Saturday, December 24, 2022

Rides Now Going Into Carowinds' New For 2023 Aeronautica Landing Themed Area

© Carowinds

© Carowinds
Carowinds' latest themed area, opening in 2023 and named Aeronautica Landing, is making swift progress while the park holds its merry Winterfest event.  The renovated and rethemed Crossroads area will reopen next year and feature a bunch of new rides and attractions, along with new dining and retail options as well.  Until then we can check out some updates from the park, like the photos we see here.  Above was the very first new attraction to be built in Aeronautica Landing, Air Racer.  The ride will feature plane themed vehicles that will rotate and flip in the sky - an exciting experience that simulates the "ace pilots" that the area is themed after.

© Carowinds
Aeronautica Landing will also be home to another flat ride named Gear Spin, which you can also see newly standing in the photo above.  The ride features a giant gear-like engine that rotates the ride arms in a circle as the entire ride spins.  Riders do not go upside down, but the moving arms give quite a disorienting appearance.

Carowinds will also fill in Aeronautica Landing with several other flat rides and they will all join Afterburn, the park's classic B&M inverted ride in the area.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Six Flags Fiesta Texas Building New Racing Kid's Coasters + Kid's Waterslides for 2023

© Six Flags Fiesta Texas

In a year that looked like no Six Flags parks were going to be getting much of anything new besides festivals, Six Flags Fiesta Texas has proven us all wrong.  The park has announced not one but two new additions for the park's 2023 season, and one of them is a brand new pair of intertwined family roller coasters!  Six Flags Fiesta Texas, largely through its excellent leadership, is a hotbed of trying out new attractions for the Six Flags parks, and 2023 will be no exception.

© Six Flags Fiesta Texas
The park's water park, White Water Bay, will have a very family friendly new addition in 2023.  Seen above, the park will build a set of 7 junior water slides, all from Proslide, to their already expansive list of attractions.  The slides will include mini versions of the company's popular large slides, including a Kidz Tornado, Kidz Tornado Wave and Kidz OctopusRacer slides.  Similar installations of these sets of small slides have proven super popular with kids, so I'm sure this will be a big hit at White Water Bay.

© Six Flags Fiesta Texas
The most interesting addition is definitely the first ever set of intertwined racing P'Sghetti Bowl roller coasters from Skyline Attractions.  The children's roller coasters are twisted around each other as seen in the diagram above, but are technically two separate roller coasters next to one another.  The coasters will be designed, engineered and fabricated by Skyline Attractions, according to their news release.

The twisted layout of the coasters stretch a combined total of 1,124 feet in length, and the track cross over each other a total of 12 times during the ride.  Six Flags Fiesta Texas has not chosen a name or theme for the new coasters yet, but are also excited that the weld-free single-rail track on both ride will be lined with Skyline Attractions' Aurora LED lightning package.  With LED panels installed right on the track, these new coasters are guaranteed to glow both day and night!

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Vekoma Releases Details of Cotaland's New Tilt Coaster "Circuit Breaker"

© Vekoma / COTA
Vekoma Rides Manufacturing is very pleased to release some additional renderings and details on the much anticipated new Tilt Coaster opening next year at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas.  The racing facility is building several thrill rides to create a new amusement park named Cotaland next to the track and the Vekoma coaster, called Circuit Breaker, is easily one of the standouts.  The drawing above shows the ride's anticipated location, pretty cool eh?

Circuit Breaker will stand around 131 feet tall (if you're in the back of the train) and is the first Tilt Coaster to open in the United States.  The train heads up the lift, does a 180, then slows as it enters the tilt track.  The track tilts the train downward till it is vertical to the ground with riders staring straight down - then lets the train fall down the first drop.

© Vekoma / COTA

© Vekoma / COTA
The rest of the layout, seen in these renderings, is seriously twisted stuff.  Vekoma has been designing some amazing layouts in Europe the past 5 years, and it's great to see one of them in North America finally.  I'm not sure what the names are for these elements, so I won't even try.  That said, the combination of upward and downward twisted zero g rolls in the first element looks amazing!  There are also pops of air-time, banked curves and more packed into the appx. 2,200 feet of track.

