Friday, March 23, 2018

Massive Intamin Launched Coaster Announced for Linnanmaki in 2019

Described by the amusement park as a "ride enthusiasts' dream," Finland's Linnanmaki has announced an all-new Intamin designed launched roller coaster for the park's 2019 season.  Named Taiga, the ride will be of considerable size and represent a massive investment by the park.

Along with the announcement, this concept art of Taiga was released:

© Linnanmaki
With bright blue track and black supports, Taiga will take advantage of elevation changes within the park to create a truly twisted layout.  So twisted that it's challenging to follow the ride's layout in this concept art, though with a careful eye you can be successful.

The ride will feature two launches, with a top speed of around 66 miles per hour.  The ride will start with a top hat element that stands 170 feet tall, according to the park, though I'm not sure if that's the ride height for the top hat, or the total elevation change due to the park's landscape.  Either way, the track will stretch 3,622 feet long which is quite considerable for a launched ride.  Mixed into the twisted elements are a total of four inversions.

Anssi Tamminen, Technical Director of Linnanmäki said that "it was an easy choice to select Intamin as our ride provider, since they had the most creative layout suggestion for our challenging terrain. We are truly satisfied with our biggest ride acquisition ever."
This will be an interesting ride to follow the construction of, and hopefully soon an animation of some sort will be released so we can really see all the details of Taiga.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Blackpool Pleasure Beach Now Testing ICON - New Launched Mack Coaster

© Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach's massive new launched roller coaster, ICON, is now testing and the amusement park has released a new video showing off the ride.  Designed by Mack Rides, ICON features two separate LSM launches and 3,750 feet of track, which is quite long for a launched roller coaster.

Check out the video to see the ride in action, both on ride and off ride views:

ICON combines launch speeds of up to 53 miles per hour with a hyper-twisted layout that interacts with many of Blackpool Pleasure Beach's existing rides.  There are elements such as a giant air-time hill, an Immelmann, tunnels, helices wrapped around rides, and even a heart-line roll.  ICON is the largest investment that the park has ever made in a single attraction.

For more on ICON, check out Blackpool Pleasure Beach's official website.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Disney Announces More Marvel Attractions for Several Parks

© Disney
The Disney Parks are continuing to add new Marvel themed attractions to their offerings across the globe, highlighted in a series of announcements today.  The popular characters that are a part of the Marvel universe will become a part of new lands, shows and rides at several parks over the next few years.

At Disney California Adventure, the addition of a whole new themed section based on Marvel characters has finally been confirmed.  Opening in 2020, a new land will take up the space currently occupied by A Bug's Land, which also includes the closure of It's Tough To Be A Bug - that took place on March 19th.  The rest of the Bug's Life themed land will close at the end of the summer.

The space is adjacent to the recently opened Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout! attraction, and will feature the Avengers and Spider-Man, but no hints yet on what rides or attractions will be built.

© Disney
Disney recently announced a large expansion for Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, which will include a new Marvel themed land an a retrofit of Rock 'n' Roller Coaster based on the Avengers characters.  That is set to open in 2020, but this summer the park will hold the Marvel Summer of Super Heroes event, featuring an all new show titled Marvel: Super Heroes United.

The show will be held indoors at The Studio Theatre, and is described as a  "live-action super-production that mixes a huge 400 m² stage with one of the biggest LED screens in Europe, incredible special effects and, for the first time, in a Disney Park, the indoor use of drones beneath unbelievable aerial choreography for a truly spectacular show."  More details of the incredible show can be found in this press release.

Also previously announced is the creation of a new Marvel land at Hong Kong Disneyland, where a new ride based on Ant-Man and The Wasp will join the existing Iron Man Experience in giving visitors a new world to explore.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Cedar Point Teases Steel Vengeance Test Run + How to Ride First

© Cedar Point
This past weekend appears to have marked an important occasion in the development of Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point's record breaking new hybrid roller coaster.  In a tweet shared by the park, it appears as though the coaster has made its first test run.  Check it out:

Granted it's more of a gif than a full video, but still it looks like we can be sure that the ride has run at this point! This was just a tease, of course, but hopefully soon we will get to see some true footage of the ride in action.

