Saturday, February 28, 2009

Blue Fire Testing

This new video of Blue Fire at Europa Park testing has been posted on YouTube by The ride is said to be testing at slower speeds right now, so that's why the ride looks sluggish at this point.

Pretty cool though! It's a lot like Maverick at Cedar Point I guess.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Diamondback Testing

© 2009 Don Helbig / Kings Island

FANGTASTIC: Test rides on the new Diamondback roller coaster at Kings Island are now underway. Diamondback is the tallest and fastest coaster at Kings Island . The ride stands 230 feet at its highest point with a first drop of 215 feet at a 74-degree angle. Diamondback has 10 vertical drops overall, including drops of 193, 131, 129, 110 and 106 feet; two helixes and a splashdown ending. Riders will snake their way around 5,282 feet of track in excess of 80 miles per hour. The $22 million ride opens April 18.

"Fangtastic" indeed! Personally, I can't wait to watch this creature slither its way around Kings Island!

More Moments With Lincoln to Come

Disneyland has announced that their "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln" show will return to the park's Opera House on Main Street in late 2009.

The Disneyland classic was retired in 2004 when the Opera House started being home to the "Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years" exhibit.

It's being reported that the show will be different than previous incarnations when it reopens this year.

Read more from the Funland Blog.

Cool Poster Downloads

Each year Cedar Fair parks produce a nice calendar poster that fans of the parks usually love to try to get their hands on. Typically, this ends up with people trying to obtain them on things like EBay.

This year, a couple of parks have put a digital copy of these posters on their websites for fans to download. What a wonderful idea!

Above we see Cedar Point's which awesomely celebrates Magnum's 20th birthday.

Valleyfair also has one available for download as well.

One Tall Sasquatch

Capital Nine News has a cool video up of the 'topping off' of Sasquatch, The Great Escape's new thrill ride for the 2009 season.

You can watch the video through this link. The thrill ride is an launch and freefall tower that stands 192 ft. tall.

The ride was relocated from the still closed Six Flags New Orleans.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Photo Tour of Hard Rock Park Pt. 4

Here is the last part of our Photo Tour of Hard Rock Park. We'll start with the USA themed section of the park.

The section of the theme park dedicated to the USA features a variety of rides and attractions for guests.

And some interesting features like these Heavy Metal Graveyard statues. I think these more unusual attractions really make this park unique.

And this section is home to the Shake, Rattle, and Roller Coaster - which is a family ride. It's a Vekoma roller skater model, which can be found in many parks.

Slippery When Wet. Premier Rides created this suspended coaster with plenty of on board and ground-based water features.

And a unique version of Lady Liberty watches over the land.

Our final section is the Cool Country area - obviously themed to country music.

The park's mine train coaster is named Eagles Life in the Fast Lane.

I love mine trains, so I think it's wonderful that the park chose to add one to their coaster lineup.

And here's a cool Elvis like cow statue that shoots water at unsuspecting guests - much like a similar fountain found in Islands of Adventure.

And here's a sign in the park - which after the first unsuccessful season is fairly ironic. The park is getting a second chance, so make you plans now to visit this summer!

Many thanks again to Carol and Scott for all the photos!

A New Piece of Wizarding World Art

Universal Orlando has released a new concept art image for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - this time a retail location.

Labeled as Dervish And Banges, the store will be located within the village of Hogsmeade at the Islands of Adventure theme park. According to Harry Potter lore, this store sells and repairs magical equipment.

Kennywood Legacy Losing Job

That catch phrase under the Kennywood logo can't possibly be sitting all that well with Mary Lou Rosemeyer, who after 22 years with Kennywood - most recently as the Director of Public Relations - is having her job "phased out."

Mary Lou is an industry personality known by many for her dedication to the promotion of all things Kennywood, and even more so for her wonderful personality.

It's a shame that Parques Reunidos would let an individual like this go.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sabrina's Brochure Spotlight: Erlebnispark Tripsdrill 2005

Oh boy... Y'all are going to have to bear with me this week. It is with great shame that I must admit this half German girl does not speak a lick of German!! Luckily, Erlebnispark Tripsdrill--or simply "Tripsdrill", since that's the part I can pronounce--is picturesque to the point that words are hardly necessary. Let's feast our eyes, shall we?

"Distinguished!" Really? That's an odd way to kick off a brochure! But let's not lose sight of the point: Tripsdrill is home to over 100 attractions, and they have spared no theming on any of them. Take this inventive tower ride, for instance. Doppelter Donnerbalken (which translates to something like "double thunder bars") is not only beautifully themed, but I hear it packs quite a surprise for the unsuspecting park guest!

