Sunday, June 30, 2013

From The Vault: Castles 'n' Coasters 1997 Brochure

Here's a fun one that has been buried away for a long time, a 1997 brochure from Castles 'n' Coasters, located in Phoenix, Arizona.  The actual brochure is not date specific, but it was sent to me that year so let's go with that!

The park is a mix of amusement park and family entertainment center, and obviously there is a castle theme going on somewhere in there, too.  The park's small size means they pack a lot of attractions into the boundaries, and also as the name states that includes a couple of roller coasters.

The park opened in 1982 and changed names a few times as additions were make and new attractions opened.  This page of the brochure describes the park as Arizona's "newest" park - I'm pretty sure the list of amusement parks in Arizona is a really short one however!

The park has two roller coaster, Desert Storm which is featured prominently here, and also the Patriot.  Both were created by Hopkins.  Desert Storm has two loops so it is aimed more toward thrill seekers, while the Patriot is a smaller family ride.

The center of the brochure is a map of the park that shows all the rides and attractions that were offered as of that time.  You can see that the mini golf courses take up a lot of real estate, but as an amusement park / family entertainment center they are a must. 

The log flume, named Splashdown, has a really interesting description in that it says its theming includes a logging town, African elephants, and a Polynesian village.  What!

There were also bumper boats, go-karts, and some flat rides like a Carousel, bumper cars, Sea Dragon, and a Magic Carpet.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Massive Star Wars Expansion for Disney's Hollywood Studios?

© Bing Maps
The Orlando Business Journal ran a story about how the rumors of a Star Wars themed land possibly coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios might be much more than that.

According to the author, the addition of the Star Wars franchise, or I should say expansion of it since Star Tours has been there for some time now, could take place in multiple areas of the park.  The changes could include new attractions and rethemed existing rides, not necessarily in one 'land' but instead located throughout the park.

Not that the whole park would become dedicated solely to Star Wars, but spending a ton of money on adding and changing things that dramatically would certainly draw some attention.  Let's face it, some sort of plan needs to be in place to combat the next round of Potter coming to Universal next year.

If you start to think about the park's current lineup and what could be rethemed things get interesting.  I'll let your own imagination run with that, but the possibilities do seem large.  Just don't touch Tower of Terror!

Cedar Fair Early Season Update + A Look at Their Plans and Developments

Cedar Fair recently had an investor presentation / early season update, at which they were able to report some encouraging figures for the 2013 season so far.

They also covered a lot of different aspects of their operations, which contains some interesting information.

So far this year, through June 23rd to be specific, the company's revenues are up 5%, or 18 million.  Cedar Point, California's Great America, and Knott's Berry Farm seem to be leading the pack in that regard.  Attendance is up 1%, and out of park revenues are up 5%.

These charts are pretty telling as to who the big players are!
Additionally, season pass sales are up 20% compared to this time last year, and group bookings and resort reservations are up as well.

Cedar Fair's e-commerce platform has grown by 50% since it started in early 2012 - and has also helped make a commitment to visits.  For instance, about a third of all Fast Lane passes are sold online for a specific date... meaning that guests are quite likely to then show up that day to utilize them.

Some facts about the park's guests were also revealed, such as 9 out of 10 visitors have been to the parks before.  Also, 40% of the yearly attendance is from season passes, with the expectation that that figure will grow.

Cedar Point is the largest regional park they have, drawing guests from all 50 states.  They also have the highest margins and in park per capital in the chain.  The presentation points out that placemaking is in the works for the park, refreshing areas of the 144 year old park.  Also a "focus on rides and attractions the entire family will enjoy."

Knott's Berry Farm is viewed as the "park of the locals" in the crowded Southern California market.  It sounds like placemaking will continue here as well, much like we just saw with the redevelopment of the Boardwalk.

Canada's Wonderland is quite a force up North - their season pass attendance is over 50% of the total for the year.  That's very significant!  Kings Island is also mentioned as being able to benefit from the "introduction of additional thrill attractions" - probably like the one they are building right now!  Interestingly, Carowinds is listed as a park that is "undersized" relative to its market area - sounds like there are still plans to expand that property.

As far as Resorts go, it seems that new hotels are not something we will see going up, but Campgrounds might make sense.  They're listed as a "low-cost" addition that could go into parks with lots of empty land.  Other efforts by the chain include upgrading "streetmosphere" along the parks midways, and new revenue streams such as the popular Plinko games that let guests win front of the line passes.

