Dinosaurs, "Miami Vice," gi ant pandas from China and 50-year-old Snow White are some of the special features this summer at Southern California's major amusement parks. In addition, a number of multimillion-dollar renovation and construction projects have been completed and are ready for the summer crush.
This season marks the first in 33 years that Marineland, which was purchased and then closed earlier this year by publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, will not be a part of the amusement park scene.
A survey by Calendar of the area's other theme parks reveals they do not expect any noticeable jump in attendance from the aquatic park's former patrons. "(Marineland's closing) really won't have an effect because the attractions are so different," said Magic Mountain spokeswoman Sherrie Bang. "They were a marine park and we're not."
Here's a rundown of summer events at Southern California's major theme parks and museums:
The Anaheim park is hosting a parade and a musical stage show honoring the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Walt Disney's feature-length animated film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." The parade, which features the characters from the 1937 classic, and the half-hour show will be held each weekend until Sept. 6, with daily appearances starting June 20. Parade: 2 and 5:30 p.m. Stage show: 11:45 a.m., 1, 3, 4:30, and 6 p.m.
Admission: $20 for adults; $15 for children, 3-11--a $2.05 increase from last summer's prices. Information: (213) 626-8605 or (714) 999-4565.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS TOUR
The newest feature at the studio tour located off the Hollywood Freeway near the Cahuenga Pass is the "Miami Vice Action Spectacular," opening July 4. More than 50 stunts and special effects are crammed into a 15-minute show. "This amount of stunts has never before been done in as short a time," says tour spokeswoman Joan Bullard.
In addition to the regular studio sights presented on the tour, including last year's new King Kong attraction, special events this year are "Festival Latino" next Sunday and a "Mariachi Festival" on Labor Day weekend.
Barbie and the Rockers, the song group based on the series of Kenner dolls, is appearing live today, Saturday, next Sunday and June 20-30. Performances are hourly from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Admission: $14.95 for adults; $11.95 for children, 3-11. On June 20, ticket prices will go up $1. Information: (818) 508-9600.
KNOTT'S BERRY FARM
Knott's unveiled the results of a $12-million building and renovation program in May--the main feature being "Kingdom of the Dinosaurs," an eight-minute journey through prehistorical environments inhabited by large, animated beasts such as mammoths and the Tyrannosaurus rex. There is an educational display at the end of the ride, complete with casts of fossilized bones and time charts.
Knott's, located in Buena Park, has also redeveloped its Fiesta Village area, adding three new rides: "Slingshot," "The Slammer" and "The Tumbler." The area has been given new landscaping and the park's 91-year-old carrousel has been moved next to Knott's Reflection Lake.
Two shows have been added: "Sea Dream," a three-dimensional underwater film, shown in the Club Nine ballroom, and "Spellbound," a magic show that will be open June 20-Sept. 7.
Admission: $14.95 for adults; $10.95 for seniors and children, 3-11. Information: (714) 220-5200.
New at the Valencia amusement park is "Z-Force," a thrill ride built to tie in with last summer's hit film, "Top Gun." Designed to look like a huge jet fighter, the ride carries 50 passengers through two vertical loops, simulating the force of a diving airplane.
A 2.5-acre area behind the Colossus roller coaster has been redesigned to look like an old New York City street. Called "Back Street," the area contains "After Hours," an open-air nightclub, and three rides which were re-themed to fit in with the area--"Subway," "Turbo" and "Reactor."
Admission: $17 for adults; $8.50 for people shorter than 48 inches; $10 for seniors; and children younger than 3, free. Information: (818) 992-0884 or (805) 255-4100.
LOS ANGELES ZOO
In July, the zoo on the north side of Griffith Park, at the junction of the Golden State and Ventura freeways, is sponsoring a "Jungle Jamboree," with African dancers and a self-guided safari to various exhibits.
Zoo admission is $4.50 for adults; $3 for seniors; and $1.50 for children, 5-15. However, on July 1, the prices will go up to $3.50 for seniors and $2 for children, 2-12. Additionally, the adult age limit will be lowered to 13.
Information: (213) 666-4090.
SAN DIEGO WILD ANIMAL PARK
The park's 15th anniversary is celebrated this summer with a new animal show, "Rare and Wild America," featuring such native American animals as the black bear, timber wolf and opossum. The park is also offering a new edition of its "Passport to Adventure," a 24-page information, in-park discount coupon and activity booklet.
Usual summer concerts have been replaced with a series of weekend presentations called "Around the World in 80 Days." Each week starting June 20, a speaker will give an audio-visual presentation on a different area of the world at 6 p.m. The series will combine the lecture with music and food from the area being discussed.
The park, near Escondido on San Pasqual Valley Road (California 78 near Interstate 15), is also opening its Kapunda Falls Botanical Center, a complex that combines previous botanical exhibits with a waterfall display and a bonsai house.
Admission: $12.95 for adults; and $6.20 for children, 3-15. Information: (619) 480-0100.
The San Diego oceanarium has just completed a $25-million expansion program, including Shamu Stadium, a 6-million gallon complex for killer whales.
Other changes at the park include a new main gate area, with stroller/wheelchair rental facilities and a first-aid station, and the new Places of Learning complex, which features an educational bookstore, a one-acre map of the United States, a giant chess board and giant versions of 15 children's books.
Through Sept. 7, the Chinese Acrobats of Taiwan, will perform three to five times daily, between 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (times vary each day). Admission to Sea World, located off of Interstate 5 at Sea World Drive: $16.95 for adults, $12.95 for seniors and $11.95 for children. Information: (619) 226-3901 or (714) 826-7213.
