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PHOTOS: 22 stranded for hours after Magic Mountain roller coaster derails

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Four people were injured Monday when a tree branch struck a Six Flags Magic Mountain roller coaster, stranding 22 riders in the air for nearly three hours.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the branch fell onto the tracks of the Ninja ride before 6 p.m., derailing the first car and leaving it in a "precarious position." Fire officials said riders were suspended about 20-30 feet in the air, The Associated Press reported.

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All 22 riders were rescued around 8:30 p.m., a park spokeswoman said

"The black belt of roller coasters whips you into submission. . ... As you shoot down the snake-like steel track, you'll grip the hillsides and blast through the trees swiftly, slicing through the landscape. Ninja pivots with precision as you narrowly miss tagging land and water, whipping around at 55 miles per hour," Magic Mountain's website says of the roller coaster.

Check out some dramatic photos of the rescue below.

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Tampa Bay Rays pitcher proposes to girlfriend at Discovery Cove

This past weekend, Tampa Bay Rays’ pitcher Alex Cobb delivered the pitch of a lifetime at Discovery Cove in Orlando.

Immersed in a tropical oasis, Cobb popped the question to his girlfriend, Kelly Reynolds, with the help of an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin carrying a buoy that read, “Kelly, will you marry me?”

» IMAGE GALLERY: Rays' pitcher proposes at Discovery Cove

In their own private cabana, Reynolds accepted Cobb’s marriage proposal, then celebrated with family and friends while discovering up-close animal encounters throughout the day.

Discovery Cove, located in the heart of Orlando, is an all-inclusive adventure where you can enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim with dolphins, rays and tropical fish and hand-feed exotic birds.

Discovery Cove was ranked #1 in the 2013 TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards under “Top 25 Amusement Parks & Water Parks in The World” category.

For more information, visit www.discoverycove.com.

Metallica's Kirk Hammett hosts inaugural 'Fear FestEvil' in SF

Award-winning Metallica guitarist and horror aficionado Kirk Hammett is showing off his collection of horror-film memorabilia at Fear FestEvil, the inaugural edition of Hammett's new horror and metal convention at the Regency Ballroom this weekend.

The full name of the event is Kirk Von Hammett’s FEAR FestEvil

The inaugural event will feature highlights of Hammett’s world famous Crypt Collection (including some of the most valuable horror collectibles in the world) inside the Regency Ballroom's spectacular former Masonic temple, an extensive array of panels, live music, vendors and special guests. Attendees will also have the opportunity to wander through out the venue and experience various "haunting areas" for one-of-a-kind scares. There will even be a taxidermy class held on-site at the feastival. 

Krik told KTVU his love for the horror genre came from watching 'Creature Features' with Bob Wilkins on Channel Two in the 60's and 70's. "I've come full-circle," said Kirk. "I used to watch Creature Features every Saturday night…Bob Wilkins was one of my big inspirations."

Fear FestEvil will also feature live music with performances by an array of metal bands including headlining sets by local thrash legends Exodus (Hammett's first band before joining Metallica) and Carcass on Friday and Death Angel, Orchid and Death Division on Saturday. Hammett is scheduled to join both Exodus and Death Angel onstage at the festival, and with additional metal luminaries like Anthrax founder Scott Ian, legendary guitarist Slash and Slayer's Kerry King also on hand for Saturday's events, the possibility of a historic thrash-metal jam to close the festival is a distinct possibility.

For more information, visit www.fearfestevil.com.

Universal reveals details for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

Never before has a theme park created a guest experience like this: you climb aboard the Hogwarts Express in Hogsmeade and moments later arrive at King’s Cross Station – where the wonders of London and Diagon Alley unfold before you.  And it is all real.

With this summer’s opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment will bring even more of Harry Potter’s adventures to life inside a new, magnificently themed area that includes a revolutionary attraction experience, as well as all-new themed shops and dining.

The two companies today revealed first-ever details about the new area and the one-of-a-kind adventures it will offer the whole family.  The spectacularly themed environment will double the size of the sweeping area already dedicated to Harry Potter’s adventures at Universal Orlando, expanding it across both Universal theme parks.

And – just like in the books and films – guests will be able to travel between the two areas aboard the iconic Hogwarts Express.

Universal Orlando launched a global phenomenon when it opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at its Islands of Adventure theme park in 2010.  That area includes the iconic Hogwarts castle – which houses the groundbreaking Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction – and the village of Hogsmeade.  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will be located within Universal Orlando’s second theme park, Universal Studios, and will create new experiences based on the signature areas of London, Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley.

Universal’s creative team has been working closely with Stuart Craig and the production team from the Harry Potter films to make the new area as authentic and spectacular as possible – just as it did with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade.

The vision for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley is unprecedented, with Universal Orlando creating the world’s first centrally themed, multi-park experience.  

After arriving at King’s Cross Station aboard the Hogwarts Express, guests will pass through London and the iconic brick wall archway from the films into Diagon Alley – a bustling, wizarding hub within a Muggle city.  There will be shops, dining experiences, and a new ride called Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – a multi-sensory, multi-dimensional journey that will take theme park attractions to a new level. 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will give visitors the exciting opportunity to: 

  • Board the Hogwarts Express and journey between London’s King’s Cross Station (located in Universal Studios Florida) and Hogsmeade Station (located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure). The journey will be filled with views of London and the British countryside – as well as a few surprises. Park-to-park admission is required. 
  • Experience a groundbreaking new, multi-dimensional thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, which will place riders in the middle of an incredible adventure as they navigate their way through the perils of the Gringotts vaults
  • Witness the magical experience of a wand choosing a wizard at Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC, one of the wizarding world’s premier wand shops
  • Discover the darker side of magic in Knockturn Alley, the darkest of dark places that features Borgin and Burkes – a shop specializing in theDark Arts that will offer a wide variety of Dark objects, such as Death Eater masks, skulls, and other sinister items
  • Explore some of Diagon Alley’s famous shops, including:

o   Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, a vibrant shop featuring novelty items, magical jokes, and toys inspired by the books and films that will amaze the mischievous child in everyone

o   Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, where guests will find a variety of wizardwear from Hogwarts school uniform ties, scarves and jumpers, to authentic wizard’s robes and character costumes

o   Magical Menagerie, which features a collection of plush animals, such as owls and Hippogriffs

o   Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, where guests can grab wizarding essentials such as telescopes, binoculars, armillary spheres, compasses, magnifying glasses and hourglasses

o   Quality Quidditch Supplies, offering a wide assortment of apparel and equipment including Quidditch sweaters, brooms, Golden Snitches, Bludgers, Bludger bats, Quaffles and more

o   Scribbulus, featuringauthentic writing implements and products such as feather quills, ink and inkwells, bookmarks, journals, parchment paper, seals, stationery sets and postcards

  • Enjoy traditional British fare that includes favorite dishes such as fish and chips, bangers and mash and more at the Leaky Cauldron
  • Visit Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour for frozen treats in a variety of tantalizing and unique flavors such as strawberry-and-peanut-butter ice-cream and many others
  • And more!

More details about the unique experiences that can be found in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will be released over time.  For more information about the area, visit www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter.

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