Thursday, August 31, 2017

Unique Three-Axis Spinning Thrill Ride Opening at Two Six Flags Parks in 2018

© Six Flags Great Adventure
A brand new thrill ride, unlike any that's been seen yet in all of North America, will debut next year at both Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags Over Texas.  Known as Cyborg Cyber Spin at Six Flags Great Adventure and as Harley Quinn Spinsanity at Six Flags Over Texas, these massive rides are not for the faint of heart.

The attractions are being manufactured by ABC Rides, who lists the trade name of the ride as Tourbillon.  I had never even heard of this type of ride before, so this is certainly going to be unlike anything park visitors have even encountered before!

© Six Flags Over Texas
Riders sit in two long rows of 12, back to back, with their feet dangling along a large ride carriage.  As the ride begins the main arm lifts up to a height of 70 feet, and the center 'box' starts to flip as it rotates.  Before long the other other 'box' supports also start to rotate, and in the end there's three different axes of rotation going on like a giant gyroscope.  It's pretty wild to see, and no doubt these rides will be most impressive in person.

This video, of the Cyborg Cyber Spin at Six Flags Great Adventure, makes understanding how the ride will work a lot easier than via text.  The rides will each have a spectacular lighting package, with colors added to each of the supports - just viewing them in operation at night will be an experience in itself!

At Six Flags Over Texas Harley Quinn Spinsanity will be located in the recently developed Gotham City themed area, next to the Joker roller coaster that opened this year.  Six Flags Great Adventure will build the rides in the Metropolis themed section that opened this year along with the Justice League attraction.

The Twisted Cyclone Announced for Six Flags Over Georgia's 2018 Season

The Twisted Cyclone will blow its way into Six Flags Over Georgia, the theme park announced today.  A conversion (done by Rocky Mountain Construction) of the former wooden coaster, Georgia Cyclone, the new coaster will feature wood supports with a blue steel running track.  The new track will allow for a smoother ride experience along with plenty of wild twists and turns.

© Six Flags Over Georgia
Riders aboard Twisted Cyclone will climb to a maximum height of 96 feet, then plunge down at a steep 75 degree angle.  The trains, which are themed to a 1960's sports convertibles, will hit a maximum speed of 50 miles per hour.  One train will have bright red cars, and the other will have sleek black ones.

© Six Flags Over Georgia
After the steep first drop the train will enter a "reverse cobra roll," the first of its kind on a Rocky Mountain coaster.  Trains will roll to the left through an inversion, then continue turning 180 degrees, rolling over again as they dive back toward the ground.  The element can be seen in the concept art above, replacing what was a usual 180 degree level turn on the former ride.

The trains then encounter a highly banked fan turn as they cross beyond the first drop, and up into another turn around.  The next stretch features a 360 degree roll, followed by one more turn around and a couple hops up into the final brakes.

© Six Flags Over Georgia
This fact sheet for the Twisted Cyclone highlights the most important features of the ride, which will have a total track length of 2,340 feet (the Georgia Cyclone had 2,970 feet of wooden track).

“Six Flags was the first in the industry to introduce this hybrid technology, and Twisted Cyclone is a shining example of Six Flags innovation at its very best. Year after year, our park keeps delivering unique thrills for all ages, and this state-of-the-art hybrid coaster is an absolute game-changer,” said Park President Dale Kaetzel. “Our guests are going to be blown away by the unbelievable features of this coaster.”

Ready for a point of view spin on the new Twisted Cyclone at Six Flags Over Georgia?  Check it out below!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Disney's Hollywood Studios Shows off Progress on the Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster

© Disney
The all new 11-acre Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park in Orlando is set to open sometime in 2018, and one of the star attractions of the expansion hit a major milestone today.  The Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster, which features two separate launches, had its first train arrive.  Seen above, the trains are themed to Slinky Dog himself, and honestly are pretty darn adorable.

The announcement of the train's arrive coincides with "National Slinky Day," fitting considering the subject matter of this reveal.

