Thursday, December 30, 2021

Alabama Adventure Building New Family Coaster "Cheddar Chase" for 2022

© Alabama Adventure
As promised, Alabama Adventure has revealed another Christmas present this year for all their fans - this time in the form of a new family roller coaster named Cheddar Chase.  The reveal of the new attraction was done on social media via a video upload, you can check that out at this link.

Cheddar Chase is believed to be an L&T Systems Wild Mouse, specifically the one that ran at Lake Winnepesaukah up until this past season.  The given model of Wild Mouse stands around 48 feet tall and features just under 1,200 feet of track.  As a family ride, big thrills aren't the intention here - in fact Alabama Adventure points out in their video that they will now offer Rampage for thrill seekers, Cheddar Chase for families, and the Centi-Speed for little kids.

© Alabama Adventure

The park shows the location of the new coaster in their announcement video, a screen capture of which can be seen above.  The ride will be located up on the hill where Zoomerang, a standard Vekoma Boomerang coaster, once stood.  This will give the ride nice presence over the developing amusement ride part of the property, and certainly draw families over that way.

While this new coaster is pretty big for the park, they also mention that for their 2022 season they have a total of 4 announcements to make, and Cheddar Chase is just the first.  So stay tuned during the winter months for more news, the park says they have something to announce "4" everyone in 2022.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Adventureland Resort Iowa Purchased by Palace Entertainment

© Adventureland Resort
Iowa's Adventureland Resort has been purchased by Palace Entertainment, a subsidiary of Parques Reunidos, the company has announced.  Adventureland has been a family run business since the park opened in 1974, expanding greatly over the decades.  In recent years, especially, with the addition of several new roller coasters and attractions.


The park recently announced that they will be adding a slew of new family rides for the 2022 season, and it sounds like Place Entertainment will continue that momentum into 2023.

© Adventureland Resort
“We are excited about adding Adventureland into our portfolio,” said John Reilly, Chief Operating Officer of Palace Entertainment. “We specialize in parks and venues that create experiences to be enjoyed over a lifetime, from childhood to young adulthood to parenting and grandparenting. We are investing in Adventureland to expand its current lineup to include eight new family rides in 2022, plus two all-new attractions for the 2023 season.” 


Obviously there is no word yet on what the park plans for 2023 with its two new rides, but it is nice to see expansion continuing.  Palace Entertainment already owns and operates some exciting parks across the country including Kennywood, Lake Compounce, Idlewild, Dutch Wonderland and many water parks and family entertainment centers across the country. 


No purchase price was revealed for the transaction at this time.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Kings Dominion's New Tumbili Coaster is Going Up Fast

© Kings Dominion
Just before the holidays Kings Dominion posted a new photo update for Tumbili, the park's new S&S 4-D Free Spin coaster that will open in 2022.  The new coaster is a part of a new themed area, Jungle X-Pedition, which will feature all new theming, paint, a new Basecamp restaurant, retail and more.  The park's existing roller coaster, Avalanche, is also being repainted and will become a part of Jungle X-Pedition.

© Kings Dominion
As you can see from these photos that the park shared, Tumbili is well on its way to being finished!  The park has given the ride a unique look by making the support columns appear as if they're made of bamboo, which contrasts nicely with the green track.  It won't take long after construction crews return from holiday break for the rest of the ride's track and supports to go into place.

Tumbili will utilize individual cars that are flipped using magnetic technology, creating a wild ride that's rarely exactly the same.  Riders are located on each side of the track with a total of 8 riders per car.  The ride's station and queue are highly themed as an exploration site, and the finished product should be very cool looking.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Kings Island Making Major Improvements to The Beast This Offseason

© Kings Island
One of the industry's most beloved wooden roller coasters, The Beast at Kings Island, is receiving some major improvements this off season, the park has confirmed.  In their latest blog entry they detail exactly what the park is doing, with the help of The Gravity Group, to have The Beast running better than ever in 2022.

We actually had a pretty good idea that The Beast was undergoing some major improvements a few weeks back, when these photos of the ride were posted on Reddit.  At that time it was shocking to see such large parts of the ride stripped bare, but now that the park has filled us in on the plans it all makes a lot more sense.

Kings Island details that a total of 2,000 feet of The Beast's record-breaking track will be refurbished before the park reopens for 2022.  The Gravity Group is working on the coaster's first drop and the tunnel right after, and the turn toward the second drop, plus the 540 degree helix tunnel.  Kings Island carpenters are working on 1,090 feet of track on other parts of the ride.

The Beast's first drop will go from 45 to 53 degrees during the work, which is needed in order for the track to enter the tunnel lower for the "proper parabolic arcs" to be created in the renovated area leading to the 2nd drop.  The park also explains how the helix tunnel area will change as well, make sure to check out the park's official blog for more details!

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Fun Spot America Atlanta Releases ArieForce One Animated POV

© Fun Spot America Atlanta
Fun Spot America Atlanta has released a brand new animated point of view ride on ArieForce One, the park's new Rocky Mountain Construction roller coaster.  We saw a lot of animated footage when the ride was announced during the IAAPA trade show, however the full POV was not released at the time.  Now we can take a virtual spin on the attraction, and really evaluate just how much we'll be out of our seats while on the ride - a lot.  Take a ride:

ArieForce Once will stand 154 feet tall and start with a 146 foot drop at 83 degrees.  Featuring a patriotic color scheme, the coaster is going to haul riders at 64 miles per hour across a total of 3,400 feet of track.  The coaster features a Raven Truss Dive, a Zero G Inverted Stall and two Barrel Rolls as far as inversions go, but is packed with other elements.  There will be a wild outwardly banked turn along with a quad-down that has coaster fans mouths' watering.

Hopefully the big parts of ride construction will start soon and we will be able to watch the coaster come to life!

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Kennywood to Celebrate 125 Years in 2022 with Improvements, New Old Ride and Special Events

© Kennywood
Kennywood will start to celebrate the park's 125th anniversary with a variety of new events, a returning classic ride, and changes throughout the park.  A 125th anniversary is pretty special, and it is wonderful to see the park celebrating it in a big way.  As other parks have proven you do not need a giant new ride to mark a milestone such as this, and general improvements across the park are always a welcome addition.

© Kennywood

© Kennywood
The park will be celebrating their anniversary over two years, for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, and many of the planned changes will come online over that period.  The park's buildings and midways will be receiving various improvements, with new paint, signage, facades and more changing and being improved across the property.  The image up top and the two seen here are some concepts the park is kicking around - showing an improved entrance area along with a new facade for the Old Mill ride.

© Kennywood
As previously announced the Kangaroo flat ride will be making a triumphant return next year, featuring a state of the art ride operating system, new LED lighting and a bright new color scheme.  The park is working with Premier Rides on the attraction's total refurbishment.

Kennywood will also host a series of special events, some returning and some new, to give guests various seasons of fun to visit the park.  The park will hold an expanded Bites & Pints food festival next year, their annual Celebrate America party for the 4th, their Fall Fantasy Parades, Phantom Fall Fest and Holiday Lights.  They're also adding a Spring Kickoff to start the season, and in July the Summer Light-Up Festival which features the park after dark.

© Kennywood
To keep park fans involved Kennywood is holding another poll, this time allowing them to pick the theme of a giant historical collage that will be going up along the Jack Rabbit's queue.  Seen above is an example of how the finished product could look, but the content will be voted on by park guests.  You can check it out and vote at this link.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Soaky Mountain Waterpark Building Dueling Water Coaster for 2022

© Soaky Mountain Waterpark
Soaky Mountain Waterpark, located in Tennessee, will be adding a unique water roller coaster in 2022 named The Edge.  To be more specific, the park is actually adding a pair of dueling water roller coasters, not just one!

