Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dorney Zoning Request

Let's recap: Geauga boards have had rumors that point to Steel Venom having the final nail in its coffin being placed by Dorney. Then Cedar Fair confirms that Steel Venom will be moved to another park. A seemingly random rumor appears on Coasterbuzz that Dorney has filed for a new power supply for 2008. And now this...

South Whitehall Township has the agenda for it's next planning commission meeting online as of today. Cedar Fair has a request to "modify a prior amendment to the ... zoning ordinance." It seems they want to move two small areas that were rezoned for higher rides some years ago. Not far mind you, one will move 30 feet and the other 105 feet.

Something I did not know was online, and I'm grateful to the source who provided me with it, is this map of the park's current zoning:

I put a circle around the two "squares" that the parks wants to move the above mentioned amounts. You can position yourself on this image using Hamilton Blvd. on the bottom, Lincoln Ave. going up on the left-ish side, and Dorney Park road which is running right into the red circle.

Now, why would they want to move these two squares that have greater height limits? What would require just two small squares for high parts?

I think the writing is on the wall folks.

Gilroy Gardens

Bonfante Gardens Family Theme Park has been renamed Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park under the advice of Cedar Fair.

Along with the new name, the park is adding new seasonal festivities and two children's rides. I never noticed that the park recently added Bonfante's Splash Garden - a water play area themed to the unique "circus" trees the park is home to.

It looks pretty cool! I hope this change keeps the momentum going that the park created over the past several season. It looks like a beautiful place.

Monday, February 26, 2007

1983 Walt Disney World Vacation Guide

Hello. I found this old Vacation Guide from Disney World that is © 1983. It's got some interesting stuff in it. EPCOT CENTER had just opened October 1st 1982, so it was the big thang of the time. Understandably so, the park was pretty rad for the time. Today it's being devoured by Pixar and other attractions that have nothing at all to do what the original "Epcot travelers" would have seen and been a part of. Anyway, here's the images.

You'll need to click it to read it.

Look at the Rainbow Corridor in Journey to Imagination. Thought that was one of the coolest things ever when I was a kid.

I'd like to point out that this part of EPCOT CENTER still looks the same. I mean, you can go there today and see all these things. Which I think is wonderful.

I'd like to take a second to point everyone to EPCOT Central. It's extremely well written, well thought out, and just overall a site that gives Epcot the respect it deserves. (deserved?)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Dorney Park 2007 Season Update #5

Hey all. I went out today for another update on Dorney's 2007 season. This time there was actually something to see! Let's get started.

Not much to see with Laser. They wouldn't be painting in the snow though so I guess that makes sense. Then again, the whole painting thing is a rumor so who knows.

As far as the parking changes go, they've started to prep the remaining house in the area for destruction. They've taken out some windows and such.

Here's the back of the house. You can see that the back porch has started to be torn apart. I'm sure it won't be long before the whole thing is down.

Sorry this image is blurry, but there's nothing changed here anyway. No work on the entry road or anything.

You'll have to click on this one for a much bigger version to see the details, but they've started working on Aqua Racer. They've been clearing out the hill that was in between the first wave pool and the lilly pads.

Here's a better version of the area. You can see here that the hill is mostly gone and I believe I see some markers in the ground as well. I'm sure this project will go pretty fast once they have all the footings done. I'll keep updated on the project.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Mickey Mouse Revue - Disney World / Tokyo

I never saw the Mickey Mouse Revue while it was at Disney World in Florida. Actually, I may have but was too young to have any memory of it now. Anyway, it was always something I wanted to see and now I have! Well, at least the Tokyo version. There's a great video of it on YouTube. Check it out here.

Also, in looking around the new I found this page on Widen Your World and it has some seriously fantastic photos and information on the attraction. Check it out!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Older Knott's Berry Farm Map and Guide

Here's an older Knott's Berry Farm park guide map that I have. I don't know what year it is from. Does anyone have any ideas? (EDIT) - I guess it's either 1983, 1984, or 1985. Camp Snoopy was added in '83 and that is on the map. Beary Tales was removed in '86, and since that is also on the map, it was before then.

The Ever Changing MIA Website

So now they have changed the logo and header on Michigan's Adventure's site back to the old logo. I'm happy they did this, but are they going to stick to the old or the new?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Six Flags Over Texas Trans Fat Free (mostly!)

Six Flags Over Texas has announced that they, like Disney and Universal, are going Trans Fat free in 2007. This includes all food they serve - sans one amusement park classic, the funnel cake.

I wish I had a funnel cake right now to eat for breakfast, but I digress.

I wonder if this trend will spread to the other Six Flags parks, or for that matter, the Cedar Fair chain? We'll see.

The article is here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Kings Dominion 2007 Park Map

Here's Kings Dominon's 2007 park map. It's on their website here. Here's what I'm seeing at a first glance:

First, it's not drawn like the other Cedar Fair parks. It's the same paramount style, just updated.

Second, the placement of the water park attractions has been revealed. Tidal Wave Bay is off by itself, and Tornado is surprisingly in the old section of the water park.

Third, Hypersonic is still there, I believe though it was announced that the ride will operate in 2007.

"Paramount Action FX Theatre" - I'm surprised that things like this didn't drop the name.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Steel Force Construction Diary #6

To celebrate President's Day let's continue following Steel Force's construction. Last we saw they had begun to work heavily on the turnaround as the season approached.

This was taken April 26th, 1997. As you can see, they have still been working on the turnaround. The water level is pretty low in this pic, and I'm not sure if that is because they were working on the damn for that lake or if it had to do with the ride's construction.

This is also from the 26th of April. They had put the track up on the first bunny hill in preparation of connecting with the soon to be completed turnaround area. Also take note that the parking lot is having some major paving going on. As we saw from earlier pictures, Dorney's lot did not even have a majority of itself paved until the 1997 season.

Here we are on May 2nd, 1997. I believe the park had announced by now that the ride would not open with the park. As you can see, the push to get the ride done even involved adding the large supports for the turnaround while they were not yet painted.

This was taken on May 9th, 1997 - the day before the park opened for the year. They got the helix tracked, but still had to add the midcourse brake run and the track between that and this helix. You'll take notice of the piece of track that has been removed from the helix to allow the crane to move in and out of the area.

There's more from the 9th as it was an exciting time - but that'll have to wait until next time!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Kings Dominion 2007 Brochure

I obtained a copy of the Kings Dominion's 2007 brochure. And here it is.

You'll notice that they seem to be using that 2 Parks for the Price of 1 thing on all the brochures I've seen so far for the combined amusement and water park locations. Overall I think they're doing well for the former Paramount parks.

Congrats to NewsPlusNotes

Sometime today NewsPlusNotes hit 1,000 unique visitors. Go NewsPlusNotes! I know it's not a big number, but it's Friday so I feel like celebrating!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

New Header for Paramount Park Sites

I really do not mean to rant, it's tiresome and very overplayed on the web - but in some cases it just feels good. This is one of them.

Was this redesign performed by my mother's 4th grade class? It has the look of children written all over it. For a partnership that can plunk down $1.24 billion for 5 theme parks, can't they do a little better? Let's look at exactly what we can find here in this new design header:

1) Inverting ship silhouette, a picture of which is all over Carowinds brochure and site. Okay, it's a ride, it's at one of the parks, i'll take it.

2) Coaster hills. WHO MADE THIS. Did they use MS Paint? Why isn't the hill on the right even smooth? Why do the supports not go all the way down? When I was 8 I used to draw coasters in school. They looked like this. Serious.

3) Two pointy things. Are those large crayons sticking up? Houses with witch-like pointy hats? What does this have to do with theme parks?

4) Finally, we come to two flags. Are those pixels sticking out that I see? Could they not even find images to use that are as smooth as those on the Cedar Fair home page?

