Sunday, September 14, 2014

Zamperla's Plans for Rye Playland Would Include Record Breaking Ride


© Rye Playland
The Board of Legislators recently met with both companies still interested in running Rye Playland, Central Amusements Int. and Standard Amusement Inc. to go over their proposals for the classic amusement park's future.

This article is packed with interesting details, with some new information coming to light as well.

Central Amusements (Zamperla) wants to bring attendance to seven or eight hundred thousand, up from three hundred fifty thousand the park does today.  Their would put more effort on theming rides they build, and also work to preserve the park's art deco style.  They know a marquee ride is needed, proposing the world's tallest pendulum ride or something big like a Air Race ride.  If built, the pendulum ride would be the largest by ten feet - and I think Zamperla's Giant Discovery pendulum ride is already the tallest at 147 feet.  Central Amusements would work to add new rides each year to build the park up over time, using a big new ride as the starting point.

Standard Amusement has a slightly different approach, wanting to add several new rides at once to really get the park on the map, and to bring back old visitors to see what was new.  They see running Playland as an important part of preserving the history of it and want to see it shine like it did decades ago.

Both companies have their own funding in place, and both also want to expand the park's season by including Halloween events.  Central Amusements also runs the rides at Luna Park in Coney Island, citing that they've increased revenues from $8.5 million in 2010 to $22 million in 2014.

Legislators sound like they really want to get one of the two operators (the two tried to make a deal to work together but couldn't meet on the terms) in place for Playland's 2015 season, but time is quickly ticking by.  Here's hoping!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Frozen Characters Taking Over Maelstrom at Epcot


© Disney
Announced via the Disney Parks Blog by Tom Staggs himself, Epcot will be receiving a new attraction based on the super-mega-popular film Frozen.  The attraction, which was announced to travel agents as opening in early 2016, will replace Maelstrom at the Norway Pavilion.

Virtually no details of the attraction, let alone concept art of any sort, were released with the news.  I would assume that the cause of the release was more to let everyone know that Maelstrom will close for good on October 5th, 2014 since that is only three-ish weeks away.  The story also mentions that a new "royal greeting area" for the Frozen crew will be a part of the project.

Maelstrom is a dark boat ride that tells of Norway's history using various scenes and animatronic figures.  It opened in 1988 and is one of only a few rides located within the various country themed Pavilions in World Showcase.

Hopefully as time goes by Disney will release some additional information on exactly what the ride will hold!


Playland at the PNE Poised for Multi-Year Expansion



Playland amusement park, located in Vancouver, Canada at the Pacific National Exhibition has announced plans to embark on a 13 year, $80 million renovation schedule that will modernize and expand the park.

When complete, Playland will see an additional eight acres of rides and attractions that will have a "softer" more appealing look to them.  Playland is a part of Hastings Park, which is also where the yearly Pacific National Exhibition fair is held, along with the nearby Hastings Racecourse and Coliseum.  During the annual fair the number of rides on property increases dramatically, but Playland also operates as its own facility during the typical amusement park season - even through Halloween.

The park's current map of attractions.
This news story about the expansion shows that the park generates $10 million in revenue on its own, another $10 million during the fair, and $3 million from Halloween.  The expansion will only grow those revenues over time, leading to more success for Hastings Park at large.  No details on new rides that would be added were given.

Playland first opened in 1958, and currently is home to two large roller coasters.  The Coaster is a wooden ride that dates back to the park's opening, and Corkscrew is a Vekoma ride with, as you would expect, two corkscrew inversions.  Both rides, along with Playland in general, have been in many films and TV shows, due to the popularity of filming in Vancouver.

The expansion plans still need to be approved by city counsil, but that isn't expected to be a problem.  I can't wait to see what direction the park goes in, could we see some larger rides coming on board to make a major impact?