Toy Story Land will also feature the Alien Swirling Saucers spinning flat ride, but the big draw will be the sprawling roller coaster.  Disney describes the ride as being themed "as if Andy built it in his backyard using his Mega Coaster Play Kit and some of his other favorite toys."  Riders will not only encounter the two launches, but also plenty of twisty track that's filled with plenty of theming.

It wasn't too long ago that the track for the Slinky Dog Dash coaster was completed, and over on Twitter user bioreconstruct has kept us all frequently updated with fantastic aerial photos of the construction site.  The photos show not only the completed track, but also the start of all the brightly colored theming being put into place.  If you haven't followed him yet, be sure to, as there's always something new to check out!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Six Flags America 2018: Hints of Ride Removals But What is New?

We're getting closer to the big reveal of all of Six Flags' new attractions for 2018, just two more days to wait! Six Flags America has been celebrating whatever news they have to share by posting several tweets about possible removals at the park.  It started with the grim reaper showing up at the park, noting that both change is in the air and that when he appears something must disappear forever!

The next tweet, seen above, shows the grim reaper at the entrance to the Penguin's Blizzard River, a family style spinning raft ride that was added back in 2003.  It is a part of the Gotham City themed area of the park.

Then, in the next tweet, the park showed the grim reaper in front of the entrance sign to Gotham City itself, hinting that the entire land may go away?   Since it contains some of the park's blockbuster attractions, obviously it won't be leveled... but could we see a total retheme? With rides themed to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Joker, perhaps a DC Comics themed area makes more sense?

Next up we saw the grim reaper moved into Hurricane Harbor, Six Flags America's water park. Aside from looking rather creepy, you'll notice that the entrance sign for ZoomAzon Falls can be seen in the background.  These are some of the water park's oldest water slides, and have a slightly awkward location within the park, set off by themselves in the trees.  Could they be removed next year?

Finally, the park has completed the series of hints with this latest post, this time in front of Castaway Creek in Hurricane Harbor.  Castaway Creek is the park's lazy river, which would be odd to remove however it does take up a considerable amount of space that could be redeveloped. With two possible removals in both the theme and water parks, there's plenty of questions still remaining.

Plus - with these removal hints we haven't seen any other hints about what will replace them... so we still have that to find out about as well!  The park promises that all will be revealed on the 31st when they make their big announcement.

Monday, August 28, 2017

California's Great America Brings New Fears for 10th Anniversary of Halloween Haunt

Starting September 22nd, visitors will find California's Great America celebrating 10 Years of Fears at their annual Halloween Haunt event.  The annual scare-fest will be kicked up a notch for the 10th anniversary, featuring several new attractions and live shows.

New this year are two haunted houses, Backwoods and Chaos House.  In Backwoods, guests move through a creepy bayou to a decrepit hunting lodge that has been taken over by werewolves... and they're set on making visitors their prey.  Chaos House will be as disorienting as the name sounds, using "mirrors, strobes and fog to confuse and confound guests" as "faceless creatures" attack from all sides.

The two new haunted houses join six returning attractions, including Roadkill Road House, Toy Factory and CornStalkers, among others.  There will also be three separate scare zones around the park as well.

Live entertainment will include Ed Alonzo's Psycho Circus of Magic and Mayhem, a dark comedy magic show hosted by the famous magician.

© California's Great America
Outside of the haunted houses, Halloween Haunt at California's Great America will also feature Demon: Re-Ignited, which "returns the lights, fog, music and blood-red waterfall to the iconic Demon roller coaster."

"Returning the original sights and sounds of Demon will be especially rewarding for long-time Great America fans," said Raul Rehnborg, California's Great America vice president and general manager. "For the 10th anniversary of Halloween Haunt, our entertainment team is taking fear and fun to a new level at the Bay Area's premier Halloween event."

For families looking for scare-free fun, the park will offer the Great Pumpkin Fest during the day, filled with fun activities like pumpkin decorating and trick-or-treating.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Six Flags Magic Mountain to Offer 365 Days of Fun Per Year

Six Flags Magic Mountain has announced that starting January 1, 2018, the popular Southern California theme park will operate 365 days a year.

