Friday, January 31, 2014

Wood Coaster Poll Results Are In!

El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure
The final results of the 2013 Wood Coaster Poll, highly regarded as a solid representation of coaster fans, have been released!  This year's top wooden coaster is El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure, continuing the ride's streak of coming in number one.  El Toro has topped the Wood Coaster Poll for the last four years straight.

The second place coaster in 2013 is T-Express at Everland in South Korea.  Also designed by Intamin like El Toro, the rides share many similar characteristics. T-Express has been either number one or two since it appeared in the poll in 2008.

Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City
It is not often that a brand new wooden coaster ranks really highly in the poll, but Silver Dollar City's Outlaw Run smashed that trend by coming in 3rd during its first year.  The extreme ride gathered a lot of fans right from the start and its ranking in the Poll reflects that.

Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce came in fourth place this year, it usually hangs around in the top five finishers.  Fifth place went to the classic Phoenix at Knoebels, continuing to withstand the test of time.

California's Great America's Gold Striker finished in a tie for 13th place, also a solid ranking for a new ride.  Other new for 2013 rides include White Lightning at Fun Spot (30th place) and Flying Turns at Knoebels (57th place) - and that one only operated a couple days in the whole year.

2013's last place coaster was The Bandit at Move Park in Germany - the lowest ranking ride in the U.S. went to The Grizzly at California's Great America.

Check out the full results on the Wood Coaster Poll website, and be sure to vote next year!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Exploration Island Roars into Dutch Wonderland in 2014

Dutch Wonderland, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has announced a $1 million addition for the park's 2014 season that will be the largest expansion the park has seen since 2003.  Named Exploration Island, the island located at the North tip of the park will be totally renovated and now include two rides and a walk-through Dinosaur attraction.  “We are excited about the addition of Exploration Island,” said Rick Stammel, Dutch Wonderland’s General Manager. “It will include interactive new attractions for guests of all ages. This is the most exciting addition to Dutch Wonderland since Duke’s Lagoon!”

© Dutch Wonderland
Exploration Island will have a large Dino Dig site at its center, seen above in the foreground, where kids can unearth dinosaur fossils.  Both Triceratops and Stegosaurus bones will be located in the Dino Dig, and brushes can also be used to clear away sand from gigantic T-Rex footprints.

© Dutch Wonderland
The center of Exploration Island will feature the Prehistoric Path, a walking trail around the grounds where 15 large animatronic dinosaurs will be found.  The dinosaurs will have lifelike movements and each will have information signs and facts posted, so that education can be a part of the experience.

© Dutch Wonderland
The walking path won't be the only way to check out the dinosaurs, however.  The island has an existing Gondola Cruise ride that borders the outside edge of the area.  This ride will be back next year and offer another way to check out the lush scenery of Exploration Island.

Dutch Wonderland is also moving their Turnpike cars to the island, also tracing the outside of the area like the Gondola Cruise.  The path for the cars will be twice as long as it formerly was, and this will offer another interesting way to see the sights.  It will be pretty neat to have both rides operating near each other, with visitors milling about as well.  The island is sure to feel more alive than ever before when the attractions are open.

Here's a look at the area, taken recently it appears as it seems like work on the addition had already started.  You can see the drained path that the Gondola Cruise follows, and the wooded area in the middle that will be home to most of the Dinosaurs.  The relocation of the Turnpike cars to the island will open up a big space in the center of the park that can be used for future expansion.

Dutch Wonderland is owned by Palace Entertainment, which in turn is a part of Parques Reunidos.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Family Rides Coming to Silverwood Theme Park in 2014

Silverwood Theme Park will expand their children's area in 2014, adding almost an additional acre of fun just North of Garfield's Summer Camp that will contain three new rides when it opens this Summer.  The $1.2 million expansion will have rides that the whole family can enjoy together, and will accented with beautiful gardens and shady seating areas.

The new attractions will include a spinning family roller coaster, a kite flyer spinning flat ride, and a puppy-themed spinner.  The park has already picked out a spot for another new ride, a balloon race, which will be added in 2015.  The park's children's Ferris wheel will be refurbished, rethemed and added to the new area.

The final design of the expansion is currently being worked on, and construction is set to begin in February.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

More Great FireChaser Express Construction Photos

Dollywood has added some more construction photos of FireChaser Express to the ride's official website, and boy oh boy - the ride is looking so fantastic!  The shot above shows the ride's entire layout, with landscaping and theming well underway.  I know a lot of people were sad to see Adventure Mountain have to leave... but looking at this view might make a lot of those people feel pretty okay with the decision!

