Sunday, July 21, 2019

Holiday World Teasing New For 2020 Attraction

© Holiday World
Holiday World has started teasing their new addition for 2020, which appears to be jungle cat themed.  Is it for the theme park or water park?  We can't be sure at the moment, however the water park is called Splashin' Safari, so a jungle cat theme seems a perfect one for something new there.

The images here are from the park's teasers, which make me think that whatever is coming might be somewhat thrilling.  The top image instructs us to "hold tight," probably not only for the upcoming announcement but also while on the ride, and an e-mail from the park says the announcement will be a "blast."

Granted there are a lot of different thrilling water park attractions out there these days that could arrive, and Splashin' Safari is well known for their water roller coasters as well.  It's also worth pointing out that the park removed Pilgrims Plunge (later known as Giraffica and folded into the water park) with no replacement, so perhaps we'll see that area redeveloped in 2020?  You never know, the park could even use some of the ride's lagoon for something new.

© Holiday World
Either way we won't have to wait all that long, as the park will be making their announcement on August 6th at noon.  Visitors to the park that day can attend the announcement and be one of the first to find out all the details!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Dorney Park to Replace Wildwater Kingdom Attraction with Updated Version in 2020

© NewsPlusNotes
Dorney Park has received approval to remove Island Water Works, a water fun house in Wildwater Kingdom, with a better and more modern model in 2020.

The local news covered the approval at the meeting, here is a link, but it doesn't contain a lot of details.  It does quote the park's General Manager as saying the new project reflects an "updated version" of the water fun house.  We can assume it will be built on the location of the current fun house, I think, and no manufacturer was confirmed yet.  Cedar Far has used WhiteWater for similar projects throughout the chain in the past.

© Google
Island Water Works sits on an island due to a lazy river surrounding it, the entire area was once a mini-golf course way back when.  In this aerial you can see that there is space around it for a potential bigger model to be installed, especially if they snatch up some of the the lounge areas that are on two sides of it.

The attraction opened in 1998, the same time the whole 'island' was redeveloped from a mini-golf course.  It was created by SCS Interactive and has 70 "water gags" along with two giant tipping buckets that can be filled faster through water-blaster teamwork. 

As always, we'll look forward to the park's announcement later this summer for more details, but if you're an avid fan of Island Water Works you might want to go visit while you can!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Preview of Grand Carnivale At Dorney Park - Event Opens July 20th!

© NewsPlusNotes
We've been patiently waiting for the "ultimate cultural celebration" that is Grand Carnivale to premier at Dorney Park, which happens Saturday, July 20th, and now we're only a few days away!  After getting a taste of the festivities at a couple other Cedar Fair parks, our anticipation of the event has hit a true peak.  To that end we checked out the park as they are in their final days of preparation for Grand Carnivale in order to give a preview of the event to our readers.

Walking up to the park, Grand Carnivale makes itself known immediately.  The main entrance plaza is decked out in its finest, with giant beads, colorful flags and special signage all over.

© NewsPlusNotes
The fun continues immediately once you enter the park, with decorations and signage present all over.  Unlike we saw during the celebration at Kings Dominion and Kings Island, Dorney Park's Grand Carnivale is presented in a more condensed area, a benefit in my book.  The amount of decorations the park has already put in place along the main midway is giving the area a bright and shimmering appearance - there's seriously something to look at no matter which way you turn.

© NewsPlusNotes
Entertainment is a central part of Grand Carnivale, and there are separate stages and performance areas found all over.  This main one is located on the backside of the Antique Carousel, but stages can be found stretching all the way to bordering White Water Landing's lagoon.

The above stage is by far the largest and most elaborate that the park has created, and it's impressive all on its own!  It still isn't totally finished, but when it is it will be the location of the Grand Carnivale Opening Ceremony, featuring the King & Queen of Carnivale.  That performance will officially start the festivities, including the opening of food and craft tents, the Adventure Club and more.

© NewsPlusNotes
Each of the countries being celebrated during Grand Carnivale (China, France, Germany, India and Italy) have their own food stand.  This is Italy's which is located just beyond the Antique Carousel.  Each of the countries attractions, entertainment and food are clustered together, with decorations and theming throughout.  As you move down the Main Midway you encounter other countries, next is China, then India, and France and Germany share the area in front of White Water Landing's lagoon.

