Friday, March 30, 2007

Old Wildwater Kingdom Picture

EDSA Cloward Engineers have worked on designing water features for everyone from Universal Theme Parks to private Golf Clubs. They also did work for Dorney Park's Wildwater Kingdom back in the day. Their website has the above photo.

They firm did engineer work on the Wildwater River lazy river attraction, the former tank-tag, the former go-carts, and the former mini-golf course.

I am obsessed with this photo. There's so much to see! Let's start looking around. Click it for a bigger version, I actually made it a little bigger then it originally was.

· Very top of the photo you can see the parking lot that was between the two parks. This is now Talon and the main midway area of the park. Obviously the parks were still separate admission at this point.

· Look at the Wave Pool. Why is the water not going all the way up in the middle like that. Did this part used to be raised and thus make the water not reach up that far? I'm very confused.

· Upper left you can see the Tank Tag and Boat Tag. Did Tank Tag have a ramp on the side of it? You can see a raised portion but I don't remember that.

· No Aquablast! Also on the kiddie area there in the middle you can still see the kid's version of Riptide Run that was on the hill. Last I knew the slide was still there - just filled in with dirt and mulch with plants in it.

· Torpedo Tubes. Okay so in some newspaper articles back when these were added they always wrote that it had 3 slides. Well I had only ever known it to have two, what was there up until this past winter when the whole thing came down. But there were 3! Look:

I know that this looks like a green blob, but look on the right side of the loading area at the top of the tower. There's totally a third slide! It looks like a somewhat smaller, totally enclosed, tube that dives down, does a 360 degree spiral, then quickly empties into the pool below. I've never seen any other pictures of the ride that shows this. If anyone has any older pictures and wants to contribute by all means let me know!

· At the bottom is the mini-golf area. When that part of the park was separate admission I used to love to go play there during the summer.

· Bottom right corner - the big Pepsi Can! That thing was so funny, wasn't it also a waterfall that dumped into the lazy river? I remember that after it went up the local South Whitehall people decided that it was a sign or something and was too close to the road and eventually it was removed.

That's all I see - anyone else?

Dorney Zoning Update

This is now on South Whitehall Township's site:

Notice is hereby given that the Board of Commissioners of South Whitehall Township will meet in the Township Municipal Building located at 4444 Walbert Avenue, Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. for the purpose of conducting a public hearing and possible adoption of a proposed Ordinance pertaining to a rezoning petition filed by Cedar Fair L.P. to amend the South Whitehall Township Zoning Map which is summarized as follows:

An Ordinance Amending The South Whitehall Township Zoning Map And Zoning Ordinance To Modify The Boundaries Of Certain Areas Of The Commercial Recreation Zone That Provide For A Greater Height For Amusements As Conditional Uses

Now, the meeting minutes from the most recent planning commission meeting are not posted yet, so I still have no idea what happened then.

I'm not sure if this is even the same thing to be honest. This sounds like it could be a more general request to rezone the property so that Dorney no longer needs to have these meetings for new rides so far in advance, which in turns forces them to 'show their hand' rather early on.

I know that DP has tried this in the past and been shot down. If that's what this is I hope they get everything rezoned. It's fun to speculate and find hints as to what the park has planned, but really, it's a business disadvantage and must really stink if you are the park.

Anyone care to drop by and take a look at the plans anyway?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Cypress Gardens' Splash Island

Photo from AeroPhoto

This is an aerial picture of Splash Island waterpark at Cypress Gardens in Florida.

*trying to think of something nice to say*

Uhh, well all the grass around everything looks really green!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Valleyfair! 2007 Brochure

It's much better than it used to be, but still seems 'odd' when compared to the other Cedar Fair brochures. I can't exactly put my finger on it. Download it from Valleyfair!'s site.

Two Six Flags-ish Items

Two Six Flags items to mention:

This screen shot is from an investor presentation that Mark Shapiro gave a few days ago:

I never realized that when they sold the parks recently they left only one American property that is not Six Flags branded. I would assume Great Escape will get a new name pretty soon, perhaps even with a big steel coaster that used to live in Texas.

There's nothing earth-shattering in the presentation but it's worth a quick view if you like. It's a pdf file.

Item two is related to CNL properties, the real estate investment firm that purchased the parks from Six Flags. They seem to be ramping up their appraoch, as it was announced today that they are buying Magic Springs and Crystal Falls in Arkansas.

Basically they are doing the same thing they did with the Six Flags parks, as they are going to immediately lease the park back to the current management. This allows the managers to run the park the same but have a whole lot more financial flexability when it comes to expanding the park. There is an article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette worth reading.

I've been cheering for Magic Springs for a while now so this is good news for the park.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Dorney Park Fun Facts #8

I just found this pic while going though some older stuff:

Here you can see the little used additional part of the ride's logo. That bird claw thing (with blood!!) didn't last all that long.

I'm drawing a blank ... did Hydra get one of these signs after it was announced?

Edit: I asked that then looked around and found these two pics, which answer my own question. Not nearly as elaborate as Steel Force and Talon's signs, but it'll do.

