Sunday, September 30, 2018

SeaWorld Orlando's Infinity Falls to Hold Grand Opening on October 4th

© SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando is ready to premier its all-new river rapids ride, Infinity Falls, to the general public on October 4th at noon.  The exciting new rafting experience has been coming together at the park during the summer months, with final test and adjust just completed.

Infinity Falls features "roaring rapids, soaking fountains and a record-setting 40-foot waterfall drop, all against the backdrop of a rainforest utopia."  The rafts encounter a vertical lift that takes them up to the top of the 40 foot drop, which is the largest of the kind in the world.

© SeaWorld Orlando
When boarding Infinity Falls, visitors to the theme park take on the role of a conservationist on a "journey through the rainforest to learn the importance of freshwater conservation through interactive games and stories throughout the ride experience."  The education component continues throughout the attraction's queue and surrounding plaza.

© SeaWorld Orlando
The new ride has been in soft opening status for the past few days, which means that visitors have been able to get in some of the very first rides.  The beautifully landscaped ride features some adventurous rapids (with some nice speed and mini-drops built in) that appears to get riders pretty soaked along the way.  There are also several water blasts along the mid-ride lift that rain down on passengers.  The final drop looks fast and thrilling, creating a surprisingly large splash at the bottom.

If you want a little preview of what a ride on Infinity Falls is like, take a look at this video from Attractions Magazine.  It has especially great views of the vertical lift in action, which is one of many impressive features on the ride.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Kings Island's Firehawk Roller Coaster to Fly Away at the End of 2018 Season

© Kings Island
After a week of teasing fans of the park, Kings Island has announced that Firehawk will be the roller coaster retiring at the end of the park's 2018 season.

Fans of the flying coaster can still get in plenty of rides while the park operates for Halloween Haunt, with the very final rides being given on the last day of the season - October 28th.

According to Kings Island, Firehawk has "reached the end of its service life," having given 6.7 million rides during its time at the park.

Firehawk originally opened at Kings Island in 2007, which means that it had 12 operating seasons at the park.  It first opened at Geauga Lake (at the time known as Six Flags Worlds of Adventure) in 2001, and was named X-Flight.  It operated for six seasons there, closing at the end of 2006 and then moved to Kings Island.

Created by Vekoma, Firehawk was one of two production model flying coasters created, in addition to the original prototype that opened at California's Great America.  Firehawk featured a slightly different ending, with heartline rolls as a finale instead of the corkscrews that were on the prototype.  The ride features several inversions that are encountered in both flying position as well as with riders on their back.

© Google Maps
It has not been 100% confirmed by Kings Island if Firehawk will be scrapped or sold to another park, though speculation is that it will not appear at any other parks.  The ride's location, adjacent to the back of Kings Island where a ton of undeveloped land exists, is seen as a possible starting location for a large new coaster to open at the park in 2020.

Those looking to ride one of Vekoma's flying roller coasters next year will have to visit either Six Flags America, which is home to Batwing, or Carowinds, which is home to Nighthawk.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

SeaWorld San Antonio Announces New Turtle Reef Area with Two New Rides + New Waterslide

© SeaWorld San Antonio
Today SeaWorld San Antonio announced a major expansion for their 2019 season called Turtle Reef, a brand new area that will feature a sea turtle habitat along with two new thrilling rides.

Turtle Reef will be built between Shamu Stadium and the Rio Loco river rapids ride, taking up a currently undeveloped area.

© SeaWorld San Antonio
Within Turtle Reef, visitors will find a "fascinating habitat that will enable guests to get an up-close look at threatened and endangered sea turtles, plus learn about the threats the species face in the wild. The focal point will be a 126,000-gallon coral reef-themed environment, with a unique and natural bio filtration, featuring rescued and non-releasable green sea turtles, along with hundreds of multi-colored Caribbean fish."  The new habitat will feature SeaWorld San Antonio's second underwater viewing area, with floor to ceiling portals with turtles swimming just inches away.

© SeaWorld San Antonio
Near Turtle Reef will be two exciting new family rides, Riptide Rescue and Sea Swinger.  Riptide Rescue looks like it will be a Huss Airboat ride, similar in design (and name) to the ride at sister park SeaWorld San Diego.  The ride features three arms with rescue boat themed gondolas for riders, and the motion is similar to a Trokia ride.

