Saturday, August 17, 2019

Grand Carnivale + New Racing Waterslide Opening at Carowinds in 2020


© Carowinds
The 2020 season at Carowinds will feature a brand new water slide attraction within the Carolina Harbor water park, and an exciting summer festival named Grand Carnivale.

Called Boogie Board Racer, the new waterslide is one of the industry's popular mat racing style attractions.  Riders head face-first down one of six lanes and move through drops and a large helix before one final plunge sends them toward the finish line at maximum speed.

© Carowinds
Boogie Board Racer was designed for Carowinds by White Water West, and will start from a 60 foot tall tower that is located adjacent to Copperhead Strike.  The slide is billed by the park as the longest of its kind in the Southeast and is the first large expansion to Carolina Harbor since the waterpark was rebranded in 2016.


Next summer will also be an exciting one for Carowinds due to the addition of Grand Carnivale, Cedar Fair's already popular global celebration featuring a nightly parade, food tastings, dance party and more.  The event will run at Carowinds from June 13th through July 5th, 2020.

“The new Boogie Board Racer water slide will amp up the adrenaline in our world-class Carolina Harbor waterpark and our guests will crave its exciting twists and turns as they compete against friends in this fan-favorite racing attraction,” said Pat Jones, Carowinds’ vice president and general manager. “And we’re going all out with Grand Carnivale, the largest summertime event ever held at Carowinds. We’ve seen how families enjoy our fully immersive SCarowinds and WinterFest events in fall and winter, and we’re bringing that same sense of wonder and delight to this captivating new summer nighttime experience. These investments, along with the new Springhill Suites by Marriott at Carowinds which opens this fall, further strengthen our position as the premier entertainment destination in the Carolinas.”


Kings Island's New Giga Coaster - Orion - Drops In For 2020 Season


© Kings Island
The much speculated new coaster for Kings Island's 2020 season has been revealed to be Orion, according to the park it will be one of only 7 giga-coasters in the world.

Orion will be the centerpiece of the newly themed Area 72 section of the park, with a station located just behind Flight of Fear, where Firehawk once lived.  Orion will be Kings Island's longest, tallest and fastest steel roller coaster.

© Kings Island
The park has created a backstory for Orion, it seems that the coaster will feature a "prototype vehicle developed by the Project X initiative.  Scientists are in a race against time to develop technology capable of weaving transport vehicles through a coming meteor storm and traveling to a new planet within the Orion constellation.  For the program to be successful, it needs volunteers to help with testing."  Naturally the test riders will enjoy their soaring view of Kings Island as they do their part to protect human civilization.

© Kings Island
Orion will start with a lift hill that towers 287 feet over the park, followed by a 300 foot first drop that will give trains a top speed of 91 miles per hour.  The ride features a total of 8 hills, with the second being heavily banked to the left and standing 174 feet tall.  The ride's turnaround element stands an impressive 202 feet tall on its own.  The return trip back toward the station features several speed and air-time hills, along with a giant helix.

© Kings Island
Here is the full layout of Orion, like the other B&M giga coasters it will eliminate a traditional mid-course brake run by placing it at the end of the ride before the final brakes.  That allows the trains to zoom through the course without interruption.  Orion's total track length is 5,321 feet and the ride is planned to open next spring.

Here's a nice fly-by view of the ride in action, see more videos including a point of view ride on Orion at Kings Island's website.


Friday, August 16, 2019

Michigan's Adventure to Feature All-New Camp Snoopy Themed Area in 2020



The 2020 season at Michigan's Adventure will be all about Snoopy and his Peanuts friends, as the park introduces a large new family area named Camp Snoopy.