The change was brought on by the park's desire to enter the "destination travel market," similar to many other of their neighboring theme parks, including Disney, Universal and Knott's.  The Southern California area is already registering 47 million annual visitors, so daily operation will help Six Flags Magic Mountain pick up more of them.

Part of being open year round will be marketing toward group events more than ever before, such as school groups, "convention business, extended stays, and business travel" among others.

© Six Flags Magic Mountain
The park's series of special events, from Halloween to Christmas and more, will also help round out times that were formerly the 'off season.'  It's also a huge benefit to locals who have a season pass, an area which Six Flags has been pushing for the past few years and has registered significant growth for them.

“With the best collection of thrills in the world and the Six Flags brand expanding globally, this is the perfect time for one of our flagship properties to make the business transition to a 365-day operating schedule in order to maximize travel industry opportunities. Six Flags will now provide a thrilling vacation option to both international and domestic visitors coming to enjoy Southern California,” stated Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation.

This story from USA Today has a few more details about the park's plans now that they're open all year long.  There's the aforementioned focus on special events, but also the creation of additional "wow zone" themed sections, a focus on stories and attention to detail.  There's even some talk of a possible hotel via a partnership with a third party operator.

Friday, August 25, 2017

New Deep Sea Adventure Ride + New 4-D Film Opening at Legoland California in 2018

© Legoland California
The single largest investment in any attraction at any Legoland theme park will take place in 2018 at Legoland California, in the form of a new Lego City: Deep Sea Adventure ride.

The first of its kind ride in North America features a giant building in which eight submarines (each with twelve riders) travel through a 300,000 gallon underground aquarium on a 4 minute adventure.   Riders will look out the portholes of the submarine at real sharks, stingrays, and plenty of other sea creatures as they experience the Deep Sea Adventure.  There will be upwards of 2,000 animals in the habitat when complete, and the ride will handle nearly 1,000 riders per hour.

The attraction will also feature interactive consoles that riders can use to discover hidden treasure throughout the ride, adding points to their total for each find of a ruby, pearl, coin or other treasure.  Guests will assist a team of Lego divers who are treasure hunting - the park is already hard at work on creating these Lego figures.

Lego City: Deep Sea Adventure will be built on the site of the park's current miniature golf course, and is slated to open in Summer 2018.

The theme park also announced that a new 4-D Film, titled "Lego Ninjago, Master of the 4th Dimension," will open in January for park visitors.  The film will combine 3-D visuals with in-theater effects, giving it the 4-D title.

Finally, the currently under construction Castle Hotel has been announced to open in the spring of 2018.  Featuring 250 guest rooms all themed to the castles of the Lego series, the hotel will become the second on the resorts property.

The park released this video covering the announcement with more details of all that is new for 2018.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Dorney Park Announces Haunt X Details + New Tourist Trap Haunted House

The full lineup for 2017's Halloween Haunt X at Dorney Park has been revealed, along with all the offerings of the family-friendly Great Pumpkin Fest.  The event's 10th season will feature seven mazes, four scare zones, three live shows, 25 rides and more than 500 costumed ghouls around the park.

© Dorney Park
New this year will be an indoor maze named Tourist Trap.  The maze is themed to "a ramshackle hotel run by a morbid collector of the macabre."  The attraction is set in the time of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.  Guests will visit the hotel only to discover the "horrendous fate of patrons who checked in and soon after disappeared; scenes of terror and torture will shock guests during their twisted travels through a variety of hidden rooms."

Returning mazes include Blood on the Bayou, Blackout, Chamber of Horrors, CornStalkers, Trick or Treat, and Urgent Scare.  Scare Zones returning will be Age of Darkness, CarnEvil, Cut Throat Island and Grave Walkers.  This year's shows include Blood Drums, Skeleton Crew and Overlord's Resurrection.

