Friday, September 22, 2017

DC Rivals Hypercoaster Now Open at Warner Bros. Movie World Australia

© Warner Bros. Movie World Australia
One of the most anticipated new coaster openings of 2017 has taken place at Warner Bros. Movie World Australia, for the park's new DC Rivals Hypercoaster.  Though late in the season for North America and Europe, this time of year is the start of the summer season for Australia, and when big new ride openings take place.

Designed by Mack Rides, the DC Rivals Hypercoaster features impressive statistics start to finish.  The train features backward seating on the back row of the trains, which are available for an extra fee and come with a scheduled ride time.

Standing 202 feet tall with bring pink/purple track and gray supports, the ride features the giant Joker image hanging over the crest of the lift hill, and as the above photo shows it lights up nicely in the dark.

The coaster's layout includes an 85 degree plunging first drop that turns 90 degrees to the right, giant air-time hills, a non-inverting loop that stands 131 feet tall, a "high dive" turn, twisted pretzel element mid-ride, and bunny hills that finish the course.

Along with the ride opening we also have a point of view ride on the DC Rivals Hypercoaster, click below if you want to take a spin!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

SeaWorld San Antonio to Debut New Attractions for 2018 Season + New Slide for Aquatica

A variety of new attractions and experiences have been announced for SeaWorld San Antonio's 2018 season, giving visitors several ways to make new memories.

Up first is the addition of Electric Ocean, an all-new nighttime experience that will run during the summer months once the sun goes down.  The event opened this year at SeaWorld San Antonio's sister parks and was well received by park guests.  The event will include nightly fireworks displays, party zones with popular dance music playing and plenty of other lively fun.  Running from June 15th through August 12th, Electric Ocean will also include current park favorites such as HydroPower Xtreme FX, Shamu's Celebration: Light Up the Night and an encore of Sea Lions Tonite.

© SeaWorld San Antonio
Also new next year will be the debut of the Sesame Street Parade.  The park will expand the Sesame Street brand outside of the existing Sesame Street Bay of Play and onto the park's "pathways with the addition of a neighborhood street party parade."  The parade will consist of ten different floats along with everyone's favorite Sesame Street characters.  The attraction will have three different stops along the route where performances will take place when the parade debuts in the Spring of 2018.

Plenty of special events will also fill out the 2018 season, including the new Bier Fest, featuring more than "100 beers from around the globe, including a variety of local favorites.  The Bavarian celebration will also feature authentic German food and festive music."  Watch for the new Bier Fest to start on September 1st, 2018.

Wild Days will also return in the Spring, featuring exciting animal shows and a visit from Jungle Jack Hanna, the Seven Seas Food & Wine Festival will return in April in a new location within the park, Howl-O-Scream will have a scary new stage show in the fall, along with family-friendly fun at Spooktacular, and Christmas Celebration will round out the year with more than 11 million twinkling lights.

© SeaWorld San Antonio
At the separately gated Aquatica San Antonio, the Taumata Racer water slide will open as well.  Starting from a height of 55 feet above the park, riders will zoom downhill head first on foam bodysurfing mats.  The six lanes will feature sliders that race through a "swooping 180-degree turn" before making a race for the finish down two hills.  Each of the six slides will feature a path that is 375 feet long that will be covered in only 10 seconds.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sesame Place's New Family Wood Roller Coaster - Oscar's Wacky Taxi - Opening in 2018

© Sesame Place
Sesame Place has announced their new ride for 2018, a family-friendly wooden roller coaster named Oscar's Wacky Taxi.  The custom designed ride will be created by The Gravity Group, which has already created a handful of similar medium-sized wood coasters that have all been a success.

The coaster will utilize steel supports, painted green in concept art, and a yellow wooden track - matching the theme and colors of both Oscar and his taxi.  The train will be bright yellow and themed as a taxi cab, taxing passengers on a journey filled with "exciting twists, turns, and plenty of airtime hills."

The park has released this video showing off what a ride on Oscar's Wacky Taxi will be like:

The coaster starts with a lift hill followed by a 180 degree turn into a first drop of 40 feet.  The 1,200 feet of coaster track features a large amount of air-time hills, along with a large covered tunnel section on the far turnaround.  The stretch back to the station includes what looks like a gentle double-down, along with a curved dip under the ride's lift hill.  Riders need to be only 40 inches tall if they're accompanied by a supervising companion at least 46 inches tall and 14 years of age.

"Oscar's Wacky Taxi will bring a whole new level of excitement to Sesame Place in 2018," said Bob Caruso, park president. "We're constantly looking for ways to enhance our guest experience, and our first wooden roller coaster is an exciting and thrilling addition to the park."

The announcement did not include any official news on the ride's location, however the park did confirm on social media that the coaster will be built where the park's VIP parking currently is, and that no attractions will be removed in order to build it.

© Google Maps
That's where we suggested the ride might go in a previous post, expanding the overall size of the park.  I updated an image from that post to include a general idea of the coaster's layout - I'm sure it is not perfect though.  The station is in green, and the lift will head toward the park (yellow arrows are the direction of travel).  The far turn with a tunnel (in green) will be out toward the street adjacent to the park.  It looks like the station will be set back from the park, so I would expect the queue to wind under the ride with an entrance somewhere toward the bottom of this image.

