Saturday, April 30, 2016

SeaWorld San Antonio Begins Teasing New for 2017 Roller Coaster

This past November, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment gave a look at some of their future plans during their Investors Day presentation.  One of the items shown was a Sea Rescue themed roller coaster, unofficially expected to be heading to Texas at SeaWorld San Antonio.  Here's some of the concept art that was shown during the presentation:

© SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Initially there was some confusion that this ride might head to the San Diego park, but the similarities to that park's Manta coaster were far too many, and with the Orlando park currently building Mako there really wasn't a need for this ride (at least right now).  So that left the Texas park, already home to two adult, one water and one family roller coaster, to be the lucky recipient of this jet ski themed ride.

Well now there's no confusion at all, as SeaWorld San Antonio has released this short teaser clip about their 2017 addition, for now just called a "new thrill."

The teaser calls for a "new generation of heroes" to "race into action," showing not only plenty of jet ski footage but also sea animal rescues and some animated roller coaster track as well.

The park isn't saying much more about the ride at the moment.  Taking a look around, SeaWorld San Diego's Manta (a Mack ride) features a launched/low to the ground experience that is similar to this new design, but the train seating doesn't quite fit.  Coincidentally, SeaWorld in Australia (unrelated to SeaWorld Entertainment) has Jet Rescue, from Intamin, which looks very similar to the concept art.  Stay tuned for more as it is released!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A New Set of Expansions Planned for the Tokyo Disneyland Resort Parks

The Tokyo Disneyland Resort has provided an update on their future expansion plans, and while pretty different from what was initially announced, there's still some rather neat things coming to both of the Japan parks.

Exact expansion plans have been a bit of a moving target - back in the fall of 2014 the resort announced a 10 year, $4 billion set of expansions, then gave more detail on them in May of 2015.  At the time the plans included a new Frozen themed land for DisneySea and a major expansion of Fantasyland at Tokyo Disneyland, including an Alice in Wonderland sub-area and more.  This past December the parks announced they were extending the "study period" of the expansions which many thought meant a decrease in the expansion size.

Now things appear back on track, and several new attractions have again been announced - replacing the original plan and speeding things up.  Now the goal is to have a combined 30 million visitors to the parks by 2020, and they will spend 50 billion yen ($460 or so million) a year on new fun to do it.

© Tokyo Disneyland Resort
The large expansion of Fantasyland at Tokyo Disneyland has been somewhat reduced, with a brand new Beauty and the Beast area replacing Tomorrowland's Grand Circuit Raceway and StarJets.  The area (above) will be home to a major new ride, restaurant, retail and also a 1,500 seat live entertainment theater - all set in the highly themed world of the film.

© Tokyo Disneyland Resort
The Beauty and the Beast section will feature a new ride unique to Tokyo Disneyland, retelling the famous story through what looks like trackless vehicles.  Set inside the Beast's castle, the 8 minute attraction will feature "enchanted serving dish" passenger vehicles and open in 2020.

© Tokyo Disneyland Resort
Adjacent to the Fantasyland development will be a new Tomorrowland ride, themed around Big Hero 6.  The "whip" style attraction features cars pulled by their own "personal healthcare companion" and lively music.  A new popcorn food location will also open next to the ride, aimed for 2020.

© Tokyo Disneyland Resort
Tokyo DisneySea an switched from adding a new land to a major new ride, a copy of the popular Soarin' attractions at existing Disney parks.  Located in the Mediterranean Harbor area, the ride will be meticulously themed as seen in the above concept art - making it fit in nicely with the rest of the beautiful park.

© Tokyo Disneyland Resort
The Soarin' ride will take guests over famous landscapes across the globe, and it appears as though the rider cars will have some unique theming in this version.  The new ride is scheduled to open in 2019.

Both parks will also see major improvements in operations and staff training to support the record number of visitors they hope to obtain.  Plans for post-2020 include developments in all the existing themed lands of Tokyo Disneyland and filling in additional expansion plots in Tokyo DisneySea.

You can check out the entire press release, will much more information and concept art, at this link.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Harry Takes a First Spin on The Joker at Six Flags Great Adventure

© Six Flags Great Adventure
This is "Harry," and he was lucky enough to be one of the very first test dummy (literally) riders on the all-new Joker roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure.  Obviously it takes a rather brave rider to be one of the first on a new coaster, but from the looks of it Harry had what it takes.

And thankfully for us, Harry decided to strap on his chest-mounted GoPro camera, so that we could all experience the thrills and flips offered by The Joker.  Here's how Harry's ride went:

The Joker is a 4-D Free Fly coaster created by S&S, only the second of its kind to open.  Harry's journey took him up to 120 feet above the park, and as documented by the video contained plenty of flips during the ride.

Enough about Harry, though I'm sure we're all a bit jealous of him, it's great to see The Joker coming to life at Six Flags Great Adventure.  The theme park notes that now they will continue on fine tuning the ride's controls, complete exhaustive testing, and obtain New Jersey certifications before visitors can board - that's still planned for Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Laguna Splash - DelGrosso's New Water Park - Nearly Ready to Open

© DelGrosso's Amusement Park
Under construction since the early part of 2015, a brand new $12 million water park expansion and rebranding - named Laguna Splash - is nearly ready to open at DelGrosso's Amusement Park in Tipton, PA.  Anxious visitors to the park will be able to partake in all that Laguna Splash has to offer this coming Memorial Day.

DelGrosso's has totally transformed several parts of their existing water park while adding new attractions to create the water park.  Laguna Splash will be Italian themed, which is evident in the style of the buildings being built and themed in the above construction photo.  The expansion also includes all new amenities like ticket booths, entrance gates, locker rooms, three food outlets and more.

© DelGrosso's Amusement Park
The existing water park already had two slide towers along with a children's play structure, and those are all now a part of Laguna Splash.  In addition to the amenities that really make it a full water park, a new lazy river (seen above) has been added.  The river has a nice zero-depth entrance area to the middle island it creates, with plenty of space for lounging.  The park has shared photos of the Leaning Tower of Pisa that will be adjacent to the river on their Facebook - there really is classic Italian theming throughout the new park.

© DelGrosso's Amusement Park
The other main addition is a giant wave pool, cover more than 14,000 square feet of space with over 311,000 gallons of water.  The pool will feature giant waves with depths of up to six feet - the underwater mural seen above is being carefully painted on the back of the wave house as well.

When Laguna Splash is completed and opened this summer it will be the largest single expansion ever done by the family-owned park.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Rocky Mountain's Massive New Coaster in Sweden Making Progress

© Kolmarden
While we have been following the work on the handful of new for 2016 Rocky Mountain projects in the U.S., one very big ride by the company has been steadily rising in Sweden at Kolmarden.

Wildfire is one big ride: 181 feet tall, with an 83 degree, 161 foot first drop, 3 inversions and 4,265 feet of track.  The ride has been further developed since first being announced and is now utilizing steel support structure for the ride's initial lift hill, turn, and first drop (similar to Goliath at Six Flags Great America).  The image above shows the park installing these massive steel supports on top of the mountain that Wildfire calls home.

© Kolmarden
The coaster has many wooden supports already in place on the other sections of the ride; most of the layout twists on and around the side of the mountain.  It's probably one of the most picturesque coaster locations I've ever seen, to be honest.  We only check in on the ride every so often, so here's one of the more recent animations of Wildfire to show what it will offer:

Kolmarden is about as excited as they can be to open Wildfire, and have announced that the coaster will debut on June 18th.  Until then the park has been keeping the ride's website updated with information and videos, and their Instagram account gives nice construction shots as well.  This press release also features some updated concept art showing the steel supports on the lift and drop area.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Canada's Wonderland Previews New Rides Before Season Opener

© Canada's Wonderland
Canada's Wonderland will open to the public this coming Sunday, May 1st, but the media was offered a preview of the park's new attractions this past week.  Two new rides, one mild and one wild, have been added to the expansive property.