The Edge is appropriately named because it sits high up on the border of the water park, and will really tower over the nearby attractions.  Created by Whitewater, The Edge will fuse together the company's popular water roller coaster with their Boomerango slide ending.  Riders will start from a 70 foot tower and the two slides stay close to one another in layout for most of the path.  After a large three story first drop riders will encounter both enclosed and open sections of downhill and uphill slide.

© Soaky Mountain Waterpark
Toward the end of the ride the paths split somewhat and pass through another enclosed section that features aqualucent sections that create a plethora of colors as riders slide by.  Suddenly the rafts plunge down another large hill and then climb up onto a giant half pipe which gives them air-time at the peak.  The rafts then slide back down, over a gentle air-time hill, and end the attraction.

The end of the slide even features lights and other effects to announce which of the paths completed the course the fastest.  Soaky Mountain Waterpark will also increase its lounge space in 2022 with 1,000 more chairs, and will add large umbrellas throughout the park for additional shade.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Big Rivers Waterpark Building Big Rivers Fairground Amusement Area

© Big Rivers Waterpark

Big Rivers Waterpark, located in Texas, has announced that they are adding amusement rides to their offerings starting this month in a part of the park called the Big Rivers Fairgrounds.  The developers behind Big Rivers Waterpark have long planned to open a theme park within the Grand Texas development, but had chosen to add the water park first.  The theme park plans were first announced in 2013, but owners still want to open it some day.

However for now they're carving out an undeveloped part of the water park to add a selection of rides and attractions, eleven in total.  There will be thrill rides along with kiddie rides so that there is something for the whole family.

© Big Rivers Waterpark

It sounds a bit like the park went shopping at the IAAPA show and got some neat rides to take back with them.  The park's owner showed off Rolling Thunder, one of SBF Visa Group's spinning roller coasters that has the crazy hamster wheel seating on part of it.  The park purchased the ride that was at the IAAPA show, and it was to be shipped to the park shortly thereafter.  That's sure to get visitors' attention!

© Big Rivers Waterpark

While not all rides will be open in December, they all will be for sure by the start of the 2022 season.  Other attractions listed include SPINdletop, an inverting pendulum ride, a set of Flying Scooters, a Tornado ride by Wisdom, and as seen above, Lafitte's Fury, a swinging ship ride.  Since there are 11 rides in total, there are obviously more not yet listed.

The park's press release for the Fairgrounds area notes that these rides are not meant to replace the full 140 acre theme park they plan to build, noting that the park is still "forthcoming."

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Six Flags Names Selim Bassoul as Company's New CEO

© Six Flags
Here is a piece of news that broke just before the IAAPA trade show but is worth still covering, Six Flags Entertainment has named a new CEO - Selim Bassoul.  This means that the former CEO, Michael Spanos, will have served in the top spot for just two years.  No direct reason for the change was given by the company, they simply stated that the replacement was effective immediately as Mr. Spanos has stepped down.

Mr. Bassoul was already serving as the company's Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, so he is by no means unfamiliar with Six Flags and their plans.  Ben Baldanza, an independent director for Six Flags and former CEO of Spirit Airlines, has replace Mr. Bassoul as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board. 

“I am honored to serve as the next CEO of Six Flags, and I am excited to bring the magic back to our parks. We are a company led by a purpose–to make a positive and meaningful impact on everyone Six Flags touches,” said Mr. Bassoul. “I will do my best to enable our people to fulfill their passion to make a difference, and to harness their creativity to build on a shared vision for guest satisfaction and financial growth. I am passionate about empowering employees and serving our customers, and together with our team, I know we can set up Six Flags for a new level of success in the months and years ahead.” 


I know that press releases tend to be full of only good news and positivity, but I still find it interesting that Mr. Bassoul noted he wants to bring back the "magic" to the parks.  It was gone, I take it? It is often noted that the Six Flags parks are in need of a sprucing up, including general maintenance, paint and modernization of infrastructures.  There were grabs at this during Mr. Spanos' tenure, and perhaps Mr. Bassoul will amp up the speed of the changes planned.  Time will tell, it usually takes over a year to see the real changes a new CEO brings, so I wouldn't put too much stock in the 2022 season reflecting Mr. Bassoul much. 

Interestingly, part of Mr. Bassoul's employment agreement also states that he will purchase $10 million in Six Flags stock on the open market as soon as he starts.  His bonus is tied to overall financial performance, and on a personal level it sounds like he is willing to put up, well, $10 million of his own money to help motivate him to motivate the company to see great results.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

"Volkanu" Dark Ride Announced for New Lost Island Theme Park

© Lost Island / Sally
The currently under construction Lost Island Theme Park, being built in Iowa, has been announced to be the home of a brand new interactive dark ride from Sally, named Volkanu - Quest for the Golden Idol.  The new theme park is set to open next summer and has slowly been revealing information about the park's creative theme and roster of attractions.

The lands of the new park are themed around the earth's elements, and the Volkanu dark ride will be in the area representing fire.  Fitting, and the attraction is housed inside a building hidden by a giant volcano facade.  Sally Corporation has created a unique story for the attraction, which will be filled with interactive features and special effects.

© Lost Island / Sally
Above is concept art of the outside of the Volkanu ride.  Sally describes the attraction as featuring "state-of-the-art, multi-level gameplay technology that has something for everyone.  Riders will experience a four-minute showtime full of interactive 3D imagery, dynamic scenery, animatronic figures and dazzling special effects."

Riders entering the fire realm will find the dark ride themed to the "great god of fire Volkanu - a legendary bestial being of molten rock living deep inside Lost Island.  The experience will take riders on a thrill-packed adventure to locate the sacred Ora-Tika statue, responsible for keeping Volkanu dormant, and return it to the altar to restore peace to the island. Guests will be equipped with a powerful Thermal Blaster as they battle with the minions of Volkanu and head to the Temple of Fire to return the statue to its altar."

As fans of dark rides, it's great to see such a unique attraction opening in the U.S. so soon.  Instillation of the ride is already underway on site at Lost Island, and it will open with the theme park in 2022.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Adventureland Long Island Building Fireball Coaster in 2022

© Adventureland
Long Island's Adventureland has surprised us all with the announcement of a new roller coaster, Fireball, that will open at the park in 2022.  The park is promising more details in the near future, and for now is just stating on social media that Fireball is aimed at providing fun for the entire family.

From the image they released along with the logo, we can pretty easily tell that this will be one of Ride Engineers Switzerland's Roller Ball coasters.  Plus, Adventureland makes it clear that their new ride will be the only of its kind in North America, as there are only similar rides in Austria, Germany and France.

Per the description of the Roller Ball coaster from Ride Engineers Switzerland, "passengers get the sensation being a pinball while safely running down the track in a 4-seat gondola with individual lap bars. Due to the acceleration and deceleration, the gondola is swinging around the vertical curves in combination with a free fall feeling."


From the company's website it appears as though Adventureland is adding the Roller Ball S model, which stands 72 feet tall, has 288 feet of track and has a maximum speed of about 16 miles per hour.  Obviously, as a family ride the intent is not to be overly thrilling. The above video is of a larger sized instillation of a Roller Ball, which still will give a nice look at what to expect at Adventureland next season.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

The Kangaroo Returns to Kennywood in 2022

© Kennywood
Fans of Kennywood Park have been overjoyed to learn that the park is bringing back its classic Kangaroo flat ride for the park's 2022 season.  The ride has thrilled park visitors for generations with its gentle flying and bouncing motions, and now will once more next year.  The ride was closed at the end of the 2020 season but the park made the decision to invest in the classic, refurbish it, and reopen it.  


The ride opened in 1962 and is a "Flying Coaster" ride created by Aero-Affiliates, and was the last one operating in the U.S. when it closed.  In a Blast From The Past article from 2010 we actually covered the ride in great detail - check it out!

© Kennywood
“Kangaroo is a one-of-a-kind ride that’s perfect for a one-of-a-kind park like Kennywood,” says General Manager Mark Pauls. “We heard our guests ask for its return, and we are excited to bring the last ride of its kind in the world back, better than ever.”


In order to bring this classic back to life, Kennywood has hired Premier Rides to do a complete refurbishment.  When completed the new Kangaroo will feature "an all-new LED lighting package, vibrant new colors, and state of the art operating systems while still providing the classic “Flying Coaster” feel."


Major kudos to Kennywood for investing in a classic ride like this!  Make sure to take a bounce on the ride next season.  As for now, be sure to visit Kennywood's page to vote on the Kangaroo's new look!

Friday, November 19, 2021

New Gerstlauer Infinity Shuttle Coaster to Open at Cotaland in Late 2022

© Gerstlauer
Gerstlauer Rides and Ride Entertainment have announced a brand new custom designed Infinity shuttle coaster that will open toward the end 2022.  Named Palindrome, the unique coaster will be located at Cotaland in Austin, Texas.  Cotaland is located at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) and currently is a kiddie park with several small attractions and rides.  In 2022 the park is planning a great expansion to offer many more rides, with Palindrome being the star of them.

© Gerstlauer
Palindrome will start with a vertical lift hill of 95 feet, followed by a near vertical twisting first drop.  The individual trains will seat 12 riders at a time as they hit a maximum speed of 51 miles per hour.  Trains will then soar though a zero-g stall which takes place over an active road.  A "flipped wave turn" is taken next, with a high-speed inline twist inversion right after.  Trains then soar up a "vertical hop-stall" tower, which sends the trains backward through the entire course.

© Gerstlauer
A turn table eventually points the trains back at the station to complete the ride.  The coaster will have 1,230 feet of track but due to the backward run a total of 2,080 feet will be covered.  Palindrome will also utilize the park's terrain to offer a total of 111 feet of elevation change despite the lift only being 95 feet tall.


© Gerstlauer
Gerstlauer is especially excited for the ride's vertical hop-stall tower, which features a bump in it that trains pass over on their way up.  As they plunge down backward the bump will give riders some air-time while they float downward, an exciting prospect for passengers.


A full set of video renderings of Palindrome are available from Ride Entertainment at this link.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

ArieForce One RMC Coaster Headed to Fun Spot America Atlanta

© Fun Spot America Atlanta
Fun Spot America Atlanta and Rocky Mountain Construction have announced ArieForce One, a brand new i-box track steel coaster for the park's 2022 season.  We've known that a custom designed ride was headed to the park for some time now, but the pair waited until the annual IAAPA trade show to do the full reveal of the coaster.

© Fun Spot America Atlanta
ArieForce One is named after Fun Spot America's founder John Arie - the parks are currently run by his son, John Arie, Jr.  The ride and its queue will be themed after the senior John Arie's boyhood passion for flight, hence the unique coaster name.  The $13 million project will be the largest that Fun Spot has ever spent on one ride to date.

© Fun Spot America Atlanta
The coaster will start with a 154 foot lift hill, followed by a 146 foot first drop at a steep 83 degree angle at 64 miles per hour.  The trains will then soar up into a Raven Truss Dive, similar to a dive loop, turning back toward the lift hill.  There will then be a long zero-g stall that takes place under the lift hill, followed by an outwardly banked left turn.

© Fun Spot America Atlanta
A large double-up and drop down then sends trains through a barrel roll over one of the parks buildings, and into a ground hugging turn around.  Trains navigate another zero-g roll before climbing a hill for the ride's big finish - a quad-down (series of 4 downward sections one after another).  It should serve as a breathtaking airtime filled finish to the 100 second ride.  In total ArieForce One features 3,400 feet of track and will utilize two, 5 car trains.