Sea Swinger appears to be one of Zamperla's smaller model pendulum rides.  Passengers will sit at the end of the pendulum in a circle, facing outward, then spin as it swings 180 degrees in both directions.

This video shows off the new Turtle Reef area, including animations of the new rides.  In celebration of the new area the theme park will also form a new partnership with the University of Texas Marine Science Institute's Amos Rehabilitation Keep, giving them 5% of proceeds from turtle-themed merchandise sold at SeaWorld.  The organization's goal is to rescue and rehabilitate injured sea turtles, birds and other animals.

© SeaWorld San Antonio
Next door to SeaWorld San Antonio is Aquatica, a full water park, which will also feature a thrilling new waterslide tower next year.  Named Ihu's Breakaway Falls, the slides will be themed after the park's colorful gecko, Ihu.  Each slide will start with a floor-dropping plunge down a steep slide, with plenty of thrills, tight turns and tunnels located along the journey.

For more information on all that is new to the parks at SeaWorld San Antonio in 2019, check out the park's official website.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Newly Released Images Show New Rides & Attractions at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Properties

A couple days ago a bunch of images were released on Twitter that appeared to reveal new rides and attractions coming to SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment properties in 2019 & 2020.  Without being able to verify their legitimacy we didn't cover them, but in a surprising move the company went ahead and confirmed they were real to the Orlando Sentinel.

A spokesperson for the company stated that the images "are real and pulled from a company presentation," but "stressed nothing has been made final or approved yet."

Still, with official confirmation let's take a look at the images that Amusement Leaks posted.

Up first is what appears to be a new Skywarp Horizon ride opening next year at SeaWorld San Diego.  The ride recently moved through the local government approval process, giving us a good look at the plans.  At the time the best guess was one of the Skywarp attractions, which appears to be correct.

Here we have another ride that we pretty much had confirmation of with the recent announcement of Busch Gardens Tampa's Tigris roller coaster.  From the not-so-subtle hints that were given during the announcement, many have expected that the former pair of Gwazi wooden roller coasters would become hybrid rides via Rocky Mountain Construction in 2020.  No new details of the experience are revealed, such as if the coaster will feature one or two tracks when it reopens.

Here is another exciting project that we have heard rumors of, it appears as though SeaWorld San Antonio plans to add a large wooden roller coaster in 2020.  Standing around 100 feet tall, the ride would be in a new turtle-themed section of the park (more on that from the park tomorrow morning in their 2019 announcement).  The blurry concept photos appear to show a twisted ride layout that features plenty of low-to-the-ground segments.  We can only guess on the manufacturer for now, but with a limited amount of wood coaster builders there are only so many options.

From various filings with their local government, we've known that Busch Gardens Williamsburg has had their eye on a large new roller coaster for quite some time now.  This is our first look at what the park is planning in 2020, described as a multi-launch shuttle coaster, the fastest coaster at the park hitting a top speed of 76 miles per hour.  The notes call out that the ride will hit its max speed and final drop near the park's Italy bridge, and the images reveal a large spike element, extended fan turn and what looks like a top hat element.

Last but not least, the final image shows a new launch roller coaster planned for SeaWorld Orlando in 2020.  As the text reads, it seems the park isn't too sure about exact statistics, layout or location in the park for the ride.  The text does mention inversions, airtime and banked turns, so it would appear that the ride will be on the more thrilling side of things.

Granted, the company spokesperson did make it clear that while these are real images, that nothing is final quite yet - so take all this with a grain of salt.  However, if it proves true then it seems like 2020 will be a gigantic year for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment properties!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Kings Island Set to Remove A Roller Coaster - But Which One?

© Kings Island
This past weekend visitors to Kings Island's Halloween Haunt took notice of a new somber funeral setting, but the sign in front of it got all the attention.  Seen above, the sign reads:

"The air is eerily calm as we make final preparations for the ill-fated demise of one of our own."

It also comes with the R.I.P. dates of 10/28/18, and the hashtags #RestInPiecesKI, #ItsBigItsGone and #RIP2018KI.

© Kings Island
While rumors flew all weekend long, Kings Island today officially confirmed that one of the park's roller coasters will be closing forever on the last day of the 2018 season, October 28th.

