Monday, November 21, 2022

Kennywood Adding Zamperla Flat Ride for Park's 2023 Season


© Kennywood
Kennywood Amusement Park will be looking to the skies in 2023 when they debut a brand new area, known as Area 412, which will be themed to extra-terrestrials - aka aliens.  The renovated area will feature an existing ride, a Disk'O now named Cosmic Chaos, which has been prettied up with new paint and a new name.


The star attraction of Area 412 is Spinvasion, a circular spinning ride that's out of this world... you could say.  Spinvasion is one of Zamperla's Gryphon rides, which is kind of like a modern Enterprise ride but with one-seater cars and it doesn't go up 90 degrees in the air.  Instead, the ride's carriages undulate up and down as it spins, creating a wavelike appearance that's neat to watch from the ground.


© Kennywood
Kennywood is advertising the new area and its attractions under the Battle For The 'Burgh slogan, however they note on their site that these aliens are friendly and the battle is actually against "evil Crab Bots."  It'll be interesting to see how the area turns out, the park was already doing to painting and theming before it closed for the year in the Fall.  The park also promises an Area 412 Gift Shop which should contain some cool merchandise themed to the Battle For The 'Burgh slogan, no doubt.


Sunday, November 20, 2022

Lagoon Announces Primordial Interactive Coaster to Open in 2023


© Lagoon
It's been a long time in the making, but after around 7 years of development and construction Lagoon Amusement Park has announced that Primordial will open to visitors in 2023.  The long awaited partially-indoor roller coaster has been designed as a family attraction with riders as small as 36 inches able to ride with an adult who is at least 48 inches tall.


Official details of what Primordial will offer are still murky, even with the official announcement of the ride's opening.  For now Lagoon is only stating that they have "worked with an international team of designers and manufacturers, including amazing local companies and vendors, to create and produce this incredible state-of-the-art attraction."

 

This news article does give a bit more information, and some recent photos of the giant mountain structure that the park built to contain most of Primordial's track as well.  The park touts the attraction as interactive, which ties to the dragon and other characters than can be seen in the preview video at the bottom of this story.  Many speculate that the indoor section of the ride will be the interactive portion, with riders possibly having the ability to battle the creatures within.

 

As with the park's most recent roller coaster additions, Primordial has been largely constructed "in-house" as the park coordinated its design and construction using a plethora of industry contractors. 


For now that's about all we've got, below is the park's teaser just released for Primordial - very Game of Thrones inspired it seems!




Friday, November 18, 2022

Alberto Zamperla


The very first interview we ever did at IAAPA was in 1999 with Alberto Zamperla, president and CEO of Zamperla SpA. I was very nervous and he told me I was doing just fine. Over the years we found out just how much he meant to Give Kids the World and amusement parks worldwide. Zamperla was constantly donating rides to the Give Kids the World Village and using the technical information they learned to improve rides for the rest of their customers. Carol used to take picture of the presentations and for many years he kept trying to pay her for them and she told him if he could donate and entire ride she could surely donate a few photographs.


Alberto Zamperla was inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame in 2019 and Zamperla hosted a celebration with cake and champagne at the massive booth during the last hour of the show that day. When they cut the cake he handed her the first piece and told her to put the camera down and enjoy the cake. And of course she did, because when Mr. Zamperla speaks, people listen. He is probably reading this right now still telling us "My name is Alberto," but we could never bring ourselves to call him that.


Despite all the accolades, he always treated everyone very well, and many times told us that he treated ideas from everyone in the Zamperla organization equally because they brought new perspectives to be considered. It has been said by many that no man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child, so Mr. Zamperla was a true giant. The thousands of GKTW campers who got their first experience of feeling the motions of a ride are a testament to how large his heart was during his time with us. The world is a better place because of his presence and his legacy will continue.


Our hearts go out to all the members of the Zamperla family, and if you are a true amusement park enthusiast, hold a positive thought for them in their time of need. Maybe the next time you go a park, take a ride on a Zamperla product in memory. It will do you good.