© NewsPlusNotes
The stage that went up over the former water fountain/planter looks like it is going to be homebase for the entertainment related to India.  You can see some new decorations that have been added to this area to liven up the stage a bit.  It was a hot day at the park when I took these photos and the stage was still serving as a nice place to rest.

© NewsPlusNotes
Also scattered throughout each of the themed sections are Adventure Club stands.  Visitors can partake in the Adventure Club Challenge, which is filled with clues and puzzles that can be solved in order to gain acceptance to the club.  There will be printed Adventure Club guides available at the stands that tell you where to go, and you can start at any country.  Each task that is completed earns a stamp in their guide book, and completing all tasks earns you an Adventure Club Badge.

© NewsPlusNotes
Here are some shots of the far side of the Grand Carnivale celebration, sorry the sun wasn't really agreeing with me taking photos!  You can see many food tents set up in the area for Germany and France around here, along with tons of new seating.  There's actually new seating located all along the walkways for guests to sit and eat and relax.

The food is an important part of Grand Carnivale, with each country offering several tastings.  Groups of six tastings can be purchased for $30, or each item can be purchased on its own.  The items offered all correspond to the host country, with authentic foods and desserts offered at each.  There are a lot of tasty sounding items, such as China's Emperor's Chinese Spare Ribs, complete with a sweet sticky sauce, and Italy's Roman Suppli, which are fried rice balls stuffed with cheese and pepper and doused in marinara.

Those with a sweet tooth will love the Banana Baji, a batter dipped fried banana in India, Apple Strudel from Germany, and France's Profiteroles, which are delicate cream puffs, among others.

© NewsPlusNotes
As covered earlier each area has their own entertainment stage or area, this one here belongs to France.  Shows are varied with a ton of performers, again each themed to their home country.  For instance, Germany will have polka and accordion players, France will have mimes and magic, and Italy will have authentic puppetry performances.  There's going to be a ton of live entertainment all throughout the evening, so be sure to look for different performances while you're at the park.

© NewsPlusNotes
When these photos were taken the park was already heavily decorated, but there was still a lot more to come.  This look inside the Good Time Theater shows that there was still an abundance of decorations that would be heading into the park before the premiere.  And this was only part of what still needed to go out!  I can't wait to see the finished product.

© NewsPlusNotes
The Theater is also a massive staging area for the performers in Grand Carnivale, and there are a lot of them no question.  This rack is holding onto the fancy head pieces that just some of the performers wear, all bright, colorful and full of energy.

© NewsPlusNotes
All those performers need costumes to put on a good show, and the Theater is also the holding area for those.  There are racks and racks of outfits in this area, these photos only show some of them.  They looked like they were clustered by country, and all of them were even more elaborate than I expected.

© NewsPlusNotes
They are all specially made for Grand Carnivale, and not only match the theme of their country but also continue the bright and festive vibe the decorations have. 

© NewsPlusNotes
There is one major component of Grand Carnivale that we haven't covered yet, and that is the Spectacle of Color Parade.  Taking place each evening as the sun sets, the parade features extravagantly decorated floats, street performers, and a unique soundtrack created specially for it.

During my visit to the park the temporary staging area for the parade, located outside the gates beyond Good Time Theater, had a few of the floats already on property.  Above is a giant elephant made of drums that guests and performers can both enjoy.

© NewsPlusNotes
Here is the giant Jules Verne Airship, which will glow brilliantly in the dark (all the floats will, for that matter).  The lighting of the photo makes it hard to tell, but the airship is covered in lights.  There will be a total of 9 floats in the Spectacle of Color Parade and it will last in the neighborhood of 30 minutes.

© NewsPlusNotes
Here we have the parade's lead float, known as the King of Carnivale.  That's because this guy is the king, as if that wasn't obvious from the crown.  The main section of this float also contains a small trampoline that performers stay on during the route, bouncing and entertaining the crowd as they go.

While on the subject of the parade's route, it will begin at the Good Time Theater, travel through Planet Snoopy, head around the Wild Mouse and travel down the Main Midway and back.  There will be a few parade stops during the route where performers can interact with park guests, since all the floats have interactive elements built into them.

