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Thursday theme park news round-up: Disneyland, Aquatica, Sesame Place, and Ocean Park

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Published: October 10, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Disneyland's long been a favorite holiday destination for Southern Californians, where the weather in December — while pleasant — isn't exactly the snowy wonder most people associate with the Christmas. This year, the resort will add to its holiday celebrations with a new event aimed at the massive Latino market in the area. "Disney ¡Viva Navidad!" will run Disney California Adventure' Paradise Garden from Nov. 15 through Jan. 6, 2014. Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta and the Paradise Garden Grill will offer special Mexican dishes for the event, including tamales, pozole, and buñuelos. Mariachi will perform at the bandstand, and a "street party" with Mickey, Minnie and The Three Caballeros will play several times a day during the event.

Paradise Garden bandstand
Disney's planning more holiday entertainment at the Paradise Garden Bandstand this fall and winter.

Aquatica San Diego is adding a new water slide for next season. Taumata Racer will open on Memorial Day weekend next spring and feature a 375-foot slide around a 180-degree turn, and in and out of tunnels, before riders race across its finish line. Taumata Racer will be located between Walhalla Wave and Kata's Kookaburra Cove on the northwest side of the park.

Taumata Racer
Illustration courtesy SeaWorld

Sesame Place announced a new land for the park for 2014 — Cookie's Monster Land. From the press release: "As part of the park’s largest financial investment to date, Cookie Monster will serve as host to all of his monster friends in this colorful and imaginative new land featuring five exciting rides, a three-story net climb and a soft play area for the park’s youngest visitors."

Cookie's Monster Land
Illustration courtesy Sesame Place

Ocean Park in Hong Kong announced that it is seeking final approval to open a new 495-room "Ocean Hotel" at the theme park's entrance. Marriott International will operate the US$322-million hotel, which, if approved, will break ground next year for a 2017 opening.

Readers' Opinions

From Amanda Jenkins on October 10, 2013 at 8:34 PM
Just a few more reasons to plan a much needed trip to California. Aquatica's water slide looks right up my guys alley.
From Annette Forrest on October 11, 2013 at 11:15 PM
All the Spanish-language stuff that Disneyland does is a real turn-off to me. The politically-correct police pressure us not to ever say this, but I don't like Spanish being forced on me when I am in a Disney park. I hate listening to it. I know there are a lot of Mexican immigrants in the Anaheim area but I don't think Disney should make all their announcements in both English and Spanish. I almost want to just stop going to Disneyland because I don't want to have to listen to all that Spanish.

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