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About PREMiERdrum

  • Birthday 11/10/1984

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  1. A fairly substantial development... http://www.10tv.com/article/amusement-industry-group-eyes-corrosion-ohio-state-fair-accident
  2. As I mentioned in the New Fantasyland, my position in the media earned me and my wife the opportunity to travel to The Happiest Place on Earth to be a part of the media previews of New Fantasyland, Test Track, and Splitsville last week. I tried to do my best to document the events to peel back the curtain, so to speak, and let you peek in on these lavish parties Disney throws. On Wednesday morning, we arrived at MCO and were promptly whisked away by Disney's Magical Express to our home for the next several days: Disney's Art of Animation resort. This is the newest of Disney's resorts, and was built from the remnants of the scrapped Pop Century: The Classic Years project, which was abandoned following the 2001 terrorist attacks. I'll get to more on the resort later, but let's skip right to the good stuff, eh? We checked into our suite in The Lion King buildings and were then directed to the media check in suite in the Cars building. We checked in, and were given our itinerary along with a bag of Disney swag: A "New Fantasyland" emblazoned iPod touch, New Fantasyland pin set, a Test Track windshield cover, Splitsville merchandise, and various Disney small goods. NEW FANTASYLAND EVENT The itinerary showed our first commitment was a 7pm VIP party and dinner, so we decided to go exploring on our own for a while at the Magic Kingdom. After getting in rides on Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, it's a small world, and The People Mover, we grabbed a Dole Whip and headed back to the resort to get ready for the party. We were picked up at Art of Animation by private coach (not Disney buses) and quickly driven backstage at the Magic Kingdom. We were escorted in through Tomorrowland and into Storybook Circus, where my jaw hit the well-themed pavement. The area was swathed in richly-themed decorations and filled with sets of tables and chairs. You couldn't walk 10 feet without encountering a food table, dessert table, or (open) bar. The food was gourmet (prime rib, Ahi tuna, sides), the desserts were delicious, and the drinks were premium. Aside from the food and libations, the party offered wait-free time on Aerial's Undersea Adventure, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Pete's Silly Sideshow, and Dumbo: The Flying Elephant. One of the most impressive parts, believe it or not, was the much-hyped flying dragon: Disney photo After the event, we were ushered into an empty hub (remember the park closed at 7pm) for a private showing of Holiday Wishes and the revamped castle projection show. TEST TRACK EVENT Where the New Fantasyland event was classy, the Test Track event was an outright party. All of Futureworld East (Test Track, Mission Space, and Universe of Energy) had been closed at 3pm to set up for this one. We were again bused by private coach to the park around 6pm, and we were herded into the Innoventions East breezeway until shortly before 7. When we entered, we were again taken back at just how detailed the party was. Huge bars and food buffets glowed, literally, in cool blue and green LED lighting. Chevrolet cars were scattered throughout, each with dramatic lighting added to fit the theme. A DJ was spinning club-style music from a gigantic stage set up directly in front of the ride (we would soon see why). The bars were serving cocktails (either "blue" or "pink" - the ingredients remain a mystery) in LED-lit, color changing martini glasses). At about 8 we were directed towards the stage, where Meg Crofton, VP of Disney Parks US and Europe, and Alan Beatty, GM VP of US Sales and Service, both gave brief remarks, before summoning Mickey to the stage to "turn on" new Test Track using Chevrolet's MyLink voice command system. It was a cute, if cheesy, gimmick. Confetti cannons fired, and SIM cars began zipping by behind the stage. We were ushered into the ride, which you've probably heard all about by now. You build your own SIM car in the queue, now themed as Chevrolet Design Center at EPCOT, and test the car on the SIM track. Designing their SIM cars Jenn's SIM car Old vehicles, new graphics We got off the ride, which was great, and heard a different type of music than we had been hearing. One Republic was playing a private concert on the Test Track stage! We walked right up to the front of the stage and listened. What a talented group that really put on a good show. AROUND OUR WORLD BREAKFAST Friday morning, we were invited to a breakfast and corporate update at Downtown Disney's AMC theaters. We were treated to comments from Meg Crofton, WDI Chief Creative Executive Bruce Vaughn, and President of Disney Cruiseline and Adventures by Disney Karl Holz. Nothing new was disclosed, save for one photo of Imagineers working on Avatar concept art (which Vaughn admitted had already changed considerably), but it was nice to be in the front row (literally) and hear what these folks had to say. Meg