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  1. Six Flags and Cedar Fair have entered into an agreement to merge into a unified company under the "Six Flags" brand, comprised of 27 amusement parks, 15 water parks and 9 resort properties across 17 states, Canada and Mexico. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2024, following receipt of Six Flags shareholder approval, regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of customary closing conditions. https://investors.sixflags.com/news-and-events/press-releases/2023/11-02-2023-100020810 Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN) and Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX) today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement to combine in a merger of equals transaction. The combined company, with a pro forma enterprise value of approximately $8 billion based on both companies’ debt and equity values as of October 31, 2023, will be a leading amusement park operator in the highly competitive leisure space with an expanded and diversified footprint, a more robust operating model and a strong revenue and cash flow generation profile. Under the terms of the merger agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, Cedar Fair unitholders will receive one share of common stock in the new combined company for each unit owned, and Six Flags shareholders will receive 0.5800 (the “Six Flags Exchange Ratio”) shares of common stock in the new combined company for each share owned. Following the close of the transaction, Cedar Fair unitholders will own approximately 51.2%, and Six Flags shareholders will own approximately 48.8%, of the combined company’s fully diluted share capital on a pro forma basis. One business day prior to the close of the transaction, Six Flags will declare a special cash dividend composed of: (i) a fixed amount of $1.00 per outstanding Six Flags share, totaling approximately $85 million in the aggregate, plus, (ii) an amount per outstanding Six Flags share equal to (a) the aggregate per unit distributions declared or paid by Cedar Fair to unitholders with a record date following today’s date and prior to the close of the transaction, multiplied by (b) the Six Flags Exchange Ratio, which special dividend will be payable to Six Flags shareholders of record as of one business day prior to the close of the transaction, contingent on the closing of the transaction. “Our merger with Six Flags will bring together two of North America’s iconic amusement park companies to establish a highly diversified footprint and a more robust operating model to enhance park offerings and performance,” said Richard Zimmerman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cedar Fair. “Together, we will have an expanded and complementary portfolio of attractive assets and intellectual property to deliver engaging entertainment experiences for guests. The combination also creates an enhanced financial profile with strong cash flow generation to accelerate investments in our parks to delight our guests, driving increased levels of demand and in-park value and spending. I have great respect for the Six Flags team and look forward to joining forces as we embark on this next chapter together.” “The combination of Six Flags and Cedar Fair will redefine our guests’ amusement park experience as we combine the best of both companies,” added Selim Bassoul, President and Chief Executive Officer of Six Flags. “Six Flags and Cedar Fair share a strong cultural alignment, operating philosophy, and steadfast commitment to providing consumers with thrilling experiences. By combining our operational models and technology platforms, we expect to accelerate our transformation activities and unlock new potential for our parks. We are excited to unite the Cedar Fair and Six Flags teams to capitalize on the tremendous growth opportunities and operational efficiencies of our combined platform for the benefit of our guests, shareholders, employees, and other stakeholders.” Compelling Strategic and Financial Benefits A Successful Amusement Park Operator with Complementary Portfolio of Attractive Assets: The combined company will operate a portfolio of 27 amusement parks, 15 water parks and 9 resort properties across 17 states in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The company’s complementary portfolio will include some of the most iconic parks in North America with significant brand equity and loyal, recurring guest bases within the highly competitive leisure space. The combined company will also have entertainment partnerships and a portfolio of beloved IP such as Looney Tunes, DC Comics and PEANUTS to develop engaging new attractions enabled by compelling characters, environments, and storytelling. Diversified Footprint and Guest Experiences: Cedar Fair and Six Flags have minimal market overlap of park operations, and the combined company’s complementary geographic footprint is expected to mitigate the impact of seasonality and reduce earnings volatility through a more balanced presence in year-round operating climates. The portfolio will include diversified experiences for guests including safaris and animal experiences, campgrounds, sports facilities and luxury lounges, enabling the combined company to better meet rising consumer demand for varied and engaging entertainment options. Enhanced Operating Platform to Improve Guest Experiences: By uniting Cedar Fair and Six Flags’ complementary operating capabilities, the combined company will benefit from a more robust operating platform for improved park offerings and more efficient systemwide performance. The companies expect to leverage Cedar Fair’s recent park investment experience to accelerate the transformation underway across Six Flags’ portfolio. Cedar Fair and Six Flags will seek to create a more engaging and immersive guest experience. The combined company will also offer expanded park access to season pass holders along with an enhanced, combined loyalty program featuring additional perks. Experienced and Proven Leadership Team: The senior leadership teams of Six Flags and Cedar Fair bring different and complementary skillsets and experience to the combined company, including decades of park operating experience as well as significant expertise integrating businesses and achieving synergy targets. Significant Cost Savings and Revenue Uplift Opportunity: Following the close of the transaction, Cedar Fair and Six Flags expect the combined company will benefit from the significant value created by total anticipated annual synergies of $200 million. Approximately $120 million of these synergies are expected to be related to identified administrative and operational cost savings, which the companies anticipate realizing within two years following transaction close. The companies also expect to leverage their complementary operating capabilities to deliver additional revenue uplift, generating approximately $80 million of incremental EBITDA that the companies anticipate realizing within three