Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Adventureland Iowa Announces New Spinning Roller Coaster for 2019

© Adventureland
Iowa's Adventureland theme park has announced a surprise roller coaster for the 2019 season, named Phoenix.  The coaster will be a spinning ride designed by Maurer Rides, standing about 50 feet tall and reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.

The Phoenix will replace the Inverter, a flat ride was removed at the end of the 2017 season, according to this news story.  The ride will cost Adventureland $6 million and construction will start in February, 2019, with the ride scheduled for a June opening.

© Maurer Rides
From the given manufacturer, height, speed and the fact that Undertow at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is shown in the park's Facebook announcement, it looks like Phoenix will be one of Maurer's SC2000 rides.

There are already a handful of these spinning coasters in North America, and they are well received by park guests.  Adventureland is marketing the new coaster as a family attraction, considerably less intense than the Monster, the park's large Gerstlauer Infinity Coaster built in 2016.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Checking in on Yukon Striker Construction at Canada's Wonderland

© Grace Peacock
Cedar Fair's second large coaster project for 2019 is Yukon Striker at Canada's Wonderland, and the coaster's construction isn't too far behind Carowinds' Copperhead Strike, though the track isn't quite finished yet.  The theme park has made major progress on the ride's instillation however, and it doesn't look out of the question for all track to be up before the start of the new year.

The park's Director of Communications has shared a few photos of the ride on her social media, including the beautiful snowy shot above.  I love how tall and isolated Yukon Striker looks in the photo, as if it is protecting the park.

© Grace Peacock
Back with clear skies and no snow, you can see in this shot from last week that many of Yukon Striker's enormous elements are already in place.  After the 245 foot first drop the ride soars up into an Immelmann, not seen here, then up into the dive loop that is in the middle of the photo.  That leads to the back half of the ride, which returns using the steep drop from the mid-course brakes, also seen here.

© Canada's Wonderland
This wonderful wide-angle shot does picture the enormous Immelmann, and also the other elements that we saw above.  The rest of the layout will include a vertical loop - the first on a B&M dive coaster - another smaller Immelmann, and then after that second drop a hill and helix before the station.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Carowinds Places Final Piece of Copperhead Strike Track!

© Carowinds
An early holiday present to Carowinds, construction crews this week lifted the final piece of Copperhead Strike track into place.  The above photo is the final piece of track, along with some of the crew who have been assembling the ride.  The final piece was a part of the ride's giant inverted top hat element, which takes place right after the second launch.

© Carowinds
© Carowinds
The theme park has been showing off the ride in recent weeks, since it was nearing completion and there was quite a lot to see.  We already knew from all the videos and concept art that Copperhead Strike would be a twisted ride, but I think these photos speak for themselves on that point.  The ride's track twists and curls its way around, and looks amazing set in front of the fall colors of the parks trees.

Copperhead Strike's track extends 3,255 feet total, with two launches - one to 42 miles per hour and then halfway through the ride another that sends the trains blasting at 50 miles per hour.

© Carowinds
This shot is of the inverted top hat, the final elements to be constructed, when it was about halfway done.  Copperhead Strike will have 5 inversions in total, two vertical loops, the jojo roll right out of the station, a corkscrew, and the inverted top hat.

© Carowinds
The same time that track and supports have been going up, Carowinds has been busy building Copperhead Strike's station, queue and first launch building.  This photo is of the building that houses the first launch, which according to the ride's animations will have quite a bit of theming inside it.  Carowinds captioned the photo "What's in the barn?" - alluding to the events that will take place in here.  I love that the park is combining a thrilling ride with a pretty heavy storyline, helping to keep the "theme" in the "theme park."

Friday, December 7, 2018

New Details on Tokyo Disneyland's Stunning New Dark Ride + Massive Expansion

© Disney Parks
This week Disney Parks and Tokyo Disneyland have released new information and an amazing video showcasing the massive expansion under construction at the park, which will greatly expand Fantasyland but also give new attractions to both Tomorrowland and Toontown.  All the new additions are scheduled to open in 2020, and these new materials have fans quite excited, especially for the area's new dark ride.