In the end each of the 5 featured countries will have their own dedicated float, plus the King in the lead, and three traditional Mardi Gras-styled floats in the back.  Each day some lucky park guests will be picked to ride these floats, and yes, there will be beads thrown!

© NewsPlusNotes
At the end of the parade several of the floats will remain on the midway to add to the environment as the Grand Carnivale Street Party begins.  The festivities go until the park closes, with even more special live entertainment, booming music, a dance party, special lighting and more.

An event of this level has never been done at Dorney Park before to my knowledge, and we think the crowds are going to be amazed at all it has to offer.  Grand Carnivale at Dorney Park starts this Saturday, July 20th, and will run each night through August 11th.  See you there!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Hersheypark To Announce New 2020 Coaster on July 24th + Coaster Goes Vertical

© Hersheypark
Hersheypark will announce their brand new roller coaster, opening in 2020, on July 24th and you can be there to see it!  The park will allow the first 500 guests in line at 10:30 am at the Chevrolet Music Box Theatre inside to watch the announcement live.  The park also shared the above photo, blurry we know, but quite obviously a view from the front seat of the car looking down the first drop toward the ground.

The ride has been well known about for a while now, and is expected to be a B&M Hyper Coaster themed around Hershey's candies.  We don't know the exact statistics of the attraction though, those will certainly come when the park announces their 15th roller coaster in just over a week.

© Hersheypark
You can get a refresher on the layout of the new coaster in many of the images that Hersheypark has shared of Chocolatetown, for instance the one above shows the entire layout.  True to B&M hyper style, the ride features a tall first drop, several large air-time hills, and a helix around a water fountain that is central to the park's new entrance.

Just in the past week the ride has actually gone vertical, with the track for the final part of the brake run being installed.  To get a view of the chocolate brown track in place, check out this video.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

SeaWorld San Antonio Heads Deep Into the Ocean With New 2020 Teaser

© SeaWorld San Antonio
SeaWorld San Antonio may be hard at work on an accelerated schedule building their new for 2020 attraction, but the park is just starting to tease fans with the details of the new ride.  The park's media department has sent out the below teaser for the ride, which seems like the first of many that we will see:

The clip begins with the camera heading below the surface of the ocean... way below the surface.  Sunlight is quickly blocked from view as the bubbles fade and the water turns dark.  Sounds of a submarine echo are heard as a couple of bioluminescent creatures swim by, though it's too dark to make out exactly what they are.  Aside from the park asking us all to stay tuned, we haven't got much else to go on.

However, it has been discovered (click here for more on that) that SeaWorld Entertainment has copyrighted the name Abyss for something in the nature of a "theme park ride."  Now that we've seen the teaser heading down into the dark bottom of the ocean, Abyss sure seems to fit nicely!

But then again we've always seen SeaWorld Entertainment copyright several possible names for their big rides, then finalize their choice later on.  So the park could still have more tricks up their sleeves!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Steel Curtain is Now Open at Kennywood

© Kennywood
Today Kennywood has officially debuted The Steel Curtain, the park's towering and twisted new roller coaster.  Themed to the Pittsburgh Steelers football franchise, the ride sits as the prominent centerpiece of Steelers Country, an entirely new themed area at Kennywood.  The area celebrates everything Steelers related, with interactive activities, food, retail and more.

But folks looking for thrills will certainly find The Steel Curtain to be the most desirable attraction in the area, especially since it stands a massive 220 feet over the park.  It's pretty hard not to notice with its bright gold supports and sleek black track.

© Kennywood
Not only is The Steel Curtain tall, but it's also very twisted, featuring a total of 9 inversions throughout the course - a record for North America.  Watching new coverage from those at the park also shows that the ride moves fast - and keeps its speed way up until the final brakes.  That means a thrilling set of inversions with little break in between them.  However at 4,000 feet of track the ride doesn't look short by any stretch of the imagination.

To hold you over until you get out to Kennywood to experience The Steel Curtain in person, the park has released a brand new point of view movie of the ride.  Take a spin below!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Jurassic World - The Ride Now In Previews at Universal Studios Hollywood

© RyanThemePark via YouTube
Jurassic World - The Ride is still listed as "coming soon" on Universal Studios Hollywood's website, but the ride has finally entered preview mode which means that we've been able to get our first look.  And some lucky folks have even had their first rides... and that means videos are available!

