It has been 1 year since Episode 1 of the Wakefield Report Podcast hit the air, and boy have I learned a lot in the last 12 months! 46 episodes later, I find myself with a show that is a bit different from the original format, but is, at its heart, the same. My goal is to provide the listeners with an unbiased, honest, and entertaining look at theme park news. I try really hard to not take myself too seriously, while still providing a serious show. This last year has been a lot of fun, and I really want to thank those of you who have been around since the first episode. Your support, comments, iTunes reviews, and emails really go a long way in keeping me enthused and energetic. I really cant tell you how much I appreciate it all! Even better that I am now in the great MiceChat community!
On to the podcast . . .
9 NEWS NUGGETS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Story 1: We are starting to see a massive amount of construction walls pop up inside of Universal Hollywood. Those of you who survived the construction wall gauntlet at DCA just a few years ago know what this is like. Even though I will be visiting Universal Studios Hollywood this month, I dont think all the walls will put a damper on my visit. Especially since I know what they will all lead to! Despicable Me, a new central welcome area, and what should be an amazing Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I am so looking forward to visiting this historic park, and even more excited to experience Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood.
Story 2: A sad story of a girl who fell out of a third story window at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is an unfortunate thing but the good news is the girl is in stable condition and hopes are high for her to make a full recovery. Disney also says that the girl was never in danger of coming in contact with any of the animals that were roaming the open savannah at the hotel. We may feel safe at Disney, but just remember that accidents can, and do happen.
Story 3: This is what SeaWorld is all about. Two sea turtles who were rescued have now found new homes at SeaWorld! Both of the turtle’s former homes did not have enough room to house them, and so SeaWorld Orlando stepped up to the plate and gave them new permanent housing. You can see both of the turtles, one of which weighs in at over 240 pounds, at Turtle Trek. I still have not made it over to SeaWorld Orlando, but I think it is about time I visit the park and see what Eric Davis is talking about.
Story 4: More SeaWorld news but this one may not be as positive as the last. We now know that SeaWorld Orlando will be doing phased openings in the morning. The article by Eric Davis suggests that this may be a result of the less than impressive number that came out of SeaWorld last quarter. This is often done by some theme parks to save money. How long until SeaWorld becomes a seasonal park!?
Story 5: One last one from Eric Davis and SeaWorld. The park recently teased a new expansion and attraction for its Aquatica water park. All signs are pointing to the building of a 105 foot tall water slide! That would make it the largest of its kind in Orlando! I could barely brace myself for one ride on Summit Plummet, how in the world am I going to survive a 105 foot tall free fall?
Story 6: So a lot of you know about the somewhat troubled history of Windseeker at Knotts Berry Farm. The super tall swing ride had some mechanical troubles the last couple of years. A couple of times riders were stranded hundreds of feet in the air for hours at a time. With the problems and malfunctions the media soon began to report on the outrageous conditions riders had to deal with when Windseeker broke down. Knotts has decided to call it quits with Windseeker. Around the same time that announcement was made, World of Fun announced that they will be opening a new swing ride of their own in 2014, Steel Hawk. Turns out, the new Steel Hawk is just the Knotts Windseeker. Now people are wondering if the same problems that plagued the ride n at Knotts will follow it to Worlds of Fun. Cedar Fair says improvements have been made to the ride. Would you give
Windeseeker Steel Hawk a try?
Story 7: We have the winners of the Golden Ticket Awards from Amusement Today. A lot of pundits are less than thrill for the list of winners, which is apparently very similar to previous years. As a theme park nerd, I always find it interesting to see what parks and attractions get the most votes from certain groups. I also like to take the categories and make my own special list of winners. Who would get your vote in categories like, Best New Attraction, Best Landscaping, Best Water Ride, etc…?
Story 8: David Lazarus from the LA Times really lets loose on Six Flags in a recent article. He reports that the Lost and Found area at Magic Mountain is almost impossible to find. Why? Well it turns out when someone looses a cellphone on a ride and the phone isn’t claimed, Six Flags sells the phone to a third party. One could then go on to say that Six Flags purposely makes it difficult for its guests to find Lost and Found. Six Flags answers back that signs and safety messages are clearly posted and guests should know not to take their cell phones and other items on its coasters. Fortunately, I have not lost a cell phone on a ride, but if I did and I found out a park was making it difficult for me to find and claim my phone, and was then selling my phone to someone else, I would be less than thrilled.
Story 9: A man taking his daughter to a 16th birthday celebration at the Blue Man Group show at Universal Orlando was kicked out of the resort for wearing a shirt that said, “Police”. The man claims that he wanted to buy another shirt, but security at Universal didn’t want to give him the chance and kicked him out. What the man doesn’t say is what exactly he said or did to Universal security to make them angry enough to kick him out. We are all smart here, and we know Universal wont just kick you out for wearing an improper shirt without giving you a chance to change shirts. Odds are, this man probably mouthed off to or threatened security and that is what got him bounced from the resort.
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You can hear all of this and more on Episode 45 of the Wakefield Report Podcast!