Featuring a wooded setting with plenty of shaded seating areas and a relaxing atmosphere, Planet Snoopy will occupy space in the center of the amusement park that is currently occupied by Be-Bop Blvd., which was recently announced to be retiring.  The Camp Snoopy and Planet Snoopy areas at other Cedar Fair parks have remained popular after many years, and the Camp Snoopy theme will fit in especially well with Michigan's Adventure.  While the park has long has plenty of kiddie rides, they have never been located in one area with a cohesive theme like that which will be found in Camp Snoopy.

© Michigan's Adventure
This aerial view shows all that Camp Snoopy will offer among its winding pathways.  The area will feature five kids rides, and a large play area.  The new rides include:

 - Woodstock Express, a family roller coaster
 - Trail Blazers, featuring cars that zoom around a small track
 - Mud Buggies, off road themed vehicles that bounce up and down as they spin
 - Camp Bus, a bus that zooms around in a vertical circle with Snoopy at the wheel
 - Beagle Scout Lookout, with hot air balloons that riders spin up toward the sky in

© Michigan's Adventure
The expansion also includes two play areas, together known as Beagle Scout Acres.  The areas are both aimed at kids, but one is for smaller tots and the other includes activities sure to keep older kids busy.  A similar addition was a part of Carowinds' Camp Snoopy, and was a big hit with families.

“The significant expansion and imaginative theming of our children’s attractions reinforces Michigan’s Adventure as one of the region’s top destinations for families,” said Camille Jourden-Mark, Vice President and General Manager at Michigan’s Adventure. “The new Camp Snoopy joins attractions such as the award-winning Shivering Timbers roller coaster and WildWater Adventure water park in providing our guests with unique opportunities for creating family memories for generations to come.”


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Seaside Splashworks Multi-Level Play Structure Headed to Dorney Park's Wildwater Kingdom in 2020


© Dorney Park
Dorney Park has announced the addition of Seaside Splashworks for Wildwater Kingdom's 2020 season.  The attraction will be a large, multi-level water play structure that will take occupy the island in the middle of Wildwater River, replacing Island Water Works.

Themed to the sights of a trip to the beach, Seaside Splashworks will feature more than 75 different play elements designed to engage the entire family for hours.

© Dorney Park
This concept art shows what the finished product will look like, bright and colorful and full of cute beach theming.  The attraction will contain many noteworthy features such as six water slides totaling 430 feet in length, interactive spray jets that guests can operate, water cannons throughout, a splash zone designed just for toddlers and a 317 gallon tipping bucket that drenches everyone underneath it every few minutes.

“Wildwater Kingdom is already one of the top ranked water parks in the country, and Seaside Splashworks brings us to a new level with something for everyone to enjoy,” said Michael Fehnel, Dorney Park’s vice president and general manager. “We’re committed to bringing our guests a diverse array of entertainment, from our immersive events like the new Grand Carnivale international festival and fan favorite Halloween Haunt, to a terrific new attraction like this. Our team is proud to deliver an experience that’s unmatched in the region.”
© Dorney Park
The above schematic view of Seaside Splashworks gives us a wonderful idea of how the park will fit such a large structure onto the island.  Giving us perspective that the concept art alone does not, we can see how the attraction will extend out into the middle of the island, also replacing the small splash pad that is currently located there.  The structure will be the largest in Wildwater Kingdom, with six towers, 12 water cannons and 9 tipping cones.

© Google Maps
Comparing this aerial view of the island formed by Wildwater River to the schematic above helps paint the picture of how the area will be transformed.  Seaside Splashworks will also contain a "195 foot net bridge trail where guests can challenge their climbing and discovery skills" according to the park.  The development will also come with plenty of lounge chairs and shade structures for families to relax under during their day at the park.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Canada's Wonderland Announces Two New Attractions for 2020


© Canada's Wonderland
Canada's Wonderland has announced two new attractions for their 2020 season, one for the theme park and one for Splash Works, their water park.

The above concept art is for the Splash Works attraction, named Mountain Bay Cliffs.  A truly surprising attraction addition, Mountain Bay Cliffs will feature several locations on a large faux mountain that visitors an jump off of into a deep pool below.

