf Radio, and KVIE Channel 6. Tickets will be available online at, or at the Fairytale Town box office.

Fairytale Town Troupers Present: Snow White & The 7 Pirates!

Saturdays & Sundays
June 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26
12PM & 1PM
Climb aboard for some swashbuckling fun, but mind the apples! An evil queen, a magic mirror, a mysterious mermaid, a zombie army, and a beautiful princess who must take refuge with seven eccentric ...pirates?  Watch The Fairytale Town Troupers perform a reimagined fairytale with a few new twists. Performances will be held on the Mother Goose Stage and are free with paid park admission. 

Family Camp Out

Friday, June 24
5:30PM - 7AM

Bring your sleeping bags and tents to Fairytale Town and sleep under the stars! This fun filled sleepover includes a special theater performance, a hands-on activity, a Fairytale themed scavenger hunt, group sing-a-long and bedtime story. Prices range from $20 - $30 per person, fees include all activities, an evening snack and a light breakfast the next morning.  Reserve your space today at


Sarah Jenkins, San Diego Zoo Safari Park keeper, released hundreds of butterflies as they emerged from pupae on Thursday in preparation for the Park's annual springtime event, Butterfly Jungle presented by Baskin-Robbins. This year, the annual springtime event is one week longer, running April 9 through May 8.
     Once immersed in Butterfly Jungle, move slowly, allowing thousands of vibrant wings to flap gently past or perhaps land on a shoulder or head. Wear bright colors to attract butterflies. Approximately 40 species of butterflies and 15 species of African birds will flutter about in the Hidden Jungle aviary.

     Along the journey to metamorphosis, watch for an opportunity to meet other invertebrates up close including hissing cockroaches, praying mantises and lady bugs. Find the emperor scorpion, back by popular demand, before entering Butterfly Jungle. Try on wings, antennae, and compound eyes and taste "butterfly nectar" at the "What's it Like to Be A Butterfly?" station.

     Butterfly Jungle is included with admission. Admission is $40 for adults and $30 for children ages 3 to 11. Children 2 and younger are admitted free.

Beneath the Surface:‬‪The Making of SeaWorld's New Killer Whale Show "One Ocean"‬‪

SeaWorld parks across the United States are counting down the days to the debut of the all-new killer whale show "One Ocean."  The show connects guests to the sea with a new level of energy, excitement and vibrancy as it educates and inspires them to make a difference in this world.  "One Ocean" opens at SeaWorld Orlando on Earth Day, Friday, April 22; at SeaWorld San Diego on Memorial Day weekend and SeaWorld San Antonio in June.

“One Ocean” features SeaWorld’s majestic killer whales as ambassadors of the sea, and the ocean as the center of our natural world.   The message of caring and respect for the world we share is woven throughout the show, encouraging guests to make a difference through everyday actions.

We will post a series of video vignettes now through the grand opening that take you behind the scenes with trainers, producers, designers and educators as they collaborate on every aspect of the new show - from set design, lighting and special effects to costumes and an original symphonic score.

First up is where every creative project starts:  the inspiration.

Upcoming Events at the Museum!


We now have extra copies of the classic Gene Stratton-Porter book, Laddie: A True Blue Tale. This book held special significance to Stratton-Porter, as the title character is based upon her brother, Leander, who drowned in the Wabash River at only 18 years old. It also happens to be the next film we will be screening for our Red Carpet Club! (Don’t let the word “club” fool you. This event is open to everyone!)


Thursday, April 28 at 6pm


Please call 260.563.9070 to reserve your spot, as seating is limited.

We will be viewing the 1940 version of the Laddie, which is no longer available for purchase or rental. Mr. Eric Grayson will be bringing his own projector and 16mm film for the event. He will give a presentation and host a question and answer session, in addition to screening this classic tale.

Eric Grayson is a film historian and collector living in Indianapolis . He specializes in 16mm and 35mm film screenings and strives to mesh historical context with entertainment. Most of his presentations include period trailers and short films in combination with a historic feature. His vast library of obscure material has been used in several productions, notably the A&E Biography segment on Ernie Kovacs. He has written articles for Filmfax, Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, and The American Midwest : An Interpretive Encyclopedia. Eric has provided films and lectures in places too numerous to list here. He has a technical background as an electrical engineer with a degree from Purdue University . – From the Dr. Film Preview Package


Now through January 7, 2012 in our Changing Exhibit Gallery

Historic Harleys: The Antique Motorcycles of Brandt's Harley-Davidson is now open! The exhibit contains several antique and collectible Harley-Davidsons, most of them carefully restored by Brandt’s.  The oldest bike in the collection is a 1910 single cylinder.  We now have a new activity for children to complete in the exhibit! “Find the Feature” is a fun way for kids to interact with the exhibit and test their observation skills. The sole sponsor of the exhibit is First Merchants Bank.


