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February 29, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
A tiny Orlando, Fla., family entertainment center plans to add seven attractions over the next few years in a bid to become a small amusement park with a collection of new rides that rivals its better-known neighbors. Any of the new additions - from a pair of roller coasters to a trio of towering thrill rides to a quartet of water park slides - would be the envy of any regional theme park. PHOTOS: New rides coming to Fun Spot Orlando The $20-million investment will expand the Fun Spot Action Park located along Orlando's International Drive corridor from 5 to 15 acres in three stages: The first stage will add a wooden roller coaster, a Screamin' Swing thrill ride and a double-decker carousel by February 2013.
May 27, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
SANDUSKY, Ohio - As an amusement parks blogger, I have visited most of the big theme parks in Southern California and central Florida, but my roller-coaster résumé was a little thin when it came to the parks in between. So last summer my wife, Nancy, our 11-year-old daughter, Hannah, and I climbed aboard more than 70 coasters in 10 days at theme parks in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We each had established a few rules for our journey across America's Coaster Belt. Hannah was willing to ride coasters reaching 65 mph, topping out at 200 feet and going upside down three times.
May 20, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
A unique new haunted attraction opening this summer at a small United Kingdom theme park will combine a walk-through horror maze featuring live actors with a dark ride journey inside an abandoned mine shaft. The Hobs Pit maze and ride is set to open June 2 at Pleasurewood Hills theme park in Lowestoft, England, located about 100 miles northeast of London on the North Sea coast. Theme Parks: What may come to Wizarding World of Harry Potter 2.0 at Universal Orlando The 30-year-old amusement park has been promoting the new attraction with a clever viral marketing campaign that hints at the ride's paranormal back story.
July 18, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Reporting from Lakemont Park in Altoona, Pa.-- My current  travels across the great American roller-coaster belt will put me aboard five of the oldest operating coasters in the world, including the very oldest at little Lakemont Park here in Altoona. Photos : View the 21 oldest roller coasters in the world I found the rough, rickety and rundown Leap-the-Dips at Lakemont Park to be the perfect throwback to the golden age of coasters, when thrills were raw and wild rather than neutered by lawyers and lawmakers.
September 29, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
As we slip into October, I decided to assemble my first-ever Fantasy Halloween League of the Top 13 haunted mazes at theme parks around the world. Think of the Top 13 list as a nightmare fantastic park with the most demented, disturbing and disgusting collection of haunted attractions ever gathered in one virtual place. Or my definition of a dream vacation if I had a bottomless budget and unlimited vacation time to jet around the world to the best and most bizarre haunts.
August 5, 2001 | EILEEN OGINTZ
More than 35 new coasters are making their debut this year at U.S. theme parks, according to the International Assn. of Amusement Parks and Attractions. They range from the Lego Technic Coaster at Legoland in Carlsbad, a ride for junior coaster lovers between 6 and 12, to the $12-million Titan Hypercoaster at Six Flags in Arlington, Texas, a 245-foot-tall behemoth that can reach 85 mph.
March 5, 1989 | TARA BRADLEY-STECK, Associated Press
LTV Steel's once-mighty Aliquippa Works, which hugs the Ohio River for seven miles west of Pittsburgh, finally is being torn down, yard by rusty yard, and union boss Rich Vallecorsa is shedding no tears. About 8,000 workers once toiled at the plant, turning limestone, iron ore and coal into America's pipe, wire and tin plate. Only about 900 workers remain in two small mills that have managed to prove their profitability in the fickle 1980s.
September 1, 1985 | BILL CHRISTINE, Times Staff Writer
In the last couple of weeks, a local county commissioner named Tom Foerster kept repeating to the Pittsburgh media that there were viable groups interested in buying the red-ink Pirates. Foerster identified one of the potential buyers of baseball's worst team as Edward J. DeBartolo, the shopping-mall king who owns Pittsburgh's hockey and indoor soccer teams, as well as three race tracks and, through his son, the San Francisco 49ers.
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