Friday, November 24, 2017

New Thrill Ride Announced For Magic Springs' 2018 Season


© Magic Springs
A towering new thrill ride will open at Magic Springs in time for the 2018 season, the amusement and water park has announced.  Known as Brain Drain, the ride will be a Larson / ARM Super Shot free fall tower, known as one of the most intense free fall experiences out there.  It will stand 120 feet over Magic Springs, blasting riders downward at more than 45 miles per hour.

Magic Springs has been steadily expanding their water park in their most recent capital additions, but the amusement park side has not seen a new ride added in many years.  Brain Drain will certainly fill that void!

© Magic Springs
The photos that the park released are of similar Larson / ARM tower rides, which as exemplified in this photo have some amazing light packages for once the sun goes down.  No doubt that Magic Springs will use their new Brain Drain ride as an in-park billboard, beckoning riders from afar.

Many other similar Larson / ARM drop rides can be found throughout the country, such as StratosFear at Knoebels and Drop Zone at Kemah Boardwalk, and if you've been on one of these before then you know why the ride's addition is so exciting for Magic Springs!


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Holiday World Announces $3.5 Million Expansion for 2018


© Holiday World
Holiday World & Splashin' Safari has announced a $3.5 million capital expansion plan for 2018 that will see changes made in both parks, including a significant new attraction in the water park.

“We’re adding a fun elephant-themed water-play area for younger children,” says park president Matt Eckert. “When we discovered the Swahili word for elephant is Tembo, we named our new slide complex Tembo Falls and the junior wave pool Tembo Tides.”

Seen in concept art above, the new area will have two distinct attractions, both aimed at kids under 54 inches tall and their families.

© Holiday World
Tembo Falls is the water slide complex seen on the left of the above aerial view of the expansion.  There will be a total of eight new water slides added, each for kids.  There will be a variety of slide types added, including "twisters, a helix, a mini-bowl and two racing slides."

Kids will also love Tembo Tides, a junior sized wave pool that will have various spray features included in the shallow end of it.  Guests will also want to check out the new Riverside Retreats, described as "mini cabanas" in the water park.

Elsewhere in the amusement park will be all new live entertainment, including a "stunt show, musical magic show and a strolling brass band."  Various track improvements will be made to the Voyage wooden roller coaster, and an electric car charging station will also be added.

Along with the announcement came this video showing off the various additions, check it out below!


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Scott And Carol Present - IAAPA 2017


Legends: Adapting Intellectual Properties for Parks and Attractions: What Works, What Doesn't. 

It was Wednesday afternoon again at IAAPA, and that means one thing. The Legends Panel, organized by Bob Rogers of BRC Imagination Arts,, and sponsored this year by Whitewater.


The first order of business was a moving tribute to Marty Sklar, Disney Legend with his own window on Main Street. He has been a mentor to both the panel and many in attendance, and his influence is already sorely missed in the industry


You can see the empty chair next to Scott Trowbridge, in honor of Marty. Who will fill his shoes? Many eagerly await to find out.

Joe Rohde, Executive Designer and Vice President, Creative, Walt Disney Imagineering

Joe is the lead designer of Disney’s Pandora, The World of Avatar and Disney's Animal Kingdom.  Rohde was also the principal creative force behind the park's Expedition Everest thrill ride, which debuted in 2006. He was one of the lead designers behind the Aulani hotel in OahuHawaii.

Thierry Coup, Senior Vice President - Creative Studio, Universal Creative.

Thierry leads the creative development of upcoming attractions for Universal Parks and Resorts globally. He has played an integral role in shaping the blockbuster rides and attractions at Universal Parks and Resorts for more than 20 years. Thierry is probably best known for pushing the envelope in the creative design of world-class projects, such as The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man,  Transformers: The Ride 3D, King Kong 360-3D, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Scott Trowbridge, Portfolio Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering

Scott is WDI’s creative lead for all things Star Wars, including the design and development of 2 new 14-acre lands going into Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.  Scott previously led WDI Research & Development and oversaw the Blue Sky Design Studio where Imagineers from multiple disciplines come together to explore and develop new ideas for Disney’s theme parks and resorts worldwide.  Scott has spent most of his career dreaming up new and unique ways to entertain people, ranging from state-of-the-art themed attractions to film, theater and retail. Prior to joining Disney, Scott worked as vice president for the creative division of NBC/Universal’s Theme Park & Resorts.