FireChaser Express' station is really coming together as well.  Technically named the Wilderness Pass Volunteer Fire Department's Station #7, trains will blast out of the opening you see above to start the ride.  The small section of track after the family-friendly launch leads trains to climb the coaster's traditional lift hill.

The coaster has plenty of twists and turns, but I think what is seen here is one of the larger drops to be found on the layout.  This drop takes place after the lift hill, I love how there's a pre-drop and high banked turn that leads into the plunge.  I also spy some very interesting supports that allow the track to pass over a maintenance road!

This is Crazy Charlie's Gas & Fireworks Emporium, and also serves as the starting point for the coaster's backwards launch.  There should be plenty of special effects that take place when the train stops here... you can also get a feel for that by looking at the partially destroyed walls going up.

There's more photos of the ride to be seen on the FireChaser Express website!  All photos are © Dollywood.

Lake Compounce Announces Property Expansion for 2014

Continuing the trend of expanding the park we've seen in the past few years, Lake Compounce has announced the addition of a brand new camping resort, named Bear Creek Campground.  With the addition of overnight accommodations visitors will no longer need to leave the property when the park closes, which will greatly add to the experience of visiting the amusement and water park.

© Lake Compounce
Bear Creek Campground will feature areas for tents, spaces for RVs and cabins that can be rented.  Even better those staying in the campground will have access to discounted tickets to Lake Compounce.  The facility will have all the amenities needed for a camping experience; a 24 hour shower/rest room facility, laundry room, and a general store for anything campers might need.

This news story points out that the addition will take up 15 wooded acres and will be located adjacent to the parking area, conveniently close to the park's entrance.  Plans for Bear Creek Campground include 30 tent sites, 56 RV sites, and 20 of the cabins seen above.  If the area is a hit there's already plenty of expansion space being eyed by park managers.

Lake Compounce has spent the past few seasons greatly expanding their Crocodile Cove water park, adding more slides and a large wave pool. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Story Land's Roar-O-Saurus Growing... Fast!

© Story Land
Polar Vortex... big whoop!  That must be what crews at Story Land in New Hampshire were thinking as they continued to work on Roar-O-Saurus despite frigid, single digit temperatures.  And the ride's looking great so far!

© Story Land
The tight curves that have been designed into Roar-O-Saurus' layout are already evident, as you can gather from these photos.  The ride is going up on what looks like pretty flat land, but that's not stopping the coaster from having plenty of elevation changes along the track.

© Story Land
Roar-O-Saurus is being built on an existing island at the park, the bridge to access the ride can be seen above.  It is a bit hard to tell at this point but I think that the main section seen here features the ride's tunnel which takes place midway through the ride.  If this much has gone up in terrible weather, I can only imagine how fast things will proceed when it is finally above freezing!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

From The Vault: Worlds of Fun 1995 Park Map

A great many moons ago Sabrina featured Worlds of Fun's 1995 park brochure in her series here on NPN, and I just came across the park map from that year.  Nothing goes better with a park brochure than a park map, nicely painting a picture of the park at the time.  So... here goes!

The map was tri-fold style, printed on larger size paper that is a quality that does not scan well.  My apologies for the apparent fogginess of these images... I didn't want to mess with them too much though.

In 1995 Worlds of Fun was the Place To Be For Fun!  In case you weren't aware.  The middle of the season marked the purchased of the park by Cedar Fair, so the styling here is all Hunt Midwest.  The panels here give some tips to help visitors have the best day possible, and also highlights the live entertainment offered (including dolphins!).  The Health Tips are especially interesting: "If you become overly tired or distressed, take a few minutes to rest and recuperate."  I think this could be applied to everyday life... solid advice here folks!

Here's the goods - the actual park map.  Make sure to click on the image for the much larger version where detail is available.  We're just short of this being from 20 years ago... and the park has changed so much since 1995!  Plenty of rides have been removed, The Plunge, Orient Express, Omegatron, and the Zambezi Zinger are some of the most obvious ones.  Granted there are plenty of new rides to replace these, so most would say it was a fair trade.  The park's original main entrance was still functioning, complete with the Cotton Blossom river boat.  Plus there's no sign of Snoopy anywhere - the kids area is still named Pandamonium.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

PortAventura Announces New Ride: Angkor - Adventure in the Lost Kingdom

Spain's PortAventura Theme Park has announced the details of a new attraction they've had under construction for some time now.  Named Angkor: Adventure in the Lost Kingdom, the ride will be a giant splash battle created by Mack Rides.

