Monday, November 21, 2022

Kennywood Adding Zamperla Flat Ride for Park's 2023 Season

© Kennywood
Kennywood Amusement Park will be looking to the skies in 2023 when they debut a brand new area, known as Area 412, which will be themed to extra-terrestrials - aka aliens.  The renovated area will feature an existing ride, a Disk'O now named Cosmic Chaos, which has been prettied up with new paint and a new name.

The star attraction of Area 412 is Spinvasion, a circular spinning ride that's out of this world... you could say.  Spinvasion is one of Zamperla's Gryphon rides, which is kind of like a modern Enterprise ride but with one-seater cars and it doesn't go up 90 degrees in the air.  Instead, the ride's carriages undulate up and down as it spins, creating a wavelike appearance that's neat to watch from the ground.

© Kennywood
Kennywood is advertising the new area and its attractions under the Battle For The 'Burgh slogan, however they note on their site that these aliens are friendly and the battle is actually against "evil Crab Bots."  It'll be interesting to see how the area turns out, the park was already doing to painting and theming before it closed for the year in the Fall.  The park also promises an Area 412 Gift Shop which should contain some cool merchandise themed to the Battle For The 'Burgh slogan, no doubt.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Lagoon Announces Primordial Interactive Coaster to Open in 2023

© Lagoon
It's been a long time in the making, but after around 7 years of development and construction Lagoon Amusement Park has announced that Primordial will open to visitors in 2023.  The long awaited partially-indoor roller coaster has been designed as a family attraction with riders as small as 36 inches able to ride with an adult who is at least 48 inches tall.

Official details of what Primordial will offer are still murky, even with the official announcement of the ride's opening.  For now Lagoon is only stating that they have "worked with an international team of designers and manufacturers, including amazing local companies and vendors, to create and produce this incredible state-of-the-art attraction."


This news article does give a bit more information, and some recent photos of the giant mountain structure that the park built to contain most of Primordial's track as well.  The park touts the attraction as interactive, which ties to the dragon and other characters than can be seen in the preview video at the bottom of this story.  Many speculate that the indoor section of the ride will be the interactive portion, with riders possibly having the ability to battle the creatures within.


As with the park's most recent roller coaster additions, Primordial has been largely constructed "in-house" as the park coordinated its design and construction using a plethora of industry contractors. 

For now that's about all we've got, below is the park's teaser just released for Primordial - very Game of Thrones inspired it seems!

Friday, November 18, 2022

Alberto Zamperla

The very first interview we ever did at IAAPA was in 1999 with Alberto Zamperla, president and CEO of Zamperla SpA. I was very nervous and he told me I was doing just fine. Over the years we found out just how much he meant to Give Kids the World and amusement parks worldwide. Zamperla was constantly donating rides to the Give Kids the World Village and using the technical information they learned to improve rides for the rest of their customers. Carol used to take picture of the presentations and for many years he kept trying to pay her for them and she told him if he could donate and entire ride she could surely donate a few photographs.

Alberto Zamperla was inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame in 2019 and Zamperla hosted a celebration with cake and champagne at the massive booth during the last hour of the show that day. When they cut the cake he handed her the first piece and told her to put the camera down and enjoy the cake. And of course she did, because when Mr. Zamperla speaks, people listen. He is probably reading this right now still telling us "My name is Alberto," but we could never bring ourselves to call him that.

Despite all the accolades, he always treated everyone very well, and many times told us that he treated ideas from everyone in the Zamperla organization equally because they brought new perspectives to be considered. It has been said by many that no man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child, so Mr. Zamperla was a true giant. The thousands of GKTW campers who got their first experience of feeling the motions of a ride are a testament to how large his heart was during his time with us. The world is a better place because of his presence and his legacy will continue.

Our hearts go out to all the members of the Zamperla family, and if you are a true amusement park enthusiast, hold a positive thought for them in their time of need. Maybe the next time you go a park, take a ride on a Zamperla product in memory. It will do you good.

Scott & Carol

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Wildcat's Revenge Will Open at Hersheypark in 2023

© Hersheypark
Meoooow!  Hersheypark has announced the renovation of the park's Wildcat wooden roller coaster, which has already closed to the public as announced, which will see the coaster reopen in 2023 as Wildcat's Revenge.  As many predicted, the ride will become a steel tracked hybrid experience, as provided by Rocky Mountain Construction.  A considerable bit of the ride's layout will be changed, and the steel track will allow for RMC's thrilling elements to be added, including inversions!  Definitely a different ride than the wooden roller coaster that opened in 1996.