years of transaction close. Strong Financial Profile: Over the last 12 months, through the third quarter of fiscal 2023, Six Flags and Cedar Fair collectively entertained 48 million guests, and, as a combined company, would generate pro forma $3.4 billion1 in revenue, $1.2 billion1 in Adjusted EBITDA2, and $826 million1,3 of free cash flow4, reflecting run rate cost savings of $120 million and revenue uplift resulting in $80 million of incremental EBITDA. The transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings per share for Cedar Fair unitholders and Six Flags shareholders within the first 12 months following transaction close. The combined company is also expected to have a pro forma leverage ratio of approximately 3.7x net debt to Adjusted EBITDA, inclusive of synergies, with a path to reduce the leverage ratio to approximately 3.0x within two years of transaction close. Significant Free Cash Flow Generation and Enhanced Financial Flexibility: The combined company’s increased free cash flow will provide it with greater flexibility to invest in new rides and attractions, broader food and beverage selections, additional in-park offerings, and cross-park initiatives, such as consumer technology and enhanced guest services. The combined company’s resources are expected to be strategically deployed to grow attendance, increase per capita spending, and improve profitability, all while enhancing guests’ value and experience across the park portfolio. The combined company is committed to allocating capital to maximize shareholder returns once the company achieves its targeted net leverage ratio. Leadership, Corporate Governance and Headquarters The combined company will be led by a proven management team that reflects the strengths and capabilities of both organizations. Upon closing of the transaction, Richard Zimmerman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cedar Fair, will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the combined company and Selim Bassoul, President and Chief Executive Officer of Six Flags, will serve as Executive Chairman of the combined company’s Board of Directors. Brian Witherow, Chief Financial Officer of Cedar Fair, will serve as Chief Financial Officer of the combined company and Gary Mick, CFO of Six Flags, will serve as Chief Integration Officer of the combined company. Following closing of the transaction, the newly formed Board of Directors of the combined company will consist of 12 directors, six from the Cedar Fair Board and six from the Six Flags Board. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will operate under the name Six Flags and trade under the ticker symbol FUN on the NYSE and will be structured as a C Corporation. The combined company will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will maintain significant finance and administrative operations in Sandusky, Ohio. Approvals and Closing The merger is expected to close in the first half of 2024, following receipt of Six Flags shareholder approval, regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Approval by Cedar Fair unitholders is not required. Six Flags’ largest shareholder, which owns approximately 13.6% of Six Flags’ shares outstanding, has signed a voting and support agreement to vote in favor of the transaction. The transaction is not expected to trigger any change of control provision under Cedar Fair’s and Six Flags’ respective outstanding Notes. The companies expect to refinance their respective revolving credit facilities, and Six Flags expects to refinance the Six Flags Term Loan, ahead of transaction close. Cedar Fair and Six Flags Third Quarter 2023 Results In separate press releases today, Cedar Fair and Six Flags reported results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2023. The Cedar Fair release is available at https://ir.cedarfair.com and the Six Flags release can be found at https://investors.sixflags.com. Advisors Perella Weinberg Partners is serving as exclusive financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP are serving as legal counsel to Cedar Fair. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as exclusive financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel to Six Flags. Conference Call and Additional Materials Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE: FUN) and Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX) will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET today to discuss the pending merger and review both companies’ third quarter 2023 results. Participants on the call will include Six Flags President and CEO Selim Bassoul, Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard Zimmerman, Cedar Fair Executive Vice President and CFO Brian Witherow, and Six Flags CFO Gary Mick. Investors and all other interested parties can access a live, listen-only audio webcast of the call on the Cedar Fair and Six Flags websites. Those unable to listen to the live webcast can access a recorded version of the call on either company’s investor website Past Events, shortly after the live call’s conclusion. A replay of the call will also be available by phone starting at approximately noon ET on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, until noon ET, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023. To access the phone replay, please dial (866) 813-9403 or (929) 458-6194, followed by the Conference ID: 830378. About Cedar Fair Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world, is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio. Focused on its mission to make people happy by providing fun, immersive, and memorable experiences, the Company owns and operates 13 properties, consisting of 11 amusement parks, four separately gated outdoor water parks, and resort accommodations totaling more than 2,300 rooms and more than 600 luxury RV sites. Cedar Fair’s parks are located in Ohio, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, Texas and Toronto, Ontario. This news release and prior releases are available under the News tab at http://ir.cedarfair.com
