Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Knott's Berry Farm Plans Reopening for May 6th To Start Celebrating 100th Anniversary

© Knott's Berry Farm
Knott's Berry Farm has announced that it will reopen will rides and attractions to season pass holders on May 6th, and then open to the general public a couple weeks later on May 21st.  Reservations will be required to visit the park as it remains in compliance with California's reopening plan by having a limited daily attendance amount.  The park will spend the summer celebrating their 100th Anniversary, an event that was pushed from last season due to the pandemic.

© Knott's Berry Farm
The park's reopening will mark the first time that visitors will be able to take a ride on Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair, the park's new 4-D interactive dark ride.  The attraction is based on the characters that once called the same ride space home, but utilizes modern technology to allow riders to interact with the ride as they travel through it.

© Knott's Berry Farm
Knott's will also hold additional special events during their 100th Anniversary party, including Knott's Summer Nights, which features live music, DJs and limited time food and beverage offerings.  As a special treat the park will  hold "a nightly ceremony featuring multiple attractions lighting up the evening and culminating in a special moment with the redesigned illuminated K-tower."  That sounds like a great way to spend a summer night at the park!

© Knott's Berry Farm
The anniversary celebration will be felt throughout the entire park, will special decor all over and a line of anniversary merchandise that fans will love.  There will also be photo spots set up that celebrate some of the theme park's classic attractions, such as the drawing of the one above honoring the Wacky Soap Box Racers.

Knott's is making the two week period of allowing only season pass holders to attend the park even more enticing by offering great deals on new pass sales.  Running through June 20th, regular passes start at only $101 and Gold passes for $135.  All 2020 season passes and 2021 season passes purchased through May 5th will be valid all the way until May 5th, 2022.


© Knott's Berry Farm

Monday, April 12, 2021

Grona Lund's New Monster B&M Inverted Coaster Opens April 24th

© Grona Lund

It seems like years ago that we first heard about Grona Lund's plan to somehow squeeze a B&M inverted coaster into their already packed park... and that's because it was.  Way back in 2017 news of the ride first came out, and at that point it was slated to open in 2020 but the pandemic had other things in mind.  Fast forward to now, and the seaside park in Sweden is finally ready to open the Monster on April 24th.

The ride starts with a below ground station, needed to help fit the ride into the crowded park, and then a lift hill of 111 feet into the air.  There is a swooping drop after that, and then right into a heartline roll, one of the ride's 4 inversions.  The trains swoop above and around the park's buildings, compleing two flatspins and a mini-Immelmann inversion as well.  The ride has a top speed of around 55 miles per hour and a track length of just under 2,300 feet.

Monster had been testing quite a bit ahead of its grand opening in a couple weeks, here is a video of the trains making their way through the layout - looks like a fun ride indeed:

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Universal Studios Hollywood Reopens Jurassic World - The Ride With Awesome Updates

© Theme Park Shark

Visitors to Universal Studios Hollywood's Taste of Universal special food event, still being held before the park's full reopening this week, got a special treat this past week as some rides and attractions were in operation.  This included Jurassic World - The Ride, which receive some awesome updates since the last time it was open at the park.

The attraction first reopened in the summer of 2019 as a full update of Jurassic Park - The Ride, which operated at the park since 1996.  There were many changes made to the visuals of the ride, including an all new ending that features the scary Indominus Rex having a battle with the Tyrannosaurus Rex right before the big finale drop.  However, many were let down that when the ride reopened the Indominus Rex was just the character's head, and it didn't really have quite the oomph many were hoping for.

Well, that's fixed now, no doubt!  The Indominus Rex character at the end is now a full animatonic that moves forward to well over the ride's track, snarling and getting ready to take a bite out of riders - until the Tyrannosaurus Rex shows up of course.  The old Indominus head character has also been moved to earlier in the ride, making it have a 3rd menacing appearance.  There were other changes, too, including a smashed Gyrosphere and the return of the popular Compies, which are fighting over a hat this iteration.

