Wednesday, April 25, 2018

RailBlazer at California's Great America Makes First Test Run

© California's Great America
Exciting news came out of California's Great America yesterday as the park shared video of RailBlazer completing its first test run.  We've all been carefully watching the development of this ride as it is one of two new single-rail Rocky Mountain Construction roller coasters opening in 2018, the first of their kind rides.

Without further ado, here is the video:
Must like we saw with the initial test runs of Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, RailBlazer is absolutely flying around the course.  The ride starts off with a punch as the 8-passenger trains quickly navigate a 180 degree turn, only slowing down a tad before they drop 100 feet at 90 degrees into a rock formation at the base of the plunge.

The rest of the course is taken at lightning speed, with three separate inversions located throughout the 1,800 feet of track.  The quiet roar of the ride is quite neat to hear as well, soon that will be covered up by the happy screams of riders!

California's Great America still has not given an official opening date for RailBlazer, but it has to be coming up soon - especially now that the ride is in test mode.  Stay tuned for that announcement later.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Six Flags Fiesta Texas Shares Wonder Woman POV Footage + Grand Opening Date

© Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster will officially premier to the general public on May 12th, Six Flags Fiesta Texas has announced.  The highly anticipated first-of-its-kind single rail roller coaster features a 100 foot vertical drop, several inversions and 1,800 feet of tightly twisted track.  Designed by Rocky Mountain Construction, the ride represents a totally new track system to the industry, and was designed to provide riders a super-smooth yet thrilling experience.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas season pass holders will get early rides on Wonder Woman, well before the grand opening.  The park is advertising that Diamond and Diamond Elite members will have a chance to ride this weekend, starting Friday, April 27th.  All pass holders will then be able to ride the following weekend, with the public joining the fun on May 12th.

If you can't make it to the park to take a ride in person, Six Flags Fiesta Texas has released the first point of view video of Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster, embedded below.  Looks like a fast and exciting ride!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Energylandia's Massive New Intamin Hyper Coaster Reaching New Heights

© Energylandia
It was back at the end of 2016 that we first heard of Energylandia's (located in Poland) plan to build "Europe's tallest mega coaster" for the 2018 season.  Working on the final design of the ride and getting construction started took quite some time, however now the park is actively building Hyperion, which the coaster has been named.

Designed by Intamin, Hyperion will stand an impressive 253 feet tall and feature an 85 degree first drop that plunges into a tunnel, giving a first drop length of 262 feet - oh and also a top speed of 88 miles per hour.  Featuring an all black color scheme, the 4,757 feet of track is now stretching across the Polish country side as seen in this aerial construction update from the park:

Interestingly, this Intamin mega coaster will feature 4-across seating on the trains, which is unlike their earlier mega coasters.  That resulted in some beefy looking track that can be seen up close in this video.  It looks like the park worked to build as much of the ride as they could before bringing in the really tall crane, as much of the lower parts of Hyperion are installed.

Judging from the views of the first drop, however, it would appear as though Energylandia is now hard at work in finishing the ride's lift, drop and turnaround dive element.

Since the ride was originally announced the final layout point of view video was updated by the park, and is embedded above.  The ride features several large air-time hills along with a turnaround that doesn't feature a typical series of helices, instead the trains climb high up then rotate 180 degrees and dive downward - much like on B&M wing coasters.  The rest of Hyperion's layout features quick directional changes and extreme banking, and a final water splash is shown, though I'm not sure if that made the final cut.  Should be a stand-out ride if Intamin's prior mega coaster designs are any indication!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Knott's Berry Farm's HangTime to Open on May 18th

© Knott's Berry Farm
Knott's Berry Farm fans only need to wait less than one month for the grand opening of HangTime, as it will premier to visitors on May 18th.  The park has been regularly testing the ride in recent weeks, billed as the West coast's first dive coaster.  Technically speaking, HangTime is a custom-designed creation from Gerstlauer, one of their Infinity coasters.

In addition to the nearly continuous testing of HangTime, Knott's Berry Farm is also finishing up the details of the coaster ahead of its opening.  The station is nearly complete, and the queue and even the entrance sign have now been installed.  (see a recent video update on that here, from Parks and Cons)  The park is also constructing a large new gift shop adjacent to HangTime, and that looks to be in the final stages as well.

The 150 foot tall coaster will take individual, 16 passenger trains up to the top and hold them delicately pointed toward the ground for several seconds before dropping them beyond-vertical at 96 degrees.  The ride features several twisted elements such as a cobra roll and a negative-g stall, in total there will be five inversions packed into 2,198 feet of track.

One of the most interesting parts of the ride will be it's amazing light package for after dark, with lights chasing the trains as they move through the course.  I haven't seen any footage of that quite yet, but the park did release an animation of the ride at night, embedded below.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Toverland Tops Off Fenix - New for 2018 B&M Wing Coaster

© Toverland
The Netherlands' Toverland theme park is working on a massive expansion project that includes a brand new B&M wing coaster, named Fenix.   Part of a highly themed land, Fenix will no doubt be the star attraction when it opens this summer - specifically July 7th.

Recent work on the coaster - which has brown supports and cool blue track - saw the ride topped out at about 131 feet above the ground.  From the photo above, the track will turn right (toward the left side of the photo) then roll 180 degrees and dive toward the ground, connecting with the blue track in place below.

© Toverland
Here is another view of the same - the first drop will be on the far left of this image.  Afterward the winged trains will soar over a new lake on the large air-time hill that can be seen in the background.

The rest of Fenix's layout includes and Immelmann, helix and a zero-g roll before some twists and turns at the end of the ride.  Fenix will have a top speed of 59 miles per hour and 2,667 feet of track.

Toverland has released the below video of the topping off of the coaster, with plenty of beautiful drone footage.  Check it out and other updates from the park at this link.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Nickelodeon Universe Retires Flat Ride + Introduces New 2018 Attraction

© Nickelodeon Universe
In order to make way for a new expansion, Nickelodeon Universe, located at the Mall of America in Minnesota, is retiring the Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Collider flat ride.

Seen above, the unique flat ride has given nearly 600,000 rides since it opened at the park in 1992, when it still carried the Camp Snoopy theme.  It was manufactured by Zierer, and is one of their Hexentanz flat rides which are not common in North America, but can still be found on the European fair circuit.  Knott's Berry Farm also used to have one of these rides, though it was removed many years ago.

© Nickelodeon Universe
Fans of Nickelodeon Universe didn't have to wait long to find out what will be replacing Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Collider, as today they announced a new themed play area to open later in 2018.  In celebration of the park's 10th anniversary, the brand new Paw Patrol's Adventure Bay will be a 4,000 square foot "immersive experience" that features the characters of the uber-popular Paw Patrol series.

The play area will feature many of the key locations from the children's series, including being able to go into their lookout tower.  The area does not contain any specific rides, instead is an "open play" area with recognizable features as seen in the concept art above.  No doubt that in addition to keeping kids busy as they explore the area, Adventure Bay will also serve as a great photo opportunity for parents.