The upper picture is from CoasterImage and the lower I can't seem to find. If it was yours let me know!

Carowinds is Open

So Carowinds has opened for the season as of this past Saturday, the 24th of March. By all accounts I've seen the park had a nice opening weekend.

The above photo, which is of the new sign for the old-but-new attraction for the season is from a photo trip report that can be found here. It's worth a read.

The Charlotte Observer also has an article on opening weekend. It's found here. The highlights are as follows:

~ Opening day was one of the park's busiest in its history
~ The park spent $3 million for 2007
~ Borg is 'safer than ever before' now

That's all. I'm sad that the park opened and they still haven't put up their 2007 park map yet. How very Six Flags of them.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dorney Park 2007 Season Update #7

Still not a ton going on, but a few little things. Here goes.

Still standing. If they keep tearing out parts of it before you know it the thing will fall over on its own!

Nothing to see here. I'm thinking more and more that any changes that were planned for this area have been pushed off due to something else impacting the area. (see Idle Hands post)

They're still doing footings and moving dirt and stuff for Aqua Racer.

A better view of the area. Still nothing earth shattering though.

Last view of the area. They were working when I took these photos, which is a Saturday.

On another note, Water Works is getting a paint job. This is great news, since it has needed it badly for years now. Plus with more attention to the area with the new slides this will probably be an even busier area come summer.

That's all for now!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Idle Hands...

...are the devil's playthings:


Dorney Park Fun Facts #7

Let's take a peek at two of the more recently lost Dorney Park Rides.

First, the Skyride:
My memories of this were of it stopping while you were on it for loading purposes and being scared out of my wits. (Hey, I was a kid!) I also remember being spit at by kids that were on it. Can't say that I miss that!

Next, the Paratrooper:
Honestly I'm surprised that this location is still some trees and landscaping, but anyway, this actually was one of, if not, my fav rides at the park. It looked pretty nice at night as well.

Ah, memories.

OMG - Michigan's Adventure Logo-ing

Now they are using this, which is a combo of the new Cedar Fair style AND the old one by using the old Snoopy. Talk about an identity crisis.

It's certainly better than this:

But not better than this:

I don't know anymore, really. Just make up your mind.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Six Flags News: New England's Thomas Town and Johnny Rockets

MassLive has an article today about Six Flags New England being granted approval to build their Thomas Town. The article states that the area will go on "an existing parking lot," and will be "adjacent to the park's main entrance." From this, I posted where I'm guessing the area will go in the picture above. I don't know for sure, but that is what makes sense to me. The article also lists the attraction as opening in June.

June!? Wow Mr. Shaprio - that's right when the season opens, right? Eh, anyway...

Six Flags has also put out another press release about a new "alliance" with Johnny Rockets restaurants. In addition to marketing programs, Six Flags will open Johnny Rockets restaurants in 26 of its parks over the next three years. 2007 will see the restaurants opening at Great America, Over Texas, Magic Mountain, Great Adventure, Fiesta Texas, and St. Louis.

I wonder how far Mark Shapiro will take marketing alliances and the parks. I don't see why the Six Flags parks do not have a bathroom sponsor yet. I'm serious, paper towels, toilet paper anyone? Just wait.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

MGM Grand Adventures Aerial Pics

I intended a while back to post a picture of what's currently left of the MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park via Windows Live Local. And then I forgot. And then today I remembered and went to lookin' and found that if you move in on an area in Live Local from a certain direction you can get older pictures to pop up. I've done this before (Geauga Lake, for example) but it was a nice surprise today. Here's a composite of the whole park:

You'll have to click for the larger image to see everything. While I do not have a date of the photo, it must have been pretty shortly before they bulldozed everything and started the condo/hotel towers that are there now.

Regardless, as you can see the pool area is there along with the convention center. That's not new though, those were already going up when I was there in 1997. I put some outlines of the attractions that were located where these things are currently.

The rest of the park is somewhat intact. The hardware for the river ride, coaster, sky coaster, and log flume are gone though, but that's becuse they've been trying to sell them forever. I'll let the labels speak for themselves, but you can see all sorts of the parks' details still standing.

Here's a close up show of the river rapids, Grand Canyon Rapids, just because I really liked the ride. You can easily see all the theming that was along the course. You can also see some of the footers for the coaster when it was extended over the river ride. The long section that is enclosed was filled with scenes and animation, and ended with the mine 'exploding' around you just as you left.

This one I happened to stumble across as well. It's later on, when they had cleared more than half of what was left of the park to start on the condo towers. Sad looking, if you ask me.

And here's a shot of what is there in the most recent picture. You can see that the maintenance building is still there, along with the building and facade for the Haunted Mine and the bumper cars. Oh, and the building from one of the food locations is standing. That's about all though.

In press photos for the Signature towers that have recently opened they show what was left of the park as a nice area covered in trees. I can't tell if they trashed what was left or just photo shopped the image, so I'm not sure if these last bits are still around.

Well, that's all I found. If anyone has other images or knows of more, please by all means let me know!

