Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Kings Dominion Drops First Tease for 2018 Addition(s?)

Now that it is officially summer, this is when we usually start to see some parks begin the process of teasing what they have planned for the following season.  Many 2018 projects around the globe are already announced, which is a recent trend we've seen, but that doesn't mean we know everything already.  To that end, Kings Dominion posted an image on social media to kick off their campaign:

© Kings Dominion
The park posted this image along with a note that "things aren't always as they seem."  The number 816 would appear to be a date, August 16th, which coincidentally is also National Roller Coaster Day.  There is an image of the park's iconic Eiffel Tower on the right side, but that's not much of a clue in my book.

If you look at the larger version of the image you'll see that there is actually text running vertically all over the image.  Some of the words that I've spotted are:  Grove, Snoopy, 2018, and Apple.

Now, we all know that the theme park closed Hurler two seasons ago and some obvious work is going on with the ride.  It would make sense that Grove and Apple are in the text, since the ride is in the Candy Apple Grove themed area.  And the year, well that's obvious too.

However Snoopy is a bit of a mystery, and perhaps that is what the park means by "things aren't always as they seem."  Maybe there is even more in store than fans are already anxiously awaiting?

We'll have to stay tuned to find out!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Phantasialand To Build World's First Launched Flying Roller Coaster

Germany's Phantasialand surprised us all today but revealing on social media that they are planning to build the world's first launched flying roller coaster as their next big attraction.

The announcement came via this video that the park shared:

The video starts by detailing the major additions the park has made in the last decade or so, which include three roller coasters, flat rides, an interactive dark ride and an elaborate log flume.  Even with that much added the park isn't stopping!

The video ends with the announcement of what they're calling F.L.Y., the "first flying launched coaster" and also "the longest flying coaster in the world."  Those are all the facts that are stated, other than that it will be located in Rookburgh within the park.  Rookburgh is a newly announced area for Phantasialand, which Theme Park Guide described as appearing to carry a theme based on "steam punk; futurism and the Victorian era."

Taking a look at RCDB's statistics for flying coasters, it appears that right now the longest is Flying Dinosaur at Universal Studios Japan, which is 3,688 feet long.  What makes F.L.Y.'s record more impressive is that it doesn't have a lift hill to add track length, with launch sections taking up far less track.

As for manufacturer, that's a guess right now.  Obviously B&M is known for their flying coasters, but Vekoma has also thrown their name in the ring over the years as well.  And technically the park hasn't said the new ride is for 2018, though that seems a safe assumption since they're teasing it already.

After the park's most recent coaster, Taron, opened to rave reviews and stunning theming, I have very high hopes for this next project!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Wonder Woman Soars Into Six Flags America With Towering New Ride

Now open at Six Flags America is Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth, a towering swing ride that has changed the skyline of the Maryland theme park.

The ride stands more than 240 feet tall, and is situated among other DC Comics themed rides based off characters like The Joker, Superman and Batman.

© Six Flags America
Riders on Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth board one of 16 swings, each holding two passengers, to start their adventure.  The ride begins to lift upward the 240 foot tower while spinning the swings, which eventually move in a 98 foot circle at speeds of 40 miles per hour.  From the top riders get unparalleled views of the metro D.C. area.

The attraction is one of Funtime's popular StarFlyers, which have opened at nearly all Six Flags parks within the past few years.   This is the first to carry the Wonder Woman theme, however.

© Six Flags America
This wider view of the tower shows off the Wonder Woman-appropriate colors of the tower, along with a decorative topper with her logo.  Due to its location in the park and towering height, it can't be missed!  Wonder Woman Lasso officially opened at Six Flags America last week, so fans no longer need to wait to experience it!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

SeaWorld San Antonio Opens Wave Breaker - New Rescue Themed Launch Coaster

This weekend marks the grand opening of the highly anticipated Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster at SeaWorld San Antonio.  The double-launch thrill coaster is inspired by the heroics of the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team, carrying a theme of riders boarding jet skis to blast off on a rescue mission.

The coaster's jet ski inspired trains are the first of their kind to open in North America, according to SeaWorld San Antonio.