Scott & Carol


Sunday, November 6, 2022

Wildcat's Revenge Will Open at Hersheypark in 2023


© Hersheypark
Meoooow!  Hersheypark has announced the renovation of the park's Wildcat wooden roller coaster, which has already closed to the public as announced, which will see the coaster reopen in 2023 as Wildcat's Revenge.  As many predicted, the ride will become a steel tracked hybrid experience, as provided by Rocky Mountain Construction.  A considerable bit of the ride's layout will be changed, and the steel track will allow for RMC's thrilling elements to be added, including inversions!  Definitely a different ride than the wooden roller coaster that opened in 1996.


© Hersheypark
Wildcat's Revenge will start with a much different lift hill experience.  Gone will be the wooden lift hill the ride had in the past, replace by a truss style steel support structure that stretches 140 feet into the sky.  Remember, original Wildcat stood 106 feet tall, so the new ride is gaining quite a bit of height.  The ride's first drop will plunge the trains down at a steep 82 degrees, sending the trains flying along the red track at 62 miles per hour.


© Hersheypark
From there the trains will head up into an underflip element - described as the largest of its king - that utilizes the area of the old ride's top-of-the-lift-hill.  The underflip has the trains invert as they climb only to immediately begin to curve and descend in one fluid maneuver.  Next up is a giant air-time hill, which will no doubt be pretty forceful in the best of ways.


© Hersheypark

The rest of Wildcat's Revenge's 3,510 foot long layout includes several wave turns, and three more inversions, a large stall element and then two corkscrew kinda zero-g rolls, it's hard to tell for sure as the official POV animation has not yet been released.  But when all is said and done there will be four inversions on the coaster.  The ride will feature three trains with some really awesome theming on the front - as seen in the above image.


While we wait for next summer for the coaster to open you can check out below the preview footage that the park released for now!



Monday, October 24, 2022

Michigan's Adventure Expanding Season in 2023 With Tricks and Treats Fall Fest


© Michigan's Adventure
It's finally happening - Michigan's Adventure has announced that they will extend their operating season into September and October in 2023 by holding their first ever signature event, Tricks and Treats Fall Fest.  The event appears to be modeled as a 'lite' version of the large events of a similar name that opened at California's Great America and Valleyfair this season.  Like those events, Tricks and Treats Fall Fest at Michigan's Adventure will offer visitors spooky (not scary) family fun on Saturdays and Sundays from September 16th, 2023 until October 15th, 2023.


“This new event will add even more value for our Michigan’s Adventure season pass holders and offer an exciting and unique opportunity for the community,” said Camille Jourden-Mark, vice president and general manager. “Our entire team is looking forward to extending our season and offering all-in-one Halloween, fall and Michigan fun next year.”

 

The amusement park will offer guests the chance "to step into a larger-than-life spooky Halloween adventure, surrounded by the sights, sounds and tastes of Michigan in the fall.  Families will also be able to enjoy select rides – including attractions at Camp “Spooky,” the park’s new kids’ area where kids, parents and grandparents can all ride together – all included with admission."

 

© Michigan's Adventure
Offerings at the event include special decorations, live entertainment, family activities plus Snoopy and his Peanuts friends dressed in their Halloween finest - perfect for the costume contest that the park will hold.  The park will also offer an immersive trick-or-treat experience, seasonal craft activities, special games and even a pumpkin decorating station.

 

Families will also be able to enjoy the Brews and Boos Lakeside Patio which will offer local craft brews, Michigan-made wines and for kids, special magical potions.  The new Tricks and Treats Fall Fest event will be included in the park's season pass, giving passes more value than ever before.


Sunday, October 23, 2022

Carowinds and Kings Dominion to Operate Year Round Starting in 2023


© Carowinds
Both Carowinds and Kings Dominion have announced that starting in 2023 they will be open year round, continuing operations during the winter months of January, February and March.  This is a big move for owner Cedar Fair, as they try to create more revenue opportunities for the company on a 365 day calendar, similar to how Knott's Berry Farm already functions.


