Sunday, September 29, 2019

Monster Jam Thunder Alley Exciting Guests This Fall at Dorney Park

© NewsPlusNotes
This time of year is usually reserved for scares amid the fog at Dorney Park, but 2019 has brought a second special event to the park: Monster Jam Thunder Alley.  The limited time event will run through the end of the season, and is the result of a recent partnership between Cedar Fair and Feld Entertainment.  The production has traveled to two different Cedar Fair parks earlier in the 2019 season, and during the fall it's Dorney Park's turn.  Considering the number of people that can be seen enjoying the interactive attractions that Monster Jam presents, I think it's safe to say the event is already a hit at the park.

© NewsPlusNotes
I for one never thought I would have ever sat in a real monster truck, let alone go for a ride in one.  While not everyone may be a big monster truck fan, there's something that's so impressive about their size and power that it captivates you.  I couldn't imagine driving one, though it may be pretty fun to crush some cars!

© NewsPlusNotes
The event is really two parts, one is a large area of interactive exhibits featuring all the monster trucks, their history, parts, play areas and more.  Then of course there's the ability to actually take a spin on a monster truck as it travels around a course that has been created within Dorney Park.  Both aspects can be found on the midway in front of the Possessed roller coaster, with the monster truck course having been built in the area where Stinger was.

© NewsPlusNotes
There are plenty of monster trucks to see on display as a part of Monster Jam Thunder Alley, like good old Zombie seen above.  There are large information boards on the trucks and their past, and in the case of Zombie you can even seen the process that goes into creating the giant zombie arms that adorn the truck.

© NewsPlusNotes
For instance, here's the info board on Zombie, which has quite an extensive history with Monster Jam, and plenty of zombie fans that dress the part at major events.  The area at Dorney Park is busy with these types of displays, and as these photos show at night the displays really have an extra glow to them.  It really brings the lower part of the park to life!

© NewsPlusNotes
Kids are naturally drawn to monster trucks, at least in my personal experience, and when they need to burn off some energy Monster Jam Thunder Alley gives them this cool play area to dig in.  Literally.  The sand area features lots of trucks to send over tracks and hills they create, with other truck decorations and interactive elements around.

© NewsPlusNotes
There are also several trucks parked that you can sit in the driver's seat of, which is a pretty neat experience on its own.  Those who want to learn more about how monster trucks work will love the display that shows essential parts such as the engine and the enormous tires.  It's really crazy to stand next to those tires and see just how big they are!

© NewsPlusNotes
After checking out the interactive features of Monster Jam Thunder Alley, it's time to ride!  The park has built a huge course for the trucks to take passengers on, and they use two trucks at a time.  We got a ride in Megalodon, the inside of the truck can be seen in this photo.  Riders must be 36 inches to ride accompanied by someone over 54 inches.  You're safely harnessed in your seat and then it's time to take on the course!

© NewsPlusNotes
The experience is probably even cooler than you might assume, as the course has plenty of hills and bumps for the trucks to take on.  It's a unique feeling being in the cab of a giant monster truck, and certainly nothing like driving to work each day!  They even do a fun 360 in the middle of the course.  Granted it's a more gentle version than what you might see drivers do at an arena event, but that's understandable.

This is a very short clip, but it shows the Grave Digger truck in action.  The rides are very popular and are free as part of admission to the park, but be warned that the attraction is quite popular and lines get long pretty quick after the park opens.  If you want to skip that, you can purchase a VIP package or ride reservation via the park's website.

The park is also holding meet and greets this fall with some of the biggest names in Monster Jam drivers, the schedule for which can be found here.  If you're looking for something different to experience this year, or just need a break from the scares of Halloween Haunt, be sure to check out Monster Jam Thunder Alley at Dorney Park!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Lagoon Shares New Details on Mystery Coaster Project + Construction Updates

© Fox 13 Salt Lake City
Lagoon amusement park is still hard at work on their mystery roller coaster project, on which work began earlier this year.  The park has kept nearly all details of the attraction a mystery, however due to recent shots of roller coaster track arriving at the construction site it's pretty safe to call it a coaster at this point.

The local Fox affiliate did another story on the progress of the ride, which is substantial at this point.  The story has some footage of the construction site, a snapshot of which can be seen up top.  There is a very large area that has a concrete foundation, and two different towers going up toward the sky.  These do not appear to be for the ride yet, but more for the base of some sort of gigantic theming elements that will be incorporated.