Thursday, May 26 from Noon to 1 p.m.

Please call 260.563.9070 to reserve your spot, as seating is limited.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the May 26th meeting of the History Hunters. Fritz Zimmerman, an independent historian, researcher, author, and antiquities preservationist will be sharing with us some information about significant Native American locations in Wabash County , including Hanging Rock and the Hospital Rock. This popular event tends to fill up quickly, so make your reservation NOW! It is free for members or with a paid daily admission.

Call 260.563.9070 or reply to this e-mail to reserve your spot for the Red Carpet Club or History Hunters event.

Busch Gardens’ Baby Cheetah Gets a New Puppy Pal

Guests Invited To Help Name Young Cat and Yellow Lab, Who Will Make Their Public Debut on Saturday

Thursday, April 14, 2011 (Tampa, FL) – Just a month after Busch Gardens took in a cheetah cub whose mother wasn’t caring for it, the park’s animal care team has identified the perfect four-legged friend for the 8-week-old cat: a 16-week old female yellow Labrador puppy.

The two were first introduced over the weekend and have been spending supervised play times together each day. Eventually, the pair will live together and even travel together, helping the park’s education team teaching the public about the plight of cheetahs in the wild and the importance of Busch Gardens’ conservation efforts.

Although this is Busch Gardens’ first cub-and-puppy combo, it is not uncommon in the zoological community for a single cheetah to be raised with a canine companion. “Male cheetahs are social and often live together in coalitions,” said Tim Smith, one of Busch Gardens’ animal curators. “This social bond will be a very similar relationship, and they will be together for life.”

Beginning Saturday, April 16, the cub and puppy will move to Jambo Junction in the Nairobi area of the park, where guests will be able to see them at select times throughout the day. Guests are also invited to help name the pair. Starting today, the public can “like” the Busch Gardens Facebook page ( and vote for their favorite names. The polls will close at noon on Monday, April 18, and the winners will be announced that afternoon.

Cheetahs are included on both the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of vulnerable species as well as on the US Endangered Species Act list of threatened species. Only approximately 12,400 cheetahs remain in the wild.

Busch Gardens supports the conservation of and education about cheetahs through the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, which has donated nearly $100,000 to cheetah efforts in Africa since 2005 and also helps fund conservation programs for white rhinos, marine animals and many other species around the world.

New in 2011 – Riptide Bay at Hurricane Harbor

Construction Begins on Six Flag Great America’s Massive Water Park Expansion

WHAT: Construction begins on Riptide Bay at Hurricane Harbor, a 4 acre water park expansion

FEATURES: 10 new attractions including a double-sided surf simulator, 2 free-fall speed slides, 2 free-fall looping slides, activity pool and additional retail and dining locations. (fact sheet attached)

WHERE: Six Flags Great America / 542 N. Route 21 / Gurnee, IL 60031 / Employee Entrance

VISUALS: Assembling 5-story tall water slides, digging massive activity pool, pouring concrete foundations, building new restaurant and retail facilities.

INFORMATION:   (live webcam, fact sheet and high-resolution images available for download)

Gurnee, Ill.  (April 14, 2011)  – New in 2011, The Best Water Park in the Nation…Just Got Bigger!  Construction crews at Six Flags Great America are hard at work to make this summer Bigger, Better and Wetter!  Construction is underway on Riptide Bay, an all-new 4 acre water park expansion of Hurricane Harbor, Six Flags Great America’s water park that initially opened in 2005.  With the new expansion, Hurricane Harbor will span 20 acres and boast more rides and attractions than any other in the state.  The expansion will also create 80 new jobs at the Gurnee theme park.