How about Food?  They've actually created a Corporate Foods department to get things better organized and create standards across all parks.  Probably a good move if you ask me!  2013 is the first year of trying to redo menus at all parks, and so far food per capita are up 4%.

Premium Park offerings are being rolled out, and some have already become quite successful like Fast Lane.  Fast Lane Plus seems to be working, too, at the parks with the largest thrill rides.

There was also a neat section on Planning and Design, which gives an idea of how the rides we love come into existence.  The focus on selecting new rides is building to scale (a ride that fits a park's size), a long-term look at how a ride will fit in, and a strong identity for big new rides.

Having a in-house design team also helps save costs and better understand what a park really needs.  In fact, the "soft cost" of designing rides at Cedar Fair is among the lowest in the industry.  They also do "cost control through combined purchases, duplicated successes, and 'keeping it simple.'"  That's a pretty interesting, and telling, statement!  New attractions are also designed to be "memorable, repeatable, reprogrammable, and unforgettable."  Reprogrammable is another really telling word to use!

Placemaking, mentioned earlier, actually got a lot of attention in the Design and Planning segment.  "Placemaking is forefront in the development process as we build an attraction or area that the guest is able to identify with."  It sounds like they're taking careful consideration to not just slap down a new ride, but to develop the park around the new ride to be refreshed, modernized, and comfortable.  Smart if you ask me - the presentation shows Cedar Point's new main gate as a prime example of this.

Similarly the Boardwalk at Knott's was a big part of this effort as well.  Just look at how nice that turned out!

Also at Knott's the total refurbishment of the park's Log Flume was emphasized, returning a classic ride to its former glory while respecting the history of the park.

The upgraded point of sale systems that went into all the park are already reaping many benefits, such as allowing room charges at Cedar Point, recognizing tickets purchased on phones for items like food, and the new FastPay program.

As if all this information is not enough, there's even a huge part devoted to the recent marketing programs.  These include the push for season pass sales and other add-ons, and even how creating "The Farm" as a place for locals is intentional and part of Knott's marketing plan.

In all this presentation is almost 140 pages, and you can check out the whole thing on Cedar Fair's website.  It's very interesting stuff!  Things seem to still be looking up for the company, and all this has me looking forward to their future more than ever.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Legoland Florida's New Island in the Sky!

With the World of Chima's grand opening just a week away, Legoland Florida has added the top section of the floating Mount Cavora.  A part of a tradition "topping out" ceremony, the America flag was placed on the top of the structure as it was hoisted into place.

The top of the floating mountain will stand 55 feet in height, making its presence well known over the new World of Chima themed area.  The structure is located in an island section of the Quest for CHI, the main attraction in the area.  The ride will be an interactive splash battle where guests can blast water at objects along the route as well as bystanders.

Legoland Florida released some fun facts about the mountain as well as part of today's ceremony. 

• The "rock" weighs 7,500 pounds, or more than a large SUV, and is 40 feet wide and 23 feet tall on its own.
• The support structure will pump 1,000 gallons of water per minute out of the faces carved into the rock and onto the ride path below. 
• The faces on the structure represent the animal tribes that are a part of the Legends of Chima storyline.

The World of Chima expansion represents a major investment in the park, and is also the first time that the brand is being used in a Lego theme park.  Visitors will find the Quest for CHI water ride, the Speedorz Arena, Cragger's Swamp play area, and can see a 4-D Chima movie when the land debuts.

The park has also released their new map which is now featuring the addition of the World of Chima.  I can't believe how much the park has expanded in such a short amount of time!

All photos © Legoland Florida + Chip Litherland Photography

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Kentucky Kingdom Reopening Final + News on New Rides

As expected, today it was officially announced that Kentucky Kingdom will reopen on May 24th, 2014.  After a long struggle and four years of sitting around idly, the theme park seems to have finally made it to the point where we may feel confident that visitors will once again have the chance to experience its rides and slides.

Part of the announcement of the reopening also included the news that when the park opens next year it will see the largest expansion in its history.  For starters, a $7 million new roller coaster will help draw a lot of attention, though all details are being kept under wraps for the time being.

