Thursday, January 29, 2015

Disneyland Resort's Diamond Celebration Plans Revealed



Last night the Disneyland Resort held a special event to announce their plans for the Diamond Celebration, in honor of Disneyland's 60th anniversary.

No major new theme park rides were announced, but that doesn't mean there won't be anything new - in fact both parks will be sharing in the festivities.  The celebration will begin on May 22nd, with no formal end date given.

© Disneyland Resort
As with several previous anniversary celebrations, Disneyland's famous Sleeping Beauty Castle will get a temporary makeover - this one will shimmer and shine as the diamond theme is carried out.  Accenting the diamonds will be banners and other decorations in the classic Disneyland blue color.  Over at Disney California Adventure, the park's iconic Carthay Circle Theatre will also receive special decorations.

Disneyland will debut the Paint The Night, a new parade that features 1.5 million LED lights and represents a new generation's Main Street Electrical Parade.  The spectacle will feature Tinker Bell's pixie dust that brings to life vivid floats featuring characters from popular films including Frozen, Toy Story, Cars, and more.  The parade will be similar, though not the exact same, as the one currently running at Hong Kong Disneyland.

© Disneyland Resort
Always popular at the Disney parks, Disneyland will also debut a new fireworks show, named Disneyland Forever.  The show will not only use fireworks, but also Disney's largest use of projection mapping ever along Main Street, and other special effects.  Viewing locations in other parts of the park will also feature adds-ons to enhance the experience for guests.  Best yet, the display will feature two original songs written by Disney legend Richard Sherman.

Finally, over at Disney California Adventure a new edition of World of Color will premier, with the tagline Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney.  The show will celebrate Walt Disney's dream of building Disneyland, emphasizing that anything is possible if you never give up on your dreams.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wicked Cyclone is Showing Off Some New Curves


© Six Flags New England
After a post-holiday lull in new steel track being added to Wicked Cyclone's structure, the pace of work has picked up once again.  And that means that we get to see the new extreme elements that are being added to the coaster's layout.

Above is a photo that the park shared, one of several, that shows off Wicked Cyclone's far side - near the New England SkyScreamer.  As the trains head toward this section they will head through the 200 degree stall (middle of the photo) and into another heavily overbanked turn (left).

This view is also great as it really shows off how much Wicked Cyclone is shorter (in most areas, anyway) than before.  But that's just fine, it means the elements will be encountered with even more speed, which leads to more forces and more fun!

The photos that Six Flags New England shared are good, but if you want some really great ones (great views of that 200 degree stall) click over to SFNEOnline's latest update.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Scott And Carol Present - A Six Flags St Louis Justice League Update.



Back in November 2014 we brought the official announcement of the new dark ride Justice League - Battle for Metropolis straight from the IAAPA floor in Orlando.


While the construction going on in St Louis  is not quite as dramatic as it is in Arlington, these photos from December 2014 show quite a bit has been. The water channel was been filled in and 


all of the walls and props from Scooby Doo's Scary Swamp Dark Ride have been removed.


These two photos, from the 1st week of January 2015, show quite a bit of progress is being made.


Drywall is beginning to be applied to the steel studs and the large empty building is beginning to resemble the rides floor plan. Thanks to Elizabeth at Six Flags St Louis for sending along the photos. We are looking forward to trekking to Six Flags St Louis to experience Justice League- Battle for Metropolis this Spring,


Monday, January 26, 2015

First Departures to Knott's Iron Reef Announced + Amusement Dark News


Knott's Berry Farm has announced that the park's new 4-D attraction, Voyage to the Iron Reef, will send its first passengers under the water on May 15th, 2015.

Located in the park's Boardwalk section, the ride will pit park visitors against an army of strange underwater creatures, where "underwater forests, disorienting ocean current tunnels, mysterious mechanical wreckage, high definition 3-D animation will surround guests at every turn."

