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Topics: Busch Gardens, Entertainment, Special Events, Theme ParksTags: , ,

Busch Gardens Tampa has announced tickets are now on sale for Howl-O-Scream 2014 – even with next-to-nothing revealed about the Halloween time event.

Beginning September 26, for 18 select nights, Howl-O-Scream 2014 returns to Busch Gardens Tampa with “hundreds of roaming creatures” in the streets and a “chilling live show.” The rest of the details will be available… “soon.”

Freaky Preview weekend returns for Friday, Sept. 26 and Saturday, Sept. 27 with the event running Thursday through Saturday nights, Oct. 2-Nov. 1. Howl-O-Scream and Sunday, Oct. 19.

A teaser video offers highlights of past years and a bit of heavy breathing, but nothing else new:

The park also claims their highly-anticipated drop tower Falcon’s Fury will be open in time for the event, originally intended to debut in May.

Tickets are available now at HowlOScream.com.


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Topics: Entertainment, Movies, Special Events, Theme Parks, Universal Orlando, Universal Studios Florida, Universal Studios HollywoodTags: , , , , , ,

“The Purge: Anarchy” opened in theaters on Friday, revealing what happens when all crime is legal for 12 hours each year. Come September, guests of Halloween Horror Nights 2014 will be able to experience that chaos as The Purge becomes a new scare zone at both Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.

It’s not the first time “The Purge” has been featured at the popular annual event, having already inspired a scare zone in Hollywood last year based on the original film. (The park also featured Go Go dancers wearing “The Purge” masks for a while too.)

But this year it’s the sequel that features even more anarchy that will take over parts of the parks.

As the gates to “Halloween Horror Nights” open, so too does the annual Purge begin at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort with the debut of a terrifying new scarezone, “The Purge: Anarchy.

“The Purge: Anarchy” scarezone will greet guests with masked vigilantes in search of new victims. The scarezone will be inhabited by average citizens transformed into sadistic felons during this period of government-sanctioned lawlessness. Like civilians in the movie fighting to survive, guests will be at the mercy of cunning wit, luck and speed as they attempt to outsmart and outlive the anarchy brought about by those who believe in an “eye for an eye.”

“‘Halloween Horror Nights’ is about taking guests out of their comfort zones and placing them at the core of unimaginable horror,” said John Murdy, Universal Studios Hollywood’s Creative Director for and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.” “Because the premise of ‘The Purge’ could theoretically happen, our scare-zone elevates that sense of fear and forces you to really watch your back. Imagining how your neighbor, friend or enemy could take revenge on you without retribution because you wronged them takes horror to a whole new level, and we wanted to bring that gut-wrenching terror to every one of our guests.”

“‘The Purge’” scarezone will invade the streets of ‘Halloween Horror Nights’, taking up most of our New York back lot. The chaos that reigns in the film will be replicated nightly, but now our guests can actually attempt to survive the night themselves,” said Michael Aiello, Director of Entertainment – Creative Development, Universal Orlando Resort. “The familiar emergency broadcast will be heard announcing the commencement of the annual Purge, and all hell will literally break loose.”

Halloween Horror Nights 2014 kicks off on September 19.

“The Purge: Anarchy” trailer:


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Topics: Disney, Entertainment, MoviesTags: , , , , ,

This morning “Star Wars: Episode VII” director J.J. Abrams appeared in a new video online revealing a surprisingly large part of the ongoing filming of the highly anticipated film.

In the video, Abrams reminds the world of the ongoing “Star Wars: Force for Change” charity project raising money for UNICEF while offering a chance to visit the Episode VII set. In doing so, he reveals a first look at a beat up new X-Wing fighter, just as an orange jumpsuit-clad pilot enters the cockpit and a Mouse Droid zips past underneath.

It’s been exactly two months since the last set update from Abrams, which offered a first look at a new alien wandering around the background of his first video. The elements featured in today’s video once again emphasize the realness of “Episode VII,” featuring a full size iconic “Star Wars” vehicle, along with a familiar costume and droid – not in CG.

