Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New Family Sized Gravity Group Wooden Coaster Opening in France in 2018

© The Gravity Group
A brand new wooden roller coaster, designed by The Gravity Group, will premier next season at Parc Saint Paul, located in Picardie, France.  The coaster, named Wood Express, will be aimed at the park's family visitors, though big enough to deliver plenty of thrills.  The Gravity Group is finding a streak of success with rides of this size, as Wood Express is the second that has been announced for '18 after Oscar's Wacky Taxi at Sesame Place.

Wood Express will start with a lift up to 49 feet in the air, followed right away by a 48 foot straight drop down at 57 degrees.  The coaster's maximum speed will be 38 miles per hour.

© The Gravity Group
The rest of the 1,572 foot layout includes many air-time hills, in fact the park is advertising 13 total moments of air throughout the course.  This aerial layout shows all the ride has to offer, which also includes crossing over itself several times.  The ride will feature steel supports with traditional wooden coaster track.

The tight turns and hills of Wood Express will be expertly handled by one Timberliner train seating a total of 12 riders.

This below video gives a virtual spin on Wood Express:

Monday, October 30, 2017

Upstop Media Shares Incredible Aerial Photos of Steel Vengeance

If you're excited for Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point, and let's face it we all are, then these new aerial photos that were shared by Upstop Media are a perfect cure for the Monday blues:

© Upstop Media
How beautiful is this coaster?!  Steel Vengeance is now complete in terms of track placement, with that milestone reached well before the park closed for the season.

The photos, there are six in total, show the massive hyper hybrid coaster standing among the colorful fall trees, with the beautiful blue of lake Erie behind it.  Different angles provide the ability to trace much of the ride's layout, at least until it disappears into the structure for the final lap around.

Visitors to Lighthouse Point have long had a stellar view of Mean Streak from both the cabins, cottages and RV spaces... but come 2018 they'll really have an unparalleled view.  Talk about being able to sleep right across from one of the largest coasters on the planet!

Now that Cedar Point is closed for the season, we will have to be sure to stay tuned to the park's website for the coaster for additional updates.  Hopefully we get news of test runs commencing before the harshest part of winter sets in.

And while you're looking for something to pass the days of the off season, stop by Upstop Media's YouTube channel for additional high-quality coaster videos.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Canobie Lake Park Creating Full Water Park Via Planned Expansion

A large expansion for Canobie Lake Park, planned to give the park a full water park experience for visitors, has been approved by local authorities.  The article which details the plans does not specifically say the water park will open in 2018, however that seems to be the plan.

© Canobie Lake Park
The expansion will features a lazy river with wave features, three adult sized water slides, a small water play area, plenty of lounge space along with changing rooms, food and beverage and other amenities.  The new area will directly connect with the park's existing Castaway Island water fortress attraction, combining to give a fuller water park experience.

The lazy river will feature a wave machine that will keep riders floating along in a circular motion, ending with waves breaking along a beach area.  While the three new slides (the look like traditional tube slides) will be for bigger guests, there will also be a new "tot aquaplay" area as well.

© Google Maps
This is a view of where the expanded water park will go - it sounds like the train has already been rerouted to no longer pass through this section.  The rest of the area - around 2 acres in total - has been used as a corn maze for the park's Halloween event... but no longer since it's being cleared.

Canobie Lake Park also added a new flat ride for the end of the 2017 season, named Ice Jet.  The traditional matterhorn spinning ride comes with a brilliant light package - check that out here.  That will be back in 2018 as well.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Three New Concept Parks Announced for Chinese Six Flags Development + New Art for Zhejiang

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation has announced that they have reached deals for three additional Six Flags branded theme parks to open in China, adjacent to already announced projects.

The new parks will be built in conjunction with Riverside Investment Group, the company that is currently building both Six Flags Zhejiang and Six Flags Chongqing.

The newly announced parks will be new concepts - named Six Flags Kids World and Six Flags Adventure Park.  One of each of these will be built at Six Flags Chongqing, while just the Six Flags Kids World will open at Six Flags Zhejiang.  All three new parks are expected to open in 2020.

