Friday, April 19, 2019

Scott And Carol Present - Copperhead Strike Pt 2

Copperhead Strike, Part II 

The queue appears to have no organization as you walk through the area, but when you consider it in its entirety, it all clicks, and the development team did a magnificent job of tieing it all together.

Steve was tasked with bringing it all together, and he graciously shared his take on the process of bringing this new attraction to life. He also revealed the reason there are no snakes throughout the queue.

The nice thing about this type of theming is that as it ages, guests will never know whether it started off that way, or just deteriorated to its present state over time. I'm sure some locals will be keeping a close eye on the decorations.

Having never seen a real still, this seems to be relatively accurate. It must have been really fun going out to get all the props for the extensive theming for Copperhead Strike. The one question Scott forgot to ask Steve was did they just do a highway cleanup or were various suppliers involved to help source all the items.

The end result is so much fun, and much of it can be experienced without waiting in line for the ride, so other family members have something else to do while they wait if they are not riding. Major props for all the creativity displayed in the area.

Scott doesn't like to watch much coaster previews before he gets to ride, so the pre-show in the shed caught him totally by surprise. You can't see it from outside, so you need to go to Carowinds to check it out.

So that was our day at Carowinds, by now there are lots of opinions everywhere about Copperhead Strike.  Ours is, we can't wait to get back to Carowinds and ride it again, and again, then we will ride Fury 325, and go back and ride it again. It was just that much fun.

Our thanks to all of the Carowinds team for their assistance in putting this together. You have a winner to kick off your season this year. See you soon!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Knott's Berry Farm Previews Details and Characters of Calico River Rapids

© Knott's Berry Farm
One of my personal highlights of the new-for-2019 roster of attractions, Knott's Berry Farm's renovation of their existing river rapids ride into Calico River Rapids has been detailed in two interesting articles from the O.C. Register.

One article gives an in depth look at the park's plans for Calico River Rapids, which will include nine new scenes along with around 20 animatronic characters when it opens.  As expected, one of the characters will be Bigfoot, who previously wasn't in the ride even thought the creature's name was featured in the ride's moniker.

The ride will now contain a theme that links it directly to Knott's Ghost Town, which features both the Calico Mine Ride and the Timber Mountain Log Ride, both rich with backstory and plenty of animated inhabitants.  The news story gives exact details on how all three rides will be linked via story telling, and includes details of each of the ride's major scenes.

© Knott's Berry Farm
This second article from the O.C. Register provides a wonderful look at the creation of all the animatronic characters that will be settled along the route of Calico River Rapids.

All the animatronics are being created by Garner Holt Productions, which has provided a similar cast for Knott's other large themed attractions.  The company is well known in the industry for their high quality animatronics, having provided them for nearly all major theme park companies around the globe.

On Knott's new ride, the cast will include not only humans working to settle the wilderness, but plenty of animals including a raccoon, rattlesnakes, wolves, prairie dogs, a baby bear, grizzly bears, a fox and plenty more.  The story gives an awesome look at the process that goes into creating all these animatronics, from initial art design to the finished product.

Calico River Rapids at Knott's Berry Farm is scheduled to open this summer.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Scott And Carol Present - Carowinds' Copperhead Strike! Part I

Copperhead Strike is the centerpiece for the new Blue Ridge Junction area of Carowinds. The seven acres of fun for the entire family also includes the Mountain Gliders and the Country Kitchen restaurant.

Vice President & General Manager Pat Jones welcomes one & all

A fireplace with rocking chairs helps bring out the "backwoods" theming of the new area. I wonder if a rocking chair will be a Fast Lane option on busy days when you just need to chill out for a time. The heat will be popular during cooler weather during shoulder seasons celebrations.

This was the dawn of a new era for roller coasters at Carowinds, one of the most exciting sunrises in recent memory. When you look at it, it just doesn't seem possible for there to be so much action in such a small area. 

MACK Rides is justifiably proud of their latest project. Thorsten had not even ridden it yet but he was smiling from the moment he walked into the park after he saw the finished project.

Here you can see a rollover transition coming out of a quick turn. Imagine riding it in the dark as the park is shrouded in Haunt fog!.

Of course, a project this big has to include fireworks for the first public riders, a fitting tribute to the explosive end of Granny's still operations. After the ceremony, we had a few moments with Pat from Carowinds.

Stay tuned for Part II, with more details behind Copperhead Strike.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Elitch Gardens Premiers Meow Wolf's Kaleidoscape + Grand Opening Next Weekend

© Elitch Gardens
A highly anticipated new attraction in 2019, season pass holders got their first look this weekend at Elitch Gardens' new Meow Wolf's Kaleidoscape dark ride.

The ride takes visitors on an immersive journey through art landscapes unlike any other dark ride has in the past.  Above and below are two shots that give an idea of the feel of the ride.  It is an explosion of beautiful lights, art pieces, sound and lots of curiosities to look at around every turn.

© Elitch Gardens
Also known as the world's first artist-driven dark ride, Kaleidoscape will transport riders' senses with "to other-worldly motion, deep sound, wild color and interactive moments that create an immersive world around them."  The ride opened for the first time ever this weekend, which was a special season pass holder event at the park.  Next weekend the general public will get to take the first spin on Kaleidoscape.