Angkor will be located in the China section of the theme park, adjacent to the Shambhala roller coaster.  The ride is based on the Angkor Wat Cambodian Temple and draws its theme and inspiration from the original Buddhist temple complex and the wild jungles that surround it.

The drawings shown here show the level of detail that is planned for the attraction, which will stretch 300 meters (984 feet) long.  This is large for a splash battle system, and is being billed by PortAventura as the largest of its kind in Europe.

The park's press release describes the trip on the new ride: "visitors will board rafts equipped with water guns to take on the dangers they will face in the jungle  ahead.  Their journey will take them through different areas full of surprises and interactive challenges: mysterious villages, snakes that rise from the river, tigers hidden in caves, monkeys that inhabit ruined temples and magnificent stone elephants.  Passengers can shoot at them with their water jets, or even take aim at other boats and onlookers."

Angkor: Adventure in the Lost Kingdom will give a ten minute trip on board one of 14 different boats.  In total the ride's hourly capacity will be 726.  Plans are for the new attraction to be ready to open with the park on April 11th.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Universal Studios Florida Reveals Wizarding Details for Diagon Alley

Today's webcast, held by Universal Orlando to show off the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley, brought a fresh batch of details about the highly anticipated area.  A selection of concept art for Diagon Alley was also released, along with a brand new website that lets us explore the addition on our own time.

Above is a general look down the main section of Diagon Alley, with various shops and food locations along the way.  As expected, the attention to detail will be extremely high, just as with creating Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure.

The section's main ride finally has a name - Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.  Described as a "groundbreaking new, multi-dimensional thrill ride...which will place riders in the middle of an incredible adventure as they navigate their way through the perils of the Gringotts vaults."  We did not get much in the way of further details about the roller coaster ride, but from the concept art released above I'm sure we will all be in love with the attraction once it opens.

The Hogwarts Express was no secret, but during the webcast they actually showed some of the inside of the trains - and they really do look exactly like in the films.  The press release mentions that park-to-park tickets are needed to ride the Express, since it travels between Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.  Above is the view of King's Cross Station, which is a part of the London section of the Wizarding World.

Also released was this updated look at the London waterfront area which will serve as the main entrance to Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida.  We've recently seen much of this area complete, at least the facades, but it will be a very pretty area when open to visitors.  Out front you can spot the Knight Bus, a triple-decker method of public transportation for the Wizarding community.  There also looks to be a nice wide walkway along the water that will be great for viewing the nighttime shows at the park.

The list of retail and food locations inside Diagon Alley is extensive.  Above is Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, a fun looking store filled with novelty items.  A brand new Ollivander's will also be located in Diagon Alley with visitor capacity in mind.  Other stores include Madame Malkin's Robes For All Occasions, Quality Quidditch Supplies, Scribbulus, Magical Menagerie, and Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment.  In the darkened Knockturn Alley you can visit Borgin and Burkes which specializes in the dark arts and items such as death eater masks.

The Leaky Cauldron will be an expansive restaurant that will have traditional British fare such as Fish & Chips, and sweet treats will abound at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour.

If you missed the webcast you can check out the full show over at Attractions Magazine, along with additional concept art and details of the expansion.  Make sure to play around on the new website for Diagon Alley, there's some neat videos built in and you can explore the addition in a 3-D setting.

Banshee Track Complete at Kings Island!

© Kings Island
Today marked the final piece of track instillation of Banshee at Kings Island, a world record breaking inverted roller coaster.  The final piece, seen above, connected the ride's track to the brake run - commonly the last piece installed on Bolliger and Mabillard rides.  Kings Island's Twitter account, where the photo came from, notes that it took 160 days to complete Banshee, one day less than Diamondback.

© Kings Island
This photo is from a couple days ago, but I had not shared it here yet - it shows off the heartline roll that takes place near the end of the ride.  Banshee's trains will swoop up into the roll, which has very little elevation change take place during it.  Should be a very interesting sensation as we are accustomed to the more traditional arc-shaped heartline rolls on B&M inverted coasters.

© Kings Island
Additionally, here is a view of Banshee's station progress - the park has made a lot of headway on the gothic themed structure.  I love the high cathedral style ceiling, and can't wait to see the finished product.  While we won't have too many updates for a while now that track and supports are complete, before long we will be able to look forward to seeing Banshee testing!

