Theme Park News Briefs for Mother's Day Weekend

May 8, 2021, 6:07 PM · The big news for theme park fans this weekend is the start of soft openings for Jurassic World VelociCoaster at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure. Technical rehearsals, as Universal calls its softs, can happen - or not happen - at any time, so check the Universal Orlando app for a posted wait time to see if the ride is accepting guests at any moment.

Universal Orlando is all in with Jurassic World this summer, with Universal Studios Florida next door getting a Jurassic World tribute store.

Tickets For discounted tickets to the Universal Orlando theme parks, please visit our travel partner's Universal Orlando tickets page.

Down the road, Viva La Musica returns to SeaWorld Orlando next weekend, running Saturdays and Sundays through May 23. The food and music festival offers flavors from the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Spain, as well as local bands playing salsa, bachata, reggaetón, and more. Tickets SeaWorld Orlando tickets

Lake Compounce

Lake Compounce, in Bristol, Connecticut, opened for the season today and is celebrating its 175th year, which makes it the longest continually operated amusement park in North America, according to the park. (Not counting that whole pandemic thing, of course.) Best known for the Boulder Dash wooden coaster, Lake Compounce is celebrating its anniversary with the new Timberjack Chowhouse restaurant and Venus Vortex waterslide.

Also reopening today is Louisville's Kentucky Kingdom, which is celebrating its 34th season - the first under Herschend Family Entertainment management. Tickets Kentucky Kingdom tickets

Keeping it in the Herschend family, Missouri's Silver Dollar City will welcome the Harlem Globetrotters (also now a Herschend venture) for The Harlem Globetrotters Skills Showcase, a 30-minute show running throughout the summer season from June 12 through August 8. Before that, though, Silver Dollar City kicks off its Bluegrass & BBQ festival May 13. The park is offering a BBQ tasting passport for the festival this year, too. The event runs through May 31.

Over in the United Kingdom, Blackpool Pleasure Beach announced that its Hot Ice show will return for the 2021 season with a new production, Euphoria. The new ice show, choreographed by former Finnish Olympian Oula Jaaskelainen, will run July 11 through September 11.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is displaying some of the world's most sought-after, limited-series Ferrari cars in "Hypercars - Evolution of Uniqueness" at the Yas Island theme park. Models on display include La Ferrari, the Enzo, the GTO, the F40, and the F50.

Ferrari World hypercars
Photo courtesy Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Finally, tickets have gone on sale for the Thea Award winning Pageant of the Masters, which returns to Laguna Beach this summer with "Made in America: Trailblazing Artists and Their Stories." The show runs July 7 through September 3 this summer.

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Replies (1)

May 10, 2021 at 8:14 AM

I had no idea Herschend bought the Globetrotters. I knew Virginia-based Feld was selling assets because of the pandemic and controversy surrounding their Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, but had not heard that the Globetrotters were sold.

Frankly, I have never been a big fan of Feld because of their focus on peripheral revenue (their business models sells tickets at lower costs, but hard sells guests during their shows for way overpriced souvenirs, snacks, and other add-ons). Hopefully, the Globetrotters will experience a renaissance under new management, as they are one of the most iconic traveling acts in the US.

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