Monday, January 20, 2020

Lagoon's 2021 Coaster Project Sees Track Installed + Mountain Being Formed

© DeLoreans Garage Via YouTube
Lagoon's super-secret roller coaster project for 2021 continues to take shape, as seen in a new video from YouTube user DeLoreans Garage.

The project's details are still under wraps, however since the park is building what appears to be a very large mountain at the park there's plenty to see at this stage in the game.  The latest video shows off the work site from the air, giving us a view into the ride's inner workings... at least to some degree.

What we can see is rather interesting.  The ride, which is expected to be named Primordial, definitely uses a traditional roller coaster track at times, some of that can clearly already be seen in place.  There is a suspected dark ride component to the attraction though, which also seems evident from this footage.  There is a large second story part of the ride with what looks like a switch track area followed by two straightaways in the building.  They lead to the massive concrete towers that are going up, though it's hard to tell just what will be in those towers at this point.

The entire one side of the structure is also being covered in frames for what I assume is some hefty rock work that will cover the structure, leading to the expected mountain theming.

Exactly what else the ride has in store is a mystery for now, and I am grateful for that.  It's fun to watch a massive mystery ride go up like this!

Check out the whole video below from DeLoreans Garage.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Aussie Mat Dash Racing Slide Headed to Raging Waves in 2020

© Raging Waves Waterpark
Illinois' Raging Waves Waterpark has been around for just over ten years, and has expanded several times since its initial opening.  It looks like 2020 will be another big year for the independent water park, as it will open Aussie Mat Dash, a brand new mat racing slide from ProSlide.

Raging Waves is themed around the Australian Outback, so the Aussie Mat Dash will fit in nicely with rides like the Platypus Plunge and Tasmanian Twisters.

© Raging Waves Watepark
According to the park, Aussie Mat Dash will be one of only three ProSlide Rally Racers, which feature enclosed sections of tube followed by a Rally Point where riders can briefly see each other to see who's in the lead.  After that it's back into enclosed tube as everyone races for the finish.  The ride, seen above, doubles over itself to save space, and will feature a bright rainbow color scheme.

The park, which is advertised as the largest outdoor water park in all of Illinois, is hoping that the Aussie Mat Dash's six lanes of racing will not only help improve capacity at the popular park, but also encourage repeat rides to try to claim victory!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Check Out the Latest Photos of Holiday World's New Cheetah Chase Water Coaster

© Holiday World
Announced toward the end of last summer, Holiday World's water park, Splashin' Safari, is gaining a set of water roller coasters in 2020 named Cheetah Chase.  Featuring two slides on which riders race each other, Cheetah Chase features a total of 1,700 feet of pathway.  Seen above in a new aerial photo from Holiday World, a large amount of the attraction is already in place!

Cheetah Chase features several interesting elements in its design, starting with a "water powered flat launch" section right out of the station before blasting up a large hill.

© Holiday World
Holiday World was hard at work today on pouring the large foundation for what will become Cheetah Chase's 68,000 gallon balance tank, located adjacent to the station.  That work can be seen in the above photo.

The attraction will not only contain the initial racing element, but also two points further on the layout where riders will closely encounter one another.  Another notable feature are the ride's Flying Saucer elements, which are large swooping turns that take place high over the midway.

© Holiday World
This photo is from slightly earlier in Cheetah Chase's construction, but gives a nice view of how the ride will interact with nearby attractions.  Part of the slide actually passes over the Bahari River, which can be seen at the right of this photo.

To keep up to date with Cheetah Chase's construction, be sure to check out the park's live webcam!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Alton Towers to Introduce Gangsta Granny: The Ride for the Park's 2020 Season

© Alton Towers
Alton Towers has announced a new dark ride experience for the park's 2020 season, named Gangsta Granny: The Ride.  An odd sounding name for sure, but it makes a lot more sense when you understand that it will be based on the popular Gangsta Granny children's book authored by David Walliams.  The theme park previously announced a new land based around Mr. Walliams' characters and stories, and the Gangsta Granny dark ride will be the main attraction.

In the book, the main character, Ben, discovers that his Granny is actually an international jewel thief, quite the opposite from the unassuming cabbage loving grandmother he knew.

