(May 25, 2013) — Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of the tourist season across the USA and this year it also marks the grand opening for a number of major shows and attractions at the country’s leading theme parks. Here’s a look at Memorial Day weekend’s new attractions:
Live shows return to the Fantasyland Theatre at Disneyland Park, Anaheim, CA, with “Mickey and the Magical Map.” The new show presents Mickey in his timeless role as the sorcerer’s apprentice. Wise sorcerer Yen Sid directs his Mapmakers, a singing-dancing ensemble cast that paints a wondrous map – capable of taking dreamers to any place imaginable and so large it spans the entire stage of the outdoor Fantasyland Theatre.
Apprentice Mickey lets his curiosity get the better of him and he stumbles upon the map’s magical powers, which take him, along with the audience, on a fantastic journey of imagination in the company of the Mapmakers. The journey, presented through theatrical stage wizardry, unveils wonderful worlds of music, color, adventure and beloved characters with each new direction – all set to an original song, “Journey of the Imagination,” and music from classic Disney films.
Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts kicked off a Monstrous Summer by giving guests the chance to spend 24 hours inside three Disney theme parks from 6 a.m. May 24 to 6 a.m., May 25, 2013. On each coast, guests experienced unprecedented monster madness inside Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL, as well as Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort – heading into Memorial Day Weekend, the traditional start of the family travel season. The event featured special entertainment, Monsters-themed merchandise and frightening food and “boo-verages.”
At Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Vallejo, CA, the uniquely skilled artists, aerialists and acrobats of Cirque Dreams take the Dolphin Harbor Theater stage in an all-new aquatic production that combines unbelievable feats of strength with the graceful leaps and bows of bottlenose dolphins. Cirque Dreams Splashtastic – the Most Amazing Show Above H2O, premiers today and officially opens to the public Saturday, May 25 in a limited run engagement, a first foray into this depth of entertainment by the park.
The show is created, produced and directed by acclaimed Broadway Director and Cirque Dreams founderNeil Goldberg and was designed to celebrate “aquatical” strength of both the popular marine mammals and the hand-picked international cast, who hail from nine countries.
At a staggering 400 feet, Texas SkyScreamer is now the tallest attraction at Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, TX, and will hold a world record title as the tallest tower swing ride in the world. Twenty-four riders sit two across in open-air swings while spinning in a 124-foot circle at speeds up to 35 mph. At its 40 story peak, guests will have the ultimate view of the Arlington, Dallas and Fort Worth skylines.
Boasting 1,200 animals from six continents including elephants, rhinos, tigers, giraffes and lions, Safari Off Road Adventure at Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ, takes explorers on an exhilarating, interactive animal adventure.
Guests enter the amazing, fictional world of the Wilds Family, who have traveled the globe to bring the most interesting and exotic creatures to their 350-acre preserve in Jackson, New Jersey. Their journey begins in a rustic loading station in Frontier Adventures filled with artifacts from the Wilds’ global expeditions. Through video, guests are introduced to conservationist Damon and veterinarian Tess, and their children Haley and Luke. Guests then load a rugged, open-air, Safari vehicle to begin their unique voyage.
Skilled drivers and informative Safari guides transport guests off-road and within close proximity to the animals as they splash through ponds, climb hills and venture over rugged terrain. Throughout the excursion, the Wilds family communicates with the guests through on-board video, and experienced guides narrate the journey and answer questions providing a truly interactive experience.
Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA adds three new family attractions to the theme park’s Boardwalk section:
The 52 foot ascent to the top of Coast Rider will have everyone clinging to the handrails for the ultimate family coaster experience. The adventure aboard the ride gives guests the feeling of riding the California coast, but once they reach the crest, it is a harrowing journey down the 1,339 feet of track filled with hairpin turns, twists and spins.
Taking the ride into their own hands, guests will pilot their own Surfside Gliders. From a height of 28 feet, these two-man aircrafts zip through the air providing a bird’s eye view of the Boardwalk area as they glide over Boardwalk Bay.
Everyone will be caught in the spin of the Pacific Scrambler, a family favorite and traditional Boardwalk attraction
A unique all-family adventure ride combines with 30-degree temperatures and nearly 250 penguins to create Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, the all-new attraction now open at SeaWorld Orlando in Florida
Antarctica is a realm in SeaWorld where icebergs, snowcaps and howling winds greet guests. They’ll also meet a very special penguin named Puck, and it’s through his eyes that guests learn about penguin life and the dangers and beauty of this frozen land.
On board a first-of-its-kind trackless, all-family adventure ride, guests become one with the storyline as they follow Puck’s adventures. Each mobile simulator ride car allows guests to choose one of two levels of exploration — Wild Expedition or Mild Expedition — for various degrees of ride intensity. Designers say each version has multiple variations for a feeling of unpredictability, just like the continent of Antarctica.
There’s one more family SeaWorld guests can join at Antarctica … and that’s a huge family of nearly 250 penguins. Stepping off the adventure ride, guests find themselves among a colony of Adelie, gentoo, king and rockhopper penguins in a 30-degree habitat filled with wind, snow, rock and chilly water. It’s what makes Antarctica the coldest theme park attraction in Orlando. New technologies combine to create a freezing — but dry – climate, allowing guests to spend time in the penguins’ world.