Check out all the changes in this video from Theme Park Shark:

And, if you're like me, you might want to see the 2019 version of the ride to make comparisons, so I'll make it easy.  Here's a point of view of the attraction from SoCal Attractions 360:

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

VelociCoaster to Open June 10th at Islands of Adventure

© Universal Orlando

Rejoice ride fans!  Universal Orlando has announced that the VelociCoaster will open to guests on June 10th!  Finally, the date that many have been anticipating for months now has been revealed, and perhaps we'll even have some test preview days sooner than the grand opening.  Either way it is wonderful to know exactly when visitors will be able to roar alongside the raptors that have apparently taken over a part of Islands of Adventure.

© Universal Orlando

The new coaster's opening date also comes with some new press photos that the park has revealed, showing off some of the coaster's maneuvers.  VelociCoaster is a beautiful ride, featuring two separate launches with a top speed of 70 miles per hour and a 155 foot tall top hat element - making it the tallest and fastest launched roller coaster in Florida.  Fans of airtime will also appreciate that the VelociCoaster will feature a total of 12 seconds of it spread throughout the ride's 4,700 feet of track.

© Universal Orlando

This story from USA Today has more information on the attraction's backstory, which starts with guests visiting the latest attraction to open in the fictional Jurassic World theme park - as seen in the film franchise.  Riders will have the opportunity to safely view raptors while on the coaster, but, of course, something goes wrong.  It always does!  Make sure to click through to the article for many more details about the coaster.

Also make sure to check out this new video advertising the opening of the ride that Universal Orlando released today.  There's some short clips of point of view footage mixed in there showing off the heavy theming surrounding the coaster - and even a raptor or two!

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Fun Spot America Orlando to Open New Thrill Ride this May

© Fun Spot America

Fun Spot America Orlando announced the addition of a brand new thrill ride named Sky Hawk on April 1st, but no joke here, the park is excited to be expanding once again.  Sky Hawk is one of A.R.M. USA's brand new rides of the same name, and features a 90 foot tall tower that riders swing around.

Per Fun Spot America Orlando, "guests will be elevated to new heights while spinning at a quick 10 revolutions per minute.  The tower will feature vivid colors such as purple, magenta, yellow, and orange and is located on the north side of the park between two of the park’s roller coasters, White Lightning and Freedom Flyer.  At night guests can also expect to see a beautiful programable LED package on the tower illuminating the Fun Spot Orlando skyline."


© A.R.M. USA

Another neat feature of Sky Hawk is that it has two different seating styles split evenly among the 24 passenger vehicles.   Half the vehicles allow rider to lay in a prone position, as if they were their favorite super hero flying through the air.  The other half of the vehicles are a more usual seated position.  The addition of both styles makes the ride more repeatable, as some guests will want to check out both experiences.

Fun Spot America Orlando hopes to have Sky Hawk opened to the public this May.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Dinosaurs Walk-Thru Experience Opening at Six Flags New England April 10th

© Six Flags New England

While Six Flags New England awaits its turn to reopen as a full theme park the property has come up with a new way to engage their fans and will offer the Dinosaurs Walk-Thru Experience starting April 10th.  The limited time event will offer guests the ability to "journey back in time hundreds of millions of years ago to behold the wonder and majesty of creatures that walked the Earth long before humans."

The one-way walking path tour will feature 20 life sized dinosaurs, with many featuring "realistic movement and sound."  The event will also feature plenty of photo opportunities as well as games and other activities for the family.  While moving through the park visitors will also find select retail and food stands open, allowing them to grab a snack or take home a souvenir. 

© Six Flags New England

The Dinosaurs Walk-Thru Experience will debut on April 10th and run on select dates through May 23rd.  Reservations are required for visits.  The attraction is free for members and pass holders, otherwise tickets are $19.99 for adults and $9.99 for kids.