Six Flags New England Tops Off Wicked Cyclone


© Six Flags New England
Talk about a beauty shot!  The top of the lift and first drop have very quickly been added to the Wicked Cyclone at Six Flags New England.  Since announcing the ride a few weeks ago the theme park has been working - and fast - to get the new steel track installed.  The remaining supports from the original Cyclone's lift hill have been added to in order to create the ride's thrilling new profile.

© Six Flags New England
After heading up the 109 foot tall lift hill, the trains will plunge down a ten story drop at an amazing 78 degrees at a top speed of 55 miles per hour.  This photo shows just how steep that first drop appears now that it has been completed.

The rest of Wicked Cyclone will feature plenty of air-time, crazy banks, along with three inversions including the world's first 200 degree stall element.  When complete, the ride will contain 3,320 feet of steel track.

For more photos of the recently completed first drop, check out Six Flags New England's official Instagram account.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Valleyfair's Soak City Water Park Expanding in 2015


© Valleyfair
Valleyfair has announced their plans for the park's 2015 season, which will see a large expansion in Soak City, the property's water park.

Seen above in a concept drawing released by Valleyfair, the expansion will consist of two new additions - one for thrill seekers that will tower over the park, and one aimed at keeping smaller visitors entertained for hours.

“This expansion will give guests more choices in how they enjoy Soak City Waterpark,” said Dave Frazier, Vice President and General Manager of Valleyfair. “Whether guests are looking for relaxation at Barefoot Beach or want to seek out thrills on the Breakers slide complex, the new Soak City Waterpark will appeal to every age and interest level.”


Those looking for an exciting ride will love the new Breakers slide tower, featuring six separate water slides.  Two different styles of slides will feed off of the tower, though both appear to be body slides.  Breakers Plunge is two separate slides that stand an impressive 90 feet tall, with a very steep drop that gives riders a sense of free fall.

For those looking for an even wilder start to their slide, Breakers Pipeline will be perfect.  These four slides - two appear to be enclosed and two open - start with a trap door plummet from 65 feet in the air.  Two slides feature a twisting path downward, while two are a straight shoot down.

From the description provided by the park, it seems as though the Breakers tower will be located on part of the former Hydroblaster site, next to Soak City's wave pool.


Kids will have a great new place to play next year when Barefoot Beach opens.  Spanning nearly an acre, the attraction is an interactive splash pad made for all sizes of kids.  Barefoot Beach will have "multiple water play elements such as small slides, aim-and-spray water shooters and jets of streaming water that spray up from the ground and cascade down from overhead."

The attraction sounds similar to those previously announced at a handful of Cedar Fair parks for 2015, and is certain to be a popular spot in Soak City for years to come. 

For more on Valleyfair's 2015 announcement, check out the park's website along with this YouTube video.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Waldameer Showing Off Future Expansion Plans



Waldameer Park & Water World has had a significant water park expansion planned for several years now, with the first stage opening next summer.

The park released the above image, showing the master plan for Water World's growth, which is focused around a large family wave pool.  The wave pool will be the main addition for Waldameer's 2015 season as previously announced, but the plans show other additions in the pipeline.

Obviously the expansion will see ProSlide heavily involved, as they're name is all over the concept.  A large new children's area will eventually be built, complete with several sets of small slides and a water fortress.  The area adjacent to the wave pool will feature two sets of cabanas, and there's a new bowl slide to be added to an existing slide tower.  The new area will offer other guest amenities such as changing rooms and food service outlets.


For comparison purposes, here's the expansion area right now - most of the growth will replace parking spaces.  To allow for the park to still have a home for its visitor's vehicles, land that was purchased adjacent to the park in 2012 will be used.  Some has already been cleared and turned into parking, while plans are set - pending a final date - to demolish the Inn at Presque Isle to free even more space.

In anticipation of more crowds, Waldameer will no longer be closed on Mondays and switch to a seven day a week operating schedule next year.

This expansion will mean so much for Waldameer and Water World, especially considering the popular of water parks in general these days.  Hopefully the additional attendance and revenues will translate into even bigger expansions down the road!