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November 16, 2010 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The Los Angeles Times Funland blog covers news, trends, issues and changes at major amusement and theme parks as well as the latest information on new rides, attractions, shows, parades and Halloween events. Funland categories: Theme Parks | Disneyland | Disney California Adventure | Disney World | Universal Studios | Six Flags | Knott's Berry Farm | New Rides & Attractions | Roller Coasters | Photo Galleries | Top 10s | Most Popular Stories | Celebrities | Halloween | Wizarding World of Harry Potter Contact Los Angeles Times theme park blogger Brady MacDonald at brady (dot)
April 10, 2014 | By Brady MacDonald
A small amusement park in the shadows of Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm will introduce a first-of-its-kind ride in the United States that has already caught the attention of roller coaster enthusiasts. The $2-million Rewind Racers set to debut this summer at Anaheim's Adventure City will be the first family shuttle coaster built in North America by Germany-based Gerstlauer Amusement Rides. Photos: Rewind Racers roller coaster at Anaheim's Adventure City Adventure City is already expected to be a stop on the 2015 West Coast Tour for Theme Park Review, a coaster enthusiast website that coordinates cross-country road trips to theme parks around the world.
July 21, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Reporting from Dorney Park in Allentown, Pa.-- The campgrounds, picnic groves and trolley parks that proliferated in Pennsylvania and Ohio in the late 19th century have survived through lean times and changing tastes to become some of the oldest operating amusement parks in the U.S. Photos: Vintage rides and attractions at America's oldest amusement parks Like many of the oldest theme parks on my trip across America's Coaster...
March 13, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
If the gay-themed "Tennessee Queer" came out 20 years ago - or was at least a more deftly made film - perhaps it wouldn't seem so desperately past its sell-by date. But this unevenly acted yuckfest, which is as unsubtle as its title, has all the pizazz of a bad sitcom episode. When Jason Potts (Christian Walker), a New York City librarian living in domestic bliss with his idyllic boyfriend (Jerre Dye), is summoned back to his native Smyth, Tenn., under false pretenses (long story)
May 27, 2008
Re "With Davids, 'Idol' still Goliath," May 22 It appears that the transformation of The Times from a respected newspaper to a daily version of People magazine is almost complete. Not only is the report of who won "American Idol" considered news, it is considered news that is worthy of front-page exposure. I guess the only surprise is that this "news" was below the fold. Michael Byrne Oxnard
November 25, 2010 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Wham! Bam! Ka-Pow! A bruising brawl involving comic-book superheroes, Saturday morning cartoon characters and extreme sports icons will change the ride and roller coaster landscape of Six Flags' 11 U.S. amusement parks in 2011. An intellectual property housecleaning at the amusement park chain has left Bugs Bunny, Superman and Scooby-Doo victorious and Thomas the Tank Engine, The Wiggles, Evel Knievel and Tony Hawk vanquished. In a sudden about-face, Six Flags is undoing several licensing agreements established since 2007 for 60 amusement park rides and attractions.
October 22, 1993
Jenna Hubbard, 8, of Colfax, Wis., plays "Hungry, Hungry Hippos" game at the trade show. Makers and owners of video games, pinball machines, kiddie rides, compact-disc jukeboxes and other coin-operated amusements are holding their annual meeting this week at the Anaheim Convention Center. This is the 40th year of the convention, which is organized by the Amusement & Music Operators Assn., based in Chicago. New this year: several virtual reality games.
July 22, 1990
In reference to "How to Cut Amusement Park Costs," (July 6), even an avid lover of Disneyland must speak out. S. J. Diamond used 17 paragraphs and 132 lines to show how to cut amusement park costs. I can do it with one line: "Stay away!" JOHNNIE F. KIRVIN Los Angeles
July 11, 2011 | T.J. Simers
I need another vacation. I began the last one with a colonoscopy. It was either that or talk to Steve Soboroff about his time with the Dodgers. The rest of the vacation was spent with the three grandchildren, who make more noise these days than a Dodger Stadium crowd. It's hard to describe the steady din. The twins still kind of grunt, especially when they are eating. You know, like Tom Lasorda . The 7-Eleven Kid , meanwhile, turned 6 on Monday and someone thought it would be a good idea if G.P. took the kid to California Adventure a few days before that.
May 2, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
For those who find the films of Michael Haneke too warm and accessible, there is always fellow Austrian Ulrich Seidl, who mixes up actors and real people in structured situations with improvised dialogue to disconcerting ends. "Paradise: Love," the first film of his recent triptych, is getting a week-long run (with "Paradise: Faith" and "Paradise: Hope" in one-off shows for now). "Love" opens with a scene of developmentally disabled adults on an amusement park bumper-car ride for no apparent reason other than the provocateur's shock of the imagery.
January 7, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - In 1957, when he was nearly 50 years old, Run Run Shaw made a grand bet on his movie dreams. He bought 46 acres of hilly land in a remote part of Hong Kong - paying the British colonial government just 45 cents per square foot because of the poor topography and the Communist threat looming over the border with Mao Tse-tung's China - and set out to build his dream factory. By the time Shaw Movietown officially opened in 1961, the mogul had 1,200 actors, directors and other employees on site, many of them living in dormitories.
