Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Six Flags Great Adventure Confirms Major Work on The Jersey Devil Coaster has Resumed

© Six Flags Great Adventure
While the status of some 2021 projects still may be questionable, thankfully we got an update from Six Flags Great Adventure that confirms that major work on The Jersey Devil Coaster has started again.  The park took to their socials to share two photos, both posted here, of new construction that has gone up on the ride.

Yesterday they shared that a shiny section of orange track for the ride was lifted into place, and also some supplemental support items like an access staircase also went in.  That's progress, people!

© Six Flags Great Adventure
The Jersey Devil Coaster is a ride that is highly anticipated, one of Rocky Mountain Construction's Raptor style coasters, with a unique layout and also the largest of its kind to date.  The ride stands 130 feet tall, features an 87 degree first drop, maximum speeds of 58 miles per hour and three inversions spread out over 3,000 feet of track.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Alabama Adventure + Splash Adventure Adding Rocket Racer Slide for 2021

© Alabama Adventure
Alabama Adventure & Splash Adventure delivered their Christmas morning 2021 announcement as promised, and revealed that the park is building Rocket Racer, a brand new mat racing water slide tower.  Standing over 50 feet tall, Rocket Racer will feature 6 racing lanes, each with more than 400 feet of slide.  As with all popular mat racing water slides, riders will each other through the course, attempting to cross the finish line first (and with a splash, of course).

The park says that Rocket Racer will be the biggest water slide in all of Alabama, and it will also make Splash Adventure the biggest water park in the State.  The announcement video also notes that the park is "making sure that this isn't just a new attraction for the park, but an entirely new area for families to have fun and make great family memories every summer."  We saw the location of the new slide in previous teasers, and since it is slightly distant from the water park proper, maybe there's more to come with the expansion in terms of lounging, amenities and/or guest space.

© Silverwood Theme Park
The ride shown in the video is the mat racing water slide at Sliverwood Theme Park, seen above, and if the same one is going up at Splash Adventure then it looks like one of Whitewater's Whizzard towers.  It is a considerably sized tower for a park that's still quite small, having shown up in the past at much larger water parks, so this addition must be quite an achievement for the latest owners!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Six Flags Over Texas Pushes Aquaman: Power Wave to 2022

© Six Flags Over Texas
This change was noticed a bit ago, but I showed up to the party late it seems.  Still, it's worth noting that Six Flags Over Texas has changed the wording on their website to indicate that Aquaman: Power Wave will now be opening in 2022, not 2021 as many expected.

© Six Flags Over Texas
The ride was originally slated to open in 2020 and had a great deal of its construction finished before the pandemic set in and the parks closed for many months.  As with other projects at Six Flags parks across the country the ride was not worked on during the summer and fall, as we all expected the "new for 2020" rides to simply become the "new for 2021" rides.  Not so in this case, it seems.

© Six Flags Over Texas
Aquaman: Power Wave is one of Mack's PowerSplash attractions, a combination roller coaster type track with water splash boat ride.  It features LSM launches to power the boats forward and backward up towers that stand up to 148 feet in the air.  There's a gentle air-time hill in the middle of the track that adds even more fun to the mix.  Eventually water is released into the pool below and as the boat comes down the tower a final time a huge splash ensues.  

As for the delay, one can easily speculate that Six Flags in general will be conserving cash for the foreseeable future due to the pandemic, but there are also rumors popping up that the ride was ordered without a turntable station, which limited capacity greatly.  The rumors say that the ride will but outfitted with a turntable so a second boat can be used, causing the delay.  If true, good move on the park's part!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park Announces New Family Coaster for 2021

© Deno's Wonder Wheel Park
Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, located in Coney Island, has announced the addition of Phoenix, a brand new suspended family roller coaster for Summer 2021.  The park, along with the rest of the Coney Island attractions, was never able to open during 2020 so the park is extra-excited to be adding their largest attraction ever next year.  Featuring bright red track and yellow supports, the ride will feature family friendly thrills but be large enough to attract adult riders, too.

The new coaster was officially revealed through this article in USA Today, so be sure to check it out for more details and an animated video of the Phoenix coaster.

© Google Maps
The new coaster will take up a big portion of the edge of the park seen in the bottom left of this aerial of the park.  For those not familiar, Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park is located right between several parcels that are operated under Luna Park, with the Wonder Wheel as their long standing big draw.  

Phoenix will stand 68 feet tall and hit 34 miles per hour, though those are really the only statistics revealed so far.  RCDB is reporting that the ride is being manufactured by Vekoma, which makes sense as they have created several family style suspended coasters in the past few seasons across the globe.  

Coney Island was set to have at least one new family coaster in 2020 as part of Luna Park's latest expansion, but there is no word yet on if that ride will also be moving forward for the 2021 season.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Give Kids The World Village to Reopen on January 17th

© Give Kids the World

Give Kids The World Village in Florida has announced that they will reopen on January 17th, and once again continue their mission of "spreading joy and happiness that inspires hope for critically ill children and their families.  The Village has been shut down to wish guests since March, when they had to close due to the pandemic.  That means that a long ten months will have passed without families being treated to a wonderful break from their lives in the funtastic Florida sun.  The Village notes that some 6,000 children had to have their wish trips postponed because of the pandemic, and they're looking forward to seeing each and every one of them as they reopen.

The Village will take on a phased reopening plan, starting with much smaller amounts of families and gradually expand their operations toward a goal of full reopening.  With everyone's safety in mind, they have a COVID-19 safety plan in place, created in consultation with infectious disease experts at Nemours Children's Hospital.

© Give Kids The World

Most recently, and actually still on-going, Give Kids The World Village has held Night of a Million Lights, a spectacular holiday light presentation that has attracted many visitors and helped the property raise a lot of funds.  It will run through January 3rd, so there's still time if you are local to check out the amazing displays!

Also, with all the challenges of this year the Village can use help more than ever, so please keep them in mind this holiday season!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Six Flags Expanding + Extending Holiday In The Park Drive-Thru at Several Parks

© Six Flags
Six Flags Theme Parks have found success with turning their Holiday In The Park events into drive through versions this year, so much that it appears as though the company is doubling down on the change.  We first saw Six Flags Magic Mountain, which is not able to open as a theme park yet, start the drive through experience.  Then Six Flags Great Adventure added a weekday drive through version of Holiday In The Park to their offerings, while still having the usual event on the weekend.  

Before long we saw Six Flags Fiesta Texas also add weekday drive through the park events, and Six Flags Great America, which had opened as a light-display only event (no rides), is now also offering it weekdays through mid-January.

The drive-thru experience at © Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
is also offering the Holiday In The Park Drive-Thru Experience, with their event just having opened yesterday.  The drive through version is a great way to keep guests safe and separated during these pandemic times, and it seems that guests are responding to it very well.

For instance, both Six Flags Magic Mountain and Six Flags Great Adventure just announced that they are extending their drive through operations well into January, even till the last day of January for Magic Mountain.  That's quite an extended holiday season!  This will be a nice way for Six Flags parks to keep their guests involved during some of the winter months, and adding value to their season passes.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Legoland Florida Planning Significant Expansion

© Google Maps
Legoland Florida appears to have expansion on their mind, at least according to new reports about a major expansion that they are planning.  Both the Orlando Sentinel and Attractions Magazine have published reports that the park has submitted planning documents that show the park would like to clear 4.5 acres of their parking lot to build a new themed area.

It is not clear at this point what the area would be themed to, though in the application the plan is referred to as Project Venus.  Parks use code words in planning documents often, knowing that they will eventually end up in the public eye, and it may not actually be tied to the land's theme.

The submission shows that the new area would be located at the front of the park in an area of the parking lot currently separated from the main park by both backstage areas and a road. 

 © Legoland Florida
There looks to be several new rides and attractions on the plans, seen above.  There's several small flat rides, a large building, a small roller coaster and some sort of track ride, to name some.  There is also a dining area, what looks like a small stage, and a pretty big play structure as well.

© Google Maps
The part I can't wrap my head around is how this will connect to the main theme park.  Here is an aerial of the park with a snip of the blueprints put on them.  I noticed that (the two red stripes) the plans read "Theme Park Entry" at this spot, and you can see on the plans (green stripe) it says "Exit Portal."  Unless the park make some additional major changes, the entrance to this addition is from a bus loop roadway, and the exit drops you right into the parking lot, which they spent a ton on to cover in solar panels.  And, that bus loop roadway is definitely shown as staying in the plans.  Also for reference, immediately to the left of the expansion is a large backstage area, with the theme park's entrance far up in the left corner.

