Saturday, May 2, 2009

Daily Spin 5.2.09

© 2009 Idlewild and SoakZone

Idlewild Park was the recipient of some unsolicited (but surely welcome!) fanfare this week, compliments of Wikipedia. The Idlewild and Soak Zone entry was Wikipedia's featured article on May 1, landing it front and center on the home page! In case you missed it, you can check out a screenshot on the park's blog. In other Idlewild news, the park has announced that its classic Rollo Coaster is being equipped to offer on-ride photos for the first time in 2009. As you can see in the image above, construction of the photo booth at the ride's exit is well underway.

NewsPlusNotes was not the only web site to get a facelift this year! Lakemont Park, Beech Bend Park, and Conneaut Lake Park have all relaunched their web sites recently, and I must say they all look fantastic! Not only are these new sites flashier and easier to navigate, but they also represent a continued commitment to keep these wonderful traditional parks both operational and competitive in today's tough economic climate.

Speaking of Beech Bend Park, it turns out their new 2009 ride--a Sea Dragon--has quite the interesting history. The park's web site confirms that this is the very same Sea Dragon which used to operate at none other than Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch! If that's not a reason to visit Beech Bend this summer, I don't know what is...

The good folks at Coaster Crew recently organized yet another successful Single Riders event, this year at Kings Dominion on April 26. The Single Riders are a charitable team of coaster enthusiasts who raise money for Give Kids the World Village by participating in coaster riding marathons. This year's event raised over $3000, with riders logging over 400 laps on Dominator, Shockwave, Anaconda, and Rebel Yell. This is a wonderful cause and we applaud their efforts! You can check out photos as well as a video of this year's event on Coaster Crew's web site.

Perhaps coaster marathoning isn't your thing, but fortunately the industry continues to provide us with many other opportunities to support a good cause. In a new twist on the "First Rider" auction, Cedar Point is holding a "First Anniversary Rider" auction in celebration of Magnum XL-200's 20th anniversary. All proceeds will benefit the Firelands Chapter of the American Red Cross. See the official auction web site for more details.

Does the name "Southern Star Amusement, Inc." ring a bell for anyone? If you'll recall, this is the development company which expressed an interest in taking over the shuttered Six Flags New Orleans property last year, and it looks like they've decided to give it another go. According to this press release, Southern Star has hopes of rehabbing and improving the existing rides and facilities and adding some water park rides, should their acquisition efforts be successful. Obviously at this point it's all talk, so we'll have to wait and see if the second time's the charm.