Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Carowinds Announces the Return of a Fan-Favorite Ride in 2019 + Copperhead Strike Grows


© Carowinds
As if a brand new roller coaster, Copperhead Strike, a new themed area with a renovated restaurant and new hotel wasn't enough, Carowinds has gone ahead and also announced the return of a classic ride for their 2019 season.  Now known as Mountain Gliders, the park's set of Flying Scooters will join Copperhead Strike in the new Blue Ridge Junction area.

After operating at the park for many years, the ride was removed to make way for 2018's Camp Snoopy transformation, and did not operate at the park this year.

© Carowinds
When the attraction reopens as Mountain Gliders in 2019, it will have a brand new look (seen above in concept art) which matches its new themed home.  Many fans of the ride have expected the park to make this announcement at some point, considering the ride foundation has been visible on the Copperhead Strike webcam for some time now.  Flying Scooter rides allow visitors to ride in individual cars that have controls that let them swing high in the sky, with a little practice, of course.  The family-friendly ride has long be a favorite of Carowinds visitors.

© Carowinds
As part of sharing the good news about the debut of Mountain Gliders, Carowinds had some media out to the park today to see the latest Copperhead Strike construction as well.  Above is one of the photos that the theme park shared today, showing the view looking straight down the initial launch.  The first vertical loop is currently being built, with several pieces already in place - plus a whole mess of supports are standing for different sections of the coaster as well.

For more photos of Copperhead Strike, the park's new dorms and hotel, check out this article from Coaster 101.


Monday, October 15, 2018

Legoland Florida Reveals Full Details of New Lego Movie World Themed Expansion


© Legoland Florida
Legoland Florida has announced all the details of their new themed land, the Lego Movie World, which is slated to open this spring at the Florida theme park.

Set in the streets of Bricksburg, the new area will feature the sights and sounds of the town made famous in The Lego Movie, and also the upcoming The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.  Legoland Florida had previously announced the expansion, but how is giving all the details of what will greet visitors once it opens.

The concept art up top shows the entire new area.  The large building in the middle of the area is a brand new attraction, called The Lego Movie: Masters of Flight.  Riders will sit on Emmet's flying triple-decker couch on this new flying theater ride.  Guest will be treated to an "action-packed adventure on a suspended ride with a full-dome virtual screen, giving the sensational feeling of flying alongside some familiar and some new faces."

© Legoland Florida
The theme park has totally renovated their splash battle attraction and announced that it will now be known as The Battle of Bricksburg.  Duplo aliens have invaded Bricksburg and passengers are invited to stop the alien invasion by blasting targets with water while on the adventure.

© Legoland Florida
Another new attraction is Unikitty's Disco Drop, pictured above.  The ride will take passengers up to the top only to drop then bounce them back toward the ground.  The ride gives a hint of thrills but is still meant for the entire family.

The rest of the Lego Movie World will contain a meet and greet area at Emmet's Super Suite inside his apartment, where Emmet and all his friends will be available.  Empty stomachs can be filled at the Taco Tuesday Everyday eatery, and unique souvenirs will be found in the Awesome Shop.  There will also be a space themed playground area based off of Benny's spaceship.


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Terror Returns to Six Flags Great Adventure with Fright Fest 2018


© Six Flags
Fright Fest has once again returned to Six Flags Great Adventure, bigger and better than ever before.  The annual scare-fest features a lineup of frightening attractions, pulse-pounding scare zones, live entertainment, and plenty more.  In total Six Flags Great Adventure offers more than 25 special attractions during the Halloween season.

This year the event takes place each Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October, along with bonus days of the 30th and 31st.

© Six Flags
The spooks are out at night, that's for sure, but during the day the park is decked out for families with scare-free entertainment as well.  Kids will love trick-or-treating with the Looney Tunes characters, and shows such as Professor Slithers' Creepy Critters and the Spooky Kooky Magic Show are designed for the whole family.

Once the sun starts to set the park kicks Fright Fest into high gear as the monsters and ghouls start to roam the park.

