Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Dorney Park Seeking Approval For New Coaster-Looking Attraction (Again!)

© Dorney Park
Dorney Park is heading to the local planning commission on February 16th to seek permission for a new attraction to open in 2024.  As of now we only know the following, technically, because it was published on the planning commission's website:

So, it's a new attraction on the site of the former Stinger roller coaster, it stands 161.67 feet tall and is located on 2.7 acres of land.  If this all feels familiar to you, well it is, as a fun thing happened just as the pandemic set in in 2020 and ruined this ride's chance of ever seeing the light of day.


© Dorney Park
Anyway, back to current times - since planning meetings are open to the public documents related to the application are available for download which also lets us see just what the park has planned... mostly.  This one is much tougher to put together than the 2020 plan that came up, and definitely a different ride.

There is a lot to go through, and more details to uncover, and I haven't had the time to really, really dig in yet, but looking at the ride's - well we can say coaster for sure - layout from footings we can get an idea that this is definitely a 162 foot tall coaster that resembles .... 

... some other coasters out there that'd you be sure to dive over people to get in line for, if you catch my drift.  Like I said, there's a lot more putting things together but here's a first take at what I think I'm seeing based on footer locations.  The image can speak for itself, for now.

The ride will feature a pretty large queue that replaces some old buildings in that part of the park, a nice viewing plaza for what I imagine is a very steep first drop and a big inversion, and oddly, the removal of a Rita's Italian Ice stand for... grass.  Oh, and it looks like Possessed gets to stay, thanks again Wicked Twister!

More to come on this one, but one thing I will say for sure:  how exciting and a very long time coming for Dorney Park!

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

More P'Sghetti Heading to Six Flags Over Georgia in 2023

© Six Flags Over Georgia
Looks like the rumors of there being not one but TWO instillations of Skyline Attractions' P'Sghetti Bowl coasters opening in 2023 was true after all.  While it was an unconventional announcement during an fan event, Six Flags Over Georgia has confirmed they will receive a set of the dueling family coasters next season - the exact same as was announced earlier for Six Flags Fiesta Texas.  Also as with the Texas park, the rides at Six Flags Over Georgia will feature the new Aurora LED lightning package, making the ride both beautiful at night and easily customizable. 

© Six Flags Over Georgia
Combined the two coasters (the park's 12th and 13th) will feature 1,124 feet of track and are able to be operated at the same time or separately.  The trains will comfortably fit both an adult and a child in each row, making the yet-to-be-named attraction quite family friendly.  The new P'Sghetti coasters use a weld-free track that requires less maintenance and a lower price tag for parks, so it is reasonable to think we could see many more of these coasters popping up at parks in coming years!

Monday, January 30, 2023

Zambezi Zinger's Curves on Display from Worlds of Fun

© Worlds of Fun
Worlds of Fun has updated two new images to their Zambezi Zinger construction blog and wow, what a pair of photos they are!  When the ride was announced it was made clear from the concept drawings and directly from the ride's manufacturers (Great Coasters Int. and Skyline Attractions) that most of the ride would hug the ground and they weren't kidding.  This image shows much of the "back" of the ride, meaning the furthest out from the lift hill and first drop section.  It is going to feel amazing flying so close to the ground on these wild turns.

© Worlds of Fun
This shot is slightly zoomed in from the first one, showing more detail on the Zinger's many curves - specifically a large s-curve that passes under the hill in the background.  Trains will be Infinity Flyers from GCI, which seat 16 riders in each and that shortened length allow for the tight turns seen here.  Zambezi Zinger was already one of my most anticipated rides for 2023, and these photos have even further cemented that excitement for me!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Permanent Universal Parks "Horror Experience" Coming to Las Vegas

© Universal Parks & Entertainment
Universal Parks & Resorts are full of surprises, as the same day they announced their new family theme park in Texas they also revealed plans for a year-round "horror experience" as part of Area15's 20 acre upcoming expansion.  You know, it is almost as if Universal's owner Comcast, figured out that if you do it right, parks and attractions can be like printing money!

Anywho, the permanent entertainment experience will be one of the larger tenants of the Area15 expansion, taking up 110,000 square feet - which is a really big building if you google it.  The company says that it will be filled with "a variety of unique, immersive, fantastic horror-centric experiences that surround high energy food and beverage spaces by day turned haunting bars and eateries by night."  They promise that the location will also feature "a continuously updated experience, must see seasonal events, and one-of-a-kind merchandise."  Horror Nights fans rejoice, now you can get your scare on year-round in sin city courtesy of Universal's "vast library of classic horror films and today’s most terrifying tales."


© Universal Parks & Entertainment
Area15 opened in late 2020 and has thrived since with more than 4 million visitors to date.  The upcoming expansion will be located adjacent to the existing property - in the concept art above the existing attractions are on the left, with Universal's building and plenty more to be built on the right.  When complete Area15 will truly offer an incredible campus of immersive entertainment that will surely draw millions more.  Universal will give more details in the future, including maze themes and a grand opening date, so stay tuned.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Universal Planning New Family Theme Park for Texas

© Universal Parks & Entertainment
The other week Universal Parks & Resorts made a very surprising (to me, at least) announcement that they are going to open a family theme park in Frisco, Texas on 97 acres of land they have purchased.  They specifically note that the regional (not national) park will be aimed at families with small children, so quickly shed the idea of a full typical Universal Studios style park coming to Texas, that isn't happening.  While smaller than their other parks, they promise the same level of quality and detail we are accustomed to.

The details on the park are slim, for now at least, beside the given family focus.  They did release some initial concept art, above, for the project that lets us see just how kid-oriented the park is.  Per the initial press release the Frisco park will be "set in a lush green landscape and will feature immersive themed lands, celebrate Universal’s iconic brand of entertainment, humor and innovation and will bring to life its beloved characters and stories in ways that will wow even the youngest theme park goers."


Cool, but what will be at the park?  Well there will be a hotel on site - seen surrounding the park's entrance.  The different lands appear to be themed to DreamWorks animation characters such as Trolls, Shrek, an animated Jurassic Park series and more.  The rides themselves looks like dressed up theme park classics, in fact if you look close it seems like the entire Zamperla family-ride catalogue can be found in the art!  Otherwise Universal promises "family-friendly attractions, interactive and playful shows, character meet and greets, unique merchandise and fun food and beverage venues" will be offered.

Hopefully a full name for the park and some details on the themed lands will come out soon, and perhaps even an opening time line.  For now if you want to read great speculation on the park, check out this podcast from Orlando Park Stop.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Dollywood Finishes Instillation of Track & Supports for Big Bear Mountain

© Dollywood
Dollywood's Wildwood Grove themed area is expanding greatly this year with the addition of Big Bear Mountain, a brand new launched family roller coaster.  The park has shared via a recent update that they have put the final piece of track in place, connecting the 3,990 feet of bright orange coaster track.  The coaster will feature three different LIM launches, with a maximum speed of 48 miles per hour.

© Dollywood
Big Bear Mountain promises to be a thrilling adventure for the whole family, with a minimum height requirement of only 39 inches.  The ride is very large for a launched family roller coaster, curving around nearly all of Wildwood Grove and taking up a big portion of previously undeveloped land.  The ride stands a maximum of 66 feet above the ground at the highest point, but winds it way through the park's hills and valleys with ease.

© Dollywood
The ride's theming is one of the coolest aspects of the total package experience.  The trains will have on-board audio that will keep guests informed on their journey to find the elusive Big Bear.  The above scene doesn't look like much now but when complete the trains will dive behind a giant waterfall while on their expedition.

Dollywood is hoping to have Big Bear Mountain ready for guests this Spring.