© SeaWorld San Antonio
"Wave Breaker is an exciting and novel coaster for families to ride together, and adds to SeaWorld's strong lineup of top-rated coasters," said SeaWorld San Antonio Park President Carl Lum. "But what truly delights me is that this attraction best represents what SeaWorld is all about – it brings together the best of SeaWorld in one thrilling ride, and carries a message that leaves guests feeling inspired." 

© SeaWorld San Antonio
The new coaster is positioned so that the vast majority of its track is totally over the theme park's central lagoon.  It features many low to the ground maneuvers that simulate skimming across the surface of the water.  Each train is assigned its own rescue mission, either a sea turtle, dolphin or sea lion during a pre-launch briefing.  The station and queue celebrate some of the 30,000 animal rescues that the SeaWorld team has completed over the past 50 years.

© SeaWorld San Antonio
This aerial shot of Wave Breaker shows the entire layout, which includes a quick trip to an island in the middle of the lagoon.

"Wave Breaker provides a coaster experience unlike anything in the current theme park landscape," said SeaWorld Vice President of Theme Park Development Mike Denninger. "While other coasters feature dramatic changes in speed, once you hit Wave Breaker's first launch you are moving fast throughout the entire ride. When you combine that consistent high speed with the banked and serpentine turns throughout the ride track that is 90 percent over the surface of the water, you get an unparalleled ride experience."

Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster features two separate tire-driven launches, reaching speeds of up to 44 miles per hour.  Created by Intamin, the coaster stands 61 feet tall and has 2,600 feet of track.

Ready to head out on a rescue mission?  If so, check out the video below, from The Coaster Crew.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Dorney Park Opens Cirque Imagine - New Live Show Spectacular

With so much new at Dorney Park in 2017 it is almost hard to believe that there was still one big debut left... and that was the opening of the park's new live show, Cirque Imagine.  The performance opened to visitors this weekend, but played to a full house on Friday evening during a season passholder-only showing.  Obviously fans of the park are excited!

© NewsPlusNotes
Located in the Good Time Theater near the park's main entrance, Cirque Imagine features a cast of ten international performers that display amazing feats of strength, beautiful artistry, and plenty of humor.  Obviously with the word Cirque in the name, the show can be described as a modern take on traditional circus performances, however highly choreographed with a unique score and beautiful imagery.

© NewsPlusNotes
The show starts with four performers that make a surprising entrance into the theater, and then also show off not only their amazing strength and balancing, but also their humor.  Each section of the show is tied together by these actors exploring the mystical and magical performers that emerge from the backdrop.  There's even a hint of romance between two of the characters, as well.

© NewsPlusNotes
These photos depict some of those acts, but also give you an idea of the visual impact that the set has on the show.  The overall lighting is top notch an keeps audiences just as engrossed as the performers do.

Acts featured in Cirque Imagine include a trick bicyclist, strength balancing, trampolines, cyr wheel, and aerialists.

© NewsPlusNotes
The show's production level is really quite excellent, and something that's solidly above most shows found at regional amusement parks.  Cirque Imagine runs around 30 minutes and plays three or four times a day, depending on the day of the week, now through August 20th.  You can check times and learn more from Dorney Park directly.

Here is one clip from the show, showing the humorous side of the performers:


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Six Flags Great Adventure's New Justice League: Battle For Metropolis Ride Makes Grand Debut

Six Flags Great Adventure is very excited to open their brand new attraction, Justice League: Battle For Metropolis, this weekend to park guests.  Today was the attraction's initial preview and opening ceremonies, giving us the first chance to experience it and check out all the changes that the theme park has made.

And they've really made a ton!  The park took the opportunity of adding a mega-attraction to do a lot of work changing the area of the park that used to hold the Chiller's station.  Now the area is rethemed as Metropolis, and looks brand new.

© NewsPlusNotes
Before we explore the area we were able to hear from Six Flags Great Adventure's President, Neal Thurman.  Seen above, he officially opened Justice League: Battle For Metropolis along with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.  Rightfully so, Mr. Thurman is especially proud of all the work that has gone into opening this ride, which he describes as "the most innovative and interactive attraction the park has ever built."  The ride was designed by famous dark-ride creators Sally Corporation, with vehicles from Oceaneering International, along with a host of other companies such as Alterface and Pure Imagination Studios.

