The co-founder of an iconic Jersey Shore amusement park has passed away. William "Bill" H. Morey "went to be in the loving arms of the Lord" on Wednesday, Morey's Piers announced Friday. He was 87. Born and raised in Wildwood by his parents Lewis and Clara, Morey was one of seven children - five sons and two daughters. He lived in the shore town his entire life.
Bill founded Morey's Piers with his brother Will in 1969. Already successful entrepreneurs at the time, they entered the amusement business after noticing a giant fiberglass slide near a shopping center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The brothers purchased a similar ride, called "The Wipe Out," and from there began adding similar attractions to their park on the Wildwood boardwalk, according to the park's website.
Image courtesy Morey's Piers
Earlier today, the first-ever Marvel-themed ride at a Disney park – Iron Man Experience – Presented by AIA – opened to the cheers of guests at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. The new Iron Man Experience attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland takes you on an epic adventure of a lifetime where you join Iron Man in a battle against the evil forces of Hydra across the city of Hong Kong.
Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Bob Chapek joined members of the Hong Kong government to unveil the attraction that brings the Iron Man character to life inside the park. “We are always pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation so that our guests can step into the magical worlds of their favorite stories and meet their most beloved characters,” said Chapek. “We’re thrilled to be adding the high-tech, action-packed universe of Marvel to Hong Kong Disneyland, and we’ll continue building on it as we move into the next phase of expansion.”
Nickelodeon will open major new family tourist attraction in the Philippines in 2020, as part of an “underwater” resort complex. The children’s TV brand has partnered with Coral World Park Undersea Resorts to develop a new Nickelodeon resort and theme park in Coron, on the island of Palawan.
It will form part of Coral World Park (CWP), the undersea-themed development covering a staggering 400 hectares across several tropical islands. And 100 of these hectares have now been earmarked for the Nickelodeon complex, including 70 hectares of accommodation and a 30-hectare theme park.
The 100-hectare Nickelodeon complex will be themed on the company’s cartoon characters, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dora the Explorer. These brands will also extend to some of CWP’s underwater restaurants and lounges, which will be located about six metres under the surface of the sea. The overall CWP complex is spread across a cluster of 16 tropical islands.
Image courtesy of Coral World Park Undersea Resorts
The SeaWorld family is deeply saddened to announce that one of its most well-known orcas, Tilikum, has passed away. Tilikum passed away early this morning, January 6, surrounded by the trainers, care staff and veterinarians that provided him around-the-clock world-class care.
Like all older animals, Tilikum had faced some very serious health issues. While the official cause of death will not be determined until the necropsy is completed, the SeaWorld veterinarians were treating a persistent and complicated bacterial lung infection. The suspected bacteria is part of a group of bacteria that is found in water and soil both in wild habitats and zoological settings.
Tilikum’s veterinarians and caretakers delivered various treatment regimens over the course of this illness, which consisted of, among other things, combinations of anti-inflammatories, anti-bacterials, anti-nausea medications, hydration therapy and aerosolized antimicrobial therapy.
While today is a difficult day for the SeaWorld family, it’s important to remember that Tilikum lived a long and enriching life while at SeaWorld and inspired millions of people to care about this amazing species.
Tilikum’s life will always be inextricably connected with the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Dawn Brancheau. While we all experienced profound sadness about that loss, we continued to offer Tilikum the best care possible, each and every day, from the country’s leading experts in marine mammals.
“Tilikum had, and will continue to have, a special place in the hearts of the SeaWorld family, as well as the millions of people all over the world that he inspired,” said President & CEO of SeaWorld Joel Manby. “My heart goes out to our team who cared for him like family.”
Tilikum became a part of SeaWorld’s family 25 years ago. Estimated to be about 36 years old, Tilikum was near the high end of the average life expectancy for male killer whales according to an independent scientific review.
Tilikum was not born at or collected by SeaWorld. He came to us from Sealand of the Pacific in Canada. SeaWorld has not collected a whale from the wild in nearly 40 years, and this past March we announced the end of the orca breeding program effectively making the whales currently at SeaWorld the last generation of orcas under human care.
