Local 6 Theme World: UPDATE - Traditions & Transitions

Your home for theme park and tourism news

By Ken Pilcher - Producer
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Welcome to Local 6 Theme World


February 1, 2013


The second transition, unfortunately came true.

Disney legend Tony Baxter announced his retirement today.  He will technically be a consultant, but this marks a real end of an era at Walt Disney Imagineering, the arm of Disney that designs and builds everything from a trash can to the entire resort master plan.

I'll have more on Baxter & his career Monday, but his first major project was conceiving and designing a little ride called Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and later Splash Mountain was largely  his idea.

 Big Loss.

Roundup: Traditions & Transitions

Welcome to February.  There is a lot on the horizon for our tourist attractions and theme parks.
First the Traditions:
I've already mentioned Universal's Mardi Gras kicks off in 8 days.


More immediately,  The MVP of the Super Bowl will parade down Main Street, USA at the Magic Kingdom Monday afternoon -- hours after taping the iconic "I'm going to Disneyland/Disney World" spots.
Here's Eli Manning from last year's Super Bowl Monday.

In just one week, SeaWorld & Busch Gardens kick off another tradition: Their "Bands, Brew & BBQ" Festival.

Here's SeaWorld's Concert Schedule

  • Saturday, February 9              Chris Young with Jerrod Niemann
  • Sunday, February 10              Merle Haggard
  • Saturday, February 16            The Beach Boys
  • Sunday, February 17              Styx
  • Saturday, February 23            Big & Rich
  • Sunday, February 24              Third Eye Blind
  • Saturday, March 2                  Daryl Hall & John Oates
  • Sunday, March 3                    Darius Rucker
  • Saturday, March 9                  Michael McDonald
  • Sunday, March 10                  Josh Turner
  • Saturday, March 16                Rodney Atkins with Uncle Kracker
  • Sunday, March 17                  Sheryl Crow


And the Concert Schedule for the smaller-scale Busch Gardens version:

  • John Kay & Steppenwolf February 10
  • Barenaked Ladies February 17
  • The Doobie Brothers February 24
  • The Goo Goo Dolls March 3

Both events promise samples of  nearly 100 craft beers, and barbecue from some of the biggest BBQ brands in Central Florida (But no 4Rivers, sadly.)

Now the Transitions:

At Universal, after about 8 years, TNA Wrestling will soon stop taping its weekly SpikeTV shows in one of the park's working soundstages.  

"Impact Wrestling"  started there in 2004.  You can still go and enjoy free tickets (no park admission required) through March 7.

Here's a link to more information:

At Disney, two major milestones.
 First -- today is the official first day on the job for new Walt Disney World President George Kalogridis.

As we mentioned in a previous Theme World entry, Kalogridis comes here from a successful stint as President of the Disneyland Resort in California. He also previously served as VP of Epcot, and started his career as an opening year busboy at the Contemporary Resort.
Taking his place in California is the now former VP of Animal Kingdom, Michael Colglazier.
Congrats to both men. For Colglazier it's a big promotion. For Kalogridis it's a "welcome home" -- but he does have quite a lot on his plate.

Remember I told you there have been no big announcements from Disney lately? Well, internet rumblings say one is coming very soon -- on the future of Downtown Disney's half-shuttered Pleasure Island area.  We will let you know.

There's also word of another big transition today, a legendary Disney figure may be changing jobs today.
We'll keep you posted and will have another entry later today if that happens.

Here's a  link  to the last Theme World entry on parents concerns about their children's privacy at Disney.

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