Carowinds traditionally closed after their WinterFest celebration at the start of the new year.  Moving forward, however, guests will be able to visit the park on weekends and partake in even more fun and special events during the winter months.  The park does warn that weather events, maintenance on rides and other factors will limit the amount of operations and food and retails locations open during the added operating days.


© Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion, which is further North than Carowinds, will also follow the same schedule and stay open on weekends in January, February and March in 2023.  While weather may be more of a factor for this park than Carowinds, they're giving it a try and are excited to welcome guests each month of 2023.


“Kings Dominion will be the cure for cabin fever in 2023,” said Bridgette Bywater, vice president and general manager. “We’ve always wanted find a way to extend our season to all 12 months, and now families and season passholders won’t have to wait until the spring for their favorite rides or their first taste of funnel cake.” 


This is an exciting move for fans of both parks, who no longer have an "off season" and can ride year round!  Hopefully it is a success for the parks.


Friday, October 21, 2022

Adventure Port Bringing New Excitement to Kings Island in 2023


© Kings Island
This week Kings Island made an exciting announcement about a new themed area opening at the park in 2023 - Adventure Port.  Located in the middle of the park, the expansion will see a total retheme of a part of the property with two new rides added and exciting new food and beverage offerings as well.


© Kings Island
Adventure Port is described as a unique location "resting in the foothills of overgrown mountains and dense tropical terrain."  Adventure Port "is a hub for explorers searching for the ruins of an ancient civilization, its forbidden temple and mysterious wonders.   If asked, the locals will tell tales of those who came before you and vanished. Did they unwittingly disturb ancient spirits and fall victim to an age-old curse?"

 

© Kings Island
Two new rides will welcome visitors in Adventure Port in 2023, the first of which is Sol Spin, pictured above.  The attraction will be located to the left of the entrance to Adventure Express, and is one of Zamperla's Endeavour rides - a modern take on the classic Enterprise style ride.  Sol Spin will represent a giant sun disk created by an ancient civilization, with riders feet dangling freely as they spin up to 60 feet in the air at 25 miles per hour.


© Kings Island

© Kings Island
The second new ride is Cargo Loco, a modern version of the classic spinning teacup ride.  The ride has a cute backstory where Arrow Cargo Company promises to get your freight from point A to B, but with a lot of spinning and twisting in between.  Like the other attractions and shops in Adventure Port, the Cargo Loco looks to come with a nice amount of theming.


© Kings Island
Those looking for some food and drink while exploring Adventure Port will be happy to find The Mercado, a large establishment that will welcome tons of visitors at a time.  Whether looking for a bit to eat, some light shopping or some beverages and rest, the Mercado will offer a variety of options.


© Kings Island
Another new dining establishment within Adventure Port is Enrique's.  The brightly colored outlet will offer visitors local cuisine including "traditional burritos, burrito bowls, tacos, salads and sides."

 

© Kings Island

© Kings Island
Possibly the most exciting change coming along with this expansion is a set of improvements coming to Adventure Express, an Arrow Dynamics mine train that opened in 1991.  The ride was already repainted before the 2022 season, but for 2023 it will feature a brand new themed entrance (seen above), a changed queue area and additional theming.


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Sea World Orlando Announces Pipeline: The Surf Coaster for 2023


© Sea World Orlando

© Sea World Orlando
Sea World Orlando has announced Pipeline - The Surf Coaster as the world's first "surf coaster," manufactured by B&M and representing the realization of a new-age stand up roller coaster.  That was a mouthful indeed, but the design represents the first new 'type' of coaster from B&M in some time, which is a nice change of pace for them.  Hopefully Pipeline is a comfortable and a success and we will then see more of this new style of ride.


© Sea World Orlando

© Sea World Orlando
Pipeline will feature blue track and white supports - but we've all seen those arriving at the theme park for some time now.  As expected with standing trains, the ride will feature a 54 inch height requirement.  The coaster does not utilize a traditional lift hill, instead it starts with a launch over a small airtime hill that sends trains out at 60 miles per hour.  I don't expect air-time from that small hill, but it'll be a nice sensation nonetheless - especially with these new trains.  