The water park, Hurricane Bay, will see a massive $12 million expansion that will include "a wave lagoon (an attraction the whole family will love!), three wet and wild water slide complexes, and an adventure river that speeds you along at six times the rate of the water park’s existing lazy river."  The expansion will be located where Change once stood, but utilize an additional four acres on top of that.

The existing water attraction will also reopen, along with the majority of the park's amusement rides including the "Thunder Run wooden coaster, the Mile High Falls giant spill ride, the 150-foot-tall Giant Wheel, the rapid river raft ride, and the Thrill Park Theatre."

In 2015 the park will totally renovate and reopen T2, a Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster.  The following year, 2016, the intertwined Twisted Twins will reopen as a "much superior ride."  New rides will be added each season after that, per the lease that has been signed for the property.  The initial outlay of cash in the first three years will total $43.5 million.

A previous plan included a $15 million B&M roller coaster, but it seems that is not the direction they plan to go next year with the now announced $7 million ride.

The park has launched a new website which promises updates as the work continues.  You can also check out this news story with video that details some of the changes and additions.

New Big Wheel Turns Over Pigeon Forge

I think it goes without saying that there are a lot of great places in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, to get nice views of the surrounding mountains and landscape, but now there's an even better vantage point available: the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel.

Standing an impressive 200 feet tall, the Wheel is a part of a new development named The Island in Pigeon Forge.  The retail, dining and entertainment center is located just off the busy Parkway that is lined with tourist attractions, though with that giant wheel towering over the area I don't think it will be hard to locate.

© The Island in Pigeon Forge
The Wheel has fully enclosed gondolas that seat up to eight people at a time - the fact that they are enclosed also allows them to be climate controlled.  A trip on the wheel includes four revolutions and lasts longer than your typical Ferris wheel due to its larger size.  Especially impressive at night, the Wheel is lit up with tons of LED lights that create a visual spectacle.

For those who really want to go all out, there is a VIP cabin available as well.  Seating only four passengers at a time, it includes plush leather seats and a special glass floor - that last part might make for quite a thrill for some riders!

The Island in Pigeon Forge also features a Carousel and plenty of shopping and dining, and is filling up fast with more tenants.  There are also plans for a large Las Vegas style fountain show as well, according to this article.  When completed it sounds like this could be a great place to stop by after a day at Dollywood!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Big News in the Plan to Reopen Kentucky Kingdom

© Google
Ed Hart and his business partners have announced that they have secured enough private funding to move ahead with the reopening of Kentucky Kingdom next Summer.

The deal will be finalized tomorrow, at which time more details may be available.  The group behind the redevelopment, Kentucky Kingdom LLLC, will spend $43.5 million to reopen the theme park - which has sat closed for four years.

The partners in the plan will invest $28.5 million ($18.5 in equity and $10 million from a newly acquired loan) and they have borrowed $15 million from the Bank of Kentucky.  That's a lot of non-bank equity to be put up, so they must be quite serious about this reopening.

This most recent plan also calls for $36 million to be spent on the first year, with $7.5 million spent in years two and three.  You can read more on the breaking story here, and I would expect more news tomorrow!

Bay Beach and the Pippin Reach A Million

© Bay Beach Amusement Park
Congratulations are in order for Bay Beach Amusement Park - this past weekend the Zippin Pippin carried its 1,000,000th rider!

The 'new' Zippin Pippin opened at the park in 2011 (full coverage from Scott & Carol) and became an instance success.  The number of riders in the first two years smashed expectations.  The park had hoped for 200k riders a year, and at the start of year three they broke a million.  You can do the math on that one!

Ashley Jolley of Illinois was the lucky one millionth rider, and was awarded a front seat ride with the Mayor along with a prize pack of goodies.

I'm happy the coaster has become such a success for Bay Beach Amusement Park and the city of Green Bay, maybe reincarnating Elvis' favorite coaster was good luck... or perhaps people just love a classic wooden coaster?  Either way it is great news!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tokyo Disneyland Resort Announces New Shows for 2014 and 2015

© Disney
The Tokyo Disneyland Resort has announced two new large-scale entertainment additions for the years of 2014 and 2015.  Known for not being afraid to spend the big bucks to have the best there is, we can count on these shows being spectacular.

The first is "Once Upon A Time" at Tokyo Disneyland, which will "richly use projection mapping technology" to create a nighttime show on the park's Cinderella Castle.  The park points out that this is the first time that digital mapping will be used in the Tokyo parks, so visitors will be treated to something entirely new to the resort when it opens.