The park will once again offer Fright Lane Passes with Skeleton Key, which includes priority access to eight attractions along with seven Skeleton Key rooms - five of which are brand new this year.  Two of the new Skeleton Key rooms are described as a "stereophonic experience at Tourist Trap and and experiment in fear at Blackout where you take control of the maze experience for other guests."

Families who want to visit during the day for scare-free fun will enjoy The Great Pumpkin Fest, which features a collection of Halloween activities presented by the Peanuts gang.  Activities include pumpkin and mask making, a petting zoo, live shows and much more.

Halloween Haunt X will start on Friday, September 15th and The Great Pumpkin Fest will debut on Saturday, September 16th.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Two Parks Announce Ride Removals Ahead of Future Expansions

As we head into the rest of the 2018 (and beyond) announcement season, we've had two more announcements of rides closing at two major parks.  The new rides are assumed to be departing in order to make room for 2018 additions.

© Six Flags Great America
First up, Six Flags Great America has revealed that the park's Top Spin, named King Chaos, will be closing for good after this Sunday.  The thrill ride opened back in 2004 as a part of the park's Mardi Gras themed area.  The park has recently been teasing about their 2018 addition online, using #ChasetheStorm2018, seemingly hinting toward a storm-themed replacement ride.

This news story has a bit of background on the ride, along with some speculation about what may be replacing it.  We will know for sure on August 31st, when the park (along with the other Six Flags parks) makes its official 2018 announcement.

© Dollywood
Also today, Dollywood announced that one of their water based attractions, River Battle, will close for good after September 4th.  The ride is an interactive splash battle style attractions, where passengers ride on slow-moving boats through a watery course filled with splashable opportunities.  Each riders has their own water blaster at their seat that allows them to blast targets along the route, and also other park guests outside the attraction, as they have their own water blasters as well.

River Battle opened in 2008, meaning when it closes it will have completed ten seasons at the park.  It was manufactured by Mack Rides, with eight boats that moved through a 500 foot long course.

The park's only comment, which can be read above, about the ride's removal is that it will be necessary for the park's future development... mainly to "prepare for opportunities" to bring to life "several unique and innovative ideas to help families create new traditions and special moments."

The ride is located in the Wilderness Pass themed area, which was built to make the park a full loop.  As one of the newer areas of the park, there have long been rumors that the Wilderness Pass section could be the jumping off point to a larger park expansion into undeveloped areas in the future.  We'll see!

Monday, August 21, 2017

New Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter Opening at Oaks Park in 2018

Oaks Park, located in Portland, Oregon, has announced the addition of a brand new Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter for the park's 2018 season.

According to the park's post on social media, the new coaster will stand 72 feet tall, have a beyond vertical drop of 97 degrees, feature 1,050 feet of track and have three inversions:  a vertical loop, an Immelmann and a heartline roll.  Riders will only need to be 48 inches tall to ride the coaster, which means that it will cater to a wide audience.

Example of a similar Euro-Fighter Coaster
The given statistics match up perfectly with the recently opened Hydrus at Casino Pier.  That ride has a layout that is the same as a Euro-Fighter 320+, only without the helix at the end of the ride.  It is a compact but thrilling attraction that features individual cars that seat eight passengers.

Oaks Park is holding a naming contest for their new coaster, with entries being accepted online through December 1st, 2017.  Click here for more information on the contest.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Dorney Park Pre-Haunt X Update II

© NewsPlusNotes
Back for another look at Haunt development at Dorney Park - but first, after last week's 2018 capital announcement, the park has placed this large sign just inside the main gates showing off what's going on next year.  It has some details about the Tidal Wave Cafe, a large new restaurant headed to Wildwater Kingdom, along with information on the Pre-K Pass.

© NewsPlusNotes
Onto Haunt X developments, more and more banners have appeared around the park promoting the event.  I love the tag line - Collecting Your Fears for X Years!  Believe it or not, it is now less than one month away from opening night!

© NewsPlusNotes
This guy is featured on the promotional banners... who is he!?  We're thinking it has to do with the new attraction that the park is debuting this year, but we can't be totally sure.  Either way, I'm not sure exactly what he's serving up for Haunt X... but we can't wait to find out.

