Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Islands of Adventure Announces New VelociCoaster for Summer 2021


© Universal Orlando
While it is no surprise that the park has been working on a new roller coaster, Islands of Adventure has finally given out some official information on their new thrilling roller coaster for Summer 2021, the Jurassic World VelociCoaster.


The ride has already changed the Islands of Adventure skyline with its towering top hat element, and though the main track for the coaster is in place work is still continuing on additional landscaping, theming and other technical work.  Most recently fans of the park saw crews doing the train clearance pull through, though the coaster trains were wrapped for safety.


This preview clip that the park released gives us a great look at what is in store when the Jurassic World VelociCoaster opens next year.  It includes a look at the ride's trains (super slick) and some animated footage of the finished product.



VelociCoaster will be Florida's tallest and fastest launch coaster, themed around the famous raptors in the film franchise.  Featuring an original storyline, the ride "expands upon the thrills, dinosaurs and environments fans have seen on the big screen. Guests will join the original cast of the films – Chris Pratt as Owen Grady, Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing and BD Wong as Dr. Henry Wu – as Jurassic World unveils the next evolution of its “carnivore expansion”: the VelociCoaster, where riders embark on a high-speed chase and feel the rush of the hunt while racing alongside a nimble Velociraptor pack."

 

The level of theming on the ride, which guests can see each day at the park as it is created, looks to be nearly unparalleled.  As far as statistics go, the coaster stretches over 4,700 feet of track, has a maximum height on the top hat of 155 feet and utilizes two launches, the fastest of which will send trains at 70 miles per hour in just 2.4 seconds.  While not included in the announcement, the coaster has been created by Intamin.

 

© Universal Orlando
The plunge from the top hat element will be at 80 degrees, and the coaster has multiple inversions.  Two referenced in the press materials are the barrel roll over the park's lagoon and an inverted stall element that sends riders upside down over 100 feet of track.  The park advertises a total of 12 seconds of airtime throughout the ride.


The Jurassic World VelociCoaster has been highly anticipated for many months now, as eager fans have watched each new piece of track put into place.  Universal Orlando promises more details and information on the ride in the coming months.


Monday, September 28, 2020

Six Flags Great Adventure's Hallofest Is Now Underway


© Six Flags
Still offering Thrills By Day and Chills By Night, Six Flags Great Adventure's Hallofest is temporarily replacing Fright Fest in 2020 and serving up safe fall fun for all.  The event is currently underway at the theme park, operating on Fridays through Sundays all the way until November 1st - plus some weekdays the week of Halloween.


Visitors to the park who are familiar with Fright Fest will still find many familiar activities and scares, though Six Flags' comprehensive COVID-19 safety plan remains strictly in place.  This includes mandatory face masks, temperature screenings, social distancing, increased sanitization standards and more.


© Six Flags Great Adventure

During the day visitors to Hallofest will enjoy attractions such as the Trick-or-Treat Trail, a hay bale maze, Pumpkin Patch Lane - featuring tons of decorations, pumpkins and hay bales, and the beautifully decorated Scarecrow Street - the festive name of Main Street during the event.  There is even a roving magician who is sure to entertain visitors.  Families will also love the ability to check out special food treats such as caramel apples and funnel cakes made with Snickers candy.  Yum.

 

© Six Flags Great Adventure
After 6 pm the park will feature an array of spooky attractions, all keeping COVID-19 safety precautions in mind.  In total there will be four scare zones, three live shows and three outdoor haunted mazes.

Scare zones include Scarecrow Street After Dark, when the park's Main Street takes a chilling turn in the area surrounding the orange fountain, District 6 Unearthed, features fog, lights, sirens and ghouls in a gritty area that mutant villains have taken over, Lady of the Lake Cemetery, filled with fog and the undead near the Great Lake, and ClownTown, where Movietown becomes inhabited with plenty of wicked clowns and their tricks. 


The Emergence is the production that sets off the creepy fun at 6 pm, with a horde of ghouls emerging into the park from a different location each night, PrimeEvil Percussion is a pulse-pounding percussion show and Street Cirque features performers in the streets showing off awe-inspiring talents.


Haunted Mazes, which require a special Hallo-Maze ticket, include Mama's Farm, a nightmarish homestead of half-human, half-animal mutants, Apocalypse, deep in the woods guests will find what happens if you come too close to scavengers, Wicked Woods, a fan favorite that takes guests on a dark walk into the night, and Reflections of the Dead, the park's mirror maze which is filled with not human actors but special effects and lighting tricks.


© Six Flags Great Adventure
The park's massive thrill ride collection is also open during Hallofest, which includes the park's mega lineup of roller coasters.  With the sun now setting much earlier each day, that means coaster rides in the dark!


For more information on Hallofest or how to make a reservation, check out Six Flags Great Adventure's official website.


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Busch Gardens to Launch Halloween Harvest Starting October 1st


© Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is rolling right along with their special event series, proving that they can keep their guests engaged and interested even during these unprecedented times.


The park is still only allowed to host no more than 1,000 people at a time, but that hasn't stopped it from already hosting several special events, and now they've announced their latest: Halloween Harvest.  The park is celebrating daytime family fun and even some creepy chills at night in their latest event.  During Halloween Harvest the park will open limited sections including Italy, Fest Italia, Oktoberfest, Ireland, Scotland and Sesame Street Forest of Fun.