The park did give a few tidbits away in the story, including that this ride will have a footprint that is 30% larger than Cannibal, the park's most recent coaster.  They've also put more than 5 miles of conduit under the concrete they poured, which came in at 17,000 cubic yards.  There are 355 piles driven under the foundation already, stretching from 40 to 60 feet in the earth.  A brand new midway will feed to the ride once it opens, which may not be until 2021 or 2022 even.

This YouTube video gives much more clear views of the work from in the middle of September.  You can get a better idea of the size of this attraction, which is rumored to feature a giant mountain along with several interactive components and perhaps a dark ride section.  You can even see some track in place feeding into the main structure that appears to split after what might be the station.

Even more recent construction photos on Lagoon Fans show that a building is now going up on part of the cement slab, creating a rather large indoor space.  Could be for a dark ride portion, the queue, station or maybe all of those.  We'll have to wait to find out more!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Kings Island to Say Goodbye to Vortex at the End of 2019 Season

© Kings Island
Kings Island has announced that Vortex, the park's classic Arrow multilooping roller coaster, will be retired at the end of the 2019 season.  While shocking and sad to many, the park reports that the ride has simply reached the end of its service life.  They note that most rides of this type last between 25 and 30 years, and Vortex is currently in its 33rd operating season at Kings Island.

Vortex was the first roller coaster in the world to turn riders upside down a total of six times, opening at the park in 1987.  The coaster was built by the famed Arrow Dynamics and features a 148 foot tall lift with a 138 foot first drop at a 55 degree angle.

© Kings Island
Riders hit a top speed of 55 miles per hour while on the Vortex, and speed through two vertical loops, two corkscrews and a boomerang turn.  The ride ends with a 360 degree helix before the final brakes.

Vortex was designed using the sit of The Bat, a short lived suspended coaster at the park, with Vortex utilizing that ride's queue and station areas.  The ride was so popular when it opened in 1987 that it helped Kings Island surpass 3 million in attendance for the first time that year.  Since its opening, the coaster has given more than 45 million rides, with its record season being 1987 when 2.2 million rides were given.

© Kings Island
Kings Island shared this neat fact sheet for Vortex along with their announcement of the ride's retirement.  For fans of the ride, it offers great statistics and details that they're sure to love.

Final rides on Vortex begin tonight when the park opens for Halloween Haunt, and will continue until the park's closing day which is October 27th.  The park is offering season pass holders the ability to ride the coaster 30 minutes before park opening each Saturday and Sunday until the end of the season.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Rumors Swirl That Clementon Amusement Park is Closed For Good

© Clementon Amusement Park
Due to the park suddenly closing early for the season, rumors are spreading that Clementon Amusement Park and its water park, Splash World, are closed for good.  The property is owned by Premier Parks LLC, which operates several amusement and water parks across the country.

Clementon was scheduled to be open into late September with a big customer appreciation day on the 15th, but when guests who had purchased tickets showed up the park was not open.  And it isn't opening again this year and has stayed very quiet about whether or not it will open in 2020.  A sure bad sign is the lack of selling season passes for next season, which the park is not currently offering, and also their deleted Facebook page isn't too encouraging.

© Clementon Amusement Park
While the truth may not be fully uncovered at this point, there's certainly something up with the property.  Parks don't often close early for the season without a good reason, and one can't help but wonder if the land under the park is worth more than its continued operations.  Or perhaps Premier Parks LLC is just looking for a new owner, with one not found as of now.

It would be a shame for the park to close, as it is one of the oldest amusement parks in America, dating back to 1907.  It was one of hundreds of trolley parks in the Northeast to have opened, most of which have since closed.  Now it appears as though Clementon may have to be added to that list.

The property's largest ride is Hell Cat, a wooden roller coaster that opened in 2004 and was built by S&S Worldwide.  In recent years Splash World has seen several additions, and remained quite popular with guests.  Family and company picnics seemed to be the park's bread and butter, but they did do a four "classic" ride expansion just this season.  We visited the park back in 2014 and our thoughts on that visit can be read here.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Universal Studios Beijing To Open in 2021 + Latest Construction Photos and Hotel News

We haven't checked in on one of Universal's largest projects in quite some time, that being the Universal Studios Beijing Resort.  First announced back in 2014, the theme park and resort was originally scheduled to open around now, but we know how that often goes with massive construction projects.

