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Kid-Friendly Ninja Museum Opens at Historic Japanese Castle

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/18/2019, 10:45 PM

A new museum in Japan shines a light on the shadowy history of ninjas, and, via kid-friendly interactive exhibits, gives visitors a chance to hone their own ninja skills.  Opening April 20, the museum is located on the grounds of Odawara Castle, a 15th-century landmark about 80km (50 miles) southwest of Tokyo. The site is easily reached from that city by a short train ride, along the same route th...

Dollywood's New Expansion, Open in May, Is Its Largest Ever

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/25/2019, 7:00 PM

Dolly Parton's Dollywood amusement park—located in the foothills of Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains, where the country icon grew up—is opening its largest expansion ever this spring. The 6-acre, $37-million Wildwood Grove is a new themed land that will have 11 guest experiences, including 6 rides.   Parton worked with the park's creative team to come up with a distinctive quality for the area,...

Mascot Hall of Fame Ready to Rev Up Crowds Near Chicago

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/12/2019, 12:00 AM

Original Phillie Phanatic Dave Raymond founded the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2005 to pay tribute to professional and college sports teams' costumed crowd pleasers. The enterprise started out online-only, but after a five-year, multimillion-dollar project, there's now a brick-and-mortar-and-faux-fur building in Whiting, Indiana, on the southern shore of Lake Michigan, about a 45-minute drive from dow...

The Cartoon Network Is Building Its First Hotel

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/02/2018, 2:30 PM

Listen up, fans of Adventure Time, We Bare Bears, and The Powerpuff Girls: The Cartoon Network is getting its own hotel.  Developed through a partnership between the animated cable channel and amusement park operators Palace Entertainment, the 165-room property is currently under construction on 9 acres in southern Pennsylvania's Lancaster County. The new hotel will stand right next to the Dutch ...

The Pittsburgh Steelers Are Getting a Roller Coaster

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/23/2018, 6:00 PM

One of America's oldest amusement parks is teaming up with one of the NFL's most storied franchises.  Kennywood, which originated as a "trolley park" around the turn of the 20th century and still operates classic rides from the 1920s, is constructing a new themed area dedicated entirely to the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose Heinz Field is about 12 miles west of Kennywood (just go up the snaking Monon...

Real-Life Version of "Simpsons" Convenience Store Comes to Myrtle Beach

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/21/2018, 9:15 PM

Fans of The Simpsons have a new place to satisfy their cravings for Buzz Cola, Squishee frozen drinks, Heat-Lamp Hot Dogs, and Lard Lad Donuts (what, no Duff beer?). A full-size, three-dimensional Kwik-E-Mart, the convenience store that frequently appears on the long-running animated sitcom, has opened in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Part of the Broadway at the Beach retail and entertainment c...

Chill with Superheroes at Air-Conditioned Theme Park in Abu Dhabi

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/14/2018, 6:00 AM

And you thought Orlando was sweltering.  Temperatures in Abu Dhabi regularly top 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 Celsius) during much of the year, making an outdoor theme park in the United Arab Emirates capital a sticky proposition, especially in summer.  But you don't have to worry about succumbing to heat exhaustion at the new Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi—it's entirely indoors. The air-condition...

New Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Opens in Chicago Burbs

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/22/2018, 11:30 PM

Midwesterners in search of chlorinated fun have a new destination in the Chicago suburbs.  Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, the 17th outpost in a chain of Northwoods-themed indoor water park resorts across North America, has opened in Gurnee, the same town (located about 40 miles north of downtown Chicago) where you'll find Six Flags Great America.  The new Great Wolf occupies space once belonging to ...

Coming in May: UFO Fests in Oregon and New York State

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/17/2018, 12:00 AM

The search for signs of intelligent life in the universe hasn't turned up much so far. Even here on earth intelligent life can seem awfully hard to come by.  But judging from the many UFO festivals held across the country each year, there are evidently still plenty of those who believe the truth is out there.  Among this spring's crop of events dedicated to alien abductions, government cover-ups...

Plans for Cartoon Network Cruise Being Drawn

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/01/2018, 1:30 PM

The first fully immersive Cartoon Network cruise ship is currently in the works. We'd like to tell you the plans are being cooked up in Dexter's Laboratory, but in fact the project is a joint effort of the Turner company, which owns the animation-dominated cable channel, and the Singapore-based Oceanic Group.  Dubbed the Cartoon Network Wave, the 11-deck, 2,000-passenger ship will have colorful ...

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