Tokyo Disneyland released this drawing of the expansion, along with a key to understand what is being added:

© Tokyo Disneyland
The largest part of the expansion is a new part of Fantasyland themed to Beauty and the Beast.  The area's main dark ride will be named the Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast, but the area will also feature the Village Shoppes, a retail area, La Tavern de Gaston and LeFou's, both food establishments, along with the large Fantasyland Forest Theatre.

In Tomorrowland, a new family spinning ride named The Happy Ride with Baymax (how adorable!) will open in a structure bordering Tomorrowland and the Fantasyland Expansion.  Toontown will also open Minnie's Style Studio, a new highly themed character meet and greet area.

The total expansion is costing $665 million, and the dark ride is a massive $284 million on its own.

Disney Parks released a new video all about the Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast, and it's getting a ton of attention all over the internet:

Watching the entire video makes it pretty easy to understand why people are going nuts for this new ride.  It's the first time that Beauty and the Beast is being made into a full dark ride, and it looks like they're going all out on it.  The animatronics alone look amazing, and the trackless dancing tea cups that serve as ride vehicles look equally wonderful.  In true Tokyo Disney fashion, the ride looks to be some of the best that Imagineering can create!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Morey's Piers Building Runaway Tram - New Family Coaster - for 2019

© Morey's Piers
Morey's Piers has announced the addition of a brand new family roller coaster for 2019, named the Runaway Tram.  The Wildwood boardwalk is known for the tram cars that run up and down it, and if you're ever been there then you've certainly heard the famous warning to watch out of them.

The new coaster plays on those classic trams, and will send guests on a ride on one that has gone a little wild - but not too wild.

© Morey's Piers
Morey's Piers isn't giving a lot of details about the ride at this point, but did release a bunch of nice concept art on their website.  Above is an aerial of the entire ride, and as a family coaster do not expect any big drops, fast speeds or extreme thrills.  The ride features a gentle, curving first drop followed by some twists and turns before arriving back at the station.

© Morey's Piers
Roller Coaster Database is reporting that the Runaway Tram ride will be a mirror image of the Flying Eagle, which just opened at Legoland Billund this year.  That ride was created by Zierer and stands around 36 feet tall and features just under 1,000 feet of track.  The compact coaster will fit well among the other rides and attractions piled up on Morey's Piers.

The family nature of the ride is not really a surprise given the fact that Morey's just retired their famous Flitzer coaster this past fall.  The new coaster might not be as thrilling, but will still keep smaller riders happy in summer 2019.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Busch Gardens Tampa's Tigris Track Arrives + The Ride Goes Vertical!

© Busch Gardens Tampa
In the past couple weeks Busch Gardens Tampa has made exciting progress on Tigris, the park's new launched roller coaster for the 2019 season.  The ride will be the tallest launched roller coaster in the state of Florida when it opens, featuring three launch sequences that hit a top speed of more than 60 miles per hour.

Standing 150 feet at its maximum height, Tigris will tower over the park when it is completed.

© Busch Gardens Tampa
These photos, taken last week, show the first sections of Tigris track showing up at Busch Gardens Tampa.  The coaster's track will be the bright orange color seen here, set atop black supports - continuing the tiger theme.

© Busch Gardens Tampa
Now just yesterday the park has already taken Tigris vertical, placing the first piece of track and supports in place.  How wonderful to see the theme park so anxious to get the ride built and opened!  It looks like this section of track is located just after the station area, where the three launches, two forward and one backward, will take place.

© Busch Gardens Tampa
This view shows not only the track in place, but also the foundation work underway for the station area - you can see that in the back of the photo.

One of Tigris' highlight elements is a slow heartline roll that takes place at the top of the ride, slowly inverting riders around 150 feet in the sky!  Look forward to more photos of Tigris going up soon!

