Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park Starts Testing New Phoenix Roller Coaster

© Deno's Wonder Wheel Park
Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, located in Coney Island, New York, has started the testing phase of their brand new custom designed roller coaster, Phoenix.  The ride is a suspended family roller coaster created by Vekoma, which features bright red track with equally bright yellow supports.  The family owned park is especially proud to be adding a major new roller coaster this season, as the parks in Coney Island stayed shuttered all of 2020 due to the pandemic.


Phoenix has been designed as a family ride that does contain enough thrilling elements to keep adult riders interested, including tight, swooping turns and constant elevation changes.  The ride 68 feet tall, features 1,220 feet of track and a top speed of 34 miles per hour.


© Deno's Wonder Wheel Park
The below video was shared by the park and features footage of the very first test run of the Phoenix.  As planned it went off without a hitch, much to the pleasure of the park owners and ride manufacturer.  At the end you can see just how proud the family that runs the park is of their new addition!  The park plans to open the Phoenix by Summer.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Stunt Pilot Now Soaring in Action at Silverwood Theme Park

© Silverwood Theme Park
Memorial Day weekend marked the grand opening of Stunt Pilot at Silverwood Theme Park, the world's latest Rocky Mountain Construction coaster to begin operation.  I think we can all agree that the more RMCs the better!  With not too many new coasters opening this year, it's even more spectacular that Silverwood was able to add such a thrilling new experience for their visitors.  And for a ride of this caliber, visitors are sure to come from far and wide.

Stunt Pilot is no doubt thrilling, standing 106 feet tall with a terrorizing first drop that sends the in-line trains to a top speed of 52 miles per hour.  The rest of the 1,800 foot layout features plenty of air-time along with tight turns and several inversions.

© Silverwood Theme Park
Stunt Pilot's layout is very similar to two earlier RMC coasters, but changes have been made to improve the rider experience on the 2, 10-passenger trains.  Most notable are changes to the top of the lift before the first drop, but riders reports no lack of air-time on the ride!

Silverwood is honoring their history of previously having live airshows for guests at the park with Stunt Pilot, and the layout includes several close call elements that surround the track along with other theming, like the plane seen above.

If you want to take a spin on Stunt Pilot virtually, check out the POV ride from CoasterForce below!

Sunday, June 6, 2021

SeaWorld Orlando to Debut First Ever Howl-O-Scream Event This Fall

© SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando will - for the first time ever - give visitors the scare of their lives when they debut Howl-O-Scream this fall.  The separately ticketed event will take place at the park at night as a compliment to the family friendly daytime event the park holds, called Halloween Spooktacular.  Howl-O-Scream, just like at SeaWorld's sister park Busch Gardens Tampa, is meant to get pulses pumping with plenty of scares from haunted houses, electrifying shows, scare zones and more.

© SeaWorld Orlando
The Orlando theme parks are already well known for their Halloween events, some mild and some wild, but it's always nice to see a new park throw their hat in the ring.  According to SeaWorld Orlando, "guests will evade roaming haunts rampaging through scare zones and seek shelter indoors, only to find they have entered a house of horrors.  Adventuresome guests can deepen the thrills with terrifying coaster rides in the dark, quench their thirst for fear at a fiendishly interactive bar and feel the monstrous electricity of a live show."

During the 27 night run of Howl-O-Scream at SeaWorld Orlando visitors will have few safe areas, between the haunted houses, scare zones and even roaming haunts.  The park isn't quite ready to give the names and themes of their haunted attractions, but promise more information on them in the future.

The event will run on select nights from September 10th through October 31st with hours varying from 7 pm to as late as 2 am.


© SeaWorld Orlando
“SeaWorld Orlando fans love our extensive event line-up which includes a special event taking place every weekend of the year.  Adding Howl-O-Scream to the calendar provides the missing element of a fright-filled Halloween event that we know our guests will welcome.  With this addition, we become the only theme park in Orlando to offer both a daytime family-friendly Halloween and a nighttime horror Halloween for thrill seekers,” says SeaWorld Orlando Park President Kyle Miller. “We are very excited to announce Howl-O-Scream today and look forward to sharing all of the amazing details of the event over the next few months.”  


Keep your eyes on the park's website for the event as the summer progresses for house and scare zone reveals!

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Dollywood Announces New HeartSong Lodge & Resort for 2023 + 10 Year Expansion Plan

© Dollywood

Dollywood is continuing on the path of creating additional growth as they have announced a brand new resort, known as Dollywood's HeartSong Lodge & Resort, along with a ten year, half a billion dollar expansion plan.  The resort just wrapped up their first ten year expansion plan which saw the addition of many attractions within the theme and water park, along with the DreamMore Resort and is now embarking on another ambitious era of growth.