Riptide Bay at Hurricane Harbor will feature five new daring slides including first-of-its-kind Skybox drop slides.  Bomb’s away as the floor drops out from beneath you and you free-fall 5 stories into the all-new Dive Bomber looping slides.  Count to three inside Mega Wedgie’s launching capsule and feel the trap-style door under your feet drop, sending you shooting down an 80 degree plunge at 40 mph.  Even race your friends on twin versions. New Riptide Bay features also include the only place to surf on Lake Michigan with our 5 foot wave-in-a-box Surf Rider, a double-funnel family raft slide, massive lagoon, luxury cabanas, gift shop and tiki snack bar.  Riptide Bay at Hurricane Harbor opens Memorial Day weekend.  Best of all, it’s FREE with a season pass or park admission. 

Six Flags Great America is located between Chicago and Milwaukee and offers fun for the entire family with 14 heart-pounding roller coasters, a FREE water park, spectacular shows and three children’s themed areas.

Testing Crews to Launch Cheetah Hunt For the First Time This Weekend

Cheetah Hunt’s Multiple Launch Points Will Undergo
Numerous, Repeated Tests Over The Next Several Days

Friday, April 15, 2011 (Tampa, FL) – This weekend, Busch Gardens’ Design & Engineering team will officially launch Florida’s first triple-launch coaster for the first time. But, the park warns, guests hoping to catch a glimpse of the testing in progress shouldn’t expect Cheetah Hunt to be up to full speed quite yet.

The process, which kicks off Saturday morning, begins by testing each launch point over and over again at partial power with both empty trains and cars loaded with “water dummies” that simulate the weight of human passengers.

After each launch, the train will be pulled back into position and launched again. Crews will start with the first launch point, which propels the train out of the station house; by weekend’s end, they plan to have moved on to the second launch point. At full power, launch point No. 2 will send trains up the 102-foot Windcatcher Tower. Trains testing at partial power, however, will not make it to the top of the tower.

Early next week, this phase of testing will wrap up with the third launch point – located just past the canyon in the northern end Cheetah Hunt’s footprint. Soon after, trains will start making complete circuits around the track’s 4429-foot run.

But how soon will actual people replace the water dummies? “We will run more than 3,000 cycles of the ride before we put humans on it,” says Mark Rose, Busch Gardens’ Vice President of Design & Engineering. When the time comes, Rose will be one of the first people to ride.

Giddy Up for Western Adventure!

Humpty's Western Round-Up
June 11, 2011 - 6PM to 10PM
Tickets on Sale Starting April 15!

Giddy Up! Fairytale Town is hosting its annual fundraiser. The Wild West will once again return to Fairytale Town to set the mood for a High Falutin' Hootenany of family fun - Humpty's Western Round-Up event is on June 11 from 6PM to 10PM.  Tickets are on sale beginning April 15 at
Get on your cowboy duds and boots and ride into town because event activities include: live music from favorite country artist The Dave Russell Band, children's western activities, western ware vendors, bandit hide-outs, and unlimited access to all Fairytale Town attractions and playsets.

Ticket prices are $25 for adults, and $10 for children in advance. Tickets include park admission, all live entertainment and themed activities, dinner and a soft drink, Crystal ice cream, and saloon stations will be serving beer and wine for purchase.
This event is possible through the support of KNTY The Wolf, Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld, Downey Brand, Union Bank, Merchant's National Bank, Securitas, Jordan Blair, Wendy Holmquist and Jeff Chenu, Southwest Airlines, Foster Farms Dairy, Tony's Fine Foods, Scott Naake Paper Company, Sacramento Coca Cola, and Hoppy Brewing Company.
Tickets are available at

Worlds of Fun Fans Campout For Opening Day

KANSAS CITY, Mo. −  Campout, countdown, then coasters! Opening Day at Worlds of Fun is always a special time, but with the second annual Opening Day Campout, fans anticipating the park opening can count it down together at the park's overnight party!  The all-nighters will be rewarded by the park with huge perks including $14.99 admission, a private ride session on the Prowler roller coaster, free food, and fun activities.

As the sun sets on Friday, April 15, the fun begins for anyone attending this free activity when the official line for the event begins to take shape. The park’s front gate area will be home to tents, sleeping bags, blankets, and fans ready to countdown the hours until the park opens for 2011. Worlds of Fun staff members will be on hand to provide the fun with prize drawings, snacks, and contests.

Throughout the night, fans will anxiously be awaiting sunrise, as those that stay at the park are rewarded with something better than morning coffee to wake them up, a full hour of exclusive ride time (ERT) on Prowler roller coaster before the park opens. Plus, during the ERT session, the park will provide a free breakfast for the night owls ready to conquer the park all Opening Day.  In addition, the park’s Season Pass Processing Center will open early for campout guests, and Season Passes will be sold at a discounted price to campout attendees only.  Those campers without a season pass can purchase a discount admission to Opening Day for only $14.99, a savings of $29 off the normal gate price.

