Thursday, March 31, 2016

Got Fear? Be the First to Ride Phobia Phear Coaster at Lake Compounce!

Lake Compounce is holding a fun contest to select the first 12 riders on their brand new, multi-launch roller coaster - Phobia.  The amusement park has set up a website where fans are urged to submit their "deepest, darkest phobias" for a chance to be named one of the first riders.  If selected, the winners will be featured on the park's social media channels, with the whole world able to see just what scares them the most.

On the park's opening day, May 7th, the 12 winners will get the honor of riding before the general public - the contest also offers the chance to win a season pass for the year.

Phobia Phear Coaster features "speeds of 65 mile per hour with many exciting and unique elements including multiple launches, a twisting heart-line inversion, and ascending and descending twists."  The ride features a heartline roll that takes place 150 feet in the air, the tallest inversion in the Northeast.

If you think you have what it takes - enter here!

© Lake Compounce
One last note - Lake Compounce just started loading the trains onto the ride's track... which means that testing isn't far off! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

California's Great America to Stick Around Until at Least 2074

© California's Great America
Yes, that's a bit of an odd title for a post, but the good news is that it's true!  California's Great America opened for the season this past weekend and as part of the festivities they cleared the air (once again) about the future of the park.

Despite who ends up owning the land under the park, Cedar Fair is locked into a solid lease to operate the park until at least 2074, meaning almost six more decades of fun to come.  The park is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and along with the confirmation of the park's future the General Manager also says that more expansion will come and that "the plan is to develop the park and take it to the next level."

We've all seen how that works out when Cedar Fair gets passionate about a park (Carowinds), so this could mean many great things for California's Great America.  First up is the addition of WinterFest at the end of 2016, which will help move the park toward a year-round operation schedule.  As for new rides and attractions, we will have to wait a while longer to hear those details.

The park is also opening a new 4-D experience, Mass Effect, this year, but it wasn't quite ready for opening day.  Check out some shots of the park's 2016 improvements and the outside of the Mass Effect building at this link.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Another Villain Rolls Into Six Flags Great Adventure's 2016 Season

To celebrate the arrival of The Joker, Six Flags Great Adventure's new 4D Free Fly coaster, Harley Quinn has decided to join the fun and move in next door to the new ride.  Taking over what was formerly known as Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train, the family roller coaster will now be known as Harley Quinn Crazy Train.

The roller coaster - suited for smaller guests with only a 41 inch height requirement - has been thrilling visitors for more than 15 years.  It is one of the remaining attractions installed during the theme park's massive 1999 "war on lines" expansion.  The transformation into Harley Quinn Crazy Train will utilize all new colors and theme.  Here is how the ride looked prior to 2016:

© Six Flags Great Adventure
The new version of the coaster will see a mix of black and red used on the track and supports, as seen in this update Great Adventure History.

“It is only fitting that this twisted makeover reunites The Joker with his partner in crime, Harley Quinn,” said Six Flags Great Adventure President John Fitzgerald. “As ultimate thrill seekers flock to our new, jaw-dropping coaster The Joker, family-sized thrills will be right next door with Harley Quinn Crazy Train.”

Harley Quinn Crazy Train focuses on gentle curves for thrills over the 1,181 feet of track, using a 28 foot tall lift hill to get the train moving at 22 miles per hour.   The renovated roller coaster should open sometime around the end of April, 2016.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Monster is Rising at Adventureland

Most of the new for 2016 roller coaster are wrapping up construction, or nearly ready to open, but such is not the case with The Monster at Iowa's Adventureland amusement park.  Heavy construction is still underway, but good things come to those who wait, as this new Gerstlauer "Infinity" coaster is looking great so far.

© Adventureland
Adventureland has shared some recent construction photos of The Monster, revealing that plenty of bright green track and gray supports are already in place.  The custom designed ride replaces the park's aging log flume and contains 2,500 feet of track in a small space.  This recent news story has some additional photos, along with information on the design process of the $9 million coaster.

© Adventureland
The Monster starts with a 135 foot tall vertical lift hill, quickly followed by a 101 degree beyond-vertical first plunge.  The ride has a total of 5 inversions and will cross over or under the park's Sky Ride path 8 times during the layout.  You can imagine that there will be some pretty neat photo opportunities for those on the Sky Ride in 2016.

The Monster is the first new roller coaster to open at Adventureland in 20 years, as the Underground premiered back in 1996.

