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.