5) Stars. Pretty stars that are on an angle. These stars scream children. They are the kind of stars you find on diapers, and in coloring books. Why, why these?

In summary, there is no discernable level of professionalism in this redesign. They'd have been better off leaving customers thinking they were still paramount parks with the old header than thinking they are visiting Sesame Place.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cedar Fair 2007 Tidbits from Eastcoaster

I was just looking at the photos of the slides from the presentations at ACE's Eastcoaster that was held at the start of this month. The photos are on Jason Hammon's site, Roller Coaster Freak, so all the credit for this stuff goes to him.

First here's the logo for Dorney Park's new slide, AquaRacer. I know it's not the best quality but at least it gives an idea of what they came up with until it ends up on their website or something.

Canada's Wonderland's additions are now official, they are adding new shows for 2007. They are adding the Endless Summer ice show like at Kings Island and Carowinds, the Dora Singalong, and the Twistin' to the 60s show that originated at Cedar Point.

Michigan's Adventure will be taking the year off, officially. Minor improvements in the park and the water tower for the park.

The name and logo of Great America's new wave pool is official. Great Barrier Reef has a logo that is somewhat similar to Tidal Wave Bay at Geauga and Kings Dominion. Still, it's nice to see it official. They haven't updated their web page yet and the park opens at the end of March. That seems sorta silly to me, at least that's my take on it.

Lastly, the new Parade that was mentioned for Cedar Point was totally on the slide advertising an extra weekend for Halloweekends at the point. This really, really leads me to believe they are going to put on some sort of Halloween Parade. I am very, very interested in seeing how this turns out.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Busch Gardens Tampa / Africa Kumba Ad

Here's an older ad for the new (at the time) Kumba roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa, or Busch Gardens Africa, whatever you please. I'm much less into coasters and much more into theme parks in general these days - but this is an amazing ride. It's total old school B&M (i.e. forces'a'plenty) and it rocks. Go ride it. Now.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Disneyland Haunted Mansion Old Postcard Shots

I have a post card booklet from Disneyland that is undated, but certainly screams 1970s if you ask me. It features scenes from the Haunted Mansion, a somewhat still new at the time attraction for the California park.

Since the Haunted Mansion is one of my favorite rides, and a favorite of so many others, I wanted to share some of these images. They are some of the nicest, clearest shots of the scenes inside the ride that I've seen in a long time. All images are © Walt Disney Productions.

Those owls are spooky. The guy on the left looks like the Ship Captain that is in some drawings that at one point going to be part of the ride's storyline. I doubt there is any connection there, at least aside from inside my head.

I actually have no memory of seeing these three in the ride. There is so much happening in that graveyard it is hard to give everything your attention. How cute is that teapot though!

Calm down! Don't lose your head over it. Ha ha. I'm lame.

This shot is such a classic. I like how these three have really grown in popularity as characters over the years.

I was fascinated by this scene when I was a child. Absolutely fascinated.

This is a nice shot also. Take a close look at the lady character dead center behind the chandelier. Does that not look like Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas? That's really weird.

Hope you enjoyed!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Some New Dorney Park Advertising

Here's an add from the 2007 Lehigh Valley Tourism Guide. Just to note, the same logo is being used, and they mention nothing about the new slides. There's also a different-ish 2 Parks for the Price of 1 logo. Nothing huge, but I thought I'd share.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Johnny Rockets to a Six Flags Park Near You

The man behind the purchse of Six Flags by RedZone Capital, Daniel Snyder, has now used RedZone to purchase the Johnny Rockets restaurant chain for about $500 million.

The connection behind the "burger joint" that Shapiro was talking about being added at Magic Mountain and this news is striking, to say the least.

To sum things up: Johnny Rockets is coming to Six Flags. (But hey, didn't Cedar Fair start that trend anyway?)

Here is the article.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Dorney Park 2007 Press Release

This is the official release from the park:


ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom will open its gates in May 2007 with thoughts of snow behind us and summer on everyone’s mind.