Unique New Mack Coaster - Lost Gravity - Now Open at Walibi Holland

© Walibi Holland
Back in December we took a look at a new Mack-designed roller coaster being built at Walibi Holland, featuring a tight layout with fairly wild drops and inversions.  At the time the ride, named Lost Gravity, was speculated to be a spinning coaster, however that turned out to be false.

The coaster is quite unique, however, and uses Mack's new "BigDipper" style trains according to RCDB.  These individual cars seat 8 riders and although the ride has a couple inversions, only uses a nicely designed lap restraint.  The cars have two rows of four riders, and the very outside seats appear to be somewhat outside the area of the track, at least in this photo.

Lost Gravity starts with a 105 foot lift and has a 54 mile per hour top speed attained after the non-inverting 180-degree roll drop.  The track extends 2,231 feet long and there are two inversions, a 180 roll-drive combination, and a heartline twist.  The coaster also has plenty of air-time pops, a large wave turn, and a helix near the end of the course.  Add this design to my list of rides I would love to see in the U.S.!

Here's a point of view ride on Lost Gravity:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Kings Dominion Opens Delirium Tomorrow + Hurler Closed for the Season

© Kings Dominion
Tomorrow marks the opening of Kings Dominion's 2016 season, which is also the first day that the public will be able to take a spin on Delirium.  The new ride has taken up residence in the park's Candy Apple Grove section, which has been also refreshed for this year.

"The opening of Delirium marks our continued commitment to providing thrills for the entire family to enjoy,” says Pat Jones, Vice President and General Manager of Kings Dominion. “Delirium is a unique, exciting ride unlike any other in our park and it’s a fantastic addition to Candy Apple Grove.”

© Kings Dominion
Delirium is sure to please thrill-seekers who visit the park, as the pendulum style flat ride will swing them up to 115 feet in the air at 120 degrees.  The above press image released by the park shows Delirium at full swing - those are riders' tiny feet you can see way up at the end of the arm!  The new attraction holds 40 riders per cycle on the end of the circular gondola, each facing outward while it spins and swings.

Also of note is that Kings Dominion has closed one of their wooden roller coasters, Hurler, for the entire season to perform "extensive maintenance" on it.  The coaster is still featured on the park's website, however it is listed in multiple places as closed for the year.

This news would perhaps make good fodder for rumors of the ride's eventual removal from the park, but they do mentioned that they "anticipate the ride will reopen net season."

So if the ride is receiving a major refurbishment, the question then is just how major will it be?  The ride has run rough for many seasons now, so much of the track could use replacement.  Could it be a total renovation (with new trains?) like we're currently seeing on GhostRider at Knott's?  Or even something more extreme?  Time will tell!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

New For 2016 Rides Almost Ready to Roll at Canada's Wonderland

© CWMania
Two new rides are nearly ready to start thrilling passengers at Canada's Wonderland, as seen in this update from inside the park via CWMania.  The website was granted a tour of both rides' construction sites at the theme park, showing that both attractions are nearly complete.

Above is a photo of one of the buckets from the Flying Eagles, a set of Larson Flying Scooters - this attraction is aimed at being fun for the whole family.  The buckets all received really nice paint jobs that are full of bold colors.

© CWMania
Canada's Wonderland's second new ride is much more thrill-oriented, and that is Skyhawk, seen above.  The tower ride utilizes individual vehicles that have a horizontal roll capability that is controlled by riders.  The arms of the ride bring passengers up to over 130 feet in the sky, where they will spin and flip - or if they choose just enjoy the view as they go.

CWMania is also reporting that Skyhawk will actually count the number of times you flip on each ride cycle, and then post the results at the end - giving the ride a bit of a competition aspect for real thrill seekers.  That's a pretty neat way to 'plus' the ride!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Cobra's Curse Track Complete + New Aerial View of Full Ride

© Busch Gardens Tampa
Busch Gardens Tampa has completed the full 2,100 feet of Cobra's Curse, having placed the final piece of track this past weekend.  Crews completed the instillation of the track under the cover of darkness, seen above.  The brand new family spinning roller coaster will be the only one of its kind, and has been designed for the park by Mack Rides.

Starting with a 70 foot elevator style lift hill, riders will be face to face with the head of a menacing 80 foot cobra at the start of the journey.  The ride will have forward, backward and free-spinning sections for the cars to meanuver through.

