Saturday, February 27, 2010

Weekly Rewind 2.27.10

The interweb is growing! Both LEGOLAND Florida and Coney Island's Luna Park have launched their own web sites. (If you look closely, you'll note that Luna Park has also started a blog--and you know how much we love those.) Although both sites are pretty bare bones right now, I'm sure we'll see much more content added as these parks near their respective opening dates.

Another park nearing its opening date is Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, which is still on schedule to open in the second half of 2010. published a great article earlier this week which details many of the rides and attractions that will be featured at the park. And if you'd like an up-close-and-personal look at Ferrari World's record-breaking steelie, check out this video on

Sadly, the future of Ghost Town in the Sky is not so certain. The dozens of local businesses owed money by the financially embattled theme park had until February 23 to submit their votes in favor of either Chapter 11 reorganization or a complete liquidation of the park's assets, although I have yet to see any news of the outcome. Even in the event of reorganization, Ghost Town's 2010 season is in question due to a mudslide earlier this month which blocked the park's primary entrance road.

One park whose 2010 fate has already been decided is Fun Spot, whose web site has now been updated to state that the park will not open this year. It's beginning to look doubtful that the park will ever reopen.

If you love vintage park photos (and who doesn't), you'll get a real kick out of Rye Playland's 2010 Vintage Photo Caption Contest. Each Tuesday, a new vintage photo is posted to the park's Facebook page and fans are invited to submit witty captions in the form of comments. The park then selects one winner who receives a Playland tote bag as well as a print of that week's photo, complete with caption. Winners are also entered into a monthly drawing to win two free admission bands to the park.

Adventureland in Iowa went from winter wonderland to blazing inferno earlier this week, when the weight of the snow caused a partial roof collapse in one of the park's shops which ripped out electrical wiring and sparked a fire. Fortunately, no one was injured and the damage was limited to a one-block-long structure which housed various stores, game venues, and a restaurant. Park officials have stated that the incident will have no effect on Adventureland's ability to open as planned at the end of April.

In a day and age where hand-carved wooden carousel animals are (pardon the pun) a dying breed, carousel enthusiasts will surely grieve the loss of yet another company once responsible for such superb works of craftsmanship. Carousel Magic, one of two such companies based out of Mansfield, Ohio, has announced that it will be closing up shop due to a lack of business.

Alton Towers continues to tease its fans by posting occasional video snippets of its newest coaster, TH13TEEN, making test runs. And I do mean snippets--The clip above reveals little more than a fleeting glance at a train careening through the woods. If you'd like to torture yourself a bit more, visit the official THI3TEEN blog for even more photos and videos.

An amusement park on the former Astroland site isn't the only thing coming back to Coney Island this summer. For the first time in decades, the swinging cars on the world famous Wonder Wheel will light up when the sun goes down. A modern, Earth-friendly combination of solar panels and LEDS is being used to recreate the original 1920s lighting scheme. Charles Denson of the Coney Island History Project recently conducted a very interesting interview with D.J. Vourderis (grandson of park founder Denos Vourderis), who is heading up the effort. You can listen to the interview in its entirety on CIHP's web site.