If you won't be able to take a trip to Elitch Gardens any time soon but want to see what a trip on Kaleidoscape is like, Attractions Magazine has just the point-of-video video for you!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Knoebels' 2019 Season to Feature New Tumbling Timbers Ride + More Changes

© Knoebels
Knoebels' 2019 season is set to start on April 27th, just a couple weeks from now.  The park is adding a brand new ride for this season, though it isn't expected to be ready until later in the Spring.

Named Tumbling Timbers, the spinning flat ride is going to give a dizzying experience to many fans of the park.  The ride is one of SBF-Visa's Mini Breakdance attractions, which spins riders in several direction on a large turntable.  The Knoebels instillation will feature theming that will match the look and feel of the classic amusement park.

Check out this video of an example of the ride:

For a small family thrill ride, Tumbling Timbers is going to pack a bit of a punch!  Also keep in mind that in this video the seats are empty, and when full, they will make the individual cars rotate even more.

Knoebels is going to install the new ride back by Fandango, according to their website.

The park will also be replacing their fan-favorite Downdraft flat ride with... another Downdraft!  The original ride had reached the end of its life and since Knoebels' knows that their visitors love it, they ordered up a brand new version of the ride.

Knoebels has also been advertising that their already delicious food line-up will be improved this year.  The park plans to offer treats such as gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and a chicken waffle sandwich, among others.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Dorney Park to Feature Monster Jam Thunder Alley Limited Event in 2019 + Dominator's New Look

© Dorney Park
Another exciting announcement was made by Dorney Park today regarding a second limited time special event taking place at the park this year.  The park will host Monster Jam Thunder Alley this fall, running each day the park is open September 14th through November 3rd.

The event, created in partnership with Feld Entertainment, will take place at three Cedar Fair parks this year, starting in May at Cedar Point, moving to Kings Dominion in July, and then Dorney Park in September.  Feld Entertainment is well known as a top-notch producer of live entertainment, creating shows and interactive experiences such as Disney On Ice, Marvel Universe Live and the Jurassic World Live Tour.

© Dorney Park
Monster Jam Thunder Alley will take over much of the lower Possessed Midway at Dorney Park.  It will be a mix of interactive experiences and entertainment, along with a unique way to see famous monster trucks such as Grave Digger, Max-D, Megalodon, Zombie and El Toro Loco.  The popularity of Monster Jam is ever-growing, with their arena tours selling tens of thousands of tickets at performances across the country.

Cedar Fair CEO Richard Zimmerman said "Partnering with Feld Entertainment brings together two of the world's premier entertainment companies. The combination of our shared capabilities will enhance our ability to deliver an even broader and more immersive guest experience.  The opportunity to bring Monster Jam Thunder Alley exclusively to our parks represents the first installment of our strategic collaboration and is another demonstration of Cedar Fair's commitment to delivering unique guest experiences, while also introducing our parks to Monster Jam's legion of worldwide fans. We look forward to further collaboration on additional compelling entertainment and experiences."

© Dorney Park
One of the most exciting aspects of Monster Jam Thunder Alley will the ability for park guests to ride in the back of a monster truck, free of charge.  Using an all new, 10 passenger Grave Digger or Megalodon truck, the park will build a freestyle course on the site of the former Stinger roller coaster.  The trucks will "tackle the most obstacles on any ride truck track ever built," giving an exciting and one-of-a-kind experience to passengers.  While the rides are free with park entry, due to limited capacity visitors will be able to reserve their ride experience for an additional fee.

© Dorney Park
Aside from the monster truck rides, the event will feature numerous interactive experiences as well.  The popular monster trucks will be on display for visitors to take photos with, sit in, and marvel at their incredible size.  There will also be a Garage Experience, which allows visitors to touch and see what makes the trucks work, such as their 1,500 horsepower engines.  Guest will be able to "turn an enormous 645-pound tire on an axle, see how oversized shocks absorb punishing landings, and crank the gears inside of a real transmission!"

Other interactive elements include a Pit Stop Play Area for kids, featuring miniature die-cast monster truck replicas that they can race, and a build-a-truck section with wood kits of the trucks available for purchase and assembly.

Monster Jam Thunder Alley will also include special food, beverage and retail offerings while it is at Dorney Park.

© Dorney Park
Another improvement that Dorney Park has made, and if you live near the park might have already noticed, is all-new LED lights on Dominator.  The park is already exploring unique color combinations on the 200 foot tower, such as the blue/purple combination seen above.  The tower is currently blue at night to celebrate autism awareness month.

© Dorney Park
The combinations of colors that the park can make are endless, and they're already experimenting and planning for the upcoming season's events.  The above combination is a test for Grand Carnivale, featuring green, purple and gold.

© Dorney Park
Another mock up here is a bit of a more sinister look, which alludes to the fall's annual Halloween Haunt.  The tower is even able to make lightning effects which will fit in really well as fog rolls over the park!

Stay tuned for more details about Dorney Park's 2019 season - the largest of the park's announcements may have been revealed, but there's still plenty of smaller changes to learn about, such as the park's new free wifi and a fresh look for Steel Force's lift hill.