Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New Thunderbolt Coaster Going Up at Luna Park

If you look in the center of this photo, you can see that the vertical lift hill and drop support tower is now in place for the all-new Thunderbolt roller coaster at Luna Park.

This somewhat fuzzy photo was grabbed from a live webcam that keeps tabs on the rides in Coney Island.  The new Thunderbolt is going up just beyond the current Scream Zone section, which features the red and blue Soarin' Eagle flying coaster.  Thunderbolt, after plunging down the first drop, will run the length of the block away from the ocean, occupying a very thin but long parcel of land.

© Luna Park
Luna Park has been showing off the progress of the new Thunderbolt via social media for some time now.  Above are two photos they released of the coaster's foundations being created.  The second photo also shows off plenty of supports being placed around the site in preparation of being put in place.

The $10 million Thunderbolt is slated to be ready for a Memorial Day weekend grand opening, so I would expect to see this ride go up very quickly from this point forward!

Legoland California Places Giant Lego Model in Chima Water Park

© Legoland California
It won't be long now until the new Lego Legends of Chima Water Park opens at Legoland California, in fact it is just over a month until the May 24th, 2014 grand opening.

"The largest Lego model for the new Chima Water Park, a Lego Lion Temple arch, was installed over Easter weekend.  Stretching 18 ½ feet high and 14 feet wide and weighing 2,116 pounds, the Lego arch will stream water beneath the massive lion head at the entrance to the Lion Temple Wave Pool. Created out of 260,000 Lego bricks, the arch is the centerpiece of the new Water Park as it “protects” the interactive wave pool designed for families with young children."

© Legoland California
Workers placed the giant lion model with the floating Mt. Cavora in the background, seen in the photo above.  Both are parts of the wave pool, but workers are busy all over creating new attractions for the expansion.  One of them is Eglor's Build-A-Boat, where "young guests can build their own boat and race against their friends and build their own Lego scene in Chima. Six Lego models will be featured in this area, including four miniature scale models of areas within Chima Water Park and an Eagle Head that stands 11-feet-high."

© Legoland California
Here we see construction work taking place with Legoland California's existing water park in the background.  When the current expansion is complete the park will have a very large family water area, perfect for a day in the sun.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Slides Begin to Rise at Six Flags Over Georgia's Hurricane Harbor

© Six Flags Over Georgia
Huge progress has been made on the all-new Hurricane Harbor water park, currently being built at Atlanta's Six Flags Over Georgia.  One of the park's slide towers, named Bonzai Pipelines, just went up in a short span of time and is now proudly standing over the new area.

The brightly colored slides can be seen in the park's photo above - there are three slides coming off the tower in total.  Two of them are traditional tube slides, while the third is a large bowl slide.  You can see the pink and red bowl section in the lower left of the photo.

© Six Flags Over Georgia
The rest of the park is coming along quickly, too.  Above is a shot of Tidal Wave Cafe, Hurricane Harbor's new food and beverage outlet.  The wavepool is also nearly complete, with final touches being placed throughout.  There's still one more attraction tower yet to go up, and that will hold a unique first-of-its-kind water slide when completed.

The park also recently shared a video update that actually gives a look at how much work goes into the detailing of the new area.  You can check that out at this link.

Sky Scream Opens at Holiday Park

Premier Rides President Jim Seay with Plopsa CEO Steve Van den Kerkhof and Holiday Park Manager Bernd Beitz celebrate the successful opening of Sky Scream.  © Premier Rides
Premier Rides has supplied a new roller coaster, named Sky Scream, to Germany's Holiday Park.  The thrilling ride recently opened and as a part of its dark underworld theming both the living and the "undead" were among the first to try out the ride.

Sky Scream is Europe's first coaster to feature three magnetic launches, which are needed to push the train to the top of the tower.  The ride sits in a small area, but extends to a maximum height of over 150 feet above the ground.  The three launches actually include two going forward and one in reverse, done as the train rocks along the track before heading to the apex.

Sky Scream © Premier Rides
At the top of the ride passengers are treated to a full heartline inversion before diving down vertically into several 360-degree horizontal twists.  Holiday Park worked with Premier Rides to ensure that Sky Scream would be open for the park's Aprill 11th season start, and those plans were followed through without a hitch.

Mr. Steve Van den Kerkhof, CEO of Holiday Park owner Plopsa Group commented that "our goal is to inspire and attract adrenaline fans to the park.  We wanted a signature attraction that would have impact and we are pleased to have partnered with Premier Rides to build Sky Scream.  This coaster is sure to satisfy even the most fearless thrill-seeker.”

For more information on Holiday Park, check out their official website.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Knott's Shows Off New Camp Snoopy Upgrade + Mine Ride Work

© Knott's Berry Farm
Knott's Berry Farm is really at the top of its game, or at least it seems they're at the top - then they go and make additional announcements that make their plans even better!

The park recently gave a media tour of two major projects currently underway at the park, the renovation of Camp Snoopy and the total refurbishment of the Calico Mine Ride.  A part of the tour included the announcement of another upgrade for Camp Snoopy, the addition of the Peanuts characters to the Grand Sierra Railroad.

Six new scenes will be added along the train's path, featuring over a dozen Peanuts characters.  Linus will narrate the train's journey past the scenes that recreate iconic Peanuts moments such as "Charlie attempting to fish in a local stream, Snoopy and Woodstock enjoying a camp fire, and many more vignettes all featuring classic Peanuts’ action and humor."

Garner Holt Productions is creating the Peanuts characters that will be a part of the Grand Sierra Railroad.  They're also responsible for the figures in the current renovation of the Calico Mine Ride.  The above video shows the cast being created for the new attraction, while the photo up top shows a few completed figures.

Knott's got some great coverage from the tour - which also shows off the work underway on the Calico Mine Ride - and if you want to check out an very in depth one I suggest following this link to MiceChat.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Universal Studios Japan Announces Potter Opening Date

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan will open on July 15th, the theme park has announced.  The much anticipated addition will be the second Harry Potter themed area to open, following the original at Orlando's Islands of Adventure theme park.

Along with the official opening date, the park has launched a new interactive website for the addition, similar to the ones created for the U.S. Potter lands.

The website has given us our first look at the layout of the Wizarding World in Japan, which closely follows that of the Orlando version.  There are some notable differences, however, given that in Japan the area was built on a former parking lot with plenty of open space.

One change I noticed is that Ollivanders is located on the left side of the main throughway, a change probably done to help capacity.  The Orlando version suffers from major crowding in its current location, and hopefully the Japan wand shop will have a indoor queue or possibly even more than one performance room.

The Wizarding World will also include the Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster and the Forbidden Journey dark ride.  The new website features a virtual walk through of the land, so those more familiar than I will be able to spot other changes as well.