  2. Busch Gardens Williamsburg has announced that the iconic Loch Ness Monster coaster will live on with new track and an updated experience featuring an enhanced queue and storytelling elements! In the year 564, the mythical Loch Ness Monster is believed to have been first spotted in the Highlands of Scotland. Centuries later in 1978, the Loch Ness Monster came alive in Busch Gardens Williamsburg in the form of a coaster so original and iconic that it became a registered landmark. Now in 2024, the Loch Ness Monster will resurface with a fully restored experience loaded with all-new thrilling elements, dramatic storytelling and innovative effects, as it takes riders on its journey through the Scottish terrain across “Nessie’s” signature steel track, featuring over 900 feet of all-new track. The adventure begins with an enhanced queue experience featuring new storytelling elements, and the quest continues during the lift hill climb, guided by an all-new soundtrack created just for Loch Ness Monster. New in 2024, while braving the first drop, guests catch a glimpse of something monstrous lurking under the water. Next, after plummeting over 100 feet, riders race towards the first of two interlocking vertical loops, traveling up to 60 miles per hour. Thrill-seekers emerge into a spiraling tunnel, traversing a helix and coming face-to-face with the monster in a shadowy cave lair. Out of the darkness and into the daylight, the train descends into the second iconic loop and makes one final turn before returning to the station. After four and half decades of operation, the original Loch Ness Monster will close to the public on Tuesday, Oct. 31. For the first time in the park’s history, Busch Gardens Members will have exclusive “last to ride” access for one final weekend on November 4 and 5, in addition being the first to ride the reimagined Loch Ness Monster: The Legend Lives On when it opens in 2024. A Busch Gardens Membership is the best way to experience new attractions and fan favorites, offering unlimited visits and unbeatable benefits. Memberships are on sale now. “Loch Ness Monster has been a staple to our park since 1978, even being recognized as a registered landmark by the American Coaster Enthusiasts,” said Kevin Lembke, President of Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA. “We are excited to continue Loch Ness Monster’s story in 2024 and beyond.” 2024 promises to be a monumental year filled with new reasons to visit in every season. The fun kicks off with a grand Mardi Gras celebration and ends with anniversaries for two of Busch Gardens’ signature events, Howl-O-Scream® and Christmas Town™. Plus, stay tuned in the coming months as we unveil an all-new summer event! The new year previews what is to come for Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s highly anticipated 50th anniversary in 2025, creating new and elevated experiences for guests while restoring and refreshing the timeless legacy of the world’s most beautiful theme park. For a full calendar of upcoming 2023 and 2024 events, visit https://buschgardens.com/williamsburg/events/. Members enjoy exclusive benefits like unlimited admission and unbeatable benefits all year long, including free parking, free guest tickets, monthly rewards, savings on merchandise and exclusive events with a Busch Gardens Membership. Memberships start as low as $13.00 per month. For construction updates, first to ride opportunities and more information on Loch Ness Monster: The Legend Lives On, visit BuschGardens.com/Williamsburg and follow Busch Gardens on social media.
  3. Today The Walt Disney Company announced plans to accelerate and expand their investment in the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment, including investments in domestic and international parks as well as Disney Cruise Line! https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/disney-plans-to-expand-investment-in-parks-business/ The Walt Disney Company is developing plans to accelerate and expand investment in its Parks, Experiences and Products segment to nearly double capital expenditures over the course of approximately 10 years to roughly $60 billion, including by investing in expanding and enhancing domestic and international parks and cruise line capacity. Today, Senior Disney executives, including Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger and Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro, gathered with Wall Street analysts and investors at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida for an investor summit focused on Disney’s Parks business and its track record of investing aggressively and intelligently in experiences that leverage the powerful and ever-growing library of Disney stories, which has proven incredibly effective. “We’re incredibly mindful of the financial underpinning of the company, the need to continue to grow in terms of bottom line, the need to invest wisely so that we’re increasing the returns on invested capital, and the need to maintain a balance sheet, for a variety of reasons,” said Bob Iger. “The company is able to absorb those costs and continue to grow the bottom line and look expansively at how we return value and capital to our shareholders.” “We have an ambitious growth story that is supported by a proven track record and a bold vision for the future of our Parks business,” said D’Amaro. Central to the business’s growth strategy will be a focus on stories, scale, and fans. Stories All over the world, Disney leverages its incomparable library of intellectual property through immersive storytelling experiences in its Parks and Resorts, on board its cruise ships, and through its consumer products and licensing business. The Parks business serves as a powerful platform where Disney’s beloved stories come to life in innovative ways, and where fans across generations and geographies can connect with and explore the Disney brands and franchises they love, from Avatar to Zootopia, and everything in between. Disney continuously reimagines its theme park offerings to appeal to more guests by incorporating new stories from its popular films and series. Disney Parks has seen growth following previous periods of significant investment, which included the additions of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Resort and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure and Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, and more. Today, as Disney considers future growth opportunities, there is a deep well of stories that have yet to be fully explored in its theme parks. Already, new Frozen-themed lands are coming to Hong Kong Disneyland, Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris and Tokyo Disney Resort, as well as a Zootopia-themed land at Shanghai Disney Resort. However, Disney will explore even more characters and franchises, including some that haven’t been leveraged extensively to date, as it embarks on a new period of significant growth domestically and internationally in its parks and resorts. “We have a wealth of untapped stories to bring to life across our business,” said D’Amaro. “Frozen, one of the most successful and popular animated franchises of all time, could have a presence at the Disneyland Resort. Wakanda has yet to be brought to life. The world of Coco is just waiting to be explored. There’s a lot of storytelling opportunity.” Scale Today, Disney has the largest physical footprint of any global theme park travel business, with 12 parks across six sites around the world.