Saturday, September 22, 2018

Kentucky Kingdom Teasing New Kentucky Flyer Ride for 2019 Season

© Kentucky Kingdom
While not revealing exactly what it is, Kentucky Kingdom has released a new teaser video for their 2019 attraction in which they appear to announce its name as the Kentucky Flyer.

Fans aren't sure just how to gauge the size of this addition as we could be seeing an addition as small as a family flat ride, or a large thrilling flat ride all the way up to a new roller coaster.  But, for what it is worth I'm not expecting the Kentucky Flyer to end up being a roller coaster.

Here is the full teaser clip:

The video features some patriotic music and images of both an airport wind direction indicator and a plane zooming through the air and plenty of clouds in a blue sky.  That, of course, matches with the word "flyer" in the attraction name, completing the theme that the park is going for.

One attraction that comes to mind quickly based of off the images in the video is the Gerstlauer Sky Roller:

© Gerstlauer
The thrilling flat ride takes riders up in individual cars (usually themed as planes) that spin around as the rider is able to rock them back and forth to complete inversions, if they like.  This is a total guess on my part, and I could be totally off when the park announces all the details.

Speaking of the full reveal, we don't know just when the park will give those, though they do promise it will be "soon." 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Canada's Wonderland Shares New Photos of Yukon Striker Lift Hill Going Up

© Canada's Wonderland / Chris Robart
One of the largest new coasters announced thus far for the 2019 season, Yukon Striker at Canada's Wonderland is making steady progress as it heads toward the sky.

The theme park has shared some new photos of the ride's construction, where the focus continues to be on the ride's lift hill.  The top photo is from a bit further back when the lift hill was not yet started.  The angle of it does nicely show off the station and transfer area, so it was worth including.

© Canada's Wonderland / Chris Robart
Taken more recently, the next two photos show Yukon Striker's lift hill starting to go up.  As the ride's animation videos show, there is a quick turn out of the station and then the trains will immediately start up the steep lift hill.  I like how in this photo you can really get a feel for the green color used on the supports - it looks great in the bright sunlight!

© Canada's Wonderland / Chris Robart
Panning out quite a bit, this photo shows the first large lift hill segment in place.  At the top of the lift the trains will turn to the right, pause, then head down a vertical drop of 245 feet hitting a top speed of 80 miles per hour.  The rest of Yukon Striker's layout includes 4 inversions spread over 3,625 feet of track.

While these photos are pretty recent, the park has made even more progress on the lift in recent days.  This video from Amusement Insiders shows that the next section of lift is already in place!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Ride the New Eurosat - CanCan Coaster at Europa Park

© Europa Park
Germany's Europa Park recently held the grand opening for their all new Eurosat - CanCan Coaster, a total refurbishment and retheme of their former Eurosat coaster.

The ride takes place inside the park's giant metal sphere, and while similar to the old coaster is actually a brand new ride.  The park has totally replaced the coaster's track and infrastructure, creating a totally new experience.  The result is a dark ride/roller coaster combination that takes visitors on a swirling journey through 19th century Paris.

© Europa Park
As one would expect in a theme park that shares the owners of Mack Rides, the manufacturer created the CanCan Coaster's hardware.  The original Eurosat opened in 1989 and remained relatively the same until closing last year.

The new version of the ride fits in perfectly to the park's Paris themed area, with guests entering the Moulin Rouge theater and moving through a very elaborately themed queue.  Europa Park is known for not skimping on theming their attractions, and the CanCan Coaster is no exception to that rule.  The queue has both indoor and outdoor sections and is surprisingly long, moving through many room, corridors and even up and down to different levels.  Here's an example of one of the areas:

© Europa Park
As for the ride itself, the coaster still starts with a spiral lift that has a maximum height of around 84 feet.  The park has managed to squeeze just over 3,000 feet of track inside the giant sphere, and there are plenty of Parisian themed interactions with the coaster along the way.

The video below walks through the queue, which really is quite stunning, and then also gives a ride on Eurosat - CanCan Coaster as well.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Epcot to Retire Illuminations: Reflections of Earth In Fall of 2019

Well, at least everyone has plenty of time to get to the park to see the show one last time!  Walt Disney World has announced that Epcot's nighttime spectacular, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, will come to a close in the second half of 2019 - just about a year from now.

As part of the "transformation of Epcot," the park will debut a brand new "nighttime fireworks spectacular" shortly after the show closes for good.

Known as one of the premier fireworks shows in the amusement industry, Illuminations first opened at Epcot in 1999, and was then known as Illuminations 2000: Reflections of Earth.

The show, which combines an original score, plenty of fireworks, projections, lasers, water fountains, a healthy amount of fire and more special effects was an immediate hit, and has stuck around for the past (almost) 20 years.

As one would expect, Wikipedia has a great write up on Illuminations.  The show's centerpiece on the lake is a giant globe that's covered in LED screens, playing footage that goes along with the show, and it also opens up like a flower during the show's climax to reveal a 40 foot tall flame torch.  The 'inferno barge' is also a fan favorite, delivering a ton of massive fireballs and explosions capable of reaching more than 50 feet in the air.  Illuminations regularly features special versions of the show for holidays, and these are known as some of the most elaborate productions Walt Disney World has ever put on.

Walt Disney World notes in the announcement that Epcot is undertaking a massive "transformation" with many new attractions already announced for the next few years.  These include a "Guardians of the Galaxy" roller coaster, the "Ratatouille" dark ride in the France Pavilion, and a new space themed restaurant adjacent to Mission: Space.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Dorney Park Opens The Great Pumpkin Fest + Final Haunt 2018 Update

© NewsPlusNotes
Taking advantage of a warm sunny day, plenty of visitors flocked to Dorney Park today for the opening of this year's Great Pumpkin Fest, a family-friendly Halloween celebration.

