December 22, 2023, 2:43 PM ·

Construction has started on what will become the year-round Universal Halloween Horror Nights-style experience in Las Vegas.

Horror Unleashed will be Universal Destinations & Experiences year-round attraction at the Area15 entertainment district in Las Vegas. Area15 announced today that it has begun construction on its 20-acre expansion, which will house Horror Unleashed as well as iFLY Indoor Skydiving. The Universal attraction will occupy 110,000 square feet in a stand-alone building on the southern end of Area15 district, which is located just north of Desert Inn Road, right next to I-15. Current attractions at the district include Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, Illuminarium, and Wink World.“Today we raise the walls on our next exciting incarnation, which will enable Area15 to bring more best-of-class experiential entertainment to Las Vegas and the global audiences who travel here every year,” Area15 CEO Winston Fisher said. “Consumers continue to gravitate toward artful new forms of entertainment providing immersive experiences, authentic connections and real emotions. The demand continues to grow, and we are ready to dive into this substantial expansion and find more partnerships that will have a lasting impact on the Area1515 District and the City of Las Vegas.”
The new finale to Drawn to Life. Photo courtesy Cirque du SoleilCirque du Soleil’s show at Walt Disney World is celebrating its second anniversary with a new finale.Drawn to Life’s new ending features a swing-to-swing act with artists representing the show’s main characters of Julie and her father, who perform in costumes inspired by the animation created by noted costume designer Philippe Guillotel, according to Cirque du Soleil’s press release.”The new finale Swing to Swing act celebrates the completion of the triumphant journey of Julie as she finishes the lines started in an animation left to her by her father to forever link them to one another,” Artistic Director Justin Sullivan said. “The daring acrobats in the number are kaleidoscopic animated renditions of Julie and her father soaring, flying, and swinging through the air in a touching and thrilling display of amplitude, connection and skill.”Drawn to Life plays Wednesday through Sunday evenings in the Cirque theater in Disney Springs. Tickets are available via the Cirque du Soleil website.
Glenwood Caverns, a new National Natural LandmarkThe National Park Service have designated Glenwood Caverns and its sister property Iron Mountain Hot Springs as a National Natural Landmark. “We are honored by the National Natural Landmark designation and so happy to continue to offer guests the opportunity to experience these natural wonders,” complex owner Steve Beckley said. “We will continue to preserve the integrity of the cave ecosystem; it’s a responsibility we take seriously.”Glenwood Caverns are part of the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, which also offers multiple thrill rides, including Defiance, a Gerstlauer Euro-Flight roller coaster.”Glenwood’s caverns and hot springs are iconic Colorado treasures,” Colorado U.S. Senator Michael F. Bennet said. “I am pleased to see them recognized by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland as a National Natural Landmark and appreciate the Beckleys’ ongoing efforts to preserve these valuable resources for future generations.”

Finally, it’s only tangentially related to the theme park beat, but the entertainment industry is reeling from the news that Warner Bros. is in talks to merge with Paramount. Many theme park fans have been shipping NBCUniversal to acquire Warner Bros. Discovery, which has been struggling since Discovery Networks acquired the studio and its related media networks from AT&T. However, WBD is looking to strengthen its position by hooking up with Paramount Global. Shari Redstone has been looking to sell her share in Paramount’s parent company, which has spawned a feeding frenzy in Hollywood among players looking to get the company’s assets, which include CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and BET, as well as the movie studio.Both companies have been in the theme park business before, but got out. Paramount sold its parks to Cedar Fair in 2006, while the old Time Warner sold control of Six Flags in the 1990s.* * *
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