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.