© Sea World Orlando

© Sea World Orlando
And how about those trains, they're only two across and this is a B&M ride!  An important part of these new surf coaster trains is that while guests stand up the trains actually are able to give somewhat so riders can flex up and down with the forces of the ride.  Gone are the rigid bicycle like seats of old B&M stand up coasters - these flex under riders to provide more comfort.  You can see this flex in the ride animation at the bottom of the article.


© Sea World Orlando
Pipeline, after that initial launch, will head through a 110 foot tall turn, dive down and over a large hill, then pass through a simulated splash area on the edge of the theme park's central lake.  After that is a giant "wave curl" inversion - the only upside down moment of the coaster.  The rest of the 2,950 foot long track will feature a total of 5 moments of air-time and plenty of twists and turns.

 

Pipeline will be the park's 7th roller coaster, quite impressive for a Sea World park!  Below is the ride's animation, make sure to check out how the seats flex up and down in the video.

 



Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Serengeti Flyer to Swing Into Busch Gardens Tampa in 2023


© Busch Gardens Tampa

While not much a surprise, mostly since the park has featured plenty of photos of the ride under construction on their socials, Busch Gardens Tampa has announced a new S&S Screamin' Swing named Serengeti Flyer as the theme park's newest ride.  The new attraction is slated to open in 2023 - though the park doesn't say eactly when.  The ride is mostly complete, so we could see an early opening with relative ease if the park wanted.


“Serengeti Flyer’s thrilling ride experience is bound to provide riders with a pulse-pounding encounter that can only be found at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay,” said Neal Thurman, Park President of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. “We believe that Serengeti Flyer will be the perfect high-thrill addition to our world-class portfolio of attractions including Iron Gwazi, the Golden Ticket Award Winner for the Best New Roller Coaster in 2022.”

 

© Busch Gardens Tampa
The ride is being billed as the world's tallest and fastest of its kind.  Serengeti Flyer will stand 105 feet tall, but swing riders up to 135 feet in the air.  At the maximum, the ride's arms will swing passengers at a blazing 68 miles per hour.  The two arms each feature a carriage with 10 seats on the front and back, so a total of 40 riders can go per cycle - and Serengeti Flyer has a family friendly 48 inch height requirement.  Riders will have an amazing view of the park's 65 acre Serengeti when on the attraction as it expands below them as they reach higher and higher.


Worth noting is that Serengeti Flyer's statistics which give it world records also match those of Tidal Surge at Sea World San Antonio, which opened this year.  So, the two rides will share the worlds tallest and fastest title, it seems.


Monday, October 3, 2022

Sea World San Diego Building New Launched Family Coaster for 2023 Season


© Sea World San Diego
Sea World San Diego will be sending visitors on a brand new adventure in 2023 when the park opens their new family launched roller coaster, Arctic Rescue, this coming Spring.  Billed as the "longest and fastest straddle coaster on the West Coast," the attraction will also feature three launches to keep the vehicles moving through the course and the excitement flowing.

 

 “We’re continuously looking for ways to add new experiences to the park for our guests and this new coaster is a great addition to our ride line-up and a perfect complement to the Wild Arctic exhibit,” said Jim Lake, SeaWorld San Diego Park President. “The ride is also an educational opportunity for guests to learn more about climate change, how it impacts animals in the Arctic and what they can do to help the issue. I truly feel that seeing these animals upclose at SeaWorld allows guests to build a stronger connection and encouragement to take action to help protect them.”

 

© Sea World San Diego
Arctic Rescue will start with passengers entering the Wild Arctic exhibit and boarding snowmobile themed coaster trains.  The ride's first launch will take place indoors, sending the trains out of the building at 34 miles per hour.  The rids is themed around sending guests on a mission into the "unpredictable arctic climate to help animals in danger" and requires that passengers be only 48 inches tall to ride.