© Busch Gardens Tampa
Much like we saw with sister park SeaWorld Orlando's Mako when its track was completed, Busch Gardens Tampa released a beautiful aerial photo of the newly finished Cobra's Curse.  If you click the image the larger version gives off a wonderful view of the ride's layout.  Riders will be treated to an indoor queue that features a "400-cubic-foot snake exhibit which will include Jameson’s mambas, Angolan pythons and rhinoceros and gaboon vipers."  The coaster will feature a 2nd traditional lift hill halfway through the ride, and a below grade tunnel that heads under the park's train tracks at the end of the ride - along with plenty of sweeping turns, drops and interactions with Egyptian theming.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Six Flags Announces Two New International Park Developments

Six Flags has announced that they have inked a new deal to license and design two Six Flags branded parks in Vietnam, which will open within three to four years.  A Six Flags theme park and a Hurricane Harbor water park will be built, however the exactly location for the development was not revealed.  This story says that the parks are expected to be built near Ho Chi Minh City.

The partnership is with a private company named NaVi Entertainment, and the release offers no additional information on NaVi or what their businesses are.  The pair of parks in Vietnam join similar licensing deals in Dubai and China.

“We are excited to announce our third international licensing partnership and are honored to work with the highly-qualified team at NaVi Entertainment as we continue expanding the Six Flags brand globally,” said John Odum, president of Six Flags International Development Co. 

Six Flags Entertainment has stated that they see potential for many more licensing deals like this to take place around the globe, pointing to them as a source of financial growth for the company in the future.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Final Pieces of The Joker Installed at Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags Great Adventure has completed all track and supports for The Joker, the theme park's new-for-2016 4-D Free Fly roller coaster.  The final piece was installed at the end of last week, marking a major milestone in the construction process.

© Six Flags Great Adventure
The Joker was erected by Shamrock Construction, from Matawan, New Jersey, and workers (seen above) "signed the final piece of green steel just one day after St. Patrick’s Day before it ascended to its final resting place atop the extreme, 90-degree, vertical lift."

“We really appreciate the hard work by Shamrock Construction, S&S and the rest of the construction team, and we are one step closer to unleashing the spinsanity that is The Joker,” said John Fitzgerald, park president at Six Flags Great Adventure.

© Six Flags Great Adventure
The last piece of green track that went into place belonged to the crest of the 120 foot tall vertical lift hill.  The Joker has been built along the side of Great Lake, which borders the entire park.  The newly opened area, formerly home to several performance theaters, will give wonderful new views of the lake and a new feel to the center of the theme park.

© Six Flags Great Adventure
Here we see the final piece going into place.  Before long the individual cars will begin climbing the lift, and then give riders at least six inversions as they "experience exhilarating leaps and dives along a horizontal plane, along with unexpected drops as they tumble from one level to the next."  The design of the cars places riders outside of the track and supports, with nothing above or below them.

Next up in the construction phase will be adding the chain that will lift the cars to the top, ride control instillation, and eventually testing and certification.

If you haven't been following the park's updates on The Joker's website, they recently shared some great aerial footage of the coaster.  Check it out below.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

New Wooden Roller Coaster Opening at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 2017

At today's passholder preview presentation, Busch Gardens Williamsburg revealed that the park will be building a new family wooden roller coaster for their 2017 season.

Designed and built by Great Coasters International, the ride will be located in the Trapper's Village section of New France, near the park's Le Scoot log flume.  The ride will be themed to vikings which are invading the village, with the trappers working together to defend their turf.

Several statistics were revealed during the presentation, including a 74 foot first drop that uses the park's terrain to its advantage, a top speed of 48 miles per hour and 9 separate air-time hills.  Here is the preview clip that was released today:

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is calling this the "world's first crowdsourced ride" as they are looking to their fans to help "shape the ride experience" through polls and other means.  Right now fans have the opportunity to pick the name of the new ride, through April 1st.  The choices are Viking Raider, Invadr, and Battle Klash.  Everyone can vote once a day though the park's official website for the project.

Last week the park also uploaded another set of plans for the coaster, which show off the ride's layout more clearly.  The image above is from those plans, and I've added arrows to show the direction of travel.  The ride's 74 foot first drop looks to be right at the bottom of a low elevation area, making it much larger than the lift.  The rest of the ride crosses over the low elevation area twice and includes a tunnel and a helix finale.

The 2017 project will be the first wooden roller coaster in the history of Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  Stay tuned to the park's website for the new ride for more in the coming months!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

SeaWorld Phasing out Killer Whales From All Theme Parks in Major Announcement

SeaWorld made some big announcements this morning, revealing changes that will see the eventual removal of killer whales from their theme parks, permanently.  The company has announced that the current generation of killer whales in their care will be the last, as they have ended all orca breeding programs as of today.

