Sunday, October 24, 2021

Dorney Park Scares Up Fun For Halloween Haunt 2021


© NewsPlusNotes
Dorney Park's annual fear-fest, Halloween Haunt, is back after taking a year off and scaring up frightening fun for park visitors.  The event has been especially popular this year, as we've seen with haunts all over, as guests are thirsty for some scares.  The event will run through October 30th, before the park transitions to their first ever November operating dates, known as Community Weekends.


© NewsPlusNotes
As in past years, the entire vibe of Dorney Park changes for Halloween Haunt.  The park is decked out in decorations and plenty of unique lighting effects all over.  Many of the park's rides also get a different look for the event, such as the Ferris Wheel, seen above.  There's also special food treats throughout the park, plus retail item unique to the Halloween season.


This year the park is not only offering a large amount of scare zones and haunted houses, but also several live entertainment options.  The night kicks off with the Overlord's Incantation, which features a surprising ending that just might change who the Overlord is in future years.  You'll have to check it out to see what I mean.


© NewsPlusNotes

© NewsPlusNotes
The same stage that is used for the Overlord's Incantation is also used several times per night for IllumiNightmares, a pulse pounding drum show that features a "mixture of several drum stations, a complete LED drum set, and your favorite Rock and EDM soundtracks."  The crew keeps the energy high throughout, and if that doesn't get your attention the giant fireballs going off behind the stage are sure to!


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If you enjoyed the dueling pianos show that played this year at Center Stage (and is spreading to other Cedar Fair parks, too!) then you'll love Ghouling Organs, the Halloween version of the production.  The entire performance space got a spooky makeover and looks great - complete with new chandeliers, spooky lighting and other decorations.  The show is put on by some truly talented artists and is a great family friendly performance.


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© NewsPlusNotes
A few years back Dorney Park took their giant pirate ship props and created a unique space that featured the Port of Call bar along with the Skeleton Crew live show, all in a spooky underwater atmosphere.  It was great... and it's back!  The set up returns this year and that means that the crowd favorite Skeleton Crew is as well.  The show features several unique acts - from fire balancing to aerialists, and ends with the energetic skeleton trampoline act that the audience goes wild for.


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© NewsPlusNotes

© NewsPlusNotes
As far as scares go, well the park has plenty to offer.  Returning this year are four indoor haunted houses - Trick Or Treat, Tourist Trap, Blood On The Bayou and Blackout.  These established houses offer a variety of scares within their elaborately themed interiors.  Well, maybe not Blackout, since it's pitch black in there the fear comes less from the themed sets and more from monsters in the dark!  I will say that the park switched up some of the rooms in these established haunts this year, adding in new looks and effects.  Keeps them fresh!


© NewsPlusNotes
The park's new indoor haunted house is Enigma, down at the far end of the park on the lower midway.  This one doesn't rely on a specific theme, instead it relies on a blast of confusing optical illusions, lighting, distractions and other tricks of the eye to let the monsters scare you when you least expect it.


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© NewsPlusNotes

© NewsPlusNotes

© NewsPlusNotes

© NewsPlusNotes

The park's outdoor haunts, some scare zones and some haunted houses that just happen to be outdoors, are strong again this year as well.  Returning outdoor attractions include Steamworx, CarnEvil, The Lair, Necropolis and Cornstalkers.  Many of these attractions also had some subtle changes done to them, keeping things unexpected for return guests.  It never ceases to amaze me just how scared some people are of clowns - walking through CarnEvil can be quite entertaining in that regard!


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© NewsPlusNotes

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© NewsPlusNotes

This year there is a new scare zone, located on the lower midway near the Monster flat ride, named The Hollow.  This area has never been used before for a haunted attraction, and it's wonderful that the park finally utilized it.  The path has really grown in over the years and is now pretty covered in mature trees and lends itself perfectly to a scare zone like this.  The Hollow is set in a town settled in 1784, and the outdoorsy theme includes a ton of pumpkins, scarecrow and deer statues and other woods themed props.  The lighting is fantastic, and I was very impressed with how the final product turned out.


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Dorney Park is offering some neat Halloween Haunt merchandise this year as well, above is one of the displays of clothing made for the event.  The popular squishmallows are also decked out in their Halloween finest, and remain popular with visitors.