© NewsPlusNotes
And speaking of the new attraction, not much has changed since the last time we checked in on its progress.  I think the final changes will be additional details once the theme is announced and we're even closer to the start of Haunt X.  It shouldn't be long until those details are released.

© NewsPlusNotes
Elsewhere in the park other Haunt preparations are well underway.  The park's Haunt monster truck, which you can catch in many local Halloween parades, is proudly on display in front of the spinning Meteor ride.

© NewsPlusNotes
© NewsPlusNotes
Down on the lower midway near Possessed, Cut Throat Island is currently being installed.  The scare zone features a giant broken apart pirate ship that's crashed onto the midway, along with some addition prop buildings that in the past have contained a skeleton key room.

© NewsPlusNotes
One haunted house that never really goes away during the year is Urgent Scare, which was redeveloped last season to feature a new interior and theme.  This is continually one of the park's most popular haunted houses, located at the far end of the park beyond Stinger.

© NewsPlusNotes
It's hard to see unless you're climbing up to Steel Force's station, but Grave Walkers is also coming together nicely.  The mix of outdoor scare zone with an haunt-like crypt area features tons of giant headstones in an elaborate graveyard setting.

© NewsPlusNotes
© NewsPlusNotes
© NewsPlusNotes
There has also been much development on Age of Darkness in the past couple weeks.  Major set pieces of the castle are now in place throughout the area.  This one is another mix of outdoor scare area with a special bypass into the dungeon that's filled with all kinds of ghouls.

Be sure to keep an eye on Dorney Park's Halloween Haunt X website for coming updates as we get closed to the annual scare fest!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Great Pumpkin LumiNights Opening at Dollywood This October

Dollywood will be bringing an all new family-friendly nighttime event to the theme park this October named Great Pumpkin LumiNights.  The event will mark a new tradition of celebrating the Halloween season at the park, complete with thousands of glowing pumpkins lit up in the park's Timber Canyon themed area.

Regarding the addition, Dolly herself said that "we think Great Pumpkin LumiNights will become just as popular with families as our Smoky Mountain Christmas festival.  I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of new family traditions made this October!”

© Dollywood
The Great Pumpkin LumiNights celebration will focus on presenting "thousands of intricately-carved pumpkins" and "harvest themed displays" throughout Timber Canyon.  Visitors can explore the area and find tons of special decorations, one of which can be seen in the concept art above.  There will be plenty of unique harvest games and attractions, all themed like only Dollywood can.

© Dollywood
Since the event will feature so many carved pumpkins, the park will have several Master Carvers on site to show off their skills.  Guest can watch them daily and learn the process of making intricate designs like the ones featured in the event.  That way visitors can make their own carvings when they get home!

Dollywood is well known for their various food options, and that will continue during Great Pumpkin LumiNights with special treats offered such as pumpkin funnel cakes, caramel apple sundaes and candy corn cotton candy.

© Dollywood
Some of the different activities offered during Great Pumpkin LumiNights include a glow maze, pictured above, for kids, glow face painting, a "Pumpkin Boogie" dance party and friendly costume characters that families and meet and take photos with.

Great Pumpkin LumiNights will run at Dollywood on select nights from September 28th through October 28th, 2017.

Click here for more information, and check out the preview video below:

Three New Attractions Coming to Canada's Wonderland in 2018

© Canada's Wonderland
Canada's Wonderland is once again expanding its already considerable flat ride offerings in 2018 by adding two more, one thrilling and one for families, along with an addition in the water park.

First up is Lumberjack, a 75 foot tall inverting thrill ride.  Passengers are seated with their legs dangling below them on two giant axe-themed pendulums.  Each pendulum is able to rotate 360 degrees independently of the other, looping riders as if they were on a traditional roller coaster loop.

I haven't seen the park confirm yet, but it looks like Lumberjack will be one of Zamperla's Hawk rides, several of which are located around the country.