With a rush of streamers and some fireworks, the ride was opened for the first time.  A fitting debut for such a heroic attraction.

© NewsPlusNotes
The building for Justice League, as mentioned earlier, sits on what was the site of the Chiller's station, but obviously this building is much larger than the former - 22,000 square feet to be exact!  There is both a themed indoor queue along with outdoor space as well on the left side of the building.

© NewsPlusNotes
The attraction is technically a part of the park's Movietown themed area, but the Metropolis area is really a sub-land, if you will.  To enter the area you first pass through the Metro-Narrows Bridge, seen above, a great idea for theming along the walkway!  This also makes the area feel a bit more secluded and builds anticipation.

© NewsPlusNotes
As you start to enter the area long time visitors of the park will notice that all the buildings have been rethemed to fit in with Metropolis.  Above is the Metro Grill, a food location, that will be serving as assortment of meals like cold and hot subs.

© NewsPlusNotes
Other park fans will recall these structures being a part of the Chiller, now themed into Metropolis wonderfully.  Munchopolis is a building with goodies such as cookies and brownies, and the large structure in the back has become the Lena Luther Science Explorarium.

© NewsPlusNotes
The main event still awaits us, so let's go exploring in the Justice League: Battle for Metropolis.  The entrance to the attraction on the far right of the area's main plaza, seen above.  The park has meticulously landscaped around the ride to give many parts of its outside an almost garden feel.

© NewsPlusNotes
When you move inside the entrance doors there are a few different rooms before the boarding area.  Happily, all of these are air-conditioned which is going to be quite popular in the summer.  The first room, above, features statues of members of the Justice League along with monitors that explain the situation at hand.  More on that later, though.

© NewsPlusNotes
This is the second room before the board area, cool in both temperature and lighting!

© NewsPlusNotes
The loading area is filled with so much to check out, starting from the second you round the corner and enter the area.  First you get up close to Cyborg, a full-sized animatronic, who explains that the Justice League need our help to defeat Super Villains Lex Luthor and The Joker.  Several members of the League have already been captured, and we're going to join the likes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and more to free them.


Here is some film of Cyborg in action, he's very impressive and interacts with the characters in the movie that plays above the loading area.

The vehicles each seat six riders a piece, and before riding you put on your special 3-D glasses that will really make the ride come to life.  The vehicles are motion-based, meaning they are able to create a variety of movements that are synced to the ride.  For instance, the movements of racing through the streets of Metropolis, or through a loop in the sky, come to life through a combination of physical movement and 3-D video.  Plus, the vehicles freely move through the building requiring no track - they're very advanced and it's fantastic to see a system of this caliber utilized at Six Flags!

© Six Flags
Once the action begins there is a mixture of physical sets, animatronics such as the Joker, seen above, special effects like fire, 3-D film and plenty more that come together to make one slick ride.  I don't want to have too many spoilers about the ride's content, but it's safe to say that in the end the good guys always win!

© Six Flags
One other very important aspect to Justice League: Battle for Metropolis is the interactive gaming element.  Each seat comes with its own blaster, and throughout the ride there are more than 600 virtual and tangible targets that can be hit to help out the Justice League.  There's even a fog screen with targets projected on it that you can blast at.  Each rider's score is shown in the car in front of them as they earn points, and at the end the high score player of the car is shown on the screen.

This interactive element is a ton of fun, and makes Justice League: Battle For Metropolis highly repeatable.  Each time we rode today we were able to increase our scores, making us want to keep going back for more!

© NewsPlusNotes
Once the ride has ended guests are able to peruse a large gift shop, filled with an assortment of Justice League items.  With the popularity of the franchise growing by the year, this will be a great spot to pick up some swag!

The new attraction will open for season pass holders tomorrow, then the public can ride on Saturday June 17th.  We highly recommend checking it out this summer!  You can plan your trip and learn more about the new ride on the park's official website.  Many thanks to Six Flags Great Adventure for having NewsPlusNotes out today!