After the initial launch the coaster's layout will feature a twisted course that feature two more launches - each faster than the previous at 38 and 40 miles per hour.  The coaster will have a maximum height of 30 feet above the ground and a total track length of 2,800 feet.  Arctic Rescue will be created for the park by Intamin and features 16 passenger trains.


The new coaster is also meant to bring awareness to the effects of Global Warming in the Arctic, where many species depend on Arctic sea ice that is quickly melting away.  The effects are forcing the animals to change how they hunt, breed and migrate - and the coaster will also bring awareness to Sea World's famous animal rescue program.


Sunday, October 2, 2022

Sea World San Antonio Opening World's First Launched Log Flume in 2023



© Sea World San Antonio
The announcement of a new log flume is always a big deal in my world, and this past week we got the announcement of not only that but a launched one to boot!  Sea World San Antonio put a big smile on our face by revealing Catapult Falls, a modern take on the classic log flume designed for the park by Intamin.  The ride will be located on the real estate of the park's former classic log flume, which was closed in 2011.


© Sea World San Antonio
Catapult Falls will be the "world's first launched flume coaster" when it opens in 2023.  It will also break the record for the steepest drop on a flume attraction, at 53 degrees.  While that may not be too steep on a modern roller coaster, it's considerably steeper than most log flume drops you are used to.  But that's not all, the attraction will also feature a vertical lift hill, a fun air-time bump after the drop, and a launched section - pretty wild for a log flume!


© Sea World San Antonio
Here is the park's infographic showing the different elements that riders will encounter on Catapult Falls.  The 8-passenger boats will head out of the station and meander around a traditional log flume path, then head into a large pond area where the boats will suddenly launch at 30 feet per second, "allowing riders to feel the rush of a coaster while experiencing the rocking and swaying of riding on a track of water."  The boats burn off the acceleration by heading up a small hill then down into a splash down area.


© Sea World San Antonio
Turning a corner the boats will then encounter an elevator style lift hill that will take them up to 55 feet above the park.  It's down the 53 degree drop after that, where the boats will achieve a maximum speed of 37 miles per hour.  At the base of the drop the boats will head up over a hill much like on a coaster before the final splashdown.

 


“Catapult Falls will be the perfect addition to our already fantastic line up of family rides,” said Byron Surrett, SeaWorld San Antonio President. “Not only will it provide thrills for those wanting the exhilaration of a coaster-type ride, but being a water ride, it will give guests one more way to cool down in the hot Texas temperatures.  It will be the perfect family adventure ride.”

Here is a preview video of how the ride will look when complete.  Can wait to see it in action!




Saturday, September 24, 2022

Mr. Freeze to Return to Six Flags Over Texas


© Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas has confirmed that the work they're doing on the currently closed Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast will once again see the ride reopen as Mr. Freeze - aka the Coolest Coaster on the Planet.  Mr. Freeze was the original name of the ride from when it opened at the park in 1998 until the end of 2011 when it got the Reverse Blast moniker added.


The theme park will be turning the trains around so that the initial launch will be taken facing forward, not backward, like it has been for many years now.  The ride was recently painted all blue once again, so aside from the train being turned around and the name being modified, I'm not sure if there is anything else new here.  


© Six Flags Over Texas
Mr. Freeze is one of Premier Rides' LIM launch shuttle loop coasters, featuring an initial launch out of the station at 70 miles per hour.  The trains head through an inverted top hat element then turn and blast up a 218 foot tall tower.  After gravity takes over the trains fall down backward and head through the course that way to return to the station.


The ride has a mirror clone at Six Flags St. Louis which is still known as Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast, at least at the moment anyhow.


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Wild Adventures Building New Themed Section "Oasis Outpost" for 2023


© Wild Adventures
Wild Adventures Theme Park, located in Valdosta, Georgia, has announced Oasis Outpost to open in 2023, a brand new themed area.  Spread over three acres, Oasis Outpost will contain "an adventurous family ride, immersive animal encounters, a playful water attraction, a fun and unique food location, engaging play zones and new ways to create memories."