A Detailed Look at the New Miracle Strip @ Pier Park - Opening April 2014

Each season we have many new rides and attractions to celebrate and look forward to, but it isn't often that a park picks up and moves down the road a couple hundred feet!  Miracle Strip @ Pier Park is doing just that in 2014, and it's all in the name of growth.  We've been covering some news from the park as they've made progress on the expansion here at NPN, excitedly watching as they announced new details.

Miracle Strip @ Pier Park began in 2009 when Jenny and Teddy Meeks purchased the original Carousel that was still sitting at the former site of Miracle Strip Amusement Park and reopened it in Pier Park, a large outdoor shopping center in Panama City Beach.  The popularity of the ride led to the purchase of two others from the shuttered Miracle Strip Amusement Park, which had closed after 40 years of operation in 2004.  Though contained to a small 1.2 acre space, Miracle Strip @ Pier Park thrived and was able to add new "vintage" rides each season.  Before long, and with even more growth potential apparent, Miracle Strip @ Pier Park need to move and stretch its legs, and luckily there was open space just down the road.

The original 1.2 acre site © Miracle Strip @ Pier Park
That, as a brief version, gets us generally to where we are today - Miracle Strip @ Pier Park has closed its doors at the original location, and is fully immersed in the move/build of the new park.  To get some details on the new park I spoke with Jenny Meeks, who along with her husband Teddy own Miracle Strip @ Pier Park and are the driving forces behind the move/expansion.

One of the greatest aspects of moving Miracle Strip @ Pier Park is the addition of space - the new park will open on around 14 acres, almost 12 times larger than the original park.  "At this park we will be offering all of the things that we have been missing due to limitations and out-growing the property we were on for 5 years: great food, fun games, more thrilling rides, a water play area in which to cool down, and beautiful trees to give much needed shade," Mrs. Meeks points out.  "The park will have meandering walkways among beautiful landscaping and flowers, with touches of artwork and decoration here and there amidst the lights, smells, and sounds of a park from yesteryear."

The Tilt-a-Whirl in its new home © Miracle Strip @ Pier Park
The hope is that visitors to Miracle Strip @ Pier Park feel as though they've taken a step back in time, almost as if they were visiting a seaside park of years gone by.  Naturally, and not by coincidence, the direct comparison is to the original Miracle Strip Amusement Park (MSAP).  Mrs. Meeks understands that while honoring the park is important, they are not simply rebuilding it.

"Teddy and I have great respect for the Larks (owners of the original MSAP) and the wonderful park they created and devoted their lives to for 40 years on Panama City Beach. We know we can never replicate or come close to recreating their original park but hope we are successful in creating a special place for families to come and create new memories with new generations that were not able to experience the original MSAP."  It also sounds like the park's move has had a lot of local support, not only by fans but also the government: "Mayor Gayle O'berst of Panama City Beach and City Manager Mario Ginsbert have been instrumental in helping us get this new park built and we have appreciated their dedication to helping Miracle Strip @ Pier Park move to our new, larger location," says Meeks.

The location of the new park - you can see the old one in the upper left.
Scheduled to open in April of 2014, the new park will offer a substantially larger assortment of rides than was able to fit before.  A stream and wetlands divide the new park into North and South halves, with the entrance area being located off of Powell Adams Drive.  Miracle Strip @ Pier Park is building a roughly 130 foot long by 13 foot wide wooden bridge that will cross the wetlands to connect the two halves.

The Southern half of the park will contain the parking area and main entrance gates and ticket booths.  The park's architect, Jim Roberson of JRA Architects, created this view of what will greet guests:

© Jim Roberson / JRA Architects
In addition to the facilities needed for the entrance area the Southern half will also have many of the property's kiddie rides.  These will include the original MSAP Carousel, the 1949 Kiddie Car Ride, 1958 Red Baron, 1959 Boat Ride and some brand new additions as well.  These include a 1937 Caterpillar ride - the park's oldest and seen here being refurbished on the left - a set of Tea Cups from 1970, new 'dry' Boats from 1959 and Swing Planes from 1957.  All the rides continue the tradition of being the same or very similar to ones that operated at the original MSAP.

Via YouTube
It goes without saying that it gets pretty hot in Panama City Beach, so the new water play area, seen above, is going sure to be a big success.  Miracle Strip @ Pier Park purchased it from King Richards Family Fun Park (Naples, Florida) when it closed and now like their other rides it too will have a second shot at life.  The area features several waterfall mushrooms, two small slides, and plenty of other activities all set in a very shallow pool of water.