Dorney Height Requirement Changes

Check out some new changes in rider height requirements for a few Dorney rides:

Dominator is now 48", down from 52".
Hang time is now 54", down from 56".
Wild Mouse is now 44" and an adult up from 42" and an adult, or 48" alone.

I know that Carowinds posted a whole list of ride height changes, but I just noticed these few for Dorney. I think some new seats are going on Dominator that caused the change in height requirement, but I have no idea about Hang Time or Wild Mouse's changes.

Perhaps the park plans to run Wild Mouse this season with an insurance inspector in the station at all times. That way, the ride's interesting operational procedures can be even more strictly observed.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Steel Force Construction Diary #8

So the park is open at they are rushing to get the ride done. Let's continue.

Here we are, still on May 10th, 1997. As I said in the last update, here is a better view of the station area. As you can see, the station still needed a roof on it. The entrance plaza was complete though, along with the ride's sign and queue.

Here's the other side of the plaza. You can see that the on-ride photo location is complete, and you can get an even better view of the station work going on.

Here's the mid-course brake run on May 16th, 1997. The supports were up, but the track was not placed on them yet.

The other side. They were placing track while the park was open. It looks like almost all of the supports were up, there were just a couple left to go up in that gap. This was actually taken two days later, on May 18th, 1997.

This was taken on May 23rd, 1997. As you can see, Steel Force's track was complete! It happened sometime between the 19th, and 22nd, but I don't have the exact date. Also take note that the supports in the background were painted white, a primer for their final gray color.

Now that the ride is complete, all that's left to do is open it! That'll be next time. I have the opening day stuff, along with a series of (I think) cool before and after photos of the park that really show the changes that Steel Force made. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Valleyfair!'s Renegade

How sweet is Valleyfair!'s new GCII wooden coaster, Renegade, looking? I really love the location of the ride and how it winds out into an undeveloped area yet sits right on the midway. I'm sure it will be one heck of a ride as well.

Valleyfair! has been posting photo updates frequently lately, I thought it was time to give them and their new ride some love. Check it all out on Valleyfair!'s site.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Geauga's Head Spin Color Change

I contacted the park to find out if Head Spin would receive new colors during it's painting, and they confirmed that it indeed will. It was explained to me as "tropical coral with matching accent colors." You can take that as you will, but I take it to mean pretty much this:
As many have suspected since this sign went up, I take it that this is the color palette for the ride's paint job. It will certainly liven up the area!

The above photo is from Geauga Lake Today, one of the two leading Geauga Lake sites on the net. They just broke the news that Steel Venom is starting to come down! Check them out!

Disneyland Paris Decorates Castle for 15th

They're at it again! To help celebrate Disneyland Paris' 15th anniversary, the folks over in France have decorated the park's beautiful castle with some Disney characters. The characters include Chip & Dale, Donald, Jiminy Cricket, Goofy, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Pluto, and Daisy, each of which are working on placing a birthday candle on the castle. I'm not sure if there are more to come, as I would think there should be 15 characters with 15 candles.

You can see plenty of close up photos and more over at DLRP, which, I must say, is an amazing, up-to-date site for the whole Disneyland Paris resort.

Knott's Great America

Looks like Dorney Park accidentally spilled the beans on this one, this is from their season pass page:
I wonder when the official announcement will be? Anyone heard anything?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Great America 2007 Map / Knott's?

Great America's new 2007 map has been posted to their website. It features the new wave pool, Great Barrier Reef. Oddly, this attraction has not even been formally announced yet. Not sure what is going on with the park in that regard.

Perhaps it has something to do with this:

I guess they are changing their name. It makes sense as far as Knott's recognition goes in California. I suppose we will have to play wait and see.

New Dorney Logo / Rider Guide

I finally came across a version of Dorney's 'new' logo - the Cedar Fair standard one. I mean we all knew what to expect, but I'm still not in love with it.

It came from the 2007 Rider Safety Guide, which is now on Dorney's site. You can download the PDF file here.

There's no real surprises that I found in there, other than the name of the shows this year are Boogie Down Band!, Rewind!, and Pulse!. What's with all the exclamation points?! Oh and the Camp Snoopy show as well. And it can be confirmed (like we needed it) that Halloweekends will not expand at all this year, again.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Dorney Park Fun Facts #6

Here are some older pictures of Laser before it got new trains and a new paint job to it's current green and purple.

Sorry this one is much darker than I wanted. I tried to lighten it up but it just looked weird that way. I loved those fair-style light fixtures that were on the ride back in the day.

Sorry this one is blurry, but it was like that from when I took it. Don't get me wrong, I like the flood lights the ride has now but wasn't the lighting on the loops awesome?!

I found some more older pics of the ride that'll show up on here later.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Kings Island 2007 Brochure

I haven't seen this on the web yet, it may be but not to my knowledge, so I thought I'd add it.

That's a much more 'complete' Firehawk logo than I've seen thus far.

I really like that they are celebrating the park's 35th in some small way on the brochure. Another nice brochure, I think!