Mimicking the thrill of cliff jumping, visitors can pick the height they jump from, with the tallest level at 25 feet - only for the most brave guests.  At first I thought the image was of the park's signature Wonder Mountain, as it definitely appears to have some similarities in design to the park's icon.  The attraction is unlike any we've seen added to a Cedar Fair park in a long time, I am excited to see the reaction of visitors to Splash Works next year.

© Canada's Wonderland
The second new attraction will be a kid-friendly ride located within the park's Planet Snoopy themed section.  Named the Beagle Brigade Airfield, the ride will take kids in one of six airplane themed vehicles as they swing around a suspended oval track.  While I did not see confirmation from the park, it appears as though the Beagle Brigade Airfield will be one of Zamperla's Flying Tigers attractions.

“We’re committed to finding new ways to deliver fun, immersive and memorable experiences to guests of all ages,” said Norm Pirtovshek, General Manager at Canada’s Wonderland. “The addition of Mountain Bay Cliffs in Splash Works will offer our guests a unique outdoor experience unlike any other.  And Beagle Brigade Airfield promises to be a favourite for children, as we continue to expand our family attractions in KidZville and Planet Snoopy.”


Silver Dollar City Reveals $30 Million 2020 Expansion Including Mystic River Falls


© Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City is embarking on a massive, $30 million expansion over the next year that will include the debut of Mystic River Falls, a thrilling but family friendly river raft adventure.

The park will celebrate their 60th anniversary in 2020 and not only build the new water attraction ($23 million), but also create and all new themed area named Rivertown, complete with a new Rivertown Smokehouse restaurant ($4 million), but also expand Pumpkin Nights this fall ($2 million) and An Old Time Christmas this winter ($1.5 million).  The park's expansion over the next 12 months is the largest the park has ever done in one year during it's 60 years of operations.

© Silver Dollar City
Mystic River Falls is the focus of all these expansions, however, and is billed as having the "tallest drop in the Western hemisphere" on a ride of its type.  The ride features a thick backstory tying it to Marvel Cave and the exploration surrounding it, which is how the theme park got its start six decades ago.

The legend of Mystic River Falls blends "fact and fiction, legend and lore, to arrive at an attraction that celebrates the spirit of adventure that’s part of Ozark culture.  An underground body of water that seems to come from and go nowhere, Mystic River truly appears on the park’s historical maps as discovered and documented by botanist S. Fred Prince in the late 1800s, and to this day, flows in Marvel Cave."

"For the new ride, guests will be transported back to the 1880s in a storyline that revolves around a historically-based fictional character named Pearl Brazen, an intrepid explorer who’s eager to take them on a bold quest to find the headwaters of the river."

© Silver Dollar City
This fantastic aerial map of Mystic River Falls and the new Rivertown themed section shows off all that park guests have to look forward to.  The ride is being created by Silver Dollar City itself along with R.E.S., Barr Engineering and Herschend Family Entertainment Corporate Development.

The ride will feature some very unique features.  The rafts, of which there will be 18 and each will seat 8 guests, will go up a vertical elevator that stands 82 feet tall, taller than many roller coasters.  The elevator will have 4 different platforms that will "allow for scenic views, increase capacity and lessen wait time" and is the only of its kind in the world.  At the top they will float through 180 feet of channel that is 66 feet above the park, then soar down a 45 foot drop into a lagoon below.

The ride's layout includes many waterfalls, a hidden mine shaft and other scenic features, and stretches 2,100 feet.  The designed ride time is around 5 and a half minutes.

© Silver Dollar City
As we've seen since the park opened this year, Silver Dollar City is already hard at work on the ride's construction.  They released this great aerial view of the work so far, and you can easily make out some of the ride's layout here.  The park had to clear out a large area for Mystic River Falls, but has promised to plant at least two trees for each one removed during the construction phase.


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