The photo above is a press image of Disney Dreams, which shows curently at Disneyland Paris.  Once Upon A Time will be similar to the show, using the aforementioned mapping projections along with special effects and pyrotechnics.  The Disney Dreams show looks incredible, so I have high expectations for the Tokyo version!

The new production has a budget of 2 billion yen (over $10 million) and has an expected opening of Spring or Summer 2014.

© Disney
In 2015 there will be a new show at Tokyo DisneySea in the Mermaid Lagoon Theater.  The theatre currently shows a Little Mermaid production, but will undergo renovations including an upgraded stage and lightning for the new version.  Still having a Little Mermaid theme, the show will also see new display screens installed behind the audience seating area, creating a more immersive experience.

The show will see King Triton hosting a musical concert (seen above in the concept art - click here for a cleaner version) also with popular characters from the film such as Ariel, Flounder and Sebastian.

The current Under the Sea production will close on April 6, 2014 in order for the new show to open in the Spring of 2015.

The resort is known for adding multiple attractions at a time, so there could easily still be more addition announced for upcoming years as well.

Coney Island Parachute Jump Tower Debuts New Lights

© Luna Park
A famous Coney Island landmark, the Parachute Jump Tower, recently debuted its new lighting package - and wow - what a sight it is to see!  The 250 foot tall tower was built for the 1939 World's Fair, then moved to Coney Island, and has stood as an icon for the area since.

The tower, which has not operated as an amusement ride in a long, long time, was given 8,000 LED lights to make it shine in the night sky.  The tower is located next to the new B&B Carousel, which just opened not too long ago.  The lights are choreographed to a soundtrack, which makes the display even more impressive.

The recently announced Thunderbolt Reborn will also be located near the Parachute Tower, making this end of the boardwalk even more busy.  You can see more photos and video of the tower in this news story, and from Luna Park.

Monday, June 24, 2013

New Nighttime Water Show Opens at Canada's Wonderland

Canada's Wonderland has taken their nighttime show and kicked it up a notch, just recently premiering Starlight Spectacular - Illumination of Water.

The park has been showing a version of Starlight Spectacular for a couple seasons now, using the giant mountain in the center of the park as a projection screen.  This summer they have upgraded the fountains that line the park's main thoroughfare and added even more new lighting.  The result is a nighttime show that is choreographed to music and sure to give guests a great way to end their day at the park.

The above video was produced by CWMania and gives a nice preview of the show, and also an interview with the park about the production.  There's a chance the show could also debut at Kings Dominion and Kings Island in the future, since they have the same fountain setup.  I think the addition of the fountains is great, I'm quite impressed each year by the level of live entertainment at Canada's Wonderland.

Scott And Carol Present - Wisconsin Dells Waterslide-athon At Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park

Ronald McDonald house Charities teamed with nearly 60 organizations in Wisconsin Dells along with the McDonald Owners and Operators of South Central Wisconsin to help raise funds for Ronald McDonald Charities, who operate the individual houses for families with children requiring medical care from specialists far from home. The Laskaris family, of Mt. Olympus, are shown here with the Tomaszewski family, who experienced help from the Ronald McDonald House first hand, and of course Ronald, whose hair was perfect.

Coupons were distributed offering special deals for admission to the 8th Annual Waterslide-athon in Wisconsin Dells. Ronald invited people to join both him and Nick for a bonding splash while at Mt. Olympus. This is the before picture... 

...and at the beginning of the downpour...If you look closely, you notice that none of the Laskaris ladies chose to participate. They were maybe concerned about their hair? 

...and the full effect of the tipping bucket at Mt. Olympus. Hundreds of gallons of water washed aways the cares of the families for just a little while when they could concentrate on just having some much needed fun, without thinking of their own families' issues.

Nick and Ronald figured we are already wet, let's go on a slide. Nick was very caught up in the moment, due to his family having experienced medical issues in the past, so during the announcement that they had raised $25,000, he decided that he didn't like odd numbers and pledged a personal contribution to increase the total to $30,000.

A great time was had by all the families and volunteers who traveled from all over Wisconsin to attend the event, and important funds were raised to help others in need. Interestingly, Ronald's hair looked no different before or after the water effects. Congratulations to all who participated.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

From The Vault: Cypress Gardens 1988 Brochure

I just happened across this old Cypress Gardens brochure, from 1988 to be exact, and thought that it would be a great fit for From The Vault.  Granted the park at the time had no big rides, but the long history of the park and its importance in Florida attractions still makes it interesting.

