Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Checking In On Canada's Wonderland's New For 2017 Rides and Slides

© Canada's Wonderland
With opening day now less than a week away, Canada's Wonderland is ramping up the excitement for their new attractions by sharing some official photos of what's new.   

Above is the theme park's new thrill ride, known as Soaring Timbers, which looks pretty much ready to go.  The first of its kind in North America, Soaring Timbers is one of Mondial's "Inferno" rides, which spins passengers on two giant gondolas up to 66 feet in the air.

© Canada's Wonderland
There's several different degrees of rotation that the gondolas are capable of moving in, so it's a pretty safe bet that riders won't know which way is up while on the attraction.  These photos also show how nicely themed the area around Soaring Timbers is, complete with a nice waterfall built into the landscaping.  Canada's Wonderland is known for their somewhat exotic selection of flat rides, and Soaring Timbers only solidifies that reputation in my book.

© Canada's Wonderland
Splash Works, Canada's Wonderland's water park, is also opening a new slide tower this summer, named Muskoka Plunge.  The photos shared by the park show that this one still has quite a bit of construction left - but that's okay because the water park doesn't open for a while yet.

Muskoka Plunge will feature 4 trap-door style launch tubes that drop sliders into a free fall and down through the slide.  It has been reported by Screamscape that the attraction is being built by Splashtacular, one of their DrenalineDrop towers.  I believe that Six Flags installed a couple of these a few years back.  Should be neat to see the complete slide structure!

The park officially opens on April 30th, which is the general public's first chance to try out Soaring Timbers.

Monday, April 24, 2017

InvadR's Media Day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg Part 1

Here is the reason we came to ride. The sign lights up at night, and it looked impressive when we first arrived. There had been a blizzard in the Smoky Mountains of West Virginia and the 30-degree weather resulted in a delay before InvadR could begin to operate.

After the sun took the chill out of the air, the grand opening featured the invading Viking as the first to ride InvadR. Somehow, only Magnus was truly dressed as a Viking, unless they developed zippered clothing with polyfill insulation. It was interesting to see some of the participants later in the day throughout the park, still with their warpaint on.

Of course, it wouldn't be A SeaWorld park without immersive theming throughout the queue. And this carries on into the station and also at the end of the ride.

This new display is on many of the roller coasters at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. It allows for the checkers to see immediately what bar needs to be adjusted and results in faster dispatches. Plus it is some else to watch while you are waiting your turn in the station.

Enthusiastic VIP guests braved the cold and rode InvadR time after time. It was easy to take photos since there were full trains all during the event. When InvadR goes into operation, the track clearing announcements also states "It is time to pillage the village," a nice touch for early riders who witness the start of operations. 

The consensus was this was a good addition to the park, for both families and coaster enthusiasts. You can see this is the Villager's train,...

and here is the Viking train. It is a matter of chance for which one you will ride. We tried them both and had great fun on each one. Here is our ride: 

We finally stayed home for a weekend to catch up so stay tuned for more from InvadR Media Day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Warner Bros. Movie World's New Hyper Coaster Goes Vertical

We still have no official announcement from the park, but we know it's going to be big and pink!  Well, pinkish purple perhaps.

Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia has started vertical construction on their rumored-to-be hypercoaster, with track and supports starting to tower over the park.

The rumored height is right around 200 feet, but the manufacturer, Mack Rides, is confirmed from the construction site.

© Google
Speaking of the construction site, footings for the ride are basically complete and on updated maps (not this one) you can actually see the ride's layout.  It extends quite far along the park's front border, generally in the pink box above.  If you compare that size to other rides in the park you can tell that this ride will have quite a bit of track.

If you want to check out some photos of the newly vertical ride, check out this update from Parkz.  Also, that website's forum is a hotbed of almost daily updates, like this one showing what was completed as of yesterday.