This year there are three new haunted attractions, each sounding a bit more scary than the last.

© Six Flags
Reflects of the Dead is a new maze where visitors "come face-to-face with themselves as they desperately try to escape this modern-day mirror maze holding spirits from beyond the grave. This labyrinth of mystery and mayhem includes glowing LED lights, vanishing images, and confusion around every corner."

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Another attraction making its debut this year for Six Flags Great Adventure's Fright Fest is named Fears.  As one would imagine from the name, the maze it all about visitors having to face their darkest fears inside, such as "creepy, crawly spiders to cramped spaces, from popping balloons to squirting blood."  The park is at their most devious with Fears, wondering if visitors can "fight their fears and make it to the end without crumbling?"

© Six Flags
The park's third new haunted attraction is a major tie-in to the Hell Fest movie, currently in theaters.  The maze depicts scenes straight from the movie, including the Mausoleum, with increasingly narrow corridors that force guests to feel the touch of death, The Mask Room, filled with floating white faces that suddenly spring to life, the Doll Room, with creepy dolls straight out of a nightmare, and The Torture Chamber, which sounds as gruesome as the name would imply.  Visitors must pass these rooms, and more, in order to escape "The Other," the movie's crazy bad-guy.

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Also new this year is a live show titled Blood Drums.  The performance features "driving techno beats and live drums that mix with rhythmic power tools and fire artistry to create a unique, pulse-pounding percussion show."

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The 2018 season is also the 20th season of Dead Man's Party, which is the park's premier live show during Fright Fest.  Hosted by Dr. Fright, the "rock concert-meets-Broadway-style live show" draws a large crowd each performance.  This year it will "feature new music, eye-popping special effects including lasers and pyrotechnics, a dynamic cast and all-new choreography by renowned dancer/choreographer Theresa Stone."

The new additions join returning favorites such as Aftermath, The Manor, Wicked Woods, Cell Block 6, Big Top Terror in 3D and scare zones like Demon District, The Bloody Fountain and more.  Plus, more live shows and the theme park's towering thrill rides are sure to give their own frights.

To learn more about Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure, click here.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Lakemont Park to Reopen Two Classic Roller Coasters in 2019


© Lakemont Park
Pennsylvania's Lakemont Park, which has sat closed for two summer seasons now, is planning on reopening in 2019 - but not in the exact same form as when it closed.

The park is aiming to be more of a community center with an open campus that can host many events, family reunions, summer camps, and sports games on new basketball and volleyball courts.  So definitely not a traditional amusement park, but some of the most important rides will remain.

Leap The Dips, which was known as the world's oldest operating roller coaster, will still be at the park, along with Skyliner, a wooden coaster from Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters built in 1987.  As a bonus, the park will also be keeping their children's coaster, the Little Leaper, an Allan Herschell ride.  The coasters, along with other attractions, will operate on an individual ticket basis.

As the map featured up top reveals, the park will reopen with several new attractions such as a a full sized miniature golf course, a children's mini-golf course, new water play area next to the pool and slides, go-karts, a walking trail, train ride, basketball and volleyball courts and a couple kiddie rides.

Before the park opens next year, it will host its annual Holiday Lights on the Lake celebration this winter.

The existing Lakemont Park © Google Maps


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Holiday World Announces Details of $5.5 Million Expansion for 2019


© Holiday World
Indiana's Holiday World theme park has announced that they will spend $5.5 million on expanding the park in 2019.  The focus of the work will be in the Christmas themed area, which will receive a sparkling new theming package, along with Santa's Merry Marketplace, a giant dining location.

In order to create Santa's Merry Marketplace, the park will retire Kringle's Kafe.  The concept art above shows the area around the addition and Christmas area plaza, which is receiving new holiday theming from top to bottom.

© Holiday World
The festive atmosphere will cover the area, magically transforming it into the pinnacle of holiday cheer.  This concept art shows how a portion of the renovated area will look when complete.  It appears as though many buildings will receive new facades, and new decorations will be strung up throughout.