Last week the project announced that it will officially open in 2021, though no exact date was given just yet.  Still, that's progress and it's nice to have a final timeline to look at.

© Universal Studios Beijing
The park, said to be Universal's largest, was announced without an official ride roster published.  There are a lot of attractions that were originally identified on the concept art (above) that was released.  These include rides based in a Wizarding World of Harry Potter area, Minions, Jurassic Park, Water World, Kung Fu Panda, Transformers and more.  Granted that concept art is around 5 years old, so that is all subject to change.  One item I'm quite curious about is a new Jurassic Park roller coaster they appear to be working on.

We can be sure on a few rides, though.  Recent construction photos posted to ThemeparkX show a Hulk clone now completed, the Wizarding World castle going up and a family roller coaster in place next to it.

© Universal Studios Beijing
The park also recently made the announcement that the resort will open with two hotels - above is The Universal Studios Grand Hotel, which sits right at the theme park's entrance.  It will be the first Universal themed hotel and offer a "contemporary interpretation of the Hollywood golden age."  Filled with theming set to film and movies, its 800 rooms will also have direct access to the park.

© Universal Studios Beijing
The second hotel is the NUO Resort Hotel, the first hotel created by NUO, one of China's "first homegrown luxury hotel brands."  Contained in a setting reflecting "the beauty of China's ancient royal garden," the property will celebrate traditional Chinese culture and artistic achievements with a modern yet simplistic design.  It will sit alongside the park's waterway as a private retreat, with around 400 rooms.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The American Dream to Open in "Chapters" - Nickelodeon Universe to Open October 25th

© The American Dream
Finally - after waiting what seemed like a decade, we finally have an opening date for the Nickelodeon Universe theme park at the American Dream, located just across the river from Manhattan in New Jersey.  Oh, and the date is October 25th!

The project has announced that it will open in "chapters," with the first chapter being the opening of the 8.5 acre theme park, complete with 35 rides and attractions, and the ice rink.  That's just over a month from right now, which is exciting since we've been waiting for the new park to open for years now.

© Gerstlauer
Nickelodeon will open with five new roller coasters, many of which are quite thrilling for an indoor theme park.  The largest are TMNT Shellraiser, a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter that is a near clone of Takabisha, featuring both a beyond vertical drop and a launched section.  Intertwined with it is Shredder, a Gerstlauer spinning coaster that's quite large for its ride style.  There will also be a twisted Intamin creation named Sandy's Blasting Bronco, a speculated Intamin half-pipe ride, and the Nickelodeon Slime Streak, a family coaster from Chance Rides.

This video is from earlier in the Summer, but it shows off several of the rides operating and gives an idea of the feel of the park.

© Proslide
The property's second chapter opening will be November 27th when the largest indoor water park in America opens, the DreamWorks Waterpark.  The massive indoor waterpark will feature a ton of rides and slides from Proslide, including a huge water coaster that heads around the outside of the whole complex.  There will be record breaking water slides, play structures and a huge wave pool as well.

Chapter three will open on December 5th when Big SNOW, an indoor ski facility opens.  Finally, in March of 2020 the shopping and dining sections will open, along with more attractions such as a giant observation wheel, Legoland Discovery Center, Sea Life Aquarium, KidZania and more.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Latest SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Exits Role After Brief Stay

© SeaWorld Entertainment
SeaWorld Entertainment's CEO Gustavo Antorch has resigned from his position after only being with the company for around 7 months, it has been announced.  Mr. Antorch seems to have had some disagreements with the company's board of directors which directly led to him resigning.  Marc Swanson, the current CFO, will step in as interim CEO.

Mr. Antorch just joined SeaWorld Entertainment back in February, and at the time his background in the cruise and leisure industry was cited as a potential good sign for the company.  Things have been very quiet since then though, with the head of the company not having much of a public presence since.

Potentially even worse is that over the course of the year we've seen several SeaWorld Entertainment park general managers quit suddenly, which could be a sign of a much larger issue.

The Orlando Sentinel dug up some more information on the story, and it seems the board of directors, led by Scott Ross (who's Hill Path Capital is now a majority owner of the company's shares) is very hands on... too much for other executives it seems.