© Hersheypark
Wildcat's Revenge will start with a much different lift hill experience.  Gone will be the wooden lift hill the ride had in the past, replace by a truss style steel support structure that stretches 140 feet into the sky.  Remember, original Wildcat stood 106 feet tall, so the new ride is gaining quite a bit of height.  The ride's first drop will plunge the trains down at a steep 82 degrees, sending the trains flying along the red track at 62 miles per hour.

© Hersheypark
From there the trains will head up into an underflip element - described as the largest of its king - that utilizes the area of the old ride's top-of-the-lift-hill.  The underflip has the trains invert as they climb only to immediately begin to curve and descend in one fluid maneuver.  Next up is a giant air-time hill, which will no doubt be pretty forceful in the best of ways.

© Hersheypark

The rest of Wildcat's Revenge's 3,510 foot long layout includes several wave turns, and three more inversions, a large stall element and then two corkscrew kinda zero-g rolls, it's hard to tell for sure as the official POV animation has not yet been released.  But when all is said and done there will be four inversions on the coaster.  The ride will feature three trains with some really awesome theming on the front - as seen in the above image.

While we wait for next summer for the coaster to open you can check out below the preview footage that the park released for now!

Monday, October 24, 2022

Michigan's Adventure Expanding Season in 2023 With Tricks and Treats Fall Fest

© Michigan's Adventure
It's finally happening - Michigan's Adventure has announced that they will extend their operating season into September and October in 2023 by holding their first ever signature event, Tricks and Treats Fall Fest.  The event appears to be modeled as a 'lite' version of the large events of a similar name that opened at California's Great America and Valleyfair this season.  Like those events, Tricks and Treats Fall Fest at Michigan's Adventure will offer visitors spooky (not scary) family fun on Saturdays and Sundays from September 16th, 2023 until October 15th, 2023.

“This new event will add even more value for our Michigan’s Adventure season pass holders and offer an exciting and unique opportunity for the community,” said Camille Jourden-Mark, vice president and general manager. “Our entire team is looking forward to extending our season and offering all-in-one Halloween, fall and Michigan fun next year.”


The amusement park will offer guests the chance "to step into a larger-than-life spooky Halloween adventure, surrounded by the sights, sounds and tastes of Michigan in the fall.  Families will also be able to enjoy select rides – including attractions at Camp “Spooky,” the park’s new kids’ area where kids, parents and grandparents can all ride together – all included with admission."


© Michigan's Adventure
Offerings at the event include special decorations, live entertainment, family activities plus Snoopy and his Peanuts friends dressed in their Halloween finest - perfect for the costume contest that the park will hold.  The park will also offer an immersive trick-or-treat experience, seasonal craft activities, special games and even a pumpkin decorating station.


Families will also be able to enjoy the Brews and Boos Lakeside Patio which will offer local craft brews, Michigan-made wines and for kids, special magical potions.  The new Tricks and Treats Fall Fest event will be included in the park's season pass, giving passes more value than ever before.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Carowinds and Kings Dominion to Operate Year Round Starting in 2023

© Carowinds
Both Carowinds and Kings Dominion have announced that starting in 2023 they will be open year round, continuing operations during the winter months of January, February and March.  This is a big move for owner Cedar Fair, as they try to create more revenue opportunities for the company on a 365 day calendar, similar to how Knott's Berry Farm already functions.

Carowinds traditionally closed after their WinterFest celebration at the start of the new year.  Moving forward, however, guests will be able to visit the park on weekends and partake in even more fun and special events during the winter months.  The park does warn that weather events, maintenance on rides and other factors will limit the amount of operations and food and retails locations open during the added operating days.

© Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion, which is further North than Carowinds, will also follow the same schedule and stay open on weekends in January, February and March in 2023.  While weather may be more of a factor for this park than Carowinds, they're giving it a try and are excited to welcome guests each month of 2023.

“Kings Dominion will be the cure for cabin fever in 2023,” said Bridgette Bywater, vice president and general manager. “We’ve always wanted find a way to extend our season to all 12 months, and now families and season passholders won’t have to wait until the spring for their favorite rides or their first taste of funnel cake.” 

This is an exciting move for fans of both parks, who no longer have an "off season" and can ride year round!  Hopefully it is a success for the parks.