Crofton gives remarks Bruce Vaughn, from WDI, briefly discusses Avatar land Imagineers work on Avatar design The event concluded with a great performance by Main Street USA's Dapper Dans. SPLITSVILLE The final event on our schedule was a media preview of Splitsville, Downtown Disney's new "premium" bowling alley. After a few short speeches from Splitsville and Downtown Disney heads, as well as the breaking of the bowling pin out front, we were allowed in and immediately fell in love with this place. Once inside, we were treated to mimosa and bloody mary, pizza, nachos, sliders, sushi, calamari, chicken tenders, desserts, and another open bar. The food was great, the drinks were strong, and the decor is great. My only concern is that there might not be enough allies: 10 downstairs and 20 upstairs. Splitsville opens to the public on December 16th. ART OF ANIMATION RESORT Buildings are themed, both inside and out, to Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King, or The Little Mermaid. The Mermaid buildings are more conventional hotel rooms, while the Nemo, Cars, and Lion King buildings feature family suites which sleep 6. The buildings are centered around Animation Hall, which features the main desk, concierge, the Ink & Paint shop (a large store), and Landscape of Flavors, a counterservice restaurant. The resort's largest pool, The Big Blue Pool, is Nemo themed and can be found directly outside Animation Hall. The Big Blue Pool area consists of the main pool, a sprayground, The Drop Off poolside bar, and a playground. There are also pools at The Little Mermaid and Cars buildings. The Main Desk inside Animation Hall Character Development Wall inside Animation Hall Light Fixture inside Animation Hall http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll119/rossmusick/Facebook/2012%20New%20Fantasyland%20trip/530377_10151187909100849_440764971_n.jpg Christmas Tree inside Animation Hall Inside Lion King suite Big Blue Pool Cheers! Thanks for reading!
  3. Beautiful Easter weekend weather here in Central Ohio beckoned us out to the incomparable Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for their annual Easter weekend "Eggs, Paws, and Claws" event. Like most other special events at the park (Boo! at the Zoo, Wildlights, Jack Hanna's Fall Fest), the festivities are all "free" with gate admission. Being members, we parked for free, made our way through the gate, and started our Saturday morning of fun. Much like the Halloween-time Boo! at the Zoo event, the park is set up with several dozen "treat stations", sponsored by local businesses (who surely pay a small fortune to get access to the zoo's captive audience), who give out generous handfuls of sweets and treats to the little ones along with pamphlets and business cards to mom and dad. There are also several special activities, including "Easter eggs" given to various animals (we got to see AsiaQuest's beautiful Monitor Lizard enjoying his...), as well as a scuba diving Easter Bunny featured a few times per day in the Shores region's Discovery Reef aquarium. A short parade, the "Character Carrot Caravan", made it's way around the central plaza 3 times per day, featuring zoo mascots along with Buggs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Frisch's Big Boy, all dancing to a springtime theme. As is quickly becoming the case anytime of year, the park was beautifully decorated for the spring season. Pastel tulle bows, big printed spring flowers, large inflatables, and impeccable landscaping all helped set the springtime mood. Chalk artists were showing their craft around the central Conservation Lake, drawing admiration from all. Unfortunately, the beautiful weather ensured big crowds: More than 20,000 guests came through the gate on Saturday. Fortunately, the park is large enough that we only really felt cramped at lunch time, choosing to dine indoors (right at noon, no less) at the park's popular Congo River Market footcourt, located at the entrance to the African Forest region. As always, the animals put on a great show, but the little extras involved in these special events make dealing with the crowds worthwhile. A treat station, set up inside of the AsiaQuest's themed buildings Sun Bear, through the glass Hanna, the reticulated python, and daughter of the well-known Fluffy (largest snake in captivity, until he died at the zoo last year) Monitor Lizard Flying Fox Silver Leaf Langurs In addition to the zoo's normal characters, spring chicks and bunnies were brought in to greet kids Phoebe, Connie, and baby Beco were still spending their morning inside the Pachyderm building At more than 15,000 lbs and 9'5" tall, Hank is the largest elephant in North America. Seen here in the 2 acre north elephant yard It really was a beautiful day Red Pandas Flamingos Inside the reptile house Discovery Reef Enjoying the sunshine She can't leave without a ride on the beautifully restored 1914 Mangles-Illions Grand Carousel Busy lunchtime inside the Congo River Market, which features Charley's Steakery, Rotoni's Pizza, Jr Chef, Congo Grill, Fresh Selections Deli, and Jalapeno Mexacana (the barbacoa tacos and sopopillas were delicious!)