I'm looking forward to seeing all that this ride has to offer!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sol Spin - New Thrill Ride at Knott's Berry Farm - Now Open

© Knott's Berry Farm
This is a ride that's only for the brave of heart and the emptiest of stomachs, but it does looks like a ton of fun.  Just opened yesterday at Knott's Berry Farm is Sol Spin, a new-to-the-park thrill ride that spins and inverts passengers at up to 60 feet above the ground.

Located in Fiesta Village, Sol Spin sits in the area that was once occupied by WindSeeker.  Its bright colors fit in with the theme of the vibrant area wonderfully, livening it up considerably as well.  The main arm twists in an elevated circle while the passenger gondolas rotate and flip freely, a dizzying effect.  Here's some video of the ride in action that I noticed on Twitter:

Sol Spin is a "classic" flat ride that came to the park though parent company, Cedar Fair's, efforts to purchase these types of rides from both Europe and Japan.  It is a Mondial Top Scan, which are pretty popular on the European fair circuit.

Knott's adjacent water park, Soak City, will also open a major expansion in a couple months, featuring a brand new family raft ride and a tower with multiple slides including some with a trap-door freefall start.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dutch Wonderland Close to Vertical Construction of New Family Coaster

© Dutch Wonderland
One new-for-2017 coaster that we haven't heard much on in recent months is Merlin's Mayhem at Dutch Wonderland, though the park has been getting ready for the new ride through the winter.  Just recently the family theme park started to receive track and supports for the inverted ride, seen in recent photos shared by the park.

As depicted in earlier concept art and animations, Merlin's Mayhem will feature cobalt blue supports and gold/yellow track.

© Dutch Wonderland
Dutch Wonderland's parking lot is currently the staging area for the arriving parts, plenty of which are now on site.  I haven't seen photos of the actual construction site, but I would think that the park has footings ready to go, just waiting for track and supports to arrive.

Merlin's Mayhem is a family inverted coaster designed by S&S Worldwide.  It will stand 60 feet tall at the highest point and stretch over 1,300 feet long, ending with a short tunnel before the brakes.  Since Dutch Wonderland is a family park oriented toward kids, the coaster will have a low 39 inch height requirement.

© Dutch Wonderland
Here is some of the coaster's track that is on site.  The colors of Merlin's Mayhem will really stand out at the park, and I believe the coaster is near the main entrance so it will also serve as a nice billboard for the park!

Check out the below animation of the ride to get familiar with it - won't be long until we see it standing at the park!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

World's Tallest Drop Ride to Feature Virtual Reality Experience at Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags Great Adventure has announced the addition of virtual reality headsets to the world's tallest and fastest free fall ride, Zumanjaro, creating an all-new experience called the Drop of Doom.

The attraction will open with the new Samsung Gear VR headsets on May 5th and run for a limited time during the 2017 season.  On board the ride visitors will battle "giant, mutant spiders" while plunging down more than 400 feet at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour.

© Six Flags
While on board the Drop of Doom, riders will enter a virtual world where "they become pilots of a futuristic gunship under attack by mutant spiders."  The climb to the top of the tower will send passengers virtually up 100 stories while teetering on the edge of a helicopter.  At the top they will experience 360 degree views above "massive skyscrapers that are under siege by enormous spiders," then move on to a "high-intensity gun battle against a giant arachnid," which spews baby spiders at them that will virtually crawl all over.

Between the fear of heights and the common fear of spiders, Drop of Doom is sure to get everyone's blood pumping!

© Six Flags
After the 90 mile per hour drop, which takes place inbetween tall buildings within the virtual world, there will be a "final showdown with a spider the size of a van, teeth-gnashing and in full attack mode."

“As the leader in innovation, Six Flags launched the very first VR coaster experiences. Now, we are taking virtual reality to the next level with the introduction of the first VR drop rides,” said Neal Thurman, park president. “Drop of Doom VR plays upon two of our greatest fears – extreme heights and spiders – and delivers an entirely new thrill for the spring 2017 season.”

For more on the new Drop of Doom at Six Flags Great Adventure, check out the park's website and also this teaser video: