Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hersheypark Starts Teaser Campaign for 2018 Additions

© Hersheypark
The teasing for a 2018 expansion at Hersheypark has begun, with the above image posted on social media today.  The park is urging fans to stay tuned to additional clues about what the park is building, leading up to the official announcement which will take place on August 8th.

The image pretty clearly implies an expansion to Hersheypark's water area, known as The Boardwalk.  Between the surf boards and flip flops - plus quite a lot of the color blue - the image doesn't lend itself to another expansion in the theme park.  Plus, the news article that included the official announcement date has photos of a beach bucket, shovel and beach ball that was sent out to the press.

© Google Maps
Now, the big question from my perspective is where the park will find space to further expand The Boardwalk.  The water area has become extremely popular, to the point where the park actually removed their river rapids ride a few years back to make room for a lazy river/wave pool combo.

Above is a look at The Boardwalk area, which is pretty boxed in right now.  However, in red is the area taken up by Tidal Force, a large shoot-the-chutes.  The ride still seems popular, but is sitting on very important real estate right in the middle of The Boardwalk.  Could we see that ride come to an end before next year?

There is also the area in yellow, which was once home to Roller Soaker, is not fully developed either.  The ride's large station is still sanding, and part of the area became a splash pad when the ride was removed.  With the need for expansion space so great, the splash pad could be on the cutting board, along with the old station, to allow something new to arrive.

Stay tuned for more clues!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Kings Dominion Issues Second 2018 Attraction Teaser

A week after the first, Kings Dominion has issued their second 2018 attraction teaser on social media.  Here it is:

© Kings Dominion
Let's start with the obvious, we have text reading "20 better than 4," and a photo of Snoopy.  I take the phrase two ways, one is that 20 of something is better than 4 of something, but also if you take "better" as a statement of addition then they could be referencing 20 plus 4, which implies 24 as a significant figure.

Sadly I'm not quite sure what either would mean for a new ride, suspected to be a redo of the Hurler roller coaster.  20 of something being better than 4 sounds like it would work for something counted, perhaps air-time moments, instead of general statistics like height, drop, speed, or track length.  The significance of 24, if that's the case, could be that a 2018 reopening of a modified Hurler would come 24 years after it originally opened, in 1994.

Also worth noting is that one of the Ts in "better" is upside down.  Obviously that could refer to potential inversions that the ride may have.

Like the first teaser, there are also some words hidden in the background of the image.  This time I'm able to fine Snoopy, Wood, Candy and Orchard.  Still not sure of the Snoopy references, but wood appears to relate to Hurler's track style (former?).  Candy is probably related to Candy Apple Grove, which is also hinted at through Orchard as according to Wikipedia that area was originally themed as one.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Frontier City Expands Water Area with the Opening of Gully Washer Slides

© Frontier City
New for 2017, the impressive Gully Washer body slides have opened to guests within Frontier City, located in Oklahoma City, OK.  The park just recently started adding water-park style attractions to their lineup of offerings.  The Gully Washer slide tower is another big step toward eventually giving guests a full water park experience, should the park desire that.

© Frontier City
The trio of slides has gone up adjacent to the Wild West Water Works, a giant interactive play area that opened at Frontier City in 2012.  The structure features several slides of its own, along with dozens of interactive features.  Just the structure alone helps create a mini-water park experience, but now even that has grown.

© Frontier City
© Frontier City
These photos, taken by the park for social media, show off the green, purple and orange body slides as they twist their way down from a height of 66 feet.  Gully Washer certain appears to give a more thrilling experience than can be found in the Wild West Water Works!  I also enjoy how the runout area for the slides is actually pointed inward toward the slide tower, it's not often that you see water slides positioned in that way.

© Frontier City
Between the three paths of Gully Washer there is a total of 1,249 feet of slide, each path is unique but all contain sudden drops, plenty of twists and a high speed finish.  Riders only need to be 48 inches tall to experience the new ride.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ghostbusters Save The Day on New Ride at Heide Park

Heide Park, located in Soltau, Germany, has opened their new for 2017 blockbuster darkride, Ghostbusters 5D - The Ultimate Ghost Hunt.  The attraction is a modern dark ride offering passengers a multitude of special effects including dynamic vehicles and game play elements via in-car blasters, all while on a trip through the world of the Ghostbusters franchise.

© Heide Park
Riders who journey into Ghostbusters 5D enter a decrepit warehouse that has become infested with ghouls that are aiming to take over Heide Park.  The ride vehicles, which turned out beautifully, are themed as Ecto-x Hybrids that are motion based to add to the simulation efforts.  Each rider has their own proton blaster which is used to blast ghosts throughout the attraction, which is in 3-D video.

Heide Park partnered with Triotech to create the new ride, and also shared this video of the concepts they went through to create the ghosts of the ride.  Blasting these ghosts lets riders accumulate points, which in turn makes the ride have a competitive nature that keeps riders coming back to try it again.

Since the ride is in 3-D on-ride videos don't work so well, but I do suggest checking out the below video which shows off the ride in general.  Looks great - perhaps we will see this attraction come to other Merlin Entertainments parks in the future.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mine Blower at Fun Spot America Opens Tomorrow

© Fun Spot America
Tomorrow is the big day!  Fun Spot America will open their brand new wooden roller coaster, Mine Blower, to eager riders.

Designed by The Gravity Group, this super compact ride just recently started testing and is now ready for passengers.  Standing 83 feet tall with an 82 foot first drop, the coaster's big element is the first after the plunge, a full corkscrew that takes place over the station.  With speeds of 49 miles per hour and a total track length of 2,290 feet, Mine Blower's compact layout seems designed to maintain speed from start to finish.  Additional elements on the coaster include extreme banking at 115 degree, two Timberliner trains and 12 different moments of air-time.

If you're interested in seeing how the ride is, The Gravity Group released a point of view video of the ride soon after it started testing.  So if you're not able to hit the park tomorrow, like me, enjoy a virtual ride instead!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Kings Dominion Drops First Tease for 2018 Addition(s?)

Now that it is officially summer, this is when we usually start to see some parks begin the process of teasing what they have planned for the following season.  Many 2018 projects around the globe are already announced, which is a recent trend we've seen, but that doesn't mean we know everything already.  To that end, Kings Dominion posted an image on social media to kick off their campaign:

© Kings Dominion
The park posted this image along with a note that "things aren't always as they seem."  The number 816 would appear to be a date, August 16th, which coincidentally is also National Roller Coaster Day.  There is an image of the park's iconic Eiffel Tower on the right side, but that's not much of a clue in my book.

If you look at the larger version of the image you'll see that there is actually text running vertically all over the image.  Some of the words that I've spotted are:  Grove, Snoopy, 2018, and Apple.

Now, we all know that the theme park closed Hurler two seasons ago and some obvious work is going on with the ride.  It would make sense that Grove and Apple are in the text, since the ride is in the Candy Apple Grove themed area.  And the year, well that's obvious too.

However Snoopy is a bit of a mystery, and perhaps that is what the park means by "things aren't always as they seem."  Maybe there is even more in store than fans are already anxiously awaiting?

We'll have to stay tuned to find out!