The article also mentions what many others have said for a long time, that SeaWorld Entertainment is potentially being groomed to be sold.  Efforts to relentlessly cut costs and raise revenues lead many to think the goal isn't to cherish the parks, but to make them more profitable to get a bigger buck when a sale takes place.  All the executives leaving certainly make that plan more plausible.

For now, it seems like ride fans may win out of all of this drama in the short term, as SeaWorld's board is currently a big fan of building coasters and rides at each park instead of focusing on any sort of larger themed expansions or projects.  Long term... well we will have to wait and see.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Coney Island Amusement Park Ohio to Remove All Rides to Focus on Water Park

© Coney Island
Ohio's Coney Island Amusement Park has announced that it has made the tough decision to remove all amusement rides and attractions at the end of the 2019 season in order to focus more on their water park operations.

According to several news stories on the decision the park has found that trying to sustain both the amusement park and water park has become a strain, with limited money and resources available to go into both parks.  The public is more interested in the water park, Coney Island has found, so they plan on doubling down on that operation and expanding it in the future.

Over the next five or so years the park will work on a massive renovation that will culminate in a 100th anniversary celebration in 2025.  Their hope is to make the park the region's "premier swim and play destination."

© Coney Island
Fans of the park are understandably sad about the news.  Coney Island Amusement Park has an interesting collection of fairly classic rides, including a Zyklon coaster named Python, a Rock-O-Plane, Tempest, Scrambler, Tilt-a-Whirl, Carousel, Ferris wheel and a selection of children's rides.  Newer additions include the Top Spin, an inverting pendulum ride seen above.  Needless to say we hope these rides can find new homes at other parks in coming seasons.

The park's history is well known for the Shooting Star, a classic Herbert Schmeck wooden roller coaster that operated until 1946.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

New Launched Coaster - Ice Breaker - Opening at SeaWorld Orlando in 2020

© SeaWorld Orlando
2020 continues to be shaping up to be a stellar year for new roller coasters in North America, another recently announced ride is Ice Breaker, to be located at SeaWorld Orlando.

Ice Breaker will be located near the Wild Arctic attraction within SeaWorld Orlando, and is the park's first launched roller coaster.  The ride is named after the "icy Arctic summits" and according to RCDB will be provided by Premier Rides.  As with most SeaWorld rides, the park will be partnering with the Alaska SeaLife Center to help visitors learn about conservation efforts in the Arctic region.

© SeaWorld Orlando
Here is the full layout of Ice Breaker, which will actually feature a total of four launches.  After leaving the station the trains will hit a transfer track that moves them into the launch area.  The ride will then launch forward and backward 4 times to get the trains to the top speed of 52 miles per hour.  The backward spike will stand 93 feet tall and actually curve up at 100 degrees, more than vertical.

The maximum speed will take the train up a 80 foot tall top hat element, and then trains will race through the rest of the 2,750 feet of track and encounter a swooping turnaround hill, wave turn and plenty of air-time hills.

While no full point of view video has been released yet, SeaWorld Orlando did release this teaser video of Ice Breaker that gives some animated footage of the ride.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

SeaWorld San Antonio Building the Texas Singray Wooden Coaster for 2020

Coming to SeaWorld San Antonio in 2020 is the Texas Stingray, the park's first traditional wooden roller coaster, and the tallest, fastest and longest wooden roller coaster in Texas.  The addition is set to open in the Spring of 2020, and as we've seen through recent updates, the park has already made great progress on the construction of the coaster.

© SeaWorld San Antonio
Here is an overhead view of the Texas Stingray.  It will be located next to the new Turtle Reef exhibit and stretch between the Orca Stadium and the Rio Loco river rapids ride.  The Texas Stingray will be built by Great Coasters International, their first new coaster in North America since Mystic Timbers and InvadR opened in 2017.

© SeaWorld San Antonio
Texas Stingray starts with a 96 foot lift hill followed by a 90 degree right turn, immediately down into a 100 foot drop at 57 degrees.  Elevation changes in the land allow for the longer drop, which will send trains along at 55 miles per hour.  The ride's layout includes many GCI signature large swooping turns, some of which are banked at a maximum of 76 degrees.

In total the ride will offer 16 different airtime hills, last more than two minutes and near the end of the ride will be a 100 foot long tunnel.  Texas Stingray's total track length is 3,379 feet.