The park hasn't confirmed that I've seen, but many are taking the 11 chairs set out to represent the park's 12 major roller coasters, less one of course - that's who the funeral is for!

Going off that thought we're left with:  Adventure Express, Backlot Stunt Coaster, Banshee, Bat, Beast, Diamondback, Firehawk, Flight of Fear, Invertigo, Mystic Timbers, Racer and Vortex.

© Kings Island
To me, there are many rides that can quickly come off that list:  Banshee, Beast, Diamondback, Mystic Timbers and the Racer.  In the middle class of "maybe but probably not" I would add:  Backlot Stunt Coaster, Flight of Fear and Adventure Express.  That leaves Bat, Firehawk, Invertigo and Vortex on my most-probable list.

I can see reasons for all of these to meet their end, whether age, operating costs, low ridership or even location (to make space for the future), but let's also consider the text of the teaser.  It mentions the "air is eerily calm" which is quite the opposite of what a Vortex does, and compared to that windy event calm air would certainly be eerie.

Then again, we all know that Invertigo is one of only a few left of its kind, and Dorney Park did just send their version of the ride to the scrap heap this year.  The Bat is equally unique and we've seen several Arrow Suspended coasters meet their end recently.  And Firehawk's capacity/ridership may have put a nail in its coffin, as well.

Hard to be sure at this point, but thankfully Kings Island says that the ride will be revealed by the end of this week, so not long to wait. 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Kentucky Kingdom Teasing New Kentucky Flyer Ride for 2019 Season

© Kentucky Kingdom
While not revealing exactly what it is, Kentucky Kingdom has released a new teaser video for their 2019 attraction in which they appear to announce its name as the Kentucky Flyer.

Fans aren't sure just how to gauge the size of this addition as we could be seeing an addition as small as a family flat ride, or a large thrilling flat ride all the way up to a new roller coaster.  But, for what it is worth I'm not expecting the Kentucky Flyer to end up being a roller coaster.

Here is the full teaser clip:

The video features some patriotic music and images of both an airport wind direction indicator and a plane zooming through the air and plenty of clouds in a blue sky.  That, of course, matches with the word "flyer" in the attraction name, completing the theme that the park is going for.

One attraction that comes to mind quickly based of off the images in the video is the Gerstlauer Sky Roller:

© Gerstlauer
The thrilling flat ride takes riders up in individual cars (usually themed as planes) that spin around as the rider is able to rock them back and forth to complete inversions, if they like.  This is a total guess on my part, and I could be totally off when the park announces all the details.

Speaking of the full reveal, we don't know just when the park will give those, though they do promise it will be "soon." 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Canada's Wonderland Shares New Photos of Yukon Striker Lift Hill Going Up

© Canada's Wonderland / Chris Robart
One of the largest new coasters announced thus far for the 2019 season, Yukon Striker at Canada's Wonderland is making steady progress as it heads toward the sky.

The theme park has shared some new photos of the ride's construction, where the focus continues to be on the ride's lift hill.  The top photo is from a bit further back when the lift hill was not yet started.  The angle of it does nicely show off the station and transfer area, so it was worth including.

© Canada's Wonderland / Chris Robart
Taken more recently, the next two photos show Yukon Striker's lift hill starting to go up.  As the ride's animation videos show, there is a quick turn out of the station and then the trains will immediately start up the steep lift hill.  I like how in this photo you can really get a feel for the green color used on the supports - it looks great in the bright sunlight!

© Canada's Wonderland / Chris Robart
Panning out quite a bit, this photo shows the first large lift hill segment in place.  At the top of the lift the trains will turn to the right, pause, then head down a vertical drop of 245 feet hitting a top speed of 80 miles per hour.  The rest of Yukon Striker's layout includes 4 inversions spread over 3,625 feet of track.

While these photos are pretty recent, the park has made even more progress on the lift in recent days.  This video from Amusement Insiders shows that the next section of lift is already in place!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Ride the New Eurosat - CanCan Coaster at Europa Park

© Europa Park
Germany's Europa Park recently held the grand opening for their all new Eurosat - CanCan Coaster, a total refurbishment and retheme of their former Eurosat coaster.

