Monday, April 23, 2018

Energylandia's Massive New Intamin Hyper Coaster Reaching New Heights


© Energylandia
It was back at the end of 2016 that we first heard of Energylandia's (located in Poland) plan to build "Europe's tallest mega coaster" for the 2018 season.  Working on the final design of the ride and getting construction started took quite some time, however now the park is actively building Hyperion, which the coaster has been named.

Designed by Intamin, Hyperion will stand an impressive 253 feet tall and feature an 85 degree first drop that plunges into a tunnel, giving a first drop length of 262 feet - oh and also a top speed of 88 miles per hour.  Featuring an all black color scheme, the 4,757 feet of track is now stretching across the Polish country side as seen in this aerial construction update from the park:

Interestingly, this Intamin mega coaster will feature 4-across seating on the trains, which is unlike their earlier mega coasters.  That resulted in some beefy looking track that can be seen up close in this video.  It looks like the park worked to build as much of the ride as they could before bringing in the really tall crane, as much of the lower parts of Hyperion are installed.

Judging from the views of the first drop, however, it would appear as though Energylandia is now hard at work in finishing the ride's lift, drop and turnaround dive element.

Since the ride was originally announced the final layout point of view video was updated by the park, and is embedded above.  The ride features several large air-time hills along with a turnaround that doesn't feature a typical series of helices, instead the trains climb high up then rotate 180 degrees and dive downward - much like on B&M wing coasters.  The rest of Hyperion's layout features quick directional changes and extreme banking, and a final water splash is shown, though I'm not sure if that made the final cut.  Should be a stand-out ride if Intamin's prior mega coaster designs are any indication!


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Knott's Berry Farm's HangTime to Open on May 18th


© Knott's Berry Farm
Knott's Berry Farm fans only need to wait less than one month for the grand opening of HangTime, as it will premier to visitors on May 18th.  The park has been regularly testing the ride in recent weeks, billed as the West coast's first dive coaster.  Technically speaking, HangTime is a custom-designed creation from Gerstlauer, one of their Infinity coasters.

In addition to the nearly continuous testing of HangTime, Knott's Berry Farm is also finishing up the details of the coaster ahead of its opening.  The station is nearly complete, and the queue and even the entrance sign have now been installed.  (see a recent video update on that here, from Parks and Cons)  The park is also constructing a large new gift shop adjacent to HangTime, and that looks to be in the final stages as well.

The 150 foot tall coaster will take individual, 16 passenger trains up to the top and hold them delicately pointed toward the ground for several seconds before dropping them beyond-vertical at 96 degrees.  The ride features several twisted elements such as a cobra roll and a negative-g stall, in total there will be five inversions packed into 2,198 feet of track.

One of the most interesting parts of the ride will be it's amazing light package for after dark, with lights chasing the trains as they move through the course.  I haven't seen any footage of that quite yet, but the park did release an animation of the ride at night, embedded below.


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Toverland Tops Off Fenix - New for 2018 B&M Wing Coaster


© Toverland
The Netherlands' Toverland theme park is working on a massive expansion project that includes a brand new B&M wing coaster, named Fenix.   Part of a highly themed land, Fenix will no doubt be the star attraction when it opens this summer - specifically July 7th.

Recent work on the coaster - which has brown supports and cool blue track - saw the ride topped out at about 131 feet above the ground.  From the photo above, the track will turn right (toward the left side of the photo) then roll 180 degrees and dive toward the ground, connecting with the blue track in place below.

© Toverland
Here is another view of the same - the first drop will be on the far left of this image.  Afterward the winged trains will soar over a new lake on the large air-time hill that can be seen in the background.

The rest of Fenix's layout includes and Immelmann, helix and a zero-g roll before some twists and turns at the end of the ride.  Fenix will have a top speed of 59 miles per hour and 2,667 feet of track.

Toverland has released the below video of the topping off of the coaster, with plenty of beautiful drone footage.  Check it out and other updates from the park at this link.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Nickelodeon Universe Retires Flat Ride + Introduces New 2018 Attraction


© Nickelodeon Universe
In order to make way for a new expansion, Nickelodeon Universe, located at the Mall of America in Minnesota, is retiring the Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Collider flat ride.

