Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekly Rewind 1.24.10

Something is afoot at Disney. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the Mouse's charges are hard at work on a "NextGen" technology project which promises to fundamentally alter the Disney theme park experience. But don't expect details to be forthcoming in the near future; the project appears to be shrouded in a heavy duty veil of secrecy.

The last hurdle standing in the way of a Demon Dropping in on Dorney Park this summer has been crossed. This past Wednesday, South Whitehall Township gave the park the green light to proceed with construction of their hand-me-down first generation freefall ride--which is fortunate, considering all of the ride parts have already arrived! Site preparation is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, so we'll keep you apprised of the progress. A June debut is expected for the ride.

According to the Branson Tri-Lakes News, Herschend Family Entertainment is no closer to deciding the fate of the former Celebration City site than they were when the park closed its gates for good in October 2008. They're hoping to establish some sort of family attraction and have begun to explore their options, but a park spokeswoman has stated that they are still in the "initial stage" of the process. There's still no word on what will become of the famed Ozark Wildcat coaster.

Amusement industry enthusiasts aren't the only ones who have been following the retheming of Alton Towers' Spinball Whizzer coaster with interest. "Gamer" web site has also taken notice, and reports that the newly rechristened "Sonic Spinball" will open to the public on February 13.

While most parks have long since announced their plans for new 2010 attractions, some are still holding out...and teasing us to boot! Enchanted Forest in Turner, Oregon posted a mysterious status on their Facebook page back in mid-December which hints at a "top secret" project that is currently underway in Western Town, but they have yet to reveal any further details. Likewise, Magic Springs recently tweeted that "big news" is coming soon. We'll be keeping a close eye on these two!

One park which will not be getting a new ride in 2010 is Lagoon. Despite sightings of what appeared to be coaster track back in October, the local news reports that economic factors have forced park management to forgo plans for a major new attraction this year.

I'm ashamed to admit that I never did get around to entering Six Flags Discovery Kingdom's baby giraffe naming contest. (There was research required, and I'm a bit maxed out on time these days!) Fortunately, more than 650 fellow giraffe lovers did take the time to submit entries, and five finalists have been selected. You can vote for your favorite name on the park's web site through January 29. The winner will be announced on February 1.

Here at NPN, the worst news we'll ever have to deliver is that a park or a beloved ride is being demolished. But as sad as those events may be, there are many people in this world who have real problems, and PARC Management is making it easier for you to help some of them. By making a donation to the PARC Foundation, you can make a difference in the lives of those affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti. As Magic Springs and other PARC properties have been announcing on Facebook, an anonymous individual has generously offered to match all donations up to $10,000 which are made through February 5, which means your contribution will go even further! If you haven't already, please spare what you can to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti.


Jim Bolton said...

I just went to and made my donation! Love that Haiti gets two dollars for every dollar I donated! Would love to hear from others who have donated...!