© Cedar Point
Cedar Point is continuing to work on the ride's details, such as adding these nice light posts along the lift, building a new queue for the coaster, and creating an all new entrance plaza.  The park uploaded some new photos to their website, check them out here.

If you want to be one of the very first to ride Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point has a few different options for you.

The very first will be a part of the Steel Vengeance First Rider Benefit, with proceeds going to the LeBron James Family Foundation.  Tickets for the event, to be held April 27th, range from $75 to $250 and are available at this link.

Season passholders will then have the next shot at riding the coaster during the Passholder FrontierTown Hoedown, taking place each night from April 30th through May 2nd, 4:00 pm until 10:00 pm.  Several rides in FrontierTown will be open, and each guest (who must register online starting April 10) will get one ticket to try out Steel Vengeance.

Then, the general public will get their first rides in on the weekend of May 5th and 6th, which is the official opening for the 2018 season. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

California's Great America RailBlazer Update + Another Removal Announced

© California's Great America
California's Great America will open in one week for the start of their 2018 season, and while RailBlazer won't be ready for guests the park is happy to show it off in a new blog update.

The main structure of the ride was completed some time ago, but the park has been hard at work on all the theming that will surround the coaster, as well as the station and queue.  These photos, shared on the blog post, give us a look at that work underway.  The above wide angle photo shows the entire construction site, with the giant dive loop looking wonderful in the California sun.

© California's Great America
As depicted in the concept art that was released for RailBlaser, California's Great America is adding considerable theming around the base of the coaster, including a waterway and elaborate landscaping.  This photo shows off several of the large stones and boulders being formed, in various levels of completeness.  The addition of the rocks that the track will move past (and through, as with the base of the first drop) will work to make the ride seem even faster than the given top speed of 52 miles per hour.  The ride's theme revolves around an off-road adventure through the California wilderness, and things are looking great so far!

The theme park promises that an opening day for RailBlazer will be announced soon, so stay tuned.

The blog post also revealed that the park's amphitheater style show structure, the Peanuts Playhouse is being removed.

© Google Maps
If you add in the space that the amphitheater took up along with the already removed Endeavor looping ship and the Loggers Run flume ride, it creates two big patches of space.  These areas seem ripe for a massive water park transformation, including new slides, name and theme.  The water park renovation was mentioned plenty in the planning documents for the park's rezoning, so this is no surprise.

© Google Maps
However, if you take it one step further you can also consider the space that Snoopy's Splash Dance took up - that was also announced as removed.  Plus, the park has unofficially announced that 2018 is the last year for the go-karts.  Suddenly you have an absolutely massive area to play with.  This leaves two kiddie rides and the park's kiddie/family coaster, Woodstock Express, off in the corner by themselves so I would wager those won't be around much longer either.  The bottom portion seems like it would be the station area for the expected hyper coaster, but time will tell.

Exciting times for the park, that's for sure!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Scream Machine - Backward Thrilling Riders at Six Flags Over Georgia

The brand new Rocky Mountain Construction conversion coaster, Twisted Cyclone, isn't the only new thrill at Six Flags Over Georgia this year.

For a limited time, visitors can ride the famous Great American Scream Machine wooden roller coaster with backward trains, giving an all new thrill to a classic attraction.  The coaster, currently known as Scream Machine - Backward, has been a staple ride at the theme park for more than 4 decades, and while it has had backward trains in the past, it has been many years since the park turned them around.

© Six Flags Over Georgia
The turned-around trains are drawing a lot of attention to the park, and if you check out this news story you will even see quotes from our own Scott & Carol who were at the park for a special preview this week.

The Great American Scream Machine features a 105 foot lift hill and more than 3,400 feet of traditional wooden track.  It was built by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters and opened in 1973 as one of the largest wooden roller coasters in the world.

Being able to ride Scream Machine backward will be a limited time event, though the park hasn't published an official end to the program as of now.