[1] Its newest resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, opened in 2016. Disney Cruise Line visits 94 ports in 40 countries, and Disney’s industry-leading consumer products division brings Disney IP into fans’ homes across the globe. Notably, Walt Disney World Resort is twice the size of the island of Manhattan, Disneyland is the most “Instagrammed” place on Earth, and tens of millions of guests travel on Disney’s transportation networks each year. Disney’s Parks business is a key driver of value creation for the company, and positive segment results in recent past quarters through FY23Q3 have come in part from strong performance at Disney’s international parks, particularly those in Asia. Shanghai Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland, which have both shown meaningful growth coming out of the pandemic through Q3 FY23, have even further growth opportunities with the expansions set to open later this year. However, in addition to development plans already underway, there is significant room for further expansion on land and at sea. “We stand alone when it comes to scale,” said D’Amaro. “And while our scale is impressive, we have no shortage of space or regions of the world in which to tell new stories.” In fact, Disney Parks has over 1,000 acres of land for possible future development to expand theme park space across its existing sites – the equivalent of about seven new Disneyland Parks. Meanwhile, Disney Cruise Line serves as a powerful ambassador for the brand in ports and markets around the globe beyond its theme parks, including Australia and New Zealand for the first time later this year, extending the reach of Disney’s high-quality experiences. As previously announced, over the next two years, Disney will nearly double the worldwide capacity of its cruise line, adding two ships in fiscal year 2025 and another in 2026, delivering even further growth potential and introducing new markets to Disney experiences, including a new homeport in Singapore beginning in 2025 to expand its reach further into the Asia-Pacific region. Fans Today, Disney has seven of the top ten most attended theme parks in the world, including Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park, which has been the #1 attended theme park on earth for decades. Disney Parks welcome approximately 100 million guests each year. Yet there is still enormous untapped potential for reaching more consumers. According to Disney’s internal research, there is an addressable market of more than 700 million people with high Disney affinity it has yet to reach with its Parks. In fact, for every one guest who visits a Disney Park, there are more than ten people with Disney affinity who do not visit the Parks.[2] “Ultimately what is most important to us is the relationship that we have with every guest,” said D’Amaro. “Guests can spend a day with us at our Parks, a week with us on a Cruise, or the rest of their lives with us through Disney Vacation Club membership.” As Disney expands its footprint and offerings, not only will the company be able to reach more of its existing fans, but it will create new fans and loyal consumers. As the company develops plans to accelerate and expand investment in its Parks business, it looks forward to introducing fans to more of the most powerful characters and stories, expanding its global footprint, advancing its state-of-the-art commercial capabilities, and leveraging its unmatched global talent to forge relationships with new generations of fans around the world. “Throughout our history, we’ve created enormous growth by investing the right amount of capital into the right projects at the right moment,” said Iger. “We are planning to turbocharge our growth yet again with a robust amount of strategic investment in this business.”
  4. Yesterday Raglan Road hosted TPR and other outlets for a preview of this weekend's Mighty St. Patrick's Festival. This annual festival has been running at Raglan Road Pub for 17 of the 18 years that the Pub has operated at Disney Springs, and each year the offerings expand with new acts and new food and beverage options, all on top of what already makes Raglan Road a special place to visit year round. The Mighty St. Patrick's Festival takes place this year between March 16th and March 19th! One of my favorite places to eat and drink in Orlando! We had an opportunity to sample some Raglan Road favorites as well as new menu items, starting with the Berry UnIrish (a non-alcoholic drink featuring muddled blackberries, fresh lemon juice, rosemary & honey syrup and sparkling lemon Pellegrino) and the Misty Irish Eyed (a mixture of Irish Mist honey, Grace O'Malley gin, Italicus, lemon sour & prosecco). While a normal visit to Raglan Road is filled with entertaining musical and dancing acts, during the Mighty St. Patrick's Festival, the schedule is filled from end to end authentic Irish entertainment! In what I could best compare to a savory cupcake, the Truly Scrumpet Goat Fig features caramelized (torched!) goat's cheese with a fig & port jam on a chive scrumpet with walnuts, pickled beets & poached figs). This was easily the most unique and standout taste of evening! "That Salad with Seared Beef" was a surprising combination of flavors, textures and perfectly prepared ingredients. I'd happily order a plate of this during my next visit! A staple on the Raglan Road menu for many years, the Dalkey Duo is a perfect Dalkey mustard beer battered Cheshire Heritage pork sausage served with Dalkey mustard mayo and buffalo apple sauce. These battered sausages are heavy and filling but the rich batter and unique sausage make them perfectly addicting bites that you'll definitely want to keep digging into. There's lots to see and hear while dining at Raglan Road! The center of the restaurant gives guests an up-close chance to experience all the fun of the pub. The Seafood Sharing Board offers a selection of sesame crusted tuna, smoked fish cakes, "The Pink Panko" (panko crusted seared salmon) and the "Kiss Before Shrimp" (a garlicky-bathed set of shrimp bites with toast). It is always a pleasure to hear from the owners of Raglan Road Pub. The restaurant along with the attached shop, bars and Cookes of Dublin quick service venue are all owned an operated independently of any larger corporation. The venues operate out of scratch kitchens so you know everything is served at its freshest. Much of the staff and entertainers are Irish and the menus offer authentic tastes of Irish heritage with modern flair. Clare Sands (pictured right) is a 6ht generation fiddler, bilingual singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist who is performing daily along with her sister (pictured left) during the Mighty St. Patrick's Festival before moving on to perform in New York, Washington D.C., the United Kingdom and Europe. We capped off our tasting experience with the Guinness Chocolate Cake, made up of dark chocolate, soda bread ice cream and a whiskey caramel sauce. There is no better place to experience authentic Irish step-dancing than at Raglan Road Pub. Defying gravity. Step-dancing isn't reserved to the main stage, with a center stage to put guests in the center of the action. A truly unique experience! Thanks again to Raglan Road for hosting us for another fantastic evening! Be sure to check out the Mighty St. Patrick's Festival this weekend, or if you can't make it before then, don't hesitate to add the Pub to your future Orlando plans--you won't regret it!