Seen above, the unique flat ride has given nearly 600,000 rides since it opened at the park in 1992, when it still carried the Camp Snoopy theme.  It was manufactured by Zierer, and is one of their Hexentanz flat rides which are not common in North America, but can still be found on the European fair circuit.  Knott's Berry Farm also used to have one of these rides, though it was removed many years ago.

© Nickelodeon Universe
Fans of Nickelodeon Universe didn't have to wait long to find out what will be replacing Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Collider, as today they announced a new themed play area to open later in 2018.  In celebration of the park's 10th anniversary, the brand new Paw Patrol's Adventure Bay will be a 4,000 square foot "immersive experience" that features the characters of the uber-popular Paw Patrol series.

The play area will feature many of the key locations from the children's series, including being able to go into their lookout tower.  The area does not contain any specific rides, instead is an "open play" area with recognizable features as seen in the concept art above.  No doubt that in addition to keeping kids busy as they explore the area, Adventure Bay will also serve as a great photo opportunity for parents.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Latest From Cedar Point on Steel Vengeance + New Ride Footage


© Cedar Point
The opening of one of the most anticipated new-for-2018 rides, Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point, is drawing closer - just a little over two weeks now to be exact.  As the excitement builds the park is giving fans some new views of the Rocky Mountain Construction conversion to help pass the time.

Up top is a photo of the ride's entrance marquee - how beautiful!  The giant sign is fitting for the 205 foot tall Steel Vengeance, mounted on its own rocky peak.  The park also shared another photo of the queue entrance, which is available here.

What we've all really been waiting for was some footage of Steel Vengeance running, and the park also delivered that to us this past weekend.

The above Steel Vengeance Scoop features some great point-of-view footage of the coaster, which looks wonderfully true to the original animation.  The ride appears to absolutely soar through the layout after the 200 foot first drop, and holds that speed throughout.  The ending of the ride, which consists of tons of air-time hills, high banked curves and even an inversion all baked into the inside of the support structure, looks like a dream come true for coaster fans.

Cedar Point fan website PointBuzz also shared the above commercial for Steel Vengeance - a really well done advertisement for the coaster.  The clip features all animation of the ride, but it's rather beautiful and really emphasizes the theming of the coaster and the frontier section of Cedar Point it is located in.

© Cedar Point
Last, but certainly not least, the park has also been showing off the beautiful trains that Rocky Mountain Construction created for Steel Vengeance.  This is a photo of the third and final train that arrived at the park, themed to one of the three characters the park created for the ride's theming - Chess Watkins.


Monday, April 16, 2018

Scott & Carol Present Silver Dollar City's Time Traveler



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It was a very brisk day, but the sun was shining and the scent of a new adventure was in the air.

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The time was drawing nigh for Time Traveler to open. The fastest, tallest spinning coaster in the world. And you can only ride it at Silver Dollar City.


The citizens of Silver Dollar City were on display, and the park was breathtakingly beautiful.


Brad Thomas was bursting with pride as he opened Time Traveler to the cheers of the crowd.


The queue is very well themed, with many of the past models of clocks that were invented and a place for pictures, because you can't take an on-ride photo with a free-spinning coaster. An interesting way for riders to gain a keepsake of their experience.


The even managed to incorporate the car design that was revealed at IAAPA. One of the fascinating things about this type of car is that while it is free-spinning, it does have a magnetic brake to allow some control to keep it within family ride parameters.


Every ride is different, here the car is going down the first drop, which happens as you are exiting the station,  sideways!


Christian, from Mack, was kind enough to give us the backstory on Time Traveler.


Another photo of the first drop.  No two rides on Time Traveler are ever going to be alike!


You won't see views like this after the trees fill in with their seasonal foliage. And the grass will grow.


Here are some views Carol took from below.



Notice the different directions the riders are facing before the launch.


And they continue to spin upside down while going through the loop. You can't hear it on this photo, but someone on this train could really hit the high notes while expressing her delight at riding the new roller coaster.


Above is our inaugural ride on Time Traveler. Pay close attention to the background to see just how many new riding positions you too can experience on Time Traveler, only at Silver Dollar City.


Time Traveler isn't the only good news for Silver Dollar City and Brad was kind enough to fill us in on the details of the Festival of Wonder, which has just opened last weekend.

Thanks to Brad and the citizens of Silver Dollar City, along with Christian for their help. Ride on, while spinning, straight down, on Time Traveler, only at Silver Dollar City.