Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Cedar Point Celebrates 150th Anniversary in 2020 With Nostalgia + New Pass

© Cedar Point
Next year Cedar Point will be celebrating the park's 150th anniversary all summer long with a mix of nostalgia and a nod to the future of the resort.  The park dates back to 1870 when the very beginnings of what Cedar Point is today were just starting to take root.  Over the decades the resort and amusement park have grown into one of the world's favorite places to explore, find thrills, spin and twirl, splash in a water park, and even spend a summer vacation at.

The park will celebrate their history next year with a "multitude of new family entertainment and memory-making experiences."  "Guests will enjoy a fully-immersive nighttime celebration along the Main Midway, try new, delicious and innovative food options (along with a few throwbacks of old), take home new memories with a complete line of nostalgic souvenirs and merchandise, step into a reimagined Town Hall in Frontier Town and climb aboard a river expedition for a new generation."

All of the activities planned sound fun, and the park promises that plenty more surprises are on the way and will be revealed as the 2020 season approaches.  The thought of having a boat ride back on the park's central lagoon is pretty exciting on its own.

© Cedar Point
While we wait on more details on all the fun that is planned for 2020, the park has also announced a brand new Gold Pass that is an amazing deal.  We don't usually cover ticket/pass information here, but Cedar Point's new Gold Pass, in honor of their 150th anniversary, is pretty extraordinary.  For just $99 visitors can get access to the park for the remainder of the 2019 season, and all of 2020, plus Cedar Point Shores and free parking.

For a park the size of Cedar Point which offers so much, that's really a steal.  I have a feeling there will be plenty of folks celebrating at the park next year!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Busch Gardens Tampa Gives New Peek at 2020 RMC Hybrid Coaster

© Busch Gardens Tampa
There are so many exciting projects going on in North America for 2020, one of which is the massive Rocky Mountain Construction conversion of Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa.  The theme park has revealed that they are indeed transforming the dueling coasters into one record breaking hybrid ride, but haven't shared all the details just yet.

Previously the park released only one image of the ride, showing a massive first drop and a sharp uphill climb that morphs into a downhill barrel roll.  And some "ests," the tallest, fastest and steepest hybrid roller coaster in North America.

Thankfully, on the recent National Roller Coaster Day, the park released a fun teaser clip on social media.  North East Coasters put it on YouTube, check it out:

There are some great point of view animation clips mixed into the "est" titles at the start, one of this shows the view from the top of the lift with a lot of the layout below.  The later clip shows a very large stall element before it ends.

There's still so much more to know about the Gwazi transformation, and the clip does promise that they will tell us soon.  Can't wait!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Knott's Berry Farm + Valleyfair To Introduce Large Festivals for 2020 Season

Cedar Fair appears to have found success with special events and festivals, especially at Knott's Berry Farm, and is adding more to the chain's lineup in 2020.

Knott's Berry Farm will hold "A Knott's Family Reunion" during next summer, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Knott's family curbside berry stand, which started in 1920.  "What started with a humble farm evolved into a premier destination that has come to witness 100 years of historical and timeless memories shared among friends, neighbors and families from around the world."

© Knott's Berry Farm
A Knott's Family Reunion will pay "tribute to Knott’s history and legacy of family fun.  Guests will be immersed in a once-in-a-lifetime celebration featuring festive park d├ęcor, themed food items, unique entertainment, exclusive merchandise and special surprises along the way, all paying homage to the nostalgia that surrounds the historic theme park. Details about the exciting 100th anniversary celebration festivities will be announced in the coming months."

“The Knott family vision and values led to the birth of Knott’s Berry Farm, and through this milestone celebration it is our opportunity to honor the last 100 years of remarkable memories that have shaped our history,” said Jon Storbeck, General Manager of Knott’s Berry Farm. “The 100th-anniversary celebration embraces the farm’s rich history and signifies the importance of the Knott family’s commitment to building a place for generations of guests to create lifelong memories.”

Grand Carnivale, a massive celebration that had a popular run at four Cedar Fair parks in 2019, will also debut at Valleyfair in 2020.

The celebration will be similar to those that took place this year - a giant cultural celebration mixing live entertainment, food and beverage tastings, a parade and nighttime celebration into one event. 
"Grand Carnivale is Valleyfair’s largest-ever event and entertainment line-up that features 150 costumed performers and seven massive, Marti Gras-inspired multicolor floats.  The 23-day event kicks off with the Spectacle of Color Parade along the midway, followed by a Carnivale Street Party including an interactive dance party and family-friendly activities."

Grand Carnivale will run at Valleyfair next year from July 25th through August 16th.

