Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Two Parks Announce Ride Removals Ahead of Future Expansions

As we head into the rest of the 2018 (and beyond) announcement season, we've had two more announcements of rides closing at two major parks.  The new rides are assumed to be departing in order to make room for 2018 additions.

© Six Flags Great America
First up, Six Flags Great America has revealed that the park's Top Spin, named King Chaos, will be closing for good after this Sunday.  The thrill ride opened back in 2004 as a part of the park's Mardi Gras themed area.  The park has recently been teasing about their 2018 addition online, using #ChasetheStorm2018, seemingly hinting toward a storm-themed replacement ride.

This news story has a bit of background on the ride, along with some speculation about what may be replacing it.  We will know for sure on August 31st, when the park (along with the other Six Flags parks) makes its official 2018 announcement.

© Dollywood
Also today, Dollywood announced that one of their water based attractions, River Battle, will close for good after September 4th.  The ride is an interactive splash battle style attractions, where passengers ride on slow-moving boats through a watery course filled with splashable opportunities.  Each riders has their own water blaster at their seat that allows them to blast targets along the route, and also other park guests outside the attraction, as they have their own water blasters as well.

River Battle opened in 2008, meaning when it closes it will have completed ten seasons at the park.  It was manufactured by Mack Rides, with eight boats that moved through a 500 foot long course.

The park's only comment, which can be read above, about the ride's removal is that it will be necessary for the park's future development... mainly to "prepare for opportunities" to bring to life "several unique and innovative ideas to help families create new traditions and special moments."

The ride is located in the Wilderness Pass themed area, which was built to make the park a full loop.  As one of the newer areas of the park, there have long been rumors that the Wilderness Pass section could be the jumping off point to a larger park expansion into undeveloped areas in the future.  We'll see!

Monday, August 21, 2017

New Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter Opening at Oaks Park in 2018

Oaks Park, located in Portland, Oregon, has announced the addition of a brand new Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter for the park's 2018 season.

According to the park's post on social media, the new coaster will stand 72 feet tall, have a beyond vertical drop of 97 degrees, feature 1,050 feet of track and have three inversions:  a vertical loop, an Immelmann and a heartline roll.  Riders will only need to be 48 inches tall to ride the coaster, which means that it will cater to a wide audience.

Example of a similar Euro-Fighter Coaster
The given statistics match up perfectly with the recently opened Hydrus at Casino Pier.  That ride has a layout that is the same as a Euro-Fighter 320+, only without the helix at the end of the ride.  It is a compact but thrilling attraction that features individual cars that seat eight passengers.

Oaks Park is holding a naming contest for their new coaster, with entries being accepted online through December 1st, 2017.  Click here for more information on the contest.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Dorney Park Pre-Haunt X Update II

© NewsPlusNotes
Back for another look at Haunt development at Dorney Park - but first, after last week's 2018 capital announcement, the park has placed this large sign just inside the main gates showing off what's going on next year.  It has some details about the Tidal Wave Cafe, a large new restaurant headed to Wildwater Kingdom, along with information on the Pre-K Pass.

© NewsPlusNotes
Onto Haunt X developments, more and more banners have appeared around the park promoting the event.  I love the tag line - Collecting Your Fears for X Years!  Believe it or not, it is now less than one month away from opening night!

© NewsPlusNotes
This guy is featured on the promotional banners... who is he!?  We're thinking it has to do with the new attraction that the park is debuting this year, but we can't be totally sure.  Either way, I'm not sure exactly what he's serving up for Haunt X... but we can't wait to find out.

© NewsPlusNotes
And speaking of the new attraction, not much has changed since the last time we checked in on its progress.  I think the final changes will be additional details once the theme is announced and we're even closer to the start of Haunt X.  It shouldn't be long until those details are released.

© NewsPlusNotes
Elsewhere in the park other Haunt preparations are well underway.  The park's Haunt monster truck, which you can catch in many local Halloween parades, is proudly on display in front of the spinning Meteor ride.

© NewsPlusNotes
© NewsPlusNotes
Down on the lower midway near Possessed, Cut Throat Island is currently being installed.  The scare zone features a giant broken apart pirate ship that's crashed onto the midway, along with some addition prop buildings that in the past have contained a skeleton key room.

© NewsPlusNotes
One haunted house that never really goes away during the year is Urgent Scare, which was redeveloped last season to feature a new interior and theme.  This is continually one of the park's most popular haunted houses, located at the far end of the park beyond Stinger.

© NewsPlusNotes
It's hard to see unless you're climbing up to Steel Force's station, but Grave Walkers is also coming together nicely.  The mix of outdoor scare zone with an haunt-like crypt area features tons of giant headstones in an elaborate graveyard setting.