On May 26, 2007, Wildwater Kingdom will open for the season offering the latest in heat relief with the addition of AquaRacer, a six-lane mat racing attraction.

With its second major capital expense in two consecutive years, Wildwater Kingdom is adding to its already-impressive collection of attractions which includes soaking water slides, three aquatic playlands for children, a water funhouse, two wave pools and other water activities.

The new AquaRacer slide attraction will feature six lanes with each lane measuring 300 feet long. Six riders will take their places at their respective lanes with their mats in-hand and then it’s a race to the finish line. AquaRacer will be located near the Speed Slides and the Lily Pads. The addition of AquaRacer will bring the total number of water slides in Wildwater Kingdom to a record 22.

“We know that our guests visit us to experience all the fun and thrills of an amusement park,” states Brad Nesland, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom’s vice president of maintenance and construction, “but we also recognize that the waterpark is what entices our guests on those hot summer days. This is why we have focused so strongly on Wildwater Kingdom over the last few years.”

Among other improvements being made throughout the Park, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom will introduce a smoke-free environment for the 2007 season. Wildwater Kingdom will be entirely smoke-free, but designated smoking areas will be made available throughout Dorney Park amusement park.

“At Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, we strive to accommodate all of our guests,“ states Jim Yeager, vice president and general manager of Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom. “We’ve decided to require smokers to use designated smoking areas because of our continued commitment in offering a great experience to our guests and employees.”

Dorney Park is open weekends beginning Saturday, May 5, 2007 – Wildwater Kingdom will open Saturday, May 26, 2007. Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom both open daily beginning Saturday, May 26, 2007. Wildwater Kingdom is included with admission to Dorney Park amusement park. Season Passes are available for sale now at a discounted rate through May 4 at which time they will continue to be sold throughout the season at full price. For more information, please visit www.dorneypark.com or call (610) 395-3724.

Dorney Park is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FUN.” In addition to Dorney Park, Cedar Fair owns and operates eleven other amusement parks, five water parks, one indoor water park resort, and six hotels. Cedar Fair also owns and operates Star Trek: The Experience, an interactive adventure located in Las Vegas, and operates the Bonfante Gardens in Gilroy, California under a management contract.

Quickie News Update (Kings Island & Discovery Kingdom)

This article, from the Contra Costa Times, has some info on Six Flags Discovery Kingdom that is worth mentioning.

In the list of "what's new," they have a February 28th announcement of a whole new themed area for childred.

Choo Choo! Here comes Thomas the Tank Engine. It had been rumored that Discovery Kingdom would receive one of these lands, and now I suppose you can bet on it.
This article, from the The Western Star, has some interesting tidbits about Kings Island:
"Kaiser (KI spokesperson) defended Cedar Fair's move and said that it is commonplace in the amusement park industry to move rides from one property to another. The move from Geauga Lake, which has about 750,000 visitors a year, to King Island, with more than three million visitors a year, will cost about $750,000 - far below what a new coaster would cost, Kaiser said."

"At Kings Island, the company will spend $10 million this year, with most of the money to restore the Son of Beast coaster and add an ice show."

What exactly is that $750k amount for, is that how much it's costing to ship the ride to the park? There's no way they are doing the foundations and such for that much. That's confusing. And are they really spending that much cash on Son of Beast? Yikes.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Catch Up: Cedar Fair New In '07

Now that more and more details are available about the Cedar Fair parks' plans for the upcoming season, I think it makes sense to condense what we've learned thus far into one post. I will break it down by park:

Michigan's Adventure has remained a mystery to a certain degree. They are building a water tower that is part of the larger upgrade of getting the park connected to municipal water supply. I'm not sure, however, if this is an independent project of Cedar Fair or not. As far as the park goes, there have been rumors of some midway rearranging and a new bathroom on sites like Screamscape, but not much else. New reports on a couple forums of recent drive-bys mention no noticable work going on in the park, aside from a pile of dirt by Timbertown Railway.

