Tuesday, January 12, 2021

New Sesame Street Parade of Lights Drive-Thru Experience to Debut at SeaWorld San Diego

© SeaWorld San Diego
The trend of theme park drive thru experiences is continuing with SeaWorld San Diego announcing that they will be reopening in order to hold the all-new Sesame Street Parade of Lights Drive-Thru Experience.  The event will start on January 15th and run on select nights through February 14th.

This is the first time that SeaWorld San Diego will allow visitors to drive their own vehicles through the park, and they're ramping up the family fun by introducing the Sesame Street characters into the mix.  The experience will allow visitors to stay in their vehicles during the fun, safely separated from other guests.  

© SeaWorld San Diego
As described by the park, the journey starts with traveling past "through thousands of dazzling lights lined with your Sesame Street friends physically distanced on parade floats while listening to Sesame Street music along the way.  The excitement continues as you venture under the illuminated SkyTower to snap photos, drive under two different tunnels of lights, and cruise through Sesame Street Village." 


Guests who make reservations for the event can also reserve add-ons such as a snack pack or a deluxe snack pack that comes with some retail items as well.  Season pass holders will get a 50% discount off the admission price, and Fun Card holders will receive 25% off.  For more information or to make a reservation, check out the park's official website.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Starts New Celebrate 2021 Drive-Thru Experience

© Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has come up with an inventive way to keep the Drive-Thru fun coming, the park has now started to offer visitors the Celebrate 2021 Season of Thrills Drive-Thru Experience.  The theme of the new event is all over the map, celebrating the different events that the park holds during the year through lights, music, characters and more.

This includes saying goodbye to Holiday in the Park with those decorations, moving on to Spring Break, Festival Latino, 4th of July, then Fright Fest next, followed by The Marine World Experience, a Winter Wonderland area and finally Heroes Day.  Yes, it's quite a mashup of themes, but it's a nice way for the park to continue to operate during these trying times, so kudos to the park for coming up with something unique!


© Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

For those wondering about the Fright Fest portion, this image from the park does show some ghouls wandering around the park.  Obviously I'm sure there isn't really a scary feel to the area, but still pretty neat to have those characters out there to entertain the cars as they go by.

The new Celebrate 2021 Season of Thrills Drive-Thru Experience takes places on Friday through Sunday through January 31st, and includes the 18th holiday as well.  The park is offering season pass holders and members the ability to travel through the route twice in the same night.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Goes Year Round with New Winter Weekends + Mardi Gras Events

© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Busch Gardens has taken the plunge into being open year-round with the introduction of two new limited time events that will keep the park open during January and February.  Up first is Winter Weekends, which will start on January 15th, and run that Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then again the following weekend - ending on Sunday January 24th.

The new event is designed to continue the celebration of the beauty of the holiday season and will feature plenty of decorative lights, but also plenty of rides, attractions and more.  Another major feature of the event will be the ability to see special animals that are not normally at the park, including an alligator, lemur and even a baby kangaroo.  There will also be special fireworks on Saturday evenings.  The park will have plenty of rides open during Winter Weekends as well, including Alpengeist, Verbolten and InvadR.

© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Following right after and starting on January 29th, Busch Gardens Williamsburg will hold an all new Mardi Gras event.  The new celebration will run through February 28th and be followed by the park's St. Patrick's Day Celebration.

During the Mardi Gras event the park will feature 8 decorated themed areas along with special food, beverage, live entertainment and more.  There will be a similar list of rides open to visitors as during the Wild Weekends, so you can get plenty of more coaster rides in!  More detail on Mardi Gras will be added as the start of the event approaches.

So now we've seen both Six Flags and Busch Entertainment moving more of their parks into year round operations using special events, I guess it's officially a trend now.  A smart one, in my opinion.  With limited operations and the pandemic still not under control, it's a great way to stretch out the season and provide their guests with even more value than ever before - at least from a season pass perspective.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Six Flags Over Texas to Hold New Fire & Ice Winter Festival This Month

© Six Flags
We've got three days of 2021 under our belt now, and I hope things are going nicely for you all - at least compared to 2020!


As we move into the real winter months we have a new festival announced for Six Flags Over Texas, named the Fire & Ice Winter Festival.  The brand new event will take place on weekends from January 9th through February 28th, plus January 18th and February 15th as bonus days.


Those who receive concept idea surveys from Six Flags may have had a feeling that a slew of new events were on the horizon, as the park was testing the concepts of almost a dozen of them recently.  It looks like the Fire & Ice concept scored well, as Six Flags Over Texas is the first park to announce it.


© Six Flags Over Texas
The event will present family fun in the form of a Fire and Ice Light Show, the Frosty Snow Hill, Fire and Ice Marketplace, cocktails at a Fire Bar and Ice Bar, Fire Pits with s'mores, a new Dancing Fountain Show, photo ops, special food offerings and more.  The park is even setting up a curling rink! (additional fee will apply) There will also be fireworks on Saturday nights at 7 pm.  The event's hours each day it is open are from noon until 7 pm. 

As Six Flags in general moves toward keeping its parks open more days out of the year, I'm sure we'll see other versions of this festival (and perhaps even different ones) at more parks soon.  It's a great way to draw in families during the usually slow winter months, for sure.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Six Flags Great Adventure Confirms Major Work on The Jersey Devil Coaster has Resumed

© Six Flags Great Adventure
While the status of some 2021 projects still may be questionable, thankfully we got an update from Six Flags Great Adventure that confirms that major work on The Jersey Devil Coaster has started again.  The park took to their socials to share two photos, both posted here, of new construction that has gone up on the ride.

Yesterday they shared that a shiny section of orange track for the ride was lifted into place, and also some supplemental support items like an access staircase also went in.  That's progress, people!

© Six Flags Great Adventure
The Jersey Devil Coaster is a ride that is highly anticipated, one of Rocky Mountain Construction's Raptor style coasters, with a unique layout and also the largest of its kind to date.  The ride stands 130 feet tall, features an 87 degree first drop, maximum speeds of 58 miles per hour and three inversions spread out over 3,000 feet of track.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Alabama Adventure + Splash Adventure Adding Rocket Racer Slide for 2021

© Alabama Adventure
Alabama Adventure & Splash Adventure delivered their Christmas morning 2021 announcement as promised, and revealed that the park is building Rocket Racer, a brand new mat racing water slide tower.  Standing over 50 feet tall, Rocket Racer will feature 6 racing lanes, each with more than 400 feet of slide.  As with all popular mat racing water slides, riders will each other through the course, attempting to cross the finish line first (and with a splash, of course).

The park says that Rocket Racer will be the biggest water slide in all of Alabama, and it will also make Splash Adventure the biggest water park in the State.  The announcement video also notes that the park is "making sure that this isn't just a new attraction for the park, but an entirely new area for families to have fun and make great family memories every summer."  We saw the location of the new slide in previous teasers, and since it is slightly distant from the water park proper, maybe there's more to come with the expansion in terms of lounging, amenities and/or guest space.

© Silverwood Theme Park
The ride shown in the video is the mat racing water slide at Sliverwood Theme Park, seen above, and if the same one is going up at Splash Adventure then it looks like one of Whitewater's Whizzard towers.  It is a considerably sized tower for a park that's still quite small, having shown up in the past at much larger water parks, so this addition must be quite an achievement for the latest owners!