Saturday, January 16, 2021

SeaWorld San Antonio + Sesame Place Philadelphia Both Move to Year-Round Operations


© SeaWorld San Antonio

SeaWorld Entertainment has announced that two more of its parks, in addition to Busch Gardens Williamsburg which we previously heard about, will now be partaking in year round operations with the addition of more operating days and special events.  Both SeaWorld San Antonio and Sesame Place Philadelphia will offer guests the chance to visit every month of the year under the new plans.


SeaWorld San Antonio already had a long season, being located in Texas, but is now staying open through some previously closed winter months.  They have added a brand new Mardi Gras event that will take place from February 6th through February 28th, and are also bringing back Wild Days during the month of January.  The rest of the park's seasonal event calendar, which can be seen up top, also includes event like the Seven Sea Food Festival, Bier Fest, Howl-O-Scream and the popular Christmas Celebration.


© Sesame Place Philadelphia

Sesame Place Philadelphia will for the first time in its history also operate each month of the year in 2021.  The park has made the announcement along with news of two new events that will fill in the time the park used to be closed: Elmo's Furry Fun Fest and Sesame Place's 40th Birthday Drive-Thru.


Elmo's Furry Fun Fest will run January 30th through March 21st, and actually is the name for a collection of limited-attendance special events.  The events will take place twice daily from 10 am to 1 pm and 2pm to 5pm, and are open to all levels of 2021 pass holders - separate tickets will also be sold.


The events include Elmo's Rockin' Birthday Bash, My Fuzzy Valentine's Celebration, Mardi Gras Celebration, and Big Bird's Pajama Party.  The events will all have their own special offerings, but will each feature the Neighborhood Birthday Party Parade, special food events, a Furry Friends Dance Party and more.


Also running on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from January 26th through February 24th, the park will have a 40th Birthday Drive-Thru, continuing the popular park drive through they started for Christmas.  The park will be decorated for its continued birthday party, plus the characters will be out greeting guests on their own floats while guests remain safely in their vehicles.


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

New Sesame Street Parade of Lights Drive-Thru Experience to Debut at SeaWorld San Diego


© SeaWorld San Diego
The trend of theme park drive thru experiences is continuing with SeaWorld San Diego announcing that they will be reopening in order to hold the all-new Sesame Street Parade of Lights Drive-Thru Experience.  The event will start on January 15th and run on select nights through February 14th.


This is the first time that SeaWorld San Diego will allow visitors to drive their own vehicles through the park, and they're ramping up the family fun by introducing the Sesame Street characters into the mix.  The experience will allow visitors to stay in their vehicles during the fun, safely separated from other guests.  


© SeaWorld San Diego
As described by the park, the journey starts with traveling past "through thousands of dazzling lights lined with your Sesame Street friends physically distanced on parade floats while listening to Sesame Street music along the way.  The excitement continues as you venture under the illuminated SkyTower to snap photos, drive under two different tunnels of lights, and cruise through Sesame Street Village." 

 

Guests who make reservations for the event can also reserve add-ons such as a snack pack or a deluxe snack pack that comes with some retail items as well.  Season pass holders will get a 50% discount off the admission price, and Fun Card holders will receive 25% off.  For more information or to make a reservation, check out the park's official website.


Sunday, January 10, 2021

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Starts New Celebrate 2021 Drive-Thru Experience


© Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has come up with an inventive way to keep the Drive-Thru fun coming, the park has now started to offer visitors the Celebrate 2021 Season of Thrills Drive-Thru Experience.  The theme of the new event is all over the map, celebrating the different events that the park holds during the year through lights, music, characters and more.


This includes saying goodbye to Holiday in the Park with those decorations, moving on to Spring Break, Festival Latino, 4th of July, then Fright Fest next, followed by The Marine World Experience, a Winter Wonderland area and finally Heroes Day.  Yes, it's quite a mashup of themes, but it's a nice way for the park to continue to operate during these trying times, so kudos to the park for coming up with something unique!

 

© Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

For those wondering about the Fright Fest portion, this image from the park does show some ghouls wandering around the park.  Obviously I'm sure there isn't really a scary feel to the area, but still pretty neat to have those characters out there to entertain the cars as they go by.


The new Celebrate 2021 Season of Thrills Drive-Thru Experience takes places on Friday through Sunday through January 31st, and includes the 18th holiday as well.  The park is offering season pass holders and members the ability to travel through the route twice in the same night.


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Goes Year Round with New Winter Weekends + Mardi Gras Events


© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Busch Gardens has taken the plunge into being open year-round with the introduction of two new limited time events that will keep the park open during January and February.  Up first is Winter Weekends, which will start on January 15th, and run that Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then again the following weekend - ending on Sunday January 24th.


The new event is designed to continue the celebration of the beauty of the holiday season and will feature plenty of decorative lights, but also plenty of rides, attractions and more.  Another major feature of the event will be the ability to see special animals that are not normally at the park, including an alligator, lemur and even a baby kangaroo.  There will also be special fireworks on Saturday evenings.  The park will have plenty of rides open during Winter Weekends as well, including Alpengeist, Verbolten and InvadR.


© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Following right after and starting on January 29th, Busch Gardens Williamsburg will hold an all new Mardi Gras event.  The new celebration will run through February 28th and be followed by the park's St. Patrick's Day Celebration.


During the Mardi Gras event the park will feature 8 decorated themed areas along with special food, beverage, live entertainment and more.  There will be a similar list of rides open to visitors as during the Wild Weekends, so you can get plenty of more coaster rides in!  More detail on Mardi Gras will be added as the start of the event approaches.


So now we've seen both Six Flags and Busch Entertainment moving more of their parks into year round operations using special events, I guess it's officially a trend now.  A smart one, in my opinion.  With limited operations and the pandemic still not under control, it's a great way to stretch out the season and provide their guests with even more value than ever before - at least from a season pass perspective.


Sunday, January 3, 2021

Six Flags Over Texas to Hold New Fire & Ice Winter Festival This Month


© Six Flags
We've got three days of 2021 under our belt now, and I hope things are going nicely for you all - at least compared to 2020!

 

As we move into the real winter months we have a new festival announced for Six Flags Over Texas, named the Fire & Ice Winter Festival.  The brand new event will take place on weekends from January 9th through February 28th, plus January 18th and February 15th as bonus days.

 

Those who receive concept idea surveys from Six Flags may have had a feeling that a slew of new events were on the horizon, as the park was testing the concepts of almost a dozen of them recently.  It looks like the Fire & Ice concept scored well, as Six Flags Over Texas is the first park to announce it.

 

© Six Flags Over Texas
The event will present family fun in the form of a Fire and Ice Light Show, the Frosty Snow Hill, Fire and Ice Marketplace, cocktails at a Fire Bar and Ice Bar, Fire Pits with s'mores, a new Dancing Fountain Show, photo ops, special food offerings and more.  The park is even setting up a curling rink! (additional fee will apply) There will also be fireworks on Saturday nights at 7 pm.  The event's hours each day it is open are from noon until 7 pm. 


As Six Flags in general moves toward keeping its parks open more days out of the year, I'm sure we'll see other versions of this festival (and perhaps even different ones) at more parks soon.  It's a great way to draw in families during the usually slow winter months, for sure.


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Six Flags Great Adventure Confirms Major Work on The Jersey Devil Coaster has Resumed


© Six Flags Great Adventure
While the status of some 2021 projects still may be questionable, thankfully we got an update from Six Flags Great Adventure that confirms that major work on The Jersey Devil Coaster has started again.  The park took to their socials to share two photos, both posted here, of new construction that has gone up on the ride.


Yesterday they shared that a shiny section of orange track for the ride was lifted into place, and also some supplemental support items like an access staircase also went in.  That's progress, people!


© Six Flags Great Adventure
The Jersey Devil Coaster is a ride that is highly anticipated, one of Rocky Mountain Construction's Raptor style coasters, with a unique layout and also the largest of its kind to date.  The ride stands 130 feet tall, features an 87 degree first drop, maximum speeds of 58 miles per hour and three inversions spread out over 3,000 feet of track.