"As to be never arisen." Huh? Something definitely got lost in translation there!

Well if you have a shoe fetish, Flotten Schlappen-Tour should be right up your alley. Another interesting attraction at Tripsdrill is Fensterln am Bauernhaus (lower right-hand corner). If you dare to climb its ladders, you will be rewarded with a greeting from one of the interesting characters who live inside.

Highspeed! Finally, a word I recognize! (Never mind the fact that it should be two words. We'll let this one slide, pun intended.)

You can't tell from this photo, but Badewannen-Fahrt zum Jungbrunnen (Tripsdrill's log flume) actually has boats which were made to resemble bathtubs. How grotesquely charming!! This half-dark ride, half-log flume also boasts some highly unusual theming, but that is a whole other topic. Also of note is G'sengte Sau, the park's Gerstlauer bobsled coaster, though this particular photo does not do justice to its wonderful theming.

Oh my goodness... I am not even going to tell you the translation that Babel Fish gave me for this heading, but suffice it to say that it was NOT appropriate for the respectable little family friendly blog we've got going here!! (I know you're all dying of curiosity now, so go ahead and look it up for yourselves. I'll wait.)

Forgive me, I'm still laughing! But seriously: Here are some rides which would appeal to the smaller set. Tripsdrill also features a petting zoo, which is always a win with the kiddos.

I've grown weary of translating, so I'll let you read through Tripsdrill's pricing structure for yourselves. According to the park's web site, admission also includes a voucher for a free souvenir glass. I wonder if that was also the case back in '05?

"Well, how they find us?" Close enough! Here are your detailed directions. I must say, after studying this brochure and doing a bit of research, I am dying to visit Tripsdrill! The value of good theming cannot be underestimated, and they have it down pat. I reckon Tripsdrill could give the Busch or Disney parks a run for their money in that department.

Back To The Basics

Cypress Gardens has finally made an announcement about the future of the classic Florida park. They've announced that when they reopen Bill Sims will be the park operations director, he formerly worked at the park with the original founder of Cypress Gardens.

The gardens and water park will be split into two entities. They will be known as Cypress Gardens and Splash Island Water Park. Final ticket prices have not been set, but are expected to be less than the ticket price that was charged for the property previously.

You can read more here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A 30 Year Old Beast

© 2009 Don Helbig / Kings Island

KINGS ISLAND, Ohio – Carpenters work on re-tracking part of the Beast roller coaster Tuesday at Kings Island. The legendary coaster is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest wooden roller coaster in the world at 7,400 feet and has given more than 42 million rides since it opened 30 years ago in 1979. Kings Island opens for the 2009 season April 18.

Kings Island Photos and Blog

Kings Island how has an official blog named Kings Island Insider. The more parks with official blogs the better! Obviously we here at NewsPlusNotes are fans of blogs...

Next, one of our readers Andrew was kind enough to send in some photos they took at this past weekend's ACE Winter SOAR event held at the park.

Looks cold!

Here's a great shot of two of Diamondback's trains. Notice the fangs! How awesome.

The helix before the splashdown near the end of the ride. Talk about being over a midway - this will add so much energy to the area come Spring.

The area is still under construction though, lots of midway improvements to make due to Diamondback.

What I'm guessing is the entrance and queue area for the ride.

Thanks Andrew!

Rockit Reaches for the Sky

© 2009

With the new performance stage completed and already used during the Mardi Gras festivities, Universal Studios Florida has quickly started construction again on their new Hollywood, Rip, Ride, Rockit coaster. has a new gallery from a couple days ago showing that the massive vertical lift hill is now mostly in place. It really towers over the park!

Click here to head to their gallery.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ready To Strike?

Carowinds has uploaded some really recent shots of the Carolina Cobra to their Facebook page. It must be really great for the park to have a major project nearly completed with so much time left before the season opening.

I know the trains still need to be tested, but the ride and ride area looks ready to go! It looks like the Flying Saturator was never there. But speaking of the trains...

They also have a gallery of the new trains for the ride that recently arrived. Above we get our first peek at the new restraints.

More photos on their Facebook page.

The Wisconsin Dells Go Dry

The Journal Sentinel has a very interesting article today about the new trend of the big indoor and outdoor water parks located in the popular Wisconsin Dells resort area moving toward offering dry rides and attractions to keep guests visiting longer.

The area has become so saturated - pun intended - with water parks and water attractions that they are now diversifying through dry rides.