This is a pretty exciting and large project for Sesame Place, I'm looking forward to seeing the ride constructed this winter!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Three Legoland Parks to Debut First Virtual Reality Coaster Aimed at Kids

© Legoland
It was announced today that three Legoland Theme Parks will soon debut the first virtual reality roller coaster meant for kids, named The Great Lego Race VR Coaster.  The ride will open first in late 2017 at Legoland Malaysia, then in 2018 at both Legoland Germany and Legoland Florida.

The virtual reality adaptation will take place on the Project X roller coaster at each park.  These rides are a larger Wild Mouse model designed by Mack Rides, featuring one bigger drop in addition to what is commonly found on the traditional Wild Mouse layout.

© Legoland
The Great Lego Race coasters will feature a "high-octane experience that puts kids in the driver's seat and asks, "Are you brave enough to face, race and beat the best of the best in all of Lego world?"  Riders will enter the attraction through the new entry portal that is depicted in concept above, amid the sounds of racing engines.

The queue for the ride will feature the pit crews of each of the characters that visitors will race against, along with hands-on interactive elements designed to keep visitors' minds occupied while they wait.

© Legoland
Once on board and situated with the virtual reality headsets, riders enter the main race in the virtual world.  They will race alongside "brick-built contraptions driven by Trendsetter, Pharaoh, Surfer Girl, Wizard and Pirate Captain, including a rocket-powered surfboard and a stylish scooter fueled by espresso."  A snip of some of the virtual world can be seen above, riders will move across and through different landscapes throughout their journey.

"The Great Lego Race was inspired by the way kids play with Lego toys at home," said Candy Holland, senior creative director for Merlin Magic Making, which designs and develops attractions for Merlin sites around the world. "It's a unique Lego adventure that lets kids enter an epic imaginary world made entirely from Lego bricks, featuring a host of different themes and fun Lego characters, all mixed up together."

Monday, September 18, 2017

Snoopy and Friends Sticking Around Cedar Fair Parks Through 2025

Fans of the Peanuts characters at the various Cedar Fair parks across the county can be rest assured that they have at least eight more seasons of everyone's favorite beagle to look forward to.

And not only Snoopy, but all of his friends will be there as well, including Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Pig-pen, Sally, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Franklin and of course Woodstock.

Cedar Fair has announced that it has reached an agreement with Peanuts Worldwide LLC, who is now a subsidiary of DHX Media, to extend their licensing agreement for all 11 Cedar Fair amusement and theme parks through the year 2025.  The agreement gives Cedar Fair exclusive rights to use the characters in North America in their "attractions, entertainment and sports, food and beverage, lodging and retail operations."

Cedar Fair already utilizes the Peanuts characters in children's themed areas in nearly all of their parks.  This includes at Camp Snoopy at Knott's Berry Farm, which was the first to open in 1983 and heavily renovated in 2014.

It has also announced that Carowinds will be featuring a large expansion in 2018 featuring the Peanuts gang, when Camp Snoopy moves into the park.

Cedar Fair also uses the characters in many dining events, along with each fall when The Great Pumpkin Fest is held at many parks for family-friendly daytime fun.

© Cedar Fair
"Cedar Fair has been a long-standing and cherished partner to Peanuts, dating back many years to when Camp Snoopy first opened at Knott's Berry Farm in 1983," said Craig Schulz, son of Charles M. Schulz and President and CEO of Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates. "On behalf of my entire family, I look forward to many more years of bringing the joy of my father's characters to the fans in Cedar Fair's parks."

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom Relics Can Be Yours to Own

© Raider of the Lost Parks
Granted some of them cost an awful lot more than others, but fans of Wildwater Kingdom, formerly operating across the water from where Geauga Lake was, might be interested in some items from the park that are currently up for sale.

Raider of the Lost Parks is selling many items from Wildwater Kingdom on Facebook, including the well-known slide tower seen above.  Known as the tallest slide complex in Ohio, the 7 slide tower is still standing at the park while it waits for a new owner.

© Raider of the Lost Parks
But it sounds like it doesn't have much longer to wait, as the website reports that the park's owners are taking bids for its demolition.  They also estimate that moving the slide would cost about 40% less than a new slide tower of the same size, but that it will need plenty of refurbishments as well.  Sadly, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see this one get torn down in the coming months.

However, it does appear as though some attractions from Wildwater Kingdom have found new homes.  The large Tornado slide was reportedly sold to Camelbeach water park in Pennsylvania, and the family water fun house structure went to an unnamed park.

© Raider of the Lost Parks
Outside of the water slides and attractions, pretty much everything else of value at the park is also on sale.  Above is a tree house relic that I think dates back to Sea World Ohio days.  There are plenty of other items listed on the Facebook site, including fire doors, a cash safe, water filtration systems and pumps, a pavilion and more.  So just like many of the rides from Geauga Lake live on at other parks, it seems some of Wildwater Kingdom will as well.