Consider this a light spoiler about the ride, however I'm not going to go into details of the changes made in the attraction - but they look great!  I admit that I was a bit unnerved to hear that the popular Jurassic Park ride would be undergoing major changes, however mostly for nostalgic reasons and not practical ones.  But now having watched many point of view videos of the ride, I admit it looks like a wonderful change that will better suit the expectations of the general public of 2019.

In fact, there's more changes that I anticipated.  We knew the main lagoon was transformed to being indoors, and that did pan out, but several other parts of the ride had major changes as well.  The indoor section at the top of the lift has been totally renovated, and while rather dark on most movies you can tell it's a totally different environment and theme than the 1995 version of the ride.  And for the better!

I'm excited to see if Universal decides to pull the trigger on making the same changes at Islands of Adventure in a couple years, or keeps the existing ride and expands upon Jurassic World in their new theme park.  Regardless of what happens in Florida, visitors to the park in California have a slick new attraction to enjoy!

The daytime point of view movies of the ride are great, but I think this one of it at night, from Ryan ThemePark on YouTube, really shows off how nice the ride looks.  Take a look if you want to see all that Jurassic World - The Ride has to offer!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Teasing Theme of 2020 New Coaster

© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
At this point, the exact plans for Busch Gardens Williamsburg's 2020 new coaster are not much of a secret, unless of course you've purposely ignored all the coverage of them (click here for those spoilers if you like).  That doesn't mean that we know exactly everything about the new ride, such as its official name and theme.

To that end, the theme park has been teasing about the attraction, with one of the biggest reveals seen up top - and that's the announcement date of 7/30/19.  Just three weeks from today!

There have been three teasers so far, each featuring a short phrase about a mythological god (and planet, by chance), all with ties to Roman history.  Fitting since the ride is expected to become a part of the Italian themed section of the park.  The above teaser states "rise with the power of Neptune’s trident and plunge deep into the raging sea," for instance.

Each of the teasers feature a flag with a logo that's related to the mythological god being named, but not much else.  All of the descriptions, like "run messages to the gods on Mercury’s lightning fast wings" and "escape Pluto’s twisted Underworld and be immortalized in the garden of the gods" elicit the idea of a fast and twisting ride, which certainly seems like exactly what is on the way.

With various gods being referenced one would think the ride's name would be all encompassing of mythology in general, but that remains to be seen.  They could take a left turn and keep naming planets, for all we know!  Make sure to follow the park's socials for more clues before the announcement at the end of the month!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Six Flags Dubai Cancelled + Developer Pays For Right to Maybe Build Park Later

© Six Flags
First announced in 2016, Six Flags Dubai had originally been planned to open this year, though individuals watching the 'construction' of the park have been reporting not much of anything going on at the site for some time now.

Back in April of this year the news broke that the park was being pulled by DXB Entertainments, which also operate a Bollywood Parks Dubai theme park, Motiongate Dubai and a Legoland near where Six Flags Dubai would have opened.  The company hasn't achieved any financial success since the parks opened, and instead of trying to build yet another park they have decided to focus on the existing properties.

Many of the rides destined to go to Six Flags Dubai were already ordered or fabricated, so many of them will be going to the Bollywood Parks Dubai and Motiongate Dubai.  Some of them are true thrill rides according to the company, featuring "world record" statistics - the details of which were not revealed.

Six Flags Dubai's original concept art, up top, featured a large launched or hyper coaster, what appeared to be a clone of Goliath at Six Flags Great America, an Intamin Ball Coaster, plus many family attractions.  It will be interesting to see which rides will appear at the other parks.

Just recently news also broke that DXB Entertainments will pay Six Flags $7.5 million in order to have the right of first refusal to build a park using the Six Flags name in Dubai.  That agreement will last for 5 years, and essentially means no one else can build a licensed Six Flags park in Dubai for that period unless DXB says they don't want to.  So, that sounds like if suddenly the existing parks start to make a profit (they lose money each year) and they want to expand, they can once again pull the trigger on opening a Six Flags park.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Adventureland Opens New Phoenix Spinning Roller Coaster

© Adventureland Resort
The new Phoenix roller coaster has opened at Adventureland Resort in Iowa.  The ride is one of Maurer Rides' SC2000 models, with the SC standing for spinning coaster.  The ride's individual 4-seater cars spin freely on the ride's track, giving passengers (seated back to back) a thrilling but disorienting experience.