© Holiday World
Santa's Merry Marketplace will be a large dining establishment, and the holiday cheer will continue inside the new location.

“We’re ramping up the theming and the menus for next season,” says park president Matt Eckert. “Santa’s Merry Marketplace is nearly 50 percent larger than Kringle’s and will include more menu items plus a coffee shop, bakery, candy store, and ice cream shop."

© Holiday World
“With Santa’s Merry Marketplace, we’ll start a new tradition at Holiday World, as Santa Claus greets park Guests each morning from the bell-tower balcony,” says Eckert. “We also plan to work in some reminders of our Santa Claus Land days and other magical surprises.”

The interior of the Marketplace can be seen above, and it will feature five different serving stations offing distinct menus.

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Santa's Merry Marketplace will have even more than the different serving locations, such as the Sugarplum Scoop Shoppe, which is seen here.  The ice cream store features frosty treats that are sure to hit the spot on a summer day.

© Holiday World
This is the Candy Cane Confectionary and also Polar Expresso, offering a mix of sweet and baked goods, along with the caffeinated beverages needed to enjoy a full day at Holiday World.

This is Holiday World's pun-filled announcement video, which gives even more details about the work they have planned for the 2019 season in the Christmas area.

But wait, there's more! The park has also announced other changes for 2019, including:

- New “Kids World” event for five weekends starting in mid-August
- On-ride photos for Gobbler Getaway dark ride
- Candy Cornucopia store and Dippin’ Dots Sundae Shoppe in the Thanksgiving section
- Track improvements for The Voyage, the world’s second-longest wooden roller coaster
- Additional Cabanas

Holiday World is currently holding their family friendly Happy Halloween Weekends through October 28th.


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

SeaWorld San Diego Building New Tidal Twister Thrill Ride for 2019


© SeaWorld San Diego
Visitors to SeaWorld San Diego in 2019 will be able to "ride the tide" in 2019 on the park's new Tidal Twister thrill ride.

As predicted by many, the new ride will be one of Skyline Attraction's Skywarp Horizon models, the first of its kind and only the second Skywarp to be built.  According to the manufacturer's website, the Horizon model stands around 30 feet tall, with two sixteen passenger trains that feature face-to-face seating.

The ride will see the trains moving at a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour around a figure eight track.  The cross point of the layout features an air-time hill on top and a full zero-g roll on the bottom.  Trains will load at either end of the figure eight layout.

SeaWorld San Diego is classifying Tidal Twister as a roller coaster, and note that it has a 48 inch height requirement, allowing some younger visitors to take a spin.

The Tidal Twister will be located adjacent to the Aquaria touch tank and aquarium and feature "elements encouraging oceanic conservation and sustainability from Rising Tide Conservation, a collaborative aquaculture research effort SeaWorld launched in 2009. Rising Tide Conservation seeks an alternative to the collection of wild fish and the damage it can cause to coral reefs."


Monday, October 8, 2018

Carowinds' New Copperhead Strike Coaster Taking Shape


© Carowinds
It was just last week that the very first pieces of track and supports for Carowinds' new roller coaster, Copperhead Strike, went into place.  The park has been adding new track and supports since then at a seemingly record pace, with a significant amount of the ride now standing.

The above image is from the theme park's webcam that is focused on the construction site, proudly showing off all that has been accomplished thus far.

The park started with the track and supports for the station area, and then moved onto the ride's Jojo roll, a complete heartline roll directly out of the station at slow speeds.  The 180 degree turn then went in, and the first launch track was up next.

Now the park is working on building supports for the ride's first vertical loop, which is up first after the initial 43 mph launch.

Carowinds has been keeping fans updated no only via the webcam, but also through several videos shared on social media.  These give nice close up views of the track being put into place.

When Copperhead Strike is complete it will feature two launches, a total of 5 inversions and 3,255 feet of slithering track.


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Fear Is Waiting For You at Dorney Park's 2018 Halloween Haunt


© NewsPlusNotes
Ah, the fall.  Crisp, cool air takes over, darkness sets in earlier and earlier each day, the leaves begin to change... and on Friday and Saturday nights if you're near Dorney Park the screams can be heard for miles.