Fun Spot America Atlanta released this announcement video for ArieForce One, which you can watch above courtesy of Amusementinsider on YouTube.  It has a lot of great clips of the coaster in action and will give a better sense of the ride's layout.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Wild Adventures Theme Park Announces New Fun for 2022

© Wild Adventures
Georgia's Wild Adventures Theme Park has announced several new additions for the park's 2022 season, including a brand new animal exhibit, expanded festivals and special events, a new restaurant and more.  The park's general manger, Jon Vigue, stated that the "additions reflect our desire to create new and exciting experiences for our guests and our commitment to growth as we continue to establish Wild Adventures as the premiere entertainment destination for families in our region."


© Wild Adventures

© Wild Adventures

Seen in the concept art up top and above is Water's Edge Brews & Bites, a new restaurant and entertainment venue.  Located at the heart of the park's central lake, the area will feature locally brewed beers, wine, gourmet pretzels and plenty of shaded seating for guests to relax in.  Wild Adventures will partner with the Georgia Beer Company for the area's beverages, and guests will only be able to consume them within Water's Edge Brews & Bites.


Wild Adventures' festival season will be expanded next year starting with Shamrock The Park, starting March 19th, 2022, and offering Irish themed food, music, scavenger hunts and more.  Pounce & Crunch's Easter Eggstravaganza will grow to two weekends next year, featuring 10,000 candy filled eggs hidden in the park and a new Easter Parade. As in past seasons the park will also offer big concert names in its venue, with 12 acts headlining next summer.  Sweet Summer Nights will take place on Fridays in June and July, with the park staying open late with live music, colorful lights and fireworks in July.


A brand new animal exhibit will also open in 2022, named Wanyama Overlook.  It will be the largest new animal habitat the park has added in a decade.  It will "feature a variety of exotic animals native to Africa and Asia, including giraffes, zebras, water buffalo, wildebeests and more.  The unique exhibit will also serve as a fun and immersive catering space with a view for private events and a shaded area for families to enjoy."

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Cedar Point Hard at Work on New Restaurant + Ride Removal

© Google Maps
Cedar Point has made some additional information available about some of their plans for the 2022 season, centered around developments in Frontier Town.  The full info can be found on Cedar Point's official blog at this link.  

It has been confirmed by the park that the new eatery will be located on the site of the Antique Cars ride, which has been retired for good.  The aerial up top shows the layout of the Antique Cars ride in the center of Frontier Town, sandwiched between Maverick's station and the walkway that borders the plaza for the Cedar Creek Mine Ride and Skyhawk.  While many will lament the loss of the Antique Cars, or perhaps the shady area they ran through, there will still be the Cadillac Cars up near the front of the park for visitors to enjoy.

© Cedar Point
The demolition of the ride is well underway, with most of the ride already gone.  This is one photo from Cedar Point, there are more in their official blog post.  It looks like the area has been cleared out considerably, not just the ride's concrete path.  You can see the ride's station still standing in the back, perhaps that will stay?

As for the new restaurant, the park reports that the "entire team is working on menu, theming, name and more" and all will be revealed in the coming months.  Additionally, the park plans to keep the covered bridge that the Antique Cars ran through, changing it to a walking path next year.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Dollywood Planning New "Family Attraction" for 2023 Season

© Bing Maps
Dollywood has received approval from the Pigeon Forge Planning Commission for a new project for 2023, covering 20 acres at the park and located adjacent to the Wildwood Grove area.  The documents highlight that the new attraction to be located within the project is a "family attraction," but plans that were released as part of the approval show what looks like a new family roller coaster.