Located near the entrance to the park's Splash Island water park, "Oasis Outpost has been designed to be exactly what its name suggests, a place of relaxation, fun and adventure for our guests and their families,” said Jon Vigue, vice president and general manager. “When you’re taking your next journey through Wild Adventures in 2023, we can’t wait for you to discover Oasis Outpost and all the unique encounters it has in store.”

 

© Wild Adventures
A brand new ride will be joining the lineup of Oasis Outpost's offerings, a family car ride called the Trail Trackers Adventures Rides.  Aimed at kids and families, the attraction will let young drivers take the wheel of their own jeep as they travel in and past the park's Sulcata Tortoise habitat.  Passengers will get up close to the tortoises, allowing a unique perspective of the animals.  The area will feature other animal exhibits, four in total, including caracal cats and porcupines and red-footed tortoises. 


Oasis Outpost also features the Misty Springs Soak Zone, a water play area with towering misting posts and splash pads.  There will be two Stay and Play Zones built as well, for kids to explore while parents rest in the shade.  Oasis Outposts will also be home to Paradise Pizza, a new stand with flatbread pizzas, beverages and more.


© Wild Adventures
This multi-million dollar expansion follows the addition of Waters's Edge Brews and Bites and the Wanyama Observation Deck & Botanical Gardens in 2022, the Liberty Farms Petting Zoo in 2021, the Discovery Outpost themed land with six rides in 2019 and the Ohana Bay expansion in 2017.  Oasis Outpost will open in March 2023.


Sunday, September 11, 2022

Top Thrill Dragster "as we know it" Has Been Retired


© NewsPlusNotes
Cedar Point has announced that Top Thrill Dragster has been retired - but also specifically points out that the ride "as we know it" has been retired.  There is some specific wording on the announcement of the ride's end that does hint toward a future for the attraction, but exactly how remains a mystery.  For now, the park also notes that the coaster ran for 19 seasons at Cedar Point and also thrilled 18 million riders during that time.  A considerable amount for sure!


Here is the exact message that the park shared on social media last week:


© Cedar Point
Obviously, adding "as you know it" is important in noting that what we're all used to when we think of Top Thrill Dragster is what is being retired.  Race Theme.  The name.  Yellow tower.  But even more importantly is the next part, highlighting the park's "legacy of ride innovation" with the Cedar Point team currently "hard at work, creating a new and reimagined ride experience."


© NewsPlusNotes
Work walls are already up around the ride with initial work starting on the launch area.  What will happen here is being debated heavily around these interwebs, with theories ranging from removing the coaster portion of the ride and using the tower for a free fall to a new type of launch, colors, name and theme.  In between that spectrum is a lot of other guesses, like adding more track on the center island or even making the ride utilize a chain lift hill.  Obviously some guesses are less practical and less realistic than others.


In the end the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, with some changes incoming to the ride's theme, colors, name, launch mechanics and definitely the queue area and surrounding midway.  But that's just a guess based on what type of cash Cedar Fair is probably willing to spend on a ride with a very troublesome history.


Top Thrill Dragster, as of now, is the world's 3rd fastest roller coaster and the 2nd tallest.  It opened in 2003 and closed last August when a piece of one of the trains came off it and badly injured a guest waiting in line.


Tuesday, September 6, 2022

DarKoaster: Escape The Storm Indoor Family Coaster Opening at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 2023


© Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Busch Gardens Williamsburg has announced an exciting new indoor family roller coaster, named DarKoaster: Escape The Storm, set to open in 2023.  Located within the park's Oktoberfest area, DarKoaster will utilize the building that housed Curse of DarKastle, a 4-D simulator ride, from 2005 until 2017.  


The new attraction continues the story line of the original DarKastle ride:  "King Ludwig’s abandoned fortress resurfaces as strange weather patterns have been recorded near the cursed castle grounds. Only the bravest souls will embark on snowmobiles in this dark expedition to discover the mysterious phenomenon. A supernatural force is imminent as explorers discover that they are evading more than just a raging storm."