The Phoenix stands around 51 feet tall and has a track length of 1,410 feet.  It has a twisted layout that fits in a relatively small area, but still has a "big coaster" appeal.

© KCCI 8
The Phoenix is painted all black at Adventureland, both supports and track.  The cars hit a top speed of around 37 miles per hour, and there are no inversions during the ride.  The project cost the park around $6 million to complete and the Phoenix is now the park's 6th roller coaster.

Adventureland hasn't shared many photos of the ride yet, so here's a news clip about the ride opening from a local news station, KCCI:

Friday, July 5, 2019

Kings Dominion Announces Attraction Closure for 2020 + Hint of What's to Come

© Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion has announced the permanent closure of one of Soak City's wave pools, named Big Wave Bay.  The wave pool was the older of the two wave pools that can be found at the park, and is tucked in the far back corner of the property.

The park uploaded a short video to their social feeds today announcing the attraction's departure, telling fans to "wave goodbye to Big Wave Bay" as they are "making waves" for something new.

© Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion included a quick shot of the year 2020 at the end of the video, with a couple palm trees after the numbers.  While not much of a clue as to what is coming to the park, at least we do not have to wonder if this will be for the theme park or Soak City... obviously Soak City.

The Big Wave Bay wave pool has only operated on some very busy days in the past few years, so no one is really surprised to see it go.  It is still listed as closed until further notice on the park's website, and its individual attraction page has been pulled down.

© Google Maps
What will replace the wave pool is just speculation for now.  I'd think it would be something sizable however, or the park probably wouldn't even bother to make an announcement about the wave pool's closure and the nod toward something new in 2020.  Soak City already received one of the drop box slide towers that have gone in most Cedar Fair parks, so that gives me further hope that it is going to be a bigger investment.  It would be neat to see something like a water coaster slither around the large space (above) that the pool took up!

© Google Maps
Thinking on a much grander scale, it would be fun to see Kings Dominion condense Soak City into just one section, as right now it is one of the most awkward and spread out water parks I can think of.  Racer 75 bisects Soak City and a lot of the newer attractions are already clustered in the far side of the area.  The park recently removed their Tornado water slide, which leaves the lazy river, a kiddie area, and some old water slides and amenities on the side of the park closest to the rides.

What if next year's addition was the start of creating a more condensed park in the far side?  With another slide tower and a new lazy river (plus items like changing rooms, lockers etc) in an expansion to the far area the park could gain a lot of valuable real estate right by the theme park.

Then again that's a really big change for one season, so perhaps 2020 is the start of a bigger process?  All pure speculation on my part!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Cedar Fair Purchases Sawmill Creek Resort Located Miles from Cedar Point

© Sawmill Creek Resort
Cedar Fair seems to be starting a bit of a spending spree as of late, though perhaps the right deals just fell into the company's lap at the right time.  They announced this week that they have agreed to purchase the Sawmill Creek Resort, located along Cleveland Road just about 8 miles from Cedar Point.

No financial terms of the sale were provided.  Sawmill Creek Resort is spread out over 235 acres of land, including 28 acres of land adjacent to Lake Erie (easily visible in the aerial photo of the resort up top) and 50 acres that have not yet been developed.  The resort includes lodge style accommodations (a total of 236 rooms), a full marina, a golf course, three restaurants, tons of pools and amenities and a conference center.

© Google Maps
The purchase of the resort seems squarely aimed at making Cedar Point more of a destination resort than ever before.  The amenities offered by the resort will help round out what Cedar Point already has, for example now dad can go play a round of golf one day when rest of the family hits the park or water park.  

Plus, the resort already feeds heavily into families in town for tournaments at the Sports Force Park, which will open a large indoor section later this year.  Cedar Fair stated in the press release that they will work to modernize the resort's rooms and facilities over the next two years.

© Google Maps
Just out of curiosity on my part, I wanted to see just how close Sawmill is to the park, and it's about 8 driving miles.  Sawmill is in yellow on this map, with the Sports Force Park in pink, and Cedar Point in blue.  Obviously the new purchase is a bit further out from Cedar Point than their other hotels, but with all its amenities it will allow the company to appeal to an even broader selection of visitors.