  5. It has been announced that Rogers: The Musical, a one-act musical inspired by the show of the same name in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is coming to Disney California Adventure for a limited run this summer! https://www.marvel.com/articles/culture-lifestyle/rogers-the-musical-disneyland-resort-summer-2023 For anyone out there who has long dreamed of seeing a real-life production of Rogers: The Musical, your dreams are about to come true. Starting this summer for a limited-time engagement, a short one-act version of Rogers: The Musical will debut on the Hyperion Stage inside California Adventure Park. More details will be announced at a later date, but Disney Parks shared a small tease of what’s to come when the Avengers step into the spotlight. The fictitious musical all about the life of Steve Rogers, the first Captain America, first debuted in the Disney+ original series, Hawkeye. In the show, all the Avengers are invited to New York for the premiere of the brand new, showstopping musical but only Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, shows up. The MIA Avengers don’t know what they’re missing, though, as viewers are treated to a musical number based on The Battle of New York…though a few creative liberties have been taken here and there. More details regarding the storyline, music, and debut date will be shared in the future and it’s sure to be a SMASH. SMASH. SMAAAAASH.
  6. Walibi Belgium has announced a major expansion project for the Aqualibi water park! https://walibibelgium.prezly.com/grand-projet-dextension-pour-aqualibi MAJOR EXPANSION PROJECT FOR AQUALIBI From December 2023, Aqualibi will host a major extension which mainly consists of the creation of a new tower containing 4 innovative water slides. In addition, several actions are carried out in line with the water park's carbon neutrality trajectory. Overall cost of the project: 30 million euros. A wave of novelties is sweeping over Aqualibi! A first project consists of the extension of nearly 1,000m² of the water park by creating a new tower, approximately 25m high, housing a set of water slides unique in the Benelux. Thrill-seeking swimmers will thus be able, from the end of this year, to discover 4 new experiences ranging from side-by-side sliding competitions in buoys or mats, to a whirlwind adventure in a large funnel, to the push of a adrenaline during a vertiginous propulsion in a wave 18m high! In a second phase, the park will also open an outdoor tropical garden fitted out as a relaxation and dining area. We are very excited to be able to announce such an investment for our water park! These 4 "state-of-the-art" slides all have unique elements in the Benelux - and even in Europe. For example, a toboggan will allow duels of slides in buoys with high-speed ascents thanks to water jet propulsion technology. This new project is perfectly in line with our ambition to strengthen our position as a water park of reference in Belgium, offering an offer rich in sensations for an audience of all ages. Jean-Christophe Parent - Managing Director Walibi Belgium-Aqualibi Net Zero Carbon Trajectory About half of the investment budget is allocated, on the one hand, to the energy efficiency of the water park and, on the other hand, to the decarbonisation of the remaining uses. Since the beginning of the year, several renovation works have been carried out in order to achieve significant energy savings. These include, among other things, the strengthening of current insulation, the replacement of the heating and ventilation system with high-performance systems and the optimization and automation of the operation of energy-consuming installations. In addition to acting on the reduction and improvement of energy performance, Aqualibi wishes to green its inputs through the production of renewable electricity. To do this, a park of photovoltaic panels with an area of more than two football fields (15. 700 m²) will be developed this year at the level of the staff car park, multiplying by 4 the production generated by the existing photovoltaic panel installations. The energy supplied will be used to operate the Aqualibi. Open during carnival holidays A first phase of work will be completed on February 17. Visitors will therefore be able to enjoy the water park during the carnival holidays from February 18 to March 5 . During the school holiday period, Aqualibi will offer 7 nights until 10 p.m. on February 18, 19, 23, 24 & 25 and March 3 & 4 , with various activities for young and old. Then, Aqualibi will still be open until August 27, 2023 before starting a second phase of work between August 28, 2023 and December 21, 2023. Useful information Website: https://www.aqualibi.be/fr/aqualibi-travaux-exceptionnels Closure of Aqualibi for works Phase 1: 09/01/2023 - 17/02/2023 Phase 2: 08/28/2023 - 12/21/2023 Slide manufacturer: ProSlide Technology Inc. https://cdn.uc.assets.prezly.com/d0ddaba1-f954-4025-9257-373c4b0832de/Projet - Extension Aqualibi 2023.mp4
  7. Thorpe Park has announced their newest experience, Ghost Train which will open in the Spring of 2023. This experience replaces the former Derren Brown's Ghost Train attraction which operated for 7 years. https://www.thorpepark.com/explore/theme-park/rides/ghost-train-ride/ Say your final farewell... Depart the mortal world on a one-way ticket beyond the veil into darkness on THORPE PARK Resort’s newest ride experience – Ghost Train. But watch your tracks, death is always one stop ahead. This next generation of Ghost Train will take you on a harrowing ride into the realms beneath THORPE PARK Resort to where the supernatural believers call home. Ghost Train is one of the UK’s longest ride experiences featuring live actors and multisensory effects to create a terrifying attraction like no other! There’s nothing virtual about this petrifying experience, so prepare to meet your maker as you come face-to-face with horrors that dwell within. Opens Spring 2023 Ride FAQs When does Ghost