© Alton Towers
The new attraction at Alton Towers will take riders on a journey with Ben and his Granny to attempt to pull off "the greatest jewel heist in history," with many amusing antics along the way.  Riders will sit in a vehicle that is able to rotate 360 degrees, which will combine with special effects, projection mapping and more.  The park promises a "special effects laden wild ride" that finishes with an "explosive escape" after riders try to nab the crown jewels.

The park has worked closely with David Walliams on the development of the new dark ride attraction, and has released a video giving more information on that partnership and the attraction.  If you look close you can even see the layout of the ride and more.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Universal Studios Japan to Open Super Nintendo World This Summer + New Details Emerge

© Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Japan has made a grand announcement that Super Nintendo World will officially open to visitors this summer ahead of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.  The news comes as the park began to show off some of the features of the area, which they describe as a "life sized, living video game."  Guests will not only enter the land and experience Nintendo themed attractions, they will also be "playing it" via different media applications.

Naturally the land will contain many famous Nintendo locations, such a Peach's Castle and Bowser's Fortress, but spread throughout the area will be a host of interactive features.  There will be two main attractions, a wild Mario Kart ride that is highly anticipated, and a family adventure attraction starring Yoshi.  The below concept art gives an idea of how the finished area will look.

© Universal Studios Japan
In order to get the most out of a visit to Super Nintendo World, guest can get a Power Up Band which will sync to a smart phone application.  That way guests can track their progress as they explore the multi-level area and take part in "one-of-a-kind challenges."  It sounds like they can gather coins along the way, just like Mario does, along with other collectible stamps and badges.  More information on the land will become available in February when a large promotional event will take place in New York City.

For now, Universal has teamed up with Galantis and Charli XCX to debut a new music video sharing the excitement that will be found inside Super Nintendo World.  Make sure to check it out below as it gives many hints toward the attractions to be found in the area.  The land will open at Universal Studios Japan in Summer 2020, then followed eventually by lands in the California, Florida and Singapore parks.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Six Flags Gives Official Update on Chinese Park Development

© Six Flags China
As a follow up to our post from December 29th, Six Flags Entertainment Corporation has filed an update with the SEC that details the trouble they have encountered with their Chinese development partners.

As news started to spread about the halting of the construction of the first parks, located in Haiyan, the company filled in investors and it wasn't good news.  They stated that the Six Flags branded parks being built on Riverside Investment Group's dollar have "encountered continued challenges" and have "not progressed as" Six Flags expected.  They note that Riverside is facing "severe challenges due to the macroeconomic environment and the declining real estate market in China."

Riverside has defaulted on their payment obligations to Six Flags (remember these parks are not paid for by Six Flags, instead Six Flags earns a fee for helping design them and allowing them to use the Six Flags name) and they have been served formal notices of default.

This, according to Six Flags, means that the future of the projects could vary anywhere from the eventual continuation of all or some of the parks (perhaps with another investor), or even the termination of all the Six Flags branded parks in China.  Further, Six Flags will recognize no revenue from the agreement in the 4th quarter of 2019, and will instead have to book a $1 million revenue adjustment plus another $10 million charge due to the collapsing deal and other litigation.

Moving forward into 2020 Six Flags expects to not have any more charges on the books related to the China deal, however if Riverside doesn't improve their status they might get no further revenue from the partnership at all.  Perhaps we will see some of the rides designed and partially fabricated for Six Flags Haiyan show up in the 2021 season at the North American parks?

Unrelated to that news, Six Flags also let the investor community know that they experienced lower attendance in the 4th quarter of 2019, due to "softer than expected season pass and membership sales."  They expect revenue for the period to be less than the prior year by $8 to $10 million.

Needless to say Six Flags' stock dropped a tremendous amount the day the news broke, plunging to a five year low when all was said and done.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Knoebels Announces New Tornado Flat Ride for Park's 2020 Season

© Knoebels
Knoebels Amusement Resort, located in Elysburg, Pennsylvania, has announced the addition of a spinning new flat ride named Tornado for the park's 2020 season.  Created by Wisdom Rides of America, the ride will be one of the company's Tornado rides, already quite popular at parks and fairs across the globe.