The ride takes place inside the park's giant metal sphere, and while similar to the old coaster is actually a brand new ride.  The park has totally replaced the coaster's track and infrastructure, creating a totally new experience.  The result is a dark ride/roller coaster combination that takes visitors on a swirling journey through 19th century Paris.

© Europa Park
As one would expect in a theme park that shares the owners of Mack Rides, the manufacturer created the CanCan Coaster's hardware.  The original Eurosat opened in 1989 and remained relatively the same until closing last year.

The new version of the ride fits in perfectly to the park's Paris themed area, with guests entering the Moulin Rouge theater and moving through a very elaborately themed queue.  Europa Park is known for not skimping on theming their attractions, and the CanCan Coaster is no exception to that rule.  The queue has both indoor and outdoor sections and is surprisingly long, moving through many room, corridors and even up and down to different levels.  Here's an example of one of the areas:

© Europa Park
As for the ride itself, the coaster still starts with a spiral lift that has a maximum height of around 84 feet.  The park has managed to squeeze just over 3,000 feet of track inside the giant sphere, and there are plenty of Parisian themed interactions with the coaster along the way.

The video below walks through the queue, which really is quite stunning, and then also gives a ride on Eurosat - CanCan Coaster as well.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Epcot to Retire Illuminations: Reflections of Earth In Fall of 2019

Well, at least everyone has plenty of time to get to the park to see the show one last time!  Walt Disney World has announced that Epcot's nighttime spectacular, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, will come to a close in the second half of 2019 - just about a year from now.

As part of the "transformation of Epcot," the park will debut a brand new "nighttime fireworks spectacular" shortly after the show closes for good.

Known as one of the premier fireworks shows in the amusement industry, Illuminations first opened at Epcot in 1999, and was then known as Illuminations 2000: Reflections of Earth.

The show, which combines an original score, plenty of fireworks, projections, lasers, water fountains, a healthy amount of fire and more special effects was an immediate hit, and has stuck around for the past (almost) 20 years.

As one would expect, Wikipedia has a great write up on Illuminations.  The show's centerpiece on the lake is a giant globe that's covered in LED screens, playing footage that goes along with the show, and it also opens up like a flower during the show's climax to reveal a 40 foot tall flame torch.  The 'inferno barge' is also a fan favorite, delivering a ton of massive fireballs and explosions capable of reaching more than 50 feet in the air.  Illuminations regularly features special versions of the show for holidays, and these are known as some of the most elaborate productions Walt Disney World has ever put on.

Walt Disney World notes in the announcement that Epcot is undertaking a massive "transformation" with many new attractions already announced for the next few years.  These include a "Guardians of the Galaxy" roller coaster, the "Ratatouille" dark ride in the France Pavilion, and a new space themed restaurant adjacent to Mission: Space.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Dorney Park Opens The Great Pumpkin Fest + Final Haunt 2018 Update

© NewsPlusNotes
Taking advantage of a warm sunny day, plenty of visitors flocked to Dorney Park today for the opening of this year's Great Pumpkin Fest, a family-friendly Halloween celebration.

The event is held in a part of the water park, which is closed for the season, and features a ton of activities and experiences for kids and their parents.  The short walk under Talon leads to the event, which curls around the Wildwater Cove wavepool and the area surrounding it.

© NewsPlusNotes
There are a ton of activities going on at all times at The Great Pumpkin Fest, including several live shows at regular intervals.  Above is one of them, but there are 4 different performances that rotate across the stage throughout the day.

© NewsPlusNotes
Of course The Great Pumpkin Fest wouldn't be complete without a great pumpkin (there is one indeed) and also plenty of Peanuts characters dressed up for the Halloween season.  Here are Snoopy and Linus all decked out meeting visitors.

© NewsPlusNotes
The Funster House is like a haunted house only not haunted or scary.  It's just a silly fun house that kids can go through and receive a treat - not a trick - at the end.

The area also has a petting zoo, mask making area, small tractor rides, a bale maze, pumpkin painting and of course trick-or-treat street.

© NewsPlusNotes
And of course also this, Pigpen's People Washer, which I think is pretty adorable.  It's a giant suds play area that kids appeared to be having a ball in.  I didn't want to get too close for a photo, though, as the suds were flying!

© NewsPlusNotes
As for Halloween Haunt, which starts this coming Friday the 21st, the park is nearing completion on set up and will put the final touches in place this week before opening.  There is much to see at this point, though we won't cover everything in this article so as to save some content for the actual event!