Six Flags Adventure Park will be aimed at active adventure enthusiasts, providing "the ultimate in high adrenaline, action-packed thrills.  From motocross bicycle races along rugged terrain, to whitewater rafting to zip lining or rock climbing hundreds of feet above the ground, guests will have the opportunity to reach beyond their comfort zone and safely push the boundaries of self-discovery in a beautiful, natural environment."  The park sounds like it won't feature any rides, but instead all active extreme sport style entertainment, so this is definitely unlike anything Six Flags has put its name on before.

The second new concept is Six Flags Kids World, which not surprisingly will "feature junior-sized versions of the company’s world famous, recording-breaking roller coasters, rides and attractions. Families with young children will enjoy meeting and interacting with some of their favorite characters. Brightly-themed restaurants will offer kid-friendly menu options and retail shops will feature a wide selection of apparel, toys and souvenirs."

© Riverside Investment Group
While on the subject of the Chinese Six Flags parks, I also noticed on Riverside's website, which translates very poorly, they did a recent update on the Zhejiang park with some new concept art - clearly showing an Intamin accelerator coaster above.

© Riverside Investment Group
There is also this concept art for Six Flags Zhejiang, which gives a look at some of the planned rides.  Click for a larger image, but you can see the Intamin accelerator more clearly, along with many other coasters that are harder to identify.  It will be interesting to see just how tall the Intamin rides turns out to be.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Legoland New York is Officially a Go, Slated to Open in 2020

© Legoland New York
After working though a considerable amount of hurdles to receive final approval, Legoland New York has been officially announced for a 2020 grand opening.

The third Legoland theme park in the United States, Legoland New York will require an investment of $350 million by owner Merlin Entertainments - the largest they've spent yet on a single new park.  The development covers nearly 500 acres in Goshen, New York, which is around sixty miles Northeast of Manhattan.

© Legoland New York
The park's specific offerings will model the other successful Legoland theme parks across the globe.  The site will eventually have a 250 room hotel, but it doesn't sound like that is planned for the 2020 opening phase.  Some images of the park, like those seen above, can be found in this clip from the formal announcement of the park.  It would appear that we can count on a Dragon themed roller coaster, which is pretty much a staple ride at all the Legoland parks.  This one looks like one of the larger models that have been installed in recent years.

© Legoland New York
The park will create around 1,000 new jobs, with hundreds more during the several year construction phase.

“Legoland New York is the first new major theme park in the North East of the U.S. for several decades, and is perfectly located for visitors from New York, Boston and Philadelphia and beyond,” Merlin Chief Executive Nick Varney said.  It will be located in an area that has a population of around 23 million within each driving distance to the park.  Unlike its sister parks in the U.S., Legoland New York will not be open year round, instead using an April through November operating schedule.

Stay tuned to the park's website and Facebook for additional updates as construction begins, which should be within six months from now.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Disneyland Resort Plans New 4 Star Hotel + Parking Changes

© Disneyland
A brand new four star hotel is planned for the Disneyland Resort, it was announced today, slated to open in 2021.  The unnamed resort will sit on 17 acres of what is currently the Western most part of Downtown Disney.  The addition will require the removal of the expansive AMC Movie Theaters, the ESPN Zone, Rainforest Cafe and Ear of Sandwich shop.

The hotel will feature 700 guest rooms that, along with "extensive landscaping and water elements, will create a resort oasis, showcasing nature on every level of the hotel.  The hotel’s location embraces the iconic Disneyland Monorail with a dedicated platform inside the hotel for direct transport into Disneyland park."

© Disneyland
The bottom level of the hotel will feature shopping and restaurants included in the garden-like setting.  It will also feature an upper level lounge that will be perfect for watching the evening firework displays from the theme parks.

The resort also comes with some heavily expanded parking at the resort which will be sorely needed (if it isn't already) for when Disneyland's new Star Wars themed area opens.

© Google Maps
This map is somewhat comparable to the aerial concept art above.  The yellow rectangle on the right is the Pinocchio parking lot, which will be the site of a new 6,500 space parking deck.  It will be located adjacent to the existing Mickey & Friends parking deck, the resort's largest at over 10,000 spots.  It will feed into a redesigned tram area that will quickly usher guests to the park entrances.  The new deck will start work in February of 2018, and open a year later, which would be around the same time as the Star Wars land opening.

The red area marks the new hotel, taking up some surface parking and several buildings in Downtown Disney.

Over on the left is a pink square, which will be another new parking deck for resorts, located near all four of the hotels.  I didn't see Disney mention it in their blogs, but the Register does and it can be seen in the aerial concept art.