Mount Olympus started the trend back in 2006 when they opened an indoor theme park, and now many others are following suit.

This past December the Kalahari Indoor Theme Park opened and now offers guests a selection of rides and activities to take part in - all indoors.

The article also points out that Noah's Arc - a huge and popular water park in the Dells is also renovating their indoor attraction called Noah's Incredible Adventure into Curse of the Crypt to appeal to guests seeking dry attractions.

Tunnel of Terror

Wet'n'Wild Emerald Pointe has announced a new water slide attraction for the 2009 season: Dr. VonDark's Tunnel of Terror.

According to the press description, "Dr. Von Dark's Tunnel of Terror features a 40-foot drop, back-to-back vertical drops and two 360-spins done in total darkness."

The ride is a Proslide Tantrum attraction, which basically is a family water slide that features smaller Tornado style funnels along the way.

The park's official website has some information to check out as well.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Photo Tour of Hard Rock Park Pt. 3

Up next in Scott & Carol's photo tour of Hard Rock Park during it's opening season we cross the ocean and head over to the British Invasion section of the park.

Here we have a nice view of the section of the park from across the lagoon. The Maximum RPM! roller coaster stands out as one of the bigger rides in this section.

Scott & Carol visited for the park opening, and Maximum RPM! wasn't quite ready at that time. The Premier designed coaster features a one of a kind Ferris wheel lift to get the cars going.

Here we have the Magic Mushroom Garden flat ride. A Trokia, if you will with some wild theming!

Here are Carol and Scott doing their best Abbey Road photograph impersonation! Like I said in the first section the park has lots of fun little photo spots like this.

And this is the London Cab Ride. Another well themed flat ride that spins guests round and round.

The Roadies Stunt Show "features incredible high-action stunts, amazing special effects, and outrageous physical comedy, as we follow the adventures of a hapless Roadie-wannabe on his first day on the job."

And it has FIRE!

Easily one of the most talked about rides at the park before it opened was Nights In White Satin - The Trip. A totally unique and certainly one of a kind dark ride themed to the Moody Blues song of the same name.

Sally Corporation created the dark ride for the park, and I recommend checking out this link to Sally's page for their work to learn more.

Here's a general photo of one of the buildings in the area that gives a good feel for the theming in the British Invasion section.

Next time, in our last part, we'll check out the remaining two themed lands of Hard Rock Park.

A Birthday Invitation

Are you free on March 21st? Big Bird wants to know if you can make it to his birthday party!

It’s Big Bird’s birthday on March 20 and Sesame Place is giving the yellow fellow a special party on Saturday, March 21 at the theme park. With some of his favorite foods and festive decorations, Big Bird will celebrate with all of his friends to make this bash the best!

The party begins at 2 p.m. where everyone can enjoy pizza, French fries, and more. Then, Elmo, Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster, and Zoe will lead the guests in a sing-a-long version of “Happy Birthday” to Big Bird. Of course, birthday cake and ice cream will be served to everyone and all guests will receive a special party favor to remember Big Bird’s big day. Adults may dine for $15 and children for $12.

I think it's pretty cool that Sesame Place is thinking outside the box and having an event like this during the off season.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Photo Tour of Hard Rock park Pt. 2

In our second part of our Hard Rock Park photo tour, kindly provided by Scott and Carol, we're going to look at the Rock & Roll Heaven section of the park.

This section of the park celebrates the great legends of Rock'n'Roll in a tropical paradise setting. Guests explore Rock's enduring legend while discovering excitement around every corner.

And the section looks really pretty at night!

Rock & Roll Heaven is also home to Malibu Beach Party.... Endless Fun! which is a "fast-paced live show featuring aerial acrobatics, springboard diving, jet-skiing, specialty kites, motorcycle stunts, and off-the-wall comedy, all wrapped around the spirited story of a beautiful beach bunny, a muscle-bound hunk, a bad-boy biker and a nitwit nerd! "

So basically it's a comedic stunt show of sorts set to a blast of music from many generations... and there's people in bathing suits!

The king of Rock & Roll Heaven is without a doubt Led Zeppelin The Ride - which is touted as the theme park's signature roller coaster ride.

If you are a NewsPlusNotes longtime reader then you'll remember that I love this ride's paint job - I'm a sucker for white track and the deep blue supports just really compliment that white wonderfully.

The Bolliger & Mabillard coaster dominates the skyline of one entire side of Hard Rock Park. It features a 150 ft. tall lift and six inversions during the course of the ride.