All campout activities are free although park admission or a Season Pass is required to enjoy the exclusive Opening Day festivities. For a complete activity list, visit or Worlds of Fun opens for the 2011 season on Saturday, April 16, and a full calendar can be found at

For those that prefer a good night’s sleep, prepare for the 2011 season now by purchasing a season pass at a reduced price. Through April 15, Worlds of Fun Gold Season Passes, a whole season of Worlds of Fun, Oceans of Fun, and free parking, are on sale for only $99. Those taking advantage of a season pass can bring up to four friends for only $9.99 on Opening Day, a savings of $33 per ticket.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Young Calf is Gaining Weight in Response to Care

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 (Tampa, FL) – Busch Gardens’ hoof-stock care team is currently hand raising a baby female Thomson’s gazelle. The baby weighed just over four pounds at birth on February 25.

When the calf refused to take milk from its mother, the park’s animal care team started bottle-feeding the baby.  She is now receiving five bottle feedings each day and is weighed daily to monitor her health.  At  about four weeks old, she has already gained more than two pounds.

Thomson’s gazelles, also called “tommies,” are one of three migratory species that make up the vast Serengeti migration. Like the zebra and the wildebeest, the Tommie population can reach more than 500,000 per migration.

This baby will remain in the park’s back area until she is healthy enough to join the herd of Thomson’s gazelles on the 65-acre Serengeti Plain. Guests can view the herd from Nairobi Walkway and get close-up views of the animals on the Serengeti Express Railway.


Guests Can Pay For a Day, Come Back All Year For Exciting Entertainment and Non-Stop Thrills

TAMPA, Fla. (MARCH 2011) – This April, the ASA Action Sports World Tour amps up the excitement at Busch Gardens with the world’s best pro skateboarders, BMX riders and inline skaters “shreddin” a 14’ tall half-pipe. Live local bands, great food, the latest surf and skate gear complete the festival April 9-10 and 16-17.

This year’s event runs from noon to 6:30 p.m. in Gwazi Field and will feature jaw-dropping demonstrations by the sports’ top talent:

As a five-time X Games gold medalist and two-time Dew Tour Overall Champion Pierre Luc Gagnon has earned recognition as the No. 1 vertical skateboarder in the world. He is also currently starring on VH1’s “The X-Life.”

BMX vertical legend and Denver Big-Air star, Kevin Robinson has nine X Games medals and is best known for successfully performing the first-ever double-flair, a double back flip with a 180-degree rotation. He holds the world record for the highest BMX jump at 27 feet.

Simon Tabron has consistently been in the top three extreme athletes in the world for the past decade and is best known for always riding brakeless. He is an eight-time X Games medalist and has won more than 30 major contests around the world.

Eito Yasutoko is a three-time World Champion and is ranked No. 1 in the world as a vertical skater. Yasutoko has landed a place on the podium at every inline vertical competition he has competed in, earning him countless medals. His signature tricks include 1080 California Roll and the double back flip that he performs at explosive heights.

Anthony Furlong is a 13-year vertical skating veteran known for his consistency in competition and a three-time champion on the Action Sports World Tour. Furlong was born and spent most of his childhood in Tampa, Fla.

Jimmy Walker has been a top 10 BMX rider for the past 15 years. Walker’s fans enjoy how he utilizes the entire ramp with multiple variation tricks and pulls off extremely technical “runs” at great height.

Busch Gardens is keeping the adrenaline-pumping thrills coming all summer long with the all new mega-attraction, Cheetah Hunt. Florida’s first triple launch coaster brings guests face-to-face with the world’s fastest land animals, and then invites them to race across the Serengeti.

Catch both weekends of Ramp Jam and Cheetah Hunt’s opening with a 2011 Busch Gardens Fun Card. Just pay for a day and come back all year to catch all the excitement! It’s the best value for again-and-again access to all of the amazing animal encounters, world-class thrill rides, exciting big-name entertainment and family adventure Busch Gardens has to offer.

The 2011 Busch Gardens Fun Card is valid from the date of purchase through Dec. 31, 2011 and is available at the Busch Gardens’ front gate, online or by calling (888) 800-5447. Event dates, times and talent are subject to change. Performances are included with any daily admission or annual pass. Visit for more information.