Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Never Too Early to Start a New Coaster Project for SeaWorld San Antonio

New Coaster Location © Google Maps
Last year's leak of new rides an attractions for the SeaWorld Parks has slowly started to come true one project at a time, and now it looks like SeaWorld San Antonio's new for 2020 wooden coaster is both real and already under construction.

For those unfamiliar, reference back to the leaked images that were eventually confirmed by SeaWorld Parks as real - though they were confirmed as potentially planned rides and not 100% set in stone.  Still, the image of the wooden coaster at the Texas park now matches nicely with footers that are already in the ground:

The confirmation of the footings can be found in some new photos that Roller Coaster DataBase shared on social media, above, and also on their site with a new listing for the wooden roller coaster.  And yup, those photos sure do show what appears to be new wood roller coaster footers!

The original leaked images show the ride going up adjacent to the new Turtle Reef area, which is new for this season.  They also pin the ride at around 100 feet tall and 55 or so miles per hour at top speed.  The manufacturer remains a mystery for now, but with heavy construction already underway I can't image it will stay that way for long.  The obvious choices here are Great Coasters International and The Gravity Group.

With the number of traditional wooden roller coasters in North America decreasing in recent years, it's fun to see a new one going up - making this a project to watch for 2020.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Checking In On Six Flags Great America's Maxx Force Construction

© Six Flags Great America
Six Flags Great America's new coaster, Maxx Force, isn't quite ready to open yet although the park has now opened for the 2019 season.  It's quite early in the season, so that isn't unusual.  However the park opening allowed fans of the park to get their first look at some of the launch coaster's innovative (and quite twisted) elements up close.

Things were fairly quiet over the winter with regard to ride construction, but the park has placed quite a bit of the ride's taller elements.  Thankfully plenty of updated photos have appeared around the interwebs.

True to the original concept art and animated point of view video, the tallest point of the ride is a uniquely twisted element that is kind of like a giant cobra roll only... not really all at the same time.

And also just like in the concept art, Maxx Force comes very close to a section of Raging Bull, the theme park's B&M hyper that opened in 1999.  Maxx Force will feature a super-fast compressed air launch, from zero to 78 miles per hour in just 2 seconds, to blast the train up into the high elements.

These aerial photos of the Maxx Force construction site really show off the coaster's imposing elements.  After the cobra roll-ish element the train will navigate through a heartline roll that will be the fastest inversion on any ride out there.  Then it's up into one more twisted elements before the final brakes.  You can see some additional construction photos from FYE Coasters at this link.

This ride will be all about the speed, and no doubt it will have plenty of it.  I'm looking forward to seeing testing on this one!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Disneyland To Bring Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway to California in 2022

© Disney
Ahead of the same attraction opening at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland has announced that they will also be adding Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, opening in 2022.

At Disneyland the new attraction will be located in what is currently a backstage area adjacent to Toontown, making it that land's second major dark ride.  The journey within Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway has been billed as a trip into a cartoon world in two and a half dimensions, not requiring any special glasses to soak in the vibrant surroundings.  The ride is also the first fully Mickey themed ride at the Disney parks in the U.S.

"Once you step into the cartoon world of Mickey and Minnie, you’ll board a train with Goofy as the engineer.  Then, one magical moment after the next leads you to a zany, out-of-control adventure filled with surprising twists and turns.  With an original story and lovable theme song, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway uses state-of-the-art technologies and dazzling visual effects to transform the cartoon world into an incredible and immersive multi-dimensional experience."

The article also updates the opening of the ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios to Spring 2020, previously the ride was slated to open in the Fall of 2019.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Scott And Carol Present - Copperhead Strike Pt 2

Copperhead Strike, Part II 

The queue appears to have no organization as you walk through the area, but when you consider it in its entirety, it all clicks, and the development team did a magnificent job of tieing it all together.

Steve was tasked with bringing it all together, and he graciously shared his take on the process of bringing this new attraction to life. He also revealed the reason there are no snakes throughout the queue.

The nice thing about this type of theming is that as it ages, guests will never know whether it started off that way, or just deteriorated to its present state over time. I'm sure some locals will be keeping a close eye on the decorations.

Having never seen a real still, this seems to be relatively accurate. It must have been really fun going out to get all the props for the extensive theming for Copperhead Strike. The one question Scott forgot to ask Steve was did they just do a highway cleanup or were various suppliers involved to help source all the items.

The end result is so much fun, and much of it can be experienced without waiting in line for the ride, so other family members have something else to do while they wait if they are not riding. Major props for all the creativity displayed in the area.

Scott doesn't like to watch much coaster previews before he gets to ride, so the pre-show in the shed caught him totally by surprise. You can't see it from outside, so you need to go to Carowinds to check it out.

So that was our day at Carowinds, by now there are lots of opinions everywhere about Copperhead Strike.  Ours is, we can't wait to get back to Carowinds and ride it again, and again, then we will ride Fury 325, and go back and ride it again. It was just that much fun.

Our thanks to all of the Carowinds team for their assistance in putting this together. You have a winner to kick off your season this year. See you soon!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Knott's Berry Farm Previews Details and Characters of Calico River Rapids

© Knott's Berry Farm
One of my personal highlights of the new-for-2019 roster of attractions, Knott's Berry Farm's renovation of their existing river rapids ride into Calico River Rapids has been detailed in two interesting articles from the O.C. Register.

One article gives an in depth look at the park's plans for Calico River Rapids, which will include nine new scenes along with around 20 animatronic characters when it opens.  As expected, one of the characters will be Bigfoot, who previously wasn't in the ride even thought the creature's name was featured in the ride's moniker.

The ride will now contain a theme that links it directly to Knott's Ghost Town, which features both the Calico Mine Ride and the Timber Mountain Log Ride, both rich with backstory and plenty of animated inhabitants.  The news story gives exact details on how all three rides will be linked via story telling, and includes details of each of the ride's major scenes.

© Knott's Berry Farm
This second article from the O.C. Register provides a wonderful look at the creation of all the animatronic characters that will be settled along the route of Calico River Rapids.

All the animatronics are being created by Garner Holt Productions, which has provided a similar cast for Knott's other large themed attractions.  The company is well known in the industry for their high quality animatronics, having provided them for nearly all major theme park companies around the globe.

On Knott's new ride, the cast will include not only humans working to settle the wilderness, but plenty of animals including a raccoon, rattlesnakes, wolves, prairie dogs, a baby bear, grizzly bears, a fox and plenty more.  The story gives an awesome look at the process that goes into creating all these animatronics, from initial art design to the finished product.

Calico River Rapids at Knott's Berry Farm is scheduled to open this summer.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Scott And Carol Present - Carowinds' Copperhead Strike! Part I

Copperhead Strike is the centerpiece for the new Blue Ridge Junction area of Carowinds. The seven acres of fun for the entire family also includes the Mountain Gliders and the Country Kitchen restaurant.

Vice President & General Manager Pat Jones welcomes one & all

A fireplace with rocking chairs helps bring out the "backwoods" theming of the new area. I wonder if a rocking chair will be a Fast Lane option on busy days when you just need to chill out for a time. The heat will be popular during cooler weather during shoulder seasons celebrations.

This was the dawn of a new era for roller coasters at Carowinds, one of the most exciting sunrises in recent memory. When you look at it, it just doesn't seem possible for there to be so much action in such a small area. 

MACK Rides is justifiably proud of their latest project. Thorsten had not even ridden it yet but he was smiling from the moment he walked into the park after he saw the finished project.

Here you can see a rollover transition coming out of a quick turn. Imagine riding it in the dark as the park is shrouded in Haunt fog!.

Of course, a project this big has to include fireworks for the first public riders, a fitting tribute to the explosive end of Granny's still operations. After the ceremony, we had a few moments with Pat from Carowinds.

Stay tuned for Part II, with more details behind Copperhead Strike.