© NewsPlusNotes
© NewsPlusNotes
© NewsPlusNotes
There has also been much development on Age of Darkness in the past couple weeks.  Major set pieces of the castle are now in place throughout the area.  This one is another mix of outdoor scare area with a special bypass into the dungeon that's filled with all kinds of ghouls.

Be sure to keep an eye on Dorney Park's Halloween Haunt X website for coming updates as we get closed to the annual scare fest!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Great Pumpkin LumiNights Opening at Dollywood This October

Dollywood will be bringing an all new family-friendly nighttime event to the theme park this October named Great Pumpkin LumiNights.  The event will mark a new tradition of celebrating the Halloween season at the park, complete with thousands of glowing pumpkins lit up in the park's Timber Canyon themed area.

Regarding the addition, Dolly herself said that "we think Great Pumpkin LumiNights will become just as popular with families as our Smoky Mountain Christmas festival.  I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of new family traditions made this October!”

© Dollywood
The Great Pumpkin LumiNights celebration will focus on presenting "thousands of intricately-carved pumpkins" and "harvest themed displays" throughout Timber Canyon.  Visitors can explore the area and find tons of special decorations, one of which can be seen in the concept art above.  There will be plenty of unique harvest games and attractions, all themed like only Dollywood can.

© Dollywood
Since the event will feature so many carved pumpkins, the park will have several Master Carvers on site to show off their skills.  Guest can watch them daily and learn the process of making intricate designs like the ones featured in the event.  That way visitors can make their own carvings when they get home!

Dollywood is well known for their various food options, and that will continue during Great Pumpkin LumiNights with special treats offered such as pumpkin funnel cakes, caramel apple sundaes and candy corn cotton candy.

© Dollywood
Some of the different activities offered during Great Pumpkin LumiNights include a glow maze, pictured above, for kids, glow face painting, a "Pumpkin Boogie" dance party and friendly costume characters that families and meet and take photos with.

Great Pumpkin LumiNights will run at Dollywood on select nights from September 28th through October 28th, 2017.

Click here for more information, and check out the preview video below:

Three New Attractions Coming to Canada's Wonderland in 2018

© Canada's Wonderland
Canada's Wonderland is once again expanding its already considerable flat ride offerings in 2018 by adding two more, one thrilling and one for families, along with an addition in the water park.

First up is Lumberjack, a 75 foot tall inverting thrill ride.  Passengers are seated with their legs dangling below them on two giant axe-themed pendulums.  Each pendulum is able to rotate 360 degrees independently of the other, looping riders as if they were on a traditional roller coaster loop.

I haven't seen the park confirm yet, but it looks like Lumberjack will be one of Zamperla's Hawk rides, several of which are located around the country.

© Canada's Wonderland
The second new ride will be aimed at families, and is named the Flying Canoes.  Not much detail on the new ride was released by Canada's Wonderland, they only described it as an "interactive family ride that will allow riders to control their journey of flight in two-person canoes."  From the concept art it looks like the canoes will move and up down as the attraction spins, perhaps the interactive element is that riders can control them?

Finally, Canada's Wonderland's water park, Splash Works, will see the children's pool area (a part of Splash Island) doubled in size with the addition of all new spray features. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Valleyfair to Build New Looping Thrill Ride - Delirious - in 2018

© Valleyfair
Valleyfair has announced that Delirious will be looping park visitors starting with their 2018 season.  The new thrill ride will stand 70 feet tall and send riders seated on a train up and through the large loop at high speeds.

Delirious will be manufactured by Larson, one of their popular Giant Loop rides.  The ride will be capable of completing ten rotations in under a minute, so this ride is sure to satisfy thrill seekers!

© Valleyfair
The new attraction will join the recently developed Route 76 themed area, which was home to this year's addition - a giant swing ride named North Star.  Delirious will be placed near the entrance to Steel Venom, where the park's Tilt-A-Whirl currently is.  That ride will be moved out into a currently open section of Route 76, giving Delirious prime space.

© Valleyfair
The entire Route 76 area, who's theme is meant to "bring guests back to the classic ambience of Valleyfair when it first opened in 1976," will be enhanced as well.  New enhanced lighting for the area, depicted in the above concept art, will be added, along with additional shade structures, seating and gathering areas.

"Delirious is a great addition to the retro family road trip feel of Route 76,” said Brad Marcy, general manager, Valleyfair. “The additional atmospheric enhancements to the area will allow our Twin Cities neighbors to not only relive memories of visits to Valleyfair, but also create new family traditions and enjoy the ‘best day’ experience that we strive to give everyone."