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August 4, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
You can make reservations for an exclusive restaurant. And come this Halloween season you'll be able to make reservations for an exclusive scare. Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park — the theme park that 40 years ago introduced visitors to the now hugely popular Halloween mazes teeming with ghouls and monsters — will offer a premium maze for small groups apart from the crowds. Access to the exclusive maze, starting Sept. 21, will come with an extra charge. It will cost $60 for a group of up to six people, on top of admission to the park, which runs from $36 to $60 per person.
July 11, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., the owner of Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, reported a boost in revenue from visitors spending more at its parks through the Fourth of July holiday period. Cedar Fair, one of the nation's largest regional theme-park operators, took in $456 million, a 5% increase over the same period last year, the company reported Tuesday. The period through the Fourth of July holiday traditionally represents about one-third of the company's full-year revenue.
June 2, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
Theme park attendance rose nearly 3% in North America last year, according to a new report. But about half of that increase was because of one attraction — the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which opened at Universal's Islands of Adventure park in Orlando, Fla. None of the major theme parks makes its attendance records public, but annual estimates are made by AECOM, a Los Angeles engineering and consulting firm. Those figures were used in a report released by the Themed Entertainment Assn.
June 1, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
This post has been corrected The top theme parks in North America enjoyed an estimated 2.9% increase in attendance in 2011, with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Fla., accounting for about half of that rise. The attendance estimate was released Thursday by the Burbank-based Themed Entertainment Assn., a trade group for designers of theme parks, casinos, museums, zoos and other entertainment venues. The assessment is based on an annual estimate of theme park crowds by AECOM, a Los Angeles engineering and consulting firm.
May 29, 2012 | By Pat Benson
Get ready to open your wallet wider this year if you're going to some of Southern California's theme parks. Reporter Hugo Martin explains which parks are raising prices and why in this video. Daily passes for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park rose this month from $80 to $87. The biggest increase hit the 300,000 park-goers who buy premium annual passes that include parking. Those went from $499 to $649. At Universal Studios Hollywood, one-day passes increased recently from $77 to $80, and annual passes that include parking jumped from $149 to $169.
May 6, 2012 | By Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times
The concrete Indian on the forklift struck a precarious pose as he moved through a crowd of rummagers scouting the remains of Bud Hurlbut's workshop in Buena Park . From behind the wheel, Lonnie Lloyd waved everyone aside as he guided the 6-foot, 6-inch statue into a U-Haul van. Its new owners shimmied it against a wall. Toys, props, tools and memorabilia at Hurlbut Amusement Co. moved fast during the recent three-day sale, and Lloyd tried not to be sentimental.
December 21, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Shortly after Christmas, the same question arises every year: What are we going to do on New Year's Eve ? Here's what some California amusement and theme parks have planned for the last night of 2011: Disneyland in Anaheim will stay open until 2 a.m. with live bands, DJs and midnight fireworks. Across the way, Disney California Adventure will remain open until 1 a.m. with the ElecTRONica dance party and a midnight showing of "World of Color," the nighttime water spectacular.
December 11, 2011 | By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times
Christopher B. Fishbeck was a simple man with big dreams, he liked to tell friends. Fishbeck dreamed of orbiting the Earth and running in the Olympics, he wrote on his MySpace page. He hoped to change the world and leave his mark. That indefatigable nature and unquenchable optimism endeared him to his family and friends. Born in Anaheim, Fishbeck grew up in Buena Park and from boyhood made it known that he was determined to reach for the stars, either theoretically through his love of physics and astronomy or literally as a pilot or astronaut.
July 31, 2011 | By Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times
Daniel Ackerman had just completed a grueling physical fitness test required for all Buena Park Police SWAT officers when he became disoriented and stared off into space. An on-site doctor noticed something was wrong and by 8:15 a.m. on Friday, Ackerman was in a squad car heading toward the hospital. The next morning, the 31-year-old was dead. The Irvine resident had no preexisting medical condition and appeared to be in his prime, according to his sister. "He's the healthiest person in the family," said Christie Thompson, 19. "He works out every day, he eats healthy.
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