Kings Island has made another big announcement for Spring 2011, which is not a roller coaster, but something rather different for the park. "Dinosaurs Alive" will be debuting at this popular Ohio amusement park on May 26th, 2011, and park guests will just have to pay five dollars to get into the dinosaur park. Once visitors step into the park, it will feel as if time had been rewound over 65 million years ago and humans will be walking in the presence of "live" dinosaurs in a Jurassic Forest setting.
More than 60 life size dinosaurs will be scattered throughout the park, 56 of them being animatronic. Science and technology will be utilized to its best to bring this park as lively as possible for guests to experience. The dinosaurs will be designed to replicate every movement of the dinosaurs, and will be very realistic. The 60 life size dinosaurs will move in a variety of different ways including mouths opening and closing, legs and arms moving, and even eyes moving. They will even feature sounds. They will be designed to replicate everything about the dinosaurs as possible and guests really will feel as they are being watched by these enormous creatures lurking in every corner. Each of the dinosaurs in the Dinosaurs Alive park will be hand carved as well as covered with skin-like materials. The dinosaurs were created by the Canada-based company, Dinosaurs Unearthed. Based on the latest paleontological knowledge, the dinosaurs will be as scientifically accurate as possible.
Not only being the world's largest animatronic dinosaur park, but also being the park that houses the world's largest animatronic dinosaur! The Ruyang Yellow River dinosaur will measure an astounding 72, feet long, 30 feet high, and 12 feet wide. Other dinosaurs guests will encounter throughout the park will be the Baryonyx, Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus,Tyrannosaurs Rex, Triceratops, Pteranodon, Irratator, and more. Guests will be able to walk through nearly 4,000 feet of path through about 12.5 wooded acres. They will travel through six main scenes and will learn a lot about the time of the dinosaurs such as what they ate, how they adapted to their prehistoric world, how they protected themselves, and much more.
There are even more features of the popular park. One is that four of the dinosaurs will actually have interactive consoles where guests will actually be able to guide the movements of the dinosaurs. This will allow them to see how scientists believed how each dinosaur moved certain parts of its body from its mouth, to its arms, to its legs, and even its eyes. Another feature will be an excavation site replica, a paleontological dog site. Here, visitors will be able to dig up prehistoric fossils. Also, a 1,500 foot gift shop will most likely be a hot spot to stop and do some shopping. The shop will consist of 500 dinosaur like items that guests will be able to purchase.
The park will be a fun filled experience for guests of all ages. Beginning May 26th, the park will be open from 10:00 am to dusk, where guests will just pay the extra $5 to get in. Guests will be able to purchase the tickets to "Dinosaurs Alive" at Kings Island or in advance online as you would be able to with regular Kings Island admission.
The LA Times has reported that the Sahara hotel-casino on the Las Vegas strip will be closing on May 16 after 59 years of operation. The property’s owner, Sam Nazarian, has not reported of any specific plans he has for the site in the future. Along with the closure of the Sahara, the NASCAR Café inside, along with the Speed: The Ride roller coaster will be shutting down operations as a result.
Speed: The Ride opened in April 2000 at a cost of $1,000,000 and was included as part of the Sahara’s remodeling which included the NASCAR Café. The launched coaster, built by Premier Rides, features a 35 mph launch out of the building into an overbanked turn, down into a trench, and through a 92-foot loop. After this it features a second launch up to 70 mph, at which point it snakes over some hills outside the hotel before climbing a 200-foot spike, then falls back through the course.
The reason for the closure is speculated to be the countries deep recession, which has hit Las Vegas hard, being an expensive tourist destination. Nazarian had bought the Morrocan-themed Sahara in 2007 with hopes of returning it to its former “Rat Pack-era” glory, but that is not to be anymore. The closure will see the loss of 1,700 hotel rooms and 1,000+ employees.
Unlike the Sahara, the Tropicana hotel-casino saw an investement of tens of millions of dollars to redecorate the hotel with “South Beach décor,” saving the location. Other nearby hotels on the north end of the Vegas Strip, the Fantainebleau hotel and Echelon, both stand unfinished, and may never be finished, along with nearby plots of land where projects never even broke ground.
Though the Strip is beginning to see recovery, thanks in part to the opening of the Cosmopolitan resort and multiple conventions held in the area, the recovery is still sporadic and not as strong as it once was.
For the first time in about a year, the Sea World parks are going to be putting its trainers back into the water with the killer whales. On February 25th, 2010, a trainer was drowned and killed by Sea World's largest orca, which is 6 tons. The trainer, Dawn Brancheau, was of Sea World Orlando, and the orca that took her life was named Tilikum. According to the Orlando Sentinel, trainers will soon begin being in the water for a limited time with the whales at all three of the Sea World parks in the United States, Orlando, San Antonio, and San Diego. The park has not been in the situation ever before, where the trainers are completely taken out of the water from the whales and some of the park's most popular shows can no longer happen due to this. But after last year's incident, the parks are going through everything possible to make sure the same incident does not happen again. Parks are installing numerous safety upgrades in its whale tanks to help ensure incidents do not turn out to be fatal.
The upgrades that the parks are undergoing are things such as fast rising floors in the large tanks as well as underwater vehicles that can distract the whales in case they decide to attack a trainer. The custom designed rising floors will be able to rise in less than a minute's time, if necessary, to lift the whale out of the water as well as be low enough for the trainer to stand up. The cabled lift stations in Sea World's medical pools can rise in about 60 seconds exactly, where as these new Oceaneering International Inc. manufactured floors will rise in a much quicker time span upon activation after an incident had occurred. The amount of money that Sea World expects to spend on these floors will be massive, but it will be necessary to help ensure a safe environment for the trainers and eventually get back to the public shows that involve the trainers in the pool with the killer whales, which is a reason why a lot of Sea World lovers go to Sea World. Oceaneering is also making a remote control under water vehicle for another safety upgrade. These vehicles will be designed to actually distract a killer whale upon an emergency situation. These vehicles will be able to float to the surface, swim in specific patterns, flash with strobe lights, vibrate and emit sounds, and more. Whale trainers will also eventually be equipped with emergency air supplies that will provide them with two to five minutes of air assuming they were trapped underwater. These air supplies were originally designed for use in the U.S. Military.
The whales themselves will be put through desensitization. Tilikum has already been put through a lot of this as he is responsible for three of the deaths at Sea World in the past twenty years. For now, the training will only be taking place in the park's medical pools and Sea World is not certain when they will progress the training past this point. Time will tell where it goes from here and how long it will be until the parks return to the normal shows it had before last year's incident.