Among the many attendees at the event was CWMania, the park's largest fansite, who have shared many of the photos featured here along with some ride video and interviews.

The thrilling addition this year is definitely Skyhawk, a Gerstlauer Sky Roller that takes riders up to 135 feet above the park.

© CWMania
Skyhawk allows riders to control the wings of their cars which in turn can create horizontal inversions.  Canada's Wonderland will be posting a leader board showing who flips the most during the ride cycle - CWMania reports that the record during the preview was 59 flips!  That's certainly not a ride for the faint of heart.

© CWMania
The park's second addition is the family-friendly Flying Eagles, another swinging ride designed by Larson.  Snoopy and his pals were on hand to welcome everyone, allowing for great photos like the one shared above.  CWMania points out that the 'bucket' seats on the ride are larger than on other models, allowing two adults to comfortably fit in each one, increasing overall capacity.

Canada's Wonderland, already known for their unique collection of flat rides, will open both new attractions on May 1st.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Ninja at Six Flags Over Georgia Gets a Makeover + Vote for New Name

© Six Flags Over Georgia
Six Flags Over Georgia is opening two new children's areas in 2016 and added virtual reality headsets on one coaster, but still had one more trick up their sleeve.

Since the park opened for the year many visitors noticed that the Ninja has been closed, with crews steadily painting the ride's track blue, and the supports silver.  Now we know that Six Flags Over Georgia is giving the coaster a total makeover, including the new colors, track improvements, a brand new name and more comfortable trains with vest restraints.

This video details all the changes being made and also shows off the progress:

To make the renovation of the ride a little more exciting, fans can vote on Ninja's new name (through May 8th) from three choices:  American Eagle, Blue Hawk, or Air Commander.  The theme park will reveal which name is the winner at a special ceremony on June 9th at 11:00 am.

Originally known as Kamikaze, the coaster first opened in Wildwood, New Jersey on Hunt's Pier in 1989.  The custom-designed Vekoma ride only operated three seasons at Hunt's before being relocated to Six Flags Over Georgia for the 1992 season.  Ninja stands 122 feet tall, has 2,742 feet of track and 5 inversions.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Adventureland Park's New Monster Coaster Completed

© Adventureland Park
It hasn't been very long at all since we saw that The Monster at Adventureland Park, located in Altoona, Iowa, had started vertical construction - and now the ride is complete!  The park's construction crews made quick work of assembling the 2,500 feet of the Gerstlauer steel coaster.

The park ichoses proudly sharing photos of the new thrill ride, like the one above of the ride vehicle's front car.  They're taking the Monster theme all the way, having the manufacturer create this clawed creature for the vehicles.  Looks great!

© Adventureland Park
On the ground (and taken before the ride was 100% complete), we see the ride's beyond vertical (at 101 degrees) first drop.  The vertical lift that is just outside the frame of this photo will take the individual cars up to 133 feet before the drop.

Adventureland also chose to keep their Skyride despite the Monster setting up shop under its path.  This view shows how the ride goes both under and over the Skyride - going to make for some really neat interactions!

© Adventureland Park
Although the Monster's layout was revealed when the coaster was first announced, its twisted layout made following the ride path a bit difficult.  This lovely aerial photo - taken before the track was complete, though - allows you to follow much of the ride.  The Monster's twisted green track will feature a total of 5 inversions including dive loops, an immelmann and a corkscrew.

The new coaster is still scheduled to open at Adventureland sometime in June.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Jokers' Train On Track + New Aerial View of Progress

© Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
We're getting closer to the Summer season and that means that parks are coming toward the end of their big 2016 projects - such is true at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, who will be opening The Joker this year.

The park hasn't totally finished building the ride, which is a Rocky Mountain conversion of their former Roar! wooden coaster, but they did put one of the trains on the track already.  The park released a video showing the process, and as expected the trains feature the Joker's colors (purple and green, like the track) and also his trademark "Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!"  The park hasn't shown off the elaborate car front plate, though, which should feature the Joker's laughing face.

© Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
As far as the Joker's construction goes, well this new aerial photo reveals that there isn't much left to put into place.  You can follow most of the layout of the ride and only notice that track hasn't been installed toward the very end of the ride.  The Joker's twisted elements include the step-up under flip after the first drop, a zero g barrel roll, 15 moments of air-time and a 53 mph top speed.

No opening date has been set for The Joker yet, but judging from this progress we won't have too much longer to wait!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Offers Virtual Spin on 2017's InvadR

Another new POV ride animation! This is the 3rd post in a row featuring one, but I swear it wasn't planned and is just a coincidence!  Today Busch Gardens Williamsburg revealed an all new point of view animation for the park's 2017 wooden roller coaster, InvadR.  Check it out:

 The layout matches the one we've gathered from the blueprints that the park leaked on purpose.  When posting the new video the theme park did note that InvadR's first drop has grown from the originally stated 74 feet to 81 feet.

The ride, designed by Great Coasters, starts with an extended post-lift left turn and bump before the main drop, when is covered at the bottom by a tunnel.  A pop of air and a hard turn right sends the train along the outward stretch with two airtime hills along the way.  The turnaround features both directional and elevation changes at its end before the trains encounter a few more air hills and an undulating helix before the brakes.

InvadR will be set among the park's many fully grown trees and utilize the area's elevation changes to the fullest.  Now that we've got a name and an animation, I wonder what else the park will let fans help decide?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Schlitterbahn Galveston's MASSIV Ride Animation + Work Progress

© Schlitterbahn Galveston
Schlitterbahn Galveston is hard at work on MASSIV, the park's new 10th anniversary water roller coaster present which will be the tallest in the world when it opens this June.  New renderings, like the one above, of the attraction have also been released.  Here we can see how all of the 135 slide segments will come together to create the slide, which will stretch an impressive 926 feet long.

While the park isn't ready to say just how tall the slide is (that should come next month or so), plenty of other statics like 4 uphill blasts and a translucent helix section, are available.

Just recently released, this point of view ride on MASSIV shows all the thrill that await riders.  The ride ends with a big triple-down series of drops, which could provide a bit of air to those on board the rafts.

© Schlitterbahn Galveston
Finally, Schlitterbahn Galveston has been keeping tabs on the MASSIV construction work, with a somewhat recent blog entry detailing the progress so far.  The above photo shows how the park is building the ride in a pretty thin strip of land - but by going up very high they're getting a ton of slide in a small space!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mako Makes First Test Runs at SeaWorld Orlando + POV Video

© SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando's new B&M Hyper Coaster, Mako, has successfully completed its first test runs over the 4,760 feet of track.  The park released some photos of the 7-row trains running on the course, like the beautiful shot above of the ride's second hill.

© SeaWorld Orlando
This photo shows a little more detail of Mako's trains, and although we've seen it before that's quite a nice looking front car!  The ride stands 200 feet tall and hits a top speed of 73 miles per hour.  It will be located in the new shark-themed realm that also includes the Shark Encounter and Sharks Underwater Grill.

I'm not sure if this is totally new or just new to me, but SeaWorld Orlando has also beefed up the ride's official web presence in anticipation of its June 10th grand opening.

Now, if you don't mind a little ride-spoiler feel free to click play - here's an all new Mako point-of-view video!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Scoot And Carol Present - Highlights of Dollywood's Festival of Nations and a quick peek at Lightning Rod


This group makes the uke cool, they do covers of a wide variety of songs from classical to rap and almost everything in between. If you are  not cognizant of British humor, you will become a fan during the performance.

This unique ensemble plays a variety of world music, all arranged for the ukulele. Their professional musical talents on the ukulele, along with their hilarious antics, make this show unlike anything else. 

Hailing from locations around the United Kingdom, this group brings an all-new experience to Dollywood's Festival of Nations. Combining British comedy with the traditional Hawaiian instrument, The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra breaks down musical borders!