  4. The fact that he consistently interchanges "Cedar Fair" and "Cedar Point" is a great example of the attitude which caused his undoing: Cedar Point, and some other parks.
  5. I'm the guy in the 10TV coat, I work there. Here are 2 other PTR's I've done on the Columbus Zoo, Jungle Jack's Landing, and Zoombezi Bay: themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=59649&hilit=columbus+zoo and themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=59626&hilit=columbus+zoo
  6. 'Tis the season for pumpkins, cider, and begging strangers for candy. Sure, sending your kids door-to-door to ask for free treats can be a little discomforting, but it's a time honored tradition and loads of fun for the little one. We packed up our little one, Avery, and headed to the Columbus Zoo on Saturday for their first (of two) weekend of Boo! at the Zoo. Believe it or not, even as Columbus Zoo members, this was our first time at this particular event, and I couldn't have been more taken back with how well done it was. First, this isn't an upcharge: Pay your normal $12 (adult) admission for the zoo and the rest is included. You're handed an event-specific map which notates special candy stops (about 30 of them around the park!), seasonal concession offerings (s'mores, candy / carmel apples, cider, etc), and special entertainment offerings (several new stage shows, roaming characters, parade, etc). The map also lists the special "Boo at the Zoo" animal enrichment times and keeper talks. There were events around the zoo about every half hour, like pumpkins being given to the animals (which is hilarious to watch, including brown bears, polar bears, manatees, gorillas, arctic fox, etc). The roaming characters, from Otterbein University's theater department, brought a nice dose of period streetmosphere to the park. Several other live entertainment offerings were available, including a Marvel-licensed Superhero stage show, storytime with Princesses, and the zoo's awesome "Animals on Safari" stage show. While the event is billed as "merry, not scary", the zoo's train ride in the North America region is transformed after dark into a "Sleepy Hollow" themed experience, utilizing live actors, fog, and theatrical lighting. So, here's how it works: The 30 or so treat stations are spread out throughout the entire park, each sponsored by a different business and handing out free candy (generous handfulls, while we were there at least), as well as different things for their business (dentist giving parents gift cards for free whitening, etc). We didn't hit all the stations, and Avery still came away with tons of candy (we had to empty her bucket 2 or 3 times). Beyond the event-specific activities, there's still a world class (#1 in the country, they say) zoo to explore. The animals were all very active (a beautiful day, sunny and in the high 50's), and we didn't notice a single "no show." All the animals were out and having fun. Some animal highlights: one of the pods in the indoor gorilla exhibit had 3 apes in it sound asleep, while Coco (first gorilla born in captivity, now a great grandmother!) was in her pod enjoying a pumpkin. One of the lion cubs born a few years ago was being "weaned" away from his parents, being put in the second lion yard for 4 hours each day. There was a docent there to explain this, as the cat seemed very agitated and was pacing the yard's perimeter. We got to see Bodhi the male Asian Elephant one last time, he was the first elephant calf born at the zoo but is now going to Denver's Zoo to breed. Boo at the Zoo continues next weekend from 10AM to 9PM (unusually late hours for the zoo outside of the Christmastime Wildlight's event), with Jungle Jack's Landing and Animal Encounters Village