Images coutesy of SeaWorld
As if theme park rides couldn't get any crazier, Universal Studios Japan has just upped the ante. It was announced in August that the park would be debuting a Godzilla ride at some point in 2017, but the company has now released a teaser trailer for the event.
The Godzilla Experience will be a 4D adventure for guests to ride through, and it aims to have all of the thrills that would stem from a real-life monster attack. Instead of watching Godzilla take down a city on a screen, guests will be immersed in the terrifying events of the films.
It was the last chance to drop for the Tower of Terror before it disappeared forever into the Twilight Zone of yesterland and many fans dropped in at Disney California Adventure on Monday to take a final ride. Caitlyn McNulty drove in from Las Vegas for the last day. “I wouldn’t miss the funeral of my favorite ride,” she said.
The ride is getting a makeover to a more sci/fi fantasy theme. When it reopens this summer, it will be called “Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission Breakout!” It will feature characters from the Marvel movie series and a whole new look. The makeover was announced last summer by Marvel’s producer Kevin Feige at the San Diego Comic-Con, and is the first ride at the Disneyland Resort based on a movie from the Marvel Comics universe. It will retain the elevator-drop that has been a key part of Tower of Terror.
Making good on SeaWorld’s promise to add more thrill-oriented rides, the San Diego theme park is announcing plans Tuesday for what it is calling its tallest and fastest roller coaster. Plans for the Electric Eel coaster — which would open in early summer 2018 — come on the heels of already announced attractions as the park and its parent company struggle to boost attendance and revenue. Business has slumped over the last two years amid harsh criticism of the marine parks’ captive breeding and treatment of killer whales.
SeaWorld boasts that taken together the four attractions represent the highest level of investment since the park’s opening more than half a century ago. SeaWorld Chief Executive Joel Manby and President Marilyn Hannes have hinted in recent months that the San Diego park could expect a thrill-focused ride in 2018. “This is what Joel and Marilyn promised, which is investing in SeaWorld San Diego and changing this park,” said Brian Morrow, vice president of theme park design for SeaWorld Entertainment. “This is the end of that process, which is the biggest capital investment over a two-year period at this park, and it’s a big deal financially and time-wise.” Morrow and Hannes declined to divulge the expected cost of the roller coaster.
SeaWorld San Diego staff will produce its final “One Ocean” show this Sunday, ending a decades-old practice of including killer whales as park entertainers.
"We will conduct an interim orca educational presentation in the pool that is also used for underwater viewing... while we remove the existing theatrical moving screens and show set in the stadium and replace them with a natural backdrop that will reflect the natural world of the orca," said SeaWorld San Diego spokesperson Dave Koontz.
California banned killer whale breeding in 2016, affecting the company that operates the popular marine animal theme park located just north of downtown San Diego.
In a little more than two weeks after the wildfires that spread across Dolly Parton's home area of Sevier County, Tennessee, Parton and the Dollywood Foundation launched the distribution of assistance from the My People Fund. During the four-day cash distribution, 884 families received their initial support payments.
"It's a blessing during this holiday season that we are able to help as many families as we have so far," Parton said. "We know there are more families out there who need our help and we encourage them to be in contact with us before our January distribution."
The Dollywood Foundation My People Fund provides $1,000 each month to Sevier County families whose homes are uninhabitable or were completely destroyed in the recent Smoky Mountain wildfires. Any family who lost a primary residence (renters and homeowners) due to the wildfires in Sevier County will be eligible. A pre-application for those affected is available at dollywoodfoundation.org.
Millions of people watched "Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund" telethon on Tuesday, Dec. 13, on Great American Country, AXS-TV, RFD-TV and The Heartland Network, and during several rebroadcasts throughout the past week. As a result, donations continued to roll in and, thanks to generous people from coast to coast and Parton's friends, the total amount raised has climbed to $9.3 million.
"As Dolly said, the response has been overwhelming," said David Dotson, Dollywood Foundation president. "We will distribute all $9.3 million to the families affected. That will insure all of the money raised will go to where Dolly promised it would go."
The next distribution is Jan. 26 and 27, 2017, at the LeConte Events Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.