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.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

SeaWorld San Antonio Takes Tidal Surge Vertical As Construction Progresses

© SeaWorld San Antonio
SeaWorld San Antonio is currently at work building their new for 2022 attraction, the largest S&S Screamin' Swing in the world that has been named Tidal Surge.  Work on the project has been taking place at the park for some time now, but since the ride's announcement in August things have really kicked into high gear.

© SeaWorld San Antonio
The park has shared a new video on Facebook that has the park's leader explaining the ride and showing off the construction so far.  Tidal Surge is now vertical, with the start of the ride's supports standing.  This also allows us to get a nice look at the paint job the supports have, which seem to pretty closely mimic the concept art featured up top.  The full video update is available at this link.

When complete, Tidal Surge will stand 105 feet tall and the pendulum arms will swing riders up to a maximum of 135 feet above the park (and its lake).  The arms will travel a blazing 68 miles per hour as they extend to 230 degrees outward from their starting position.  SeaWorld San Antonio promises more updates on the new attraction as construction continues, so stay tuned.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Universal Studios Japan to Build Donkey Kong Expansion to Super Nintendo World

© Universal
Speculated to be coming to the park for some time now, Universal Studios Japan has made it official: starting in 2024 guests will be able to explore a Donkey Kong themed expansion to Super Nintendo World.  The new area will be built right next to the existing Super Nintendo World, which currently offers both Yoshi and Mario Kart rides, along with a host of other highly themed shops, food locations and interactive experiences.


The main attraction of the expansion will be a Donkey Kong themed roller coaster, which has been talked about for some time now in the industry.  The park isn't giving out a lot of details at this point on the ride, but it is expected to utilize a new ride system that will make vehicles appear to jump over gaps and other obstacles while in a mine cart.   

© Universal
Zooming in on the concept art gives us a bit more of an idea of how the new land will appear, filled with the "lush jungles" that Donkey Kong and his friends live in.  There will be additional themed retail locations, food offerings and even more interactive experiences packed into the expansion.  When all is said and done the Super Nintendo World part of the park will expand by 70% in size.


J. L. Bonnier, President and CEO of Universal Japan states that "Super Nintendo World creates a whole new level of theme park entertainment and has quickly become an exciting, must-do experience for our guests.  We are thrilled to continue working with Nintendo as we fulfill our vision to bring their characters and stories to life. Our new Donkey Kong themed area will bring even more excitement and fun to the Super Nintendo World experience."

Monday, September 27, 2021

New Pre-cut Wooden Coaster Track Offered by The Gravity Group

© The Gravity Group
In the past decade or so we've seen a lot of traditional wooden roller coasters become steel roller coasters, and while these rides are a fantastic addition to the parks we love there is still something to be said for the feel of a tradition wood coaster.  The Gravity Group, who's wooden coaster designs are some of the best around, has created a new engineered pre-cut wood track that is both economical and highly exact.

According to The Gravity Group, most wooden coaster track is cut on site and that can lead to small imperfections that can cause a rougher ride over time.  600 feet of their new engineered pre-cut track was installed on the Racer at Kings Island (photo above) this year and has quickly garnered rave reviews by fans of the classic coaster.

© The Gravity Group
The Racer is a highly regarded ride by its fans, so clearly Kings Island had a lot of faith in the new track.  The Gravity Group also notes that their patent-pending track is designed to be up to 30 times stronger than traditional wooden coaster track, and very maintenance friendly.  This innovation will help the traditional wooden coasters out there keep giving smooth rides for years to come, and seems to offer parks a lot of incentive to give it a try.

You can read more about the innovative design right from The Gravity Group at this link.