First Drop Construction © SeaWorld San Antonio
“Texas Stingray marks a new wave of excitement for SeaWorld,” said SeaWorld San Antonio’s Vice President of General Services Scott Bacon. “We continue to provide new reasons to visit SeaWorld and offer exciting new adventures for our guests with a blend of thrilling rides, family attractions and incredible animal and educational experiences.”

Ready to take a virtual spin on the Texas Stingray?  Check out the video that SeaWorld San Antonio released below!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Record Breaking Iron Gwazi Roars Into Busch Gardens Tampa in 2020

Today was the big reveal for Busch Gardens Tampa's new for 2020 Rocky Mountain Construction hybrid conversion of the dueling Gwazi wooden roller coasters... which will now be a single track ride named Iron Gwazi.

The coaster will be North America's tallest hybrid coaster, and the world's fastest and steepest hybrid coaster.  The statistics that allow Iron Gwazi to hold that record include a first hill of 206 feet tall, a top speed of 76 miles per hour, and a first drop at a harrowing 91 degrees, one degree steeper than vertical.

© Busch Gardens Tampa
Iron Gwazi will be themed around the mighty crocodile, with amazing looking lead cars that feature the face of one of the largest living reptiles on the planet.  Elements of the former wooden Gwazi roller coasters will be used in Iron Gwazi, but all new purple steel track will allow for twisted elements that the former ride could not dream of.  Iron Gwazi's track will feature three separate inversions and 12 airtime hills spread among 4,075 feet of track.

“Iron Gwazi is the evolution of a classic wooden coaster into a modern icon,” said Stewart Clark, Park President of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. “From the bones of the original Gwazi, a new legend rises, reaching taller heights and faster speeds, delivering the next-level thrills that our coaster fans crave and expect from Busch Gardens.”

This teaser video for Iron Gwazi was released along with today's announcement, and while it doesn't give a full view of the layout it does show many of the elements previously discovered.  We've already seen a large descending barrel roll and a stall element, with one more inversion hiding in the layout as well.  I'm sure it won't be long before the park releases a full look at what Iron Gwazi will offer.

No doubt, coaster fans will want to make Busch Gardens Tampa one of their stops once the ride opens in 2020!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Waldameer & Water World Building New Slide + Spinning Family Coaster for 2020

Waldameer and Water World, located in Erie, PA, has announced that they will be adding a large mat racing water slide and family spinning roller coaster for the park's 2020 season.

The additions come after the park's 2019 expansion, which was centered around Chaos, a spinning pendulum ride that inverts passengers at up to 60 feet in the sky.  The park also renovated their hot tub relaxation pool in Water World this season to accommodate more visitors.

© Waldameer Park
The mat racing slide will be one of Proslide's RallyRacer models, featuring bright colors and both open and enclosed sections.  It will have a total of 6 lanes and stand around 50 feet tall, with each lane stretching more than 400 feet in length.  Riders will race down their lane against one another, zooming through the enclosed sections as they race toward the finish line.  To conserve space, the slide will turn in on itself halfway through, with the finish line located under the middle of the slide's layout.  The addition will replace the Free Fall and Speed Slides, which have been at the park for many years.

Also new in 2020 will be a compact spinning roller coaster, which will replace the park's Showtime Theater and water wars game.  It will be manufactured by SBF Visa, and according to RCDB be named Whirlwind.  These spinning coasters are aimed at families and while smaller in size, are known to pack quite a punch and are a lot of fun.

This local news article states that the slide tower will cost around $3 million, and the new coaster between $500,000 and $700,000.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Kings Island's Orion Goes Vertical + Watch on New Webcam

Just a couple weeks after formally announcing Orion, a B&M giga coaster opening in 2020 at Kings Island, the ride has gone vertical!

© Kings Island
The theme park shared the above photo on social media, and wrote more about it on their official blog.  The first piece of beautiful blue track (out of a total of 184) that has been installed will be where the ride's station will be located.  This is not uncommon with building large roller coasters as the station itself takes a long time to create, so getting that track in place quickly is a must.

I'd expect to see more track and supports go up for the brake run and transfer track before the really fun stuff, i.e. the lift hill and 300 foot first drop, head toward the sky.

© Kings Island
But you never know, so it's best to obsessively watch the park build the roller coaster on their brand new Orion Webcam.  Here is an image from the cam taken today, showing the first piece of track installed.  There's also a lot of blue track on site being prepped for when the ride's construction requires it.  You can keep up to date with the webcam on Kings Island's official website

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Record Revenues Reported for Cedar Fair's 2019 Season Through Labor Day

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company typically reports the results of their season so far at the end of the Labor Day weekend, and this year was no different.  The company issued news that the 2019 season has seen record revenues through the end of the traditional summer season, with plenty of special events still to come in the year.