Enjoyed TUKUO so much, we saw the show twice and  purchased two of their CDs

David starts out explaining that he is not playing a barbecue grill, but rather a every unique drum called a  Hang. Hang is the local dialect for hand, which is what the drum is named after. He  is very passionate about the Hang and through hard work and creativity, he has managed to gain an international renown. 

David is a French musical performer, self-taught guitarist, percussionist, and vocalist. He is passionate about exploring new rhythms and melodies. In 2004, he discovered the Hang, a unique instrument with enchanting acoustics.  

The Hang was developed in the early 2000's by Swiss inventors Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer. The instrument quickly rose in popularity as fans appreciated the distinctive soft and warm harmonies it produce.

We hope you enjoy this short video of Dave playing one of his own compositions on the Hang Drums.

 Lightning Rod's heavily theme station has you entering through what appears to be a service station. But this is no ordinary service station. This is the home of a successful hot rodder!

Dollywood's Communications Guru Pete Owens took the to tell us a bit about their new coaster, Lightning Rod.

Lightning Rod launches you out of the station and up this massive lift hill at a speed of 40 miles per hour. The course takes you outside the parks boundaries and into the Smokey Mountains before you return to Jukebox Junction.

The final turn into the station will thrill both riders, and those guests waiting for them to return. Lightning Rod entertains both riders and those that, "I'll just watch" today. After all, someone has to take the pictures and hold onto the stuff.

And we finish up with the Dollywood anthem, performed in a unique way. Over the years, it has been great fun to enjoy different international takes on Rocky Top. This is the last weekend for Festival of Nations, and there is much more to enjoy. Our thanks to David, Wes, and Pete for their help.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Twister Lands at Lake Winnie in 2016

A new thrill ride named the Twister will spin its way into the classic Lake Winnie amusement park in 2016.  The high intensity ride is certainly not for the faint of heart, as it will invert riders multiple times during the experience.

Provided by Moser Rides, the Twister is one of their taffy-pull-like Maverick flats.  The attraction is described by the manufacturer as utilizing a gondola that "rotates around its longitudinal axis moved by the inertial spin due to the arms asynchronous rotation."  If that description sounds a bit complicated to you, you're not alone.  Let is suffice to say that there will be plenty of crazy motions that involve a significant number of inversions for riders.

Lake Winnie has uploaded a video of the Twister in action, which really shows what the ride is capable of better than any text can.  Check it out at this link.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

New Footage Shows Walibi Belgium's New Pulsar Water Coaster Testing

© Walibi Belgium
This season will see the debut of Pulsar at Walibi Belgium, a brand new type of water ride developed by Mack Rides.  Known as a PowerSplash, the ride uses larger boats like those found on shoot-the-chutes rides, but a modern launch system to move the vehicles along a half-pipe track.

In order to have the boats gain enough speed to climb up the spikes on either side of the ride, several launches are utilized - both forward and backward.  The boat climbs higher on each pass, gaining momentum until it reaches the highest point of the "forward" spike.  As the boat climbs that tower, the lagoon below has additional water released into it, making a giant splash as riders come down into it.  The water level is lowered before the next ride cycle so as to not interfere with the launches.

The system looks great in operation - here's a video of it all from Facebook - and if successful operationally I bet we will see more of these pop up.  There's also a small hill in the middle of the track that could possibly even give a bit of air!

Monday, April 11, 2016

New Mini-Documentary Looks at Six Flags Magic Mountain's New Revolution

When Six Flags Magic Mountain first announced the changes slated for Revolution, the park's 1976 Schwarzkopf single loop coaster, fans were please to see a classic ride get a full refurbishment.  Any operating Schwarzkopf ride is rightfully considered a bit of a gem by coaster fans.

Then, when Six Flags announced that virtual reality was coming to many of their rides, the New Revolution included, yet another layer of improvements was added.  Between brand new trains that feature only lap restraints, a vibrant new paint job, and the virtual reality headsets, the New Revolution really is like a brand new experience.