The area in yellow in the image above show the part of the park that will contain the new roller coaster, in general terms.  The news article mentions that the new expansion will feature all service facilities for the new ride, along with a food area - the bulk of that will be over on the left.  The ride's track then extends out along the backside of the Wildwood Grove area, doing a turnaround on a graded slope that borders the area.

© Dollywood
These are the plans that became public as a result of the meeting.  You can compare these to the aerial above, they are pretty close in layout.  On the larger image you can follow the twisting track of the ride, and there are also small dots that to me would be the footer locations for the coaster.  They stay pretty close to the ride's path which generally means the track will stay close to the ground (think Hagrid's at Islands of Adventure).  There also appears to be a lack of a lift hill, which matches the rumors that the ride will feature multiple launches to gain its speed.

The only odd thing about these plans is that they seem to effictively block off the rest of the land cleared up by the train loop - a sizable portion that was expected to be developed over time.  Then again, if there is a will there is a way, I'm sure the park can work around the new ride to keep building in the future.

Per the news article Dollywood does not have any comment on the plans yet, but they will announce the details of this new attraction when they are ready.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Cedar Fair's Deal with Sandusky For Tax Increases to Pay for $100 Million in City + Park Improvements

© Google Maps
Cedar Point has worked out a new deal with the city of Sandusky that will see some $100 million invested in both the park and the city over the next two decades.  The improvements are of a wide variety, and will be funded through two new tax increases related to the amusement park and resort.  The improvements are not new rides and attractions, to be clear, rather infrastructure improvements and initiatives within the city.

The deal is, in my opinion, meant to be an olive branch to the city of Sandusky, which has shown concern in recent months that the company is moving its entire corporate presence to North Carolina.  While the deal does not restrict that from happening, it does show a vote of confidence on the relationship between the company and the city. 


The funds used for the improvements will come from an increase in the city's admission tax, up to 8% from 4%.  A new 8% parking tax will also be implemented.  These two are expected to raise nearly $5 million in additional tax monies each year.  So, that $5 million times 20 years equals the $100 million being touted.


No news yet on whether Cedar Point will increase ticket and parking prices to let guests pay the tax, or absorb it as a new cost.


© Google Maps
What will all that money go to?  Well this news story says about 50/50 improvements to the park and the city over the 20 years.  A big chunk, around $25 million will go toward totally renovating the causeway that cars travel to the park on.  It will see a 5th lane added to help with congestion, add under ground utilities, new water and sewer lines and pedestrian access and lanes.  This will help with congestion in and out of the park, also no more worries of downed electric poles or water main breaks.  It will take several years to reconstruct the whole causeway when work starts.

About $3 million will also be spent to establish ferry service to Cedar Point directly from Sandusky, with more frequent service that includes weekends.  This will hopefully entice guests to spend an extra day of their vacation exploring Sandusky.  There will also be $1.5 million that will go toward programming at the Sandusky State Theater, $14 million for a new city recreation center in town, $3 million for a tourism development fund, and close to $30 million for other changes in Sandusky such as city road improvements, beautification, pathways and parks.

© Google Maps
Also worth noting, as part of the deal the Sandusky Register reported that Cedar Fair will obtain the land of the former Sandusky Drive-In as a swap for the Boeckling Building and Jet Express pier in downtown.  I think the former drive in is in the area above that I put an orange box around - but I have no idea how big of an area Cedar Fair received (if the ownership goes all the way out to the water).  This land is right next to the Sports Force Park, so it's prime for development... perhaps as a resort or more competition fields, but obviously it's beneficial to Cedar Fair to own.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Dorney Park Scares Up Fun For Halloween Haunt 2021

© NewsPlusNotes
Dorney Park's annual fear-fest, Halloween Haunt, is back after taking a year off and scaring up frightening fun for park visitors.  The event has been especially popular this year, as we've seen with haunts all over, as guests are thirsty for some scares.  The event will run through October 30th, before the park transitions to their first ever November operating dates, known as Community Weekends.