All this development is needed to help support the Disneyland Resort as its popularity continues to increase year after year. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Cedar Point Announces Several Changes Both Inside and Outside the Park for 2018

Today Cedar Point announced several changes, two of which are removals and one of which is an addition to the property.  None of them are ride related, but all three look to be major steps the resort is taking to grow even further in the future.

The news was shared by the park via their official blog.

First, the expanded boardwalk we heard about over the weekend was confirmed again.  As described by the park's Tony Clark, the new boardwalk "will provide some great direct access to the famous Cedar Point Beach, our waterfront activities like parasail and jet ski, and of course, Cedar Point Shores Waterpark. You'll finally be able to take a stroll and enjoy the one-of-a-kind waterfront views."

© Google Maps
Secondly, the Extreme Sports Stadium, seen above with blue roofing, will be removed over the winter.  The stadium was originally home to dolphin shows but for many years has been the performance venue for All Wheels Extreme, an extreme sports show.

The stadium's large cement appearance blocks the view of the beach, which Cedar Point has been working to open up in recent years.  It will also help with the development of the new boardwalk, which currently ends at WindSeeker, seen on the left in the image above.

There were no replacement plans for the stadium revealed, only that it will be removed.

© Google Maps
Lastly, the largest change is the announcement that Sandcastle Suites, a hotel located on the Northern edge of the peninsula, has now closed forever and will be razed this winter.  The Breakwater Cafe, located just next to it, will also be demolished.

According to PointBuzz, Sandcastle Suites opened in 1990 and was expanded in 1992, and Breakwater Cafe opened in 1991.  The hotel featured all suite rooms, perfect for families, but had not been updated much over the years and was showing signs of that.

No replacement for the area was revealed, but when you look at the land that Sandcastle Suites covered in the above image, the park has a nice space to work with.  Perhaps a brand new hotel will rise in its spot, or the adjacent Lighthouse Point cabins and RV resort could easily expand onto the site.

Cedar Point was sure to point out that all these changes are being done to allow for "future development at the park," something we all love!  Plus, Steel Vengeance opens next year - enough said!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

News Story Details Transition of Cedar Fair CEO Position + Other Tidbits

Cleveland.com published an interesting story this weekend about the transition of outgoing Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet and incoming CEO Richard Zimmerman... profiling both to some degree and giving some interesting hints toward future projects.

First, the story answers one question that I had stuck in my mind:  Matt Ouimet will be returning to Southern California in the new year, and is not seeking another full time job.  He will still serve on the company's board, as announced, but it sounds like semi-retirement is his plan.

Also, the new CEO, Richard Zimmerman, will be based out of corporate offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, not at Cedar Point.

Mr. Ouimet's time at Cedar Fair is highlighted not only by record breaking seasons, but also in his quest to improve resort accommodations along with new business models, such as the Sports Force complex near Cedar Point.  He's especially proud of Hotel Breakers' transformation, along with the recent redevelopment of Cedar Point Shores.

© Google Maps
The article also notes that at Cedar Point in 2018 there will be an "expanded beach boardwalk that will link the park's main parking lot to the beach, Hotel Breakers and Cedar Point Shores."  Currently the boardwalk ends at the bottom of Hotel Breakers, the yellow rectangle at the top of the image.  In order to connect that to the main parking lot a new boardwalk would have to go up along the yellow dots, down to where the lot starts at the bottom of the image.

That's an interesting move as it will let guests park in the main lot even if they only want to go to Cedar Point Shores... but that's quite a walk in your flip flops!

Coming in just a couple months will be the first WinterFest at Kings Island, Worlds of Fun and Carowinds - but it says that it will also open at Canada's Wonderland in late 2018.  They're still trying to figure out how to do it at Cedar Point, it says.

Make sure to check out the full story for even more details.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

First Theme Park Hunger Games Area Now Open at Motiongate Dubai

The first ever theme park land based on The Hunger Games series has officially opened at Motiongate Dubai, a part of Dubai Parks & Resorts.  The above clip was released before the grand opening, but shows some of the area's two main attractions in operation.  Although the Hunger Games movies have already come and gone, the popularity around the franchise has many fans excited to see what Motiongate has created.