I had to look up the history of the park to understand why Cypress Gardens was being advertised along with Sea World of Florida and Boardwalk and Baseball (see the back panel).  A book publisher named HBJ purchased the three properties in the mid 1980s, and operated them together until selling the three to Anheuser-Busch at the close of the decade.  Boardwalk and Baseball was quickly closed for good - it never really found any success - and Cypress Gardens and Sea World continued to operate.  Down the road Cypress Gardens was sold, and we all know how SeaWorld has continued to thrive and grow.

At the time of this brochure the focus of Cypress Gardens was, well, gardens.  And live entertainment, such as their famous water ski shows.

That man is on fire!  On purpose!  Like I said, gardens and shows were the ticket for visitors to the park, there were no roller coasters or Legos to be found at the time.  But that was enough, and it kept visitors coming back, even tourists who would make the trek from their hotels near Disney.

Oh there were some animals, too!  Can't forget those friendly little critters.  Today this park is known as Legoland Florida, which has quickly found much success.  Much to the pleasure of fans of the original botanical gardens, they have been preserved and are actually still known as Cypress Gardens within the Legoland theme park.

The huge middle section of the brochure shows off a lot of the entertainment we've already spoken of, and also the gardens we've already spoken of.  The bottom portion is a great map of the park as it was at the time.  It's interesting to compare this map to how the park was when it was later Cypress Gardens (with rides), and as it is now as Legoland Florida.  That ground has seen a lot of changes over the years!  Still, a lot of things have remained though all that transition.

Six Flags Magic Mountain Pushes it Full Throttle

© Six Flags Magic Mountain
Visitors to Six Flags Magic Mountain are now able to experience the park's 18th roller coaster, Full Throttle, after premiering the ride this weekend.  The press opening of the coaster took place on Friday, and regular guests were able to take their first ride on Saturday.

With reviews already coming in, riders are praising the immense amount of hang-time that can be found at the top of the world record breaking 160 foot tall vertical loop. 

Full Throttle also features three launches which are capable of accelerating the train to 70 miles per hour.  An initial blast gets the train through the loop and down into a tunnel under the mountain.  A backwards launch sends the train halfway up a dive loop, then the train rockets forward and heads up and over the top of the vertical loop.  The final brakes start on the drop off the top of the loop, due to space constraints, but riders are reporting there is airtime to be found there, too.

© Six Flags Magic Mountain
The coaster, manufactured by Premier Rides, is located right at the front of the theme park, with its station in a "newly themed, immersive five-acre area that includes day and nighttime entertainment, two new food locations and a new shopping area."  The park utilized space formerly occupied by an original log flume to build Full Throttle, but the coaster also weaves over existing structures as well.

This gallery of photos by ThemeParkHD from the opening of the ride show off the fun that was had during the premier, and also gives off a look at the ride's new surroundings.  I think there's still a bit of work left to do, but the priority was getting the new coaster open to riders!

If you happen to live quite a distance from the park, much like myself, but are wondering what a ride on Full Throttle is like, check this out:

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Progress Continues on the World's Tallest Water Slide

© MidwestInfoGuide
I think it is safe to say that we are all anticipating the debut of the world's tallest water slide later this Summer at Schlitterbahn Kansas City.  We still have to wait a bit for it to open, but the construction of the slide, named Verruckt, has made some major progress... like the huge camel back hill seen above!

MidwestInfoGuide has a recent update of photos that show off the slide's current status.  The slide features one huge drop, followed by this large camel back hill.  Then there appears to be a leisurely trip back to the station area. 

There's plenty of other work going on, and as the update shows the supports for the main tower and drop are going in, too.  The size of the main support is staggering when you see how tiny the staircases they are adding appear!

Hurricane Harbor New Jersey Opens Big Wave Racer

Another new slide tower has opened at Hurricane Harbor water park in New Jersey, located adjacent to Six Flags Great Adventure, just in time to celebrate the official start of Summer.