Here are just are few quotes from the panel concerning the use of Intellectual Property in amusement parks:

Joe: A film is a 3rd person narrative whereas an attraction is a 1st person narrative. Our artistic medium is direct experience and everything should be based on everyone instead of the purest fans of the IP.

Joe studies classical architecture, searching for what engages the audience.

Thierry: Attempting to exceed the audience expectations is the fun part. we work with a 90-second storyline, and we created Spiderman the Ride before the movie came out.

Thierry finds inspiration from TED Talks, and regularly attends the conference, and also studies Leonardo DaVinci, who combined mathematics, engineering, and art with his work.


Scott: It is our job to understand the DNA of a creative work and distill it into an attraction. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. No fad will overcome a weak story. The audience is the park guest, and they own the park, creators are just stewards of the park.

Like all good things, this too had to end. Instead of crying because it was over, most laughed because it happened as they queued up for autographs and photographs. If this doesn't happen next year we might blow off IAAPA.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Time to Burn? Check Out Intamin's New Website


© Intamin
On a slow news day, much like today, it's nice to share news of something that may not be news per se, but still quite interesting nonetheless.  Intamin has a new website, or at least one that's new to me.  I don't know exactly when it launched, but it's filled with great information and photos on many of their rides and attractions.

Intamin is celebrating their 50th anniversary right now, quite an accomplishment so many congratulations to them, and has updated their company profile to reflect the milestone.   That catalogue alone should fill up a bit of your time!

© Intamin
You can browse through each of their various ride types, from coasters to free falls and just about everything in between.  The company has highlighted many of their significant projects, and each one also has links to other documents such as ride spec sheets and more.  It's really a lot to look through, but a great way to learn more about one of everyone's favorite amusement ride manufacturers.

© Intamin
One other item to point out is Intamin's reference guide, which can be downloaded directly via this link.  It gives a list of all contracts the company has signed, by ride type and by year.  This document is a gold mine for fans of the company, showing statistics on all the fantastic rides they've created.  Plus there are specific ride type details as well, for example I did not know that SkyRush at Hersheypark is technically know by the company as a "Wing Coaster" with "Half-Wing-Train" designs.  Amusement park nerd alert!

Maybe even more interesting is the top of the reference list which shows rides not yet announced but that have contracts signed for.  Granted there are no hints as to where the rides will go, but it's fun to imagine where they will end up!

Happy browsing.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Knott's HangTime Progress Update - Lift Nearly Complete


Today was a good morning for a check in on the progress of HangTime at Knott's Berry Farm.  The new custom-designed Gerstlauer Infinity coaster is rising quickly at the Farm, with track instillation taking place daily.

© Knott's Berry Farm
This view from the webcam shows a significant amount of track installed in the past week.  The on-site crane has been busy, with track applied to the 150 foot tall vertical lift hill, along with the drop and the run into the first big element.  Throughout the course of the ride there are plenty of other supports that have been added.

© Knott's Berry Farm
The park's 2nd webcam isn't focused on the ride, but that hasn't stopped HangTime from showing up on it.  If you look in the upper left of the live view you can see HangTime towering over the Calico Mine Ride.  The track is nearly to the top of the structure, and the drop has been applied just as far.  All that remains is the apex of the lift, along with the the track that will hold the trains for several seconds at a 60 degree angle, facing the ground below them before they drop.

For another recent update on the coaster, with plenty of photos taken from inside the park, check out California Coaster Kings.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Brilliant Harry Potter Themed Holiday Show Now Open at Islands of Adventure


© Universal Orlando
The holidays are just around the corner, and that means that special events celebrating them are now starting to operate all parks over the country.  New this year is the first ever Christmas celebration inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida.

However, the main attraction of the celebration is undoubtedly The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle, which (seen above) brings the massive Hogwarts Castle to life several times each evening.

The brand new projection mapping show literally takes place on the facade of the castle, featuring "festive d├ęcor, candlelight and moments inspired by the films."  The show, which according to its developers features "ghosts of Hogwarts singing carols, students riding broomsticks and creating snowmen, a moment inspired by the Yule Ball and many more surprises," is premiering this weekend to park visitors.

If you can't make it in person, many videos of the show have already popped up online, so if you want to check it out here is one from Attractions Magazine.  Make sure to watch in high definition.


Other holiday special events include decorations throughout and new live entertainment in both Harry Potter themed areas.  Within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter the Frog Choir has several new holiday themed songs that will be performed.  Over in Diagon Alley Celestina Warbeck has cooked up four new songs, such as "Nothing like a holiday spell" and "My baby gave me a Hippogriff for Christmas."