The event is held in a part of the water park, which is closed for the season, and features a ton of activities and experiences for kids and their parents.  The short walk under Talon leads to the event, which curls around the Wildwater Cove wavepool and the area surrounding it.

© NewsPlusNotes
There are a ton of activities going on at all times at The Great Pumpkin Fest, including several live shows at regular intervals.  Above is one of them, but there are 4 different performances that rotate across the stage throughout the day.

© NewsPlusNotes
Of course The Great Pumpkin Fest wouldn't be complete without a great pumpkin (there is one indeed) and also plenty of Peanuts characters dressed up for the Halloween season.  Here are Snoopy and Linus all decked out meeting visitors.

© NewsPlusNotes
The Funster House is like a haunted house only not haunted or scary.  It's just a silly fun house that kids can go through and receive a treat - not a trick - at the end.

The area also has a petting zoo, mask making area, small tractor rides, a bale maze, pumpkin painting and of course trick-or-treat street.

© NewsPlusNotes
And of course also this, Pigpen's People Washer, which I think is pretty adorable.  It's a giant suds play area that kids appeared to be having a ball in.  I didn't want to get too close for a photo, though, as the suds were flying!

© NewsPlusNotes
As for Halloween Haunt, which starts this coming Friday the 21st, the park is nearing completion on set up and will put the final touches in place this week before opening.  There is much to see at this point, though we won't cover everything in this article so as to save some content for the actual event!

© NewsPlusNotes
Dorney Park's Main Midway area has received some new decorations for this year, including this neat headless horseman statue in the center planter.  Many years ago the park had a similar one, but he met an untimely end (maybe because he has no head?) so this is a new for 2018 version.

© NewsPlusNotes
The lantern boxes that we saw under construction in our pre-haunt update are now finished and spread throughout the Main Midway.  The feature colorful images on all sides, and I can't wait to see how they look at night!

© NewsPlusNotes
At the end of the midway in front of the Wave Swinger's entrance is this new set up, during the day this is a nice witch, and she has a cool backdrop that's an overgrown atrium type of set.  Guests can visit with her and have their photo taken... honestly the set the park created for this is the coolest part in my book!  Oh, and at night, no longer a nice witch... so watch out for that.

© NewsPlusNotes
The new stage we also saw being built in our pre-haunt update is now in its final location, in Hydra plaza in front of Meteor.  This will be the home of the new Overlord's Resurrection show.  Taking place each night at 7:00 pm, this will be the kickoff to the night's scares.  The Overlord will be brought to life and call upon his fleet of monsters to take over the park and... well scare everyone!

© NewsPlusNotes
Not a new decoration, but the hanging pumpkins are back on the midways leading to CornStalkers.  I love these pumpkins (they all flicker at night) and think they add so much atmosphere to this part of the park.

© NewsPlusNotes
But there are some new ghosts that have taken up home along the Road Rally path by the creek.  These look awesome and are going to look even better at night with some spooky lighting and all that fog...

© NewsPlusNotes
The all-new Port Of Call area, which is a combination of dance party, cirque show and a bar, looks ready to go and guests can already walk through the area.  No longer a scare zone, this area now works well as a gathering point for entertainment and beverages, something that I'm hoping really clicks with the crowd this year.

© NewsPlusNotes
The Port of Call Pub will be located here, serving different beverages including the specialty brews that were created for the park this year, and a new one for Haunt.  These will pair nicely with the Dead Man's Revenge DJ, some themed characters and the Jolly Rogers cirque-style show.

© NewsPlusNotes
It sounds like a fun area to hang out in this year, and its inhabitants, like this gem, are just dying to see you there!

© NewsPlusNotes
The park's Pumpkin Spectacular, which is located along the pathway leading to Urgent Scare, is coming together and looks great!  I love this kind of addition to the park's atmosphere, it may not be a house or a scare zone but it adds a lot to the event in my book.

© NewsPlusNotes
Because the display is stretched along a path, it is quite hard to get everything in one shot.  But in addition to a cast of pumpkin characters, there are plenty of real pumpkins creating larger designs as well, here is the sun for instance.

© NewsPlusNotes
And of course you have to have Snoopy in there as well!

© NewsPlusNotes
I think that about does it for our final Haunt preview, I'm keeping some things off the site until Haunt actually starts... like I said earlier.  You'll notice the image above is the only one of Necropolis that I've added... on purpose!

© NewsPlusNotes
See you all next weekend for the opening of Halloween Haunt!  Plan your own trip using the park's official website.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Hersheypark to Share "Biggest Announcement Ever" on October 3rd

© Hersheypark
Fans of Hersheypark should mark their calendars for October 3rd, as that is when the theme park will be making their "biggest announcement ever," which sounds quite exciting!

We've all been hoping that we would hear more about the park's future plans soon, and it looks like we will not have to wait long at all.  The park shared the below video, chronicling their large expansions of the past set to the famous Hersheypark Happy song along with this text:

"For more than 110 years, our story has been filled with timeless family rides, thrilling coasters, your favorite Hershey’s Characters, and #HersheyparkHappy memories. On October 3, the story continues with our biggest announcement ever."

Obviously the video doesn't give much more in the way of hints as to what they're announcing, but recent development plans make that a bit more clear.  If you remember this post from a couple months ago, the plans on file with local authorities show a much larger entrance area being developed for the park, along with a new roller coaster.

Those plans look like the start of the park developing the former golf course land that was next door, which contains a ton of open space that will allow for many years of developments.  I would think that this announcement might shed more light on how all that will play out - as that will radically change the size of Hersheypark for decades to come.  Looking forward to hearing more from the park on October 3rd!