Monday, November 20, 2017

Time to Burn? Check Out Intamin's New Website


© Intamin
On a slow news day, much like today, it's nice to share news of something that may not be news per se, but still quite interesting nonetheless.  Intamin has a new website, or at least one that's new to me.  I don't know exactly when it launched, but it's filled with great information and photos on many of their rides and attractions.

Intamin is celebrating their 50th anniversary right now, quite an accomplishment so many congratulations to them, and has updated their company profile to reflect the milestone.   That catalogue alone should fill up a bit of your time!

© Intamin
You can browse through each of their various ride types, from coasters to free falls and just about everything in between.  The company has highlighted many of their significant projects, and each one also has links to other documents such as ride spec sheets and more.  It's really a lot to look through, but a great way to learn more about one of everyone's favorite amusement ride manufacturers.

© Intamin
One other item to point out is Intamin's reference guide, which can be downloaded directly via this link.  It gives a list of all contracts the company has signed, by ride type and by year.  This document is a gold mine for fans of the company, showing statistics on all the fantastic rides they've created.  Plus there are specific ride type details as well, for example I did not know that SkyRush at Hersheypark is technically know by the company as a "Wing Coaster" with "Half-Wing-Train" designs.  Amusement park nerd alert!

Maybe even more interesting is the top of the reference list which shows rides not yet announced but that have contracts signed for.  Granted there are no hints as to where the rides will go, but it's fun to imagine where they will end up!

Happy browsing.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Knott's HangTime Progress Update - Lift Nearly Complete


Today was a good morning for a check in on the progress of HangTime at Knott's Berry Farm.  The new custom-designed Gerstlauer Infinity coaster is rising quickly at the Farm, with track instillation taking place daily.

© Knott's Berry Farm
This view from the webcam shows a significant amount of track installed in the past week.  The on-site crane has been busy, with track applied to the 150 foot tall vertical lift hill, along with the drop and the run into the first big element.  Throughout the course of the ride there are plenty of other supports that have been added.

© Knott's Berry Farm
The park's 2nd webcam isn't focused on the ride, but that hasn't stopped HangTime from showing up on it.  If you look in the upper left of the live view you can see HangTime towering over the Calico Mine Ride.  The track is nearly to the top of the structure, and the drop has been applied just as far.  All that remains is the apex of the lift, along with the the track that will hold the trains for several seconds at a 60 degree angle, facing the ground below them before they drop.

For another recent update on the coaster, with plenty of photos taken from inside the park, check out California Coaster Kings.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Brilliant Harry Potter Themed Holiday Show Now Open at Islands of Adventure


© Universal Orlando
The holidays are just around the corner, and that means that special events celebrating them are now starting to operate all parks over the country.  New this year is the first ever Christmas celebration inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida.

However, the main attraction of the celebration is undoubtedly The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle, which (seen above) brings the massive Hogwarts Castle to life several times each evening.

The brand new projection mapping show literally takes place on the facade of the castle, featuring "festive d├ęcor, candlelight and moments inspired by the films."  The show, which according to its developers features "ghosts of Hogwarts singing carols, students riding broomsticks and creating snowmen, a moment inspired by the Yule Ball and many more surprises," is premiering this weekend to park visitors.

If you can't make it in person, many videos of the show have already popped up online, so if you want to check it out here is one from Attractions Magazine.  Make sure to watch in high definition.


Other holiday special events include decorations throughout and new live entertainment in both Harry Potter themed areas.  Within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter the Frog Choir has several new holiday themed songs that will be performed.  Over in Diagon Alley Celestina Warbeck has cooked up four new songs, such as "Nothing like a holiday spell" and "My baby gave me a Hippogriff for Christmas."


Friday, November 17, 2017

Gale Force at Playland's Castaway Cove Receiving Full Track Replacement


© OCNJDaily
The Gale Force roller coaster, located at Playland's Castaway Cove in Ocean City, NJ, just opened this past May but is already having its track removed.  Seen above in a photo from a news story, the ride's blue track is being removed from the support structure in order to be replaced with all new track for the 2018 season.

The coaster did not operate up to desired standards, it seems, dating back to its original opening year of 2016.  Gale Force missed that season due to a segment of track having to be manufactured over after not aligning properly with the rest of the layout.  The ride did open and operate safely this past summer, but according to park officials didn't provide the smooth ride they expected.

Gale Force was designed by S&S Worldwide, who is paying for all of the ride's track to be replaced this off-season, before the park opens again for Easter in 2018.  The slight alignment issues caused the ride additional downtime along with the bumpiness.  The park expects to have the replacement track fully installed during January of 2018.

Hopefully this will allow Playland's Castaway Cove to operate the ride more regularly next year, and it's great to see S&S stepping up to replace the track at no cost to the park. 

Gale Force features multiple launches that get the individual cars moving at 64 miles per hour, with a maximum height of 125 feet and 1,269 feet of track.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

New Splash Ride Opening at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo in 2018


© Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo
Visitors to Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo will find an all-new water ride in 2018, named Roaring Springs.  The new splash ride will "allow guests of all ages to discover a hidden part of Florida full of adventure and thrills.  Explorers will board a boat and gently drift along a crystal-clear spring, surrounded by native landscape and wildlife. The journey takes a sudden turn when the elevation drops.  Guests will feel a rush of adrenaline as they experience a 3-story splashdown."

Exact details on the type of water attraction, including manufacturer, that is being added were not available just yet, though the concept art above looks like it will be either a modern version of a flume ride, or perhaps a small shoot-the-chutes.  The ride will also come with a Canopy Walk, which will oversee the attraction.  The project is the largest for the Lowry Park Zoo in the past decade.

According to the park's press release, visitors will also "get back to nature and see a hidden part of Florida that remains untouched - a Florida that requires no filter.  Explorers will catch a glimpse of black bears, alligators, panthers, Key deer and other native species as they trek along the winding Florida Trail."

© Google Maps
To make way for Roaring Springs, the Zoo will retire their existing log flume.  That ride can be seen above... not a very big ride and from various videos on YouTube it doesn't look all that old, either.  I'm not coming up with much on the ride's history, or even who manufactured it.

Regardless, that's still the 4th flume announced to be closing this year in the name of expansion and progress.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New Coaster - Tantrum - Opening at Darien Lake in 2018


© Darien Lake
Darien Lake recently announced their plans to open a new roller coaster for the park's 2018 season, named Tantrum.

As expected, the new ride will be a compact Euro-Fighter design from Gerstlauer that will be a clone of the Iron Shark which operates at Galveston Pleasure Pier.  Tantrum will replace Darien Lake's log flume, Thunder Rapids, which means the new coaster will be quite visible from the park's entrance and parking lot areas.

© Darien Lake
Tantrum will start with passengers, seated in individual eight-seater cars, heading up a vertical lift hill to 98 feet above the park.  The first drop that follows will extend beyond vertical, coming in at 97 degrees.  After hitting the top speed of 52 miles per hour, Tantrum heads up into a giant twisted inversion that ends in an Immelmann, then up into a a cut back, quickly followed by a tilted loop and the brakes.  The experience will be quick, with elements taking place one right after the other.

The park also released this video of a similar ride in action to give fans of the park a taste of what they will experience next season: