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News roundup: HHN scarezones revealed; The Muppets take LA... twice

August 17, 2017, 10:24 AM · Recovered from yesterday's full slate of National Roller Coaster Day announcements? (Please take a moment to vote in our poll on who won the day, if you haven't already.) Let's keep the interns in the newsroom busy with another theme park news round-up.

Universal Orlando revealed the scares zones for this year's Halloween Horror Nights, which starts Sept. 15 at Universal Studios Florida. This year's zones will include Trick ‘r Treat, The Purge, Altars of Horror, and Invasion!, as well as the Roaming Hordes of scary, chainsaw-wielding clowns. Academy of Villains: Afterlife will return with its show, too.

Walt Disney World confirmed that its new Grand Avenue land at Disney's Hollywood Studios will be a reskin of the Muppets Courtyard area. The Muppets 3D theater is now known as the Grand Arts Theatre and the Muppets Courtyard becomes Grand Park. The upcoming BaseLine Tap House will join PizzeRizzo and Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano as the revamped area's food and beverage locations. From Disney's press release:

Inspired by the revitalization and the vibrant culture of present-day downtown Los Angeles, Grand Avenue is where vintage office buildings and warehouses are being converted to exciting new uses. Guests will soon see facades for “merchants” appearing in this area for a music shop, loft apartments, a tailor and more, with each window on the street featuring charming displays.

Also at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney has opened reservations for its new Fantasmic! Dessert & VIP Viewing Experience. For $39 for adults and $19 for children ages 3-9, you get a dessert box, a light-up credential, a drink in a souvenir light-up cup, and access to a reserved seating area for Fantasmic! The adults' dessert boxes include chocolate-covered strawberries, cheesecake, a chocolate cupcake, apple crisp, trail mix, and cheese and crackers, while the kids get worms-in-dirt, confetti popcorn, grapes, and a Sorcerer Mickey vanilla cake bite.

Backing up one item and returning to the topic of The Muppets in Los Angeles, fans in the Los Angeles area might want to check out The Muppets Take the Bowl, a live show featuring The Muppets running Sept. 8-10 at the iconic Hollywood Bowl.

The show will feature Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo, Sam Eagle, Statler and Waldorf, Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, and many other characters, in musical performances with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under the direction of conductor Thomas Wilkins. The show also will include new sketches of Pigs in Space, Veterinarian's Hospital, and Muppet Labs, as well as a fireworks finale.

And, finally, one for the insiders. The Themed Entertainment Association has opened registration for its TEA SATE 2017 Los Angeles event, Oct. 5-6 at the CalArts, located just down the road from Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif. SATE (Storytelling + Architecture + Technology = Experience) is the TEA's conference series on experience design and includes opportunities for industry professionals as well as "NextGen" students and recent graduates looking to get into the industry.

Replies (4)

August 17, 2017 at 11:22 AM · No more Muppets Courtyard. Just Grand Avenue that doesn't look at all like the actual Grand Avenue dump. I'm disappointed there's no updated to the tired MuppetVision 3D movie that already stopped showing at California Adventure. Wasted opportunity.
August 17, 2017 at 2:02 PM · 1. Academy of Villains are back. Fantastic! Absolute breath of fresh air at HHN26.
2. A Purge Scarezone has to be something to look forward to.
3. Trick 'r Treat Scarezone is eagerly awaited as I loved the film
4. Grand Avenue keeps the LA theme but Marc Kleinhenz makes a real valid point on Orlando Informer when suggesting the left hand side, the area of Indiana Jones and Star Tours could be the future rumoured Indiana Jones Land. Now this does fit and make sense over Animal Kingdom.
August 17, 2017 at 2:09 PM · Sounds like a confirmation that the Muppets will eventually leave DHS. Sad, but not a surprise.
August 18, 2017 at 9:56 AM · I wonder if the rumor that the California Adventure Bugs Theater will get a dark ride could also mean the MuppetVision will eventually be converted to a dark ride. It's a matter of timing. Too many attractions were closed recently at DHS. They must get some things done.

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