© Vekoma / COTA
Trains will hit a top speed of 57 miles per hour when they descend the first drop, and speaking of the train there will be two of them, each seating a total of 20 riders at a time.  For an animated preview of Circuit Breaker in action, check out this video!

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Villain-Con Minion Blast Opening at Universal Studios Florida This Summer

© Universal Orlando
Universal Studios Florida has announced a new attraction for the park's Summer 2023 season that will strengthen the presence of their already popular crew of Minions at the property.  Named Villain-Con Minion Blast, the new attraction is currently being built in the space formerly occupied by Shrek 4-D.  The attraction will broaden the character base into an entire new Minion themed land, and will include a new Minion Cafe as well.

While we do not have any concept art just yet for Villain-Con Minion Blast, the park described it as a "blaster game experience that will invite guests to put their villainous skills to the test as they compete against each other in a bid to join the ranks of the franchise’s most infamous supervillains."  Giving a bit more detail, the park states that the attraction will utilize "innovative screen technology, state-of-the-art gaming interactivity and elaborate physical sets to create a one-of-a-kind, game-based adventure where guests encounter immersive environments, nefarious villains and tons of mischievous Minions from Illumination’s films in a whole new way."


Set as guests head to Villain-Con, which is the largest criminal convention on the planet, the competition heats up as they try to compete to become a part of the Vicious 6 - as featured in Minions: The Rise of Gru.  Visitors are described as grabbing an interactive blaster and stepping onto a motion-based pathway (moving walkway?) as they move through the attraction.  No rest for those weary Florida theme park feet on this ride, it seems.  Visitors earn points by blasting items they encounter and causing as much "mayhem and destruction" as possible.


When Villain-Con Minion Blast opens next summer it will be part of the new Minion Land on Illumination Ave. themed area, which also contains the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem attraction and a new Minion Cafe.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Cedar Point Makes Major Progress on Wild Mouse Coaster + The Boardwalk

© Cedar Point
Since announcing a major new themed area last Fall, Cedar Point has kicked construction of The Boardwalk into high gear, making great progress before 2023 has even rolled around.  The park has shared some images of the now completed track for the Wild Mouse, a new family roller coaster opening in 2023.  With bright yellow supports and a screaming orange track, the ride will be hard to miss!

© Cedar Point

© Cedar Point
The Wild Mouse is manufactured by Zamperla and features a unique layout for a wild mouse style-ride.  It features a zig zag section shortly after the top of the lift that we are accustomed to, but then after that there are a lot of undulating turns, curves, swoops and more.  The individual free-spinning cars will be themed to mice, but one of them will be themed to the cheese.  The Wildcat that was featured on the park's now retired coaster of the same name also makes an appearance if you look closely!

The Boardwalk is seen here on the park's live webcam, showing great progress on the entire area.  In the background is the the Grand Pavilion, a major new two story dining and bar establishment.  Located literally on the beach, the location is sure to give amazing views of both the lake beyond and also the new Boardwalk area.  When complete, The Boardwalk will also feature two relocated flat rides in the foreground of the Wild Mouse. 

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom Finally Gets a Closing Date

© Disney
Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom in Florida finally has a closing date: January 23rd, 2023.  The ride was previously announced to close and transform into a Princess and the Frog themed ride, and that announcement feels like it was decades ago at this point.  Of course, there was a pandemic and other obstacles along the way, but it feels like Disney's timeline of announcing park changes and implementing them has become as wide as the ocean.  

Regardless, when the attraction reopens in 2024 it will be called Tiana's Bayou Adventure, and be set a year after the conclusion of The Princess and the Frog feature film.


© Disney
The announcement came after Disney released some information about a new scene in the ride, depicted above.  It certainly looks pretty!  Tiana and her alligator pal Louis are planning to hold a special celebration for the people of New Orleans, and they're welcoming guests to the action in the scene above.  It will be one of the first that guests encounter once they get inside the mountain.  The critters who are playing a selection of natural instruments are also going to be featured throughout the ride, with more details on that to come - says Disney.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure is also slated to open at Disneyland sometime in 2024 as well, however a closing date for Splash Mountain at that park has not yet been announced.