Historically speaking, the SeaWorld Parks started by heavily focusing on allowing guests to see and learn about killer whales, who at the time were somewhat feared and misunderstood, and eventually the public's opinion changed into love for the orcas.  The company's CEO, Joel Manby, wrote in an opinion piece to the L.A. Times that the company made these changes in a response "to the attitudinal change that we helped to create," bringing the public's view of killer whales full circle.

© SeaWorld Entertainment
With long lifespans of orcas taken into consideration, it will still possibly be decades before there are no killer whales at any SeaWorld Park.  With that in mind, SeaWorld still plans to take care of their animals, and phase out all theatrical shows featuring them.  The current theaters will present "new, inspiring, natural orca encounters" that feature programs for orca "enrichment, exercise and overall health."  These changes will start in 2017 in SeaWorld San Diego, followed by San Antonio and Orlando in 2019.

SeaWorld Entertainment is also partnering with the Humane Society of the United States to "educate its more than 20 million annual visitors on animal welfare and conservation issues through interpretative programs at the parks and expanded advocacy for wild whales, seals, and other marine creatures."  It has committed $50 million over 5 years toward becoming the "world's leading marine animal rescue organization."

So what does this mean for the future of the parks?  Well, from a ride perspective (we do love rides here at NPN, after all) it could be a very good thing.  In this story from the Tampa Bay Times Mr. Manby points out that the Busch Gardens parks are the company's most well-rounded, mixing animals and education with theming and thrill rides.  I'm not sure I'm ready to go as far as suggesting a name change for the SeaWorld Parks, but moving them more toward a Busch Gardens type of lineup isn't something I would fear - that's for sure.  Then again... maybe a west coast Busch Gardens would do well? 

Time will tell, but this shows more than ever before that Mr. Manby isn't afraid of making big changes to ensure the future of the company.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

SeaWorld Orlando Completes Track for New Mako Roller Coaster

© SeaWorld Orlando
Exciting news out of SeaWorld Orlando - the theme park has completed all track and supports for Mako, the area's tallest, longest and fastest roller coaster.  The final piece was placed on the B&M hyper coaster's turnaround, connecting all 4,760 feet of track.  Above is the turnaround before the final piece was installed.

© SeaWorld Orlando
And here is a photo of crews carefully lifting the 12,500 pound piece into place.  Mako stands 200 feet tall and will send riders plummeting toward the ground below at speeds of up to 73 miles per hour.

© SeaWorld Orlando
Included with the press photos of the final track instillation were two absolutely beautiful aerial photos of Mako and the surrounding park.  This view shows the recently complete swoop turn that takes place at the end of the ride, over the park's central lagoon.  There is no water under the turn yet, but when complete the lake will reclaim that area.  Make sure to click these photos for much larger views that show off incredible detail.

© SeaWorld Orlando
This second photo shows the ride from outside the park - talk about a billboard for SeaWorld Orlando!  You can also easily see SeaWorld Orlando's other two B&M rides in this shot - just above Mako's layout is Kraken, a floorless coaster, and toward the top of the photo is Manta, a flying ride.  Next up will be testing - looking forward to that!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Legoland Florida Resort Announces Huge Expansion Plans

Today the Legoland Florida Resort made some major announcements that will change the future of the property by greatly expanding it once again.  In addition to new rides and special events, an entire new resort was also announced.  Let's take a look at what is being planned.

© Legoland Florida
Opening in mid-2017 is the Legoland Beach Retreat - a whole new village style vacation resort that is located along Lake Dexter, across the street from Legoland Florida.  The addition is in response to the huge success that the Legoland Hotel has seen in only its first 10 months of operations.  Clearly the park feels that there is plenty of demand for more overnight accommodations at the resort.

© Legoland Florida
The Legoland Beach Retreat resort will contain 83 single story duplex structures, totaling 166 rooms that each sleep up to 5 visitors.  The entire resort will have a fun beach theme, and the same level of Lego detail that made the Legoland Hotel such a success.

© Legoland Florida
As a stand alone resort, amenities will include "a themed pool, a sandy play area, a buffet-style restaurant and complimentary transportation to and from the theme park." This will make staying at the new resort a breeze, as it is simple for guests to get to the theme and water parks.

