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

Image result for silver dollar city photo gallery

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

Image result for silver dollar city photo gallery

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.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

New Islands of Adventure Potter-Themed Coaster Now Vertical

While I'm still a bit sad about the removal of Dueling Dragons Dragon Challenge at Islands of Adventure, located within the Universal Orlando Resort, the addition of a shrouded-in-mystery Harry Potter themed roller coaster does ease the pain a tad.

Universal hasn't said much about the roller coaster, in fact so far just really that it will open in 2019, be family friendly, and will transport us into the world of Harry Potter.  Since then Dragon Challenge has been totally removed and work on the new coaster is well underway.

In fact, if you have already followed user Bioreconstruct on Twitter, then you'd have seen some great aerials of the ride going vertical.

Here is a view of the expansive site that Dragon Challenge occupied.  From construction photos it is pretty obviously that the new coaster will utilize the former station for the pair of B&M rides.  It looks like about half of the new coaster's footings are in place, with crews working on the area closer to the station and moving outward.  You can also spot at least one show building being constructed at the bottom of the photo - the ride is rumored to include several smaller show buildings throughout the course.
You probably noticed it in the first photo, but the crews have also started to lift supports for the ride, pained brown, into place.  This photo is extra-interesting because the tallest supports that have been set appear to be a reverse spike, with trains moving up it until they lose speed and head backward down... and since the coaster is expected to be a complete circuit that means a switch track should be involved too.

Aside from the track spike, you can also trace the outline of some curves that will snake their way around the spike - the supports indicate some pretty good banking on these track pieces.  The ride is also expected to use launches to generate speed, versus a traditional lift hill, which should be fun.  I can't wait to see more of the ride go up, especially track!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Dorney Park Stinger Deconstruction 4.14.18 Update Photos

© NewsPlusNotes
If you're passing by Dorney Park you'll have to look a bit more closely at the skyline to catch the bit of Stinger that is still standing.  Here are a few photos from today, showing that much more of the roller coaster has been removed since our last update a couple weeks ago. 

When driving past the park, Stinger used to occupy the skyline of the far corner of the property.  But now with only less than half the lifts standing, it's about even with the tree line.

© NewsPlusNotes
Taken from near the entrance road to the park, this is about all that is left of Stinger.  The crews carefully worked to cut through the lift track and remove it in even smaller sections that just one traditional track 'piece.'  It looked like the rails and ties were actually being cut apart to remove small bits at a time.  They are covered in the trees in this photo, but there's a few lift piece remnants laying around that haven't been hauled off yet.

© NewsPlusNotes
One final, more clear shot.  I would think now that the highest parts of Stinger are down, this last section will disappear rather quickly this week.  Especially if we're given the gift of decent spring weather!

Dorney Park will open for the 2018 season on Friday, May 4th, and that's when we will get our first look at the area that Singer used to reside in.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Battle For Eire - Action VR Ride Now Open at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Today marks the official grand opening of Busch Gardens Williamsburg's new attraction, Battle for Eire - Action VR Ride.

The innovative new virtual reality ride opened to crowds of park visitors today among many invited Williamsburg-area dignitaries, along with members of the local Boys & Girls Club.  Battle for Eire combines a traditional motion simulator base with virtual reality headsets and is one of the first attractions on the globe to do this.

“With Battle For Eire and the 360-degree virtual reality, riders can have a unique experience each time they ride,” said Kevin Lembke, park resident for Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. “That’s what’s going to keep people coming back over and over again.”

© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
The main character of the ride, Addie, was on hand (above) to help with the official ribbon cutting ceremony.  Park officials are excited to share the ride with their guests, as they've put many months of work into creating such a cutting-edge ride type. 

“Battle For Eire is a phenomenal new experience. It’s something that has never been done before,” said Larry Giles, vice president of design and engineering at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. “You really feel like you’re there. You’re not just watching it. You’re part of it.”
© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Visitors pass through several pre-show rooms within Battle for Eire, the last of which sees them adding the green virtual reality headsets holders just before boarding.  Once in their seats, riders add the final virtual reality screens to their headset and the journey beings.

The ride's storyline follows Addie as she embarks on a quest to rescue the Heart of Eire from evil villain Balor.  According to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, "riders will be completely immersed within the story and be able to see, hear and feel actions happening all around them, both through the virtual reality headsets and within the motions of the simulator."

For more information on Battle for Eire - Action VR Ride, check out the below preview video along with the theme park's official website.