Worlds of Fun to Build Midwest's Longest Mat Racing Waterslide for 2020

© Worlds of Fun
We now know exactly what will be replacing the Diamond Head waterslides that were recently announced to be removed from World's of Fun's waterpark, Oceans of Fun.  New for 2020 will be Riptide Raceway, billed as the "Midwest's longest mat racing water slide."

The four lane mat racing slide will start 5 stories above the bottom of the slide, and the attraction will feature four lanes that riders can race on.   Using foam mats, the riders will race head-first down 476 feet of slide.

© Worlds of Fun
The attraction will feature a somewhat unique layout for a mat racing slide, with each path going through several turns, drops and a 360 degree helix before the finish line.  Riptide Raceway is being created by White Water West, and will utilize the natural sloping landscape to its advantage.  It is the first major expansion to Oceans of Fun since 2013.

“With its thrilling twists and competitive elements, Riptide Raceway is sure to be an instant fan-favorite,” said Tony Carovillano, Worlds of Fun’s vice president and general manager. “We’re constantly looking for new ways to delight our guests, whether it’s an event like the international street festival Grand Carnivale that debuted this summer, to great new dining venues, and now this exciting water park attraction. Our collection of rides, slides, and immersive events provides a complete lineup of family entertainment that’s unmatched in the region.”

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Grand Carnivale + New Racing Waterslide Opening at Carowinds in 2020

© Carowinds
The 2020 season at Carowinds will feature a brand new water slide attraction within the Carolina Harbor water park, and an exciting summer festival named Grand Carnivale.

Called Boogie Board Racer, the new waterslide is one of the industry's popular mat racing style attractions.  Riders head face-first down one of six lanes and move through drops and a large helix before one final plunge sends them toward the finish line at maximum speed.

© Carowinds
Boogie Board Racer was designed for Carowinds by White Water West, and will start from a 60 foot tall tower that is located adjacent to Copperhead Strike.  The slide is billed by the park as the longest of its kind in the Southeast and is the first large expansion to Carolina Harbor since the waterpark was rebranded in 2016.

Next summer will also be an exciting one for Carowinds due to the addition of Grand Carnivale, Cedar Fair's already popular global celebration featuring a nightly parade, food tastings, dance party and more.  The event will run at Carowinds from June 13th through July 5th, 2020.

“The new Boogie Board Racer water slide will amp up the adrenaline in our world-class Carolina Harbor waterpark and our guests will crave its exciting twists and turns as they compete against friends in this fan-favorite racing attraction,” said Pat Jones, Carowinds’ vice president and general manager. “And we’re going all out with Grand Carnivale, the largest summertime event ever held at Carowinds. We’ve seen how families enjoy our fully immersive SCarowinds and WinterFest events in fall and winter, and we’re bringing that same sense of wonder and delight to this captivating new summer nighttime experience. These investments, along with the new Springhill Suites by Marriott at Carowinds which opens this fall, further strengthen our position as the premier entertainment destination in the Carolinas.”

Kings Island's New Giga Coaster - Orion - Drops In For 2020 Season

© Kings Island
The much speculated new coaster for Kings Island's 2020 season has been revealed to be Orion, according to the park it will be one of only 7 giga-coasters in the world.

Orion will be the centerpiece of the newly themed Area 72 section of the park, with a station located just behind Flight of Fear, where Firehawk once lived.  Orion will be Kings Island's longest, tallest and fastest steel roller coaster.

© Kings Island
The park has created a backstory for Orion, it seems that the coaster will feature a "prototype vehicle developed by the Project X initiative.  Scientists are in a race against time to develop technology capable of weaving transport vehicles through a coming meteor storm and traveling to a new planet within the Orion constellation.  For the program to be successful, it needs volunteers to help with testing."  Naturally the test riders will enjoy their soaring view of Kings Island as they do their part to protect human civilization.

© Kings Island
Orion will start with a lift hill that towers 287 feet over the park, followed by a 300 foot first drop that will give trains a top speed of 91 miles per hour.  The ride features a total of 8 hills, with the second being heavily banked to the left and standing 174 feet tall.  The ride's turnaround element stands an impressive 202 feet tall on its own.  The return trip back toward the station features several speed and air-time hills, along with a giant helix.

© Kings Island
Here is the full layout of Orion, like the other B&M giga coasters it will eliminate a traditional mid-course brake run by placing it at the end of the ride before the final brakes.  That allows the trains to zoom through the course without interruption.  Orion's total track length is 5,321 feet and the ride is planned to open next spring.

Here's a nice fly-by view of the ride in action, see more videos including a point of view ride on Orion at Kings Island's website.

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