 

There will be plenty of fall activities, a selection of thrill and tame rides open (a total of 15), tons of food and beverage treats and more.  This is also the first time that Sesame Street Forest of Fun will be open this year, a large children's area - plus one of the activities listed is contactless trick-or-treating!


© Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Since the event is called Halloween Harvest it only makes sense to have a little spooky involved, right?  Busch Gardens Williamsburg will feature "roaming Ghouls & Goblins in select areas of the park," however there are no official scare zones or haunted houses.  Sounds like just a taste of a normal Halloween event, but I have no doubt that people will still enjoy it.


© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
A significant change from the park's past events this year is the addition of a third time slot during Halloween Harvest - but only on Saturdays.  Past events only had two different times to visit throughout the day.  On Saturdays the park will have Halloween Harvest sessions from 10 am until 2 pm, 3 pm to 7 pm and again from 8 pm until 12 am.  The roaming ghouls will be out from 5 pm until 9 pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays and from 8 pm until 12 am on Saturdays.


Reservations and ticket purchases already went on sale for Halloween Harvest, which starts October 1st, and it looks like Saturday slots are already sold out!  But watch for cancellations and the like.  If you're interested in going check out the park's website for more information.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Tokyo Disneyland Will Open Additions Including New Beauty and the Beast Dark Ride on September 28th


© Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo Disneyland has announced that it will open several new additions that have been built at the park on September 28th.  The large expansion will see new attractions in Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Toontown.  We first heard about the expansion plans back in 2016, and now it is time for visitors to be able to enjoy all the hard work that was put into the addition.


Tomorrowland will see the opening of The Happy Ride with Baymax, a spinning ride that's themed around the characters of Big Hero 6.  Minnie's Style Studio will open as a new way to interact with Minnie and friends, sure to be a smash hit for visitors.


© Tokyo Disneyland
The largest and most exciting addition is the Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast dark ride, which features trackless technology as guests enter a retelling of the famous story.  Riders sit in large tea cups that move through the giant show scenes, dancing around each other and set pieces while the story unfolds.  There are plenty of really slick looking animatronics in the ride as well, including a dancing Belle and Beast that really amaze.


If you want to check out a video of the ride's preshow along with full on-ride footage, watch below!




Sunday, September 20, 2020

Closed-In-2020 Cedar Fair Parks Detail Extra Pass Perks for 2021


© California's Great America
When several Cedar Fair parks decided that they would not be able to open in 2020 they announced that season pass holders would be getting some extra benefits out of their Pass Perks program in 2021.  It was designed to be an extra benefit to pass holders who didn't get to visit their park this year, but at the time no real details were given.


I noticed that now some of the parks that weren't able to open are listing more specific benefits for next year, and they are pretty nice.  Pass Perks debuted at the parks a couple seasons ago, and after a visit to the park, season pass holders sometimes get an e-mail with a free perk, like a food treat, steep discount on retail, etc.


California's Great America has stepped that up a bit with their 2021 program.  Season pass holders who purchased before August 4th will receive a monetary credit on their pass that they can use freely (with some restrictions) in the park.  Silver level pass holders will receive $25, Gold and Platinum will receive $35. 


© Carowinds
At Carowinds, Silver pass holders will receive a $35 credit, and Gold and Platinum pass holders will receive $50!  Kings Dominion will have the same levels as Carowinds, Silver pass holders will receive the $35 credit, Gold and Plantinum will receive $50.  Valleyfair, which also did not open in 2020, does not have detailed information up yet, and Canada's Wonderland, which is still in limbo with regard to 2020, also does not.


This is a really nice benefit for pass holders, especially since it's not the park's fault that they couldn't open.  Consider that for a family of 4, even at the lower levels, will start the season with a total of $100 - $140 to spend.  That's a couple meals or quite a bit of shopping if they choose.


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Silverwood Theme Park Announces New Stunt Pilot RMC Coaster for 2021


© Silverwood Theme Park
Today Silverwood Theme Park revealed what they have planned for their 2021 season, and it was a wonderful surprise!  The park is going to build one of Rocky Mountain Construction's Raptor roller coasters.  Named Stunt Pilot, the coaster will honor the park's former tradition of offering visitors an air show each day while at the park, something that was retired in 1996.


Each day visitors would "watch vintage airplanes loop through the air and perform death-defying maneuvers at breakneck speeds," and in 2021 they'll be able to experience that for themselves on the new coaster.


© Silverwood Theme Park
Decked out in bright red supports with white single rail track, Stunt Pilot will feature the same layout as we've seen on other operating RMC Raptors to date.  That means the ride will stand 106 feet tall, featuring a top speed of 52 miles per hour over 1,800 feet of track.  The single rail coaster design utilizes cars that seat guests individually, low to the car's center line which gives a smooth and thrilling experience.


Riders will head through three different inversions while on the ride, adding even more thrilling elements to the attraction.  The coaster will feature two, ten person trains.


© Silverwood Theme Park
Stunt Pilot will be built in an open area in between the far end of the Tremors wooden coaster and the park's log flume.  The coaster will join similar rides already open at Six Flags Fiesta Texas and California's Great America, with another planned for South Dakota's Wild Water West.  Also opening next year is the Jersey Devil Coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure, the largest Raptor track coaster to date.


Stunt Pilot at Silverwood Theme Park is scheduled to open in the summer of 2021.