Saturday, September 24, 2022

Mr. Freeze to Return to Six Flags Over Texas


© Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas has confirmed that the work they're doing on the currently closed Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast will once again see the ride reopen as Mr. Freeze - aka the Coolest Coaster on the Planet.  Mr. Freeze was the original name of the ride from when it opened at the park in 1998 until the end of 2011 when it got the Reverse Blast moniker added.


The theme park will be turning the trains around so that the initial launch will be taken facing forward, not backward, like it has been for many years now.  The ride was recently painted all blue once again, so aside from the train being turned around and the name being modified, I'm not sure if there is anything else new here.  


© Six Flags Over Texas
Mr. Freeze is one of Premier Rides' LIM launch shuttle loop coasters, featuring an initial launch out of the station at 70 miles per hour.  The trains head through an inverted top hat element then turn and blast up a 218 foot tall tower.  After gravity takes over the trains fall down backward and head through the course that way to return to the station.


The ride has a mirror clone at Six Flags St. Louis which is still known as Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast, at least at the moment anyhow.


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Wild Adventures Building New Themed Section "Oasis Outpost" for 2023


© Wild Adventures
Wild Adventures Theme Park, located in Valdosta, Georgia, has announced Oasis Outpost to open in 2023, a brand new themed area.  Spread over three acres, Oasis Outpost will contain "an adventurous family ride, immersive animal encounters, a playful water attraction, a fun and unique food location, engaging play zones and new ways to create memories."


Located near the entrance to the park's Splash Island water park, "Oasis Outpost has been designed to be exactly what its name suggests, a place of relaxation, fun and adventure for our guests and their families,” said Jon Vigue, vice president and general manager. “When you’re taking your next journey through Wild Adventures in 2023, we can’t wait for you to discover Oasis Outpost and all the unique encounters it has in store.”

 

© Wild Adventures
A brand new ride will be joining the lineup of Oasis Outpost's offerings, a family car ride called the Trail Trackers Adventures Rides.  Aimed at kids and families, the attraction will let young drivers take the wheel of their own jeep as they travel in and past the park's Sulcata Tortoise habitat.  Passengers will get up close to the tortoises, allowing a unique perspective of the animals.  The area will feature other animal exhibits, four in total, including caracal cats and porcupines and red-footed tortoises. 


Oasis Outpost also features the Misty Springs Soak Zone, a water play area with towering misting posts and splash pads.  There will be two Stay and Play Zones built as well, for kids to explore while parents rest in the shade.  Oasis Outposts will also be home to Paradise Pizza, a new stand with flatbread pizzas, beverages and more.


© Wild Adventures
This multi-million dollar expansion follows the addition of Waters's Edge Brews and Bites and the Wanyama Observation Deck & Botanical Gardens in 2022, the Liberty Farms Petting Zoo in 2021, the Discovery Outpost themed land with six rides in 2019 and the Ohana Bay expansion in 2017.  Oasis Outpost will open in March 2023.


Sunday, September 11, 2022

Top Thrill Dragster "as we know it" Has Been Retired


© NewsPlusNotes
Cedar Point has announced that Top Thrill Dragster has been retired - but also specifically points out that the ride "as we know it" has been retired.  There is some specific wording on the announcement of the ride's end that does hint toward a future for the attraction, but exactly how remains a mystery.  For now, the park also notes that the coaster ran for 19 seasons at Cedar Point and also thrilled 18 million riders during that time.  A considerable amount for sure!


Here is the exact message that the park shared on social media last week:


© Cedar Point
Obviously, adding "as you know it" is important in noting that what we're all used to when we think of Top Thrill Dragster is what is being retired.  Race Theme.  The name.  Yellow tower.  But even more importantly is the next part, highlighting the park's "legacy of ride innovation" with the Cedar Point team currently "hard at work, creating a new and reimagined ride experience."


© NewsPlusNotes
Work walls are already up around the ride with initial work starting on the launch area.  What will happen here is being debated heavily around these interwebs, with theories ranging from removing the coaster portion of the ride and using the tower for a free fall to a new type of launch, colors, name and theme.  In between that spectrum is a lot of other guesses, like adding more track on the center island or even making the ride utilize a chain lift hill.  Obviously some guesses are less practical and less realistic than others.