Well, perhaps not really miles, but with Dorney Park's annual Halloween Haunt scare-fest taking place this time of year, they're certainly not hard to hear if you're at the park.

Running during October on Fridays and Saturdays until the 27th, Halloween Haunt turns all of Dorney Park into a fog filled, nightmare version of its daytime self.  The event includes many haunted houses, scare zones, special entertainment, activities, decorations and the park's rides as well.

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This year in addition to changes with several attractions, Dorney Park's Haunt features a nice array of new decor, which gives the park an even more spooky atmosphere.  There's also a renewed focus on entertainment and gathering spaces, which has helped the event move up a notch further in my book.

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Of the various decorations that have been added, the Main Midway has several, with the returning of several older pieces as well.  This new version of the headless horseman replaces one that was at the park for years, complete with a glowing pumpkin head.

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The giant lantern boxes we saw under construction during the summer are out and look great lining the flower beds down the center of the midway.  Their colors are just bright enough to draw attention, and they blend in with the fog wonderfully.

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Near the park's Waveswinger, this new photo opportunity has been set up.  Set inside an elaborate greenhouse structure, there are an assortment of creatures to have your photo taken with.  There are witches located here at times, but also the event's special haunt crew.  Above are some masquerade characters that I bet everyone wishes had kept their masks on!

© Dorney Park
Even as the event progresses new props are coming out into the park.  Just this weekend saw the addition of a brand new haunted trolley on the Main Midway.  It is a throwback to when Dorney Park was one of hundreds of trolley parks that existed in North America.  Granted the ghouls on this trolley are quite different than the visitors that came in flocks to Dorney Park ages ago.

© Dorney Park
Dorney Park loves to celebrate their long history, and this trolley is a great example of that.  The graphics on the new prop are all real historical items plucked from the park's archives.  Here is one of the posters on the trolley that was an original advertisement for the trolley line that ran to Dorney Park.  It's a great read if you're at the park and want to take a moment to check it out.

© Dorney Park
Dorney Park has also taken some of their Halloween Haunt food offerings up a notch, including this extreme pumpkin milkshake, available at Coasters Restaurant.  Yes, that's an entire piece of pumpkin pie, sugar cookie and a donut on top!  This one might be a good item to share with a friend, or perhaps the whole family!

© NewsPlusNotes
Each night of Halloween Haunt at Dorney Park kicks off with the Overlord's Resurrection show, greatly new and improved for 2018.  The park has crafted a brand new stage for the show, and moved the production to Hydra plaza so there is room for all to watch.  The show starts at 7:00 and is the official kick-off to the night's scares.

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The Overlord is quick to join the stage and let the crowd know that he and his minions will soon be taking over the park.  He is joined by characters of both good and evil, and it is probably not too hard to figure out which wins at an event like Halloween Haunt!

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Before the show ends there is some great fire and pyro that goes off, and then the Haunt monsters, which have silently gathered around the area, are officially unleashed on the crowd.  All the haunted attractions open shortly after the end of the show.

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New in 2018 at Dorney Park's Halloween Haunt is a scare zone maze hybrid, known as Necropolis.  The attraction is located on the site of Grave Walkers, and shares a similar theme.  The actual attraction is totally different however, and that required a new name to be given to it.  Visitors begin by entering under the sign seen in the photo above, then move into the yard of a Gothic church.

© NewsPlusNotes
And that yard is pretty darn full of fog... making it hard to get a great photo of the facade of the attraction.  But as you can gather from this, there is a large entryway in the middle of the lighted faux glass windows, and that's your ticket into the graveyard of the undead.  Once inside you follow a more streamlined path past both old and new props, with plenty of zombies popping out at all directions.  The lighting and mood of Necropolis is a big improvement to me, and it includes one indoor segment that's pretty creepy and totally filled with skeletons!

© NewsPlusNotes
Also new this year is the reimagining of the park's former scare zone, Cut Throat Island, into a new experience named Port of Call.