The opening of the slide also celebrated the state's "Stronger Than the Storm" campaign, with benefits from the opening day events going to the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitor's Bureau.  The funds will be used to aid in the rebuilding of area businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

© Hurricane Harbor
Big Wave Racer's grand opening celebration included Mayors and families from six shore towns that were impacted by Sandy, and all the participants were able to take on the racing slides in a friendly competition.  Prizes for the towns of all participants and extra for the winner will benefit their individual rebuilding efforts.

© Hurricane Harbor
Big Wave Racer sends riders down head-first on their own individual mat, starting with a twisted section that includes total darkness.  Starting at four stories in the air, the sliders rocket down the path and are able to get some airtime, too, as seen in the above photo!  The bottom section of the slides features several drops on the way down and a finish line at the end to determine the winner.

"Big Wave Racer is a thrilling experience that allows you to plummet face first, which is what our guests have been asking for," Park President John Fitzgerald said.  "It compliments our already incredible portfolio of slides and demonstrates our commitment to our guests by delivering the best water park experience in the Northeast."

With the new slides open, and the new Safari Off Road Adventure next door at the theme park, this is a great Summer to visit the parks!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Harry Goes to Japan: Wizarding World Update

© Moppy Lucky via YouTube
The Themeparx Construction Board has linked to a new video showing off construction of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan.

The facade of Hogwarts castle is starting to go up, and the images in the video quickly remind me of the months we all spent watching a similar structure go up in Florida a few years back.

Maybe it is because it is the end of a long work week, but I'm having trouble telling if the positioning of the building and facade are the same as in Florida.

© Google
There are other shots in the video that show the length of the building with the castle at the far end of it, which almost makes it seems like things were rotated a bit.  Not that it matters, but I was curious.  Universal Studios Japan has remained tight lipped about the exact attractions their Wizarding World will have, though the Forbidden Journey is a pretty obvious addition.

I keep staring at the tall building in the background of the video and thinking how perfect a vantage point it would be to take photos.  Hopefully someone will do exactly that, soon, then we can see what else is going up in the area!

Transformers The Ride - 3D Now Open at Universal Studios Florida

© Universal Orlando
The wait for Transformers The Ride - 3D to open at Universal Studios Florida is over!  The attraction had its grand opening today, and put on quite a spectacle for visitors to the park.  There were celebrities, explosions, fighter jets, and more which created an excitement in the air over the new ride - literally.

Transformers "blends a powerful storyline, powerful technology, all-new hyper-real animation and massive sets into an action-adventure that grabs riders and does not let them go until the very last second," according to an official press release.  Riders join Optimus Prime and the Autobots as they battle evil in order to save the planet - mighty tall orders but I think there's plenty of folks willing to help out.  Using motion based vehicles that travel through two stories of high definition projections and scenery, Transformers has a wow factor that's hard to beat.

And it was built so quickly!  The attraction went up at the park and opened in just over a year, the fastest attraction of its size to ever be built at a Universal park.

Universal Orlando released this video of some of the opening ceremony - as you can see for a moment a full fledged attack was on.  No worries though, when you've got the Autobots on your side things will be just fine.

There's plenty of great coverage out there of the new attraction, including articles from the Miami Hearld and Inside the Magic.  It's amazing to see how many attractions the Universal Orlando resort has opened in the past few years - they've truly stepped up their game like never before.  And the future is just as bright!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Scott And Carol Present: igNight At Six Flags Great America!

Six Flags Great America premiered the biggest show in park history on 6/14/2013. igNIGHT-Grand Finale previewed during the Coasters After Dark event for season passholders.  Here the warm-up act, The Offbeats, were anything but as over 2,000 guests gathered in Hometown Square.

Sylvester and other Looney Tunes characters populated the float to start the festivities.

The 3-D projection screen is 60 feet tall and 75 feet wide. Six high definition projectors display the "scenery," which features varying years in Chicago history. Here is the nightclub set but one of the best special effects is the fire. A great deal of programming was required to operate the projectors.

Of course the hero and heroine are reincarnated in the present to be reunited in current day, with a little help from the audience. Over 30 live performers appear both vertically on the screen and on the stage extension that approaches the crowd.

Some of the 120 fireworks that send everyone home from Six Flags Great America with lots of bangs, and a few oohs and ahs. There is also fog, lasers, and over 100 lighting fixtures that are a part of the show.

Here is a short clip provided by the park.  Many thanks to Brandon and Katy for their help in getting these images of igNIGHT--Grand Finale, only at Six Flags Great America this summer.