There are only a few days left to donate to the UNICEF charity project and potentially win a trip to see Episode VII being filmed, among many other prizes.

Star Wars: Force for Change impressively raised over one million dollars within the first 24 hours of its launch. So far contributors from 119 countries around the world have backed Force for Change, in support of the United Nations Children’s Fund’s Innovation Labs and programs.


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Topics: Disney, Disneyland, Disneyland Resort, Entertainment, Theme ParksTags:

Beginning August 1 for a limited time, Disneyland will add a new interactive game to Adventureland that features a unique set of collectibles.

The Adventure Trading Company will give guests a chance to collect artifacts called Juju, which Disney says “reflect the ancient traditions and importance of storytelling in Adventureland.”

This announcement comes just a week after Disneyland debuted the Legends of Frontierland experience. But unlike the free-to-play Frontierland game, the Adventure Trading Company is expected to cost extra since guests will be taking home real, collectible items.

This Adventureland game was previously tested at the 2013 D23 Expo, sending attendees on a hunt through the convention center.


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FEATURED STORY

Review: “The Purge: Anarchy” binges on chaos, better than the original, delivering plenty of theme park potential

Review: “The Purge: Anarchy” binges on chaos, better than the original, delivering plenty of theme park potential

In “The Purge: Anarchy,” once again, the New Founding Fathers invite America to exercise the rights granted in the 28th amendment and partake of the annual 12 hour period where all crime is legal (even murder –as the audience is repeatedly reminded). For those who missed the first (disappointing) installment of this franchise in 2013, this night of reckoning is intended to be a salvation for the country’s conscience as well as the opportunity to vent pent up aggression. It is known as “the Purge”.

In this somewhat superior sequel, the mayhem spreads along a much larger arena than the original’s home invasion confinement. The Purge: Anarchy delivers where the first film fell flat as widespread PURGING prevails prominently throughout most of the 103 minute movie. The story follows Shane & Liz a couple on the verge of a break up; Eva and her daughter Cali along with a Snake Pliskin-like alpha male, known as “the Sargent” as they try to survive the lawless chaos. While entertaining and heavy with homicide, the gore factor is surprisingly light for its “R” rating. 

With shallow acting and simple, sometimes predictable story elements, Purge2 still manages to be entertaining and possibly even politically poignant.

Stereo-types portraying the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ aside, the Purge: Anarchy could appear to have a significant statement to make regarding the true meaning of The Purge: As the wealth gap in real-world America approaches levels not seen since the 1920’s, the apparently polarizing elements of the New Founding Founders of America and the ‘resistance’ suggest Universal might have something to say regarding that very ‘wealth gap.’

Ultimately “The Purge: Anarchy” is a satisfying movie, despite its not-so-stellar acting. It does portray the chaos of a crime-encouraged society well, making audiences fear for what might lie around each corner all while doubting the intentions of each and every character.

As a footnote, there are some tie-ins to theme experiences to be found with this film. Last year, Blumhouse assembled The Purge: Fear the Night, a Halloween time attraction in Los Angeles that thrust visitors into a story set somewhere between the two films. And a key scene in the new movie takes place in a setting extremely similar to one from that attraction – a sense of deja vu for anyone who experienced it.

An interesting revelation might also be found in the final image of the film, after the credits roll. Many elements in “The Purge: Anarchy” could easily lend themselves to another possible purpose: Halloween Horror Nights. Universal has already used the franchise as a scare zone in Hollywood. Now “The Purge: Anarchy” could set up a themed maze or new scare zone – or even both. There are ample wildly insane characters and suspenseful moments that would translate well to the event. And that closing image shown after the movie’s credits is not for Universal’s movie studios, but rather their Parks and Resorts division. The same happened at the end of “Despicable Me 2″ and, well, the Minions are causing plenty of mayhem at Universal’s parks now too.



Should this prove to be true, only one thing can be said, “Stay Safe.”

“The Purge: Anarchy” hits theaters today, July 18, 2014.


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