Friday, October 31, 2008

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom 2009

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has announced that for the park's 2009 season their tiger habitat will be expanded and become Odin's Temple of the Tiger.

"Odin's Temple of the Tiger will be housed in the former Jungle Theater and will be redesigned to create a more expansive site for the cats. There will also be additional arena seating for enhanced viewing. A new pool with an underwater viewing window will be the primary focal point of the stage that during off-show hours will provide an outdoor exhibit area for the park's 11 tigers."

Hopefully the area will be as nicely themed as the Temple of the Tiger area at Six Flags Great Adventure. After adding a ride this season, it's also nice to see the park focus on their animal attractions again as well.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Daily Spin 10.30.08

The Great Escape theme park (a Six Flags property) had a fire take place at the park on Tuesday. The fire broke out around 9 a.m. in a food warehouse located in the amusement park and caused some serious damage to the structure. TGE Source has collected some photos and information from the fire in this thread.

Can't get enough Diamondback at Kings Island photos? I don't blame you. KIExtreme has a gallery up of shots taken on the walk-back the park did this past weekend. There are some interesting shots in the mix from angles not seen yet.

Back to The Great Escape for a moment, it looks like the first pieces of the park's new attraction for 2009, Sasquatch, have arrived at the park. TGE Source has photos in their forums. The new ride is being moved from Six Flags New Orleans and is an S&S tower ride.

Sea World Orlando's Manta is continuing quick construction of its track and at this point the lift has now been topped off and the drop has started to be built. I love how the lift and drop are really positioned directly over midways. Makes for some great shots, check them out here.

Valleyfair has posted some construction photos of their 2009 attraction on the park's official web page. Work on Breakers Bay, the park's new wave pool, has been underway for some time now. It looks like they'll be ready to pour concrete rather soon...

Oriental Land Co., the entity that owns and operates Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, has announced a new attraction for the DisneySea property in 2009. Visitors to the park will now be able to experience Turtle Talk, an interactive show with Crush from Finding Nemo. The $13 or so million attraction will be located inside the park's S.S. Columbia ship which is docked in the American Waterfront section of the park.

Westcoaster has a new update available for Knott's Berry Farm and the Disneyland Resort. They have photos of the Ghostbuster's car at Knott's and more pics of the Blue Sky Cellar art and models than you can shake a stick at.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Random Dorney Park Haunt Photos

I've got a bit of a backlog of photos from my trips to the Haunt at Dorney Park over the last month or so, so here's a random collection of shots I've taken for various reasons.

The park does have up new banners for the different Haunt attractions. Here are the ones for ScreamWorks and Club Blood.

Also, and you'll have to click the larger photo to see, there are some flags by the entrance to the parking area next to Steel Force's station. For what? I don't know.

The Haunt was a real hit this year. The above photo was taken early on when crowds were less than they are now, and this was the long line to be found for ScreamWorks.

I like this shot. The fog makes everything so creepy - it's great when it's a fairly calm night and the fog just hovers over the entire park.

Big banner that went up at the entrance to the park, which looks like it is floating in space in this photo.

The acts make for some great action shots during General Jack's Sideshow Bizarro.


Boo - this photo is way too dark, but last week or so the park planted all new trees in every planter along the main midway. Great move!

Perhaps it's just me, but it's been quite a while since I've seen Hydra's sign with smoke coming out of it's nose.

We'll end with a photo of Laser. This weekend is the last for the park's 2008 season, and the last ever for Laser!

Gilroy Gardens Extends Cedar Fair Contract

Gilroy Gardens Theme Park has extended their management contract with Cedar Fair for another two years.

This one will be filed in the 'I guessed wrong' drawer - I would have thought that Gilroy Gardens was counting the days until that contract was over - but I was wrong.

The park, which is owner by the city, recently was offered $35 million for the theme park and the surrounding land from a group of foreign investors. Since the theme park is city owned, the public will have a say in what the future holds for the property.

Several reports have stated that the theme park is still struggling in its current form. Cedar Fair manages the park's daily operations and takes care of marketing and other such necessities for a yearly fee.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Prowler Progress

In what is shaping up to be one of the slimest years for new coasters in the U.S. in a while, 2009 does have some bright spots for new coasters - I'd classify Worlds of Fun's Prowler as one of them.

The park has posted even more new shots of the construction of the new wooden coaster. It looks like the bents are up for almost all of the ride's turnaround, with other sections going up at the same time as well.

Here's a link to the photos.

Voodoo Mega Sale

FYI, Dorney Park currently has all their Voodoo merchandise listed at 65% off. If you ever wanted a Voodoo souvenir (it does have an awesome logo, after all) now is the time!

The real question is, why discount merchandise for a brand new ride? I'll let that alone, but get your souvenir cup or whatever now!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Doctor of Doom: The Haunt at Dorney Park

Afraid of clowns? If so, this could be your worst nightmare. A crazy Doctor is on the loose and he's trying to build the world's most evil clown.

Granite Park in Trouble

© The Fresno Bee / Craig Kohlruss

The Forest at Granite Park, a new theme park being developed in Fresno, CA, has hit some bumps in their development road. The park was supposed to have opened this past fall, but judging from the state of things (see above photo) the park has not been built as planned just yet.

The developer now says they are waiting on a financing deal that could go though in November, allowing the park to open in the spring. Many are skeptical.

The park, if it opens, will contain several attractions from the defunct MGM Grand Adventures theme park in Las Vegas.

Whether or not the park ever opens looks like a 'stay tuned' situation at this point, but here's hoping for the best.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sabrina's Brochure Spotlight: Silverwood Theme Park 2007

In a day and age where new theme parks seem to be dropping off the face of the earth faster than they can open their gates, it's refreshing to see a comparatively young park celebrate a milestone anniversary. Silverwood Theme Park did just that in 2007, when it invited guests to join in the celebration of its 20th season of operation.

The fact that Silverwood is located well off the beaten vacationers' path in Athol, Idaho makes its success that much more impressive. While other parks publicly struggle to maintain their respective positions in the industry from one year to the next, this "sleeper" park has quietly persevered and just continues to get better and better.

Silverwood spared no cost in putting an exclamation point on its 20th season, introducing a massive expansion of its already popular Boulder Beach water park. The newly expanded Boulder Beach is certain to be a huge draw for the park for many years to come.

The inclusion of black and white photos alongside their flashier color counterparts gives this brochure a real nostalgic quality. Who cares if the rides featured in those B&Ws are five, ten, or twenty years old as opposed to one hundred? Every ride deserves a rightful place in history, and every enthusiast loves an old school photo, even if the definition of "old" is subject to interpretation!

Don't let this park's location fool you: It hosts just as many special events as its brethren who occupy the more populous areas of our thrill-crazed nation.

I'd like to extend my own retroactive congratulations to Silverwood for reaching the 20-year mark and thus attaining a feat which unfortunately eludes so many parks. Some day I hope to write about Silverwood's 50th anniversary too!

[As a side note, this particular brochure also contained some "bonus" material in the form of FOUR pages of hotel information! While such info does not make for very interesting blogging, it may be useful to those of you who are planning a trip to Silverwood in the near future. I would be happy to send you these goodies if you so desire. Just shoot me an e-mail and say the magic word!]

Scott And Carol Present: Diamondback Update

Kings Island is taking advantage of the relatively mild weather to speed construction of Diamondback, their new coaster for 2009. Construction appears to ahead of schedule but who knows what winter might bring. The roller coaster is slated to open with the park next spring. Here are a few shots from our visit on 10/25/2008.

No signs off topping off the lift yet, although it should be done soon. Today the workers were attaching to temporary stabilizing cables, possibly due to the impending wind advisory for much of the Midwest. The track is an integral part of the overall structure and the cables will not be required once everything is bolted into place. They will then be removed.

The lift hill is located right outside the station so the experience should be similar to the quick ascent of Millennium Force, located at Cedar Point. The front of the train will be well above the before the last car exits the platform.

The crane required for lifting the pieces protrudes onto the midway in Rivertown. A platform of gravel and railroad tie sized beams forms a level surface for it without destroying the surface of the midway path. The massive weights on the back prevent the crane from tipping forward.

As the leaves have thinned, the growing structure can be seen from more areas of the park. The “field of footers” has already been landscaped and the grass has already started to grow back. By next spring, this area will be unrecognizable. This view will available from both the train and after riding the Crypt.

The dive into the ravine should provide a dramatic airtime moment for Diamondback riders. The close proximity to the ground will serve to enhance the sensation of speed, even though the coaster will hit 80 mph on the course.

A new thing for Kings Island, this coaster will traverse the midway. The only previous attraction to have done this was when Action Theatre’s and Flight of Fear’s pathways were built under the Racer. Many good vantage spots are available for the out and back trip to the woods. The splashdown pool will also be observable from almost every angle once construction is completed.

Riders on the Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad will also get a close encounter with Diamondback. The train will take a more leisurely pace right under some of the drops.

Keep watching right here for more Diamondback up-dates!

Hong Kong Disneyland on YouTube

Sorry for back to back YouTube videos, but Hong Kong Disneyland made their own channel and it has some great videos from their Halloween event. They have some commercials they did for the event, as well as a video that overviews all the different offerings the park has this year.

And judging from the above video the park has not backed down from being 'undisney' with their seriously scary event!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Disney's Blue Sky Cellar Video

Here is the video that is being played at the Blue Sky Cellar at Disney's California Adventure. It's an overview of the changes coming to the park in the next 5 or so years. I was hoping it would make its way onto YouTube and it has!

To see the concept art and models better I'd suggest clicking the video link and watching it in high resolution.

It Is An Election Year, Anyway

Remember to vote in the poll over there --->

This is October so it's only fair that the two premier Halloween events duke it out for the title of best Haunt.

So are you feeling Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights, or Knott's Berry Farm's Halloween Haunt?

It's currently 49% to 51% with Halloween Haunt on top!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Celebration City Closing Forever

Herschend Family Entertainment has announced that they will be closing the Celebration City theme park for good. The park's last operating day will be tomorrow, Saturday, October 25th.

The cause of the closing is a "shift in business strategy," however the company" is already exploring various new development concepts for the site including an aquarium, other family attractions, re-theming the current park and also, destination retail and dining."

A fair guess is also that economic issues are at play as well, keep in mind that Herschend just postponed Dollywood and Silver Dollar City's (then unannounced) new for 2009 attractions to 2010 due to concerns over the nation's economic status and the cost of materials.

All Photos © Carol Holmes

The nighttime theme park first opened in 2003 in the busy tourist area of Branson, Missouri. Highlight attractions include the Ozark Wildcat, a GCI wooden roller coaster, and the recently added Roaring Falls - the splashdown ride from the now defunct Geauga Lake amusement park. The park features some very nice early 20th Century American theming as well.

No word yet on what will happen to the park's amusement rides.

Daily Spin 10.24.08

Westcoaster has some great new photos of the construction going on at Six Flags Magic Mountain for their new Terminator The Coaster. They are definitely using the 'slab' footer technique for this ride - it looks like the park will have those poured before you know it. Westcoaster also has photos of bents that are already assembled for the ride as well.

ThemeUK's latest photo gallery of Thorpe Park's Saw: The Ride show the coaster's station building growing at a fast rate. With the actual coaster structure already completed, work has been focused on the station area. This building holds the dark ride portion of the coaster, and themed to the Saw movies this area should be quite interesting.