Monday, December 3, 2018

IAAPA Expo: Legoland Florida Provides Details of New Flying Attraction

© Legoland Florida
We already know that Legoland Florida is hard at work building a brand new themed area, The Lego Movie World, which will open in spring 2019 and feature a real-life trip into the setting of The Lego Movie.

At the recent IAAPA Expo the theme park revealed more information on the area's marquee attraction, known as The Lego Movie Masters of Flight.  After entering downtown Bricksburg, visitors will see the large show building for Masters of Flight towering over the area.  It can be seen in the upper left portion of the above concept art, and is made up to look like a giant dog.

When inside riders will sit on a new triple-decker couch and go on a flying journey through the many worlds of The Lego Movie.  The attraction has been created by Brogent Technologies, which is known for creating flying theater attractions around the globe.  Specifically, Masters of Flight will be the company's first ever instillation of their m-Ride system.  The attraction will load passengers facing away from the giant 20 meter tall dome screen, turning them around for a huge reveal of the world before them.  The vehicles are capable of several degrees of movement, allowing for a true feeling of flight during the ride.  Other special effects, such as wind, mist and smells will be used to further enhance the experience.

Scott and Carol were able to get a ton of great information on The Lego Movie Masters of Flight attraction during Legoland Florida's press conference at the IAAPA Expo.  The park even had a model of the attraction to show how some of the mechanics of the ride will work.  There are also some great tidbits about the development of the ride, and whether or not it could show up at other parks in the future.  Plus a surprise announcement for the Legoland Florida Resort at the end.  Check it out above!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

IAAPA Expo: SeaWorld San Diego Reveals Tidal Twister Lead Car

© SeaWorld San Diego
Also revealed during the recent IAAPA Expo was the lead car for Tidal Twister, the first-of-its-kind version of a SkyWarp ride that is opening at SeaWorld San Diego next year.

The attraction features two trains that duel on a single track, and feature both forward and backward motion.  The ride experience utilizes a "unique horizontal design," with "twists, banks, turns and curves" all along a tight horizontal track.  Highlights of the ride include a "dynamic zero-g roll and exhilarating airtime."

The reveal of the lead car design for Tidal Twister took place in the middle of the IAAPA show floor, and Scott and Carol were on hand for the presentation.  Check out this video for the big reveal, along with plenty of information from both SeaWorld and the attraction's designer.

Tidal Twister at SeaWorld San Diego is scheduled to open in the spring of 2019.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

IAAPA Expo: Sally Corp. + PortAventura Reveal New Sesame Street Themed Dark Ride

© PortAventura
The recent IAAPA Expo featured plenty of new announcements, including a reveal of a new Sesame Street dark ride - the first of its kind in Europe - to be built next year at PortAventura.  To be located in the existing Sesamo Aventura themed section, the new ride will feature animatronics and other theming designed by Sally Corporation, a leader in dark ride adventures.

The new attraction will represent a large expansion of the Sesame Street themed area at PortAventura, contained in a brand new 14,000 square foot building.  The nearly six-minute ride will be part of a 15 minute adventure when the pre-show is factored in.

During the attraction riders will join Detective Grover on a mission to investigate a mystery that's taking place on Sesame Street, and the ride features more than 2,000 physical and virtual clues to uncover.  It sounds as though riders will be able to use some sort of technology to gather these clues, as the ride is labeled as interactive and will feature a hall of fame scoreboard.

Other technology inside the ride includes 8 different projector screens that include 4 projection-mapped screens on dimensional sets with practical target integration, 1 ninety-degree curved screen with animatronic and show element synching, and 2 one hundred eighty-degree curved, fully immersive screens allow guests to fly through Count’s Castle and dive down into Oscar’s Trash can. 

Scott and Carol were able to capture the entire announcement for the new Sesame Street dark ride at PortAventura during the IAAPA Expo.  The end of the announcement features the reveal of a full sized Big Bird animatronic, check out the video above!