In the end the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, with some changes incoming to the ride's theme, colors, name, launch mechanics and definitely the queue area and surrounding midway.  But that's just a guess based on what type of cash Cedar Fair is probably willing to spend on a ride with a very troublesome history.


Top Thrill Dragster, as of now, is the world's 3rd fastest roller coaster and the 2nd tallest.  It opened in 2003 and closed last August when a piece of one of the trains came off it and badly injured a guest waiting in line.


Tuesday, September 6, 2022

DarKoaster: Escape The Storm Indoor Family Coaster Opening at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 2023


© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Busch Gardens Williamsburg has announced an exciting new indoor family roller coaster, named DarKoaster: Escape The Storm, set to open in 2023.  Located within the park's Oktoberfest area, DarKoaster will utilize the building that housed Curse of DarKastle, a 4-D simulator ride, from 2005 until 2017.  


The new attraction continues the story line of the original DarKastle ride:  "King Ludwig’s abandoned fortress resurfaces as strange weather patterns have been recorded near the cursed castle grounds. Only the bravest souls will embark on snowmobiles in this dark expedition to discover the mysterious phenomenon. A supernatural force is imminent as explorers discover that they are evading more than just a raging storm."

 

The park is calling the ride the first of its kind indoor straddle coaster, featuring Intamin's jet-ski (in this case snowmobile) type cars with a lower 48 inch height requirement.  The ride will feature 4 launches, a top speed of 36 miles per hour and over 2,400 feet of track.   The below animation shows the vehicles interacting with set pieces located within the building, which already kept its outdoor theming in tact from the earlier ride it housed.

Busch Gardens Williamburg's description of the ride also notes that the vehicles will "change course" when the weather causes an issue, which is believed to be a switch track that will allow the train to follow the ride's layout a second time as a surprise.


The ride's track is actually already completed inside the building, and the park gave a tour today with some photos from which featured here and here.  The theming elements have yet to be added, but it already looks like a fun and bad and cold weather friendly addition to the park.


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Waldameer Amusement Park Building Large Water Coaster for 2023


© Waldameer
Waldameer Amusement Park and Water World water park is having what they describe as the "best year" they've ever had, thanks to a lot of sunshine and pent up demand for their tradition park offerings.  To celebrate, the park is moving forward with plans for a large water roller coaster addition to Water World, set to open in 2023.


A drawing of the new water roller coaster, which doesn't have a final name or final colors just yet, can be seen up top.  The park announced their plans in a news story today that goes over how the park has been doing this year - which is pretty great.  After a rough 2020, like at all parks, 2021 was better but suffered from extreme lack of staffing, now 2022 has returned mostly to normal and the crowds have returned in full force.


© Waldameer
That gives the park the confidence to build the water roller coaster, which is costing them between $7 and $8 million.  The above schematic, also from the park, shows that the coaster will be going over and under several existing water park slides and attractions.  The article states that the slide will be around 50 feet tall and stretch 450 feet in length.  The attraction will feature several "saucer" turn elements that ProSlide are now famous for, and a couple upward and downward dips.


The park is planning to start work on the new slide as soon as the park closes for the season, and are anxious to see it open in 2023!


Monday, August 29, 2022

Six Flags Over Texas Closing Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast on September 11th but Not for Forever


© Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas has announced that the last chance to ride Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast will be on September 11th, but not the last chance forever!  The park has made it clear that the ride is not going away permanently, just... for now I guess?  The tweet where they shared the news specifically asks fans if they think the ride "is really going away" and quickly answers their own question with "not a chance!"


© Six Flags Over Texas
So the coaster is having its final rides but not really final forever... this must mean they are just making changes to the ride, giving it a retheme possibly, or more likely changing the directions of the trains.  The coaster opened in 1998 and launched the trains forward through the layout, up the spike, then backward.  In 2012 the trains were turned around so the launch is backward, but since it's a shuttle coaster riders go forward and backward no matter what.


So, while the ride is closing for now, it looks to have a continued future at the theme park for sure.  With Six Flags apparently spending very little on ride capital for 2023 I think these types of rethemes will be a popular 'addition' at many Six Flags parks in the near future!