Granted, the company is now including the recent purchase of two Schlitterbahn water parks in Texas, but even without them they are seeing an overall increase.

Year to date (including Schlitterbahn) revenues are up 8% or $86 million to a record $1.12 billion, compared to $1.03 billion in 2018.  There has been a 6% or 1.1 million increase in attendance to 21 million, a 3% increase in in-park spending to $48.79 per person and a 9% or $10 million increase in out of park revenues to $130 million.

Pretty solid increases, but as we said those include new Schlitterbahn water parks.  If you exclude those parks, revenues were up 5% or $48 million to $1.08 billion, attendance up 2% or 465,000, in park spending up $1.08 per person and out of park revenues were up 5% or $6 million.

Cedar Point © Cedar Fair
So even when you take out the recently purchased Schlitterbahn parks Cedar Fair has had a good year by all standards.  Usually to get attendance up you have to discount, but the per capita is up significantly, so props to the company for that metric.

Cedar Fair's President and CEO, Richard Zimmerman, noted in the release that their efforts to "further broaden the guest experience by adding more experiential attractions and limited-duration special events" has worked, as the parks are drawing new guests and others are visiting more frequently.  So it sounds like special events and interactive attractions are in the forecast for the parks for the foreseeable future.  The company was also very happy with the two Schlitterbahn parks' performances, noting that have "outperformed" their early expectations.

If the fall and winter events, such as Halloween Haunt and Winterfest, continue to produce for Cedar Fair the year should easily be another record one.

© Cedar Fair
The news release also again confirmed that the PassPerks program will be rolling out to all Cedar Fair parks in 2020 after being tested at a handful of parks this year.  The loyalty program rewards pass holders for visiting the parks, giving them treats such as skip the line passes, food offers, discounted tickets and more.

Cedar Fair is also already seeing "meaningful increases" in the sales of 2020 season passes, believed to be based off of the capital announcements made last month.  This includes major anniversary celebrations at Cedar Point and Knott's Berry Farm, along with the Orion giga-coaster at Kings Island.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Six Flags Darien Lake to Rebrand Water Park + Build New Wahoo Wave Slide

Six Flags Darien Lake will continue to grow again in 2020 under its latest ownership, which saw the park welcomed back into the Six Flags chain in 2018.  The property has announced major changes to its Splashtown water park, with it being rebranded as Six Flags Hurricane Harbor next year and a major slide addition planned.

Wahoo Wave will splash into Hurricane Harbor next year, a massive new slide that stands 6 stories tall.  The slide's offerings will be unique to the park, featuring a "one-of-a-kind water wall" that will join other recent additions such as RipCurl Racer and the Brain Drain.

© Six Flags Darien Lake
Utilizing four person rafts, Wahoo Wave will start with a relatively calm section after leaving the loading area, featuring several curves and an enclosed section.  Suddenly the rafts will soar down into a steep 30 foot plunge and then up into the giant wave wall.  The experience will give riders the feeling of hang time, allowing them a near zero gravity experience.  After the wave wall the rafts will splash into a final catch pool.

“Six Flags continues to invest to make the park bigger, better and now wetter than ever with the introduction of a world class water park attraction, Wahoo Wave,” said Park President Chris Thorpe. “This massive attraction provides cool thrills and spills for the whole family.”

According to Six Flags Darien Lake, construction on Wahoo Wave will begin in 2020 and it is expected to be complete when Hurricane Harbor opens in May, 2020.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Help Name Luna Park's New For 2020 Roller Coaster

© Luna Park
Luna Park, located in Coney Island, previously announced an ambitious plan to expand into a new parcel of land and offer an even larger assortment of rides and attractions. 

The new area at the time was announced to contain a new gathering and park-like space along with a huge ropes/adventure course, and a new log flume.  The log flume was the highlight at the time, as it was a much larger model than the park's current flume.

The expansion news came about a year ago and has since grown, and now includes a family roller coaster that wraps around the log flume - nice!  Since pretty much all rides that are installed at Luna Park are provided by Zamperla, we can probably assume they will be creating the coaster.