Train open? Ghost Train is set to arrive at Thorpe Junction during Spring 2023, we'll confirm an opening date as soon as we know more. Do you need a timed ticket? What time does the ride open? We will confirm this via our app and website ahead of the ride opening. Has this replaced Derren Brown's Ghost Train? Yes, Ghost Train has replaced Derren Brown's Ghost Train. Does the ride feature VR? No, there's nothing virtual about this petrifying experience! Has the ride experience changed much? Yes, Ghost Train features an entirely new storyline and special effects. Does the ride feature live actors? Yes, live actors are featured throughout the experience. Is Derren Brown involved in the project? No, after seven years Derren Brown's Ghost Train has reached the end of the line and has now departed the island. What is the minimum height/age restriction? We will confirm this via our app and website ahead of the ride opening. Is this wheelchair accessible? Wheelchairs may be taken into the ride; however, the user must be able to transfer onto a ride seat and be able to walk unaided. We are constantly looking at ways to make our rides more accessible and we will update via our website and app should any changes occur in the future. For a video teaser visit: https://www.facebook.com/thorpepark/videos/947649396226321
  8. Gardaland has announced the addition of Jumanji The Labyrinth which will debut in 2023! https://www.gardaland.it/en/jumanji-the-labyrinth/ Are you brave enough to take on the Labyrinth to save Jumanji? Drought threatens the very existence of Jumanji! The rains have stopped falling, the wells have run dry, and the rivers have stopped flowing. Only you can save the day - by returning the sacred gem to the elephant temple, that will bring back the waters flowing back to the land Venture into the Labyrinth where you will have to face the dangers of an ancient temple mirror maze, before stepping into a dark adventure tunnel adventure – but watch out for the spitting snakes! Then finally enter the wild jungle maze, with its innumerable pitfalls and surprises Will you be able to survive the Labyrinth and save Jumanji? Good luck adventurers!
  9. Efteling has announced that an updated scene will be added to De Vliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman) coaster. The new scene will debut on April 1st, 2023. https://www.efteling.com/nl/blog/nieuws/20230202-nieuwe-scene-voor-de-vliegende-hollander Starting April 1, the new scene will have you sailing through a graveyard of derelict shipwrecks. Efteling Designer Karel Willemen explains the design. What do you think the new scene will look like? Karel: “The curtain of rain, where the ghost of a ghost ship suddenly approaches you during the ride, regularly provides extra maintenance. That is why we have chosen to replace this scene during the regular winter maintenance of De Vliegende Hollander. Nice detail: in the new decor we use the large wooden figureheads that were made years ago for the attraction, but which we have not been able to install until now.” The key visual of the new scene in the water attraction De Vliegende Hollander by Efteling Designer Karel Willemen. Audio directs the revamped scene “Previously, the pouring rain drowned out the audio, but in the situation from April 1, we can let the music and soundscapes play a greater role,” Karel continues. “Together with composer René Merkelbach, I looked at whether the existing music still needed to be adapted. We soon found out that it fits the new scene perfectly. We even let the music direct what you see while sailing: lightning strikes to the beat of the music, the water splashes up and the shipwrecks with their immense figureheads loom. I think it will be fantastic.” De Vliegende Hollander will open again on Saturday, April 1, 2023. In honor of the reopening, a new music album will be available on Spotify and other streaming services. Description of the first part of the ride in De Vliegende Hollander After embarking, we sail out of the seventeenth-century harbor in a sloop. We pass two impressive VOC ships and reach the open sea. The starry sky seems to predict a calm weather picture, but nothing could be further from the truth. We get into a dense fog with our sloop and hear lugubrious ghosts all around us and their echoes from past, present and future. In the distance, a ship's bell sounds panicked… When we sail out of the fog bank, we see driftwood floating in the night darkness, barrels and boxes on which ship rats have taken refuge. Then: a lightning strike! The seawater splashes meters up and the bright light briefly shows us a shipwreck with a mouldering, angelic figurehead. We are sailing through a ship graveyard! A second and third lightning strike reveals in a short flash several wrecks and figureheads that seem to sing to us like Sirens. Then suddenly: darkness and ominous silence, we hold our breath! Frontally in front of us, De Vliegende Hollander looms with much fanfare and comes straight at us. The infamous ghost ship, with a smoldering figurehead in the form of a bloodthirsty lion, was waiting for us, pulling us in and swallowing us! We crash into the depths of the underworld; the darkest part of the soul of De Vliegende Hollander… About The Flying Dutchman Since 2007 you can defy the age-old legend of ghost ship De Vliegende Hollander in this spectacular water roller coaster. At the beginning of 2004, a start will be made on the attraction on the site of the former open-air swimming pool. Karel Willemen is designing a harbor town with a 22.5 meter high tower for this purpose. A dune landscape and De Kombuys with terrace complete the surroundings. The Flying Dutchman tells the story of the greedy VOC captain, Willem van der Decken. Against all rules, he sails to the East on Easter Sunday 1678, in the middle of a heavy storm. His ship turns into a fiery ghost ship doomed to sail the world's seas forever. An encounter with this ship in the adventure attraction is not excluded at all…