© Legoland Florida
Next up is an entire new themed section of Legoland Florida, named Lego Ninjago World and opening in early 2017.  It will be added to the park near the Coastersaurus wooden ride, expanding into a previously undeveloped area.  The land is themed after the popular Lego Ninjago line of products, which also has had its own television show for a while now.  The land will have several interactive experiences that will test kids' physical skills, just like the characters in the series.

© Legoland Florida
The star attraction of the expansion will be Lego Ninjago The Ride, an all-new dark ride with plenty of 3-D interactive screens and 4-D features that allow riders to blast fireballs, lightning and other effects with hand gestures.  Riders collect points as they train in various scenes of the ride, leading up to an epic villain battle.  Similar to the Lego Ninjago rides opening at parks this year, Legoland Florida's ride will be created by Triotech.

© Legoland Florida
Opening at Legoland Florida on May 26th is an all new 4-D movie named Lego Nexo Knights 4D: The Book of Creativity.  The attraction is based on the new Lego "series of building sets and the just-launched TV show" and offers a "12½-minute, immersive experience that combines 3D computer animation with “4D,” real-world effects that bring the high-tech action bursting off the screen and into the audience."

Already open at the Legoland Waterpark is Creative Cove featuring Build-A-Boat, where kids can built their own Lego vessel and race it through fast moving water ways.  For small kids, a Duplo Block themed interactive water play area will open.  New food offerings and free wifi in the water park are also new this year.

© Legoland Florida
Finally, starting in June, a "celebration of summertime fun featuring extended park hours, meet-and-greet opportunities with favorite Lego characters, exclusive opportunities to build alongside Lego Master Model Builders and a spectacular, brick-tacular Ninjago fireworks display that will light the night above Lake Eloise with brilliant colors and triumphant music."  The new celebration will be held each Saturday and Sunday night from June 18th through July 31st. 

Legoland Florida's expansion has been quite amazing since they opened toward the end of 2011, with so many new rides, attractions, garden restorations and resort expansions already completed.  This next chapter in the park's history looks equally exciting!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Year-Round Walking Dead Haunt Opening at Universal Studios Hollywood

Last night it was announced that Universal Studios Hollywood will be partnering with AMC once again to create a Walking Dead themed haunted house - only this one will operate year round at the theme park.

The house will be simply named The Walking Dead Attraction, perhaps not the most creative, but when you have Walking Dead in the title you do not need much more!  The park already utilizes the show as a theme for a yearly super-popular haunted house during Halloween Horror Nights, usually recreating the events of the prior TV season. 

© Universal Studios Hollywood
The new permanent maze will be housed in part of the huge new building that was recently opened just inside the theme park's gates; the front part of the structure has elaborately themed facades that house retail and food locations.  Now we know what the back of the building is for.

As for the haunted house, the press release for the attraction says that "authentic walker make-up effects, sophisticated animatronic walkers, substantially more detailed set design and costuming, and highly recognizable props replicated from the series" will be used to create "an uncompromised realistic environment that brings guests even further into the most watched show in cable television history."

© Universal Studios Hollywood
The concept of a year-round haunted house isn't new to Universal Studios Hollywood, they have actually had one for years until recently.  They had several haunted walk through attractions in their Stage 13 building before it was removed, with themes such as The Mummy, Van Helsing and finally Universal's House of Horrors which featured famous Universal monsters.

The new Walking Dead Attraction is set to open in time for the Summer season.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Showing Off Standard Amusements Vision for Rye Playland

There is still no formal agreement in place for Standard Amusements to take over running Rye Playand, but the company has opened up and shared some of its plans for the historic amusement park - should the agreement take place.

The deadline for Standard Amusements and Westchester County to agree on future plans was actually last fall, put pushed to the end of this month.  Now that plans are being presented for voting, that deadline will likely be pushed back further.  This news story about the in-progress deal features new art shared by Standard Amusements, some of which we will take a look at below.

© Standard Amusements
The current deal calls for Westchester County to invest $58 million and Standard Amusement to invest $30 million in Playland.  The big amount for the County is in large part due to the property being a county park that needs capital projects that have been pushed off.  This map shows the result of Standard's changes, unfortunately the article clipped off the number keys to the map. 

We can tell that #9 is a new roller coaster, a steel one that Standard has released no details on yet.

© Standard Amusements
The main entrance area will be totally redone, with the mini-golf course removed to open up the space.  The pool that has long been near the park would be removed, and replaced with a "waterfront vista."