Located along the Possessed midway, the park is still using the giant pirate ship props they created for the scare zone, but have now used them to create an entertainment area for guests to gather in.  It's also the home of a live entertainment show, Jolly Rogers.

© NewsPlusNotes
The giant pieces of the pirate ship are arranged to create a space that can be used for watching the Joly Rogers show, grabbing a drink and relaxing at one of the hightop tables, or enjoying a little warm up time at the many flame heaters.  There's also a DJ on the top of one of the pirate ship that keeps the crowd entertained and some haunted pirate characters milling about the area - but not scaring.

© NewsPlusNotes
© NewsPlusNotes
Several times a night the Jolly Rogers show takes place in the area, which is a cirque-style show filled with comedy and pirates.  More upbeat than the haunt show using the same stage in years past (located by Hydra), Jolly Rogers keeps the best of the former shows and adds in plenty of laughs.  In addition to a fake knife throwing act involving a park guest, the show includes the popular trampoline act that is totally high-energy and a spectacle in its own.

© NewsPlusNotes
For the first time the park has also added a bar to the Port of Call area, aptly named the Port of Call Pub.  It features wine, cocktails and beer - including the park's three original brews:  Epic Ale, Lazy Lager and for Halloween, Haunted Hops.  The bar is decked out in pirate theming as well, and is located in the center of all the action.  One of the coolest drinks is named Pirate Gold, a "shimmery white sangria" with a dry ice stirrer.

© NewsPlusNotes
Even if you're not in the mood for a drink I suggest taking a look at the bar top in the Port of Call Pub.  The park has once again added some great historical touches to the theming of the bar, including treasure maps that includes old ride names such as Journey to the Center of the Earth and Gold Mine, along with an old hand-drawn map of the park.

© NewsPlusNotes
The Dorney Park Pumpkin Spectacular has been added to this year's activities, and while not a scary area it's a huge plus to the overall event.  The park has taken thousands of both real and fake pumpkins to create a whole midway decorated head to toe with them.  The attraction is located along the walkway to the Urgent Scare haunted house.

© NewsPlusNotes
The walkway also has this great new photo location added to it - it's great to see the park embracing the fact that everyone takes photos of everything and everyone!  The crowds were lined up to pose with these characters, I was lucky and grabbed a photo in between guests.

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© NewsPlusNotes
The pumpkins, as you can see they're really all over the place, are arranged in different patterns (can you make out Snoopy in one of these?) and glow brightly in the night.  Lots of people just stop and take it all in while on the midways - I hope that this is just the start of a tradition the park does that will only grow with the years!

© NewsPlusNotes
2018 is also the first year for the park's Trick Or Treat haunted house to have a new "Lights Out" tagline added to it.  The house, which follows the storyline of missing children that went trick or treating at a witch's house and never returned, is now much, much darker than it has ever been in the past.  Visitors are given tiny flashlights that only provide a dim path for them to make their way through.  The house has received several new special effects and props to go with the lights out theme, and has given fresh new life into the house.

In total, the 2018 Halloween Haunt at Dorney Park features 3 live shows, 1 entertainment area, 6 indoor haunted houses, and 4 outdoor scare zones.  We've already detailed what what new for this year, but that leaves a lot of returning favorites as well.  Such as...

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Tourist Trap, which was last year's scary new haunted house...



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The ever-popular CarnEvil scare zone, filled to the brim with the clowns that nightmares are made of...

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My personal favorite Blood On The Bayou, make sure to watch out for that alligator...

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The pulse pounding and blood thumping Blood Drums live show...

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And no trip to Halloween Haunt is complete without a trip through CornStalkers: Barn Bred & Blood Fed.  Plus, there's also the Chamber of Horros, Urgent Scare, Blackout and Age of Darkness in the lineup as well.

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And that brings us to the end of our look at this year's Halloween Haunt at Dorney Park.  If you want to plan your own trip before the season ends, get all the details you need from the park's official website.  Many thanks for the park for their assistance in this story, and happy haunting!