© Motiongate Dubai
The Hunger Games themed section is actually a subsection of the Lionsgate area, although the only operating attraction in that part of the park until now was a Step Up themed dance show.  The expansion features many icons from the series of Hunger Game films, several of which can be seen above and below in photos.

© Motiongate Dubai
There are two major attractions that just opened in The Hunger Games area, the first is a 4-D simulator style ride named Panem Aerial Tour.  Riders board a hovercraft that takes them on an exhilarating aerial tour of Panem which of course has plenty of surprises along the way, including interactions with the Capital's troops.

© Motiongate Dubai
The ride that many of our readers will be most interested in is the Capital Bullet Train, a launched roller coaster designed by Mack Rides.  I haven't found a lot of statistics for the coaster, but it looks to utilize boyj forward and backward launches to get up momentum to soar through the course.  From this photo, it appears as though the train probably launches forward up part way into the vertical loop, then backward up the spike, then forwards again through the full layout.  It looks like in addition to the vertical loop there is also a corkscrew in the mix.

The coaster has a compact layout but the use of multiple launches gives the attraction a marketability as a "thrill ride" that Motiongate Dubai has needed since it opened.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Worlds of Fun to Say Goodbye To Finnish Fling with Charity Fundraiser

© Worlds of Fun
Worlds of Fun has announced that when the park closes for the 2017 season, happening on October 29th, that will also mark the end of the Finnish Fling's time there.  The ride will be closed and removed before the start of the 2018 season - it originally opened with Worlds of Fun in 1973.

Finish Fling is a classic amusement park ride, known as a Rotor, where guests stand inside a large barrel that spins and holds them against the wall with centrifugal force as the floor below them drops out.  This type of ride gained popularity in North America at parks throughout the 1960s and 70s, when they opened at many major amusement and theme parks.  The majority of the permanent installations have already closed, with only a handful still operating at large parks across the country.  There's a great list on Wiki of parks that still have a Rotor, along with those that did but have since removed them.

© Worlds of Fun
Within Worlds of Fun, the Finnish Fling can be found inside the Scandinavia themed section.  Probably not coincidentally, the park has already announced that a brand new flat ride, Nordic Chaser, will join that land in 2018.  The ride can be seen on the park's map, above, in the lower left corner.

To give the ride a nice send off, the theme park will auction off the final three rides.  Fans can decide on which ride they want to be a part of, with different price levels available depending on which ride they choose.  All proceeds from the event will be donated to charities within the Kansas City area.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

California's Great America Provides First RailBlazer Construction Update

© California's Great America
Work on RailBlazer, an all new thrill roller coaster going into California's Great America in 2018, is well under way.  The park has shared an update on the innovative single-rail coaster, including construction of the ride's foundations.

But first, the park also posted the above photo of the first shipment of track for RailBlazer on its way to the park.  The lighting isn't perfect, but you can still see the stacked up orange track on the bed of the truck, and it looks like some of the pieces are pretty twisty!

This video was also just released, showing more of the early groundwork for the coaster.  The first support was just poured, and the video shows just exactly how deep the footers go.  The frame for the footer can be seen lifted and then placed deep into the ground, it's amazing to think how far down the foundations go!

The end of the video also better shows that first shipment of track after it arrived at the theme park and was unloaded.  The riding edge of the single rail track looks smooth as glass, and a big part of the ride's innovation is centered around that design.  With all wheels running on only one track, the ride is expected to give an extremely smooth ride experience.

RailBlazer will stand 106 feet tall, feature a vertical 90 degree plunge, three inversions and speeds of 52 miles per hour when it opens in Spring 2018.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Alabama Splash Adventure Expanding Kid's Water Areas for 2018 Season

© Alabama Splash Adventure
Alabama's Splash Adventure will spend $1 million in 2018 in order to add two new children's play areas to their ever-growing list of attractions.  Both will be located within the water park, and are designed to keep kids happy for hours on end.  The additions are part of $10 million in expansion that the park has completed since becoming family owned in 2014.

One area will feature five different slides, each offering a different experience - these can be seen above.  All the slides are meant for smaller kids, but will provide enough variety to keep them coming back.  The slides are being manufactured by Proslide and will empty into shallow water that's safe for the park's smaller visitors.

© Alabama Splash Adventure
Also joining the new slides will be a large sprayground play area, filled with dozens of interactive elements that can be accessed from a zero-depth entry point.  A concept image of a similar area to the one being built can be seen above, and it is being created by Vortex Aquatic Structures.