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It's important to remember that all these haunted attractions and shows are complimented by the park's lineup of family and thrill rides, which are also open during Halloween Haunt.  For more on the park's event, visit the official website.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Wonder Woman Flight of Courage to Open at Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2022


© Six Flags Magic Mountain
Six Flags Magic Mountain made the exciting announcement today that Wonder Woman Flight of Courage will be joining the park as its 20th roller coaster in 2022.  The park's lineup of 20 roller coasters makes Six Flags Magic Mountain have more roller coasters than any other theme park in the world.  Wonder Woman Flight of Courage will be the tallest and longest single-rail coaster on the planet, and will be manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction.


© Six Flags Magic Mountain
Wonder Woman Flight of Courage will start with a lift hill of 131 feet into the sky, then send the trains down a 87 degree first drop - just three degrees from vertical - at speed of up to 58 miles per hour.  The coaster's layout, which resembles sister ride The Jersey Devil Coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure, also features three inversions: a 180 degree stall, a raven dive and a zero-gravity roll.  The ride will offer a total of 3,300 feet of monorail style track and four, 12 passenger trains.


© Six Flags Magic Mountain
The coaster will be located within the six acre DC Universe themed section of the park, which is also being expanded, renovated and improved.  DC Universe will also see the addition of a new "innovative restaurant and bar experience" along with retail locations offering visitors exclusive DC branded merchandise.


© Six Flags Magic Mountain
Wonder Woman Flight of Courage will feature the legacy of Wonder Woman through a queue that is influenced by Greek architecture and the "hidden island of Themyscira."  Featuring tropical landscaping, riders "will be immersed in the story of her life and how she obtained her super powers.  Riders will join forces with Wonder Woman in the fight for truth, justice, and equality, to embark on an incredible journey of heroic feats, propelling through dives, banks, rolls, and turns designed to challenge the bravest of thrill seekers."


 

© Six Flags Magic Mountain
“This is an historic milestone for our park as we introduce the latest addition to our unrivaled coaster dynasty, Wonder Woman Flight of Courage.  Not only is this a record-breaking single-rail coaster, it brings Six Flags Magic Mountain’s coaster count to an unprecedented twenty, the most in the world,” said Park President Don McCoy. “Our partnership with Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment makes this accomplishment even more exciting, as we integrate the legacy of an iconic DC Super Hero into the theming of the ride.  Additionally, we are creating a more innovative guest experience by redesigning one of our most popular areas, DC Universe, which will become the home of Wonder Woman Flight of Courage,” added McCoy.


For more information, including an animated preview of the new coaster, visit the official Six Flags Magic Mountain website.


Sunday, October 17, 2021

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Announces New Waterpark Additions Across the Country


© Water Country USA
There are a slew of new additions coming to several SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment properties next year, as a series of announcements over the park week have shown.  Up first is Water Country USA, located near Busch Gardens Williamsburg, which will debut Aquazoid Amped in May 2022.  The park has been working on the park's large family raft ride, Aquazoid, for some time now and we've been expecting a renovated version to debut soon.  

 

The Amped part of the slide reflects changes to the experience, which will now include a "full sensory immersive ride experience including an all-new special effects show, pulse-pounding music and dynamic lighting effects.  Riders plunge down 864 feet of fully enclosed twisting tube at speeds of 20 feet per second on this iconic attraction with vibrant new enhancements.  With a variety of light shows, each ride could be different than the last."


© Aquatica Orlando
Aquatica Orlando will be renovating one of its most popular slides, Dolphin Plunge, and debuting it as Reef Plunge in March of 2022.  The new version of the duel body slides will feature "eye-catching translucent cutouts and rings" as riders slide down 330 and through a dynamic animal habitat.  The new habitat will feature commerson's dolphins, leopard sharks, sardines and a "variety of other cold-water fish."


Aquatica Orlando is making other improvement in addition of Reef Plunge, including "the addition of over 1,000 loungers and beach chairs with increased shade for comfort and two food and beverage additions: a quick-service pizza place and a brand-new beach bar in addition to upgrades to the popular Banana Beach Cookout.  Multiple attractions will also receive upgrades, including enhancements to several water slides."

 

© Aquatica San Antonio
Aquatica San Antonio, located next door to SeaWorld San Antonio, will debut a new slide tower named Riptide Race in 2022.  The attraction looks similar to, or clone of, the slide tower of the same name that opened at Aquatica Orlando this year.  The tower features two separate tube slides that run right next to each other, with open cutout sections that show who's winning the race to the finish.


Riptide Race will start atop a 51 foot tower, and each raft can seat two sliders at a time.  There are both enclosed and open sections during the 565 feet of slide.  The water ride will be the first of its kind in the San Antonio market and is expected to open in March of 2022.


