The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

May 29, 2013

Great summer for U.S. theme park vacation

ORLANDO, Fla. — If there’s ever been a summer to visit a theme park — or two, or three — this is it.

High speed wooden roller coasters? Thrilling, sense-assaulting rides? Penguins?

Yes, yes and most definitely.

In Orlando alone, four of the area’s big parks — Disney, Universal, Legoland and SeaWorld — have opened, or are about to open, new attractions. Cedar Point in Ohio unveiled a new roller coaster a few weeks ago and in Las Vegas, a $50 million water park debuted on Memorial Day weekend. In California, visitors to Disneyland can meet all of the Disney Princesses in one place. Elsewhere in the Golden State, four different parks boast new roller coasters.

“Wherever you live, that park is likely to have something new,” said Jeremy Schoolfield, the senior editor of Funworld Magazine, the trade publication for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). “There’s lots of innovations, what we call immersive experiences.”

There’s been an onslaught of new attractions in Orlando in recent months.

Back in December, Disney World opened a newly expanded Fantasyland, the largest project in the park’s 41-year history. There are two sections: Enchanted Forest, where visitors will find Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” and Ariel from “The Little Mermaid,” and Storybook Circus, which is inspired by the Disney film “Dumbo.”

A new ride called Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid and Enchanted Tales With Belle, a walk-through experience that features a magical mirror and costumed characters, will impress movie lovers. And the popular Dumbo attraction is now a little less crowded, because Disney built a second, identical ride.

The new spaces are built on what was once the site of the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea experience, and the expansion doubles the size of the original Fantasyland.

Text Only
AP story section
  • State to reopen Juvenile Home DES MOINES -- A district court judge on Wednesday ordered the state to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home, telling Gov. Terry Branstad he cannot unilaterally change a law approved by the state Legislature. Judge Scott Rosenberg said the home in Toledo was

    February 6, 2014

  • Panel OKs ban on remote abortion pill distribution DES MOINES -- A legislative panel approved a measure Wednesday that would ban the remote distribution of abortion pills, a proposal the bill's sponsor said is intended to delay the procedure and give women more time to change their minds. The subcomm

    February 6, 2014

  • Sioux City gambling group halts local grants SIOUX CITY -- The nonprofit that holds the gambling license for the Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino has voted to temporarily stop sending grants to local charities and government agencies. A legal dispute with the operator of the casino, Penn Nati

    January 15, 2014

  • Davenport pays, apologizes to hearing impaired man DAVENPORT (AP) -- The city of Davenport has issued an unusual apology to a former alderman after a police employee was caught on tape saying that he intentionally knocked softly on the hearing-impaired man's door when responding to a service call. Th

    January 15, 2014

  • Budget Branstad presents budget for next fiscal year DES MOINES -- Gov. Terry Branstad offered a budget proposal Tuesday that includes a tax break for veterans, a tuition freeze for college students and incentives to encourage Internet expansion in rural Iowa, a more modest list of priorities one year

    January 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gov. restores more felons' voting rights IOWA CITY (AP) -- Gov. Terry Branstad restored voting rights to more felons in 2013 than the prior two years combined, but thousands of others remain disenfranchised under a 2011 policy change. Data released by the governor's office to The Associated

    January 15, 2014

  • Man fatally shot at Fla. theater over texting WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (AP) -- A 71-year-old retired police officer accused of shooting a man dead in a Florida movie theater told authorities that "he was in fear of being attacked" during Monday's confrontation. Curtis Reeves is charged with second-de

    January 15, 2014

  • Iowa Senator: Congress must confirm election board DES MOINES -- An Iowa senator asked a U.S. Senate committee Wednesday to confirm appointees to a federal election commission so a decision can be made about whether Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is properly using money for voter-fraud investig

    January 9, 2014

  • School Discipline Gov't: End overly zealous discipline in schools WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Obama administration is urging schools to abandon overly zealous discipline policies that civil rights advocates have long said lead to a school-to-prison pipeline that discriminates against minority students. The wide-ranging

    January 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Governor, lawmakers set modest goals for 2014 DES MOINES -- After reaching bipartisan agreements on several major policy initiatives last year, Gov. Terry Branstad said Wednesday that he is setting more modest expectations for the 2014 legislative session. Speaking at The Associated Press' annua

    January 9, 2014

AP Video
Facebook
National News