October 25, 2013 | By Leah Ollman
What is the opposite of a blockbuster exhibition? The pomp-free micro-show inaugurating Tif Sigfrids' Hollywood gallery. It occupies a space roughly the size of a hazelnut. It takes but a nanosecond to see. This anti-spectacle is the work of Joe Sola, among the savviest of today's art-court jesters. The L.A.-based Sola has installed his show of six minuscule portrait paintings (each measuring less than one-tenth of an inch across) in a tiny, tiny box that nestles in gallerist Sigfrids' ear, its one open side facing out. She wears the exhibition during gallery hours, pulling her hair aside to make it visible.
September 19, 2013 | By Robert Abele
Part "Days of Wine and Roses," part early-funny Spike Lee, writer-director Shaka King's intriguing, slippery-witted stoner love story "Newlyweeds" zeros in on a young Brooklyn couple - downcast-looking repo man Lyle (Amari Cheatom) and hippie-ish museum worker Nina (Trae Harris) - in the languorous ecstasy of a romantic pot haze. That is, when they're not scrambling to make ends meet, arguing or making terrible decisions with lasting consequences. Lyle's time outside the pair's den of weed-fueled intimacy is taken up with the perpetual hangover of a grim job (not always done well)
September 5, 2013 | By Robert Abele
Horror spoofs have become something of a spawning menace these days, especially when horror movies themselves are often ridiculous enough to warrant laughter. At least "Hell Baby" has the distinction of coming from two funny parents - writers-directors-stars Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon ("Reno 911!") - and emphasizes a gallery of amusingly offbeat characters brandishing shtick over ripped-off-from-classic-movies sight gags. The simple set-up has eager parents-to-be Jack (Rob Corddry)
August 29, 2013 | By Annlee Ellingson
In "Zipper: Coney Island's Last Wild Ride," documentarian Amy Nicholson puts a human face on the deterioration of the iconic New York amusement park by focusing on the fate of her favorite ride. Consisting of a rotating boom orbited by free-flipping cars, the 38-year-old Zipper was operated by Eddie Miranda. Ambitious development plans and greedy land-grabbers have been pushing Miranda and many of his fellow carnies out of business, rendering "America's Playground" a wasteland of dilapidated buildings and deserted parking lots - even before Hurricane Sandy ripped through.
July 22, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
After a jet recently crashed on a San Francisco runway, a pack of federal investigators swiftly arrived to figure out what went wrong. When a Cirque du Soleil performer fell to her death during a Las Vegas show, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched its own investigation. But when a Texas woman made a fatal plunge from a Six Flags roller coaster in Arlington on Friday, it was left to the amusement park company itself to decide what went wrong.  Much of what flies, rises and falls in the United States -- from planes and trains to elevators -- is harnessed to state and federal regulations that dictate safety standards and give power to investigators to determine what happened when something goes awry.
September 21, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald
The parent company of Knott's Berry Farm has temporarily closed all the WindSeeker tower swings in the amusement park chain after the thrill rides stranded visitors hundreds of feet in the air for hours at a time this summer. Cedar Fair, which operates a dozen amusement parks in North America, will conduct an internal review to determine why the safety systems have activated on the $5-million Windseeker rides at parks in California, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Canada. "Safety is our No. 1 priority, and the company will not open a WindSeeker ride until an internal review has been completed," Cedar Fair announced in a statement.
May 19, 1996
As the author of the California Rider Safety Act (AB 2482) for Knott's Berry Farm, I would like to respond to Mark O'Connell's response to the April 18 article ("Knott's-Backed Bill Gets Panel's OK"). It appears O'Connell has missed the true intent of the bill--to promote the safe use of amusement rides. This legislation would require that amusement riders be informed of their obligation to follow the posted safety rules at each attraction. This allows riders to be aware of the risks inherent in each ride.
July 9, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
"Drunk History," which has lived on the website Funny or Die in fits and starts since 2007, graduates to television Tuesday, courtesy of Comedy Central. It is a strange business: a show in which people who have had too much to drink, for real, travel to the edge of coherence. There will be vomit. Some will find it offensive, immoral, irresponsible - a highly defensible position. It's also very funny, a thing of twisted genius and, for the next eight weeks possibly the most original comedy on television.
July 5, 2013 | By Dana Ferguson
In "The Way, Way Back," which arrives in theaters Friday, much of the action unfolds at the Water Wizz Water Park, where 14-year-old Duncan (Liam James) finds escape from the pains of seeing his mom (Toni Collette) being wooed by a car salesman (Steve Carell). It reminded us of some other films that feature thrills at amusement parks and carnivals. "Adventureland" (2009): College grad James Brennan (Jessie Eisenberg) takes a job working at Adventureland, an amusement park in his home town, to raise money for graduate school.
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