Service Buildings © Miracle Strip @ Pier Park
Miracle Strip @ Pier Park is also excited to be able to offer a more robust selection of food items in its new home, and a food court area will be the final item located on the Southern half of the park.  Different vendors will provide quite a selection, including "the best corndogs in Florida, gourmet hamburgers, exotic tacos from Gourmet by the Bay, Fresh Catch Seafood, Gyro King, Candyland Candies, 3 Brothers Pizza, and gourmet French Crepes & Brown Cow Ice Cream."  Like most aspects of Miracle Strip @ Pier Park, the food selection is distinctly unique.

The Riptide being rebuilt off-site for refurbishment © Miracle Strip @ Pier Park
On the other side of the bridge is the Northern half of the park, and this is where most of the larger rides are going to be located.  The biggest is Riptide, a Galaxy roller coaster that is similar to one that was once located at the original MSAP.  The roller coaster, dating to 1974, has been totally refurbished and received a new blue and yellow color scheme.  It will provide a thrilling experience, though not one that will prove too intense for younger riders.

Moving over from the existing rides at Pier Park are the Balloon Race, Tilt-a-Whirl, Scrambler, Sea Dragon and Ferris Wheel - all will be located among the trees in the Northern half of the park.

© Miracle Strip @ Pier Park
Four additional new adult sized rides will also make home in this section as well, all of which are vintage versions of attractions that could once be found at the original MSAP.  The two above are especially fun - on the left is a Rock O Planes, and old-school contraption that lets riders travel like a Ferris wheel, but offers plenty of possible inversions along the way.  On the right is the Bullet, another classic high speed ride that's sure to get the attention of everyone passing by.

© Miracle Strip @ Pier Park
A Trabant, the same style of spinning and undulating flat ride that was located inside Dante's Inferno at the original MSAP, will be new as well.  While it will not be enclosed at Pier Park, it will still bring back plenty of fond memories.

Miracle Strip @ Pier Park was able to find a great set of Bumper Cars up North in Vancouver, and they have already taken up residency on the Northern side of the property.

The Northern half will also have an amphitheater with adjacent stage for performances and other amenities.

In total there will be nine new rides at the expanded park, five for adults and four for children.  When added to the original attractions that are being moved, Miracle Strip @ Pier Park will offer nearly twenty vintage rides - a claim that not many parks can make!

An exciting aspect of Miracle Strip @ Pier Park will be the admission structure, which includes "unlimited riding armbands, individual tickets, and books of tickets for customers that want to ride or play on the water playground."  The park will have free admission, something that makes it a natural gathering place, and a welcome one at that.

Really, the thought behind the park is not simply an amusement park that hearkens back to a time gone by, but also as a place for the community to gather.  Along those lines Mrs. Meeks says "our park will be used by the community as a place to come together and celebrate the local arts of school bands, choruses, art clubs, church choirs, and theater. We want the local charities to use it for 5k run
fundraisers, adopt-a-pet, and walk-a-thons. Our pathways are perfect for parades of all sorts without having to shut down public roads. Because we are locally owned and operated, we can help the local clubs, schools, families, and churches have a family friendly place to have events, get-togethers, field trips, and reunions."  How wonderful is that!

As many are aware Miracle Strip @ Pier Park is planning on resurrecting the famous Starliner wooden coaster, which was moved to Cypress Gardens after the original MSAP closed - but was disassembled when Legoland Florida moved in.  Work on that plan is continuing, with the ride now owned by the park and some aspects already being worked on.

An Original Starliner Car © Miracle Strip @ Pier Park
The park is currently "meeting with wooden Roller Coaster builders to discuss the layout, engineering, and rebuilding of the Starliner.  We hope to have plans finalized and to the state and city for approval and permitting by the end of the summer to break ground by the end of the year."  It sounds like there's great interest in having the ride reopen, as they also report that "Pepsi and Buffalo Rock are National Sponsors of the Starliner and have committed financially to help rebuild it."

Mrs. Meeks continues, "we have already jumped the hurdle of having the Conditional Use Zoning approved for the 2.5 acres for the Starliner location and the approval of height variances to build the coaster to its original height by the city of Panama City Beach."  The current plan is still to have the Starliner up and running again for patrons in 2015.  When complete, it will run along the Western boundary of the new property.

While the addition of the Starliner is exciting, there's so much to look forward to when the park opens this April.  If only we were a bit closer to Panama City Beach we would be sure to visit and take in some vintage amusements - but even if I can't make sure I'm sure that plenty of people will.  Best wishes to Miracle Strip @ Pier Park on their grand reopening, and many thanks to Jenny Meeks for sharing with us here at NPN!