© Adventure Island
Finally, Adventure Island, located near Busch Gardens Tampa, will debut two new attractions and other renovations in 2022.  Up first is Rapids Racer, which looks like it's the same dueling waterslide addition going into Aquatica San Antonio.  It looks to have a different color scheme, though!  The park will also renovate their family raft ride, similar to Water Country USA, to create Wahoo! Remix.  The new slide will feature "synchronized light and sound elements," making formerly dark tunnels "glow and groove" as rafts pass through them.


Adventure Island will also built the Hang Ten Tiki Bar next year, offering up plenty of adult beverages to park goers.  The water park is also now staying open year round with heated pools.


Thursday, October 14, 2021

Christmas In Color to be Featured at Dorney Park This Winter


© Christmas In Color
A brand new drive through spectacle of lights will be taking place at Dorney Park this winter, named Christmas In Color.  The event will be held in the park's parking lot starting on November 19th.  The park hasn't formally announced the event yet, but you can already purchase tickets to it and the local paper has also picked up the story - so it seems pretty confirmed to me.


© Christmas In Color

Christmas In Color is a drive through light event in which guests can make their way through the given path, and soak in more than a million holiday lights.  These type of drive through light displays have long been popular around the holidays, but really picked up in popularity as the pandemic began.  Guests are able to stay safely in their cars with their families and friends and enjoy a nighttime activity that celebrates the holidays in dazzling lights.


The display is put on by Wonder Entertainment, which will be holding Christmas In Color at nine different sites this season.  One of them includes a fellow Cedar Fair park, Valleyfair, which started the event last season.  Wonder Entertainment also puts on other events such as "Light the Sky, Glow Festival, North Pole Festival, and many more" according to their website.

 

© Christmas In Color
At Dorney Park the event will run nightly (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) starting November 19th through January 2nd.  Tickets are $35 per car, but you can also get a special VIP package for $60 per car that includes some fun extras like skipping the general line, diffraction glasses, light bulb necklaces, candy cane batons and more.  Tickets and a time to visit must be purchased ahead of time online.


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Luna Park's Slated 2020 Expansion Back On For 2022


© Luna Park
Coney Island's Luna Park is getting back on track with a large expansion they had planned for the 2020 season, which was obviously interrupted by the pandemic.  The park never opened at all in 2020, but seems to be having a good season this year so far.


They recently announced that they will be moving forward with the rides and attractions they had planned for the 2020 season, all set to open in 2022.  One large plot of land will features a new family roller coaster intertwined with a traditional log flume.  There will also be a new Sky Ropes course that will challenge visitors with their skills.  Several former streetways that connect the different sections of Luna Park will be turned into pedestrian park areas, giving room for relaxing, holding events and offering food and beverage.

 

The existing Luna Park is set to build Zamperla's first Big WaveZ, an interactive water attraction that is quite unique and should be a huge hit at the park.

 

You can time warp back to our stories on the expansions back in 2019, located here and here, for some additional details on what is planned.


© Luna Park
The new family coaster is called the "J2SK Coaster" in this news article, and the log flume referred to as the Super Flume.  Not sure if those are names the park is using just for now, or if they are the final attraction names.  The news article also says that Luna Park's operations covered 300k square feet previously, and these expansions will add another 100k square feet, so this is really a very significant expansion for the park!


Thursday, October 7, 2021

Shrek 4-D to be Retired at Universal Studios Florida in January 2022


© Universal Studios Florida
The Universal Orlando Resort has confirmed that Universal Studios Florida will be permanently closing Shrek 4-D as of January 10, 2022.  The closure will come after what is a typically busy time of year - the holidays - when the extra capacity from the attraction can be of use.  Shrek 4-D is a simulator based ride that features extra effects that give it the 4-D tag, such as wind and water.


Shrek 4-D opened at Universal Studios Florida back in 2003, and at the same time in Universal Studios Hollywood.  The California park, however, closed Shrek 4-D back in 2017 and reused the space for the DreamWorks Theatre.  The show is still running at both Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Singapore.


© Universal
The attraction is set as a continuation of the first film in the Shrek series, and features Shrek and Donkey as they adventure to get back Princess Fiona when the ghost of Lord Farquaad kidnaps her.  Naturally a lot of hilarity ensues as the rescue takes place.


As for what the park has planned next for the area that Shrek 4-D currently calls home, well they're not saying much.  However if you follow the ever-wonderful Orlando Park Stop site, you can get some hints at what may be on the horizon.