 

The park is calling the ride the first of its kind indoor straddle coaster, featuring Intamin's jet-ski (in this case snowmobile) type cars with a lower 48 inch height requirement.  The ride will feature 4 launches, a top speed of 36 miles per hour and over 2,400 feet of track.   The below animation shows the vehicles interacting with set pieces located within the building, which already kept its outdoor theming in tact from the earlier ride it housed.

Busch Gardens Williamburg's description of the ride also notes that the vehicles will "change course" when the weather causes an issue, which is believed to be a switch track that will allow the train to follow the ride's layout a second time as a surprise.


The ride's track is actually already completed inside the building, and the park gave a tour today with some photos from which featured here and here.  The theming elements have yet to be added, but it already looks like a fun and bad and cold weather friendly addition to the park.


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Waldameer Amusement Park Building Large Water Coaster for 2023


© Waldameer
Waldameer Amusement Park and Water World water park is having what they describe as the "best year" they've ever had, thanks to a lot of sunshine and pent up demand for their tradition park offerings.  To celebrate, the park is moving forward with plans for a large water roller coaster addition to Water World, set to open in 2023.


A drawing of the new water roller coaster, which doesn't have a final name or final colors just yet, can be seen up top.  The park announced their plans in a news story today that goes over how the park has been doing this year - which is pretty great.  After a rough 2020, like at all parks, 2021 was better but suffered from extreme lack of staffing, now 2022 has returned mostly to normal and the crowds have returned in full force.


© Waldameer
That gives the park the confidence to build the water roller coaster, which is costing them between $7 and $8 million.  The above schematic, also from the park, shows that the coaster will be going over and under several existing water park slides and attractions.  The article states that the slide will be around 50 feet tall and stretch 450 feet in length.  The attraction will feature several "saucer" turn elements that ProSlide are now famous for, and a couple upward and downward dips.


The park is planning to start work on the new slide as soon as the park closes for the season, and are anxious to see it open in 2023!


Monday, August 29, 2022

Six Flags Over Texas Closing Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast on September 11th but Not for Forever


© Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas has announced that the last chance to ride Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast will be on September 11th, but not the last chance forever!  The park has made it clear that the ride is not going away permanently, just... for now I guess?  The tweet where they shared the news specifically asks fans if they think the ride "is really going away" and quickly answers their own question with "not a chance!"


© Six Flags Over Texas
So the coaster is having its final rides but not really final forever... this must mean they are just making changes to the ride, giving it a retheme possibly, or more likely changing the directions of the trains.  The coaster opened in 1998 and launched the trains forward through the layout, up the spike, then backward.  In 2012 the trains were turned around so the launch is backward, but since it's a shuttle coaster riders go forward and backward no matter what.


So, while the ride is closing for now, it looks to have a continued future at the theme park for sure.  With Six Flags apparently spending very little on ride capital for 2023 I think these types of rethemes will be a popular 'addition' at many Six Flags parks in the near future!


Monday, August 22, 2022

ArieForce One Making Progress at Fun Spot America Atlanta


© Fun Spot America Atlanta
We haven't forgotten about the giant new RMC roller coaster being built at Fun Spot America Atlanta - named ArieForce One - thanks to the park posting new photos of the ride's progress at regular intervals.  The park made some big progress recently when they got the ride's Raven Truss Drive completed.  The element is the ride's second - after the imposing first drop - and features a unique support structure that feeds into its name.


© Fun Spot America Atlanta
The rest of the ride is progressing as well - although much more slowly than we all expected.  The ride's far turnaround has been completed for a few weeks now, featuring a low to the ground profile.  But right now the Raven Truss Dive is the element that's drawing attention to the coaster once again.


We'll have to watch to see how quickly the mid-section of ArieForce One goes up, but the station area is just underway now and there's a lot of technical components to that yet to be built.  That's why stations are almost always one of the very first elements of a coaster standing!  Stay tuned.  You can see more of the recent images from the park here and here.