That leaves me wondering, could this not be a new land for the theme park at all, instead some sort of stand alone attraction?  The number of rides and attractions in the plans does seem like more than double what the park has added in the past, so it does seem like a big project.  Or perhaps some sort of exclusive area for hotel guests, as they now have three different overnight options for the resort?  The news articles state that the park says they'll say more next year, so we shall see.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Kings Island Camp Cedar Luxury Outdoor Resort to Open Near Kings Island in 2021

© Kings Island Camp Cedar
A brand new luxury outdoor resort, named Kings Island Camp Cedar, has been announced to open just down the road from Kings Island in Spring, 2021.  Coming in at a cost of $27 million, the resort will be owned by Small Brothers, LLC and Terra Firma Associates and managed by Cedar Fair through a partnership and licensing agreement.

© Kings Island Camp Cedar
Spread out over 52 acres of land, and located less than a mile from Kings Island's entrance, the resort will feature a mix of both resort and camping destination.  It will feature 73 cottages and 164 full service RV spaces, and has been designed to expand with another 100 cottages in the future.

There will be a plethora of amenities offered to those who stay at Kings Island Camp Cedar.  These include pool areas including Deerfield Springs, a large 5000 sq ft family activity pool with features such as geysers, a mini-slide, basketball area, waterfall background and more.  There will also be an exclusive adult pool made for relaxing, and cabanas will be offered.  

© Kings Island Camp Cedar
The resort experience will start with Hornbeam Lodge, offering check-in services.  It will also feature the Ironwood Grill and Tap restaurant with patio seating, a Coyote Creek Camp Store, Dry Bean coffee and gelato store and a grand fireplace and general living room.  There will also be a separate area with food truck inspired offerings, such as traditional American favorites, Mexican dishes, ice cream and more.

A laundry area, free Wifi, walking trails, a dog park and rentable golf carts are also on the list of amenities offered.  With the partnership with Cedar Fair the resort will also offer Peanut character visits during Character Breakfasts and Smores with Snoopy, for example.


© Kings Island Camp Cedar

The new resort construction is well underway, seen in this aerial view taken recently.  With the popularity of tourism in the area surrounding Kings Island ever-growing, and the park growing significantly in recent years, this is a great way to make the Mason area a full vacation.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Universal Orlando Reveals Close Up Views of the VelociCoaster Trains

© Universal Orlando
Universal Orlando has released new images of the trains for the VelociCoaster and holy moly, they are truly a thing of beauty!  The Intamin designed ride is entering the final stages of construction at Islands of Adventure, a part of the greater Universal Orlando resort.

The new ride will feature two separate launches, inversions, a 155 foot tall top hat element, 100 foot long inverted stall, and a top speed of 70 miles per hour.

© Universal Orlando

© Universal Orlando

© Universal Orlando

I think that these photos really speak for themselves.  Even notice the raptor claw scratch on the front right of the train!  Beautiful.  They also feature head lights and head rest lights so that riders can see their way through the Jurassic Park section of the park, racing through the raptor paddocks and over both land and water.

The VelociCoaster is set to debut at Islands of Adventure in the Summer of 2021.  See you in line!

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Super Nintendo World to Open at Universal Studios Japan on February 4th, 2021

© Universal Japan
Universal Studios Japan has announced that the highly anticipated Super Nintendo World will open to guests on February 4th, 2021.  The announcement comes after the nearly completed expansion was delayed this year due to the global pandemic, and has fans of the Nintendo properties rejoicing.  With a date firmly in hand, fans now know exactly when they can enter the highly immersive land that Universal Studios has brought to life.

The announcement comes with plenty of new media and looks inside Super Nintendo World, which we haven't had previously aside from in the form of concept art. 

© Universal Japan
This includes looks inside of Bowser's Castle, which is the home to Mario Kart: Koopa's Challenge, a thrilling dark ride that everyone cannot wait to experience.  Filled with a mix of physical sets and modern technology, the ride experience still contains many secrets though this media announcement has given us much more information that ever before.  Per the park, riders will not just be playing the game, they will actually become a part of it while on the ride.

A new preview video was released by the park showing off several features of Super Nintendo World.  We could dissect it here but the above video from Theme Park Stop is far better than anything that we could produce, we highly recommend checking it out and their full story at this link.

Super Nintendo World also features Peach's Castle, a family friendly Yoshi themed ride, a plethora of interactive features throughout along with highly themed shops and restaurants.  A clone of the land is currently being built at Universal Studios Hollywood, though its opening date is probably still a couple years down the road.