From the park's press release on the addition, the Tornado with feature eight cars that hold four passengers each in individual seats facing the inside of the car.  The ride will move in a circle then tilt upward at 20 degrees, lifting the cars up to 15 feet above ground level as they swing in a giant circle.

Tornado also has an interactive feature as riders can spin the cars themselves.  "Controlling part of a ride provides a really unique and exciting experience,” said Richard Knoebel, Knoebels park president.

Riders will need to be 38 inches tall to ride Tornado with an adult, and 48 inches to ride alone.  The new ride will be set up near the StratosFEAR drop tower and the Kreeper’s Pumpkin Patch game.

Knoebels has also announced that their magic carpet flat ride, 1001 Nacht, will be removed from the park.  The ride has been at Knoebels for two decades but its age and declining popularity has led the park to decide to retire it.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Hersheypark Shares Snowy Update of Chocolatetown + Candymonium Aerials

© Hersheypark
Hersheypark's mega-2020 expansion, named Chocolatetown, recently was blanketed in a pretty layer of snow, fitting for January in Pennsylvania.  The park took advantage of the beautiful construction site and took to the skies to film some awesome drone footage, and promptly shared it with us all.

Not only are we able to see how far along all of Chocolatetown is, but we also get a nice status update of the park's new signature roller coaster, the B&M hyper named Candymonium.

© Hersheypark
The park had topped off the ride a while back, so we already knew the coaster had made a lot of progress.  These shots let us see that track and supports have extended all the way out to the ride's turnaround, which can be seen being constructed in the above shot.  The coaster will have a traditional high turn around element that jogs slightly to the right of the main layout.  The track then points the trains back toward the main park - it's neat to see how many times the ride crosses over the stream that runs under it!

© Hersheypark
Chocolatetown is looking very nice as well, with the major new buildings all up and enclosed.  You can make out many highlights of the area, Candymonium's station is at the bottom, you can also see the new fountain that overlooks the stream and the Carousel building as well.

The $150 million expansion is going to completely transform the entrance area for Hersheypark in 2020, allowing for faster entry and much more breathing room.  It also will feature a host of new dining and retail locations, all of which will offer mouth watering Hershey treats.

Keep up with the progress on Chocolatetown via the park's website, and check out the whole aerial video here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

West Coast Racers Now Open at Six Flags Magic Mountain

© Six Flags Magic Mountain
Proving that good things come to those who wait, Six Flags Magic Mountain has debuted their brand new "world’s first single track quadruple racing coaster," West Coast Racers.  The unique racing roller coaster was provided to the park by Premier Rides, and features trains that race each other around the course, which is actually made up of one singular track.

© Six Flags Magic Mountain
Each of the coaster's trains head through both sides of the track, one yellow and one white, and they are powered by four separate LSM launch areas.  West Coast Racers features a top speed of 55 miles per hour and each train navigates four inversions - three zero g rolls and one zero g stall - during the experience.  The ride's track extends around 4,000 feet in length.  The twisted layout includes 14 track crossovers and a "high five" element where the trains bank toward each other almost allowing riders to high five those on the train they are racing.

© Six Flags Magic Mountain
Six Flags Magic Mountain has partnered with the Burbank based West Coast Customs on the theming of the new ride.  The shop is known around the world for their car customizations, and they worked with the theme park on designing the ride vehicles for West Coast Racers.  The company also created the narration for the "pit stop" section of the ride, where vehicles wait for their second blast around the track.  The pit stop area provides riders with an "inside look into the West Coast Customs shop."

© Six Flags Magic Mountain
“We are thrilled to add yet another unique, record-breaking coaster to our second-to-none collection of world-class attractions. West Coast Racers absolutely delivers, living up to Six Flags Magic Mountain’s unprecedented thrill DNA,” said Park President, Neal Thurman. “With a broad appeal, this coaster is the centerpiece of the newly themed area, The Underground, featuring new dining and retail opportunities.”

