A buyout consortium led by Blackstone <BX.N> sent a frisson through debt markets this week as it took advantage of a booming appetite for bonds to push through aggressive terms on financing for its leveraged buyout of Merlin Entertainments.
Merlin, which owns and operates Legoland and Madam Tussauds, took on more than $3 billion of debt to help to fund Blackstone's bid to take the company private in a deal worth $7.5 billion agreed in June, one of the largest European private equity transactions in recent years.
Analysts and investors are worried that the European Central Bank's unprecedented stimulus program is driving investors into riskier debt. They expressed concerns about aggressive terms both on pricing and in the debt documentation on the Merlin fundraising.
Blackstone did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Before it closes for good, someone will take the 46 millionth ride of Vortex at Kings Island.Kings Island spokesman Chad Showalter said more people have been riding Vortex since the park announced this would be its final season.
Sometime during the final weekends of Halloween Haunt and Great Pumpkin Fest, that milestone ride will be given, according to Showalter.
Showalter said Vortex is the seventh-most ridden ride of all time at Kings Island. It peaked in 1987 when 2.2 million rides were given.
Fans of roller coasters at Busch Gardens might’ve been disappointed the past few weekends as some of the rides were temporarily closed.
Cindy Sarko, director of consumer activation for Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, said that during particularly hot weekends, such as the ones this past month, wasps tend to migrate to the top of tall rides. This poses a safety hazard for riders and employees, so for everyone’s well-being, the rides were closed during the day.
Avengers E-Ticket attraction will boast all-new ride system at Marvel land in Disney California Adventure
The Avengers E-Ticket ride coming to the Marvel themed land at Disney California Adventure will have an all-new ride system unlike any attraction at a Disney theme park.
“We’re inventing an all-new ride system for this,” Walt Disney Imagineering’s Scot Drake said during a New York Comic Con 2019 panel. “The demands of these characters and this experience is forcing us to invent and we’re really excited about that. It’s going to be something like you’ve never seen before.”
Sawmill Creek Resort will close for the winter as new owners, Cedar Fair, conduct renovations.
The Sandusky entertainment company purchased Sawmill Creek in July for $13.5 million, according to the Erie County Auditor’s website, to strengthen the appeal and hotel offerings of its flagship park, Cedar Point.
When it purchased the resort, Cedar Fair executives were clear that investments would need to be made to improve and modernize the resort, which was built more than 40 years ago.
Sawmill Creek was added to Cedar Point’s portfolio of hotels. The company announced the resort would close on Nov. 4 to begin those renovations and wouldn’t open again until next summer.
Tony Clark, a spokesman for Cedar Point, said the company is working with groups on an individual basis to help find alternative venues for events or meetings that were already scheduled at the resort during the period it will be closed.
Six Flags Eyes Globe Life Park for New World Headquarters, Arlington City Council to Vote on Incentives Package Tuesday
The City of Arlington may have found a new long-term resident for Globe Life Park once the Texas Rangers move out. According to city documents, Six Flags wants to move its world headquarters from Grand Prairie to the ballpark. The theme park conglomerate would take over the space currently occupied by the Rangers team offices.
Tuesday night, the Arlington City Council will vote on an incentives package to help Six Flags make the move.
The city would reimburse the company up to $6 million to make the necessary renovations to the space. In return, Six Flags would sign a 15-year lease at Globe Life Park, with the option of two 5-year extensions.
Universal Orlando has officially announced that “The Bourne Stuntacular,” a new live-action stunt show, will debut at Universal Studios Florida in spring 2020.
The show will be based on Universal Pictures’ “Bourne” film franchise, following the character of Jason Bourne around the world as evil pursues him. Fans can expect to see exciting chase scenes, fistfights, death-defying leaps and more – all happening right in front of their eyes with live performers, high-tech props, and a giant LED screen.
A concerned customer at one of the most popular local haunted houses in the area said an actor took things too far.
Now the people running the Haunted Hydro say they're taking care of it.
During the second week of October, Haley Jones went to the Haunted Hydro with some friends for the first time. She said while she was waiting in line, things got weird.
"Basically I don't think an actor knew quite what to do with us, or was uncomfortable in her role and she ended up popping this weird toy in her mouth and taking it out and wiping it all over my face with just her spit. And then she took a Sharpie marker to my face as well," said Jones.
According to the owners of the Haunted Hydro, unless people specifically sign up for a "touch pass" and sign a waiver, the actors are trained to keep a certain distance away from people.
"We already have apologized to the patron and took care of this situation internally. It is and always has been a protocol for our actors to stay one arm's length from patrons for their safety and to create a special magical Halloween environment for customers to enjoy," Bob and Beth Turner said in a statement.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras isn’t the only ship that will have a roller coaster on the top deck. A second cruise line has announced plans for what they’re saying will be the longest coaster at sea when it debuts in 2021.
Not only will Dream Cruises’ currently-under-construction Global Dream feature a roller coaster, but the attraction will be part of the first at-sea theme park. Known as Dream Park At The Pier, the new ship’s park will feature a variety of attractions designed to thrill cruisers.
According to Travel Daily News, the Space Coaster topping the first-in-its class Global Dream will feature a nearly 1,000-foot long track. “Outfitted with powerful electric motors and positive-locking drive system, the coaster defies the physical limits experienced by conventional coasters, thus allowing acceleration over 1G almost everywhere on [the track],” said Marco Hartwig, the man in charge of the project for Maurer Rides.
TAMPA BAY, FL
About a month ago, we theme park enthusiasts got one of the most exciting bits of news we could have possibly imagined: that Busch Gardens Tampa's new coaster would be the tallest hybrid coaster in North America standing at 200 ft., as well as the fastest & steepest hybrid coaster in the world — and their update they just posted to Instagram has us even more excited for what's to come.
We learned that this new high-speed hybrid coaster would combine the existing bones of the Iron Gwazi coaster that closed in 2015 with new twists and turns, with an expected opening date in 2020. While the official opening date hasn't been announced yet, the short update posted to their Instagram page this morning has us thinking we might get it sooner in the year, rather than later.