To celebrate the ride's opening date, the park released this teaser advertisement - helping to build the mystery surrounding the journey.  The ride is media based with a gaming component, which combines "the fun of a theme park ride with the interactivity of high tech video games."  Riders will compete with one another to see who can get the highest score as they use their "freeze ray" to blast the underwater creatures trying to destroy Knott's.  All time high scores will be posted at the attraction's exit area.

You can read more about Voyage to the Iron Reef on Knott's official website, which is also where I noticed this little guy:


We first saw Cedar Fair trademark this name back in early 2013, and have since heard it briefly mentioned as the overall name of the dark ride initiative that Matt Ouimet is creating at the parks.  Almost like a 'brand' for the set of dark rides that are being built, with each one carrying its own theme.

I hadn't seen much more of it since then, so I'm surprised to see it on the new ride's webpage - complete with a fancy logo.  Low and behold, it's on Wonder Mountain's Guardian's page as well.  Hopefully this means the company is strengthening their stance on dark rides, with perhaps even more (elaborate ones) to come!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Aerial Antics: Nagashima Spa Land



Nagashima Spa Land is an interesting park, located in Japan and home to the tallest traditional-lift coaster in the world (at least until Fury 325 opens).  The park has a great selection of rides and coasters, and also offers a huge water park as well.


The park does not have 45 degree images available on Google, but recently updated pure aerial views.  So we shall make do with these.  Above is the giant double helix turnaround portion of Steel Dragon 2000, now operating with some nice looking B&M trains.  The ride's lifts extends up to 328 feet, the current record for that style of ride. 


The back part of the park features an expansive water area, which includes these two slide towers.  On the left is a very new slide from WhiteWater, which is a "fusion" ride combining a Boomerango and Manta.  On the right is the slide tower that features at least a dozen or more slides coming off of it!


One of Japan's few wooden coasters, this is White Cyclone.  It opened back in 1994 and is an Intamin ride.  The ride's track stretches over 5,500 feet, which is quite considerable for a wooden coaster.


Nagashima Spa Land's coaster collection also includes two real gems, at least in my opinion.  Here we see the Looping Star, and original Schwarzkopf coaster of the same name.  With relatively few of these rides still around, I hope this one lasts for years to come.


And the park actually offers another Schwarzkopf ride, this one a shuttle ride.  Creatively named Shuttle Loop, the ride uses a flywheel launch to send trains up each of the 137 foot towers, and of course through a vertical loops.

The park has a new coaster going in as well, this time a B&M flying coaster named Acrobat - a clone of Manta at SeaWorld Orlando.

To check out the rest of the park, click here to head to Google maps.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Take A Peek at Darien Lake's Planning Application for 2015 Ride


Darien Lake is planning to add a new Larson Giant Loop in 2015, and while still unannounced the park has gone to local planning authorities to seek approval for the addition.  The "big circle ride" (as the application describes) will replace the UFO flat ride that's been at Darien Lake for ages.

Granted the ride's planning documents are not especially exciting, but it's always interesting to see all the requirements parks have to submit, even for just a new flat ride on the same spot as another.

The location of the Giant Loop.
The project has an estimate cost of $1 million according to the documents, and is not planned to affect the park's attendance or traffic patterns.  The addition is certainly something that I see worth advertising, but not something that will drive loads of new visitors, at least it seems like that's how the park feels.

An old map that still shows Six Flags...
Many fans of parks think that it's fairly easy to build a new attraction, when it's actually often quite the opposite.  Granted parks, and the tax/local economic impact they have, tend to eventually get to build what they've planned - but not without plenty of red tape.  From property line set backs to flood plain considerations, there's plenty to cover.

Some detailed specifications of the new ride.
At least with this new attraction at Darien Lake, the only real site preparation will be to remove the UFO's foundations, according to documents.  The ride will be placed such that is it parallel to the Ferris wheel nearby.

Darien Lake is an interesting park that's had some difficulty getting a real identity down since Six Flags pumped it up, then dumped it.  Each little expansion is helping to bring things back to order, and the recent water park additions were much needed and a great move.  Hopefully the future remains bright for this park.

To check out the details of the submitted plans, here's a link to the .pdf documents.