© Canada's Wonderland
The second new ride will be aimed at families, and is named the Flying Canoes.  Not much detail on the new ride was released by Canada's Wonderland, they only described it as an "interactive family ride that will allow riders to control their journey of flight in two-person canoes."  From the concept art it looks like the canoes will move and up down as the attraction spins, perhaps the interactive element is that riders can control them?

Finally, Canada's Wonderland's water park, Splash Works, will see the children's pool area (a part of Splash Island) doubled in size with the addition of all new spray features. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Valleyfair to Build New Looping Thrill Ride - Delirious - in 2018

© Valleyfair
Valleyfair has announced that Delirious will be looping park visitors starting with their 2018 season.  The new thrill ride will stand 70 feet tall and send riders seated on a train up and through the large loop at high speeds.

Delirious will be manufactured by Larson, one of their popular Giant Loop rides.  The ride will be capable of completing ten rotations in under a minute, so this ride is sure to satisfy thrill seekers!

© Valleyfair
The new attraction will join the recently developed Route 76 themed area, which was home to this year's addition - a giant swing ride named North Star.  Delirious will be placed near the entrance to Steel Venom, where the park's Tilt-A-Whirl currently is.  That ride will be moved out into a currently open section of Route 76, giving Delirious prime space.

© Valleyfair
The entire Route 76 area, who's theme is meant to "bring guests back to the classic ambience of Valleyfair when it first opened in 1976," will be enhanced as well.  New enhanced lighting for the area, depicted in the above concept art, will be added, along with additional shade structures, seating and gathering areas.

"Delirious is a great addition to the retro family road trip feel of Route 76,” said Brad Marcy, general manager, Valleyfair. “The additional atmospheric enhancements to the area will allow our Twin Cities neighbors to not only relive memories of visits to Valleyfair, but also create new family traditions and enjoy the ‘best day’ experience that we strive to give everyone."

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Carowinds Celebrates 2018 with Planet Snoopy Expansion and New Pre-K Pass

Carowinds is continuing their expansion path and focusing on families with children in 2018, announcing the conversion of Planet Snoopy into Camp Snoopy, with all new rustic theming and the addition of six new attractions.  As with several other Cedar Fair parks, Carowinds will also start to offer a Pre-K season pass that is free for children ages three through five.

© Carowinds
© Carowinds
Carowinds' children's area was originally converted into Planet Snoopy in 2010, a few years after Cedar Fair purchased the park.  The transformation of the area into Camp Snoopy will feature a "natural looking midway that celebrates the beauty of the Carolina wilderness."  The concept art released by the park confirms that as with both current and former Cedar Fair Camp Snoopy areas, this new one is sure to be beautiful.

© Carowinds
Spread throughout Camp Snoopy will be six new attractions.  The addition of these will create the need for some older rides to be retired, and two will be moved to other locations within the park.  These include the Carousel and a set of Larson Flying Scooters.

Five of the six additions will be rides that kids and parents can both experience together.  From the park's press release on the expansion they are:

Camp Bus: Buckle up on the wacky camp bus and take a ride that will lift guests into the air and back down to the ground in smooth extensions.
PEANUTS™ Trailblazers: Get behind the wheel of a Jeep-themed vehicle and burn rubber on a small, round speedway.
Kite Eating Tree: Ride along in a kite vehicle that travels up and down a tree.
Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies: Take a trip in a “mud buggy,” where guests will rotate around the popular Pig Pen character while bouncing on a bumpy ride.
Woodstock Whirlybirds: Spin around in an oversized birds nest on this classic ride.

© Carowinds
The sixth addition will be known as Beagle Scout Acres, an 8,000 square foot play area.  The area will be divided so that children of different age groups can play in sections designed just for them.  Small kids "will be able to gather in a fenced-in toddler area with lots of hands-on activities, a new play hill will be an open area for guests to enjoy slides and climb on a turf covered mound, and playground wood structures will have hands-on interactives, slides and plenty of things to climb."