The expansion will also feature plenty of new seating for families along with some new cabana options.

Alabama's Splash Adventure is looking for help with naming their new play area, and are accepting submissions via their website.  The lucky winner who's name the park chooses will receive 4 2018 season passes. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

California's Great America to Retire Loggers Run Flume Ride on October 29th

Another one bites the dust, sadly.  It was announced by California's Great America that their log flume, known as Loggers Run, will cease operations forever on October 29th.  That is the final day of California's Great America's regular season, with WinterFest still to come.

The park made the announcement by posting this video on social media:

As the video states, Loggers Run originally opened in 1976 and was designed by Arrow Dynamics - the manufacturer of most log flume rides in the U.S.  Sadly the useful life of many of these rides is ending, and we are seeing them removed more and more often.  This is sad, but understandable as the park has big plans for the future.

© Google Maps
Loggers Run is literally intertwined with Boomerang Bay, the theme park's included water park.  The flume runs around several of the slides, including Down Under Thunder, Tasmanian Typhoon and Didgeridoo Falls, boxing them in and also taking up real estate adjacent to them.

One would guess that the water park will be rethemed and renamed during the park's upcoming expansion, and the planning documents show additional water slides near where the flume runs today.  These factors combined probably sealed the fate Loggers Run.

Stop by the park over the new two weekends to take in your final rides!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Scott and Carol Present - Halloween Horror at Indiana Beach

No automatic alt text available.

There's something new this fall on the shores of Lake Shafer. In the midst of the fog, Indiana Beach takes on a whole new look for the season of fright.

IB Crow takes over a store window to welcome the fearless to Halloween Horror at Indiana Beach.

Many of the residents change their makeup after the Trick or Treat Trail closes at 6:00 PM. The dance party starts off the scary stuff, and after a few quick pictures, they are off to there scare zones.

The walkway between Frank's Funhouse, aka Frankenstein's Castle and the Swinging Ship transforms into party central, and an occasional scar-actor passes through to terrify the crowd.

A mad scientist makes an appearance at Franks's  Funhouse

Here is the crew that brings horror to Indiana Beach, but also the delightful fun for those who want to dress up in costume and collect candy. Guests are invited to take home their own coffin memories.

Chemikill Spill is a very creative scare zone in daylight. The rains came in like a hurricane and we were not able to experience it after dark. Maybe next time.

For the Nightmare on Shafer Drive there are nice little pluses everywhere!

This couple looks like they are just dying for a good nights sleep

Luckily for you, this guy isn't responsible for whipping up the seasonal offerings like zombie pizza, with all the meats, or even bacon on a stick. And don't forget to try the deep fried red velvet Oreos and Mummy's fingers. Halloween never tasted so good.

Here is a group shot of the denizens of Nightmare on Schafer Drive with the lights on. They look a lot better in the dark, but then, it's easier for them to sneak up on you. The ballroom never raised pulses higher than the way this team works together to distract you before surprising you from another direction.

A great way to see another side of Indiana Beach, and this is just their first year. Our thanks to the fantastic folks at Indiana Beach and Apex. Hope you have hauntingly Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Fear is Waiting for You at Dorney Park's Halloween Haunt X

© NewsPlusNotes
Hard to believe, but this is the 10th season of Halloween Haunt at Dorney Park, and this year the park is advertising that "fear is waiting for you" at the event... and that's some truthful advertising!

The park has bottled up all the ghouls, scares, freaks, mazes, shows and more all season long, and unleashed them to packed crowds in honor of the 10th year of screams.

© NewsPlusNotes
Before we check in on the actual event, the park was kind enough to give me a tour of some of the backstage operations that go into putting on such a massive event each night.  The park has around 300 actors in full costume each night of Haunt, and getting this army of scares ready is no small feat.  Our tour starts with a look at the preparations that go into churning out 300 monsters in only a couple hours.

This photo is of the wardrobe area that monsters visit to pick up their costumes for the evening.  Each actor has a specific time that they are to arrive here, which kicks off the process of getting ready.  Each rack of costumes is neatly organized by attraction or zone, with a card for every actor to take when they pick up their costume to get dressed.