With this latest purchase Cedar Fair will now operate more than 2,300 hotel rooms across it's various parks.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

SeaWorld San Antonio's New For 2020 Wooden Coaster Already Topped Off!

© SeaWorld San Antonio
Things are getting very exciting at SeaWorld San Antonio, as they are making a huge amount of progress on their new for 2020 wooden roller coaster.  The park has not officially said anything about the new ride yet, but considering it is now towering over the park it's not much of a secret!

The credit for these photos goes to ACE South Central, who posted them on Twitter - I am embedding them here to make sure you guys see them.  I'd give them a follow on Twitter as I suspect there will be many more photos of this new ride in the future.

Surprisingly, the lift hill for this new wooden coaster, rumored but not confirmed to be by Great Coasters International, is already complete!  Usually the topping out of a new coaster is celebrated by the park through the press, and also it's usually during the winter.  SeaWorld San Antonio has already reached that milestone in June, the year before the ride will open!

The coaster will utilize steel supports and a traditional wood coaster track, refreshing as there haven't been many new wood coasters in the U.S. for the last few years.  If the ride does in fact prove to be a GCI creation, it will be their first new wood coaster in the U.S. since 2017, when InvadR opened at sister park Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  A couple of the photos appear to show a track segment that is below grade, so perhaps it will have a tunnel or two as well.  It will be fun to see the ride go up without knowing the full layout - rare that that happens anymore!

The new wooden coaster will be the park's 5th overall, with Wave Breaker having only opened in 2017.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Cedar Fair's Purchase of California's Great America is Official + 2020 Construction Is Underway

© California's Great America
Cedar Fair's previous announcement of their plans to purchase the land (versus leasing it as they have in the past) that California's Great America sits on is now complete.  The company announced that the land acquisition had closed and they paid $150 million for the 112 acres of property.

The land purchase seems like it will give the park a green light on future expansion, which to some degree has stalled in the past year or so.

Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard A. Zimmerman said, “Our purchase of the land on which the park operates underscores Cedar Fair’s long-term commitment to California’s Great America, a unique, family-friendly entertainment destination serving those who call Northern California home. I want to thank the City of Santa Clara for being a valuable partner since our acquisition of the park in 2006, and we look forward to building upon that relationship as we continue to focus on the development of California’s Great America.”

© Railblazer CGA via YouTube
California's Great America was originally expected to have a major water park expansion this season, which now appears to be moving ahead full steam for 2020.  Several photos have appeared on social media of the park working on the project, and this video on YouTube from user Railblazer CGA shows a ton of water slide pieces on site along with foundations for a slide tower going in.

The slide pieces look pretty similar to those that have been used in the WhiteWater drop-tower slides that have gone into numerous Cedar Fair parks in the past 5 or so years, and are already being assembled.  It seems more pieces have been arriving recently, so there may be even more slides involved as well. 

While the park hasn't confirmed it, everyone expects that the park will remove the Boomerang Bay name and theme for the water park, giving it something that fits the park's history more closely.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

New Maxx Force POV Footage + Ride Opens July 4th Weekend

© Six Flags Great America
Another highly anticipated roller coaster for 2019 is about ready to open!  Six Flags Great America has started testing Maxx Force, the park's new S&S Worldwide compressed air launch roller coaster.

The ride is a quick one, featuring a launch that rockets trains from 0 to 78 miles per hour in only 2 seconds - that's going to be a very extreme launch!  It then soars up into a 17 story double-inversion element that's kinda sorta but not really a cobra roll, then back to the ground for the world's fastest inversion, an extended corkscrew that heads to the opposite side of the ride.  Two more quick inversions and then the ride comes into the final brakes.

Ready for a ride?

Now that the ride is testing and in the final stages of preparation, the park has also announced that it will open on July 4th in time for the following holiday weekend.  The press event is scheduled for the 2nd, and pass holder preview days after that before the general public.  Get ready to ride!

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Steel Curtain Takes First Run at Kennywood In New Video

© Kennywood
Exciting times at Kennywood amusement park as their new for 2019 roller coaster, The Steel Curtain, has started test runs!  Shortly after placing the final track pieces the park sent the first train out on the course, and it was a huge success!