“The expansion of our kids’ area along with the introduction of the Pre-K Pass puts Carowinds as a top destination for families,” said Pat Jones, Carowinds vice president and general manager. “The new Camp Snoopy area joins our world-class attractions such as the record-breaking Fury 325 giga coaster and the massive Carolina Harbor water park in offering features that meet the needs of guests ranging from three to 23 to 93, providing unique opportunities for creating family memories.”

New HangTime Coaster to Drop into Knott's Berry Farm in 2018

Last night had one more announcement in store for coaster fans, and that was the addition of HangTime at Knott's Berry Farm for summer 2018.  The theme park will build the new thrill coaster in the Boardwalk themed section, on the plot of land taken up by Boomerang along with several other buildings.

HangTime will be one of Gerstlauer's "Infinity" roller coasters, featuring blue track with gray supports and a vertical lift to 150 feet above the park. 

© Knott's Berry Farm
This concept art shows the features of HangTime, including the vertical lift tower.  Once the cars reach the top they will move onto a piece of track that is angled toward the ground at 60 degrees.  They will be held there for several seconds, after which the trains will plummet down at a beyond vertical angle of 96 degrees.  This drop sequence is leading Knott's to market the ride as the first "dive coaster on the West coast."

The drop will send the cars along the 2,198 feet of track at 57 miles per hour.  Features of the layout include a total of five inversions, including a cobra roll and the second "negative-g stall loop" in the Western hemisphere - this element is described as giving riders the "sensation of floating."

© Knott's Berry Farm
HangTime will feature three trains, each consisting of four rows of four riders, so a total of sixteen passengers per cycle.  It will feature elaborate lighting at night, similar to the very impressive display that can be found on the Monster at Adventureland.  The lights placed along the track are able to transform the ride into different colors to match it to special events during the year, and also follow the trains course through the layout.  Needless to say, this will be a ride that must be seen and ridden after the sun goes down.

No animation of the ride was available at the time of its announcement, but the park promises to have one later in the year.  With ground already cleared, the work of digging foundations for HangTime will start in just a couple weeks.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

California's Great America to Forge a New Path in 2018 with Railblazer Roller Coaster

Opening at California's Great America in 2018, Railblazer will be a innovative new single-rail coaster design that features a thin track and single-seat cars.  Designed by Rocky Mountain Construction, Railblazer will be the first coaster of its kind on the West coast, and only one of two in the world in 2018.

The ride's inline cars create an "extremely low center of gravity that amplifies every move and enables more dynamic turns and rotations than have ever been possible on a coaster."  The cars are in constant contact with the track, giving an extremely smooth ride with unobstructed views for passengers.

© California's Great America
Railblazer will feature tan supports and a burnt orange track that is set among rustic theming.  According to California's Great America, the "design spirit of the ride is reflective of an off-road adventure, with immersive sensory theming that embraces the great outdoors of the Bay Area and Central Coast."  As seen in the concept art released today, the ride will feature elaborate rockwork and be set partially over water as well.

© California's Great America
Riders will enter single seat, eight passenger cars (three trains in total) to start their journey on Railblazer.  After heading up a 45 degree lift hill to a height of 106 feet, the trains encounter a 180 degree turn then a 90 degree first drop with a maximum speed of 52 miles per hour.  The total track length of Railblazer is 1,800 feet.

© California's Great America
Elements on the journey include a total of three inversions - a large dive loop, a 180 degree stall, and a zero-gravity roll.  Other elements include a first drop that plunges into a rocky tunnel, an off-axis air-time hill, upward helix climb, and plenty of tight curves and drops.

“RailBlazer is a revolutionary roller coaster concept that will be an intense and exhilarating ride experience for our guests,” said Raul Rehnborg, vice president and general manager, California’s Great America. “In addition, it marks the company’s initial investment in the park following the City of Santa Clara’s approval this year of the new park master plan, and kicks off a multi-year transformation of California’s Great America into a world-class destination for everyone in the Bay Area and beyond.”

As with all the other announcements today, Railblazer's also included animation of the ride experience, embedded here.  With the approval of recent zoning changes for California's Great America, this ride should mark the start of a great expansion period for the park.  Exciting times ahead!