"Since 2010, The Dollywood Company has invested more than $220 million into its properties as part of its ongoing investment plan.  Expansions undertaken since 2010 include Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, roller coasters Lightning Rod and FireChaser Express, as well as TailSpin Racer at Dollywood’s Splash Country.  In 2019, the park opened the $37 million Wildwood Grove."

© Dollywood

The brand new HeartSong Lodge & Resort will open in 2023 and will be located adjacent to the already popular DreamMore Resort.  It will feature 302 rooms including many with balconies, some with lofts, and family suites - some of which are themed.  The resort will carry a Smokie Mountain lodge theme, but will be spectacularly appointed and feature a plethora of amenities.  These includes a large pool area, a giant 4,000 square foot lobby with an atrium, a two story fireplace with a never ending flame, a music room inspired by Dolly and more.

© Dollywood

The Resort will also feature an area for group gatherings, featuring 26,000 square feet of meeting space.  Spaces include a large ballroom, a junior ballroom, event lawn and boardroom.

Also available to feed hungry guests will be the Honeysuckle & Pine Storied Goods Mercantile, a 195-Seat Signature Restaurant & Lounge, a 40-Seat Acoustics Private Dining Room, Lobby Lounge and the Wildflower Market Grab & Go Eatery.

© Dollywood

Company officials note that they had a somewhat strong 2020 despite the pandemic, and are already beating their expectations for 2021.  The popularity of the Smokies as a vacation destination continues to grow, and the resort feels it is an appropriate time to expand.  It sounds like the plan was to be announced last year but put on hold due to the pandemic.

Dollywood and Splash Country see a combined total of more than 3 million visitors a season, and with all the recent expansions those figures are sure to be growing.  The resort will now embark on another decade of expansion and while additional attractions are not being revealed yet, we can be sure the park has big things planned for the future.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Six Flags St. Louis to Open Adventure Cove at Hurricane Harbor This Summer

© Six Flags St. Louis
Six Flags St. Louis has announced that they will open a new family attraction this summer in their Hurricane Harbor water park.  Known as Adventure Cove, the multi-level water play area will be a replacement for Hook's Lagoon, a similar water play attraction, which has been retired.  Adventure Cove will take up the same space that Hook's Lagoon utilized, but will offer more modern interactive features.

© Six Flags St. Louis

The theme park promises more information as the mid-summer opening for Adventure Cove approaches, but from these renderings we can get a nice idea of what will be offered.  There are four smaller water slides that come off the back of the structure, perfect for younger visitors not ready for the big thrills yet.  There are interactive water features throughout the structure, including water guns, spinning water wheels and plenty more.  To top it off, there is what appears to be a geyser type of tower that I would expect will dump plenty of water on guests below at a regular interval.

The park will keep the lagoon that surrounds Adventure Cove, which serves as another safe space for younger kids to explore.  There will be plenty of deck chairs in the area for families to use as a home base as well.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Dollywood's Summer Celebration to Feature Sweet Summer Nights Drone Show

© Dollywood
Dollywood's upcoming Summer Celebration event, running at the theme park from June 25th through July 31st, will feature a brand new production in the sky - Dollywood's Sweet Summer Nights 3-D drone show.  Powered by Intel Drone Light Shows (follow this link to get a taste of their previous performances), the Sweet Summer Nights show will feature hundred of drones dancing in the sky to make an unforgettable nighttime experience.

The performance will take place each night during the Summer Celebration festival.  The park describes Sweet Summer Nights as "a multi-sensory drone light show that creates a symphony of light in the sky above the park.  The sensational show really does mark a true evolution in traditional theme park entertainment, as it uses nearly 400 drones to animate a spectacular Dollywood-exclusive story.  The drone performance is integrated into a choreographed firework show, creating a visual and audial event of epic proportions."  Dollywood reports that they have invested around a half a million dollars into creating the Sweet Summer Nights performance.

Each night before everyone's eyes head toward the sky the park will create a party like atmosphere in the Wildwood Grove section of the park.  DJs and dancers will have guests moving and grooving during a 30 minute party that leads up to the spectacular finale in the sky.

Drone shows are a spectacular form of entertainment that have thus far only shown up at some of the biggest theme parks in the work, so it is both amazing and impressive to see Dollywood create such a unique experience for their visitors!