Saturday, February 6, 2016

Darien Lake Planning New Water Slide + Ride of Steel Train for 2016 Season

© Darien Lake
Darien Lake's Splashtown water park is getting bigger again in 2016, as the theme park is planning to build a $1.5 million racing water slide for this Summer.  The park recently approached their local planning board to obtain the necessary approvals, and those documents shed light on what is in store.  Above is a sample drawing of one of Proslide's Kraken Racer slide towers that shows what to expect.  The six-lane mat racing slide features a twisted section before a final hill into the runout.

These colors are just example ones, however, as the photo in this more recent news story indicates a much brighter rainbow scheme.

© Darien Lake
The planning documents also include a couple aerial views showing off where the new racing slide will be located.  Splashtown has seen a significant amount of expansion in the past 5 years, greatly improving offerings and consolidating them into one area.  The new slide will be at the far end of the water park, helping to even out crowds.

© Darien Lake
Here is another view of the new attraction's location.  It appears to be replacing a separate entrance that was used for Splashtown, I'm not totally familiar if that was the case but it's certainly taking over that area!  The ride's name will be revealed this coming week.

Darien Lake will also be purchasing a brand new train for their Ride of Steel coaster, per the above linked news story.  It will replace the trains from when the ride opened in 1999 and provide a more comfortable ride experience.  It sounds like it will literally only be one train seating 36 riders, so it looks like two-train operation on the ride is still not happening.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

World's Tallest Water Coaster - Massiv - Opening at Schlitterbahn Galveston in '16

Schlitterbahn Galveston has been promising the reveal of something big for quite some time now, and today they made good on that promise.  The new attraction that is coming is named Massiv (named after the German word for massive), which will be the world's tallest water coaster when it opens.

Schlitterbahn will build Massiv in partnership with WhiteWater West, and the water coaster will feature white, green, red and one translucent "belly of the beast" curve.

© Schlitterbahn Galveston
Here is what Massiv will look like when completed, featuring 923 feet of water coaster track with an undisclosed height - however the park is happy to confirm it will be the tallest in the world.  The layout features four separate uphill blast sections, and a first-of-its-kind triple down element into the final splash area.  Riders will be in one or two person rafts that they will carry up the 123 steps to the very top.

© Schlitterbahn Galveston
“We are thrilled to be bringing this iconic ride to Galveston Island,” said Ron Sutula, General Manager for Schlitterbahn Galveston Island. “It’s a massive anniversary present to all our guests, and is going to be a blast to ride!”  The exact height of Massiv will be revealed later this Spring, and an official opening date will come once the ride is built and tested.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Let's Take a Look at Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Self-Leaked 2017 Ride Plans

I'm not sure that I can recall ever seeing a major park purposely leak its own ride plans before, so this update from Busch Gardens Williamsburg comes as a bit of a surprise.  The park actually uploaded a large set of blueprints for its 2017 attraction onto their official webpage today - however - not everything on it is able to be read when zoomed in, and even though I've seen a few ride plans in my day only some items are clear to me.

The whole file can be downloaded at this link, but here are some things I noticed worth pointing out.

© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Here is the site of the new ride, which places it in and around the park's log flume and train tracks, in the New France section.  This is an area of the park that hasn't been touched in some time, so it is great to see ride development take place here.

© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
This appears to be the ride's 'station' area, at least I'm assuming this is a station since the print only refers to it as a proposed structure.  However the winding pathway that can be seen around it would work as a queue, and it would enter/exit right into the heart of the New France area.  The building on the left (look for the "ar" in the "Gardens" watermark) is labeled as the train station, and if you focus on that you can really get a sense of the area in this image:

The brown building on the upper left is the train station, so the ride 'station' as I'm calling it would then be just below and to the right of it, very close to the path of the flume.  Also note the size of the 'station' buildings in comparison to the train station.  The next image shows us a bit more, which confirms that the ride's path will then move downward into the wooded area seen below.

© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
And here that image is.  The green box is the 'station' that we identified earlier.  Before I drew the red lines I noticed what, to me at least, looks like the curves of a ride in this print, perhaps indication a direction of travel.  You'll have to make the image bigger and look closely, but if you do your eyes may see the same thing.  The red that I've added traces some of the more obvious markings that look like a travel path to me.  I could make a few more assumptions about the type of ride we're looking at based off of these markings, but I'd rather play along with the park for now.

© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Finally, this one is even more vague but this really looks like a trench of some sort to me, it is included in the ride's plans but I can't place exactly where it goes.  It's very similar to how the trenches looked on the Cobra's Curse plans, which is why I'm going with my gut on that one and calling it a trench.

It's quite interesting to see the theme park release details like this so soon, so now I'm even more excited to see where they go with this as time goes by!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The End of the Line for the New Miracle Strip @ Pier Park

It appears as though the fate of the new Miracle Strip Amusement Park @ Pier Park has been sealed, as well known used ride seller Rides4U is now holding a silent auction for all of its rides and attractions.

The amusement park closed early for the year at the end of the Summer, and then rumors began of the park's debts - which turned out to be true - and a new operator was even mentioned that wanted to build a large observation wheel.  It would appear that that plan did not work out, and the park operators had eviction actions started against them as well - they didn't own the land the park was on, just leased it.

While a sad end to the short lived park, the silent auction that is currently being held is a bit of a gem.  Miracle Strip @ Pier Park was a collector of classic amusement attractions, and put much time and care into restoring the rides.  The above flyer shows all that is up for auction, but Rides4U also has a full page up with details.  Attractions include several Allen Herschell rides, parts of the classic Starliner wooden roller coaster, an Eli Bridge wheel and an Eyerly Loop-O-Plane and Rock-O-Plane.

Parks such as Knoebels, or smaller ones looking to expand, or heck even Cedar Fair (who is said to be scouting for classic attractions) should take notice of the auction.  It will run through February 22nd, and all rides and attractions must be moved off the site by the 29th.

To look back at the short life of this park, scroll though the stories we've published which include a talk with the owners ahead of the grand opening, and even plans for a recreated Starliner wooden coaster.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Latest on Lake Compounce's Phobia Phear Coaster

Pouring footers isn't the most exciting thing in the world to watch happen, however the dull phase of roller coaster construction is necessary for the fun stuff to happen.  That fun stuff, of course, is vertical construction and that's just what has started on the Phobia Phear Coaster at Lake Compounce!

© Lake Compunce
All those footers are now starting to have steel applied to them, and since Phobia Phear Coaster is a Premier Rides Sky Rocket II design, we can assume that the above photo is for one of the two base towers the coaster will have.  Like Tempesto at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Superman Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, this new coaster will feature a twisted layout that features multiple layers of track and an inversion that takes place 150 feet in the air.

SFNE Online was recently at Lake Compounce for a construction update, and filed this video of the ongoing work.  In addition to vertical construction on the ride's supports, the park is also working on what looks like the maintenance building and possibly station area.

Now that Phobia Phear Coaster has entered the vertical construction phase things will probably move quickly, so stay tuned!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Do You Wanna Buy A Dark Ride?

© Ital International
A reader alerted me to an interesting used ride posting over on Ital International - what appears to be Escape From Dinosaur Beach from Wildwood's long shuttered Dinosaur Beach amusement park.  The park was built on what was formerly called Hunt's Pier, and only operated from 1996 until 1998.  If you've never heard of the park or want a refresher, check out this story we did years ago with a brochure and map.  It was also the longtime home of the Golden Nugget before Knoebels saved it and reopened it at their park as the Black Diamond.

© Ital International
Dinosaur Beach, as you may have guessed, was an attempt at having a cohesive theme across the entire pier, with dinosaurs invading other attractions such as the log flume and river rapids ride.  The largest addition that the park opened was the dark ride, which cost $1.5 million and resided in a 10,000 square foot building.  Riders rode in safari jeeps though a "dinosaur holding compound" with animated dinosaurs all around.  The ride theming and dinosaurs were created by Sally and the ride mechanics by SBF.  It has sat in storage for many, many years but is now listed for sale for an undisclosed price.

So, if any readers want to pick up a "very good" condition used Sally dark ride, now is your chance!