© Six Flags Magic Mountain
The new roller coaster is the central piece of a newly themed area at Six Flags Magic Mountain, known as The Underground.  The "LA centric urban-themed area" gives visitors a "high-energy street vibe" that includes new retail and food and beverage locations.  These include Twin Charged Tacos, Chicken Coupe, Snack Trax, Speed Shop and Six Gear.  The Underground is also home to the park's wooden roller coaster, Apocalypse, along with the soon to be reopened go karts, Pacific Speedway.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

A Final Update in the Story of Bowcraft Amusement Park

While this comes as no surprise, it looks as though the final remnants of New Jersey's former Bowcraft Amusement Park were recently demolished, adding the final chapter in the story of the park.  While not a large amusement park or one with a hundred years worth of history, it's always sad to see a park go.  The local Patch news site featured video recently of the structures still standing on the site being razed, though all the rides were removed previously.  The park's site will become apartments.

Back in late 2018 the park's inventory of rides and attractions were put up for sale, with the park having operated for the last time that same year.  There was a nice selection of rides available, and hopefully they all found a good home.  I believe the Pirate Ship went to Alabama Adventure as a new for 2019 ride.

© Bing Maps
Bing has an aerial of the park with the rides removed, but the property not yet fully demolished.  You can see just a couple rides still in place, and the outline of where many of them once sat.

© Google Maps
That view can be compared to this one from Google, showing the park before anything was removed.

The fate of Crossbow, the park's family sized Zierer roller coaster, which was a tad bigger then you'd have expected to find at a park of this size, remains unclear.  The ride was listed for sale for $500k when the ride liquidation occurred, but I'm unaware of who picked it up - if anyone.  You can see some on and off ride footage of Crossbow at this link.  Also, if you feel like a trip down memory lane the park's website is oddly still functional, have a click around.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Pantheon Coaster Looking Mighty Fine in New Photos

© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
The layout of Busch Gardens Williamsburg's new multi-launch roller coaster, Pantheon, is getting close to the final stages of construction.  The park has steadily worked through the month of December, adding both track and supports for visitors to gawk at during the park's holiday celebration.

The photo up top is one of the park's official ones, showing off the ride's top hat element, which is followed by a very steep dive down toward the river below - also the ride's longest drop at around 180 feet.

Thanks (as always) to BGWFans for their excellent coverage of Pantheon construction we have a bunch of new photos of the coaster's rather extreme looking outwardly banked turn.  While we've seen outwardly banked turns on many rides in recent years, especially those on RMC rides, other manufacturers have been slower to hit quite such extreme angles as we see here.  This giant turn is located just after the ride's drop (seen in the photo up top) and the trains should be moving at a nice clip through here.  I can only imagine the forces riders will experience as they soar over this peak!

BGWFans has plenty of additional photos of Pantheon work, including the supports that are now up for the ride's final two elements, both looks rather twisty in their own right.  Check it out here!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Nashville Shores Waterpark Building Mega Mayhem Slide for 2020

© Nashville Shores
Located just outside downtown Nashville, Tennessee, Nashville Shores Waterpark is building a massive new water slide for 2020 named Mega Mayhem.  The slide is a combination of two popular water slide features, mixed together into one thrilling attraction.

Mega Mayhem will be the largest water slide in the park's history, designed with rafts that are capable of holding the whole family.

“Mega Mayhem is a family-thrill waterslide that we are excited to bring to Middle Tennessee in 2020,” said Larry Edgmon, general manager of Nashville Shores. “This unique, thrilling ride is actually like two waterslides in one.  It is a hybrid slide featuring two distinct elements with a tornado funnel and a giant four-story wall that will provide a memorable group experience for families and friends.”
© Nashville Shores
Riders who choose to take a spin on Mega Mayhem will start atop a six story platform.  The diagram above shows the layout of the slide, and as you can see it will be brightly colored to attract even more attention.  After moving through a dark serpentine tunnel, riders drop into the tornado funnel which gives them brief moments of zero-gravity.

Moving through the center of the tornado funnel, rafts slide down more enclosed path and suddenly plunge down a steep drop and up onto the side of a massive 40 foot tall wave wall.  At the top of the wave wall passengers will feel more zero-gravity sensations, then the rafts will head through a bit more slide toward a waterfall and the final pool.

Created by Proslide, Mega Mayhem will utilize a conveyor left to carry the rafts to the top of the tower so riders do not have to.  The park is planning to have the attraction ready when it opens for the 2020 season in May.