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May 27, 2013 | By Chris Erskine
This weekend starts the busy time for America's theme parks. Stacy DeBroff, chief executive of Mom Central , a social media consulting firm focused on moms, has put together a checklist for families as they prepare for a theme park getaway.   Park prep Dress children in bright T-shirts to make it easier to spot them in large crowds. Buy tickets online ahead of time - it's usually cheaper -- and check out park package deals. When you arrive Use your cellphone to take a photo of your parking lot section, or nearby landmarks.
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.
May 20, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Kings Island, an Ohio amusement park, doesn't get the headlines and attention of Disneyland and Disney World, but for a shining moment in 1973 it was the center of the pop culture universe. Why? Because those lovable Brady kids from "The Brady Bunch" traveled to Ohio in an episode of the show for a romp through the park, attempting to find misplaced plans for a park addition. This weekend, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the episode, three of the Brady kids, actors Christopher Knight, Susan Olsen and Barry Williams, reunited at the park, located in Mason, Ohio.
April 30, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
By now, everybody knows what to expect from your standard-issue ho-hum water park: body and tube slide complexes with funnels and bowls, deluge-inducing water play towers for the little ones, undulating wave pools and relaxing lazy rivers. Photos: 20 best water parks in the world Pretty much everything you typically find at a Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, a Great Wolf Lodge resort or any Wet 'n Wild. The best water parks in the world, however, have been busy adding the latest cutting-edge attractions, such as magnetically propelled water coasters, inverted looping slides, stationary wave machines and interactive water games.
April 28, 2013 | By Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
CARLSBAD, Calif. - The Legoland Hotel, which opened April 5, got plenty of little things wrong in its first weeks. But its designers got one thing enormously right, and that will make this place a screaming success: kid-centricity. "The dragon is made out of Legos!" my daughter, Grace, who is about to turn 9, said as we approached the hotel entrance a week after the opening. Inside the lobby, Grace; my wife, Mary Frances; and I found a faux fountain, a play pit full of little plastic bricks and dozens of deeply absorbed children who were collaborating on a rainbow-hued monolith, constructing pretend weapons, hollering, whispering, running, jumping and dragging their parents from one discovery to the next.
April 25, 2013 | By Randy Lewis and Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times
First they put a lid on it, and now they're pulling the plug. Universal City's Gibson Amphitheatre, a fixture on the Southern California live music scene for more than 40 years, will close in September and be demolished to make room for the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios theme park, officials announced Wednesday. The announcement came a day after Universal Studios Hollywood won approval from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to begin construction on its planned $1.6-billion expansion of the theme park.
April 25, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Disneyland's Space Mountain remains closed for safety repair work, two weeks after state regulators cited the park for hazards to maintenance workers on the outside of the attraction. Disneyland officials, who said they have no estimate on when the ride will reopen, closed Space Mountain and two other rides April 13, after receiving the state citations . The state inspected several Disneyland rides after a maintenance worker was injured in November when he fell while cleaning the outside of the building.
April 25, 2013 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
During a honeymoon trip to Los Angeles, Chris Hansen and his new wife, Shoni, decided not to skimp on their visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. They booked a pricey tour for the theme park that included a buffet lunch, an escort to the front of the line of every ride and a behind-the-scene visit to the property and wardrobe departments on the studio's television and movie lot. The experience set the couple back $299 each, compared with the regular $80 admission price. But they didn't complain.
April 24, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
As a guy who started his own company before he graduated from high school, Garner Holt is just a big kid who owns a giant toy factory. "I feel like I've never worked a day in my life," said the founder and president of Garner Holt Productions, the world's largest animatronics maker. Located across from a string of high-voltage power lines near San Bernardino International Airport, Garner Holt Productions is tucked into an industrial park that remains hidden from most theme park fans.
April 24, 2013 | By Jason Song
Goodbye Hogwarts, hello Universal Studios. After a bumpy 17-year process that once proposed developing thousands of homes on its famous Hollywood back lot, NBCUniversal won unanimous approval Tuesday from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for a plan that lets it expand its Universal Studios theme park. And a Harry Potter attraction is coming with it. Company executives said the "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter," which will feature a re-creation of the Hogwarts Castle and other locations from the books and movies, will bring droves of visitors to the park.
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