Want to see what we mean?  Here's video of the test run direct from Kennywood:

The Steel Curtain looks like an awesome coaster experience, featuring an impressive 9 inversions and quite a bit of speed throughout the entire course.

The twisted first inversion, which takes place 197 feet in the air, leads into an equally twisted first drop and results in a top speed of 76 miles per hour.  The rest of the exaggerated inversions include a banana roll, dive loop and inverted stall over the midway below.  Even the last two inversions, which take place rather close to the ground, are taken at an impressive speed.

Next stop, opening the ride!  I'd expect an official opening date to be revealed soon.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom Late June 2019 Update

© NewsPlusNotes
The summer season has set in at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, and while the amusement and water parks are operating at full speed the property is also preparing for their upcoming festivals and making other improvements.  This past weekend featured probably the best weather we've seen thus far in 2019, and we enjoyed a beautiful evening at the park - let's take a look at what's going on.

© Dorney Park
But first - I was excited to see my first Pass Perks reward hit my inbox a couple weeks ago.  I got a free Fast Lane Plus ticket, which was valid for around two weeks after I got notified.  Now all jokes about Dorney not having long lines for the coasters aside, their water park is packed most sunny days, and this bad boy would let you skip all those legitimately long lines.  A big benefit in my opinion.  Plus, a Fast Lane Plus ticket sells for anywhere from $55 to $70, so this Pass Perk has quite a lot of value to it.  Excited to see what my next one will be.

© NewsPlusNotes
Dorney Park is continuing to get ready for Grand Carnivale, which starts on July 20 - less than a month away!  The center of the party atmosphere will be along the Main Midway, and the park is continuing to prepare the area for the festivities.  The new light/sound poles have been equipped with a bunch of new lights, in addition to speakers.  There are also new speakers in some of the flower beds along the walkway.

© NewsPlusNotes
Even more lighting is showing up in the flower beds as well - these uplights are certain to makes the trees looks beautiful once the evening sets in.  The new stage (seen in the far background of this photo) is all ready to go, with new steps installed for performers.

If you haven't checked out coverage of Grand Carnivale at Kings Island or Kings Dominion, there's plenty out there and the event looks even better than I expected!

© NewsPlusNotes
The park had installed a ton of new electrical boxes to support all the lights and glitter behind Grand Carnivale, and has now installed signs on the boxes to make them a bit more useful and easier on the eye.  Most of them are advertising the park's new free Wifi, and their new mobile app.

Speaking of, the park now has the mobile app version that we've seen in use at many Cedar Fair parks in the past few seasons.  That means it includes wait times for the largest attractions, above is a screen shot from my visit this weekend.  Generally the estimates were pretty accurate with only a small exception here and there - a great way to plan your day when at the park!

© NewsPlusNotes
Now that summer is in full swing, the park has expanded their live entertainment schedule as well.  This year the largest show is at Center Stage, named Hot Rhythm Nights.  Other shows include Chart Toppers on the midway stage, The Tidal Waves and Krank Up The Kingdom inside Wildwater Kingdom, and three different family shows featuring Snoopy in Planet Snoopy.

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I caught a little bit of Hot Rhythm Nights at Center Stage, and the live band combined with some talented performers made for one of the most entertaining shows in a few seasons.  Worth checking out if you want to get off your feet for a bit while at the park.

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Lastly for this trip - if you stop by the Whip you may notice something new had been added to the center of each turntables.  That's right, the park has created special birthday cake decorations to help celebrate the Whip's 100th anniversary!

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Here is a closer view of the birthday cake, like I said there is one at each end of the ride.  The classic attraction is receiving a ton of attention for it's 100th anniversary, much deserved in my book.  It's so awesome to see the park go all out for their classic ride.  And if you're wondering why the birthday cakes look a little generic... that's absolutely on purpose.

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Reference this photo of the Whip, which had birthday cakes installed on its turntables back in 1984 when Dorney Park celebrated their 100th anniversary.  So not only is it cool that Dorney Park is further celebrating the Whip's 100th anniversary, but they even connected it to the park's 100th anniversary!  Neat.

That's it for this run, stay tuned for more Dorney Park updates throughout the season.