Carowinds has formally announced their plans so this is mostly a recap. They are adding an ice skating show titled "Endless Summer on Ice" in one of the park's large theaters. The looping ship thrill ride will return near Top Gun and be named Southern Star. It was missing from the park during the '06 season. The Nick parade is also being returned for it's 4th year at the park. Cedar Fair has also lowered admission prices at this park.

WOF has not done any sort of formal announcement yet. They seem to be having a typical year-after-a-big-ride with not large capital additions. Searching through the forums at Around The World, we get some pretty much confirmed changes for this season. First, they are renovating more bathrooms for guest comfort. They are adding a Panda Express food place in the park. It also seems the they are adding two new hants to the parks Halloween event. It was rumored months ago that they would add a new merch. location to push the Nick items. I haven't heard anything further about this as of recently.

Well, first and foremost we have Firehawk, which is X-Flight from Geauga Lake. Son of Beast has had its loop removed, and new trains are being fabricated - by who exactly has not yet been confirmed, but sadly PTC seems to be out of the running. They are also reviewing possbilities for the section of track where the loop was. There are going to be 5 new shows in the park this coming season as well, and it looks like one of them will be an ice skating show like at Carowinds. Lastly, it is worth mentioning that at this former paramount park the Nick parade will not be running this season.

As reported in the post under this one, Geauga Lake is doing some more work toward overall guest comfort and satisfaction. They are doubling the number of cabanas for rent, adding some new food and games, renovating one of the restaurants on the ride side, adding a new magic show, painting two of their thrill rides, adding video cameras on one of the coasters for a unique souvenir, and retheming their movie/simulator.

Knott's Berry Farm has already announced that they are adding the Sierra Sidewinder, a new Mack spinning coaster aimed more at families. It will be located in the Camp Snoopy section of the park. I haven't heard anything about any additions to any of the Knott's Soak City parks in CA, and with the recent (past 2 years) addition of a Tornado slide in each, I wouldn't expect much. I almost feel like there should be some other more cosmetic changes at KBF, I'll have to keep my eyes out for those.

It's been fairly quiet when it comes to Great America. It's pretty well known that they are adding a wave pool for 2007, but the park has said nothing about it other than a few hints. I believe there were some marketing materials for the local tourism lobby that mentioned the pool, and the park did file the permits with Santa Clara for a 21,560 sq. ft. wave pool. Personally, that's about as confirmed as I need it to be.

Well, Valleyfair! is adding Renegade, a GCII wooden coaster that looks like a pretty awesome ride. I think the results of this one is something to watch as there are a few other Cedar Fair parks that would do very well to have a ride like this! Plus, it's already being rumored pretty heavily. I haven't heard about anything else going on at the park as far as smaller additions go.

Cedar Point's 2007 addition, Maverick, has been well covered and there is no need for me to add anything more, mostly since I have nothing. The park is also supposedly adding two new eateries, another 3 Point Challenge basketball game, a new parade (this is odd), and a shooting gallery. They also seem to be changing the entrance times for resort guests who receive a head start on day trippers.

Kings Dominion has done their formal announcement. They are expanding their water park, WaterWorks. New additions include Tidal Wave Bay, a wave pool, Tornado, a Tornado water slide, and Zoom Flume, a family raft slide. The park is also lowering their admission prices for the first time since the park opened. There has been no other news yet about other changes, but the park has said that even though Hypersonic XLC is for sale it will be operating this season.

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom is adding a new 6 lane Mat Racer water slide. They have announced it though their new for 2007 brochure, but they have not revealed a name for the attraction yet. They park is also rumored to be changing the colors of Laser, as well as performing some other work on the ride. The park is also expected to do some work with their parking situation, including making more formal extra overflow parking.

Uhh I have no idea about this one. Screamscape mentions something about new restaurants, and everyone says the food at Canada's Wonderland is awful, so that could make sense. Other than that I haven't a clue. Anyone know?

That's all I got. We'll see what else pops up as the season draws closer.