  10. And while that may be true... What about what the ride actually is justifies the other five years of development?
  11. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has announced that Serengeti Flyer will be opening on February 27th, 2023! https://buschgardens.com/tampa/rides/serengeti-flyer/ Have you heard about the record-breaking Serengeti Flyer coming to Busch Gardens February 27, 2023? With each swing, riders will soar higher and higher above Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s expansive 65-acre Serengeti Plain while experiencing multiple negative-G moments before plunging back toward the Earth. If you have an Annual Pass and have been collecting your Passport to Thrills tickets, your exclusive time to ride is almost here! Guests who have visited Busch Gardens Tampa Bay one time each in December and January AND collected those tickets, have until February 23, 2023 to collect their February ticket. Come back on February 24, 2023 from 10am – 2pm and present your December, January, and February tickets for entry into the exclusive Passport to Thrills event. The event includes the FIRST opportunity for Pass Members to ride Serengeti Flyer, free popcorn, soda, button, and more. February tickets will not be distributed on February 24, 2023.
  12. While I don't disagree... It doesn't feel like any part of it was so revolutionary that it required eight years to open.
  13. Today Merlin Entertainments announced "The Curse at Alton Manor" as the new ride-through haunted house dark ride that will open at Alton Towers this Spring. https://www.merlinentertainments.biz/newsroom/news-releases/2023/alton-towers-new-dark-ride/ The Curse at Alton Manor is the official name of the new attraction and is set to be the Resort’s most immersive dark ride to date. An eerie image of the new ride-through haunted house has also been unveiled which hints at what’s to come with the attraction when it launches this Spring. The Resort is keeping ride details, including the backstory of the Manor’s sinister past under wraps for now, however it has said it will be a haunting ride which will frighten and excite both brave youngsters AND adults, as it takes them on a hair-raising journey through the spectacular twists and turns of the cursed manor. Although there is limited information around what to expect with the ride, creators of The Curse at Alton Manor are said to have found new and unimaginable ways to scare and surprise fans, with special effects and visuals that have never been seen before from a UK theme park. The spooky site where Alton Manor resides was once home to the attraction Duel, however the ride was abruptly closed after the building was repossessed last year due to unnatural activity in the area. Although information around the strange goings-on inside the house is limited, the image offers a set of clues about what’s in store for fans who dare to ride The Curse at Alton Manor, but The Resort is leaving it up to fans to figure this out. “Let the countdown begin! The Curse at Alton Manor is no ordinary dark ride. It has all the components of a supernatural tale - it’s dark, compelling and promises some thrilling and scary moments along the way. Fans of eerie rides will certainly appreciate this one. More details on The Curse at Alton Manor will be revealed next month, so stay tuned for what’s to come.” - KATE MCBIRNIE, HEAD OF PRODUCT EXCELLENCE AT ALTON TOWERS RESORT Alton Towers Resort is renowned for providing world-class attractions for guests of all ages, including Wicker Man, the UK’s first wooden rollercoaster to be built in over 20 years, Oblivion, the world’s first vertical drop rollercoaster and The Smiler, the world’s first 14 loop rollercoaster, to name a few. The Staffordshire based theme park continues to welcome millions of guests from across the globe, delivering memorable and unique experiences and events each season.
  14. Universal Orlando has announced details for this year's Universal's Mardi Gras, which will feature concerts, a parade, food, live music and new offerings that extend the fun beyond Universal Studios Florida to the other parks and resorts! https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/things-to-do/events/mardi-gras We’re Going Beyond the Bayou for Mardi Gras! What’s even more exciting than Mardi Gras? Universal’s Mardi Gras! We’re going beyond the bayou with an awesome party inspired by Carnaval celebrations from around the world. Watch a parade (on select nights) of spectacular floats. Sample flavors from the bayou to Brazil and beyond. Enjoy live music all around and concerts (on select nights), then go ahead and get your beads and your party on! Prices, times, dates, entertainment, event and/or experience details are subject to changes and/or cancellation without notice. Daytime and Nighttime Fun at Universal Studios Florida At Universal’s Mardi Gras you’ll enjoy a glittering parade and some of the biggest names in music live in concert (both select nights only), along with unforgettable food from around the world (food available for purchase). Don’t Miss the Spectacular Parade The dazzling floats will be rolling, the colorful performers will be moving to the beat, and the beads will be flying. This year’s parade features traditional floats plus six all-new floats straight from New Orleans and the party will bounce! Float Riding You haven’t experienced Mardi Gras until you’ve experienced it from atop one of our spectacular floats. Toss beads to the crowd while you make your way through the streets for an unforgettable time. A limited number of spots are available per night. Reservations will be