open as well. All day ride wristbands are available for only $5, which is a steal considering the lineup of rides and non-existent lines. I seriously, completely recommend anyone with kids try to make this event next weekend. The themeing, the atmosphere, and the animals create quite a unique offering and you won't regret it. It amazes me, as a native Ohioan, to see the same level of quality, value, themeing, and escapism I used to find at Kings Island at the Columbus Zoo. Onto the pics: Getting ready to head in! (We had just put her costume on in the parking lot, coming straight from her gymnastics class) The lineup of Treat Stations in Jungle Jack's Landing Sonic's Wheel-O-Goodies (we won a burger and some drinks) The scale of this pirate ship was impressive, especially considering it's just a decoration! This is NOT one of the Leopards rescued from the farm in Zanesville, those animals are in the zoo's animal hospital Naptime in the gorilla building! Proud of her loot! Even the manatees got treated with some pumpkins in their tank
  7. Hi, cat. Welcome to "out of the bag." Wonder how long the site stays up?
  8. I didn't want to come right out and say it, since I didn't think most were thinking B&M. The fabrication plant that produces stateside B&M components is in Batavia I believe, and I-71 north would be the natural route up to CW. It was the color that caught my attention first, and my first thought was something to do with Wicked Twister. Seeing those photos, though, I can say with absolute certainty that I saw those pieces on a truck Friday.
  9. A pic was posted to another site, I can vouch that these pieces were on a flatbed heading north on I-71 from the Cincinnati area on Friday evening. My wife and I passed them on our way back to Columbus.
  10. The car in the photo is sitting inside the yellow circle here... Edit: or perhaps to the right of the center building, but in that general vicinity.
  11. That's most definitely one of the buildings in the Coyote Creek area of the park, where Double Loop was located. Nothing to see here... Edit: It appears to be the "Saddle Sore Saloon" building, which was immediately in front of DL's station.
  12. That seems much better! But, with the stories I've heard about CF's management, your first spelling seemed at least somewhat believable...
  13. OK, I know.. I just did a Columbus Zoo / Zoombezi Bay PTR last weekend, but we barely spent an hour in the zoo itself that day, and I really didn't think we captured the full experience. So, since we're members and today was a beautiful day, Avery and I hopped in the car this morning and headed up to the park for the morning and early afternoon. Enjoy! AsiaQuest Hanna, daughter of Fluffy, who died at the Zoo last year. Fluffy was famous for being the longest snake in captivity. Monitor Lizard: Amur Tiger: Markohr (including 3 recently born babies): Flying Fox: Pallas Cat: Langurs: Sun Bear: Red Panda: Asian Elephants: African Forest Western Lowland Gorillas: Cobolos Monkeys: Leopard: Okapi: Mandrills: The Islands of Southeast Asia Journey to the Islands Boat Ride: Komodo Dragon: Asian Small Clawed Otters: Orangutan: Gibbons: Australia The Roadhouse (nocturnal house): Tree Kangaroo Prevost Squirrel Fishing Cat Phesant Aviary Koalas: Kangaroo Walkabout (freerange 'roo habitat): The Shores Flamingos: Penguins: Alligators: Tortises: North America Bald Eagle; American River Otter: Polar Frontier (Polar Bears, Alaskian Brown Bears, Arctic Fox): Grizzly Bear: Black Bear: Puma: African Lion exhibit (currently not within a designated Biome, awaiting completion of the African Savannah biome): 1914 Mangles Illions carousel Animal Encounters Village
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