QUEEN MARY/SPRUCE GOOSE CENTER
Summer activities at the Long Beach complex include an "International Salute to America" on July 4 and 5, featuring mariachi, Dixieland and German oompah bands, Scottish bagpipes and Italian concertina music. Both days' activities finish with a fireworks display at 9 p.m.
"California Summer Nights," a nightly fireworks and laser show, will be held on the Queen Mary's stern daily at 9 p.m. from July 6 until Labor Day.
"Time Voyager," the 3-D film about time travel, has been re-narrated to appeal to a younger audience.
Admission to see the Queen Mary, the Spruce Goose and Time Voyager: $13.95 for adults; $9.95 for children, 12-17, $7.95 for children, 5-11. Information: (213) 435-3511.
L.A. CHILDRENS MUSEUM
The downtown museum's second annual "City Summer Solstice Celebration" (June 20-21) includes multicultural performers, exhibits, art and performance workshops, plus a parade both days down Main Street between Aliso and Temple streets.
The festival, partially funded by the city's Cultural Affairs Department, will be on the plaza of the Los Angeles Mall, at Temple and Main streets, near the museum. An estimated 5,000 people attended last year.
From July 25-Aug. 23, the museum's in-house theater group, Bumberchute, will present "Spinning the Big Top," a play based on life in a circus, Saturdays through Tuesdays at noon and 2 p.m., with an acting workshop one hour before each performance for children who sould like to be in the play.
Other July activities include a performance by actress Diz McMally, star of the Nickelodeon network's "Out of Control," on July 12; the "Bubble Bonanza" on July 18-19, in which children will learn about bubble gum, balloons, and the mechanics of soap bubbles; and family art workshops, sing-alongs and interviews in the museum's TV studio. A second Bubble Bonanza will be held Aug. 22-23.
August's special event will be Clown Weekend, Aug. 8-9, at which clowns will demonstrate some of their tricks and makeup techniques.
Admission: $3 for adults and youngsters; free for children younger than 2. Information: (213) 687-8800.
EXPOSITION PARK, L.A.
Los Angeles County Natural History Museum will host a Folk Arts Festival next Sunday, featuring Mexican dancers, food from different countries and free admission to the museum. On June 21, the museum will sponsor a "Statue of Liberty Day," in conjunction with its Statue of Liberty exhibit that closes June 26. Currently through Aug. 30, the museum is presenting "The Magnificent Voyagers," a Smithsonian exhibition on United States explorations from 1838 to 1842.
"Adventures in Nature for Children," a series of natural science workshops offered three times from July 28-Aug. 14, offer different subjects for kids from kindergarten to eighth grade. The workshop costs $40 for children of museum members and $50 for those of non-members.
The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission: $3 for adults; $1.50 for seniors, students and children, 12-17; and 75 cents for children, 5-12. The museum is free to the public the first Tuesday of every month.
General information: (213) 744-3466; for Adventures in Nature for Children, (213) 744-3335.
California Museum of Science and Industry will sponsor "The American Ice Cream Experience," an examination of the historical, technical and cultural aspects of the frozen desert through Sept. 8. "Kisho Kurokawa: Architecture of Symbiosis," which runs Thursday-July 13, features the work of the Japanese architect as part of the city's Japan Week celebrations. From July 3-Sept. 7, the museum will present a tribute to the aerospace industry, featuring exhibits from local aerospace firms. And from July 31-Sept. 25, the museum will present the 16th annual Key Art Awards, an exhibition of top movie posters and trailers.
The museum is holding a series of summer science workshops for children from June 22 through Aug. 7. Now in its 25th year, the program offers 37 hands-on courses, ranging from dinosaurs to rocketry. Dates and prices of the workshops are variable. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and admission is free.
Information: (213) 744-7400. Workshop information: (213) 744-7440.
California Afro-American Museum hosts an exhibition called "Rhythm and Blues: Black American Popular Music," June 19-July 19. In conjunction with this exhibit, ethnomusicologist Portia Maultsby will lecture on "Rhythm and Blues: The Post-War Era" on July 19, from 2 to 5 p.m.
Other exhibits include "Allensworth: An Enduring Dream," which recounts the history of an all-black township founded in the early 1900s, and "Out of Africa," an exhibit about early West African civilization and slave traffic.
The museum is also sponsoring a series of workshops for children and adults, July 11-Aug. 29. The workshops, which range from mask making to cartooning, cost $15 (scholarships are available).
Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and admission is free. Museum information: (213) 744-7432.
SAN DIEGO ZOO and BALBOA PARK
Two giant pandas from the People's Republic of China will be loaned to the San Diego Zoo for at least six months starting this summer. The pair of pandas, a 7-year-old female named Basi, and a 6-year-old male named Yuan Yuan, will be sent over from the Fuzhou Zoo in southeastern China. Their arrival is planned for mid-July.
Meantime, the zoo, located in Balboa Park, has three Chinese golden monkeys on display.
Admission: $7.50 for adults; $2.50 for children, 15 and younger.
Information: (619) 234-3153.
San Diego Museum of Man is showing "Plains in Transition: Indian Life 1850-1900," an exhibition of the material culture of the Plains Indians changed with the settling of the West (through Jan. 3). The museum is displaying artifacts from 1380 BC Egypt, pre-Hispanic Peruvian pottery and weapons from around the world (through Feb. 14) in an exhibit titled "Souvenirs to Science: The Eclectic Collector." Admission: $2 for adults; 25 cents for children, 6-16.
Reuben H. Fleet Space Theatre is showing "We Are Born of Stars," a computer-generated, three-dimensional Omnimax film about the evolution of life. Admission: $4.50 for adults; $2.75 for seniors and children, 5-15.
Museum of Photographic Arts presents "Supreme Instants," an exhibition of the work of Edward Weston, through Aug. 16. Admission is $2 for nonmembers.
Information: (619) 239 9628.