© NewsPlusNotes
Dorney Park's Main Midway area has received some new decorations for this year, including this neat headless horseman statue in the center planter.  Many years ago the park had a similar one, but he met an untimely end (maybe because he has no head?) so this is a new for 2018 version.

© NewsPlusNotes
The lantern boxes that we saw under construction in our pre-haunt update are now finished and spread throughout the Main Midway.  The feature colorful images on all sides, and I can't wait to see how they look at night!

© NewsPlusNotes
At the end of the midway in front of the Wave Swinger's entrance is this new set up, during the day this is a nice witch, and she has a cool backdrop that's an overgrown atrium type of set.  Guests can visit with her and have their photo taken... honestly the set the park created for this is the coolest part in my book!  Oh, and at night, no longer a nice witch... so watch out for that.

© NewsPlusNotes
The new stage we also saw being built in our pre-haunt update is now in its final location, in Hydra plaza in front of Meteor.  This will be the home of the new Overlord's Resurrection show.  Taking place each night at 7:00 pm, this will be the kickoff to the night's scares.  The Overlord will be brought to life and call upon his fleet of monsters to take over the park and... well scare everyone!

© NewsPlusNotes
Not a new decoration, but the hanging pumpkins are back on the midways leading to CornStalkers.  I love these pumpkins (they all flicker at night) and think they add so much atmosphere to this part of the park.

© NewsPlusNotes
But there are some new ghosts that have taken up home along the Road Rally path by the creek.  These look awesome and are going to look even better at night with some spooky lighting and all that fog...

© NewsPlusNotes
The all-new Port Of Call area, which is a combination of dance party, cirque show and a bar, looks ready to go and guests can already walk through the area.  No longer a scare zone, this area now works well as a gathering point for entertainment and beverages, something that I'm hoping really clicks with the crowd this year.

© NewsPlusNotes
The Port of Call Pub will be located here, serving different beverages including the specialty brews that were created for the park this year, and a new one for Haunt.  These will pair nicely with the Dead Man's Revenge DJ, some themed characters and the Jolly Rogers cirque-style show.

© NewsPlusNotes
It sounds like a fun area to hang out in this year, and its inhabitants, like this gem, are just dying to see you there!

© NewsPlusNotes
The park's Pumpkin Spectacular, which is located along the pathway leading to Urgent Scare, is coming together and looks great!  I love this kind of addition to the park's atmosphere, it may not be a house or a scare zone but it adds a lot to the event in my book.

© NewsPlusNotes
Because the display is stretched along a path, it is quite hard to get everything in one shot.  But in addition to a cast of pumpkin characters, there are plenty of real pumpkins creating larger designs as well, here is the sun for instance.

© NewsPlusNotes
And of course you have to have Snoopy in there as well!

© NewsPlusNotes
I think that about does it for our final Haunt preview, I'm keeping some things off the site until Haunt actually starts... like I said earlier.  You'll notice the image above is the only one of Necropolis that I've added... on purpose!

© NewsPlusNotes
See you all next weekend for the opening of Halloween Haunt!  Plan your own trip using the park's official website.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Hersheypark to Share "Biggest Announcement Ever" on October 3rd

© Hersheypark
Fans of Hersheypark should mark their calendars for October 3rd, as that is when the theme park will be making their "biggest announcement ever," which sounds quite exciting!

We've all been hoping that we would hear more about the park's future plans soon, and it looks like we will not have to wait long at all.  The park shared the below video, chronicling their large expansions of the past set to the famous Hersheypark Happy song along with this text:

"For more than 110 years, our story has been filled with timeless family rides, thrilling coasters, your favorite Hershey’s Characters, and #HersheyparkHappy memories. On October 3, the story continues with our biggest announcement ever."

Obviously the video doesn't give much more in the way of hints as to what they're announcing, but recent development plans make that a bit more clear.  If you remember this post from a couple months ago, the plans on file with local authorities show a much larger entrance area being developed for the park, along with a new roller coaster.