© Standard Amusements
A big part of the $58 million that County would spend is to fix and restore the park's art deco columns, towers and colonnades, signature features of Rye Playland.  Here we see one walkway, feeding from the parking area, with restored details.  Part of the plan also included repaving the main parking lot, never a small project.

© Standard Amusements
The famous Dragon Coaster would received some TLC, along with a renovated entrance plaza, seen in concept above.  The park has always had a lot of charm, but needs all this work to really bring it up to current standards.

© Standard Amusements
On the ride side of things, Standard Amusements plans a large pendulum ride in a small part of the current parking area.  The placement is being done to make a bold statement for those arriving at the park, which is a great move in my opinion.

© Standard Amusements
There are other small additions planned, like this train that would run through the main promenade, that aren't being singled out in the plans just yet.  Hopefully if this deal moves forward we will get an even more detailed view of what will be coming.  The article referenced earlier mentions that Standard Amusements is hoping to fully take over the park in October of 2017 at the earliest.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Construction Update for Unique S&S Coaster - GaleForce - at Playland's Castaway Cove

Ocean City, New Jersey's Playland's Castaway Cove is in the middle of a major expansion that includes a headlining new roller coaster, GaleForce.  The unique design from S&S Worldwide is the first of its kind, containing extreme launches and track maneuvers in a very small space.

The concept art above should refresh you on the layout of the new roller coaster.  It was released back when the ride was first announced and shows all the twists and turns of GaleForce.

Those wanting to keep tabs on the construction of the coaster can view this live webcam to see how things are going - the above screen shot from it shows that plenty of track is now in place.  Crews have placed the 'inside' track and supports first, and also the tallest supports are standing.

GaleForce will make the most of a small space by featuring three LSM launches, two forward and one backward, to hit a top speed of 64 miler per hour that will get the cars up to the 125 foot peak.  A beyond vertical drop will follow, then a series of swoops and dives that are both inverting and non-inverting.

A closer look at the webcam shows that the train is already loaded on the track, though covered up for now.  The single car will feature three rows of four riders, or twelve passengers at a time.  That won't make for the highest capacity around; however for this smaller seaside amusement park that should work out just fine.

Stay tuned to that construction cam as it seems that the highest track is sure to be placed soon - after that it won't be long until we see test launches starting!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Track Complete on Lake Compounce's Phobia Coaster

© Lake Compounce
The beautiful summer-like weather that we've been having must have given workers at Lake Compounce the extra energy to finish the structure of the Phobia Phear Coaster.  The park just completed the ride's track, placing part of the inversion track at the top of the ride, 150 feet in the air, as the final piece of the puzzle.

The above photo shows the completed ride in all its glory, but due to sun positioning doesn't totally reflect the bold colors that Phobia has.

© Lake Compounce
This photo, taken before the track was complete, gives a better impression of the ride's color scheme.  The orange track set on purple supports stands in great contrast to the green of the park - Phobia will act as its own billboard for Lake Compounce, no doubt.

Riders on Phobia will experience several launches, both forward and backward, eventually reaching a top speed of 65 miles per hour.  Trains will reach the 150 foot crest of the ride only to slowly maneuver through a full heartline roll.  The rest of the ride features steep twists and thrilling vertical dives before returning to the station.

For more on Phobia, check out the park's social media feed and webpage.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Intamin's New Flying Aces Roller Coaster Now Open at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

© Intamin Amusement Rides
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi has opened Intamin's latest Wing Coaster design, named Flying Aces.  The ride is themed to Italy's famous Count Francesco Baracca, who is credited with creating Ferrari's logo by painting the "prancing horse" on the side of his bi-plane.  The ride features the steepest cable lift hill (51 degrees) on any coaster and also the tallest non-inverting loop (170.5 feet), seen above.

Flying Aces features ride vehicles that are themed to a bi-plane, and utilizes a ride system and train design like those featured on Hersheypark's Skyrush.

Here is a point of view ride on Flying Aces:

Flying Aces' initial lift hill reaches around 207 feet in the air, and hits a top speed of nearly 75 miles per hour.  The track length is 4,920 feet and features a layout that includes many low-to-the-ground turns and ten moments of air-time.

Ferrari World released a nice making-of video that explains more of Flying Aces' theme and the construction process:

Flying Aces joins Ferrari World's other two roller coasters, a steel racing ride and also Formula Rossa, the world's fastest coaster.  Two additional coaster rides, the first SFX Coaster to open and an Intamin shuttle, will also come online at the park later this year.