CoasterForce has premiered the above mini-documentary about the changes made to the ride, and I must say it is extremely well produced and worth a watch.  The film features some great aerial footage of the ride along with interesting interviews with park officials.

The actual virtual reality experience has caused some operational issues as the parks learn the best way to keep capacity up, but it presents an interesting ride experience in an entirely new world.  This clip direct from Six Flags Magic Mountain shows some of what riders see while on the coaster.

The New Revolution has been previewing for guests at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and officially opens on April 21st.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Enchanted Village Adds 2 New Rides in '16 + Separates Ride from Water Park

Change is in the air this year at Wild Waves Theme Park in Washington State, well actually that's not even the correct name to use any longer!  The one park has been officially split into Enchanted Village (the amusement park) and Wild Waves (the water park) for 2016.  The park originally started as Enchanted Village, with the Wild Waves water park being added next to it as the years passed.  The name was eventually changed to Wild Waves Theme Park by subsequent owners with both parks operating as one.

This year guests will still be able to buy a ticket to both parks for the same day, but during the months of July and August visitors can purchase a ticket that's only valid at the amusement park.  Season passes are valid at both parks all year long, and no single ticket just for Wild Waves water park will be sold.  Perhaps a bit complicated sounding, but I'm sure the park has a reason for the move.

In other news, Enchanted Village has stopped teasing their new additions for the year - revealing that two new rides will be built near the park's center lake.  One of the them a drop tower ride, from the photo above it appears as though one of S&S' Double Shot rides.  A classic Enterprise will also join the park's lineup of attractions this year.  I'm assuming that both rides are coming from other parks, though I'm not sure exactly which.

Enchanted Village is home to several roller coasters including Wild Thing, an Arrow loop and corkscrew, Klondike Gold Rusher, a wild mouse, and Timberhawk, a unique S&S designed wooden ride.

Valravn is Alive at Cedar Point!

We've all been waiting to see the mighty Valravn in action, and over the weekend Cedar Point pulled back the curtain and let us see some of coaster's first test runs.

The Valravn Minute episode embedded above shows some on and off ride shots mixed in with original preview animation, more of a tease than a full view of the B&M dive machine running its course.  However, the park later did a live Periscope of the coaster performing its 3rd test run, which was uploaded here.  The ride was running pretty fast in the live stream, as the park did not use the initial holding brake or the mid-course brakes since the temperature was so low.  If the ride runs even close to that speed, though, we're all in for a treat!

© Cedar Point
Also, make sure that you're keeping tabs on Cedar Point's construction gallery for Valravn, as many pieces of the ride's surrounding area are coming together.  Recently added photos include what I believe to be the ride's exit gift shop (above) and plenty of photos from inside Valravn's station.  The entire area around the ride is receiving finishes that include plenty of stone in all regards, no doubt the new section of the park will be top notch when complete.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Debuts with Epic Show at Universal Studios Hollywood

© Universal Studios Hollywood
If you remember years ago, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter had a pretty amazing opening event at Universal Orlando.  Fast forward to last night, and Universal Studios Hollywood officially raised the bar and put on a pretty epic opening ceremony for the new addition of the same name.  As of today, Harry Potter has officially become a part of the Hollywood theme park, starting a whole new chapter in the park's history.

The event was pretty packed with stars of the Potter films and other guests, which does make a bit of sense considering the park is by Hollywood.  The above video was released by Universal Studios Hollywood, and covers many highlights from the event.

The epic part comes in when you notice that the park had John Williams conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic live for the event, playing some of the films' most well known and exciting music.  Even better, toward the end of the live performance the entire Hogwarts Castle castle came to life with some seriously impressive projection mapping.

Below is a film of some of the opening events, make sure to watch toward the end for the projection mapping!

The opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a major milestone in the series of renovations at Universal Studios Hollywood that has seen 75 percent of the park "reimagined."  With massive crowds expected now that the new land is open, it is no doubt that the park will continue to grow for years to come.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

New Details Emerge For Cedar Point's New Sports Complex

© Cedar Point / Sports Force
While not a new ride, Cedar Point is getting ready to break ground Friday on an important addition to their overall offerings.  Called the Cedar Point Sports Park, work will being on this major new development located near the amusement park.  Planned to open in the Spring of 2017, the park will feature "nine multi-purpose, synthetic turf fields, four NCAA regulation baseball fields, a championship baseball and softball stadium, eight NCAA regulation soccer and lacrosse fields, sport-specific training areas, and an ADA-accessible community use field."

The concept art above shows the new facility with Cedar Point in the background.  You can click the image for a much larger version with more detail.

© Google
That concept art shows Cedar Point in  the background, and this map shows more clearly where the Cedar Point Sports Park will be located.  The red box in the upper left is the amusement park, and the one in the lower right is the sports park.  It is being developed on land that used to be a small airport - hence the big 'x' on the map - those used to be runways.

© Cedar Point / Sports Force
The new development will draw many visitors for team tournaments and other events, which naturally pair nicely with a visit to Cedar Point, or a stay in one of their hotels.  The offerings will also enhance the local community, too, which is a major benefit to the area.  Cedar Fair is partnering with Sports Force Parks on the plans, which include some other active fun as well.  This is a major step for Cedar Point's owner, Cedar Fair, to start stepping outside the box when raising its amusement resorts to the next level.

The active fun at the park will include an 18 hole miniature golf course, trampoline park, ropes climbing course, a great lawn with 'movies in the park', several playgrounds, a food, retail and vendor park as well as a competition skill challenge area.

More details and concept art for the Cedar Point Sports Park are available on the Sports Force website.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

New Point Of View Trip on Storm Chaser Now Available

© Upstop Media
Upstop Media has released a brand new point of view video of Kentucky Kingdom's Storm Chaser.  The new ride has been built by Rocky Mountain Construction and partially takes over the area that used to be home to the Twisted Twins - featuring one track instead of the former ride's two.

The 100 foot tall coaster features three inversions and the intense directional changes and elements we've come to expect from Rocky Mountain rides. 

I'm not embedding the video here in case anyone wants to wait to ride it first in person, but this link will get you to the Youtube video.  I must say it appears as though Kentucky Kingdom and Rocky Mountain have another hit on their hands!

And the Name of Busch Gardens Williamsburg's 2017 Wood Coaster is...

InvadR!  Busch Gardens Williamsburg announced that the name won 52% of all the votes they had on the new ride's webpage, giving it a substantial lead over the other choices.  InvadR won over two other possibilities, Viking Raider and Battle Klash.  While deciding the new wooden roller coaster's name is a pretty big deal, the theme park is promising to have future polls and surveys that will continue their "decide the ride" crowd sourcing theme.

So far we know for sure that InvadR will take up residence in the Trappers' Village section of New France, very close to (and interacting with) Le Scoot, the park's log flume.  Using steel supports, the Great Coasters designed ride will take advantage of the terrain to feature a 74 foot drop and a top speed of 48 miles per hour.

Monday, April 4, 2016

SeaWorld Orlando Announces Mako's Grand Opening Date

We've been watching the construction of the Orlando area's tallest, longest and fastest roller coaster, Mako, all winter long and now SeaWorld Orlando is ready to announce when we can all ride.  Mako's grand opening will be June 10th, so mark your calendars!

Mako is a Bolliger and Mabillard designed hyper coaster, standing 200 feet above the park.  Featuring over 4,700 feet of track, riders will reach a top speed of 73 miles per hour on the ride.

© SeaWorld Orlando
To help build even more anticipation for the coaster before the June 10th grand opening, SeaWorld Orlando will premier "Mako Rising," a daily presentation at the Nautilus Theater.  The presentation "gives guests a preview of the ride design, construction and experience, and also shares interesting educational facts about sharks in the wild that need our help."

The presentation sounds like a treat for coaster fans, and the park will also be offering free snacks during the interactive presentation, with prizes and in-park offers to boot.  Who doesn't love frees stuff?  Now we just need Mako to start testing... can't be far off!