Those plans look like the start of the park developing the former golf course land that was next door, which contains a ton of open space that will allow for many years of developments.  I would think that this announcement might shed more light on how all that will play out - as that will radically change the size of Hersheypark for decades to come.  Looking forward to hearing more from the park on October 3rd!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Wild Adventures to Debut New 3-Acre Alligator Themed Kids' Area in 2019

© Wild Adventures
Wild Adventures will bring a new children's area to the park in 2019, themed around alligators, the park announced today.  Seen above in concept art, the land will feature a total of six rides for families along with an a new exhibit featuring American alligators.

The expansion will be located near the park's main entrance, and the six rides appear to be a mix of new and refurbished and rethemed existing rides at the park.  They will include rides such as the Okefenokee Express, Flying Gators, Turtle Twist, Swampwater Snake, Hoppin’ Gator and Okefenokee Friends.  The Swampwater Snake appears to be a Zamperla Fiesta Express coaster, one of which operated at the park until 2011 - so perhaps the same ride is being brought back.  Each of the ride will carry an alligator theme, matching the surrounding land.

© Wild Adventures
The center of the area will feature Alligator Alley, a new exhibit filled with alligators.  Depicted above is the Gator Crossing Rope Bridge, which allows visitors to pass directly over the alligator exhibit on a rope bridge.  The area will also feature a new show, titled Gators!, and the opportunity for guests to feed the animals as well.  The new land will feed directly into the park's Alapaha Trail, which features a swap setting filled with additional animal exhibits.

Construction will start this October with a planned opening of the expansion in March of 2019.

Wild Adventures is also introducing a new Pre-K kids' season pass, free of charge to visitors ages 3-5.  Once guests register online they can bring their little ones to the park the rest of this season along with all of 2019.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Busch Gardens Tampa Announces Tigris Coaster for 2019 + Exciting 2020 Plan Hints

A new thrill coaster is set to open at Busch Gardens Tampa in 2019, named Tigris.  The ride will be one of Premier Rides' popular Sky Rocket II models, which can be found in two other SeaWorld Entertainment Parks: Tempesto at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Electric Eel at SeaWorld San Diego.

Tigris will be built in the Stanleyville section of Busch Gardens Tampa, taking up a portion of the space once occupied by the Tanganyika Tidal Wave shoot-the-chutes ride.

© Busch Gardens Tampa
Tigris is a high speed, triple launch coaster that will be the tallest launching roller coaster in the state of Florida when it opens in 2019.  The ride's train will first launch forward, then backward through the station, then forward once more to a top speed of more than 60 miles per hour.  The trains will climb up to the top of the structure, around 150 feet above the park below.

© Busch Gardens Tampa
A thrilling heartline roll awaits the train at the top of the ride, slowly inverting passengers 150 in the air.  A brief pause leads to a steep plunge down toward a non-inverting loop before the ride comes to an end.

"Tigris will be a strong addition to our family of world-class thrill rides. With three intensely exciting launch points, this ride is unlike anything we have in our coaster collection," said Stewart Clark, president and general manager of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. "This new attraction is a testament to our continuing investment in the park, and bringing new and innovative experiences to our guests."

© Busch Gardens Tampa
Tigris will feature bright orange track and black supports, naturally to match the theme of tigers throughout the attraction.  The trains are depicted above, which also feature a tiger theme through color choice and other details.

The Stanleyville themed section is right next to Jungala, where the park's Bengal Tigers live.  As part of the park's mission of conservation, the ride's queue will contain "educational content about the plight of tigers in the wild and what conservationists – including the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund – are doing to help save them.  In addition, the purchase of any merchandise in the Tigris gift shop will help make a difference, with 5% of the sales price donated to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund to protect tigers and their habitat."

© Google Maps
Just as exciting as the news that a new coaster is coming to the park in 2019, today's announcement also revealed that Busch Gardens Tampa will open a major thrill attraction in 2020 as well.

Details are scarce, but the park did 100% confirm that "Gwazi's existence has always been a bit of a rocky ride, so we decided to go ahead and revamp Gwazi into a new attraction" for 2020.  The park also said that their news on Gwazi was "a little bit of a hybrid attraction announcement" since it was for both 2019 and 2020 projects.

Obviously, there are two big hints in those quotes - the words hybrid and rocky.  Many have speculated that Gwazi would get the Rocky Mountain Construction treatment at some point since it was left standing, and to me this all but confirms that is the plan.  More details on that in a few months the park said, so stay tuned!