© NewsPlusNotes
As in past years, the entire vibe of Dorney Park changes for Halloween Haunt.  The park is decked out in decorations and plenty of unique lighting effects all over.  Many of the park's rides also get a different look for the event, such as the Ferris Wheel, seen above.  There's also special food treats throughout the park, plus retail item unique to the Halloween season.

This year the park is not only offering a large amount of scare zones and haunted houses, but also several live entertainment options.  The night kicks off with the Overlord's Incantation, which features a surprising ending that just might change who the Overlord is in future years.  You'll have to check it out to see what I mean.

© NewsPlusNotes

© NewsPlusNotes
The same stage that is used for the Overlord's Incantation is also used several times per night for IllumiNightmares, a pulse pounding drum show that features a "mixture of several drum stations, a complete LED drum set, and your favorite Rock and EDM soundtracks."  The crew keeps the energy high throughout, and if that doesn't get your attention the giant fireballs going off behind the stage are sure to!

© NewsPlusNotes
If you enjoyed the dueling pianos show that played this year at Center Stage (and is spreading to other Cedar Fair parks, too!) then you'll love Ghouling Organs, the Halloween version of the production.  The entire performance space got a spooky makeover and looks great - complete with new chandeliers, spooky lighting and other decorations.  The show is put on by some truly talented artists and is a great family friendly performance.

© NewsPlusNotes

© NewsPlusNotes
A few years back Dorney Park took their giant pirate ship props and created a unique space that featured the Port of Call bar along with the Skeleton Crew live show, all in a spooky underwater atmosphere.  It was great... and it's back!  The set up returns this year and that means that the crowd favorite Skeleton Crew is as well.  The show features several unique acts - from fire balancing to aerialists, and ends with the energetic skeleton trampoline act that the audience goes wild for.

© NewsPlusNotes

© NewsPlusNotes

© NewsPlusNotes
As far as scares go, well the park has plenty to offer.  Returning this year are four indoor haunted houses - Trick Or Treat, Tourist Trap, Blood On The Bayou and Blackout.  These established houses offer a variety of scares within their elaborately themed interiors.  Well, maybe not Blackout, since it's pitch black in there the fear comes less from the themed sets and more from monsters in the dark!  I will say that the park switched up some of the rooms in these established haunts this year, adding in new looks and effects.  Keeps them fresh!

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The park's new indoor haunted house is Enigma, down at the far end of the park on the lower midway.  This one doesn't rely on a specific theme, instead it relies on a blast of confusing optical illusions, lighting, distractions and other tricks of the eye to let the monsters scare you when you least expect it.

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The park's outdoor haunts, some scare zones and some haunted houses that just happen to be outdoors, are strong again this year as well.  Returning outdoor attractions include Steamworx, CarnEvil, The Lair, Necropolis and Cornstalkers.  Many of these attractions also had some subtle changes done to them, keeping things unexpected for return guests.  It never ceases to amaze me just how scared some people are of clowns - walking through CarnEvil can be quite entertaining in that regard!

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This year there is a new scare zone, located on the lower midway near the Monster flat ride, named The Hollow.  This area has never been used before for a haunted attraction, and it's wonderful that the park finally utilized it.  The path has really grown in over the years and is now pretty covered in mature trees and lends itself perfectly to a scare zone like this.  The Hollow is set in a town settled in 1784, and the outdoorsy theme includes a ton of pumpkins, scarecrow and deer statues and other woods themed props.  The lighting is fantastic, and I was very impressed with how the final product turned out.

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Dorney Park is offering some neat Halloween Haunt merchandise this year as well, above is one of the displays of clothing made for the event.  The popular squishmallows are also decked out in their Halloween finest, and remain popular with visitors.

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It's important to remember that all these haunted attractions and shows are complimented by the park's lineup of family and thrill rides, which are also open during Halloween Haunt.  For more on the park's event, visit the official website.