Theme park news and notes*

January 3, 2009, 2:34 PM · A few notes from the theme park industry, of potential interest to Theme Park Insider readers:

  • Knott's Berry Farm is offering $29 off the "rack rate" adult ticket price for people who make a canned food donation at the park. Knott's 8th annual food drive for the Orange County Food Bank runs from January 5 through February 1, 2009. People who bring at least one can of food for the drive will get into the park for $22.99. Details

    Let's note another change at Knott's, too. The park's switched from kids tickets to "junior" tickets. The lower age for this ticket remains 3 years of age for this $22.99 ticket, but the upper limit on the ticket is now 48 inches tall, not 11 years old, as it was before. That's effectively a price increase on middle-elementary kids. (Kids under three continue to get in free.)

  • Legoland California's long-time general manager, John Jakobsen, has left the park and "moved upstairs" at Merlin Entertainments. Jakobsen has been named Managing Director of all Legoland parks. He'll be based out of Merlin HQ in Poole, England. Peter Ronchetti, GM of Merlin's Thorpe Park, is moving to the U.S. and is the new GM at Legoland California.
  • Former Orlando Sentinel restaurant critic Scott Joseph reviewed Narcoossee's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort on his website. Support another ex-Tribune Co. writer and check it out.
  • *Update: We've got a discussion thread going with a report that the free beer will stop flowing at SeaWorld Orlando at the end of the month. An e-mailer said that the Hospitality House and Brewmasters Club will close one week earlier, on Jan. 25. Any SeaWorld/BEC people want to add details?

    Replies (7)

    January 3, 2009 at 4:28 PM · Thats some good stuff.

    I agree with the food critic also! My family felt the exact same way except a few years ago. I am actually quite suprised because it used to be very good and being at the Grand Floridian, you expect it to exceed your expectations. There is WAY better places in Disney World than that place!

    January 4, 2009 at 5:48 AM · I don't think he liked it...
    January 5, 2009 at 3:26 AM · I've only dined at Narcoosee's once. Back in 2006. I found the food to be very good and the service attentive and friendly.
    I have to admit that , having booked well in advance of our visit, I was a bit disappointed to be allocated a table near to the service door. We'd requested a table by the window so as to view the Lagoon. What we got was a nice view of people's backs as they stood on the wrap-around verandah sipping their drinks.
    Requests for a better table proved fruitless as we were informed that those empty tables were reserved for later diners. Getting a sitting later than 7:30 pm might have been a better choice.
    All in all we did enjoy our meal but didn't think that Narcoosees warranted such high prices. Citrico's is far better in our opinion.
    January 5, 2009 at 12:27 PM · And here it is, free beer to end. It's official....
    January 5, 2009 at 1:23 PM · Well, thankfully they haven't stopped the free Busch Parks' free admission for the military. Yet. (It's still good for 2009.)
    January 7, 2009 at 4:03 PM · Our family was also disappointed with Narcoossee's. My fish tartar was pretty decent, but not worth the price. I recall the dessert and appetizers being good, though.
    January 7, 2009 at 4:05 PM · Oh, and good on Knott's for that charitable idea.

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