The above concept art shows the new coaster and how it will interact with the flume.  Granted the ride looks mild in nature, but who doesn't want a new coaster in the famous seaside paradise?

If you happen to have a great name idea for this coaster you can currently submit it to Luna Park via a contest they are holding.  Winners of the contest will get a VIP package day at the park for a group of their friends.

At this point it seems the ropes course, log flume and newly announced steel roller coaster are all planned to open in the Spring or Summer of 2020.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Six Flags Parks New For 2020 Thrill Ride Roundup

© Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
We still have a lot of ground to cover with regard to Six Flags Theme Parks' new for 2020 announcements.  We've posted about a couple of the largest attractions, now let's take a look at the other rides headed to the parks.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will be adding a new roller coaster, the Sidewinder Safari, which also has an animal exhibit located in its queue.  Riders will enter a safari themed queue that features rattlesnakes and other reptiles.  The coaster itself appears to be a clone of Rajin' Cajun at Six Flags America.  The ride is one of Zamperla's family spinning wild mouse coasters, standing 42 feet tall with 1,378 feet of track.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas will open a brand new type of thrill ride next year, named Daredevil Dive Flying Machines.  Themed as a steampunk flying machine, the attraction will be one of Zamperla's new elevated Super Air Race rides.  The ride has six plane themed cars (each one seats 4 riders) that soar and rotate as the attraction rises to five stories above the ground.  Daredevil Dive Flying Machines will be located in the Crackaxle Canyon section of the park.

© The Great Escape
Two parks will be adding a Booster ride from Funtime, at The Great Escape it will be known as Adirondack Outlaw and at Six Flags St. Louis Catwoman Whip.  The Booster ride is also commonly called a "salt and pepper shaker" and features sets seats on each end of a large ride arm.  The arm rotates and sends rides up 160 feet in the air at 50 miles per hour - oh and the ride carriage is able to rotate freely as well allowing for inversions.

My description of the ride may not be perfect, but this animation of the Six Flags St. Louis version definitely makes the attraction clear.  I believe that Catwoman Whip will have more seats - 16 per ride cycle - than at The Great Escape, which looks like it will have 8.

© Six Flags New England
A pair of parks will add another recently popular ride, Zamperla's Endeavour.  The ride is the modern version of a Huss Enterprise, and visitors to parks are eating them up.  The ride will be named Supergirl Sky Flyer at Six Flags New England, and Catwoman Whip at Six Flags Over Georgia.  Riders are seated with their legs hanging free below them and rotated in a giant circle to seven stories above the ground.

Six Flags Over Georgia will place their ride in a newly renovated Gotham City area, with new theming, food, and a second new ride, a traditional Scrambler named Poison Ivy Toxic Twister.  Six Flags New England's ride will be placed in the DC Super Hero Adventure themed area.

© Six Flags America
Good things come in pairs at Six Flags, and the trend continues with two parks building massive spinning pendulum rides in 2020.  Six Flags America is going to add Harley Quinn Spinsanity, one of the 147 foot tall, 70 mile per hour version of the ride.  To be located within the park's Gotham City area, it is sure to breath a lot of new life into that part of the park.

Six Flags Mexico is also building a pendulum ride, CraZanity, which is one of the even larger versions of these rides which tie as the tallest in the world.  Standing 170 feet tall at maximum swing, CraZanity will hit 75 miles per hour at its top speed.

© La Ronde
Turns out the rumors of Six Flags Magic Mountain's Green Lantern being transported to La Ronde were totally true, as the park has announced the ride as Vipere.  The coaster opened in California in 2011 but has a difficult time at the park since then.  Hopefully the ride will be better suited for Canadian audiences.  The ride is one of Intamin's Zac Spin coasters, standing 105 feet tall and featuring cars that can spin wildly on the multi-level track, should the park desire those operations.

Last but not least, Six Flags Over Texas is building North America's first Mack Rides Power Splash ride, named Aquaman: Power Wave.  The ride has a 700 foot long track that uses LSM launches to send boats both forward and backward up 148 foot tall towers at 63 miles per hour.  At the end of the last drop the boats soar through a splash pool creating a drenching finale to a thrilling ride.

It's great to see one of these rides come to a park in North America, as they look very exciting.  It is rumored that this ride was fabricated for the cancelled Six Flags Dubai project - in this case much to the gain of Six Flags Over Texas!