Sesame Place will be holding a special birthday party for Cookie Monster on Sunday November 2nd. Since Cookie Monster really likes healthy veggies nowadays, guests can bring a can of vegetables to the park and receive discounted admission for the day. Best of all, all the food benefits the American Red Cross food programs. Details are on the park's website. has come up with a catchy idea for this election year: vote online for your 'president' of the industry we love, and they've nominated Six Flags Theme Park's Mark Shapiro for the job. Looks like Dick Kinzel will soon be nominated as well. Check out their site for more.

WorldsofFun.Org has a new blog
(on Blogspot, yay!) and their first post chronicles their recent visit to Worlds of Fun to take a construction tour of Prowler. They have some amazing photos, which for me at least gave me more perspective on how the ride 'fits' in that section of the park. It also helps understand the elevation changes that the ride is going to use.

Sea World Orlando's new Manta roller coaster's lift hill was assembled this week. The Orlando Sentinel has some nice photos from a few days ago, but I think the lift is totally done at this point. It looks like a pretty steep lift, but Tastu had a rather steep one as well.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Geauga Lake Article

WKYC has a small update article on Geauga Lake one year after the ride side closed it's gates forever.

The article also has a small photo gallery showing some recent shots of the park. Seen here is the park's entrance structure, with the clock tower stripped of it's clocks. Apparently they are being used at another park.

Here's a link to the article and photo gallery. It really looks as though after Cedar Fair realized they couldn't get a good price for the land most work at the park stopped.

Six Flags Great Adventure 2009

Six Flags Great Adventure has announced that for the 2009 season their Medusa roller coaster (B&M Floorless coaster, circa 1999) will be receiving a 'transformation.'

"The Medusa redesign will deliver a multi-sensory ride experience with all-new thematics and innovative, state-of-the-art visual, audio and sensory effects launching it into another dimension of thrills and excitement."

The press release also mentions that the transformation will include fire, fog, water, and on-board audio. This treatment is similar to what X received at Six Flags Magic Mountain this year, and what Superman will receive at Six Flags New England next year.

Part of the release really caught my eye though: "Guests can take advantage of the last chance to experience Medusa's original Greek mythology theme during the remaining days of Fright Fest. Compelling details of Medusa's multi-dimensional ride transformation will be revealed as Spring 2009 draws near. "

What Greek mythology theme is there to experience now? There's the very, very loose 'mine' story going on, but not much else. I'm highly anticipating the "compelling details" that are still to come!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Scott And Carol Present: Indiana Beach's Monster Beach Party

Indiana Beach looked very different this fall. Instead of shuttering the rides and resting up for the season, they hosted the Monster Beach Party. For the first time in memory the park was open to the public after Labor Day. Some monsters appeared on the boardwalk and a few new decorations were set along the midways.

The park’s trees had turned colors and it was strange to see some falling leaves blowing around the guest’s feet as they walked from ride to ride. Wearing sweatshirts at the beginning of the day rather than after dark, a few attendees braved the chill by wearing shorts, but swimwear was nonexistent.

Cobwebs fluttered in the breeze to the rustle of cornstalks. The rides that could coexist with cooler temperatures were open and the crowds evidently stayed home to watch football. Almost every coaster was a walk-on, and even some rerides in the front seat were available.

A nice cemetery scene with a “Gravekeeper” who rises to greet you if you get too close. The headstones are adorned with the management team, following the lead of other parks in the past.

The Wabash Cannonball has some extra surprises as the day goes longer. Pay special attention to the coffin in the south miniature golf course. Beware of the cutting crew, they want to use their chainsaws to cut you down to size. They roam the rail bed next to the lake.

It was a beautiful brisk day with the wind coming of the lake. Taking a ride on the Shaffer Queen revealed a nice panorama of the turning colors of fall that ringed the shoreline. Summer is over, and this was one last blast at Indiana Beach before winters closure. While it is sad to see another summer gone, seeing a different view of Indiana Beach made it easier to face the upcoming snow.