accepted in-park via the Virtual Line™ experience in the Official Universal Orlando App. Note: There is no Mardi Gras parade on March 31. Food & Beverage Universal CityWalk The Mardi Gras festivities extend to CityWalk with specially-themed food and drink offerings in a number of venues. Must be 21+ with valid photo ID to purchase and consume alcoholic beverage. Mardi Gras Dining at Universal Orlando Hotels The best way to experience Mardi Gras is with a stay at one of Universal Orlando Resort’s spectacular hotels. Whether you’re actually staying as a guest or just stopping in for a delicious meal, you’ll find a variety of tantalizing menu items specially themed for Mardi Gras. Must be 21+ with valid photo ID to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel Trattoria del Porto CAJUN JAMBALAYA PASTA Shrimp, Smoke Sausage, Chicken, Onions, Peppers, and Mushroom in a Creole Sauce with Fettuccine Pasta MASQUERADE CANNOLI Mixed berry insalada The Thirsty Fish BOULEVARDIER Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Campari, Sweet Vermouth Splendido Bar & Grill MOJITO LAMPONE (Lampone is Italian for raspberry) Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Chambord, simple syrup, raspberry, mint Hard Rock Hotel® The Kitchen BOURBON STREET BEIGNETS Bourbon Caramel Sauce, Powdered Sugar FRENCH 75 Hendrick’s Gin, fresh lemon juice, sugar, champagne Velvet Bar N’AWLINS PO’ BOY SLIDERS Smoked Andouille Sausage, Sautéed Peppers and Onions, Cajun Remoulade, Toasted French bread FRENCH 75 Hendrick’s Gin, fresh lemon juice, sugar, champagne beachclub HURRICANE Papa’s Pilar Rum, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, grenadine, pineapple, and orange juice Loews Royal Pacific Resort Islands Dining Room KING CAKE PANCAKES Lemon and powdered sugar glaze, spiced walnuts (breakfast only) Orchid Court Lounge & Sushi Bar ORCHID Nikka Gin, St.Germain, Crème de Violet, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Pea Flower Float Tuk Tuk Market CHOCOLATE BOMB Choose from: chocolate and caramel with spiced pecan with Mardi Gras purple, green and gold decor, s’mores or cookies & cream Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Amatista Cookhouse SHRIMP & ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE GUMBO POT PIE Vegetables and Okra Strong Water Tavern CUCUMBER HURRICANE TWIST Light rum, lime juice, midori, sliced cucumber New Dutch Trading Co. TRADITIONAL KING CAKE Universal’s Aventura Hotel Bar 17 Bistro CRAWFISH ETOUFFEE Classic dish of crawfish, the holy trinity of onions, celery and bell pepper served over rice MUFFULETTA SANDWICH Genoa Salami, Mortadella, ham, provolone and swiss cheese, and olive salad Bar 17 Bistro and Bar Ventura HURRICANE Bacardi Superior Rum, Myers’s Original Dark Rum, passion fruit, tropical juices SAZERAC Rye whiskey, absinthe, simple syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort Galaxy Bowl Restaurant SHRIMP PO’ BOY WITH ZAPPS CHIPS Crispy Cajun fried shrimp piled on a French baguette and topped with a creole inspired creamy remoulade sauce – add $7 for a choice of 16-ounce Abita draft beer or 12-ounce Abita king cake soda (Also available a la carte) LAISSEZ LES BONS TEMPS ROULER HURRICANE Let the good times roll with Bacardi Light Rum, Cruzan 12yr Single Barrel Rum, passionfruit puree, orange juice and grenadine – served with a 32-ounce souvenir Galaxy Bowl cup Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Surfside Inn and Suites Beach Break Café NEW ORLEANS BBQ SHRIMP & DIRTY RICE A classic creole dish. Sautéed shrimp in a rich butter and Worcestershire sauce on a bed of flavorful Cajun spiced rice with andouille sausage Sand Bar THE ENDLESS CARNIVAL Castillo Silver Rum, Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Chinola Passionfruit Liqueur, pineapple juice, orange juice, a pinch of dried blackberries, pineapple wedge and a green sugar rim Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Dockside Inn and Suites Pier 8 NEW ORLEANS CAJUN ROASTED CHICKEN & DIRTY RICE A classic creole dish of Cajun spiced oven roasted half chicken on a bed of flavorful Creole rice with andouille sausage topped with spicy sweet candiedbacon Sunset Lounge, The Oasis Beach Bar and The Wave Maker’s Pool Bar THE ENDLESS CARNIVAL Castillo Silver Rum, Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Chinola Passionfruit Liqueur, pineapple juice, orange juice, a pinch of dried blackberries, pineapple wedge and a green sugar rim
  15. Temper your expectations. While you’ll be able to experience attractions during your visit, you’re going to wait longer than you would typically (for a Thursday or for any other time of year in general). Things that normally would have minimal wait times will have excessive waits as well. Shows have the potential to fill up during this busy period, so plan accordingly and queue early to ensure you can get in. My best recommendation is to prioritize what really matters to you for your visit and focus on working down that list as best as possible as your day goes on. Rope drop the park so you’re amongst the first people in the gates so you can rush to the most popular attractions before the largest crowds roll in within the next few hours that follow. With only one day, you won’t likely get to do everything you aim to. Also keep in mind that navigating the parks and park hopping will likely take longer than normal as there will be more people in park paths and in the line for entrance turnstiles. Plan ahead. Arrive early/on time. Set realistic expectations and be pleasantly surprised if they’re exceeded. Have a good time.
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