© NewsPlusNotes
Once dressed the actors move into the area seen above, known as The Crypt.  This is the area where their real transformation begins, as they move to an individual station to have their makeup applied.  The talented artists are able to complete a full application (read: monster creation) in just ten to fifteen minutes, depending on how elaborate the character is.  The actors flow in and out of the room like clockwork, it's very impressive to see how organized the process is!

© NewsPlusNotes
Here is the actual transformation of the Voodoo Queen, an important role in Blood on the Bayou, from start to finish.  It helps that most characters feature the same makeup each night, however some are changed slightly over time or for special events.  The Voodoo Queen, however, is an example of one character that looks similar each night - helps her become instantly recognizable to repeat guests in the attraction.

© NewsPlusNotes
Some characters features special, often gross, add-ons, such as peeling rotting skin, horrid wounds, and the like.  These pieces are hand crafted and painted by talented Haunt staff, and stored carefully (above) for repeat use.  Each piece is unique to one actor, not shared between them, and a fresh batch is created for each season.  It looks a bit like a demented plastic surgeon's office or something along those lines!

© NewsPlusNotes
The majority of Haunt actors use full makeup along with some of the aforementioned add-ons, but in some instances masks are used.  This super creepy room is where they are all stored... this alone could probably work as a Haunt attraction is the lighting was a bit lower!  There is quite a spectrum of masks in here, everything from giant pumpkin heads to crazed clowns.

© NewsPlusNotes
Some characters require a special set up, such as this octopus face that is one of many feature characters in Cut Throat Island.  It isn't easy to find an existing mask of this nature, so the Haunt staff took the time to hand craft it - the results are excellent!  I was able to bump into this character later in the night as he scared a pack of visitors, and it looks even better in show lighting.

The Crypt is an awesome operation to watch, and it's pretty amazing to think that goes on each night just to get Haunt ready, then it all comes back off, is organized and cleaned, and put away for the next day!

© NewsPlusNotes
I was also able to take a lights-on tour of the park's new-for-2017 maze, Tourist Trap.  We'll get into the details of the maze in a second, but I wanted to share the above photo first.  This room is located within the maze and is a control center for many of the attraction's animatronics and other special effects.

Pressure pad and sensor trigger effects have long been effective in mazes, but this set up actually allows an employee to sit and watch guests travel through the attraction, triggering special effects at exactly the right moment.  With a simple touch of a button they are able to make a body fall from the ceiling, a staircase nearly collapse, bookshelves nearly tumble over and more.  I did get to push some of the buttons, and even without guests in the maze it was still a blast!

© NewsPlusNotes
Tourist Trap is set in 1893 in Chicago, which was home to the World's Fair at the time.  The maze is set in the Worlds Fair Hotel, which was a popular place for tourists visiting the fair... but it turns out it was also deadly for most of them.  As guests enter the attraction they are in the hotel's lobby, which seems peaceful, and well, normal.  However, if you look closely at the newspaper on the counter, you'll notice that it seems a great deal of people have already gone missing.  There is a nice advertisement for the hotel, however, so things will be okay, right?

© NewsPlusNotes
Visitors quickly start to head through different rooms of the hotel, each of which is layered thick with tons of detail and props.  Granted you're a bit too focused on trying not to to be scared to really focus on these little details, but there are plenty of them around.  These pictures show just some of what can be found as you move through the first few rooms of the hotel.  These include a lounge area, library, bedrooms and more.

© NewsPlusNotes
Things start to take a bit of a darker turn as you venture further into Tourist Trap.  The authorities are looking for H. W. Harrison, the owner of the hotel, as they have quite a few questions for him about the disappearance of those hotel guests.  The above photo was a shot of H. W. Harrison's office, which like the other rooms has plenty of interesting items that he has collected in his travels.

© NewsPlusNotes
After twisting and turning through a few more rooms, each a bit creepier than the last, you suddenly enter a room that is definitely where some bad things happened to a lot of people.  This is a haunted house after all!  It seems that H. W. Harrison has a special room in the hotel for him to visit with guests... but you can be sure that the guests do not make it out alive.  Some of them, or parts of them, are forever kept in the floor of the room that you have to walk over, seen above.

© NewsPlusNotes
I do not intend to give away too many surprises from the lights-on photos, but this room is too neat not to share.  I would guess that this is where the hotel guests check in for a long-term stay... as there were dozens of former guests located here.  Just watch out for falling items from the ceiling!