You can follow along with plenty of updates on the new park from Miracle Strip @ Pier Park's Facebook page.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bugs Bunny Boomtown Opening at Six Flags Over Texas

Last year Six Flags Over Texas announced an expansion and renovation to their children's area, but now the full details have been released.  Families will children will have Bugs Bunny Boomtown to look forward to in 2014, complete with ten rides and attractions.

“Families are at the core of everything we do” said Steve Martindale, Six Flags Over Texas park president. “We pride ourselves on offering thrills for all ages and we look forward to having these new rides and attractions provide wonderful memories for youngsters and their parents for years and years to come.”

Bugs Bunny Boomtown will feature three new rides and a large play structure, named Looney Tunes Adventure Camp which will let kids climb and explore.  A swing ride, named Taz Tornado, will also be added and kids can pilot their own spacecraft on Marvin the Martian Space Rockets.  The new attractions are similar to ones that have been added to other Six Flags children's areas through the years, and all are very popular.  Most allow parents to ride along with their kids, making them even more popular with guests.

The third new ride will be Daffy Duck Bucket Blasters, what appears to be a single wheel version of Zamperla's Water Mania ride, which just debuted for the first time last year.  The ride lets guests spray one another with water blasts as they spin around and around.  I'm quite pleased to see this ride be added, as it looked like a lot of fun when it opened in Coney Island last year.

The all new Bugs Bunny Boomtown is already well underway, this is just one small part of it but I believe the new entrance area will be located in that dirt eventually.  The new section is slated to open at Six Flags Over Texas this Spring.

For more photos and a video animation of the area, check out the official park website.

Scott And Carol Present - A Look At Six Flags Great America's Goliath

This crane just arrived in the last two weeks to help with the taller part of the ride assembly. It is around the same height as the top of Vertical Velocity.

Life is good when you can watch the snow fall off a new roller coaster being built for the upcoming season. Of course a little snow is pretty, but more than a little is unnecessary because it only results in delays, and nobody wants to wait any longer than they have to, to ride Goliath at Six Flags Great America this spring.

The motor pad is on the left and the riders will drop into a shallow dip as they head back for the second trip through the tunnel. There will be another picture coming up from the other end of this ride segment.

Work has already started on the station modifications for Goliath. Some of Iron Wolf will continue to live on in Goliath.

This is just one of the laser sights used to ensure the footer is place in the right position. For final placement, three of them from all different directions are utilized to assure accuracy. The placement must be accurate for all three dimensions since the structural pieces are all precut back in Idaho and shipped in, as a finished product.

A nice wide shot give a view of the scope of the roller coaster. There is still lots of work to be done before Goliath is ready to roll.

The bottom of the trench is twenty feet below ground level but the train will be around fifteen feet below grade. Pre-cut 4 x 4 are nailed together and slid in between the I-beams. Once all the boards are in position, the back filling is done. The worker gives you a scale of the trench, which will be covered over after the underground assembly is completed.

This is the first piece of track attached to the structure. You can see the precast concrete next to the trench ready to be put into place on top of the gravel and sand bed. Once they are in position, concrete is poured around them to lock them in position.

According to Brandon, the tunnel will be so much fun the riders have go through it twice in the same direction during each ride. The side by side track beds account for the large width of the trench.

The pre-assembled sections are stacked in the back ground and ready to go. In the front is where everything is bolted together prior to being lifted into place.

Entire sections are bolted together on the ground and carefully lifted into position. Then they are bolted together while the next section is prepared on the ground. The brackets have already been installed, ready to go higher.

This is the bottom of the tallest point on the roller coaster, the lift hill. The foundation is larger to support the extra weight from the structure 165 feet above the ground. Just to the left of this point the fastest wooden hybrid coaster in the world will soon scream down the 85 degree first drop.

Here is the view from the other end. As recounted in the video by Brandon, the motor pad is on the right and the trick track is on the left.

The view from what will become the exit ramp shows the steel ledgers at the top.

Here are a couple interviews as well as the sights and sounds of the construction site for your entertainment:

Right before we left another large section was lowered into place. The Rocky Mountain Construction crew was working hard while they had good weather because they already lost two days last week due to the "polar vortex," and they knew more snow was on the way soon.

Our thanks to Katy and Brandon for taking time out of their very busy day. We  all are looking forward to riding Goliath at Six Flags Great America this Spring.