© NewsPlusNotes
Many haunted houses use falling picture frames as scare doors, and Tourist Trap does too.  But, since the park has plenty of repeat visitors they wanted to make it a bit harder to predict where the scare might come from.  So, instead of this room having one falling picture, there are three in a row, and all are controlled pneumatically by the actor.  That way he or she can come at you when you least expect it, thinking you may have gotten through unscathed.  Not so!

That's all for our lights-on tour of Tourist Trap... and if the storyline of the house feels a little familiar, well that's because it is based in reality.  At least to a large degree... you can read about the real life "Murder Castle" here.

© NewsPlusNotes
On to the actual event, as darkness set in the park came to life on a busy Saturday night... fog was in the air and screams could be heard from all over.  There is much to see and do at Dorney Park's Halloween Haunt, with a grand total of six indoor haunted mazes, five outdoor scare attractions (three of which are half haunted house and half scare area), and three live shows.

© NewsPlusNotes
The evening officially begins with a show called the Overlord's Resurrection, where the Overlord (seen above) rises and calls his minions to gather on stage.  After a short speech he beckons his ghouls and monsters to spread throughout the park, quickly filling into the crowd and starting the scares.

© NewsPlusNotes
Since Halloween Haunt is a very popular time of the year a great way to keep the evening moving is to use Fright Lane with Skeleton Key Room access.  This add-on to the admission ticket allows you to have priority access to eight of the park's most popular attractions, along with access to seven special Skeleton Key Rooms.  This year the park has actually built separate structures, located near their associated attractions, for many of the Skeleton Key Rooms.  This means that all new tricks have been created... we will get to those in a bit.

The Fright Lane passes are a great help in visiting popular attractions like Tourist Trap, which can be seen above.

© NewsPlusNotes
Each year some of the returning Haunt attractions are given new features or other upgrades, and an extension of CarnEvil that opened a couple seasons ago got all new lighting this year.  The entire pathway from Hydra down to the Tilt-a-Whirl has new programmed LED lights, which create an especially creepy atmosphere as you pass through the area, filled with clowns of course (like the one seen meandering about in the above photo).

© NewsPlusNotes
Once you get into the area the dancing lights really serve as almost a distraction from what is lurking in the fog... it's hard to see what may be coming at you until it is too late!

Also returning this year is Cut Throat Island, located by Possessed, which still features the enormous pirate ship props, along with Age of Darkness and its side-street known as the torture chamber, filled with props and other ghastly items.

© NewsPlusNotes
Last year's new haunted house was Blood on the Bayou, and it is back this year and just as popular - if not more so.  This house features elaborate sets and storyline, including this New Orleans style mansion as the entrance.  It is also where you will find the Voodoo Queen, featured in the first part of this story.

Other returning attractions and mazes include Chamber of Horrors, Trick or Treat, Urgent Scare, Blackout, Grave Walkers and CornStalkers.  The shifting of Skeleton Key Rooms to outside of several of these attractions has opened up some space that has led to slight changes in scares... plus all houses are modified slightly to keep them fresh each year.

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Aside from the Overlord's Resurrection, Halloween Haunt at Dorney Park also features two more live shows.  Seen above is the ever-popular Blood Drums, which plays their pounding beats at the park's Center Stage.  Located within the CarnEvil scare zone is Skeleton Crew, a show that features an eerie assortment of acrobatic and other performances.  These shows serve as a much needed break from all the scares of the haunted attractions.

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Onto the Skeleton Key Rooms - I'm not going to ruin any of the surprises, that would be terrible, but I will point out that I would rate most of them as more scary than in previous years... and more gross too.  Above is the Grave Walkers room, located in Steel Force's plaza, which has a jump scare you won't be ready for.  CornStalkers' room relies on gross for its story, but in a hilarious way, but Cut Throat Island isn't far behind on the "ewwww" scale.  Blackout's room is innovative in that visitors get to take part in what goes on in the house, and Blood on the Bayou's has a combination of lighting and fog that makes it impossible to see what's going on from your chest down... until it is too late of course.

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That wraps up our look at the 10th anniversary of Halloween Haunt at Dorney Park.  It's amazing to have seen all that goes into setting up for the event, experiencing it from both the park and guest's perspective.  Many thanks for both Dorney Park and Mike Fehnel for their help with this story!

Oh... and happy Friday the 13th!!!